Milwaukee M18 vs Dewalt 20V

So my wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I want to start anew with my cordless power tools. My current set is a Crapsman set I inherited from my dad who decided they were also crap. I’ve mostly narrowed it down to the Milwaukee M18 brand and the Dewalt 20V* brand after deciding I don’t want to take out a loan and sell my left arm to purchase Fein tools (I’ll consider Makita and Ryobi, but not seriously).

Since every team is going to have a drill and probably drivers, I thought I’d ask on here what your thoughts were. I’m impressed with the new Dewalt Flex Voltage system (If you’re not familiar, they can either series or parallel 60V* and 20V* packs to work with 60V* or 20V* tools…and apparently to get away with shipping by air). Milwaukee has always been a respected tool among contractors and their M18 Fuel stuff looks pretty decent. However, from what I can tell, for the most part, both lines are more or less the same.

    • Dewalt’s marketing team decided 18V rounds up to 20V. Both the M18 and 20Vmax battery packs use the same number 18650 cells.

I haven’t used DeWalt or Milwaukee cordless tools(yet), but I have used some Black and Decker, who owns DeWalt. The only difference between Black and Decker and DeWalt 20V batteries is that the connectors have different amounts of plastic; just enough to make them incompatible. I have had good experiences with Black and Decker tools, so DeWalt should be good as well, since it seems more geared towards professional use. Milwaukee tools are made by Techtronic Industries, who also manufactures tools for Ryobi. I think it really depends on your needs and use of these tools. Ryobi is designed more for occasional light duty use, while Milwaukee and DeWalt are more contractor-grade. I know Makita is also popular with contractors, and they seem to be good tools. We(900) use Makita 18V LXT. They feel solid and well-made. Both Makita and Milwaukee have a wide variety of tools with interchangeable batteries, with Makita having more specialty tools. Just see what you need now and what you think you’ll need in the future, and which brand has more of it.

I haven’t used the Dewalt 20V, but I can tell you that the M18 fuel drills/impact drivers we have are fantastic.

We use the m18 series of impact drivers and drills exclusively. Have 4 of them and they survive crazy abuse. Highly recommended.

While I love our m18 tools I’d seriously recommend checking out Milwaukee’s m12 line.I’ve found that most of the time the trade off of having a little less power is worth the lighter weight and compact size. They also offer brushless FUEL M12 if you need additional power.

You might want to go back and consider the Makita 18v cordless tool family. I have some that I’ve abused the daylights out of. The contractor that did some renovations around here uses nothing but. I’m impressed with the battery life.

Plus (as noted above) they have a pretty wide variety of specilized tools that you may find useful.

I’d link a video here, but probably shouldn’t. Just Google “BOLTR: THE BEST TOOL MAKITA EVER MADE!”, but be warned, a lot of foul language, but the guy’s hilarious.

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This. He also has similar videos of other tools and whatnot.

Personally I own Makita 18v and like them. Much lighter than Millwalkee. But at school we use M18 and M12 the 12s are nice because they are so small you can get them in places . Both are tough tools and should last a long time.

I can say with full confidence that the M18 dolls are the best dolls I’ve ever used :slight_smile:

Idk man those American girl dolls can take a beating.

Our team uses Dewalt 20V, and we have absolutely no complaints after about three years; even though our use is sporadic, we haven’t had any batteries die or get “short life” syndrome.

I don’t have as much personal experience with Milwaukee, but what I do have was good, and I see that these are the cordless tools of choice of a variety of construction contractors, most particularly among those who use the reciprocating and/or band saws.

If there’s any reason of convenience to pick one over the other (you can borrow/loan batteries with someone else), go with that. I don’t think you’ll go wrong with either.

I got my first Milwaukee M18 ( drill & Hackzall ) kit three years ago. My Makita 12v drill, stick type battery, was forced to retirement after 15+ years, due to lack of batteries. I got it used, fixed the charger. I was looking for the Makita battery, found the Milwaukee kit on after Christmas sale…

Milwaukee, Makita, Dewalt, you can’t go wrong with any of them. Make note of what the contractors, and construction guys use.

At work (27+years ) we had a dozen guys using the cordless tools 24/7. One of the first ones was Porter Cable 12v drill “Magnaquench”. It was quiet, Ran for years, the chuck finally gave up. It did seem like the Craftsman batteries (nicad) didn’t hold up long.

Another thing to look at is what brand hire companies have. The majority of tool hire companies in Australia have Makita( trade/professional line) and Bosch Blue( again the trade/professional) for both their corded and cordless hire tools.

We use Milwaukee M12( good for smaller hands and travelling with) and M18 with both Brushed and Brushless.

If the tools aren’t going to be used a huge amount it could be worth looking at some of the other Tektronix “brands” such as Ryobi and AEG. In the 12V tools anyway AEG brushed is very similar to Milwaukee brushed while being significantly cheaper and more compact.
The batteries of AEG, Ryobi and Milwaukee all contain the same type of 18650 cells.

Our team uses the Dewalt 20 series.
We have had no issue with them… we also use the Dewalt 12 volt lithium series and in 2015 we had to assemble on the field and the Dewalt 12 volt screwdrivers worked really well to speed that up.

We used to use the old Nicad Dewalt 18 volt tools and before that the 14.4 volt Dewalts.
Whatever you do, you need to choose something and then stick with it. Having a number of different systems around only makes it confusing.

Something else that Dewalt has is an adapter to use their 20 volt batteries on the older 18 volt drills.

I have used the M12 Milwaukee system in my prop making workshop at home. For many things it works really well… extended run times or heavy work with thick aluminum is a little problematic but for foam, styrene and resin the tools work quite well ( In my other home shop, I use the Dewalt 20 volt system)

I like the versatility of the tools available for the Dewalt 20 volt system
We have angle drills, a 4" angle grinder, a VERY nice jig saw and a variety of lights and things that are very useful in the pit or on the field. They even make a USB charger unit that you use one of the 20 volt batteries for.

We have never had an issue with any Dewalts… and we, like many other teams before VEX and AM, used Dewalt transmissions for a variety of applications on our robots for competition.

I would suggest 2 drills, an angle drill, a jig saw as a start…
I also have a very nice circular saw, and “multi-tool” but that isn’t really necessary for robotics work.