DeWalt vs. Milwaukee Cordless Drills

DeWalt vs Milwaukee Cordless Drills

DeWalt and Milwaukee are high-quality and popular brands in the world of power tools. Both companies produce dozens of different cordless drills.

These two brands are worth considering if you are in the market for a new cordless drill. However, there are differences between the cordless drills offered by DeWalt and Milwaukee.

This article is a DeWalt vs Milwaukee cordless drills comparison to see how they stack up against each other. Obviously, we can’t compare dozens of models from both brands with each other. For this reason, we will be focusing on one model from each brand. In addition, we’ve chosen a model from each brand that represents a mid-range model that attracts most buyers.

DeWalt vs. Milwaukee Cordless Drills

As mentioned, both brands produce dozens of cordless drills. In fact, both brands make well over 60 different models apiece. However,  we had to choose one model from each company to compare.

We will be comparing the DeWalt 20 Volt drill driver with the Milwaukee M18 compact drill driver. These are relatively average drill models, so they’re good to compare.

Both are very durable, powerful, user-friendly, and affordable cordless drills. In fact, they are also the most popular drills offered by both brands, particularly for basic use by homeowners. So, let’s move on and compare both of these drills based on various factors, including size, torque control, power, speed, etc.

Power Level and Battery

You have to take a look at the voltage of the battery. The more volts battery has, the more powerful the drill is. Now, both drills have lithium-ion batteries. The Milwaukee has an 18-volt battery, with the DeWalt having a 20-volt.

Therefore, you might think the DeWalt drill is more powerful, but this is not true. This is clever marketing by DeWalt. Batteries have both a maximum voltage rating and a nominal voltage rating.

The nominal voltage rating is what the drill functions at. The fact is that both drills have a nominal rating of 18 volts and a maximum voltage rating of 20.

The difference is that DeWalt uses the maximum rating for its marketing, whereas Milwaukee uses the nominal rating. So, technically speaking, both drills have the same battery voltage.

However, one difference is that the Milwaukee drill comes with only one battery, whereas the DeWalt drill comes with two. Both batteries have about the same capacity and runtime, although Milwaukee batteries also have temperature protection and a fuel gauge, which DeWalt drill batteries usually don’t.

Drill Speed

We also want to look at the maximum speed or RPM that both drills move. The Milwaukee drill has two different speeds; the first speed ranges from 0 to 400 RPM, and the second from 0 to 1,800 RPM.

The DeWalt drill also has two speed settings, although it is slower. The first gear allows it to travel at up to 450 RPM, whereas the second gear allows it to travel at up to 1,500 RPM. The Milwaukee drill is the speedier of the two.

DeWalt vs. Milwaukee Cordless Drills

Size and Weight

The size and weight of a drill are also important to consider. Both our drills are relatively small and lightweight.

However, the Milwaukee drill is significantly smaller and lighter than the DeWalt drill. The DeWalt drill measures 7.5 inches long and weighs nearly 7 pounds.

On the other hand, the Milwaukee drill measures 6.5 inches long and weighs just over 3 pounds. It is a full inch shorter and almost half as heavy, so if you need a compact drill for tight spaces, the Milwaukee is the better way to go.

Torque Control

Another important consideration is how much torque the drill produces. Torque is the amount of force or muscle that a drill can apply to turn the bit or fastener.

Both drills offer excellent torque control, although the Milwaukee drill offers incrementally more. Our Milwaukee drill has a 16-position clutch, while the DeWalt drill has a 15-position clutch. That being said, the difference here is negligible.


Milwaukee drills come with a 5-year limited warranty and a 2-year warranty for the batteries. If there are any defects in material or craftsmanship, Milwaukee will replace or repair the drill or the battery. However, if damage caused by normal usage is not covered.

On the other hand, the DeWalt drill has a 3-year limited warranty covering any defects in craftsmanship or materials. However, as with Milwaukee, the DeWalt warranty doesn’t cover issues caused by normal use.

However, the DeWalt drill features one year of free service where they will replace parts that have worn down due to usage. There is also a 90-day money-back guarantee.


The Milwaukee drill costs $350plus tax, while the DeWalt drill is about half the price.

DeWalt Cordless Drill vs. Milwaukee: Final Thoughts

As you can see from the comparison, the Milwaukee drill is generally the better of the two. It has higher-quality features and better functionality. However, the Milwaukee drill costs about twice as much. Of course, you get what you pay for.

This comparison of two specific drills can generally be applied to all Milwaukee and DeWalt models. Milwaukee drills tend to be a bit better but also more expensive.

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