A recent Engineering polymer created by DuPont is “Surlyn” and this has been used for the handles of tools but in mentioning an ‘industrial polymer’ such as this we are opening up the increasingly complex and sophisticated ‘designer’ area of specialist plastics.
To step back a stage it is worth looking at some of the more well-recognised names - some of which you might already have heard of.
Try to find out about terpolymers - such as “ABS”...
Try to find out about “ASA” which is a little less well known. These letters stand for quite long chemical names - it will be enough if you can identify the plastics by their letters.
Try to find out about ACRYLONITRILE,
STYRENE and ACRYLATE.
Try to find out about ... POLYSTYRENE and POLYCARBONATE too.
One very common handle material is CELLULOSE ACETATE this can easily be injection moulded - What properties does this polymer have ? (Incidentally the original LEGO bricks, up until 1963, were made of this material. Why do you think it has been replaced by other plastics ?
... And if the handle was to be dip coated perhaps check out PVC
But perhaps one of the best to check out now that you have looked at all of
these others is Impact Modified POLYPROPYLENE.
“Cellulose acetate makes fine screwdriver handles due to its feel, impact strength, compressive strength and chemical resistance, but it is very expensive due to the increasing costs of cellulose and due to the "dirty" nature of manufacturing plants.
Top end screwdrivers are now made of nylon. Those used by mere mortals are made from polypropylene. The fancy soft touch grips are polyurethane in the nylon handles and PP/EPDM - for PP handles.
Hard grades of polyurethane or "Hytrel/Arnitel" type elastomers could also work very well.
PVC will be prone to chemical attack from some chemicals typically used in automotive workshops. “