Last Updated on July 29, 2020 by builder Aaron Barnett
When you’re looking to invest in some new tools the options can be overwhelming. Both tool brands Dewalt and Milwaukee are a great tool choice but don’t be scared to mix brands to get the best tool kit possible. When it comes to cordless tools pick the best option to stick with so you can interchange the batteries between tools.
Ultimately, you’ll want to invest in something that will last you a lifetime and if possible, save you a bit of cash too.
To make the right decision you’re going to need to do your homework; narrowing down your options and doing a few price comparisons is a great place to start.
If you’ve arrived at a crossroads and are torn between Milwaukee or DeWalt then take a seat, relax, and read through this comprehensive guide to gain some clarity and clear up any confusion.
Dewalt: The pros
Durability: In Lifestory’s 2020 power tools study DeWalt was identified as the most amongst consumers. For a company that markets themselves as “guaranteed tough” you can be sure that when you purchase a DeWalt tool, you’re investing in something durable, reliable, and long-lasting.
Big batteries: DeWalt’s lithium-ion batteries are some of the most reliable on the market. Not only do they charge quickly and have a long run time, but they pack a hefty punch too. Their range of batteries is vast and universal too, meaning you can use them in most other DeWalt tools that can adjust to the right voltage.
Easy on your wallet: As well as being reliable and durable, DeWalt tools are also incredibly affordable. If you’re on a tight budget and you don’t want to compromise on quality, DeWalt may be the best option for you.
Where are Dewalt tools made?
Milwaukee: The pros
Higher quality: When you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, DeWalt tools tend to be the most favorable option. However, if you’re after top-quality tools that are better suited to heavy industrial and construction work, Milwaukee are the real winners.
Better for electricians: If you’re an electrician you might want to consider opting for tools from the Milwaukee range. Not only does Milwaukee manufacture a larger range of tools but their products are better suited for professional use rather than personal projects.
Where are Milwaukee tools made?
Their primary US facilities are based in Wisconsin and Mississippi and they also manufacture products in China and Europe.
What’s the best cordless drill?
Cordless Dewalt drills tend to be lighter than Milwaukee alternatives with some weighing as little as 3lbs.
Although the battery life on DeWalt and Milwaukee drills is about the same, Milwaukee drills have a few extra features such as battery fuel gauges, temperature protection, and a higher RPM than some DeWalt drills.
So, although DeWalt may trump Milwaukee when it comes to value for money, a Milwaukee drill may be better suited to you if you’re looking for something with a greater range of features.
Who makes the best circular saw?
DeWalt and Milwaukee both make a great 15amp corded circular saw each with their own differences.
Many Milwaukee saws weigh as little as 10.4lbs and include tilt-loc handles to improve handling ability, a great feature if you’re working on a roof.
If portability is important to you, DeWalt manufactures some of the most lightweight models on the market weighing as little as 8.8 pounds.
Some also include additional features such as built-in dust blowers (so you have a clear line for cutting) which several Milwaukee models lack, so if you’re looking for greater value for money, you may be better off purchasing a DeWalt model.
For the most portability though, get a cordless circular saw, you might want to check out the Makita or Dewalt 20v circular saw.
Wood planers: Dewalt or Milwaukee?
If you’re after a cordless wood planer, Milwaukee manufactures a broad range that eliminates the risk of accidental cord cuts and offers you heightened maneuverability.
Milwaukee planers are also compatible with Makita and Bosch blades which will not just save you money, but also give you greater choice when it comes to purchasing replacement blades.
Like Milwaukee, a DeWalt hand planer offers portability, peace of mind and includes features such as kickstands, adjustable depth, and powerful motors of up to 15000 RPM.
What about wood routers?
Milwaukee and DeWalt manufacture a wide range of wood routers which include corded, cordless, and compact models.
However, before you purchase, remember to factor in the density and depth of cut you’ll be doing so you can invest in the right tool for the job.
If you’re on a budget, you could always opt for a wood router combo kit; these are manufactured by both of our big brands and offer a more cost-effective alternative to individual tool purchases.
For more information click to read my wood router reviews.
Dewalt or Milwaukee: The best Jobsite radio
Although Milwaukee Jobsite radios are more expensive than DeWalt models, they offer a broad range of features including Bluetooth connectivity, FM stations, and compatibility with Milwaukee’s rolling toolbox.
However, if you’re after something powerful then a DeWalt radio may be better for you.
Their loudest radio comes with 65 watts of sound, USB ports, a built-in subwoofer and it’s water-resistant too, giving you greater protection against any potential Jobsite accidents while also being compatible with their Tstak rolling toolbox.
Both brands make the two best Jobsite radios you cannot go wrong with either the “Milwaukee packout radio” or the stackable Dewalt 20v radio.
Who makes the best jigsaw tool?
Some Milwaukee jigsaws include features such as shoes that can be adjusted to 45 degrees in any direction, onboard LED lights, and counterbalance mechanisms.
Although not all DeWalt models offer these features, some include other added extras such as keyless blade change, rubber-coated grips, and aluminum bases.
However, you should not only consider a cordless Dewalt cordless jigsaw but also Makita and Festool as possibly a better option.
For a DIY’er that wants a cheaper tool and doesn’t mind the slight inconvenience of a power lead read my review here to search for the best Dewalt jigsaw tool.
Milwaukee or Dewalt Nibbler tool
Although DeWalt used to manufacture two different nibblers both have now been discontinued. However, if you’re still thinking of purchasing from Milwaukee, you can choose from several different nibblers ranging from ten to sixteen gauge.
Although Milwaukee’s nibblers have some good specs including a cordless 18v battery tool, a 2” cutting radius, and a weight of around 5lbs, I would recommend a Makita nibbler instead.
Makita’s range of nibblers is much broader, and they even manufacture combo kits; compared to Milwaukee’s range, you’re more likely to find a nibbler suited to your needs if you shop with Makita.
There are better alternatives than both a Milwaukee or a Dewalt nibbler.
Thickness planers: Your best option
DeWalt offers the best value wood thickness planer on the market, and despite their low price, they still come packed with features including 15amp motors, automatic carriage locks, and two-speed gearboxes.
Although Milwaukee only has a cordless thickness planer and it is more expensive, it offers a range of features with specifications such as a 2mm cutting depth, 4 pole motors on an 18v power supply.
Cordless miter saws: Who does it better?
For most users, the maneuverability of cordless tools makes them a convenient option, allowing you to slide into small spaces with ease and eliminating the risk of cutting through wires.
DeWalt’s cordless saws offer the same performance as corded models and are also compatible with DeWalt flex volt batteries, offering you greater value for money than most other brands on the market.
The Milwaukee m18 miter saw can deliver up to 400 cuts per charge and include two powerful batteries with up to 9.0amp hours each.
Not only is the battery power in Milwaukee saws impressive but they’re cost-effective too, with some models retailing at around £200 cheaper than DeWalt alternatives.
What about corded miter saws?
If you’re looking for a corded miter saw instead then both of our big brands from Dewalt and Milwaukee have several models to choose from.
Some Milwaukee saws come with 15-amp motors and fine-adjust-control to allow for seamless and accurate cutting every-time.
However, if you’re looking to save a bit of cash then you might want to consider investing in a DeWalt model.
DeWalt saws retail at a slightly lower price than Milwaukee models and still-include some powerful features like great vertical cutting capacity, 15-amp motors, and one of the best value drop saws on the market.
Whether you pick a Dewalt or a Milwaukee miter saw make sure you also get a portable lightweight aluminum stand with wheels.
What about string trimmers?
For many gardeners, and homeowners a cordless Makita, or Milwaukee weed eater is favored over a gas or corded model.
However, short battery life can be an issue. If you’re looking to invest in a cordless trimmer, remember to consider battery power as well as specifications before making a purchase.
Milwaukee manufactures several powerful trimmers that include 9-amp batteries, brushless motors of up to 6200 RPM, and a 16” cutting swath. When it comes to DeWalt trimmers, many lack the power of Milwaukee models with some only reaching an average RPM of 6000.
However, many of their trimmers include some handy features such as a 75-minute charge time and weighs only 4.1kg’s. If you’re on a budget.
It’s important to note that some DeWalt trimmers can be more costly than Milwaukee models so be sure to factor this in before purchasing.
Dewalt vs Milwaukee: Cordless chainsaws
Compared to gas-powered alternatives, a Makita 18v, or Dewalt 20v chainsaw is widely favored for general maintenance jobs and DIY tasks.
DeWalt cordless chainsaws come with several features including low-kickback with a chain brake and auto-oiling systems to take the hassle out of lubrication.
Milwaukee cordless chainsaws are just as favorable and are also renowned for their long battery life, so if this is important to you, you might want to explore their range of chainsaws.
Their blades are also incredibly versatile giving you the power to cut through tough lumber however, the oil on Milwaukee chainsaws tends to run out quicker than most DeWalt models.
Finishing nailers: Dewalt or Milwaukee?
A cordless finish nailer is typically used for tasks such as roofing, molding, and paneling. DeWalt has several cost-effective nailers on the market including 15-gauge models with LED lights to improve vision and accuracy.
Milwaukee also manufactures a range of nailers that are widely recognized for their long run time and durability however, they tend to be more expensive than DeWalt models.
If you’re on a budget, a DeWalt nailer may be better suited to you but if they’re within your price range, Milwaukee’s reputation makes them a more reliable investment.
Table saws: Who’s the best?
Are you looking for a new table saw? Perhaps you’re overwhelmed by the different options on the market and you’re not sure where to begin? Exploring the models manufactured by our two big brands is a great place to start.
DeWalt manufactures several table saws including portable models with easy to adjust fences, guard components with tool-free adjustment, and 32 ½ ” rip capacity.
However, if you’re after a cordless table saw, you may want to consider checking out Milwaukee. Their table saws also include onboard storage departments, maximum bevel adjustments of 47 degrees, and compatibility with M18 batteries.
You can read my full portable table saw review in the link above.
Who makes the best palm sanders?
Orbital palm sanders are a great alternative to traditional hand sanders which risk leaving your surfaces looking rougher and messier.
Milwaukee offers several portable orbital sanders that are compact, lightweight and include variable speed controls, making them versatile and capable of tackling tough materials.
DeWalt also manufactures some great palm sanders with rubber grips, brushless motors, and batteries that are compatible with other DeWalt tools, giving you greater value for money than most Milwaukee models.
What about belt sanders?
Although palm sanders are portable, versatile, and powerful, a belt sander may be more suited to your needs if you’re looking to tackle rougher edges and tougher materials.
DeWalt belt sanders are tough and reliable with up to 110 volts of power, and weight of only 5.5kg with a 1010-watt motor. Milwaukee belt sanders tend to be slightly cheaper than DeWalt models and have belt speeds of up to 400 RPM, a weight of only 5.3kg and belt widths of 100mm.
Although Milwaukee belt senders tend to be cheaper than DeWalt models, you’re likely to get more power and durability if you opt for a DeWalt alternative.
Milwaukee vs Dewalt: Metal chop saws
Milwaukee chop saws are reliable and sturdy making them great for even cuts.
They have an average weight of 19.3kg, 120 volts of power, and quick release locking devices to hold materials safely and securely when cutting.
DeWalt models have powerful 15-amp motors, ergonomic D-Handles to prevent discomfort and built-in overload protection to offer you greater peace of mind when you’re working.
Cordless angle grinders: Dewalt or Milwaukee?
If you’re after a cordless angle grinder, DeWalt makes some of the best models on the market.
Many are lightweight, coming in at just 3.75lbs, and can run for 57% longer than other angle grinders. They also have a top speed of up to 9,000RPM.
The performance of Milwaukee angle grinders is on par with most DeWalt models and other top competitors too so for this tool, both brands make for worthwhile investments.
Have a read of my cordless angle grinder review for more information.
What about corded grinders?
If you’d prefer a corded grinder instead, both of our top brands have various models available to purchase.
Just make sure you know how to use an angle grinder.
DeWalt has several 11amp corded grinders with paddle switches and low vibrational performance however, the cord can be a little too short on some models.
Some Milwaukee grinders only offer 7amps but have excellent build quality and are relatively inexpensive, so if you’re looking to save some cash, a Milwaukee grinder may be a worthwhile investment for you.
Corded angle grinders are best when you need power, read my full review here.
The best portable air compressors
Dewalt air compressors offer some great features such as space-saving designs, 4.5-gallon capacity, and 10-inch tires for easy transportation.
However, although these tires increase the compressor’s maneuverability, some models are too heavy to be considered portable.
Milwaukee also manufactures several air compressors which include 2-gallon capacity, stackable designs, and quiet performance, emitting just 68Db (A) of sound.
Biscuit joiners: Who should I buy from?
DeWalt manufactures some of the best quality (and best value) biscuit joiners that money can buy.
Many come with 10,000 RMP blades, 6.5-amp motors and they’re durable too, meaning you can cut through even the toughest of materials with ease.
Milwaukee biscuit joiners also have some great features including 710-watt motors, positioning depth gauges, and precise angle adjustment features.
When it comes to bench grinders
When it comes to purchasing a 8 inch bench grinder remember, the bigger the grinder the better the quality.
Not only are bigger grinders more comfortable to work with but they have a reputation for being more durable too. DeWalt bench grinders offer both affordability and durability, with many including features like 3600 RPM motors, adjustable tool rests, and cast-iron bases.
Milwaukee bench grinders have now been discontinued so it might be worth exploring the range on offer by Makita; not only are they a reputable brand but in terms of performance, many of their tools are on par or better than DeWalt tools.
Find out more about the difference between a 6 or 8 inch bench grinder.
What about laser measurers?
Before purchasing a laser measurer remember to consider the sort of distances you’ll be measuring.
Not only will this determine the brand you opt for, but it may save you some cash too.
DeWalt laser measurers have an impressive measuring range of 330ft, an accuracy of 1/16” at 30ft, and are compatible with the DeWalt tool connect.
Milwaukee measurers have dust and water-resistant features, metric and imperial units of measurement, and accuracy of ± 2mm.
And what about laser levels?
When it comes to laser levels, there are several options available to purchase. DeWalt offers a great selection of levels for builders with features like 2-meter drop-resistant ratings, rechargeable batteries, magnetic bases, and pendulum locks.
Although Milwaukee manufactured several laser levels these have now been discontinued.
However, even compared to other leading brands, I would recommend investing in a DeWalt laser if you’re looking for a reliable, long-lasting tool.
What other brands should I consider?
Although we have focused heavily on DeWalt and Milwaukee in this article, that doesn’t mean you should brush other manufacturers aside.
There are several other reputable brands on the market including Makita, Bosch, Klein, Leica, and Skil which are great for commercial as well as personal use.
Does Milwaukee make combo kits?
Milwaukee offers a range of combo kits with a variety of different tools.
Whether you’re looking for drills, hammers, or spare batteries, Milwaukee combo kits are diverse, reliable, and cost-effective too.
Does Dewalt make combo kits?
DeWalt also manufactures combo kits which include cordless and corded tools such as hammers, drills, impact drivers, and spare batteries.
If you’re looking to save some cash this is a great way to do it too as just like Milwaukee combo kits, purchasing your tools in this way is significantly cheaper than purchasing them individually.
Before you decide which brand to settle on it’s important to consider the nature of the work you’re doing.
Dewalt and Milwaukee offer a great range of tools to choose from search around mix and match and get the best tool kit for the money.
The decision for each tool you make will be unique to you and your circumstances but with the help of this guide, you should now have a better understanding of how these brands compare in terms of value for money, durability, power, and reliability.
Don’t forget other brands out there like Makita, Ryobi, and Bosch. Next, have a read of my Makita vs Dewalt tools review.
Sounds like this can be improved for the next reader.
Please share how this article can be improved?
Hi, my name is Aaron, and welcome to Banging-Toolbox.
As a builder and site supervisor, I started banging-toolbox with the goal to make the #1 building, DIY, and tool review resource on the internet.
Feel free to have a look around, and don’t hesitate to ask me any questions about DIY or building, you can find out more about me here.