Milwaukee vs Dewalt (2023) — Which one is better?

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Milwaukee and Dewalt are both giants in the power tool industry. Is one really better than the other? Consumers want to be sure they aren’t left with a disappointing product and money down the drain, which is why our expert woodworkers have gone in depth to review Milwaukee VS Dewalt. Which brand is superior? Let’s find out!

Milwaukee or Dewalt?

Best for the Price
MILWAUKEE’S M18 2630-20
Best for Size
DeWalt DCS571B
 MILWAUKEE'S M18 2630-20 No Background
DeWalt DCS571B No Background
A circular saw is one of the most versatile tools, which is why our experts have chosen one from each brand as a representative. The M18 2630-20 is budget-friendly but also powerful with 3,500 RPM. The corded model also has a soft-grip handle for user comfort.
Mini circular saws are handheld models, which Dewalt does very well. The Atomic 20C Max measures a mere 4-½ inches, and is the perfect tool for overhead cut jobs, small spaces and maximum versatility. It’s battery-powered, which also gives users a wide range of movement.
Best for the Price
MILWAUKEE’S M18 2630-20
 MILWAUKEE'S M18 2630-20 No Background
A circular saw is one of the most versatile tools, which is why our experts have chosen one from each brand as a representative. The M18 2630-20 is budget-friendly but also powerful with 3,500 RPM. The corded model also has a soft-grip handle for user comfort.
Best for Size
DeWalt DCS571B
DeWalt DCS571B No Background
Mini circular saws are handheld models, which Dewalt does very well. The Atomic 20C Max measures a mere 4-½ inches, and is the perfect tool for overhead cut jobs, small spaces and maximum versatility. It’s battery-powered, which also gives users a wide range of movement.

Features of Milwaukee and Dewalt

History and Reputation

Our professional woodworkers took a deep look into the histories of both the Dewalt products company and Milwaukee. As the name suggests, Milwaukee tools was based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and got their start in 1924. However, it has been acquired by a Hong Kong company, Techtronic Industries, since 2005.

The switch does not impact the quality of Milwaukee engineered products. Milwaukee’s drill and Milwaukee’s batteries still adhere to the same standards they always have. Perhaps the most coveted tool, the Milwaukee Sawzall, was conceptualized in 1951 and took the industry by storm.

Going back to the beginning, Milwaukee first introduced the Hole Shooter in 1924, which was a portable and lightweight drill that was perfect for one-handed operation. At the time, most tools were heavy and required two hands for steady performance.

Milwaukee 2730-20 M18

Since then, the Milwaukee name has been synonymous with the words heavy-duty and reliable, to become a renowned power tool brand.

The Sawzall is a reciprocating saw that many other companies have taken inspiration from when creating their own models. What also sets Milwaukee apart from its competitor is the integration of lithium-ion batteries that hold a longer battery life and is more efficient. In fact, Milwaukee holds several patents for their innovation.

After the lithium-ion batteries came the Milwaukee One-Key, which uses Bluetooth technology. To this day, Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation is a key player in corded and cordless power tools.

Dewalt is a company native to Pennsylvania. Coincidentally, the Dewalt Tools brand was also established in the same year as Milwaukee in 1924. Dewalt really impressed our contractors with their first machine. They created what was named the Dewalt Wonder Worker, and what a wonder it was.

DeWalt DCS571B

The machine was versatile enough to perform 19 different functions when configured each of the 9 ways. The machine could perform crosscuts, bevel cuts, miter cuts and rip cuts among many others.

From there, Dewalt became a household name and the tool brand started gaining recognition around the world. In 1992, Dewalt first introduced their line of cordless tools and added 30 new models to the line in 1994. By the time they hit the 2000s, Dewalt had become a tool brand known for its greatest cordless power tool selections with over 200 kinds available.

Dewalt also introduced their own line of innovative tools that incorporated lithium-ion batteries, but that’s not their headliner. The Dewalt brand is known for the SHOCKS vibration control system that can reduce vibrations at various speed settings for up to 50%.

Parent Companies and Employees

Both Milwaukee VS Dewalt belong to different parent companies. Let’s start by dissecting the origins of Milwaukee. As we said, in 2005, the brand was acquired by Hong Kong’s TechTronic Industries, which was founded in 1985. Other brands under the umbrella of TechTronic Industries include Ryobi, another excellent power tool brand, Hoover US, and Hart Tools.
DeWalt DCS571B for cutting

At this time, Milwaukee has around 1500 employees in the US alone, but the parent company has a total of around 22,000.

You may be surprised by the big name that’s behind Dewalt. Stanley Black & Decker is the tool giant that has ownership of Dewalt and also owns other power tool brands such as Porter-Cable, Craftsman, and Lenox. But before that, Dewalt was held by the American Machine Foundry before finding its home with Black & Decker in 1960.

Dewalt is the larger company in comparison to the Milwaukee tool company, with 13,000 in its employ without considering the over 60,000 employees of Stanley Black & Decker

Manufacturing: Milwaukee and Dewalt

The manufacturing of corded and portable electric power tools directly affects the quality. As experts that need hand tools, outdoor power equipment, miter saws and various special tools, our team places great importance on the manufacturing.

As said, Milwaukee was established in the namesake city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. When it comes to Dewalt VS Milwaukee, the latter had more of a presence in the US. Most of the R&D for the brand also takes place in the USA, but the actual manufacturing of products for Milwaukee and Milwaukee’s parent company happens all over the world.

Milwaukee M18

Milwaukee’s global manufacturing footprint spans various continents such as Asia, North America, and Europe. Our professional team members understand that many consumers value American-made tools, so we have included a list of the tools that the brand manufactures stateside.

Corded Sawzall reciprocating saws and its blades, hole saws, larger drills and bandsaw blades are all made in the USA. As for the cordless options such as the cordless drill and circular saw units are made overseas, but they have tried to relocate some of the manufacturing back home.

The Dewalt tool brand still uses parts sourced globally in many of their products, and this reflects in the “built in the USA with global materials” sticker label. Since 2015, Dewalt has established 7 factories to manufacture their products, with Dewalt’s parent company having a total of 48 domestically.

Price Ranges of Milwaukee and Dewalt

Both Dewalt VS Milwaukee have excellent products, but how do the prices compare? Our team of professional contractors always advises against opting for the most budget tool. There has to be a balance between price and quality, which is what we will explore here.
DeWalt DCS571B in use

When our experts took a closer look at Dewalt VS Milwaukee, Dewalt edges out Milwaukee by just a bit for more budget tools. That’s not to say Milwaukee is better at first glance, but it’s because of their range of specialty tools. As we also mentioned, Milwaukee Electric Tool Company specializes in the Milwaukee battery kit, which is a battery platform for cordless tools. Another great feature of this kit is that the batteries can be used interchangeably by Milwaukee and Ryobi.

There is also a Dewalt kit and Dewalt batteries are also excellent in efficiency, but they have a wider range of tools that fall into the everyday category. This is why the total price range varies just a bit between Dewalt VS Milwaukee. Our experts say that the price difference between the two brands isn’t vast, with anywhere between 20 to 100, which is affordable for most.

Warranty and Service

The customer service and warranty with Milwaukee VS Dewalt products can make a huge difference in reviews. Our contractors have relied on Milwaukee drills and Dewalt drills among other tools and have gotten reliable results. In order to give you a more detailed picture of what the afterservice is like for each brand, our team has looked into the fine print.

Milwaukee cordless tools usually come with a 5-year warranty. The specialty tools might fall under a different category, but Milwaukee Tool company will clearly label the different periods. Our experts also use both of the brands’ hand tool options, and they have noted that Milwaukee offers a lifetime warranty for its hand tools with a clear red sticker—talk about a quality guarantee!

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Milwaukee Tool Company’s cordless outdoor power equipment has a 3-year warranty, which is also longer than many other top brands. Milwaukee is more lenient with how they implement the warranty and can accept tools without registration. However, to avoid issues on your radial arm saw or the power drill, our team suggests registering the product and keeping the receipt just in case.

Dewalt offers shorter warranties, but they offer more than just that. For example, their cordless power tools are backed by a 3-year warranty but also a 1-year free service offer as well as a 90-day money-back guarantee. If you are looking at their line of Mechanics Tools, then you are protected by a lifetime warranty.

The handheld tools from Dewalt also feature a lifetime warranty with certain pneumatic tools carrying a whopping 7-year warranty plus the 1-year free service and a 72-hour money-back guarantee.

Proprietary Technology

Not all tools are built the same, especially not ones from different brands. Let’s take a closer look at the proprietary technology for Milwaukee and Dewalt. For starters, we’re going to talk about the Dewalt Tool Connect and Milwaukee One-Key. They are both connection technologies with One-Key taking the crown due to a more comprehensive platform.
milwaukee m18 circular saw
Then, there are the brushless motors in both Dewalt and Milwaukee. Milwaukee has the RedLink Plus, and Dewalt offers just the general term — brushless motor. Just because Dewalt didn’t name their motor, it doesn’t mean it gives less superior performance. In fact, our team found it very difficult to pick the winner, although the brushless motor on Milwaukee tools tends to be smaller, which saves space.

Power Drills: Milwaukee and Dewalt

Power drills are one of Milwaukee and Dewalt’s headlining products. With hundreds of products, it is impossible for our woodworkers to make in-depth comparisons with each, so we decided to take a different approach and do a generalization. Our experts have elected to examine the compact drills from each brand.

Milwaukee’s drill has a brushless motor that is incredibly durable and has a longer lifespan compared to its competitor. Dewalt’s drill has also improved the Dewalt brushless motor to last for 57% longer than previous models.

Both Dewalt’s drill and the Milwaukee drill have a gear case and vibration dampening design, although Milwaukee’s stability outranks Dewalt’s. You can also connect both drills with proprietary technology from both brands, such as the One-Key and Tool Connect.

DEWALT DWD220 corded drill Full view

Dewalt has a total of 14 speed settings for torque, while the Milwaukee drill has 18. Both drills come with an LED light. An LED light is very handy for low-light conditions or in darker spaces to light the way.

Next, let’s take a look at the speed of the power drills. The Dewalt drill is much faster than Milwaukee, with an RPM of 1800 while its competitor only reaches 550. Both drills offer exceptional battery life and power. The better choice will depend on your needs, so our team deems the power drill comparison for both brands a tie.

Hammer Drills

To elaborate on the power drill section, our team has specifically isolated the hammer drill for a more detailed comparison. Milwaukee Tool Company creates hammer drills at a smaller size, if that’s something you’re looking for. Our team found that the most telling difference between the Dewalt hammer drill and the Milwaukee hammer drill is the performance.

The Milwaukee hammer drill was better at high speeds, but the Dewalt hammer drill is optimal for tougher materials such as concrete. Again, the winner for this category is highly subjective and will depend on your needs.

Impact Wrenches

Dewalt drills are popular, but another famous tool both brands create is the impact wrench. We have taken the Milwaukee Impact Wrench and the Dewalt DCF899 for the purpose of this comparison.

The Milwaukee is a high-torque model, which successfully beat out the Dewalt unit without much effort. An impact wrench in the job site isn’t just about power, but it plays a big part, which is why the Milwaukee model is the obvious choice on sheer power alone.

There are also impact drivers, which our team will combine into this section. Again, the Milwaukee models edge out the Dewalt impact drivers when we look at performance, speed, and torque. However, the Dewalt impact driver also has its merits in the form of LED lights and an ejection function that isn’t seen in Milwaukee.

Circular Saw: Milwaukee and Dewalt

Our professional woodworkers and contracts love working with circular saw tools, so we had to look into how the brands are manufacturing power tools in this category. Milwaukee circular saws have a durable design and reliable performance each time. It can create a lot of dust, but the dust port on their machines can help clear up your workspace with minimal trouble.

Dewalt circular saws generally have a very comfortable grip, and Dewalt claims this feature as one of their best. While you may not prioritize the handle grip, it’s a feature that has more of an effect during use than you would think. Our team says operating the Dewalt circular saw was a much more enjoyable experience and found that they were able to work for longer without fatigue.

DeWalt 20v Max 7-1.4 Circular Saw With Brake

On the other hand, the Milwaukee circular saw has a very smooth operation, which makes general use more effortless. Some members of our team preferred a more comfortable grip, but others liked the smooth operation of the Milwaukee unit that allowed them to get the job done quicker. In the end, the better option will depend on your preference.

The power level of circular saw units from both brands was pretty on par, with some handheld models slightly less powerful than larger corded models.

Miter Saw: Milwaukee and Dewalt

When it comes to the miter saw, our team prefers Milwaukee no questions asked. Why? Because the design has been around for years with convenient features, a lot of power, and top quality construction. Why fix something that’s not broken? One drawback of Milwaukee miter saws is the portability. They are much more bulky, heavy and cumbersome than some of Dewalt’s models.

If portability is of value to you, then you can look into the cordless range. The sliding miters from Milwaukee are incredible, but Dewalt stands up to the competition with plenty of power and products with a more compact body. The winner of this category is a question of power vs portability rather than performance.

Combo Kits

The combo kits from both brands are also neck and neck because it depends on which tool you are looking for. Do you want an angle grinder? Maybe you place more importance on the brushless DC motor included in the kit or the battery power?
DeWALT 7-Tool Kit with ToughSystem

A few things to look for when deciding on a combo kit is one battery that works with all the products of the same brand. Look for ones that come with extra batteries so you can get to work while one is charging. A Milwaukee kit will often come with the One-Key feature, which is something our contractors rave about. Unfortunately, the Milwaukee kit combo is usually pricier than that of Dewalt.

For Dewalt, look for a hybrid voltage battery pack, which can switch between voltage systems depending on where you are and what you need.

Products Offered: Milwaukee and Dewalt

Does one brand create products the other one doesn’t have? If this is the case, then you might not have a choice between Milwaukee and Dewalt.

The inventory for both brands exceeds 1000 tools in total. Milwaukee is known for its M18, M12, and MX lines and has come a long way since the hole shooter. One tool from its M18 line is the M18 Milwaukee Chainsaw. With corded and cordless power tool options the number reaches over 300. The Sawzall is by far Milwaukee’s greatest invention, but their other tools such as the hammer drill, grinder, excellent drum sander, and plenty of hand tools are also noteworthy.

DeWalt DCS334B

Dewalt launched its portable line back in 1992 but has since created many significant products such as the FlexVolt, and a variety of power and hand tools. Together, Dewalt also has an extensive roster of hundreds of tools that exceed Milwaukee’s number. Milwaukee got its first big customer in Henry Ford [1], and has since put mountains of effort into perfecting their existing line.

Dewalt focused their attention on producing a wider variety of products, which is why they have a more extensive line. Keep in mind that both brands also offer plenty of accessories woodworkers and contractors need such as measuring tapes and even safety equipment.

The winner of this category will depend on what customers value. If you want variety, then Dewalt is the best option. For those that want quality in models that have proven their work over time, then Milwaukee is the answer.

Customer Reviews

As we have mentioned, both tool brands come highly revered by their loyal customers.
They both offer comparable features at competitive prices with various proprietary technologies developed by the brands.

Dewalt tools have a signature yellow and black color combo that is a tell-tale sign of a Dewalt product from afar. Milwaukee has a teal color that has also become associated with the brand. 

Both companies have come a long way since Milwaukee Tool introduced the hole shooters and Dewalt created their portable line, and customers consistently rate both brands with 4 and 5-star reviews for quality, dependability, and performance.

(Despite the good reviews, there are injury-related reports involving some of their miter saw units. For more info, check this Dewalt miter saw recall article next!)


Is Milwaukee better than Dewalt?

No, Milwaukee is not better than Dewalt. Whether one brand is better than another is a subjective topic, but if you’re looking at an overall rating, Milwaukee and Dewalt are pretty on par with winners in different categories. Milwaukee specializes in better technology and features, but Dewalt has better price tags, a wider range of products and manufactures domestically.

Also Read: Milwaukee vs Ridgid 

Are Milwaukee power tools better than Dewalt?

Yes, Milwaukee power tools are better than Dewalt if you are looking at advanced technologies and perfected designs. However, it’s worth it to note that Milwaukee products are more expensive than Dewalt, and depending on the model, the performance from both brands is very similar.

Does Dewalt own Milwaukee?

No, Dewalt does not own Milwaukee. In fact, both companies are owned by separate parent companies. Dewalt is under the Stanley Black & Decker umbrella, which also owns Irwin tools. Milwaukee was acquired by a Hong Kong technology company by the name of TechTronic in 2005.

Overall Winner: Dewalt

It was a very close competition, but the winner of this comparison between Dewalt and Milwaukee is the former. Dewalt comes out on top for a wider range of products that are all of very good construction and quality, as well as a more budget-friendly price tag although not by a lot. The brand also offers much more comprehensive warranty packages that further substantiate the quality of their tools.

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Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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