DeWalt vs. Milwaukee – Power Drill Tool Showdown

DeWalt vs. Milwaukee

Whether you’re a professional contractor or a passionate DIYer, you need a reliable and robust drill to help you with your projects. You already know DeWalt and Milwaukee are the biggest players in the field, so which one should you choose?

Milwaukee is generally a better choice than DeWalt. Even though many professionals have historically favored DeWalt, Milwaukee seems to have surpassed its competitor due to its innovative designs, brushless motors, lithium-ion batteries, and impressive torque.

In this article, I’ll further dive into the similarities and differences between these two brands to help you decide which would make the best investment for you. I will also share my experience with each brand so you can make an informed decision.

Basic Similarities Between DeWalt and Milwaukee Drills

Both Milwaukee and DeWalt are American companies that have been around since the 1920s. They offer a variety of cordless and corded drills, so you can choose the model that best suits your needs. You also get similar features, such as variable speed and reverse options.

The two brands also provide options for professionals and the DIY community. The heavy-duty models from each company are powerful enough to handle almost anything you throw at them. The compact models are more suited for smaller projects and tight spaces.

There are also plenty of accessories available for both brands. You can find drill bits, driver bits, battery packs, and more. This is one area where the two brands are very similar.

Moreover, both drills are similarly priced, and you can find both brands at your local hardware store or online.

Related: Are Milwaukee Tools Expensive?

Milwaukee vs. DeWalt: A Comparison

Impact Drivers Milwaukee

Impact Drivers Milwaukee

Milwaukee’s line of impact drivers is one of the most popular on the market. The company offers a variety of models, which means you’re bound to find the perfect one for your needs. The prices are also very reasonable, making Milwaukee an excellent choice for budget-conscious shoppers.

The Milwaukee 2857-20 is the most popular model. It has a brushless motor that delivers up to 3000 RPM. It also has a variable speed trigger that gives you more control over the drill. The battery life is also impressive, thanks to the Lithium-ion batteries.

The Milwaukee 2462-20 is another excellent option. It is similar to 2857-20 but has a lower price tag. It also has a shorter battery life, so remember that when making your decision.

Impact Drivers DeWalt

Impact Drivers DeWalt

I like the chuck-based LED light on DeWalt impact drivers. It is located on the front of the drill, so it illuminates your work area. The light is also very bright, so you won’t have trouble seeing what you’re doing.

The DeWalt Atomic 20V is an excellent alternative to the Milwaukee 2462-20. It has a brushless motor that delivers up to 338 RPM. It also has a variable speed trigger, and a built-in LED light.

I have used impact drills from both companies, and I have to say that Milwaukee is the better choice. The brushless motor and Lithium-ion batteries make a big difference in performance.

Impact Wrenches Milwaukee

The Milwaukee 2767-22 impact wrench is the most powerful cordless impact wrench I’ve tested so far. It delivers up to 1000 ft-lbs of torque, which is enough to loosen even the most stubborn bolts. The brushless motor also helps extend the battery life.

You also get a four-mode drive control that allows you to choose the right amount of torque for the job. The mode selector is located on the back of the drill, so you can easily change modes mid-project.

Impact Wrenches Milwaukee

The only downside is the weight. At 7.5 pounds (3.40 kg), it is one of the heaviest impact wrenches on the market. However, for heavy-duty projects, the weight is worth it.

Impact Wrenches DeWalt

The DeWalt DCF899 is the answer to Milwaukee’s 2767. It is a brushless impact wrench that delivers up to 700 ft-lbs of torque. It also has a variable speed trigger and three LED lights that illuminate your work area.

The DeWalt DCF899 is also slightly lighter, at just 7.3 pounds (3.31 kg). This makes it a little bit easier to use for extended periods. However, with a 300 ft-torque difference, it is clearly not cut out for the same heavy-duty projects as the Milwaukee 2767-22.

Motor Speed

In terms of speed, Milwaukee definitely has the upper hand. The company’s impact drivers can reach speeds of up to 3000 RPM, while DeWalt’s max out at 2800 RPM. This makes a big difference when you’re working on a time-sensitive project.

Milwaukee offers its drills in three-speed settings:

  • 0 to 400 RPMs 
  • 0 to 1800 RPMs 
  • 0 to 3000 RPMs

DeWalt’s impacts also have three-speed settings:

  • 0 to 400 RPMs
  • 0 to 1200 RPMs
  • 0 to 2800 RPMs

When it comes to impact wrenches, Milwaukee’s 2767-22 model can reach speeds of up to 2100 RPM. DeWalt’s DCF899 maxes out at 1900 RPM.

However, speed isn’t everything. If you’re working on a delicate project, you’ll want an impact driver with a variable speed trigger. This way, you can start slow and increase the speed as you get more comfortable with the drill.

Unless you’re working on a project that requires a lot of speed, I think you’ll be happy with either brand. Having said that, if speed is a priority, Milwaukee is the way to go.

Battery Life

Milwaukee and DeWalt are pretty evenly matched in the battery department. Both companies use lithium-ion batteries that can last for over an hour on a single charge.

Milwaukee’s M18 REDLITHIUM batteries have a run time of up to 1.5 amp-hours. DeWalt’s 20V MAX batteries also have a run time of up to 1.5 amp-hours. This means you can get a lot of work done before you need to stop and recharge.

Milwaukee Battery

However, the battery life will vary depending on the project you’re working on. If you’re using your impact driver to drill through concrete, the battery will drain faster than if you’re using it to drive screws.

Still, I must add that Milwaukee was the first company to include lithium-ion batteries in its power tools. Therefore, if you’re looking for a brand that is known for innovating in the battery department, Milwaukee is a good choice.

Torque

When it comes to torque, Milwaukee and DeWalt are pretty evenly matched. Both companies offer impact wrenches with up to 1000 ft-lbs of torque.

You want to choose an impact wrench with enough torque to loosen the most stubborn bolts. However, you also want to make sure that you don’t get one that is too powerful for the work you usually handle.

If you’re unsure how much torque you need, I recommend getting an impact wrench with a variable-speed trigger. This way, you can adjust the torque as needed. Both Milwaukee and DeWalt offer this feature on some of their impact wrenches.

The only downside to having a lot of torque is that it can make the drill harder to handle. This is especially true for commercial-grade impact wrenches. If you’re not experienced with using these tools, I recommend using the lower settings until you’re ready to move up.

Durability

Both Milwaukee and DeWalt sell well-made power tools that are built to last. However, based on experience, I have to give Milwaukee the edge when it comes to durability.

Milwaukee’s M18 REDLITHIUM batteries are designed for long-term use. They can withstand multiple drops and rough handling and are also resistant to extreme temperatures. 

I have dropped my Milwaukee Impact driver several times, and it’s still working like new. I’ve also used it in freezing temperatures, and it hasn’t missed a beat.

DeWalt’s 20V MAX batteries are also built to last. However, they’re not as resistant to extreme temperatures as Milwaukee’s batteries.

When it comes to the overall build quality, both brands are evenly matched. 

Value for Money

I think DeWalt is the clear winner in the value department. The company offers a wide range of power tools, batteries, and accessories, and they also organize a lot of sales for their amazing products.

Dewalt Value for Money

Milwaukee is also a great company, but I think it’s geared more towards professional users. This means that the prices are often higher than what you’ll find in DeWalt.

If you’re just starting your DIY journey, I recommend going with DeWalt. The company offers excellent products at a reasonable price. You can always upgrade to Milwaukee when ready to take your projects to the next level.

Don’t get me wrong, Milwaukee is still an excellent company. I just think DeWalt offers better value for the average DIYer.

Tool Size

There’s no denying that both Milwaukee and DeWalt offer compact power tools, but I think Milwaukee has the edge here again.

For example, Milwaukee’s impact drill is 6.5 inches (16.51 cm) long and weighs 3.4 pounds (1.54 kg). Compare that to DeWalt’s 7.7 inches (19.56 cm) long drill that weighs 6.75 pounds (3.06 kg), and you’ll see what I mean.

However, as you probably already know, it’s not just the size that matters. Milwaukee’s batteries are also compatible with many other power tools. This includes everything from hand vacuums to grease guns.

On the other hand, DeWalt’s batteries are only compatible with its power tools. So, if you already have a bunch of Milwaukee tools, it might be easier to stick with that brand.

Accessories

Both Milwaukee and DeWalt offer a wide range of accessories for their power tools, but I think Milwaukee has the edge when it comes to the sheer number of accessories.

For example, Milwaukee offers over 50 different attachments for its impact drivers. That’s not even counting the different types of drill bits.

DeWalt also provides a wide range of accessories. However, I think the company is missing some essential attachments. For example, there’s no attachment for drilling through metal.

If you’re looking for a power tool with a broad selection of accessories, I recommend going with Milwaukee. The company sells everything you need to complete most projects.

Unique and Helpful Features

Milwaukee takes the cake on this one. They have innovative features like Redlink Intelligence, LED light, and an all-metal chuck and gear case. These might not be deal-breakers, but they’re certainly helpful.

Unique and Helpful Features

The Redlink Intelligence, for example, enhances the communication between your tools and the battery pack. This helps to prevent damage from overloading or overheating. The result is a longer lifespan for your devices.

The LED light is also a great feature. It helps illuminate dark work areas to see what you’re doing, while the all-metal chuck and gear case make the tool more durable.

DeWalt has some cool features, like a brushless motor and a soft-grip handle, but I think Milwaukee has the edge when it comes to unique and helpful features.

Warranties

Milwaukee offers a 5-year limited warranty on their tools, while DeWalt provides a 3-year limited warranty. Still, I think the real difference is in the service contracts.

Milwaukee’s service contracts for out-of-warranty tools start at $99 per year. That might seem like a lot, but it covers all your power tools, batteries, and accessories and even includes free shipping.

DeWalt’s service contracts for out-of-warranty tools start at $49 per year. However, it only covers one power tool and one battery. So, if you have more than one DeWalt tool, you’ll have to pay for a separate service contract for each one.

In my opinion, Milwaukee offers a better warranty. The company is more transparent about what’s covered, and its service contracts are more affordable in the grand scheme of things.

Number of Batteries

DeWalt wins this one. The company offers a 2-pack of batteries with most of their power tools, while Milwaukee only offers one battery.

Can you buy an extra battery for Milwaukee? Yes, the problem is that these power packs are more expensive than DeWalt’s. That means you’ll end up spending more in the long run.

If you’re looking for a power tool with two batteries, I recommend going with DeWalt. The company offers a better value for your money in this aspect.

Still, Milwaukee offers a solid selection of power tools, and the company’s products are backed by a 5-year limited warranty. So, if you’re looking for a durable and reliable power tool, Milwaukee is still a good choice.

Best Tool Combo Kits

There is no clear winner here. Both companies offer great tool combo kits. Milwaukee’s kits include everything you need to get the job done right. DeWalt’s kits are also comprehensive and provide excellent value for your money.

Best Tool Combo Kits

Their packages start at 2 tool kits and go up to 15 tool kits. You can always buy additional batteries or accessories if you need more than what’s provided.

Both companies offer a variety of tool combo kits to choose from. Each one has its unique benefits. Therefore, the right decision comes down to your specific needs and preferences.

The types of projects you plan on taking on are also essential to consider. For example, the average DIYer will need a different set of tools than a professional contractor.

Selection of Power Tools

There is no clear winner here. Both companies offer a great selection of power tools. DeWalt has a broader range of products, but Milwaukee’s products are more capable and offer excellent value for your money.

It comes down to your specific needs and preferences. If you need a particular type of power tool, DeWalt is likely to have it. However, Milwaukee is the way to go if you’re looking for the best overall value.

Which Cordless Drill Is the Best, Milwaukee or DeWalt?

Milwaukee is the best cordless drill if you’re looking for reliability, versatility, and an extended warranty. However, DeWalt may be a better option if you’re after sheer power.

Both companies offer excellent products, but I think Milwaukee has the edge regarding cordless drills. The company’s products are more reliable and offer an extended warranty. Plus, their service contracts are more affordable.

Still, DeWalt is a good choice if you’re looking for a powerful cordless drill. The company’s products are affordable and offer more features while maintaining a longer battery life.

So, which cordless drill is the best? It really depends on your needs. If you want a reliable and versatile drill, go with Milwaukee. If you’re looking for a powerful and feature-rich option, DeWalt is your best bet.

I also prefer the red color of Milwaukee’s cordless drills, which is just my preference.

Final Thoughts

Milwaukee is the clear winner in the Milwaukee vs DeWalt showdown. Both companies offer great products and have their strengths and weaknesses. However, Milwaukee’s products are more reliable and offer a longer warranty. Moreover, their service contracts are more affordable.

Still, DeWalt is a good choice if you’re looking for a powerful cordless drill for your DIY adventures. The company’s products are moderately priced, and they offer more features and better battery life. In short, remember to keep your priorities in mind when choosing to avoid a possible disappointment.

About the author

David Yeoman

David Yeoman

I'm a technical writer who writes in-depth articles for readers wanting uncomplicated explanations for creative topics made difficult by industry jargon. I'm a woodworker, metalworker, landscape photographer, writer, Python and PostgreSQL programmer, and pilot. Freelance after 42 years in the corporate world, I have an MBA in Technology.

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