DeWalt vs Milwaukee Cordless Drills

My guess is you’ve come here because you have a tough decision to make. Which one to choose, DeWalt vs Milwaukee cordless drills. You could ask 10 people which brand they prefer and you could get half-and-half preferring one over the other.

Both companies have a great track record with the quality of their products. Both companies have the same battery voltage options and both companies offer two speeds on their drills. So how on earth do you choose?

My goal here is to offer great insight on both products and give you my opinion of each. I own both the DeWalt and Milwaukee drills so I have firsthand knowledge of the pros and cons of each.

Maybe your decision will come down to one particular feature one offers the other one doesn’t. Maybe it is all in the ergonomics, especially if it is in your hand all day for work. If you are like me, I owned one brand for a long time. It worked hard for me. It built my whole, very big privacy fence, finished my whole basement. I did not nail my boards together but used screws, four on each stud. In the end, that is a lot of use.

Now, after years of service the batteries are having a hard time keeping a charge. Nothing that I fault them for, nothing lasts forever. My drill gave me so much use I do not blame it at all. In fact the drill still works fine, not a single issue with it, it’s just the batteries.

If you own a whole bunch of battery operated products from either company it may not be the best idea to switch brand because then you have to buy all the tools again. In the long run, it may just be cheaper to replace the batteries. I know Batteries Plus will rebuild the batteries far cheaper than you can replace them for at the hardware store.

So, let us dig into the meat and potatoes and why you came here in the first place.

DeWalt Drills

DeWalt tools have been around since 1924 and started by a man named Raymond DeWalt in 1922. By 1992 DeWalt came out with its first Portable power tools. Fast forward to 1960, Black and Decker bought DeWalt. In 1994 DeWalt came out with a cordless tool package of over 30 new cordless tools. It’s laughable now but these battery powered tools had a 14.4 volts. Today they have 20 volt behemoths but still support their strong 18 volt product line.

Pros

  • Let me start with DeWalt by saying the drill they offer comes in 20-Volts compared to the 18 Volts offered by Milwaukee
  • This drill has 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Brushless Compact 1/2 in. Drill Driver with (2) Batteries 1.3Ah, Charger and Tool Bag
  • LED light to illuminate dark spaces as you work
  • Erognomic design to fight against fatigue if you are someone who uses throughout the day. It is also helpful for tool balance and tool control.
  • 3 year warranty

Cons

I really cannot think of anything bad about this product. As with all companies and products they usually get better with added technology.

  • OK, one Con…. The tool bag. It would be nice to have a hard, square case that stacks nicely with the other cases for other tools. The bag always has to be on top because you cannot stack much on top to save room in an already cramped garage or shop.

Milwaukee Drills

At the end of WWI Henry Ford, yes the car guy, cool huh. Anyway, Henry Ford had employed a man named A.H. Petersen for a number of years. Henry Ford approached this man to produce a 1/4″ power drill that was smaller, lighter and portable. Petersen created a tool called the Hole-Shooter. It was a 5 pound drill with a Westinghouse motor.

In 1922, A.F. Siebert joined A.H. Petersen and the company called A.H. Petersen Company was formed. In 1923 there facility caught fire. Between the fire and the recession that followed Petersen had to close their doors. In 1924 A.F. Siebert bought the company at auction and began the Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. By 2005 Milwaukee Electric Tool was acquired by Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd.

Pros

  • Delivers 500 in./lbs. of torque and 0-500/0-1,800 RPM
  • Compact Design for easy use it tight spaces
  • All metal gear case with metal chuck
  • LED light for illuminating dark spaces
  • Battery power indicator on the battery for easy visual of power remaining

Cons

  • Not as ergonomic as the DeWalt. That being said I have not noticed any fatigue when using it.
  • No slot to hold an extra bit for quick access
  • Again, the bag. Same issues with a cloth bag rather than a plastic case

Accessories

Both DeWalt and Milwaukee offer many different tools that utilize the same battery. The tool kits are rather expensive but it is very convenient to have the same power supply that is shared. You can also buy different size tool kits that don’t have every tool in them to save costs. This way you get the tools that you will really only use.

Tool Kits

This is probably where you will get your bang for your buck. The tool combo kit comes with a drill and impact driver. As with each company you can get different packages. Similar to buying a Chevrolet Tahoe. You can get the LS, LT, LTZ, Denali and so forth. Depending on what you want you can probably find it.

Decisions, Decisions

So have you figured out which one I prefer? That is a tough one. Even I don’t know. I have 18-Volt DeWalt that has done excellent for me. After the batteries died I did not through it away. I am going to get the batteries rebuilt at Batteries Plus and likely get years more use out of it.

I did go with the Milwaukee combo kit in the end though. I wanted to try it out just to see if I liked it better. I can tell a difference when the drill runs compared to the DeWalt. The Milwaukee sounds like it has metal gears and inner workings, which I like. It just makes me feel like it is quality.

The Milwaukee also has a metal, key less chuck whereas the DeWalt has a plastic chuck. Having said that I have never run into an issue the DeWalt’s chuck. The drill is obviously built tough as it has lasted for years and still going.

In the end, the decisions is up to you. Everyone’s likes and preferences are different. Both companies started almost 100 years ago, which is testament to their quality names.

I wish you good luck in finding the right tool. If you enjoyed this article please click the like button, leave a comment or check out my other reviews <HERE>

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5 Replies to “DeWalt vs Milwaukee Cordless Drills”

  1. Great article! It’s interesting learning how these great companies found their way to where they are now. Ultimately I’m one that sides with Milwaukee over DeaWalt, but I’ve also never owned a DeWalt

  2. I’ve worked with Dewalts for years in the Air Force. Those things get dropped off wings and still keep going. I think I can definately speak on thier durability. I have used Milwaukee products and felt they were very high quality as well, just not as much long term use with them though. A few years ago I bought a Rigid set from Home Depot. What sold me was free battery replacement! Like most people my batteries dies before the tool and new batteries are so expensive. It was worth a try for me and I have loved everything about my Rigid tools! Great article that will get some real info out from real tool users.

  3. Thanks for your article – when I want to buy hubby gifts, he loves powertools so I always look at the reviews as I don’t have a clue myself – I can’t go wrong with either brand it seems.

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