Jump to content
fm2176

Why Milwaukee? Why Not?

Recommended Posts

In a similar vein to the DeWalt thread, I figured I'd ask the same questions here.  What drove you to decide for or against Milwaukee when making that initial tool purchase?

 

I only spent a little over a year forgoing Milwaukee deals after deciding that the Yellow "20v" tools were what I'd replace my obsolete cordless system with.  To be honest, I'd already been partially brainwashed by the regular content on here and other sites.  I knew that I couldn't really afford multiple systems, before becoming a Drill Sergeant left me with no hobby other than looking for deals on my rare time off (and with more disposable income than I normally had due to the long work hours and lack of social activities).  With my willpower weakened, and after wanting a rotary hammer for months (passing up a corded Yellow model for 50% off a month or two earlier), I waltzed into my local HD and saw a clearance table.  On it lay a 2713-20 Fuel rotary hammer for 75% off, with a 5.0Ah starter kit for 50% off next to it.  I passed it, went back, walked away, and went back again, buying both for around $130 plus tax.  That was all it took, and though I've (mostly) refrained from buying multiples of tools in different brands, I now own more than a few Red tools that clash nicely against all the Yellow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Milwaukee was the first brand I bought into because Fuel was so dominant compared to what others offered. Now it represents probably 40% of what I have for tools between M12 and M18. It’s mostly good stuff but you have to pay attention and not buy into the hype of the impressive Milwaukee marketing machine. 

 

After thinking about this more posting in your Dewalt thread I thought I’d expand on this more:

 

I initially found Milwaukee’s rapid pace of bringing things to market extremely appealing. Their system was growing as my tool collection and needs were. They were putting out tons of cool stuff. It wasn’t until their 10” slide mitre was a dud and the Gen 1 blower got replaced in a year that I really saw the cracks in “disruptive innovation”. Now I stick to what they’re good at; hackzall/Sawzall, a bunch of automotive goodies like ratchets and impact wrenches, lights, a fuel hammer drill (love that thing for its power:size ratio; I have some big Dewalts for real punishing work but I’d certainly get the new 2804 for a daily driver that has beast power in a compact form). I also like their oddball tools; stapler, inflater, etc. The Fuel cutout tool and drywall gun are awesome, I bought them and much prefer them to the 20v Max versions we use at work. The rubber overmold on their batteries is a great feature. No one does 12v better than red. 

 

When you look at other classes of tools; OPE I’d say Makita has them beat. Most saws Dewalt has them beat. Grinders are something everyone does well these days. I think for automotive/shop stuff Milwaukee is the clear winner. HVAC/ plumbing/ electrical Milwaukee is the clear winner (though others are encroaching on their territory). Their recent push at NPS into more saws looks promising;

 

7.25 circ saw looks like it has gobs of power if you want to stay with blade left.

 

Table saw is a great value compared to my FlexVolt version; preorder kit gets you 2x 12.0 compared to the 1x6.0 flex kit, while the saw has two mitre slots, accepts a dado stack and can be locked out. I’ve wondered how much I could sell my saw for but I might wait to see if yellow makes a 10” 120v Max. 

 

Chainsaw looks like an improvement to the FlexVolt just based on the fact that it has metal bucking spikes. The flex also likes to go through bar oil at a ridiculous pace from what I’ve seen.

 

If you make sure you’re getting a deal with free bare tool or bonus battery Milwaukee is great value. Even their little 7.25 mitre has piqued my interest. I was cold on red for quite some time but I’m coming back around for sure.

 

Bonus info; when I first looked into drills before I had any clue about good power tools the first video, and deciding video, between “do I want Makita or Milwaukee?” was a video Eric and Dan did with the Fuel 2604 vs a Makita and the Makita getting smoked lol. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dad's company had been dewalt back in the 18v xrp days and they were pretty good.  We seemed to have a lot of little trigger issues over the years though so when we started switching over to 20v and had a trigger go in a 20v grinder we decided to jump ship.  This was at a time when m18 fuel was new and as Bremon said they were pretty impressive.  In the meantime we've continued to grow both the m18 and 20v lines.  While I do like the milwaukee tools better as I feel they cater to my work a little better we really haven't had many issues with the 20v tools.  I also think dewalt has stepped up their game in the last couple years and until nps2018 I had actually been more intrigued by dewalt recently.  One thing I have found after running a couple tool platforms is that they're all going to have some issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had some bad experiences with a number of NiCd powered drills over the years.  Heck, who hasn't.  Anyway, when my XRP finally bit the dust (clutch collar got stuck about half way and wouldn't spin to drill mode anymore) I got fed up and decided I needed something better.  I was tired of having my tools not work when I needed them and I bit the bullet and started shopping for big boy tools instead of home owner grade stuff.

 

The one thing that pushed me to Milwaukee was the 5 year warranty.  I've used the eWarranty service a number of times and it is, hands down, the best repair experience of any company (tools or otherwise) that I've ever had.

 

Now, I'm branching out for specialty tools that Milwaukee just doesn't want to come out with in a timely fashion, but the bulk of my cordless power tools are red.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a mish-mash of tool brands and was regularly helping a friend build fences. I decided it was time to go all cordless and try to stay all in one brand to only have 1 battery platform. I chose Milwaukee, although I’ve invested in 12 and 18v, so I do still have 2 different batteries, but being that they share a charger makes that not such a big deal. I chose Milwaukee for a few reasons (some of them much more petty than others):

1) none of my friends had it and I like being different.

2) good friend I trust was highly recommending them and was also looking in to the line, but was so heavily invested in DeWalt I don’t think he’s ever switched.

3) i like red

4) in-laws are from Wisconsin

5) watch TONS of videos and read TONS of on-line reviews and Milwaukee consistently was one of the top rated in whatever category.

6) Milwaukee commitment to sticking with 12v and 18v and not abandoning those lines for higher voltage etc.

7) the innovative ideas; not always first to market, but best in market when they arrive.

8. I can find the deals at Home Depot, but then tell Home Depot, no I’m going to buy them online. I really hate Home Depot and look for any opportunity to try and anger them. 

9) now I just feel like I need to get to 10 reasons

10) warranty and customer service had great reputation (and have proven said reputation to me on several occasions)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6 is semantics, 7 is objectively false, and 10 really depends on your location but overall some agreeable points there lol. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Growing up my dad was a plumber, so I was raised with Milwaukee right angle drills and sawzalls. So when I began buying tools it was mostly brand recognition as it was what I was most familiar with.  My cordless stuff is all Milwaukee except for a Fein OMT, chops saws are dewalt, table saw is Jet and then I have some festool. Routers are mainly porter cable and one ridgid.  I basically have a health mix of brands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got into m12 mainly for the stapler. It was a tool that impressed me at nps17. I felt for a battery stapler it was quite compact and seemed like it would be very handy. It may have some flaws but overall it is a good tool. Also at $150 for the kit, I felt it was a great deal unlike m18 which along with Makita seems to have a premium price vs some other pro brands. I also was gifted an m12 coat which is good. I picked it over my primary battery platform (DeWALT) because I felt like the m12 battery would be slightly more comfortable than the 20v packs, it had pocket warmers which are what I primarily use, and at the time of purchase it had a free battery deal. If I were to decide to get more 12v stuff I would probably stick with m12. I don't have plans to get into the line any further but I have toyed with the idea. I don't mind multiple battery platforms but I would like to keep it to a minimum. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My brother lives by Milwaukee Tools. I have had problems with M18 tools in the past on several occasions. Their warranty is fantastic though. After much hmmmming and hawwwwing I bought the transfer pump, the m18 miter two 9.0s and a an impact wrench. Special tools for specific reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My experience with Milwaukee so far has been positive.  The only issue I had was with my 2763 Fuel impact wrench.  The trigger started acting up shortly after I bought it, making a fizzing sound (is if something was shorting out) whenever I tried staging the trigger, with the tool giving an error code.  I contacted the warranty department, printed the return label, and promptly put the impact in my truck...where it sat for three months before I sent it back.  In about a week I had my repaired impact back, which has worked fine since.  

 

14 minutes ago, ChrisK said:

Special tools for specific reasons.

 

I think in kind of the same way.  Until my last couple of purchases, all of my cordless Milwaukee tools were higher demand Fuel models (except for lights) which filled holes I had in the Yellow line.  A rotary hammer, circular saw, Sawzall, and impact wrenches were it, until boredom got the best of me and I picked up a bare tool One Key impact driver.  A couple of weeks ago I picked up two of the non-Fuel brushless compact drills for $54 each, primarily for the compact batteries, though they also allow me to have a dedicated Milwaukee tool box with basic cutting and driving tools.  Until the recent acquisition of the 2.0Ah batteries, all I had were five 5.0Ah and two 9.0Ah batteries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 18g nailer is the only Milwaukee tool that wasn't very good (that I've had, obviously). The m18 gen2 Fuel hammer drill's chuck sucks but I HATE Dewalt's three speed transmission, it gets stuck and you have to blip the trigger to free it to change gears. Probably less annoying than the chuck issue but it effects more drills.

 

The m18 gen 1 jigsaw doesn't have the bells and whistles but it is plenty powerful. IMO, the lighting alone is worth getting into Milwaukee's platform. They're industry leading in impact wrenches, I'm not sure why Dewalt hasn't done a Flexvolt impact wrench line to compete...if they released that last year, Milwaukee would have fallen behind and they'd get in more shops than Gas Monkey (Obviously a paid deal starting last season).

 

I've sold a few Milwaukee tools but I always use the money to buy more. The only real hole in their lineup is ultra compact, they're trying to remedy that but I'd be happy with REALLY small drill/driver and screwdriver with the power of the brushed M12 or even a little less but with two speeds(and at least as fast as the m12 brushed).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been buying Milwaukee tools for roughly five years, however, I am also not naïve enough to think that they make the best in every tool category. I think they make solid tools overall, but there are still improvements that need to be made, in my opinion. Depending on trade, I would encourage someone to really look at what they are going to be using the tools for. If you are a woodbutcher, I would probably do with DeWalt. MEP, probably Milwaukee.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Growing up just 10 min from Black and deckers headquarters and service center everybody had their tools. As I got older and started to get into the DeWalt line but after years of watching others release new tools and DeWalt lagging behind I made the switch to Milwaukee and have never looked back. I still have some DeWalt tools but for the most part Milwaukee is my go to line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When buying into cordless and looking outside Dewalt for the first time, Milwaukee was naturally very high on the list of alternatives to consider. Two things threw me off compared to Makita, who I eventually went with: ambivalence about where their 18V platform is heading and not as many tools for my specific needs. The concern about 18V is probably not that big a deal but I wasn’t as sure of that a year ago. The matter of tools offered though is just what it is. What I do happens to revolve around precision woodwork and Makita happens to have more.

 

I actually am more likely than not to pick up a couple m12 items. The soldering iron in particular, and if I’m doing that I may as well get Milwaukee’s “shameless Dremel knockoff” along the way. Both look pretty good and literally the only thing that has stopped me from getting them is HD’s online site not allowing me to order both at the same time. It seems really unlikely Makita will release such items since they appear to be largely abandoning their pod-style 12V tools.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ToolBane said:

When buying into cordless and looking outside Dewalt for the first time, Milwaukee was naturally very high on the list of alternatives to consider. Two things threw me off compared to Makita, who I eventually went with: ambivalence about where their 18V platform is heading and not as many tools for my specific needs. The concern about 18V is probably not that big a deal but I wasn’t as sure of that a year ago. The matter of tools offered though is just what it is. What I do happens to revolve around precision woodwork and Makita happens to have more.

 

I actually am more likely than not to pick up a couple m12 items. The soldering iron in particular, and if I’m doing that I may as well get Milwaukee’s “shameless Dremel knockoff” along the way. Both look pretty good and literally the only thing that has stopped me from getting them is HD’s online site not allowing me to order both at the same time. It seems really unlikely Makita will release such items since they appear to be largely abandoning their pod-style 12V tools.

Concur. Most of my woodworking tools are all Makita or DeWalt. I see that Milwaukee is getting more involved in this trade, but I probably will wait until second generations come out. In terms of 12V... I don't think that there is a real comparison on the market right now. Milwaukee, in my opinion, is head and shoulders above the competition. However, with Makita's 18V subcompact line, you could just stick to one lineup and have various sizes, etc.

 

FB82

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Their 12v system. I was looking for a 12v drill/impact combo, and the Milwaukee brushed stood out. Not the absolute top (Ridgid has higher specs), but close. And definitely felt better in my hand than the Ridgid.

I had actually initially gotten the Makita CXT Brushed set, but returned it after a day. Power was fine and i liked the aesthetics, but the batteries rattled a bit, the drill couldn't hold a bit as tight (and is plastic vs Milwaukee's metal), and the impact driver could only hold 1/4 hex bits with a short shank indentation, making like half my bits useless for that purpose.

 

That HD had a nice kit on sale sealed the deal. M12 Drill and Impact driver, charger, nylon case, 2 2.0AH batteries, and a 'free' 6.0 AH battery, for about $130 out the door. Not bad at all. I love the size, but am definitely getting jealous of the Gen2 Fuel kit. Microscopic in comparison,

I've since bought an M12 Fuel Hackzall and an offbrand 4.0AH battery from eBay for about $115 or so, and am loving it.

Drywall, dismantling pallets and chopping up old furniture for ease of moving to the curb, basic demo, cutting down small trees, you name it. With the proper blade, that thing is like an extension of your arm. Powers through anything, and feels natural doing it.

 

Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unlike the days before cordless consumers were free to invest in any brand that suited them, my dad had Bosch drill, Skil brand circular saw, some beautiful older Porter Cable routers etc... With corded tools there was no need to subscribe to "brand loyalty, they all had the same plug!  The onset of cordless technology brought the need to chose a battery "platform" and even though I owned a few different cordless tools, (Porter Cable, Craftsmen, Dewalt) they were all old and quickly going to be obsolete.  So when I had a big project on the horizon I knew I wanted to make an informed decision about where I was about to pour a bunch of my hard earned cash and not make a mistake by buying the first product I find a good deal on, I knew I was going to be wanting to make a long term investment and not impulse buy. So with my project looming a few months in the future I decided to invest in a single battery platform I looked closely at Red (Milwaukee), Yellow (Dewalt), Teal (Makita) and Blue(Bosch) mainly.  What I found was they are all great tools each with there own strengths and weaknesses. Blatant deceptive advertising turned me off of Yellow, the limited variety steered me away from Blue and I was down to either Red or Teal.  Ultimately I went all in on Milwaukee and have been exceedingly pleased with that decision.  Again I want to say that while I spend most of my money on Red tools I completely recognize that all the others make great products as well.  I just couldn't afford to buy into multiple battery systems so out of fiscal limitations I forced myself to chose and like I said I am very pleased, I have no regrets. As a DIYer I don't put my tools through the level of rigors many professionals do but I do use them and I don't baby them either I expect to get the most out of my tool and my investment.  I own more than fifteen M18 and six M12 tools so far (three years in) with many more on my list.

I will be investing in the Packout mobile tool storage and transport system next (currently using the Stanley Mobile Workstation though I have reached it's limits but it has served me well).

I want Milwaukee to get crackin' and build an M18 Framing Nailer I can't wait much longer! 

I am purchasing the new Skilsaw SPT99-12 Jobsite table saw and wheeled cart next, man that thing is awesome!

I just recently purchased the Ridgid 12" sliding compound miter saw (Model R4221) which offers 70 degree angle to both sides and I got the Ridgid gravity wheeled stand to go with it and both have performed beautifully since arrival.

When it comes to cordless platforms I am completely satisfied with Milwaukee and will continue to invest in there awesome tools.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you feel about the new “not necessary but basically necessary” High Output batteries that the new tools require if you want to make more than 2 rips without overheating them?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Bremon said:

How do you feel about the new “not necessary but basically necessary” High Output batteries that the new tools require if you want to make more than 2 rips without overheating them?

 

All marketing hype aside, I don't know what options a company has on this front.   Either you make a "new" battery platform, making the batteries but not the tools backwards compatible, like FlexVolt and the new M18 or you double up on batteries like Makita.  Either way, people are going to be unhappy about having to buy new / more batteries.

 

The bottom line is that more powerful tools require more power and it's got to come from somewhere.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, khariV said:

 

All marketing hype aside, I don't know what options a company has on this front.   Either you make a "new" battery platform, making the batteries but not the tools backwards compatible, like FlexVolt and the new M18 or you double up on batteries like Makita.  Either way, people are going to be unhappy about having to buy new / more batteries.

 

The bottom line is that more powerful tools require more power and it's got to come from somewhere.

 

 

 

Agreed. And one company owned it, and one company hasn’t really. Makita’s solution is easily the most elegant; the most cells, plenty of power, and the fastest charge times. 

 

Milwaukee’s marketing is dedicated to 18v despite better options available. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure there are "better options" available, only different ones.  I love the fact that after running a Milwaukee M18 table saw at the end of the day if my 12ah battery dies but I need to make a few more cuts with it I can slide my 5ah M18 into it and get it done, sure it wont last to long but if you just need a few more cuts it'll get it done.  Its not like people routinely put a 9ah M18 into their 16ga finish nailer. So since the inception of cordless battery powered tools there have been sensible choices in size/Amp Hour battery's for a given tool, Milwaukee's commitment to retaining the same voltage yet still offer industry leading performance was in my opinion a very good one. They skipped 20700 all together and went straight to 21700, which at the moment is the pinnacle of Lithium Ion battery technology.  Besides they're making a ton of money from every other tool company that employs LI battery tech since they own the patent on them all.  This is one of the reasons many companies are moving to higher voltage units I believe to avoid the patent cash outflow to Milwaukee for using their battery patent, not because it is necessarily a better option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Hitachi will possibly have the best approach with Multivolt. They've got so many options with this platform.

 

They have bigger cells so they can draw high amp at 18V like Milwaukee, or they can use the same battery and go 36V. They can also double up batteries like Makita and go 72V. Plus, they have the fastest charger of all the brands (38 minutes for 6ah).

 

The MV pack is 10 cell so it's not a behemoth like the M18 12ah and Flexvolts, so you would definitely use them on drills and impacts.

 

Runtime could be the trade-off for Hitachi, but I'd rather change batteries more often than have extra size and weight with 15 cells or 2 packs on the tool. 

 

I still think all brands should have just released new high voltage battery platforms. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, OldDominionDIYer said:

I love the fact that after running a Milwaukee M18 table saw at the end of the day if my 12ah battery dies but I need to make a few more cuts with it I can slide my 5ah M18 into it and get it done, sure it wont last to long but if you just need a few more cuts it'll get it done. 

 

Its not like people routinely put a 9ah M18 into their 16ga finish nailer.

 

They skipped 20700 all together and went straight to 21700, which at the moment is the pinnacle of Lithium Ion battery technology.

From the looks of things you’ll be able to get two (2, yes, 2) rips out of it before your 5.0 overheats. 

 

It’s not like that many people enjoy using Fuel nail guns in the first place.

 

They also had to wait another 1-2 years lagging behind with 18650 to make that jump, and they don’t seem poised to hold the battery crown for long.

 

My opinion is still that Makita has the most customer friendly platform; all the same batteries, and the fastest charging, the big toys just need two batteries instead of one. 45 minutes for 5.0 and you’re off again. Meanwhile it takes a Dewalt 9.0 an hour and a half to charge, maybe more), and the Milwaukee 12.0 more than two hours on the rapid charger (until the rapider charger comes out half a year from now).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah there are certainly pitfalls to going cordless, and over the next several years it will be interesting to see how it all settles out.  The switch from NICAD to LI was swift but how companies will go about creating a competitive system within the LI platform remains to be seen.  I think Dewalt's Flex volt is great I'm not sure the x2 battery plan will be all that good since batteries are only getting bigger and heavier and with that you have to double up!  Milwaukee's plan to exploit the amperage from these new batteries is different than going the higher voltage route but they think it can work for them, again we'll see. I personally haven't used any of their new batteries or latest generation high output tools yet so I can't personally speak to their performance and you really can't trust the company sponsored shows.  I will be interested in seeing some independent tests to find out how well they actually perform against the other leading competitors. My guess is they will be right up there with the best of them.  BTW my 15 gauge finish nailer works flawlessly, never had a jam, always sinks the nail, goes all day on a 2.0Ah battery so I'm not sure I could ask for anything more, I am not a professional so I'm sure I'm not pushing it to it's limits but I have done and continue to work on a church renovation and it's been a pleasure to use, perhaps I'm just lucky!  Man I do wish Milwaukee would bring out a framing nailer.  I've heard their pneumatic ones are not that great, so maybe they are trying to figure out a better solution.  I really want a cordless (battery powered) Framing nailer, I may just go in on the 2 speed Dewalt, it has good reviews.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Bremon said:

From the looks of things you’ll be able to get two (2, yes, 2) rips out of it before your 5.0 overheats. 

 

It’s not like that many people enjoy using Fuel nail guns in the first place.

 

They also had to wait another 1-2 years lagging behind with 18650 to make that jump, and they don’t seem poised to hold the battery crown for long.

 

My opinion is still that Makita has the most customer friendly platform; all the same batteries, and the fastest charging, the big toys just need two batteries instead of one. 45 minutes for 5.0 and you’re off again. Meanwhile it takes a Dewalt 9.0 an hour and a half to charge, maybe more), and the Milwaukee 12.0 more than two hours on the rapid charger (until the rapider charger comes out half a year from now).  

So I am curious how the 12ah High Demand is going to work with the chainsaw when it gets here.  I can tell you first hand the 9.0 will power the transfer pump for about 35-40 minutes.  Are the 9.0 batteries a different cell than the new 12.0? For Milwaukee tools now I have the 10" Mitersaw (it aint the Kapex but I like the saw, seems really well built), the transfer pump the surge and the new mid range impact wrench.  I am really excited by the chainsaw.  I really was torn with the Dewalt, the Makita X2 (I have the brushed 12" bar - love it) and the Milwaukee.  Regardless what will be interesting is how long my 9.0s power the chainsaw.  They are awesome in the miter. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Member Statistics

    12,669
    Total Members
    414
    Most Online
    Roy catherall
    Newest Member
    Roy catherall
    Joined
×