Milwaukee tools have grown in popularity over recent years thanks to their durability, quality, and performance.
But are they a good brand to buy for your woodshop or home?
Milwaukee products are comparable to tools made by other leading manufacturers like DeWalt, and in some ways, they’re better.
In this Milwaukee review, I’ll explore Milwaukee’s history, the kinds of products they manufacture, where you can find their products, how they compare to others, and much more. Let’s dig in!
In This Article:
History of Milwaukee Tools
The Electric Milwaukee Tool Corporation was founded in the mid-1920s by Albert F. Siebert.
At first the company mainly offered tool repair services, but later on they switched to manufacturing “hole-shooters”, a tool that’s now standard in the automotive and metalworking industries. Milwaukee’s hole-shooters were vital tools for US Air Force and Navy repairmen during World War II.
Eventually they’d start manufacturing hand grinders, electric hammers, polishers, sanders, drills, and a variety of circular saws (in addition to the sought-after hole-shooter).
In 1951, Milwaukee developed Sawzall®, the first portable reciprocating hacksaw, and since it first hit the shelves it’s been one of the company’s defining products. Then in the 1970s, Milwaukee changed the homebuilding industry by introducing the Hole Hawg®, a large-hole drill that’s used before placing studs and joints.
Nearly 40 years later, they’d develop the cryogenic hardening process Ice Hardened™, which they employ to make a variety of their tools and accessories longer-lasting than competitors’ products.
Milwaukee has manufactured its tools in the U.S. for close to a century, and the “Made in the USA” label these tools sport distinguishes them from competitors’ products.
Milwaukee Tool Quality
Milwaukee tools are built to withstand heavy use and last a long time. The company offers a variety of corded and cordless options, so you can choose the right tool for any job.
Milwaukee’s corded tools are powerful and their cordless options are some of the best in the business – thanks in part to the company’s innovative M12™, M18™, and V28™ Lithium-Ion batteries.
I’ve used a mix of Milwaukee tools and DeWalt tools for years, and I’ve found them both to be equal in terms of quality. I’ve never had a Milwaukee tool break on me, and I’ve only had to replace one DeWalt battery in all the years I’ve been using cordless tools.
Types of Products Milwaukee Manufactures
Milwaukee manufactures a variety of products that are used across numerous industries, including:
- Power tools & cordless tools
- Hand tools
- Sewer and drain maintenance equipment
- Outdoor power tools
- Safety equipment
- Storage solutions
M18 Fuel™ Sawzall®
Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel™ Sawzall® is a durable reciprocating saw that can provide 3,000 SPM along with a 1-1/4” stroke length to ensure faster cutting.
This saw’s distinct power comes in large part from its Powerstate Burshless Motor™, and it also utilizes Redlink Plus™ electronics to ensure top-quality performance under pressure.
And when compared to competitors, Milwaukee’s Sawzall® is much better at avoiding overheating, overloading, and over-discharging. Plus, the battery the Sawzall® utilizes is stronger and longer-lasting when compared to competing batteries.
Additionally, the blade clamp is wear- and corrosion-resistant, and sturdy battery rails ensure the battery lasts long and holds up well even midst tough operating conditions.
Milwaukee MX Fuel™ Batteries
Milwaukee’s MX Fuel™ batteries employ cutting-edge lithium-ion technology and can withstand extreme temperatures as well as water exposure. They also hold up well against heavy pressure and rapid vibrations. They’re lightweight, compact, and they come with a two-year warranty.
At present, these batteries are used in numerous Milwaukee products, such as their saws, drills, and drain-cleaning equipment. Using MX Fuel-powered equipment, an individual avoids the hassles associated with gas operation. This equipment is also lighter, safer, easier to use, stronger, and more portable than similar systems.
With Milwaukee’s ONE-KEY™ tech, you can streamline construction inventory management and save money by doing so. Using this tech, you can keep track of equipment by employing ID tags, barcode scanning, and geofencing. This tech also helps the user get the most out of their equipment by tracking utilization data and sending alerts before equipment needs to be repaired.
And since a ONE-KEY™ database can be accessed from anywhere, and by numerous authorized personnel, staying on top of equipment tracking is easier, and therefore preventing costly equipment loss is easier.
What Is Milwaukee’s Flagship Product?
In the mid-1920s, when Milwaukee was founded, their flagship product was their hole-shooter. Nowadays, it’s their M18 FUEL™ Impact Driver.
This tool is faster than earlier versions with a max speed of 3,900 RPM, and it’s impact rate is 4,400 IPM. It delivers 2,000 in-lbs of torque, so it can effortlessly drive most screws. It also features a smoother trigger system, so you can control acceleration and the quality of each drive more easily.
The M18 FUEL™ Impact Driver itself retails for $149, while the kit costs $299. When you purchase the kit, you get two 5.0Ah batteries, a charger, and a case along with the tool. And if you purchase this driver directly from Milwaukee or from an authorized dealer, you’ll get a five-year warranty for the tool and a three-year warranty for the battery.
Where You Can Buy Milwaukee Products
Milwaukee sells all their latest and most sought-after products through their official website. You can also purchase Milwaukee power tools and equipment from online retailers like Amazon, big box stores, and local hardware stores. Here’s a brief list of authorized Milwaukee dealers:
- Home Depot
- Ace Hardware
- Acme Tools
You can purchase Milwaukee products from secondhand sellers on eBay and Amazon as well. Individuals who want discontinued Milwaukee products usually go to these marketplaces.
You can also save some money purchasing Milwaukee products from secondhand sellers, but there are some downsides associated with buying Milwaukee products this way, e.g. secondhand Milwaukee tools don’t come with a warranty (but more on that later).
Where Are Milwaukee Products Made?
Milwaukee has three manufacturing sites in the United States. Two are located in Mississippi (Greenwood and Jackson) while the other is located in Mukwonago, Wisconsin.
While the materials they use come from different parts of the world, the manufacturing has stayed in the U.S. since they opened their doors nearly a century ago.
The locations of their manufacturing facilities also show how this company cares about helping local economies. Mississippi is currently the poorest state in the U.S., which is a major reason why Milwaukee makes sure they pay fair wages to their skilled and unskilled workers in this state.
Their 400,000 square-foot Greenwood facility, for example, employs more than 700 people in an area where there’s an 8% unemployment rate.
Milwaukee Warranty Info
One of the nice things about purchasing Milwaukee tools is you don’t have to go through the hassle of registering a warranty, as all their tools come with a warranty.
The kind of warranty a tool comes with is largely determined by what the tool is, its cost, and the nature of routine repairs. Most of the warranties their tools come with are multi-year warranties.
Although keeping the receipt will help Milwaukee assess the validity of your tool’s warranty, this is not required. And once you know your warranty is active, you can use this tool on their site to find a service center in your area that’ll repair your tool and get it back to you as soon as possible.
Note: Milwaukee does not repair tools that get damaged because of misuse, normal wear and tear, alterations, or lack of maintenance. For more information on the kinds of warranties their tools come with, visit this page.
Milwaukee vs. DeWalt
Milwaukee and DeWalt both manufacture a wide variety of long-lasting, innovative tools that are great for professionals and experienced DIYers alike. Both manufacturers outfit their best tools with high-powered batteries, which means portability doesn’t have to come at the expense of power if you use either Dewalt or Milwaukee tools.
In the end, these tools are very evenly matched in terms of quality, performance, offerings, and more. Therefore, if you prefer one brand over the other, this is for the most part a matter of preference.
Milwaukee vs. Makita
Milwaukee and Makita manufacture tools that are, for the most part, even matched.
Both manufacturers offer a wide variety of tools, yet their cordless power tools are by far the most popular. Makita is older than Milwaukee, but tools made by Milwaukee carry the “Made in the USA” label, which means purchasing their tools equates to stimulating the American economy.
While some Makita products are cheaper than their Milwaukee counterparts, both companies manufacture high-end equipment that runs on high-powered batteries. Additionally, both companies provide fair warranties with their products. In the end, if you want quality and dependability, you could choose either Milwaukee or Makita and be satisfied.
Milwaukee vs Kobalt
Overall, Milwaukee tools are better than Kobalt. While Kobalt is a good brand, Milwaukee tools are manufactured with higher quality components.
Milwaukee vs Craftsman
While Craftsman is a reputable brand, Milwaukee is a stronger, more reliable option.
Final Thoughts on Is Milwaukee a Good Brand?
In the end, Milwaukee manufactures tools that can be utilized by DIYers and professional tradesmen alike, and you don’t have to worry about getting what you pay for when you purchase equipment from Milwaukee, as it’s built to last, versatile, and manufactured in accordance with time-tested standards.
So the next time you’re in the market for tools, consider the Milwaukee brand, a brand that’s maintained a positive reputation for close to a century by proudly showcasing the brilliance of American craftsmanship.
Whether you need a power tool like their famous cordless drill or a hand tool like their equally popular line of screwdrivers, Milwaukee has the tools you need to get any job done.
They’ve become one of the most popular and reputable tool brands on the market, and they continue to innovate and release new products that make our lives easier.