Two of the most popular power tool brands on the market are DeWalt and Milwaukee.
But which is better? Red or yellow?
In this DeWalt vs Milwaukee comparison, I’ll explain the differences between both of these power tool behemoths to find out which you should buy. Let’s dig in!
- Both of these power tool brands are reputable and offer superior quality products that are great for both professionals and weekend warriors. Both brands are very similar in terms of quality and performance, however – I tend to prefer the DeWalt brand over Milwaukee from my personal experience.
- You can’t go wrong with either brand, honestly. Both of these tool brands offer all of the tools you can imagine, and they’re extremely high quality.
DeWalt vs Milwaukee Power Tools
Quality & Reliability
Both companies have been manufacturing power tools for a long time, and both use high-quality components to make their tools, so they’re built to last with extreme efficiency, durability, and reliability.
That said, DeWalt tools are more or less designed for heavy-duty materials and professional applications, so you could argue that they achieve slightly better results.
But in all honesty, the difference isn’t all that significant. In other words, if you’re an expert woodworker, you can achieve top-tier results with both DeWalt and Milwaukee tools.
Both DeWalt and Milwaukee power tools are equipped with state-of-the-art lithium ion batteries, but I found DeWalt batteries are slightly more powerful.
Both companies equip most of their power tools with brushless motors, and these ensure smoother operation and more power.
Generally speaking, if a power tool has a strong battery, it can operate for longer and deliver more torque, rpm, etc – which is what you want.
In truth, DeWalt and Milwaukee are currently putting out some of the strongest batteries on the market that other brands can’t replicate.
How long a tool’s battery lasts depends on a lot of factors, but most of these can operate for hours before recharging is necessary.
Both companies offer wide selections of power tools. For example, both sell:
- Circular saws
- Miter saws
- Jig saws
- Hammer drillers
- Impact drivers and wrenches
- Screwdrivers & ratchets
DeWalt and Milwaukee also make hand tools, outdoor equipment, plumbing tools, measuring equipment, lighting, storage solutions, and job site apparel.
Out of all the DeWalt power tools, DeWalt drills are probably most sought-after. The same goes for Milwaukee drills.
However, you could argue that the most distinguished Milwaukee tool is the Milwaukee Sawzall.
Both companies produce innovative tools, but at present the DeWalt tool brand is more closely associated with innovation.
Generally speaking, DeWalt products are very slightly more expensive than Milwaukee products, and some may see this as a sign that DeWalt is the better of the two tool brands.
DeWalt tools are somewhat more expensive in large part because they of the research that’s required to innovate and create more advanced technologies to power them.
They put out a lot of specialty tools too, and these are generally more expensive than similar tools made by other leading tool brands.
This isn’t to say that Milwaukee makes budget tools; they don’t.
However, their products are slightly more affordable than others on the market right now.
If you were to compare a basic Milwaukee drill with a basic DeWalt drill, for example, you’d see there’s about a $10-$30 discrepancy in price.
As far as warranties go, Milwaukee seems to offer better warranties. By that I mean their warranties last for longer and there aren’t as many exclusions.
Overall though, both power tool brands offer better warranties than other power tool brands, which Is definitely something to consider if you’re going to be putting your tools to the test.
The warranties cover defects related to materials and workmanship and not much else. So if you try to repair your tool on your own, you can void the warranty.
If your tool breaks while it’s under warranty, you just have to ship it to an authorized dealer and the company will repair it for you. If they can’t repair it, they’ll send a replacement.
Dewalt vs Milwaukee Impact Drivers & Wrenches
Milwaukee makes numerous impact drivers and wrenches, as well as kits for these tools.
A kit will usually come with a belt clip, side handle, bit holder, and carrying case, in addition to the tool, battery, and charger (which you’d get if you just bought the tool by itself).
Their featured impact driver, which is also their most popular is the: M18 FUEL™ 1/4″ Hex Impact Driver.
It can deliver 2,000 in-lbs of torque, and it’s faster than many impact drivers. It has tech to prevent aghast overloads, overheating, and excessive discharging.
And if you get a tool with One-Key™, you can save your settings, saving time. Plus, the system can be locked remotely in the event it’s misplaced.
The M18 FUEL™ High Torque Impact Wrench 3/4″ is their most popular impact wrench, and according to their site it’s the “most powerful, most compact, and most repeatable impact wrench in the industry”
It’s 8.59” in length and delivers 1200 in-lbs of torque, and its battery packs provide protection from oils, greases, and solvents.
This tool can also be equipped with their One-Key™ features.
DeWalt also manufactures impact drivers and wrenches, and their kits come with a belt hook and kit bag, in addition to the tool, batter, and charger (that you’d get if you didn’t buy the kit).
Their 20V MAX* XR® 1/4″ 3-Speed Impact Driver is their newest cordless impact driver. It delivers 1,825 in-lbs of torque, and it has three speed settings. Plus, it has a strong LED light, making it ideal for dimly lit spaces.
The 20V MAX* XR® Brushless Cordless ½ in. High Torque Impact Wrench is their newest and most popular cordless impact wrench.
It’s able to deliver 1,030 ft-lbs of fastening torque and 1,400 ft-lbs of breakaway torque.
With four speed settings and strong LED lights, it’s a great tool for doing precision work in small, dimly lit spaces.
Check out the video below for more help choosing which is best for you!
Dewalt vs Milwaukee Circular Saws
The 20V MAX* XR® Cordless Brushless 7-1/4 in Circular Saw is DeWalt’s most popular circular saw.
Its max cutting depth is 2 9/16 inches at 90°, and 2 inches at 45°.
It has electric brake that stops the blade after the pressure-activated trigger is released, and it has a rafter hook to make storage simple. Plus, it has an LED light so it’s useable in dimly lit areas.
If you get the kit, you’ll get the saw, its battery, the charger, a DWA171424 Saw Blade, a blade change wrench, and a kit bag.
Looking for a circular saw? Check out these best circular saws for beginners!
Milwaukee’s most popular cordless circular saw is the M18 FUEL™ Rear Handle 7-1/4″ Circular Saw.
It can deliver 570 cuts on one charge, and it can spin at 5,800 rpm.
It’s equipped with LED lights, its components are durable. and the gears don’t require oiling or frequent maintenance.
The video below does a great job comparing these two saws.
Dewalt vs Milwaukee Miter Saws
The FlexVolt® 120V Max* 12 in. Cordless Double Bevel Compound Sliding Miter Saw is one of DeWalt’s most popular miter saws.
There are corded and cordless versions, and both make precise crosscuts and miter cuts.
Thanks to its compact design, this saw only ways 56 lbs, making much more portable than other miter saws that are available right now.
On a full battery, the cordless version can make close to 300 crosscuts in 3 1/4-inch base molding before it needs recharging.
If you purchase the kit, you get the saw, two FlexVolt® 20V/60V Max* batteries, a dual-port fast charger, a corded power supply, a 12-inch blade, a blade wrench, and a dust bag.
Looking for a miter saw? Check out these best miter saws for beginners!
Milwaukee’s M18 FUEL™ 10″ Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw is a popular miter saw that deliver 400 cuts per charge.
It also has an adjustable stainless steel detent plate, a cam locking miter system, an easy-to-use bevel adjustment, a detent override lock, and a chop lock lever.
Plus, it’s equipped with LED lights so you can make cuts in dimly lit areas.
It has a 5 3/4-inch vertical capacity against baseboard, a 5 1/4-inch vertical capacity for nested crown, and a 2×12 horizontal capacity at 90°.
Dewalt vs Milwaukee Drills
One of DeWalt’s most popular drills is the 20V MAX* XR® Brushless Cordless 1/2 in. Drill/Driver.
It’s compact, powerful, and great for drilling through heavy-duty materials. It can produce 2,000 rpm when drilling into wood and metal.
Because of its small size, it can be used in tight spaces. It’s also equipped with three-position, pivoting LED lighting, so you can use it in dimly lit areas.
It’s two speed settings are 0-650 rpm and 0-2,000 rpm.
The M18 FUEL™ 1/2″ Drill/Driver is one of Milwaukee’s most popular and newest drills.
It’s a compact, powerful drill that can deliver 1,200 in-lbs of torque and 2,000 rpms.
It’s 6.9” inches in length, so it’s great for tight spaces.
And thanks to RedLink Plus™ tech, this drill is protected from overloads, overheating, and excessive discharging.
Plus, you can get One-Key™ for this drill.
One downside, however, is that the battery and charger are sold separate. You do get a belt clip, a bit holder, and a side handle with the tool.
Check out the video below for more info comparing these popular drills!
Dewalt vs Milwaukee Planers
The DeWalt 20V MAX* XR® Brushless Cordless Planer is an efficient planer that can deliver 30,000 cuts in a minute.
Its max cutting depth is 5/64 inches and its cutting with is 3 1/4 inches.
It weights just 6.8 lbs and runs on a DeWalt 20V Max* battery.
Here are some other notable features:
- Poly-V drive belt for increased durability
- High-quality aluminum shoe to ensure precise cuts
- Kickstand prevents gouging
- Groove in front of shoe allows for edge chamfering
- Ergonomically designed handle make operation easier
Milwaukee puts out the M18™ 3-1/4″ Planer, and this powerful tool can remove material from softwoods and hardwoods.
Its max cutting depth is 5/64 inches, but it has 20 depth adjustments, allowing for more precise cuts.
You can make 27/64-inch rabbet cuts with this planer, and this is one reason why joiners prefer this tool.
And thanks to a special chip-ejection system, the planer will release shavings away from your eyes and the finished surface, making this one of the safer planers available right now.
It’s 12.38 x 6.17 inches and weighs 6.15 lbs.
Dewalt vs Milwaukee Routers
The 20V MAX* XR® Brushless Cordless Compact Router is DeWalt’s most popular router.
It’s a cordless tool that can edge both softwoods and hardwoods, and it’s great for flush trimming, dado and slot cutting, hinge cutting, and dovetail cutting.
It’s 8 2/5 x 5 4/5 x 5 4/5 inches and can deliver 16,000-25,500 rpm.
Weighing in at 4.1 lbs, it’s equipped with LED lights that make edging in dimly lit areas possible.
The M18 FUEL™ Compact Router is Milwaukee’s most popular and most highly rated router.
It can quickly make deep, accurate cuts in a range of materials thanks to its brushless motor and other components.
A cordless model, it can deliver 31,000 rpm and cut up to 250 feet per charge, and it has a 4-inch sub-base plate to ensure stability when cutting and edging.
It also has a micro-adjustment dial to ensure precise cuts and a macro-adjustment button to prevent slop.
This router is 4.79 x 3.23 x 6.86 inches, and it weighs 2.95 lbs.
Dewalt vs Milwaukee Sanders
The 20V MAX* XR® 5 in Brushless Cordless Variable-Speed Random Orbital Sander is a highly rated DeWalt sander.
It has a brushless motor to ensure speed and efficiency, and it can deliver 8,000-12,000 rpm.
Since it’s compact, it can be used in tight spaces.
It comes with a locking dust bag, and thanks to its grip sanding won’t hurt your hands or wrists.
Plus, it’s easy to replace the 8-hole, hook-and-loop sandpaper.
A big downside, however, is that the battery and charger are sold separately.
The M18™ Orbital 1/4 Sheet Sander is Milwaukee’s newest sander, and like the DeWalt orbital sander it’s compact, efficient, and easy to use.
It can deliver 11,000-13,000 rpm, and since it doesn’t vibrate much it’s easier to use.
Its sanding diameter is 1.6 mm, and this relatively small diameter allows it to achieve smoother surfaces faster.
Equipped with a durable dust bag, this sander ensures quicker cleanup and precise finishing.
It can run for about 40 minutes before it needs recharging, and it’s two-step clamp system allows for simple and quick sandpaper changes.
History of DeWalt Tools
DeWalt is an American tool manufacturer that makes power tools, hand tools, and related equipment for the manufacturing, construction, and woodworking industries. They also make tools for DIYers.
At present, DeWalt is wholly owned and operated by Black & Decker, a subsidiary of the international tool manufacturing conglomerate Stanley Black & Decker.
The company was founded in 1923 by Raymond E. DeWalt, who was known at the time for being the inventor of the radial saw arm.
In 1949, the company was purchased by American Machine & Foundry, and then in 1960 it was sold to Black & Decker.
Almost 30 years later, Black & Decker would cease production of the radial saw arms that DeWalt was known for.
10 years later, Black & Decker started manufacturing high-end, professional-grade tools under the DeWalt name.
Before reintroducing the DeWalt label in the mid 1990s, Black & Decker conducted a survey and found that 70% of tradespersons surveyed recognized the DeWalt label and associated it with quality.
And right before the start of the new millennia, DeWalt acquired ELU, a German manufacturer that specialized in woodworking tools.
By 2001, over 200 handheld power tools and 800 accessories carried the DeWalt brand.
Many DeWalt products are made in the U.S.A. with parts that come from Brazil, China, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Italy, and the U.K.
Some of the parts are made here. They have manufacturing facilities in:
- Greenfield, IN
- Cheraw, SC
- Charlotte, NC
- New Britain, CT
- Jackson, TN
- Hampstead, MD
- Shelbyville, KY
In 2016, DeWalt put out an Android-powered smart phone that was marketed towards those in the building industry. It retailed for $544, offered enhanced protection from fall damage, and could withstand both very cold and very hot temperatures.
Six years later, DeWalt launched the PowerStack battery system, the first power tool battery system to utilize pouch-style lithium ion battery technology.
History of Milwaukee
The Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation is an American power tool manufacturer. Currently a subsidiary of Techtronic Industries, Milwaukee sells more cordless power tools in North America than any of its competitors, and it’s been this way since 2016.
Founded in 1918 as the A. H. Petersen Company, Milwaukee’s first product was a handheld 1/4” drill. This drill was much lighter than other drills on the market at the time.
In 1924, Albert F. Siebert, now the sole owner of the operation, would change its name once again, this time to Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation, a name that’s been a pillar in the power tool manufacturing space for nearly a century.
When the 1930s came around, Milwaukee started making tools for the U.S. Navy, specifically polishers, sanders, electric hammers, and grinders. In 1935, they launched a handheld drill that could be operated with or without a hammer action.
The 1940s were a particularly good time for the company because of the manufacturing boom brought on by World War II and the company’s relationship with the Navy.
After the war, Milwaukee started putting out spring-clutch handheld sanders, circular saws, and grinders, and these tools were popular because they didn’t have as much recoil.
In the early 1950s, Milwaukee would release the Sawzall, and to this day this is the product that most tradespersons associate with the Milwaukee brand.
About 25 years later, the company was bought out by Amstar. 10 years after that, it was sold to Merrill Lynch. A decade later, it belonged to Atlas Copco.
In 2005, Milwaukee tools was purchased by Techtronic Industries, a tool manufacturer based in Hong Kong. Nearly 20 years later, Milwaukee is still a subsidiary of this company.
Milwaukee tools are manufactured in Asia, Central America, Europe, and the U.S.A. Their main offices are in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
In the U.S.A. specifically, Milwaukee operates manufacturing centers in Mississippi and Wisconsin. In Mississippi, they have centers in Jackson, Greenwood, and Olive Branch. In Wisconsin, their centers are in West Bend, Muckwonago, and Sun Prairie.
Soon, Milwaukee will open a manufacturing center in Cookeville, TN.
Many Milwaukee products carry the “Made in America” label, which a lot of tradespersons, particularly those in the U.S.A., look out for and trust.
In the end, DeWalt and Milwaukee are both leaders in the power tool industry, so you can’t go wrong with either brand’s products.
However, in my opinion, DeWalt tools do have a slight edge over Milwaukee tools in terms of power and capacity, but this can make them just a tad more pricey.
So if you’re a casual woodworker or a new homeowner who’s looking for the essential power tools that are often used to make home repairs, consider either brand.