Table of Contents
- Makita Vs. Dewalt Vs. Milwaukee Drill Buying Guide
- Review of the Top-Rated DeWalt, Makita, and Milwaukee Drills
- DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, Brushless, 1/2-Inch (DCD791D2)
- DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool (DCK240C2)
- Makita XT269M 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 2-Pc. Combo Kit (4.0Ah)
- Makita CT225R 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Compact Cordless 2-Pc. Combo Kit (2.0Ah)
- Milwaukee 2801-22CT M18 18-Volt Cordless Compact 1/2 Inch Drill/Driver Kit
- Milwaukee 2691-22 18-Volt Compact Drill and Impact Driver Combo Kit
- Final Word
Power Drills are widely known as some of the most useful tools that we need to keep at hand for quick home improvement applications. Drilling, driving screws on drywalls, fastening, sanding rough surfaces, tightening or removing bolts, fixing the fence, or changing a tire are just some of the many jobs that drills can perform.
However, let’s talk about brands here. Once you’ve decided to purchase a new power drill, you’d be hesitant between brands and you’d like to know which are the advantages each of them presents.
In this article, we have set a versus match in our buying guide among three outstanding brands that have been excelling in manufacturing power drills for many years: Makita, Dewalt, and Milwaukee.
Makita Vs. Dewalt Vs. Milwaukee Drill Buying Guide
First and foremost, we should be aware that there is a “drill for any occasion” and not all types of power drills are suitable for all jobs. For example, whilst a common drill can help you perform small chores around the house, a hammer drill will also give you the extra hammer power to perform heavier tasks such as working with masonry and thick surfaces. Impact drivers and wrenchers are a favorite tool of mechanics and industrial workers, as they effortlessly remove lug nuts, screws, bolts from vehicles, and other equipment, drill drivers are considered as power drills of higher torque force.
Once you’ve defined which is the type of power drill that will accommodate your needs, we can start reviewing brands!
Makita: Makita Corporation is a Japanese company, expert by many years in the manufacturing of power tools and electronics. It was founded in 1915. The quality of its power tools, especially drills have been compared to Dewalt’s, although Makita’s products can be considerably more expensive than Dewalt ones, plus some customers have pointed out that the battery packs of Makita are not as durable as the ones that Dewalt produces.
Makita builds all kinds of cordless, battery-operated drills, with brushed or brushless motors that use low amounts of voltage to operate and that is capable of delivering good amounts of torque despite the compact size and lightweight of their tools. Makita has a presence in over 40 countries, the US, Canada, Mexico, and the UK included.
Dewalt: Dewalt is an American Industrial tool company that was founded in 1922; their engineering department has expertise in manufacturing tools for construction and woodworking industries. They even produce their own safety gear for their consumers. Needless to say, Dewalt has been perfecting itself by creating lightweight, portable, cordless (or electrically powered) tools for the average home user. This brand is a subsidiary of the worldwide known Stanley Black & Decker.
Lamentably, some consumers believe that the high quality in product development that they used to have in the ’90s and early 2000s has decreased considerably after the company wanting to cut costs and use cheaper materials in their line of home tools.
Milwaukee: Milwaukee is yet another veteran American company that has been operating since 1924, producing a surprising variety of tools that go from small hand tools to plumbing devices, carpentry power tools, and industrial instruments.
Although most customers rate Milwaukee as a quality brand, their prices can be higher than the competition. For example, in some drill combo kits, the price of the tools can raise up to 20% more than Makita’s or Dewalt’s.
Although born American, nowadays Milwaukee is a subsidiary brand of the Japanese Techtronic Industries, along with other prominent brands such as Ryobi.
Review of the Top-Rated DeWalt, Makita, and Milwaukee Drills
In this article, our editors have picked 6 prominent products (combo sets), 2 of each brand, to be reviewed in depth.
Type, color, material: Dewalt presents the 20V MAX cordless drill, a powerful drill of brushless motor that delivers up to 50% more runtime than other brushed drills. Built with steel and plastic components, it comes in yellow and black colors (Dewalt’s corporate colors), and its ergonomic grip handle allows you to comfortably maintain control of the tool for sanding, drilling, fastening jobs.
Power source, voltage: This cordless drill needs only 20 volts to operate, it works with two XR lithium-ion batteries with a fuel gauge that can be placed inside its battery pack (charger). The charger can be connected to a standard AC outlet of 120V, although it is recommendable to not charge this battery back in very hot temperatures as its lifespan may shorten, the ideal charging temperature is between 65 and 75 F (18 °/ 24 °C).
Dimensions, Weight, and Speed: Dewalt’s 20V Max cordless drill measures 16.22 x 4.5 x 10.1 inches, it weighs barely 3.5 pounds, it is a compact, lightweight tool that helps you perform jobs around limited spaces, you can control its two-speed transmission that can go from 550 RPM to 2000 RPM.
Chuck size, torque: This Dewalt Cordless Drill is capable of 620 Inches/Pounds of torque, it has a 13 Millimeters keyless chuck. Turn the collar to match the desired torque/speed for the desired job.
Safety: Never work with a drill without eye and ear protection. Dewalt advises their customers to get protective gear before operating their power tools. Everyday glasses are not safety glasses. Also, use a face mask if the cutting, drilling operation is dusty to prevent respiratory diseases.
Other Features: This model presents the advantage of including a 3 mode LED spotlight, also, this feature allows 20 minutes of continuous light for applications in dark or confined spaces. This kit includes the bare tool, two lithium batteries, a charger, and a hard Dewalt case that comes in handy to transport your drill everywhere.
Type, color, material: Here we get a very useful combo kit by Dewalt: It includes one 20VMax Lithium Ion Driver Drill (DCD771) and one 1/4-inches Impact Driver (DCF885). Both tools are lightweight and come with LED footlights to help you work in dark/poor illuminated environments. These power drills are made of steel, hard plastic with ergonomic easy-to-grip handles. They come in yellow and black bicolor.
Power source, voltage: This is a 20 Volt kit. The Drill Driver has a powerful motor that is capable of delivering 300 UWO (Units Watts Out). Both tools need two Lithium 1.3Ah Batteries, (Included) the combo kit includes two battery packs for each drill that help them standstill when not in use. The average charging time for 1.3 Ah Battery packs is 30 minutes, the packs come with a battery gauge for you to check the energy usage. The chargers can be connected to any standard AC outlet.
Dimensions, Weight, and Speed: This battery-powered drill/driver features a high-speed transmission with 2 speeds, 450 RPM to 1,500 RPM, (1.3 Amperes) for a wide range of drilling applications. The tool measures 1.9 x 6.5 inches and weighs 3.6 pounds. The Impact Driver’s maximum speed is 2800 Revolutions per Minute, it weighs 2.8 pounds and its length is 5.5 pounds.
Chuck size, torque: The Dewalt Cordless Drill Driver has a 1/2 inches single-sleeve keyless ratcheting chuck with a clutch of 16 positions for effective bit-gripping strength. The Cordless Impact Driver comes with a hex chuck that accepts 1 inch in bit tips and it is capable of an aggressive amount of 1400 Inches/Pounds of Torque. This impact driver allows you to perform heavy-duty jobs (3,200 Impacts per minute) in reduced spaces.
Safety: Important warning: Dewalt highly advises to not operate power tools in hazardous areas such as the presence of flammable liquids, gases, or dust. This is because electrically/battery-powered tools can create sparks that may ignite such substances causing an explosion. Also, keep your drills away from the reach of children and pets. Make sure you disconnect your chargers from the power grid and set the machines in an off position when not in use.
Other Features: This affordable kit includes two battery packs for 1.3Ah batteries, one battery, two bare tools, and a very useful contractor bag made of thick fabric.
Type, color, material: The renowned brand Makita sells this very convenient 18V combo kit that includes: Two cordless drills, the 18V LXT Brushless Impact Driver (XDT13Z), and the 18V LXT Hammer Drill (XPH12Z) that include efficient brushless motors that provide extra runtime to help you perform a wide array of drilling, driving and fastening jobs. Both tools are made of steel and plastic, they come in Makita’s blue and black colors.
Power source, voltage: This is an 18 Volt kit, which means that both the Impact driver and the Hammer Drill only need 18 Volts to operate. The kit includes an 18V lithium-Ion Rapid Optimum Charger with a LED battery charge (gauge) level indicator (DC18RC) that uses two lithium-Ion 4.0Ah Batteries (BL1840B) (included), and that can be completely charged in approximately 40 minutes. Make sure your battery pack is not exposed to temperatures over 40 °C -104°F, as such hot environments can affect the charger’s performance.
Dimensions, Weight, and Speed: Both tools come equipped with Makita’s exclusive BL Brushless motors that eliminate carbon brushes, enabling the tools to run efficiently for a longer lifespan. The 18V LXT Hammer Drill comes with a two-speed gearbox that can go from 500 to 2000 RPM. It weighs 4.2 pounds and is 8.54 inches wide. The 18V LXT Impact Driver has a speed of 3400 to 3600 RPM. It weighs 3.3 pounds. This tool measures 3.5 x 8.3 x 6.5 inches and has a wattage of 350.
Chuck size, torque: The 18V LXT Hammer Drill comes with a 1 /4 hex chuck, delivering 530 Inches/ Pounds of Torque. The 18V LXT Impact Driver’s powerful brushless motor can deliver a maximum of 1500 Inches / Pounds of Torque, it comes with a keyless 1/2 inches chuck.
Safety: Makita recommends using a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) if operating a power drill in a damp location is unavoidable, as GFCI outlets are a fast-acting circuit breaker designed to shut off power in the event of an electrical fault in fractions of a second.
Other Features: Both tools in this kit come with a bright powerful LED light that helps you work in poorly illuminated environments. Also, this combo kit includes a thick fabric Makita tool bag for you to carry your tools easily.
Type, color, material: Makita presents another useful drill set: The CT225R 18V LXT Compact Cordless 2 Pieces Combo Kit that includes an 18V LXT cordless 1/2 Driver-Drill (XFD10Z) and an 18V LXT Impact Driver (XDT11Z), this combo kit is part of Makita’s 18V Lithium-Ion line of power tools that are of affordable price, that can be rapidly charged and that help you with a wide array of fastening, drilling applications. They come in blue Makita color, both tools are made of steel and plastic components and include LED light.
Power source, voltage: Both the Impact Driver and the Hammer Drill only use 18 Volts to operate. The kit includes an 18V lithium-Ion Rapid Optimum Charger with a LED battery level indicator (DC18RC) that uses two 2 18V Compact Lithium-Ion 2.0Ah batteries (BL1820B) that are included in the kit.
Dimensions, Weight, and Speed: Despite the fact, these tools are brushed, they are fast. The LXT Driver-Drill comes with an inbuilt Makita 4 pole motor and 2 speeds (600 -1,900 RPM), The Driver-Drill is a compact tool that measures only 7.25 inches long and weighs 3.3 Pounds. The Impact Driver can run 2,900 RPM and deliver 3,500 IPM. This tool is only 5.37 inches long. Both drills are compact and portable.
Chuck size, torque: The 18V LXT Driver-Drill comes with a 1/2 keyless chuck, delivering 480 Inches/ Pounds of Torque. The 18V LXT Impact Driver can deliver a maximum of 1460 Inches / Pounds of Torque, it comes with a 1/4 inches chuck.
Safety: Makita recommends using only genuine lithium-ion Makita batteries in their battery packs, as imitations may lead to the performance of the tool being affected, also, there is possible fire damage to the tool that may be irreversible, overheat and melting of the components.
Other Features: This kit includes Makita’s Star Protection Computer Controls technology that helps with the tool’s performance and extends the battery life. Star Protection is a communication system that allows the tool and the battery to exchange data among them and in real-time. Preventing overloading, over-discharging, and overheating in your Makita tools. Also, this combo kit comes with a nice tool bag.
Type, color, material: The veteran Milwaukee also breaks in the cordless compact drills market, as they release their M18 18 Volt Brushless Cordless Compact Drill Driver (with its kit). This is a powerful brushless tool of great runtime that is battery operated, cordless, with LED light integrated. The Drill Driver is mainly made of steel with a plastic covering and it comes in Milwaukee’s corporate red and black colors.
Power source, voltage: The bare tool in this kit only uses 18 Volts to operate. The kit includes the Drill Driver, 2 M18 (Milwaukee exclusive) Redlithium CP 2.0 compact batteries, a compatible M18/M12 multi-voltage charger, and a plastic case.
Dimensions, Weight, and Speed: This very strong Drill Driver is compact, it measures 7.75 x 6.5 inches with a width of 2.31 inches and it weighs 3.4 pounds with its CP2.0 battery attached. It can run from 500 to 1800 RPM.
Chuck size, torque: The M18 18 Volt Brushless Cordless Compact Drill Driver comes with a 1 /2 inches chuck, delivering 500 Inches/ Pounds of Torque.
Safety: Milwaukee recommends to not force, abuse or hit the batteries included in this kit, as the liquid may be ejected from their interior under abusive conditions and the expelled acid may cause serious skin injuries.
Other Features: This state-of-the-art Drill Driver comes with Milwaukee’s Redlink power tool technology and Redlithium batteries, which help the drill to produce efficient power to complete long tasks as the batteries recharge faster than other brands.
Type, color, material: Here is another great combo kit by Milwaukee: The Milwaukee 18-Volt Compact Drill Driver (2606-20) and the 18 Volt Impact Driver, (2656-20) the kit includes 1 compact battery, charger, one belt clip, and a soft carrying case. Both tools are mainly composed of steel with plastic resistant parts, they feature LED light and they come in red and black color.
Power source, voltage: Both the Impact Driver and the Drill Driver are part of Milwaukee’s M18 technology and only use 18 Volts to operate. The kit includes a compatible M18/M12 multi-voltage charger with battery fuel gauges, 2 compact batteries CP1.5Ah lithium-ion (included), it can use any AC outlet or cord that supports 120V.
Dimensions, Weight, and Speed: The M18 Drill Driver weighs 4 pounds, measures 7.75 inches long, and can run up to 400 RPM. The M18 Impact Driver runs at 2,750 RPM and delivers a great amount of 3,450 IPM (Impacts per minute). It is 5.50 inches long and weighs 3.1 pounds.
Chuck size, torque: The M18 Drill Driver comes with a 1/2 keyless chuck, delivering 400 Inches/ Pounds of Torque. The M18 Impact Driver can deliver a maximum of 1500 Inches / Pounds of Torque, it comes with a 1/4 hex inches chuck. (Quick change).
Safety: Milwaukee recommends using hearing protection when operating their tools, as using loud drilling tools of high power for prolonged times without earplugs may lead to some hearing loss that may be irreversible later on.
Other Features: Milwaukee is proud to disclose that a good alternative to brushless motor in power drills is their Milwaukee 4-pole frameless motor that gives a great runtime to the tools and doesn’t make them extremely expensive. This kit also includes a very fancy contractors’ bag that helps you carry your tools everywhere.
Dewalt manufactures a wide variety of tools and many of them have compatible battery packs among them. Their prices are fair and they offer 3 years of warranty on bare tools and combo kits. The disadvantages in some of their home line power tool models have to do with the quality of certain parts that some customers have pointed out online, that they wear out fast and are not as strong as their industrial tools.
However, for the careful consumer, Dewalt tools seem to last for years.
Makita is state of the art in creating motors for their power drills, as Makita started originally as an electronics manufacturer. Their prices are considerably high, at least compared to some combo kits offered by Dewalt, but the long-lasting of their brushed and brushless motors may be worth it.
However, some customers have complained online about Makita’s battery packs and controllers being more complex and frailer than other brands. Keep in mind Makita is more electronic than industrial.
Milwaukee is a company that has been devoted to creating hand and power tools for the homeowner for decades. Milwaukee’s drills are usually strong and heavier, as they use more steel than plastic in their tools. The amounts of torque in their brushed drills are acceptable, but their brushless tools are quite strong. Ideal for mechanic use, or heavy-duty jobs around your home.
However, their warranties are usually limited to one year, and even the tools that have extended warranties, are limited to certain parts. Some customers complain about the high prices of Milwaukee tools and they assure that the brand, as great as it is, relies mostly on the long-standing good reputation they have maintained for years to charge more for their tools and not because of the quality level of the brand is that different from other competitive brands, such as Dewalt or Makita.
We reviewed three veteran brands that are very equal in terms of the products they offer: Makita, Dewalt, and Milwaukee.
The three of them have many similarities: They’ve improved the manufacture of power drills, by releasing exclusive lithium brand batteries for their portable drills, battery packs, LED lights, and energy indicators. The voltage used by their cordless drills is also quite similar (between 18-20 volts) and the amount of RPM, torque and IMP is also somewhat similar but variable among the different drill models of the three brands.
Reviewing the specs of the kind of drill you are after, (Impact/Wrench/Driver) different models, different brands, reading other customer’s reviews online, (the good and the bad ones) will give you a better idea of which brand is the one that is doing it better, for that specific kind of tool (s).
The winner of this interesting match, Milwaukee vs Makita vs Dewalt; ultimately, will be decided by you.