Bosch Vs. Milwaukee Power Tools: Which One Is Better?

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

There are plenty of quality brands when it comes to power tools. But narrowing it down can feel like a difficult decision. When it comes to deciding between Bosch and Milwaukee in particular, the choice can be difficult.

When it comes to choosing between the two, personal preference will reign supreme. But when you compare the two, they are nearly identical in almost every way, including price. When push comes to shove, however, Milwaukee holds the edge in quality.

Bosch: A Brief History

German in origin, Bosch has had a massive transformation over their history. They started as a fairly small company but have since morphed into a huge conglomerate. They not only make home appliances and power tools, but they also own and control more than three dozen companies. Those companies operate in a huge range of global markets.

Bosch makes everything from espresso machines to spark plugs all the way to military-grade radio controls for aviation. They have brands like Dremel, Diablo, SKIL, and Rotozip, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Milwaukee: A Brief History

While Bosch has a wide-ranging focus, Milwaukee is a little more refined. Yes, they are owned by the massive conglomerate Techtronic Industries, but Milwaukee still focuses exclusively on the market of power tools.

Still, they are a part of a multi-billion dollar corporation, just as Bosch is. There are very few “homegrown” brands out there anymore. They have all been acquired by major corporations, despite the homegrown feel that companies like Milwaukee promote.

Bosch vs. Milwaukee: Tool Comparison

Now that we know a little more about the two companies, we come to the real question: how do they stack up? There are a few important factors. Things like quality, price, offerings, and more. First, let’s compare how they stack up price-wise.

Bosch vs. Milwaukee: Price

When it comes to power tools, the most important factor more often than not is going to be the price. Simply put most people are on a very specific budget. Being able to find a quality tool in that price range is important and some simply cannot afford to spend a fortune on tools.

For the price, Bosch and Milwaukee are virtually hand-in-hand. So close, in fact, that they run nearly dollar for dollar on their various offerings. So, if you are on a budget and trying to make a choice between the two, you won’t find much of a distinction there.

Bosch vs. Milwaukee: Quality and Offerings

After price considerations, the next most important consideration is regarding quality. The price does not matter if you have to constantly replace tools that are worn down and don’t work. Quality can also make the price seem more understandable as well.

When directly comparing the two, Milwaukee holds the edge. That edge is not only in durability but in overall performance as well. The difference is not night and day, but given the similarity in price, it is a noticeable difference.

Not only do they make a higher quality tool, but Milwaukee also has more offerings in power tools. That is partially because Milwaukee’s exclusive focus is power tools. Bosch has offerings in other areas, which diverts their focus away from power tools.

Edge: Milwaukee. Because their exclusive focus is on power tools, Milwaukee holds the important advantage here. Their dedication to making quality power tools is their only priority. That shows in a direct comparison between the two brands.

Adding Tools vs. Starting Fresh

Before we move on to the next section, it is important that we cover one thing. Where you are in terms of your choice between brands depends on your starting point. There is a distinct difference between adding to your repertoire and starting from scratch.

If you already have some tools from one brand, stick with that brand. Brand continuity may not seem like it matters, but battery compatibility is important. Giving yourself the ability to use one battery on a litany of tools can provide flexibility that can’t be beaten.

That said, if you are starting from scratch, you probably want to go with a combo kit. Combo kits are a great place to start for those who have no tools since they come with so many different tools.

Bosch vs. Milwaukee: Comparing Combo Kits

Combo kits are one of the most popular choices among those just starting out. The reason being that combo kits have a wide array of tools that most DIYers can take advantage of. From drills to saws to angle grinders, you can find just about anything that you need to get started.

Both companies offer a fairly similar choice in combo kits. You can get a hammer drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, angle grinder, LED lights, multiple batteries, and a charger. The price is an investment, to say the least – a few hundred dollars at a minimum – but you can get a lot of the tools that any DIYer needs to get started.

You can’t go wrong with a combo kit from either company. They are similar in price and total offerings, so it really comes down to a difference in quality. Milwaukee gets the edge in that category, but for tool kits, the difference is somewhat mitigated.

If you already have a few different tools from one brand, a combo kit is not a great idea. Besides, battery continuity can go a long way towards a more convenient setup. But if you are just starting out, you can’t go wrong with a combo kit.

So, Which is the Brand to Go With?

Considering everything, the choice will typically come down to personal preference and overall quality. Bosch is a quality tool, make no mistake about that. But when it comes to power and performance, not to mention durability, there really is no comparison between the two.

Milwaukee is the superior tool across the board. If Bosch’s prices were just a little bit lower, it would be dead even. But paying the same price for a lesser quality is what separates Milwaukee and Bosch. You would be fine with either choice, but for a tool that will hold up over time, Milwaukee is the clear choice.

Related Questions

Now that we know how the two stack up, you might have other questions related to the two companies. Here are some of the most pertinent questions that consumers have when it relates to Bosch and Milwaukee.

How Big is Bosch?

To say that Bosch is a giant in the power tool industry would be putting it lightly. Though it dates back to 2015, Bosch was bringing in around $18.5 billion USD in consumer goods. That division covers not only power tools but household appliances as well. The consumer goods division runs the gamut from drills, saws, pressure washers, and lawnmowers to washing machines, dryers, fridges, and more.

The company has been on a steady rate of growth, averaging about 4% improvement year over year on their total revenues. They have a global market share of over 10%, making them one of the biggest power tool companies in the world behind only Stanley Black and Decker.

How Big is Milwaukee?

This is a little bit of a tricky question to answer. Bosch has its hands in a lot of different things and is more closely resembles a conglomerate. Milwaukee, meanwhile, is one of many brands that fall under one umbrella.

Techtronic Industries Company Limited is one of the fastest-growing manufacturers in the world. They own some of the most recognizable brands in the industry. TTI not only owns Milwaukee, but they also own Ryobi, Dirt Devil, Oreck, Empire, Hoover, Homelite, and a litany of others.

As of 2018, TTI experienced record growth of 15.8% in revenue from 2017. That put them at just over $7 billion USD; the 9th straight year they had record revenues. To say that they are growing rapidly would be a massive understatement.

Is Bosch Better Than DeWalt?

When it comes to power tools, there are few brands that have the recognition that DeWalt has. It has grown its reputation as one of the most dependable brands on the market today. But they also come with a much higher price tag than most DIYers are comfortable with.

So, that leaves the question: is Bosch a better choice than DeWalt? The simple answer is that they are quite comparable. Bosch displays innovation and design, including offering a variable speed trigger on their reciprocating saws.

What it really comes down to is a price and quality difference. DeWalt is professional-grade quality. DIYers may prefer Bosch because they can get quality tools for a substantially lower price.

Are Milwaukee Tools Made in China?

Despite their reputation as being a “homegrown” brand, the fact is that only some of the tools Milwaukee produces are made in the United States. They also have manufacturing facilities in Europe and China.

That said, their most popular products come from facilities in China. Their circular saws and power drills in particular are all made in China. Despite the reputation for poor quality in Chinese-made products, Milwaukee has a reputation for quality power tools.

Are Bosch Tools Made in China?

This is a bit of a tricky question. Technically speaking, some of Bosch’s tools come from Chinese factories. That said, it all comes down to the specification and the source of the raw materials needed for the tool.

Bosch develops some tools in China, but also has factories across the world. Some of their locations include Stuttgart, India, Penang, Scintilla, and more. They are a truly global conglomerate with expanding factory capacity across the world.

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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