Drillly is audience-supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission that we use for site maintenance. Learn more

Blogs

Milwaukee vs DeWalt: Choosing the Best Tools!

Written by Brent Butterworth

Tools are an expensive but necessary purchase for many tradespeople. Homeowners and DIYers want the same quality tools as these tradesmen.

Choosing the best tool for your money can be daunting. Let’s compare DeWalt and Milwaukee to see who offers the best tool for the money.

Milwaukee vs DeWalt: Which Brand to Rely on?

Milwaukee’s Beginnings

Milwaukee tool introduced the Hole Shooter in 1918; it was the first portable ¼-inch drill light enough to be used with one hand. During WWII, they made tools for the Navy using the military’s standards, making them known for durable, high-quality tools.

They debuted their Sawzall (a reciprocating saw) in 1951; outdoing themselves once again with the lithium-ion battery in 2005.

Their Milwaukee one-key was a pioneer in the Bluetooth technology. Their current MX FUEL line of battery-powered tools has made them a contender in cordless power equipment.

Their brand slogan is – Nothing but Heavy Duty

Milwaukee's

Pros of Milwaukee

Great Warranty

  • Cordless power tools – 5-year warranty
  • Cordless Outdoor power equipment – 3-year warranty
  • Most hand tools and Redstick level tools carry a lifetime warranty unless they specify differently
  • Tools do not have to be registered to use warranty service; in these cases, the brand will use the tool’s manufacturing date as a substitute for the receipt

State-of-the-art Technology

Redlink Plus in its M18 tools and One Key Technology.

Are They Durable?

Milwaukee has been known for years for their solid, durable products used by construction and woodworkers.

Are They Durable

Milwaukee: Best Features

  • One-key

Download the app to use Bluetooth technology to register for tool inventory by scanning nearby tools. It connects and registers them by serial and model number. You can also give the tool and number and record where you purchased it.

  • Powerstate

Uses smart electronics for better speed and power control when cutting, sawing, driving, and drilling.

In addition, they have smaller motors (in brushless tools) to optimize space, resulting in a smaller tool.

  • RedLithium

M18 RedLithium HIGH OUTPUT battery offers high output that delivers more power. It runs cooler and provides longer runtime and faster charging. All of these equal faster applications and greater productivity.

  • Redlink Plus

This is intelligence hardware and software connecting the brushless power tool and their M18 battery. This allows the battery, the charger, and the tool to communicate. This is the most advanced system of power tools on the market and increases the performance of Milwaukee tools.

DeWalt’s Beginnings

Raymond DeWalt’s invention of the Radial Saw in 1923 was the start of DeWalt. In 1960 DeWalt was sold to Black and Decker. Port-Cable was purchased by Black and Decker in 2004, merging DeWalt and Port-Cable.

DeWalt/Port-Cable is owned by Stanley Black & Decker, who also holds Irwin Tools, Craftsman, Lenox, Proto, Bostitch, Vidmar, and several others.

Their tools are used worldwide in construction, woodworking, and the manufacturing industries.

Their slogan is – Guaranteed Tough

Guaranteed Tough

DeWalt Pros

Warranty

  • Cordless power tools – 3-year limited warranty +1-year free service contract + 90-day money-back guarantee
  • DeWalt pneumatic tools have a 7-year warranty + 1-year service agreement + 3-day money-back guarantee
  • DeWalt hand tools (not in this listing) have a limited lifetime warranty against defects
  • DeWalt Mechanics Tools have a full lifetime warranty (if a DeWalt mechanics tool fails for any reason, they will replace it without proof of purchase)

Lightweight

Due to their construction of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (yellow plastic) and polypropylene (Black harder plastic), DeWalt replaced all the non-essential metal parts with plastic creating a lighter-weight tool.

Made with quality

DeWalt has a stellar reputation for making excellent industry tools.

State-of-the-art Technology

Includes their Power state, E clutch, and Tool Connect technology.

State-of-the-art Technology

DeWalt: Best Features

  • Powerstate

Uses smart electronics for better speed and power control when cutting, sawing, driving, and drilling. The motors are larger (vs. Milwaukee) resulting, in a bigger tool.

  • DeWalt Breakaway

These saw blades are designed to be broken off when they get dull and allow you to continue the job with the second half of the fresh blade—saving the user from throwing away a saw blade that still has life in it.

  • DeWalt E-clutch System

This system senses the tool’s motion, reducing the motor torque to the necessary level.

  • Flexvolt

20V/60V Flexvolt battery switches voltage, allowing its use with over 200 DeWalt tools, thus extending the runtime.

  • Tool Connect

Allows you to download the app and use Bluetooth to connect to the web portal to maintain your tool inventory.

Milwaukee vs DeWalt: Comparing the Production Line

Work Lights

Both offer an app that changes light settings and tool tracking.

Work Lights

DeWalt 20VMAX Tripod Light

  • Weighs 16 pounds
  • Offers natural white LED to give accurate color visibility. It stays cool to the touch and has a long lifespan
  • Allows you to customize workspace illumination with its three brightness settings
  • A runtime of 11 hours on low and uses a DCB206 20V MAX 6Ah Battery Pack
  • The tough shroud protects the light head in rough jobsite conditions
  • The light head extends to seven feet using the telescoping pole. This reduces shadows and glare
  • The handle has a latch mechanism to extend and collapse the tripod legs easily

DeWalt 20VMAX Tripod Light

Milwaukee M18 LED Stand Light

  • Weighs 15 pounds
  • Offers TrueView color
  • The light head extends seven feet and rotates to give 2000 lumens in any direction
  • It is durable enough to withstand being dropped, bumped, and accidental damage
  • A runtime of eight hours on low and uses a 5.0 Ah M18 RedLithium battery

Power Tool Combo Kits

Both DeWalt and Milwaukee offer combo tool kits:

DeWalt has 14 different combo tool kits.

Milwaukee has seven combo tool kits.

2-tool Combo Kits

DeWalt DCK240C2 kit includes: Impact driver, a drill, 2 batteries, a charger, and a carrying case. The kit is the lower-priced option of the two.

Milwaukee 2598-22 kit includes: A hammer drill, impact driver, 12-volt battery, and charger. This kit is more expensive, and no carrying case is included.

5+ Tool Combo Kit Comparison

Both kits include the contractor bag and charger.

DeWalt 5-Tool 20-Volt Max Brushless Power Tool Combo Kit

  • Brushless 1/2-in drill/driver
  • Brushless 1/4-in impact drive
  • Brushless oscillating multi-tool
  • Brushless 5-in random orbital sander
  • LED work light
  • Two 20V MAX 2Ah Lithium-ion batteries

DeWalt 5-Tool 20-Volt Max Brushless Power Tool Combo Kit

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 5-Tool Combo Kit

  • Brushless ½-in hammer drill
  • Brushless ¼-in impact driver
  • SAWZALL® reciprocating saw
  • 6-1/2 circular saw
  • LED work light
  • One 18V RedLithium battery

9-Tool Combo Kit

Both tools in both kits are powered by 18-volt batteries and cordless.

DeWalt 20VMAX 9-Tool Combo Kit

  • Hammer drill
  • Impact driver
  • Circular saw
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Oscillating tool
  • Grinder
  • Right-angle drill
  • 20V MAX Lithium LED work light
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Two 20V batteries

Milwaukee M18 9-Tool Combo Kit

  • Compact Hammer Drill
  • Compact Hammer Driver
  • Cordless Right Angle Drill
  • Reciprocating Saw
  • Circular Saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Impact Driver
  • Impact Wrench
  • Grinder
  • Work Light
  • RedLithium extended capacity battery
  • Multi-voltage charger

Milwaukee M18 9-Tool Combo Kit

Circular Saws

Both offer a 7-1/4 inch blade and weigh 7.5 pounds.

DeWalt DCS570B 20V MAX cuts at a depth of 2-9/16-inch. Has a max speed of 5,500 RPM. Offers a 57-degree bevel cut. Most reasonably priced.

DeWalt DCS570B 20V MAX

Milwaukee 2631-20 M18cuts at a depth of 2-1/2-inch. Has a max speed of 5,000 RPM. Offers a 50-degree bevel cut.

Milwaukee 2631-20 M18cuts

Reciprocating Saws

DeWalt 20V Max Lithium-Ion Reciprocating Saw Kit

  • Available speed trigger delivering up to 3000 strokes per minute
  • A 1-1/8″ stroke length for fast cutting
  • Keyless lever-action 4-position blade clamp (changing blades is quicker, easier, and offers various applications, including flush cutting
  • The pivoting shoe offers leverage when cutting and extends blade life

DeWalt 20V Max Lithium-Ion Reciprocating Saw Kit

Milwaukee M18 FUEL SAWZALL Reciprocating Saw Kit

  • POWERSTATE Brushless Motor to provide users with 3,000 strokes per minute
  • A 1-1/4 in. stroke length for faster material removal
  • A wear-resistant blade change
  • Anti-corrosion blade clamp
  • Metal reinforced battery rails (longer component life)
  • REDLINK PLUS protects overloading, overheating, and over-discharging

Milwaukee M18 FUEL SAWZALL Reciprocating Saw Kit

Sidewinder Saws

Dewalt sidewinder saw has better and larger forward handle design. It also features better tracking to keep it straight while cutting.

On the other side, the Milwaukee 2732-20’s handle and magnesium shoe have less friction and execute compound (45 degrees) cuts more easily. The guard is also a little bit better and has better sight lines.

Although the physical traits and price are almost the same for both brands, the Milwaukee 2732-20 would be a better choice.

Brad Nailers

Both use 18-gauge brad nails.

DeWalt offers tool-free depth adjustment and jam clearing. Brushless motor. LED work light is built-in to light the project as you work. Weight 5.3 pounds. More reasonably priced Brad Nailer.

Milwaukee offers tool-free depth adjustment and jam clearing. Brushless motor. Shoots 3 nails per second which are quicker than DeWalt. Weight 6.3 pounds

Impact Wrenches

Milwaukee High-torque impact wrench outpowers the DeWalt DCF899 wrench. Tests show that it is the most powerful one among the available models.

Other wrench models like the1-inch D-handle impact wrench from Milwaukee also win in the power battle with DeWalt DCF897 3/4″ wrench as Milwaukee gives better and more options than DeWalt.

As for mid-torque impact wrenches, Milwaukee mid-torque wrenches can give a fastening torque of 550 foot-pounds whereas DeWalt DCF896 1/2″ wrench provides 330 foot-pounds of torque. Milwaukee is the clear winner in this section too.

Impact Drivers

DeWalt DCF887B 20V MAX XR Impact Driver provides more run time due to its XR Lithium-Ion batteries.

It features a brushless motor and a max speed of 2800 rpm. The plastic body is lightweight with three-speed settings. A belt hook, slim handle, and three LED lights are also featured.

Milwaukee’s 2853-20 Impact Driver has an 18V Lithium-Ion battery that delivers more work and life per charge than DeWalt.

It features a brushless motor and a max speed of 3600 rpm. With 4-speed modes, there is Redlink Plus intelligence for maximum performance that protects against overloads, heating, and over-discharge.

Drill

Both drills offer a two-speed setting.

Speed

Both drills offer the same power.

DeWalt’s low-speed setting goes from 0 to 450 RPM, with the high-speed setting going from 0 to 1500 RPM. It is the slower of the two drills.

Milwaukee’s low-speed setting goes from 0 to 450 RPM, with the high-speed setting going from 0 to 1500 RPM. 

Battery

DeWalt gives 1.3 amp-hours of runtime with its two 20V Lithium-Ion batteries. It is covered by a 3-year limited warranty, one year of free service, and a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Milwaukee gives 1.5 amp-hour of runtime with its one 18v RedLithium-Ion battery and has a fuel gauge. It is covered by 5-year limited warranty, and the battery is covered for two years.

Torque Control

  • DeWalt has a 15-clutch position
  • Milwaukee has a 16-position clutch that offers a bit more torque control

 Size and Weight

  • DeWalt measures 7.5 inches long and weighs 6.75 pounds
  • Milwaukee measures 6.5 inches long and weighs 3.4 pounds (a result of the Redlithium-ion battery)
  • DeWalt has a ratchet chuck that tightens the grip on the bits. This model does not offer a light as the other DeWalt models do
  • Milwaukee has an LED light situated right under the trigger, letting the user see what they are working on

Milwaukee vs DeWalt: How to Choose?

Vibration

Both tools vibrate to some degree. The Milwaukee battery in some tools is said to be looser. The degree of vibration needs to be judged by the tool’s users and what they are looking for.

Design

DeWalt has a lighter-weight design that makes it easier to use the tool longer. The grip material makes holding the tool easier. Their tools are higher quality.

Milwaukee products are solid and durable. These tools are the first choice of construction workers, professional contractors, and do-it-yourselfers.

Product Range and Diversity

Both offer a wide variety of tools, the tools themselves are pretty much the same with different features.

DeWalt has 200+ tools that work with the 20V MAX battery.

Milwaukee offers 150 tools that work on the M18 platform.

Proprietary Technology

Both have apps that allow you to pair the battery to the tool and track your tools.

DeWalt Flexvolt and Tool connect technologies increase battery life. The FlexVolt technology provides automatic voltage-switching technology that lets woodworkers use them with three different tools.

Milwaukee’s RedLithium battery technology gives the battery a longer life and creates a more durable tool.

Warranty

Neither brand warrants tool damage from everyday wear and tear and abuse.

Both cover tools damaged from faulty craftsmanship and workmanship.

DeWalt offers a three-year warranty + a 90-day money-back guarantee while Milwaukee offers a five-year warranty.

Milwaukee vs DeWalt: Which is the Best Buy?

Both offer a wide variety of tools. Whether you purchase your tools singly or in a multi-tool combo kit, the difference in the tools is minimal.

The battery and technologies that power these tools are what create a difference. Both have an app for Powerstate to offer better speed and control for cutting, drilling, driving, and sawing. In addition, Dewalt has a larger motor in its brushless tools, resulting in a larger tool than Milwaukee brushless options.

Milwaukee offers a Redlitium High Output battery which delivers more power but allows the engine to run cool and gives a longer runtime (Dewalt’s battery holds the longer charge and runtime), and charges faster than Dewalt. As a result, the Redlink Plus falls sort of the technology Dewalt offers at a better price.

Technology is the reason Dewalt is the best choice. Their Breakaway saw blades give you two times the blade when doing a job; the E-Clutch system saves battery power by reducing the motor torque to what the job needs. The FlexVolt allows you to switch voltage through the app, extends the runtime, and is compatible with 200+ tools in the Dewalt tool line.

What’s more, Dewalt offers a short warranty of 3 years but offers a 90-day money-back guarantee. Dewalt is also a more affordable line of tools.

FAQs

Q. 1: Are M12 and M12 fuel batteries the same?

Ans. Yes, all types of M12 model batteries are swappable.

Q. 2: Is M12 fuel powerful enough?

Ans. M12 fuel is powerful enough for most applications despite being lighter and compact. If you need more power, try the M18 out.

Q. 3: What is the advantage of FUEL Milwaukee?

Ans. Milwaukee fuel has the most advanced technology incorporated. They offer durability, power, longer run times, and longer life since three exclusive Milwaukee technological inventions (Redlink, Powerstate, and Redlithium) are put together in them.

About the author

Brent Butterworth

A Professional Woodworker & Custom Furniture Builder

Brent lives in Wisconsin and is a woodworker, custom cabinetmaker, interior consultant, and a freelance writer who got the opportunity to write several magazine articles for different publications on home improvement and woodworking. He’s always amazed at the depth and breadth of woodworking all over the globe, and feels proud to be a part of this great effort. Brent has built everything one can imagine, from unique art furniture to different types of home furniture to canoes and even a sailboat.

Leave a Comment