Milwaukee VS. Snap On: Why Milwaukee’s Cordless Tools Beat Snap On

You may be wondering who makes the best lineup for cordless tools made for car mechanics in 2019.

I am writing this article because I also wanted to know who really makes the best cordless tools in 2019 for mechanics?

What are some things you should be looking for when buying cordless tools?

How can I get the most versatility out of my tools for the least amount of money? What are the tools that professionals are using daily, and what are the tools that are sitting in the toolbox without being touched?

Let us first start with some conclusions:

When you compare price, warranty, and options Milwaukee cordless tools beat Snap On’s cordless tool lineup every time. Milwaukee tools have a 5-year warranty, easy replacement, and a 2-year battery warranty. Compare that to Snap On’s cordless tools which only have a 1-year warranty. Also, when we compare pricing the 1/2″ Snap On 18v cordless high torque impact (tool only) retails at around $424 in 2019.

The comparative Milwaukee model (2767-20) comes in brand new (tool only) at around $250 in 2019. With the Milwaukee, you get a better warranty, cheaper price, and more power/functionality. Also if your reason for buying Snap On is because their tools are made in the USA, think again– all of Snap On’s cordless tools are made overseas. It is also important to note the Milwaukee has 1200ft-lbs of breakaway torque, while the Snap On varies from 600-750ft-lbs. Really, if you are taking into consideration all the variables Snap On cordless tools are not worth the money.

Why Buy Snap On Cordless:

  1. Brand loyalty
  2. Financing & tool truck payments
  3. If you just cannot stand to have any tools other than Snap On in your box.

Basically, if you are buying Snap On cordless tools in 2019 you will likely be disappointed or have buyers remorse. They generally break more often, don’t offer nearly as many brushless options, and the warranty leaves much to be desired.

The only reason it may make sense to you is if you are someone that just values ease of payments. If you work at a shop and the tool truck offers you a financing or payment plan and you like paying for convenience then Snap On cordless tools may make sense for you.

I have read many stories online that some tool trucks are actually selling Milwaukee cordless tools now.

Why Buy Milwaukee Cordless:

I am not a Milwaukee representative, nor am I paid to tell you to buy their cordless tools. I wish there was more competition in this arena of tools. However, Milwaukee has taken tool development for mechanics very seriously. They listened to what mechanics needed and wanted in their cordless tools.

They not only listened they delivered, and they constantly improve their cordless tool lineup.

  1. 5-year tool warranty (read more on their website here)
  2. 2-year battery warranty (some exceptions here)
  3. 175+ tools that use their m18 battery system (meaning tons of crossover)
  4. 50+ tools in 2019 using their m12 subcompact battery system (tons of tools that use the same battery system)
  5. Easy warranty process via online filing (no need to register tools, they use the serial number)
  6. They pay for shipping on warrantied tools and have a quick turn around (7-10 days)
  7. You can buy used tools on eBay or Craigslist and they can still be warrantied via the serial number (find out when your Milwaukee tool was made based on the serial number)

What about Dewalt, Makita, Ryobi, or Ridgid Cordless:

A lot of other brands do make some pretty awesome cordless tools, but they really don’t compare to Milwaukee’s offerings and versatility.

If you are working on your own cars or a professional technician the most important thing to being fast and efficient is having the right tool for the right job. Well with Milwaukee you can have a 1/2″ high torque and a 3/8″ stubby impact that both use the same battery. Then you can add on an impact driver and drill that also use the same battery easily. Then you can grab an m12 cordless ratchet 1/4″ for all those tight spaces and it uses the same charger as the m18 system. There is just so much versatility with the Milwaukee power system.

The biggest runner ups if you just want a high torque 1/2″ impact wrench is definitely the Dewalt (DCF899HB) or the Ridgid (R86011B). The awesome thing about the Ridgid 1/2″ impact wrench? It has a lifetime warranty on both the tool and the battery (all Ridgid cordless). The drawbacks? It only has 450ft-lbs of forward (tightening torque). That is both less than the Snap On and the roughly a 1/3 of the Milwaukee high torque cordless. 

What about the Dewalt (DCF899HB)? Yes, it hits pretty hard and can compete with Milwaukee on a breakaway torque level. Some technicians really like their DeWalt cordless tools, however, their warranty leaves more to be desired. For example, on your brand new 1/2″ torque wrench you are only going to get a 1-year free warranty, then it becomes a 2-year limited lifetime warranty. Read more about the Dewalt cordless tool warranty here

How about the Makita 1/2″ high torque cordless (Model #: XWT08Z)? Well, it has a 3-year tool warranty and comes with the Makita brand name (which is well loved). But, the biggest drawbacks are the price and tool versatility/compatibility. The bare tool price for the 1/2″ high torque model is around $240, or right around the same price as the DeWalt and the Milwaukee. Yet, you get much less tool crossover than you do with the Milwaukee lineup (or even DeWalt). Plus neither DeWalt nor Ridgid, Makita, or Ryobi have made any conscious effort to design tools specifically for mechanics (like Milwaukee has done).

How about the Ryobi brand 1/2″ impact wrench (Model #: P261)? Ryobi tools offer a 3-year warranty, however this impact wrench has barely any torque hitting capacity. They list its abilities as 300ft-lbs which just isn’t enough for any mechanic that isn’t working solely on Honda Civics in a rust free state (even then it probably will fail to break off an axle nut at some point). It is the cheapest model, but I would just save up and get a Milwaukee (or buy used).

Conclusions about other brands: Pay attention to the warranty and the torque values. It is also important to look at the other tools they offer that use the same battery. Make sure you have good options so that you don’t need to buy different brands when you want a Sawzall or a cut off tool. With Snap On cordless tools you basically have the least compatibility and versatility than with any of these other brands (yet you pay the most for their tools). Keep that in mind when making your buying decision.


If you are on the fence about whether to buy a Snap On or a Milwaukee 1/2″ high torque impact wrench I hope this article helped you realize that the Milwaukee is better in just about every category other than brand loyalty. We all know those Snap On guys that will die before they put any tool in their box other than Snap On.

Luckily that seems to be changing in 2019 when technicians realize that most tools are made by a small group of manufacturorers and just rebranded. The beauty is that these brands constantly need to improve, offer better warranties, and cut their prices in order to compete.

Take advantage of the tool war and buy the brand that has best met the needs of mechanics– Milwaukee.

Hits the hardest, middle of the line price, and best warranty (of the heavy hitters–because, Ridgid really does have the best warranty (but it doesn’t have any real torque).

  1. Plus tons of options for adding other tools that use the same battery system.
  2. Well loved by professional mechanics (the favorite by far of all the brands listed including Snap On).Check Lowest Price on Amazon here
1. Cheapest, weakest, and the least likely to be found in a professional setting.

2. An okay option for a DIYer just doing tire rotations that already owns Ryobi tools.

Check Lowest Price on Amazon here

The most comparable tool to the Snap On or the Milwaukee heavy hitters. I would place it second behind the Milwaukee. 

  1. Professional grade, slightly less awesome warranty than Milwaukee (better than Snap On).
  2. Hits hard, basically on point with Milwaukee– but lacks the versatility of other tools to add to your collection (targeted at mechanics).
  3. Second best to the Milwaukee. Check Lowest Price on Amazon here
Ridgid tools are the most undervalued tools on the market.

1. The lifetime warranty is worth its weight in gold when you use cordless tools hard (plus lifetime warranty on batteries is unheard of).

2. Ridgid won’t hit near as hard and comes in second to last (behind the Ryobi).

3. There also aren’t as many options for torque settings, and other tools to add on but for a DIYer a great option. Check Lowest Price on Amazon here

 1. Overpriced (I am only talking about their cordless tools here– ratchets are another story).

2. Generally disliked by professionals. They regret not buying the Milwaukee one after seeing their friends using it. Although some mechanics do really love them (harder to find people that truly try to argue they are better than the Milwaukee 1/2″)

3. Long wait times on warranty returns (or cranky tool truck drivers refusing).

4. Expensive replacement parts after warranty runs out. Generally way too expensive and almost no versatility with other tools using same battery system.

5. Avoid unless you are rich, a die hard Snap On fan, or love financing from the tool truck Snap On Isn’t Sold on Amazon (Link to Their Website)


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