DEWALT XR Vs Milwaukee M18

Impact drivers are very convenient and versatile for most types of projects we often meet on a daily basis or once in a while as a handyman. The more powerful impact drivers such as Dewalt XR Vs Milwaukee M18 can improve the work pace and make it more effortless as well. These popular options are not only famous for the brand but also for their overall performance and ease of use. But, the two are also different so let’s see the comparison below before deciding the choice.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • Why Choosing an Impact Driver
  • What are DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18
  • How are the Design of DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18
  • How are the Specs of DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18
  • How are the Performance of DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18
  • What else DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18 can offer
  • DEWALT XR Vs Milwaukee M18

Impact Drivers

Cordless tools are everywhere now and the more people are used to them, the more difficult it is to get away without their convenience. Let’s take impact driver as an example, not long ago this power tools were more of a specialty tools and only those who are working or have certain interest in woodworking or home improvement will buy but today, they are more of a tool that every household want to use just for the convenience since in general they are not different from a traditional drill/driver.

We also think this is a very useful tool to have especially if you prefer to deal with the tasks around the house without professional help. Being the handymen of the family is great, we are gaining more experiences and can save a lot as well by handling the tasks by ourselves. If you are in the market for a new impact driver, the amount of options can get confusing and overwhelming but, worry not because chances are there is always the best tool for your application.

When it comes to impact drivers, the most important point to consider is the torque which is the force that causes an object to rotate or simply the power of your tools to deal with the tasks we are working on. This is what sets an impact driver from a regular drill/driver such as Dewalt DCD780 Vs DCD777 apart since impact drivers have an enormous torque. With plenty of force, we can drive big screws or bore a big hole even with a small driver.

Yes, impact drivers as the name suggests are probably more often being used for driving screws but, they are also useful to act like reliable drills. If you choose to put a small bit for up to ¼-inch, they can work as a drill but they will also deliver twice the amount of RPM compared to similar cordless drills. If you can fit a bigger bit, the high torque can kick the attachment and be used to bore a larger hole even if the impact driver is fairly small.

 DEWALT XRMilwaukee M18
Product Dimensions8 x 3 x 5.88 inches8.5 x 2.6 x 6.8 inches
Shipping Weight2 pounds
2.7 pounds
Best offerCheck priceCheck price

The powerful torque an impact driver can offer is also beneficial for driving with less effort. We all know that compared to a driver which tends to require some pushing from the user to prevent the bit from cam out or damaging the screw head, an impact driver is more effective and effortless to drive screws, even with one hand. This is because an impact driver also produces a forward pressure which means we can conserve the energy and still get a professional result in various situations.

About DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18

If you are here then we assume that you are also looking for a new impact driver to handle the tasks and projects in the future. Usually a power tool will last for years so it is rare to have to buy a new one as often and if possible, we also recommend getting a high-quality or durable one in order to use the tool as long as possible. Cordless power tools are relying on their battery pack as well so we have to pay attention to the power rating and capacity too.

To ease the shopping, we often recommend to stick with your favorite brand or reputable names because they tend to be more reliable and overall have better product quality such as DEWALT and Milwaukee. Both of them are no strangers in the market along with other similar options such as Makita or Ryobi; all are good choices when you want to shop from a trusted brand. Just like most companies, these two are also continuously improving their products to be better.

Including for the impact driver, where the DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18 are housing some of the most popular choices. These two are a line of power tools from the manufacturers so you can find plenty of tools here such as drill or hammer drill. They are also offering impact drivers with powerful torque and reliable motors to drive your screws or to drill holes on a material. Both XR and M18 are referring to their battery as well so you can pair them with the compatible pack.

XR line is claimed to be improved from the MAX line as the battery is now more efficient or last long while also optimizing the power but if you have the tools from MAX line, the batteries are interchangeable to those coming with your XR tools. M18 is more modest by offering 18V of power but it doesn’t mean the tool doesn’t have enough force because it is very comparable with the 20V XR line from DEWALT. One thing to consider is this battery won’t last for as long.

DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18 Design

Before checking what the DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18 can offer, let’s see the unit first and for those who are not very familiar with impact drivers yet or often mistaken them for a drill/driver and hammer drill, this power tool will be the most compact in comparison to these similar tools. The significant difference is on the head part where there is no clutch anymore which in typical drill or hammer drill is available for several different clutch settings.

This makes the distance between the front and back of these power tools are narrower. In comparison, the M18 is smaller however than XR series with a length of only 130mm instead of 136mm of DEWALT. This will also be helpful when you are working on narrow spaces. The unit itself is pretty light since without battery the two are only about 2 lbs.

DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18 Specs

Now for the most important part, let’s see what the DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18 are offering on the power part. As it has been mentioned above, the XR line is using a 20V battery while the M18 is using an 18V battery. As for the speed, they are not far apart and in fact the M18 is actually capable of delivering a faster rotation per minute topping at 3,400RPM without load while the XR is only at 3,250RPM. Another difference is there is no speed level switch on the M18 impact driver.

DEWALT is keeping the speed level switch, located at the base of the tool or above the battery housing and this tool is offering three different speed ranges from 0 to 1,000, 0 to 2,800, and the highest 0- 3,250RPM paired with the variable trigger.

DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18 Performance 

Since DEWALT no longer includes torque measurement in their specs, it is difficult to see how well this power tool is supposed to work but when in action, the DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18 are very much the same to each other. They are capable of doing the same tasks such as breaking nuts loose and tightening the same bolts. They are finishing the task almost at the same time range and in general, it feels like the M18 is just a shy faster than XR series.

Another thing we want to mention is the speed since M18 is clearly faster here but, since the impact driver is not offering any speed level adjustment, it is a bit difficult to control or work on smaller screws since we can only rely on the variable trigger. On the other side the DEWALT’s design is more thoughtful for a wider range of applications. Additionally, while M18 is working faster and delivering an ample of power, the battery life is poor and probably around half what XR is able to sustain.

DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18 Features

Lastly we want to talk about some additional features but the DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18 are very simple so we don’t have much to talk about here. First is they do have light to illuminate the working spot but, the one in M18 is noticeably dimmer and we have to start the chuck before it will illuminate unlike the XR that lit with a light press on the trigger and in addition the XR light last for about 20 seconds after you release the trigger.

Second and another thing we dislike about the M18 impact driver is the lack of quick-insert chuck which means we have to release the locking mechanism before being able to insert or remove the bit while the XR tool has this feature to make it more user friendly.

DEWALT XR Vs Milwaukee M18

Both DEWALT XR and Milwaukee M18 are powerful impact drivers based on what they can offer. In terms of torque and speed, the M18 is actually superior than XR but in application this power tool is not able to conserve the battery which makes the experience not as great as the XR. DEWALT on the other hand is slightly slower and not as powerful but the battery can last for almost twice as long and the LED light is more reliable as well as quick-insert for ease of use.

- Precision drive in speed 1 for precision applications and added control
- 3 LEDs with 20-second delay after trigger release, provide visibility without shadows
- One-handed loading 1/4-inch hex chuck with easy grip sleeve, accepts 1-inch bit tips
- Compact and lightweight design to fit into tight areas
- Milwaukee brushless motor: optimized for efficiency, this motor delivers more run-time and longer life
- Includes: 2850-20 M18 1/4 in. Hex impact driver bare tool
- Compatible with all M18 batteries
- Bare Tool Battery and charger not included


You can go amazing with any of them based on which of the two you like better but we do highly recommend to choose the XR impact driver from DEWALT because this tool is overall better and more reliable than M18.

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