Milwaukee Tools Vs DeWalt Tools

Milwaukee vs. DeWalt - A Comprehensive Comparison

When choosing between Milwaukee and DeWalt, there's no easy answer. These two tool giants each have their own unique features, so the decision of who to choose is based on your preferences and needs on the job site.

In this blog, we'll explore Milwaukee and DeWalt's background, manufacturing methods, core values, popular products, and more. Both brands showcase innovative technology and heavy-duty tools that have been perfected over the years, with continued improvement for the future.

Understanding the pros and cons of each brand is important for any tradesman looking to make an informed decision. There will always be advantages and disadvantages to consider with Milwaukee and DeWalt. So, let's roll up our sleeves and get into the nitty-gritty of this comparison.

Milwaukee and DeWalt History and Manufacturing

To fully appreciate the improvements Milwaukee and DeWalt have made, it’s important to dive into their history. Knowing the journey to their success helps professionals understand the force behind their innovations and that the values they represent are deeply rooted in where they began and how they’ve evolved over time.

Milwaukee and DeWalt both began their tool-making journeys in 1924. Now, in 2024, they’re both marking a noteworthy milestone—their 100th anniversary. This shared legacy and rivalry proves their dedication and commitment to providing high-quality, durable tool solutions for professionals in trades everywhere.

Milwaukee Tool’s History

Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation vintage photo

Taken from the words of Milwaukee Tool’s Group President Steve Richman, “Every company says it has the best people in the world, but when you look at our story over the last decade, the proof of that is glaringly apparent. Our constant has been, and will always be, the passion, determination, and all-out obsession of our employees.”

Milwaukee has a passion for placing its employees and customers above all else. With one motto of theirs being “One team, one focus - the user.” They make it a point to immerse themselves in the real world by partnering with everyday users to understand the complications and frustrations of an ever-evolving work environment. This partnership allows them to create solutions that improve job site safety and productivity.

In 2005, Techtronic Industries Co. (TTi), a 1985 company out of Hong Kong, decided to merge Milwaukee into them as a subsidiary company. After this happened, Milwaukee decided to revamp itself again and return to its roots to better focus on solving problems for those in the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) trades.

Over the years, Milwaukee has achieved significant milestones. They developed and invented lithium-ion technology for power tools. They also pushed for improvements in Hand Tools (with a select range made in the USA) and introduced the industry's widest selection of high-output lighting.

Their ONE-KEY system also shook up the digital jobsite world by boosting company and user productivity by granting the ability to track inventory and customize compatible work equipment.

As a tool Manufacturer, Milwaukee is dedicated to improving safety and productivity on the jobsite. They have achieved this by creating the M12 cordless system and the M18 and M18 FUEL systems. By elevating breakthrough advancements in motors, lithium-ion batteries, and electronics, Milwaukee strives to supply professionals with the best alternative methods in the future through what they call “disruptive innovation.”

Interested in where Milwaukee tools are made? Check out our blog here

DeWalt’s History

Photograph of the DeWalt founders

Though DeWalt wasn’t officially founded until 1924, Raymond DeWalt’s foundation of tools and new inventions began sooner. His love of the trades began in 1910 at his father's wagon workshop, and the rest is history.

The company's growth expanded rapidly especially during wartime, so much so that Raymond began teaching younger generations in the 1940’s at Mechanicsburg High School for their vocational industrial arts program.

Like Milwaukee, DeWalt became a subsidiary of an American company formed in 1910, Black & Decker. This merging helped them grow with the professionals they serve by providing successful launches of portable electric and cordless tools in the 1990’s.

With over 1000 products in the DeWalt arsenal, they charged through the early 2000s with improvements on vibration through their SHOCKS—Active Vibration Control, 12V Max system tools, Flexvolt (the first battery in the world to change its voltage depending on the tool used), and the Made in the USA initiative.

DeWalt’s future continues to advance with new tools like the PowerStack and expansions of the Xtreme series. They’re also following along with Milwaukee in creating sustainable, environmentally friendly equipment to help reduce carbon emissions on job sites.

Milwaukee Vs DeWalt Headquarters, Manufacturing Locations, and Parent Companies

The Parent Companies of Milwaukee and DeWalt consist of several brands.

For instance, TTI, or Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd. (0669), offers products ranging from power tools to appliances, serving various home, construction, and industrial industries.

Stanley Black & Decker, previously The Stanley Works, on the other hand, is an American Fortune 500 company renowned for power tools, fasteners, and security products. Headquartered in New Britain, Connecticut, it emerged from the merger of Stanley Works and Black & Decker in 2010.

Take a look at the chart below for a full view of the brands each fall into.

Techtronic Industries (TTI) Black and Decker
Milwaukee DeWalt
Ryobi Craftsman
AEG Stanley
Imperial Blades Lenox
Stiletto Irwin
Kango Bostitch
Hart Facom
Hoover Proto
Oreck Porter-Cable
Dirt Devil Mac Tools
Homelite Sidchrome

Milwaukee Tool and DeWalt, two leaders in the tool industry, have their headquarters and manufacturing facilities strategically located across the United States and internationally. Let's take a closer look at these powerhouses and their operations

Milwaukee Tool Headquarters and Manufacturing

  • Headquarters Location : Milwaukee Tool conducts a significant portion of its research and development in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

  • Manufacturing : While the company manufactures tools and accessories globally, it maintains key manufacturing locations in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Mexico.

  • USA Manufacturing : Notably, many accessories, like reciprocating saw blades and hole saws, are produced in Mississippi, with facilities in Greenwood, Jackson, and Olive Branch. Additionally, Wisconsin hosts three manufacturing facilities in Mukwonago, West Bend, and Sun Prairie.

Expansion and Investments

In 2022, Milwaukee Tool launched a $26 million facility in West Bend, Wisconsin, focusing on hand tools for electricians and linemen. Plans for further expansion include a new location in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Products Made in the USA: Milwaukee Tool's US-made products are more extensive than DeWalt's, including electrician hand tools, step bits, corded Sawzalls, large drills, sawzall blades, hole saws, bandsaw blades, and various levels and squares.

DeWalt Headquarters and Manufacturing

  • Headquarters Location : DeWalt's headquarters is in Towson, Maryland, USA.

  • Manufacturing Globally : While much of its inventory is manufactured overseas, DeWalt has been building certain products, such as power tools and storage, domestically since 2013 using globally sourced parts.

  • USA Manufacturing Facilities : The company operates seven manufacturing facilities in Connecticut, Maryland, Kentucky, Indiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee, contributing to its "Built in the USA with global materials" label.

In summary, while both companies have a global manufacturing footprint, Milwaukee Tool and DeWalt continue to invest in US operations, contributing to job creation and innovation in the American tool industry.

Innovation and Technology: Milwaukee ONE-KEY vs DeWalt Tool Connect

As frontrunners in the tool industry, Milwaukee and Dewalt provide innovative technological solutions for professionals. Both brands have similar tool connecting technology with separate features and qualities.

Milwaukee’s ONE-KEY initiative offers Bluetooth-enabled tags to place on tools and Asset Tags for scanning into the system for seamless tool management to connect the jobsite to the back office. DeWalt, on the other hand, offers Tool Connect technology. This technology integrates Tool Connect Chips to connect non-Bluetooth-enabled tools to the system and offers Tool Tags for effortless tool tracking.

Both brands improve tool management with features like real-time tracking and remote monitoring, giving professionals more control over their work site and equipment. 

Milwaukee ONE-KEY

Graphic of One Key Technology

Milwaukee’s ONE-KEY technology is committed to keeping hardworking professionals connected quickly and efficiently throughout the workday. The ability to provide knowledge on where a tool is, and its health on the job improves productivity in the long run.

The heart of ONE-KEY technology is the Tags and Asset Tags . Both small and durable, they grant professionals access to advanced tracking solutions.

These Bluetooth-enabled tags provide real-time location tracking and remote customization options so that you never have to worry about where a tool is again, even in your own garage. Imagine being able to monitor tool usage, schedule maintenance, and track inventory all from your smartphone through an accessible app. Milwaukee ONE-KEY technology minimizes downtime and increases productivity through this advanced level of tool control. 

Graphic of One Key Technology on a mobile device with an image of a man using an MX FUEL Saw

By digitalizing tool management, Milwaukee has also increased safety on the jobsite. They eliminate the headache associated with keeping manual track of tools and equipment, minimizing human error while also reducing the risk of loss or theft. Plus, the platform requires no advanced learning, operating on a user-friendly interface to ensure you have tools ready for any job when needed.

For example, Milwaukee ONE-KEY Bluetooth Tracking Tags' compact design allows it to be attached to any tool or equipment, from ladders to compact drills. Location updates are provided through the ONE-KEY app whenever the tag comes within 300ft of the device with the app downloaded.

Plus, don’t be worried if you can’t find the tool but are close. The tags have built-in speakers, and you can hear them if you’re within 50 feet. Don’t spend valuable time searching high and low for tools any more than you need to.

Milwaukee’s Asset ID Tags are another easy inventory management tool. These stickers are made with scratch and fade-resistant materials designed to withstand rugged jobsite conditions regardless of where your tool will be. No drilling or gluing is required for this one. Just stick it onto the tool and boost your inventory with ONE-KEY.

By leveraging the power of technology, Milwaukee continues to lead the charge in innovation, providing professionals with the tools they need to succeed in today's fast-paced world. Access all of your warranties, manuals, and data anywhere you go.

Want to learn more about Milwaukee ONE-KEY Technology? Check out our blog here.

DeWalt Tool Connect

DeWalt Tool Connect on a mobile device

Parallel to Milwaukee’s ONE-KEY Technology, DeWalt has Tool Connect. This tool inventory and tracking system are similar in terms of Bluetooth capabilities, but unlike Milwaukee, DeWalt does not offer a smaller sticker version of the tag.

The Tool Connect Chips and Tool Tags attach to the tools and equipment easily, allowing professionals to locate and monitor them remotely. Featuring a blue LED light for easy identification, the Tool Connect Tag integrates into the existing workflow on the job and in the Inventory Manager on the app portal for better oversight of details about the tools.

DeWalt Tool Connect on a desktop and a mobile device

Along with DeWalt’s tags, they also present the Construction Asset Gateway which expands wireless capabilities on work sites to keep track of construction inventory that is overwise bigger than tools like vehicles, tool rooms, and more. This device also merges with Tool Connect to track materials and audit inventory for scheduling to report to the site manger.

Through these innovative solutions, DeWalt allows users to deliver superior jobsite performance. Tool Connect allows professionals to optimize tool management, so they no longer need to worry about where and who has what equipment. Finding parts and accessories and keeping track of audits becomes easier when they’re streamlined through automation.

Check out this video that shows DeWalt’s Tool Connect works. 

Milwaukee Vs DeWalt: Tool Line Comparison

Drill Drivers

When comparing Milwaukee and DeWalt drills, the choice ultimately boils down to the specific needs of the professional using them. DeWalt drills, like the Flexvolt advantage, provide a softer torque that can handle heavy workloads. On the other hand, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel hammer drill offers autostop control and is specifically designed for high-speed drilling tasks. Unlike its competitors, it doesn't need to shift to a lower speed setting, allowing plumbers and electricians to speed up their work process.

Looking for more information on the best Milwaukee Impact Drills? Check out our blog here

Impact Wrenches

When comparing Milwaukee and DeWalt impact wrenches, Milwaukee offers a broader range of options, including the impressive 1-inch D-handle, while DeWalt maxes out at the DCF897 3/4″ impact wrench. Milwaukee's mid-torque lineup packs a punch with up to 550 foot-pounds, surpassing DeWalt's DCF896 at 330 foot-pounds, though DeWalt's DCF891model does step up with 600 ft-lbs if you need a bit more power.

Even Popular Mechanics gives Milwaukee the nod with gold medals for the 2767-22R M18 FUEL High Torque 1/2" Impact Wrench and the 2855-20 M18 FUEL 1/2" Compact Impact Wrench for mechanics, while DeWalt snags a gold for the best compact impact wrench with the DCF921B ATOMIC 20V MAX* 1/2 IN. Cordless Impact Wrench, though Milwaukee still has more options for compactness. Overall, Milwaukee's comprehensive lineup gives it the edge in the impact wrench market.

Milwaukee M12 and M18 tools vs DeWalt Atomic Line

When choosing between Milwaukee's M12 and M18 series and DeWalt's Atomic series, there are a few factors to consider. Both brands offer brushless motors for their tools and are built to be compact yet rugged for easy jobsite access. Let's break it down:

Milwaukee M12 vs M18
  • Battery Compatibility: Both the M12 and M18 systems are powered by Milwaukee's REDLITHIUM batteries, ensuring compatibility across various tools.

  • Tool Selection: While the M12 system boasts over 100 tools, the M18 lineup expands with over 200 performance-driven tools available. So, whether you're looking for something compact or more robust, Milwaukee's got you covered.

  • ONE-KEY Compatibility : With both series featuring ONE-KEY compatibility, you can customize, track, and manage your tools for increased productivity and security.

  • Redlink Plus Intelligence: Milwaukee's Redlink Plus Intelligence ensures optimal performance by constantly monitoring the tool's internal network, maintaining ideal conditions for maximum efficiency and longevity.

DeWalt Atomic Series
  • Size Meets Power: DeWalt's Atomic series is all about compact yet powerful tools, making them ideal for maneuvering in tight spaces without compromising performance.

  • Portability : Designed for professionals on the move, these lightweight tools make it easy to go from one job site to another without being weighed down.

  • 20V MAX Compatibility: The Atomic Compact Series is part of DeWalt's expanding 20V MAX system, which offers you compatibility with over 300 tools, ensuring you have plenty of options to tackle any job.

If you're looking for a wide range of tools with varying power and size options, Milwaukee's M12 and M18 systems provide you with a wide range. On the other hand, if you prioritize compactness and maneuverability for tight spaces, DeWalt's Atomic series might be the way to go. Ultimately, it boils down to your specific needs and preferences on the job site.

Warranty Differences

Milwaukee and DeWalt offer professionals several warranties depending on the type of tool, battery, or accessory being purchased. In short, most Milwaukee Warranties fall at five years, and DeWalt’s are around three years. Read on to learn more about each and determine which would suit your job style better.

Milwaukee Warranty Information

Man at a Milwaukee service counter

Milwaukee Tool offers a dependable warranty program. With a solid 5-year warranty on most cordless power tools, a 3-year warranty on most cordless outdoor power equipment, and a limited lifetime warranty on hand tools and RedStick levels, Milwaukee stands by its quality craftsmanship. No registration hassle is needed—but it is recommended because if you don’t have your receipt, Milwaukee will go based on the manufacturer date. Battery warranties range from one to three years, depending on the pack.

Purchasing from authorized distributors automatically activates your warranty, and Milwaukee's nationwide service centers ensure quick resolutions for any issues. Overall, it’s best to check what kind of warranty comes with the tool when buying it to make sure it’s what you need.

For a full list of warranties and more information, check Milwaukee’s website here

DeWalt Warranty Information

Graphic of DeWalt

DeWalt also has some solid warranties on their tools. Most of their cordless power tools come with a 3-year limited warranty, plus a 1-year free service contract and a 90-day money-back guarantee. Mechanics Tools come with a full lifetime warranty, and hand tools have a limited lifetime warranty against defects even without the receipt. For select pneumatic tools, there's a 7-year warranty, a 1-year service agreement, and a 3-day money-back guarantee.

DeWalt's other limited warranties have different criteria. For heavy-duty industrial tools like compressors that state their warranty, you're looking at a one-year warranty from the date of purchase or delivery, whichever comes later. They'll handle repairs free of charge for any defects resulting from faulty materials or workmanship. Just keep in mind that this warranty only applies if you purchased the product directly from DeWalt or one of their authorized sellers.

For a full list of DeWalt warranties and for more information, check DeWalt’s warranty page here

Environment Sustainability: Milwaukee vs DeWalt

With new restrictions on emissions and the repercussions of gas fuel on workers, more brands like Milwaukee and DeWalt are surging into the future with alternatives that are safer and more productive than gas-fueled tools and equipment. Both brands are transforming the trades dramatically. 

Milwaukee Environmental Impact

Graphic detailing the impact of Milwaukee

Milwaukee Tool aims to reinvent the trade industries by minimizing their environmental impact by bolding claiming that they strive to slash their carbon footprint by 60% by 2030. They are not just all talk because not only are they harnessing over 90% of their electricity from renewable sources, but they also partner with organizations like Call2Recycle, which recycles batteries.

Check out this video about Milwaukee’s Outdoor Trades and hear from professionals on how Milwaukee is stepping up to the task of eliminating emissions.

By upgrading to energy-efficient LED lighting and high-efficiency HVAC equipment, they reduce their energy consumption but they also create a better work environment for their employees. In the future, Milwaukee Tool strives to source renewable energy and reduce packaging to keep up their commitment to sustainability. Milwaukee Tool isn't just changing the game in the trade industry; they're leading the charge for a greener, more sustainable future—one power tool at a time.

DeWalt Sustainability

Graphic of DeWalt, Delivering Efficiency, Powered By Sustainability
Image from DeWaltTools India

Like Milwaukee, DeWalt offers a range of features and qualities to reduce maintenance on power tools while also minimizing the environmental impact. Moving away from gas-powered tools seems to be a common denominator among Milwaukee and DeWalt, as they both transitioned a majority of their tools to brushless motors that deliver up to 57% more runtime than brushed motors.

Continuing their strides in creating a more sustainable environment, DeWalt’s Perform & Protect line prioritizes worker safety but contains dust better, minimizes vibration, and offers more control. Their outdoor equipment has also improved through battery power, meaning lawn maintenance professionals no longer have to withstand harmful gas fumes.

DeWalt is also an active participant in battery recycling programs and specifically offers professional product recycling policies. Through these programs, DeWalt ensures correct disposal while improving its impact on the environment. DeWalt’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond product design, aiming to protect workers and the environment for a greener, safer future.

At the End of the Day

The choice between Milwaukee and DeWalt ultimately rests on trade professionals' preferences, values as tradesmen, and the warranties and products available. Milwaukee, with its deep-rooted dedication to user-focused solutions and disruptive innovation, and DeWalt, with its legacy of craftsmanship, both brands feature innovative technologies and a century-long commitment to quality.

Milwaukee Vs DeWalt Frequently Asked Questions

Where are DeWalt Tools made?

DeWalt has select tools made in America. They also make their tools in Mexico, Brazil, China, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic.

Where are Milwaukee tools made?

Milwaukee Tools offers tools Made in the USA as well. To learn more about what tools are made in the USA check out our blog here .

Which brand has better battery technology?

Milwaukee: Renowned for its innovative battery technology, Milwaukee's M18 and M12 systems boast impressive power and runtime, enhancing productivity on the job site.

DeWalt : With its XR Lithium-Ion batteries, DeWalt delivers long-lasting power and quick charging capabilities, ensuring minimal downtime during use.

How do Milwaukee and DeWalt contribute to environmental sustainability?

Both Milwaukee and DeWalt are committed to minimizing their environmental impact through various initiatives. Milwaukee aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 60% by 2030, implementing strategies such as renewable energy sourcing, energy-efficient lighting, and battery recycling programs. Similarly, DeWalt prioritizes sustainability through brushless motors for energy efficiency, cordless options to eliminate gas-powered emissions, and participation in battery and product recycling programs for responsible disposal.