Whether you’re a builder or handyperson by trade, a DIY enthusiast, or just like to be able to take care of things around your home without recruiting help, a tool kit is a must. Manual screwdrivers, measuring tapes, hammers, wrenches, and pliers aren’t typically expensive. And yet, when you start exploring power tools, cordless equipment, and other modern gizmos, you’ll see they can cost a pretty penny.
Throughout the years, Milwaukee has continuously remained an industry leader with innovative solutions and unrivaled performance. So it comes as no surprise that every professional has a few Milwaukee Tools in their toolbox. We’ve compiled a list of the best Milwaukee Tools in the popular M18 Cordless System, M12 Cordless System, Outdoor Power Equipment, and other categories. The tools are decided based on the best performance and reviews so that you can be confident that you’re using the best tool for the job.
Popular Milwaukee Tools
Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation History
Milwaukee Tool (The Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation) started as an American power tool manufacturer prior to 1924 based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company has a rich history of manufacturing power tools in America for the tradesman. Since 2005, it has operated as a subsidiary of Techtronic Industries (TTI), a Hong Kong company founded in 1985.
TTI brands include RIDGID, AEG, and Ryobi (licensed), Hart Tools, Empire, Hoover, Dirt Devil, Oreck, and others. As you may imagine, Milwaukee Tool manufactures both corded and cordless power tools. They also make hand tools as well as accessories like saw blades and drill/driver bits.
As early as 1918, Milwaukee Tool introduced its relatively lightweight Hole-Shooter which was, according to the company, “the first lightweight portable, one-handed 1/4-inch capacity drill”. They further expanded in the 1930’s and through World War II manufacturing tools to the U.S. Navy standard. Milwaukee Tool has always had a reputation for quality and this, presumably, had something to do with initiating and then solidifying that reputation.
1951 saw the introduction of the Sawzall reciprocating saw. As recent as 2005, the company kicked off a revolution of lithium-ion batteries—even holding several key patents in that arena. Following that, it did a lot to pioneer Bluetooth tool technology with Milwaukee One-Key. The company has most recently moved into the realm of cordless power equipment with its MX FUEL line of battery-powered tools.
Milwaukee Tool Manufacturing
It may come as no surprise that Milwaukee Tool has a rich history of Made in the USA manufacturing. The company conducts most of its research and development in its Brookfield, Wisconsin offices. Milwaukee Tool and its parent, TTI, manufactures both tools and accessories globally, however—primarily in Asia, Mexico, Europe, and the USA.
Many of its popular accessories, including reciprocating saw blades and hole saws, are made in Mississippi facilities located in Greenwood, Jackson, and Olive Branch. Milwaukee Tool also has three Wisconsin manufacturing facilities in Mukwonago, West Bend, and Sun Prairie. Together, these represent critical components of their global manufacturing footprint for their power tool, power tool accessory, and hand tool businesses.
In January 2020, Milwaukee Tool announced it was building a $26 million facility in West Bend, Wisconsin to manufacture hand tools for electricians and linemen. They also plan to expand with a location in Cookeville, Tennessee as well. Just in 2020 alone, the company planned to invest over $100 million and create 350 new jobs in the United States.
Here’s a quick summary of products Milwaukee Tool manufactures in the United States:
- Step Bits
- MX FUEL Rocket Tower Light and MX FUEL Drain Machine
- Corded Sawzalls
- Large Drills
- Sawzall Blades
- Hole Saws
- Bandsaw Blades
- Oscillating Multitool Blades (Imperial)
- Empire I-Beam Levels; Torpedo Levels; and Rafter, Combination, and Framing Squares
- Empire Caution Tape
- Milwaukee Rafter Squares and Framing Squares
Internationally, Milwaukee Tool and its parent company TTI manufacturers many of its cordless power tools and battery-powered products overseas in factories located in China, Vietnam, Mexico, Germany, and the Czech Republic.
What to know before you buy a Milwaukee tool set
A Milwaukee tool set is a collection of power tools that can handle many different tasks. When you buy a Milwaukee tool set, you are getting well-made power tools that will serve you well for many years to come. Milwaukee’s One-Key is a premium feature that allows you to set running speeds, torque and an automatic stop. It also allows you to track all of your Milwaukee tools so you know their exact location and they can never get lost.
You will find fewer choices among tool sets with 12-volt batteries and more choices among the bigger, more powerful, more popular 18-volt batteries.
M12: The 12 tells you right away this is a 12-volt system. M12 tools are smaller, lighter and have less power and torque than Milwaukee’s M18 line of tool sets. If you are a homeowner who does not need heavy-duty power tools, choose a lighter-weight set so the tools will be easy for you to handle. DIYers with small hands will also be happier with a 12-volt set.
M18: Tool sets with 18-volt batteries are larger, heavier and are suited for tough jobs and hard use. Their increased size and weight make them proportionally harder to handle, especially for people who don’t do this kind of work every day.
Number of tools
Tool sets come with anywhere from two to as many as eight separate tools. When it comes to power tools, the more of them you have, the more prepared you are to tackle any task. If you only do a few basic things every now and then, a set with fewer pieces will cost you less than one with more tools than you are likely to need.
Milwaukee tool set cost
Sets with two or three power tools range in price from around $100-$300. Tool sets with wider tool assortments will cost between $400 and $650. Contractor-grade tools with lots of tools included cost anywhere from $700 upward.
Milwaukee tool sets come in various combinations of function-specific tools. Here are some of the most popular:
- Drills and drivers are used for drilling holes and driving screws into metal and wood and are one of the most frequently used tools in any set. Some sets come with impact drivers that are made to handle longer screws. Impact drivers are also handy when you have to drive a lot of screws for a big project. Hammer drills are the tool of choice when you have to drill through hard concrete.
- Saws are used to cut wood, metal and plastic substances. Circular saws spin circular blades and are one of the most useful carpentry tools to have in your set. Jigsaws, also called sabre saws, have straight blades that are driven in an up-and-down motion similar to that of a sewing machine.
- Grinders use abrasive blades to chip away at hard surfaces and can also be used to cut, sharpen and polish.
- Orbital sanders come in handy for smoothing rough surfaces and for removing old paint before applying a new coat. Random orbital sanders are preferred because they are less likely to leave circular marks on your finished work.
- LED work lights let you see what you are drilling, cutting or sanding in dark places.
- Blowers are handy little tools that look like small leaf blowers and are used to clean up the jobsite quickly when you’re finished with your work.
The Best Milwaukee Tools in 2021:
If you’re in the market for a power drill, cordless installation set, impact driver, hammer drill, or any other tool that saves you time and makes your life easier, you’ve come to the right place. We scoured the internet to bring you a comprehensive list of the best Milwaukee products on sale right now, giving you the chance to save anywhere from a few bucks to a few hundred dollars.
1. PACKOUT Modular Storage System
The PACKOUT System is the most versatile and durable. The 3pc set comes with three popular sized tools boxes in one easy to order kit. With impact-resistant polymers, metal-reinforced corners that provide up to 75 lbs of weight capacity, and ultimate durability, the PACKOUT boxes survive in harsh job site conditions.
Featuring an IP65 rated weather seal to keep out rain and job site debris, and integrated organizers bins, the Milwaukee PACKOUT toolboxes are the best storage solution option. This kit includes the Milwaukee PACKOUT 48-22-8424 Tool Box, 48-22-8425 Large Tool Box, and 48-22-8426 Rolling Tool Box.
2. Milwaukee M18 Cordless Tools
The Milwaukee M18 Cordless 4-Tool Combo Kit allows users to efficiently drill, saw, and drive through a variety of solid materials, including those with varying densities. The four fundamental construction and demolition tools are powered by REDLITHIUM technology. The set includes a cordless 1/2″ Milwaukee Hammer Drill, 1/4″ Impact Driver, Reciprocating Saw, LED Work Lights, and two 3.0Ah batteries.
Operators receive peak torque, increased control, and a hands-free design that allows users to be more productive on the worksite. Also, the tools are compatible with M18 XC high capacity and compact lithium-ion batteries.
3. Milwaukee M12 Cordless Tools
The Milwaukee M12 Drill/Impact Combo Kit delivers powerful torque and impressive RPMs to get the job done. The cordless M12 3/8″ drill driver and M12 1/4″ hex impact driver provide a lightweight design and feature ergonomic handles for increased comfort. Powered by REDLITHIUM batteries, the Drill/Impact Combo Kit offers longer run times and more power. Also, the power tools feature an on-board fuel gauge, allowing you to monitor the battery charge in real time to help prevent sudden interruptions. Additionally, the combo kit comes with a five-year tool warranty.
4. Milwaukee M12 Digital Torque Wrench
No one saw a digital torque wrench coming, particularly on the M12 platform. The Milwaukee M12 Digital Torque wrench combines a cordless ratchet with a digital torque wrench. Just set your target torque and pull the trigger. The ratchet gets you close and then you manually set the last bit of torque.
The tool gives you audio, visual, and vibration feedback as you approach your target and changes from green to red if you exceed it.
The 3/8″ model covers 10–100 ft-lbs and the 1/2″ model hits 10–150 ft-lbs. Best of all, you can save your readings to One-Key and hand an inspector or super a report of every correctly torqued fastener on the job.
5. Milwaukee Stud Tape Measure: Gen 2
The Milwaukee Stud tape measure is getting some upgrades to look forward to. The biggest is the ability to reach out to a full 14′ of standout! It also gets a more compact housing and expands to 35′ models for those of you that are waiting for a longer version.
There are new Wide Blade tape measures coming as well. These also have a 14′ standout that’s a bit straighter than the Stud. The Wide Blade doesn’t have the heavier Exo360 coating that the Stud does, giving it a noticeably straighter standout. Wide Blade models range 16’–40′ and have magnetic hook options.
Both of these along with several new compact tapes have a new, more durable hook design to keep them accurate in spite of jobsite drops and falls.
While the brand is well-known, there are several commonly asked questions about Milwaukee Tools in the market. As industry experts, our tool experts here are happy to answer these top frequently asked questions.
Are Milwaukee tools any good?
Are Milwaukee tools any good? Absolutely! Milwaukee Tools is a legend in the industry and earned this honor by leading the way in the development of innovative solutions for the trades for more than 90 years. They specialize in working with real users to understand their needs on the jobsite. The results are ground-breaking tools that deliver the best solutions for professionals and DIY-ers alike.
What kind of tools does Milwaukee Tools make?
Milwaukee Tools produces an extensive line of innovative power tools, hand tools, and other systems including pneumatic tools and outdoor equipment. This industry-leading manufacturer is constantly releasing new innovations in the power tool industry. You can follow us on Twitter for automatic updates.
How to register Milwaukee tools?
There is no need to register a new Milwaukee tool because it automatically comes with a warranty. It is a good idea to keep your receipt handy since it lets you know the date you bought the tool, but if you don’t, no worries! The serial number can be used to determine the age of the tool.
What is the warranty on Milwaukee power tools?
Every Milwaukee power tool comes with a 5-year (limited) warranty. This covers manufacturing defects and does not cover normal wear and tear. No registration is necessary as the warranty is based on date of purchase. Ottawa Fastener Supply will keep track of the power tools that you purchase with us. See for a complete breakdown of Milwaukee’s Warranty policy.
What is the Milwaukee FUEL line of tools?
FUEL is an M18 system of cordless tools that features brushless technology, Red Lithium batteries, and intelligence software. You get a longer lasting and more powerful 18-volt tool, ready to handle the toughest jobs. FUEL is also available in various M12 (12 volt) Milwaukee tools.
What is Milwaukee One-Key?
One-Key is a digital platform for tools and equipment. A first of its kind, it allows users to track their tools, adjust preferred settings, and manage an inventory of tools across a network of users from their phone. It’s currently only available in the M18 line.One Key will be also available in the new MX Fuel Tools Being released This Summer.
Does Milwaukee make a lawn mower?
No, Milwaukee does not make a lawn mower. They have very impressive and versatile outdoor power equipment line that includes string trimmers, hedge trimmers, pole saws, leaf blowers, and chainsaws.
Why are Milwaukee tools so expensive?
Price is often a key consideration when purchasing equipment and machinery, but it should never be the only one. From our experience at OFS, we can tell you that Milwaukee tools are used under rugged conditions by professional mechanics, plumbers, electricians, and carpenters. They are supercharged with quality that is worth their price.