Milwaukee 18V vs. Dewalt 20V Cordless Drill Review

If you are a beginner and just starting to build your tool collection, you would be at wit’s end about deciding which brand to patronize. 

You will always read or hear about professionals or DIYers professing their devotion to a single brand, usually with matching unconditional conviction.

Cordless drills are no exception to this, so with this article, I’m endeavoring to help you decide which one to get: Milwaukee or Dewalt.

Milwaukee and Dewalt are both reputable and trusted companies that manufacture the finest power tools in the world. Below are two reviews of each of the brand’s bestselling models in the market.

Milwaukee 2702-20 M18 Compact Brushless Hammer Drill Driver

Milwaukee M18 18V 1/2-Inch Compact Brushless Hammer Drill Driver (2702-20) (Bare Tool Only - Battery, Charger and Accessories Not Included)The Milwaukee 2702-20 hammer drill is a part of Milwaukee’s M18 line of compact and brushless power tools. It has everything you get in a traditional drill driver plus the ability to drive fasteners in concrete and masonry applications. Hammer drills are built longer and just a bit heavier. This particular model has a weight of just 3.9 pounds with the battery and measuring 7 3/8 inches long. With these impressive specs, it might just escape you that you are using a hammer drill.

This tool is packed with power reaching up to 500 in. lbs. of peak torque and runs on a low-speed range of up to 450 and a high gear of up to 1,800 RPM. You can use this to sink screws easily through most materials including concrete. This is deal for your masonry projects as it can easily go through blocks, bricks, and other materials.

It has a ½-inch all-metal single sleeve with ratcheting lock that keeps the drill bits from falling out or slipping off. Its gear case is also entirely metal-made for that added protection against damage and corrosion. This drill uses lithium ion batteries that operate on Milwaukee’s trademark RedLithium Battery Technology, boasting of longer lasting battery life and performance.

The handle has a soft contoured grip designed with excellent balance and control. This feature acts to give you comfort and ease while going about your work especially in hard to reach areas and longer work periods.

Pros: Has the power to let you drill holes up to 1 inch in diameter. Because of its brushless motor, you can expect a longer tool life and longer runtime. It is lightweight and small, making it perfect for overhead tasks, awkward angles, and confined spaces.

  • Uses a brushless motor
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Has a hammer drill feature
  • Delivers high peak torque
  • Equipped with Milwaukee’s RedLink Intelligence feature

Cons: There is not much negative to say about this hammer drill other than it being sold as a bare tool. You only get the drill itself and no other accessories, even the battery. One good thing is that if you already own other Milwaukee 18V tools, you can use their accessories on this model as they are interchangeable.

  • No accessories included
  • Slightly expensive

DEWALT DCD791D2 20V MAX XR Brushless Compact Drill Driver Kit

DEWALT DCD791D2 20V MAX XR Li-Ion 0.5" 2.0Ah Brushless Compact Drill/Driver KitThe Dewalt DCD791D2 is a drill driver with the professionals in mind. It has features that seasoned carpenters, commercial contractors, electricians, and even DIYers and home improvers will love. It runs on a brushless motor that delivers twice the amount of work time on one battery charge.

Weighing 3.4 pounds with a measurement of 6.9 inches from top to bottom, it is designed to have its center of gravity right above the handgrip for that nice balance that is so easy to control.  It is equipped with not just one LED light but three. You no longer need to take an additional lamp or flashlight when working in dark or poorly lit areas.

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This is one powerful drill because it has two different speed settings. The low speed gives you up to 550 RPM while the high speed offers up to 2,000 RPM, making it ideal for most drilling and driving tasks using different types of materials. You can easily bump the speed up depending on the task.

With 460 unit watts out (UWO) or over 600 in. lbs. of peak power, working on hardwoods or metal can be done quickly and easily. It also comes with a heavy-duty, high-quality metal chuck. Another impressive fact about this tool is that it uses 20V XR lithium ion batteries that have a phenomenal lifespan. The kit includes a charger which takes about an hour to fully replenish a depleted battery.

Pros: Its brushless motor gives you increased performance because it provides you longer run time. Its ergonomic design offers comfort, less arm fatigue, and efficiency in most of your drilling and driving jobs around the house or at the job site.

  • Runs on brushless motor technology
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Two-speed transmission settings
  • Its 1/2 inch chuck is made out of high-quality metal
  • Outstanding battery life

Cons: There are complaints of the bit chuck getting loose, so you need to place the drill bits securely and fasten them tightly to avoid this from happening.

  • Bit chuck sometimes fall off

Milwaukee 18V vs. Dewalt 20V Cordless Drill Product Comparison

Hands down, these two drill drivers are some of the best on the market today. The major difference between these two power tools is how they are being sold. The Milwaukee 2702-20 is sold as a bare tool with no batteries or accessories included while the Dewalt DCD791D2 kit has the drill, the batteries, the charger, a belt hook all encased in a handy toolbox.

Milwaukee vs. DEWALT Cordless Tools

Power tools are necessary equipment that makes jobs a lot easier for homeowners and professionals alike. Through the years, many innovations have been made to improve and make these devices better. Some of these improvements include power, speed, weight, design, and batteries.

Two of the most popular products when it comes to power are Milwaukee and DEWALT. These brands are known for quality and durability. Most users find their tools reliable and easy to use. But what differentiates from one to the other?

Read on to know more about these dependable home brands when it comes to various power tools.

History of Milwaukee Tools

As an American company, the Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation is an American company that develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes various power tools worldwide. It is a subsidiary of Techtronic Industries, just like Ryobi, Hoover, and AEG, among others. Techtronic Industries is a Chinese company.

The popular tools produced by Milwaukee Tool include hand saws, trimmers, screwdrivers, cutters, and knives. It was in 1918 when the company introduced the first portable and lightweight capacity drill called the Hole-Shooter.

A.H. Peterson partnered with Albert Siebert and founded the A.H. Peterson tool company. However, its production facility caught fire in 1923 and put the business into a public auction. Siebert decided to buy the remaining company assets to form the Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation.

Siebert focused on the improvement of the Hole-Shooter and the development of existing tools to make them more robust. These include worldwide devices like compress meters, lighting testers, temperature meters, and other instruments for drilling, cutting, clipping, chargers, and other products worldwide.

In the 1930s, Milwaukee produced tools to the standard of US Navy equipment. During this time, the company also focused on developing its own electric hammers, grinders, polishers, and sanders. These tools were made more lightweight, compact, and user-friendly. Hence, during World War II, Milwaukee became a supplier of the US Navy.

The invention of Lithium-ion batteries was a major breakthrough for Milwaukee. They knew that cordless tools were the future devices that would change the world of job sites. Milwaukee also pushed forward in making their own battery packs and motors for their tools, wherein the M12 cordless systems came about.

History of DEWALT Tools

DEWALT Industrial Tool Company is an American power and hand tools manufacturer. It is a trademark of Black and Decker Inc., which is a subsidiary of Stanley Black and Decker.

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DEWALT company started in 1923 by Raymond DeWalt, who invented the radial arm saw. In 1924, DEWALT Products Company was formed with its plant located in Pennsylvania. Back then, their products were the electric universal woodworking machine called the “Wonder-Worker,” mortises and jointers.

The company expanded its products to national defense and wartime equipment as demanded by the government in 1941. It reincorporated in 1947 to become DeWalt Inc. American Machine & Foundry Co. bought the company in 1949. They expanded their market to Canada in 1953 and eventually sold the company in 1960 to Black and Decker.

In1992, DEWALT introduced their portable electric power tools and accessories product line for the first time. Since then, the company has been manufacturing powerful cordless tools like impact drivers, wrench, saws, drills, and many more.

By 2001, DEWALT produced and manufactured over 200 power tools and more than 800 accessories that were distributed worldwide. And in 2010 onwards, they introduced the 12V and 20V MAX systems to provide more comfort and versatility for the tool users. They also announced the “Made in America” creativity in 2013.

Since then, DEWALT has focused on the manufacture and distribution of robust, easy-to-use cordless power tools. And in 2018, they introduced the online ordering and tracking services, which are made available 24/7.

Which Tool Brand is the Most Innovative?

When it comes to power tools, users tend to be loyal to specific brands. Two of the most purchased products are those manufactured by Milwaukee and DEWALT.

If you are a new power tool user, you might be wondering which one of these two products will you get the most benefit from. Loyal Milwaukee consumers will say that it is the best, while DEWALT users will say otherwise. Let us see which tool will eventually win over your curiosity and loyalty.

Milwaukee drills are designed for high-speed drilling, especially into hardened concrete. On the other hand, DEWALT provides for the softer torques, which are beneficial to plumbers and electricians.

However, Milwaukee drills seem to be more compact when talking about size, but there is no significant difference with their weight. But how about innovative solutions for these two brands?

Milwaukee drills offer the One-Key feature, while DEWALT has its Tool Connect system. The One-Key offered by Milwaukee is the first digital platform for power tools. You can download the application on your iOS or Android smartphones to track and control your Milwaukee devices.

This Milwaukee feature is a bit more awesome than the Tool Connect of DEWALT, which is an inventory solution to help you connect, track, and customize your tools.

Proprietary Technology They Use

What about when it comes to the brushless technology of these two companies? Milwaukee and DEWALT are not new with brushless tool technology. In fact, they have both been using this with most of their products.

However, Milwaukee was first to adopt the brushless tool technology; hence, their products have better control and speed earlier. But DEWALT was able to follow after a couple of years later immediately. Since then, Milwaukee and DEWALT have been employing this smart electronic technology on their various drilling, driving, and cutting devices.

Although you can never feel much of a difference between the tool protection, control, and speed modes of these two brands, Milwaukee devices still tend to be smaller than DEWALT units. Thus, the smaller tools provide more convenience to users since they are easier to carry around and occupy less space in your toolbox.

Battery Comparison

The M12 line from Milwaukee is one of the best in the industry. When choosing any 12V tool, you will never go wrong with Milwaukee products. Meanwhile, DEWALT’s 20V XR Lithium-ion brushless compact hammer drill is genuinely one of the best power drills you will find in the market.

This cell offers about 57% more running time than other brush motored products. It also is less prone to wear and tear since its brushless feature causes no friction and damaging effects.

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On the other hand, Milwaukee’s Red Lithium-ion batteries can power their drills for a more extended period. Its Redlink Plus technology guarantees protection and control that prevents the tool over-discharging, overheating, and overload.

Top FAQs

Here are some more tips through questions and answers that can guide you in choosing the right tool that will suit your job needs.

Which is better, Milwaukee or DeWalt?

Undoubtedly, Milwaukee and DEWALT are two of the best power tool brands in the world today. Both companies never fail to come up with innovative and durable products that every handyman and professional would love to own and use.

Both brands offer a variety of torques, speeds, and designs that you won’t have a hard time looking for the one that suits your job requirements. The only factors you need to look into now are the added features, price, and warranty.

Remember, each person and the user have their own tool needs; hence, it will be challenging to say that one brand is better than the other.  Finding the best tool will always depend on the desires and prerequisites of a customer.

Which is more expensive between Milwaukee and DeWalt?

Milwaukee power drill kits tend to cost more than DEWALTs. Although both tools provide almost the same power, speed, and torque, you will find Milwaukee’s five-year warranty much more enticing than DEWALT’s three years.

You will never find a more substantial warranty than what Milwaukee offers, including free replacement or repair of the tool due to manufacturer defects.

Why should I choose a brushless tool?

Buying a power tool like a cordless drill is not simple. There are various features you need to watch out for to find the best among the rest.

One of the most common features being looked for by consumers today is the brushless motor. You will find that this technology is worth every extra money that you will pay for the device. Additionally, it is way better than the old-fashioned brushed motors of earlier drill models.

Here are some of the advantages of getting a brushless tool:

  • It offers longer runtime and lifespan.
  • It creates less friction making your tool last longer.
  • It has a better cooling operation that prevents it from overheating.
  • Brushless motor provides more power.
  • It runs much quieter.
  • Easier and more comfortable to use.


Before choosing one from these two products, always think about your purpose of buying the tool. Aside from the size, weight, and battery of a device, you must also look into the safety and price to ensure that you are getting the best product for you.

Both products offer enough power and speed for you to accomplish simple to hard jobs. However, Milwaukee generally offers better warranty coverage, while DEWALT provides extra features that you do not find in other tools.

But whichever you may choose to keep in your toolbox, you are guaranteed that you are getting a high-quality and durable product either from Milwaukee or DEWALT.

In more ways than one, the Dewalt DCD791D2 outperforms the Milwaukee 2702-20. If you are the average home improvement enthusiast or DIYer, the former would be a good fit for you. It offers more value for your money because of the many things you can do with the tool.

However, the hammer drill feature of the Milwaukee 2702-20 can prove to be more valuable to professionals in the long run. In situations like this, the best way to know which one to get is to go back to the root cause of why you need a powerful cordless drill in the first place.