The Best Milwaukee Hand Tools (Review & Buying Guide) in 2020

If you’re searching for quality tools, you’re sure to encounter the Milwaukee name. As one of the best-known brands in...

Best Choice
milwaukee pliers
Milwaukee Wire Stripping and Reaming Pliers
Premium Pick
wrench set
Milwaukee Combination Wrench Set
Best Value
long nose pliers
Milwaukee Long Nose Locking Pliers

If you’re searching for quality tools, you’re sure to encounter the Milwaukee name. As one of the best-known brands in American-made tools, Milwaukee is a leader in tools for every trade. Specializing in hand tools, power tools, and related accessories, Milwaukee offers a wide range of high-quality products that can get the job done efficiently and effectively. From essential tools that belong in every handyman’s tool kit to accessories that make organization and on-the-job efficiency a priority, Milwaukee offers it all. And since 1924, this brand has produced items with a quality you can trust in. If you’d like to add Milwaukee hand tools to your tool box, you simply need to choose which ones are the best for your own needs. With a selection ranging from everyday items like pliers and tape measures to more specialized tools like work lights and utility knives, Milwaukee offers it all. Here are some of our favorite picks from this well-respected brand.

The Best Milwaukee Hand Tool

Topping our list at number one is the Milwaukee wire strippers. These aren’t any old wire strippers, though; The wire strippers work on multiple gauges, which are clearly marked for your usability. Meanwhile, there are two holes in the center of the hand tool that allow you to make loops for grounding screws. Then, there are the reamers, designed to easily smooth and cut out any awkward lumps and bumps in your pipe edges — these can also be used to punch out outlet boxes.

Then we get to the various cutters; there’s a curved cutting blade for larger wires, and a bolt and screw cutter for getting your fastenings to the perfect size, which makes this the perfect tool for both electric and mechanical work.

Aside from being easy to use, these pliers have a rust-resistant coating which allows for increased longevity of your tool, and the locking mechanism ensures that this Milwaukee hand tool doesn’t end up anywhere it shouldn’t, despite being spring-loaded for easy opening. Customers love saving space in their toolbox and how comfortable these pliers are to use- even when being held, all day.

Related Post: Best Wire Strippers

Key Features
  • Multi-tool
  • Comfortable to use
  • Space-saving
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Model 48-22-3079
  • Weight 11.2 ounces

The Milwaukee magnetic tape measure is the perfect measuring tool for any professional. It’s biggest selling point is, naturally, the magnetic head on the hook, which allows you to securely take accurate measurements- an essential for any tradesman. Apparently, these magnets are so strong that one customer even had the pleasure of using it against their ceiling with no issues.

This is a tape that is built with you in mind, which is evident in the finger stop, to protect you from any unnecessary cuts and nips, the secure fastening, to stop any accidental loss, and the “smooth as butter” retraction (to quote one of the many positive reviews).

This is a tool that helps you finish up the basics of a job with precision and speed. You’ll find that both sides have clear dimension marks, making it easier for you to do your job and the mechanisms work perfectly, every time. Indeed, every customer has remarked that the slightly higher-than-average price is well worth every penny.

Key Features
  • Magnetic
  • Safe and secure
  • Smooth retraction
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Model 48-22-7125
  • Weight 0.16 ounces

If you’re working with electrical outlets on the job or at home, you’ll want the Milwaukee Voltage Detector With LED Light. This slim voltage detector can help you reliably assess the power coming from different electrical outlets, and it offers consistency than many competing voltage detectors cannot. It’s a Milwaukee hand tool that will make your job easier and more efficient. With this tool, you can detect between 50 and 1,000 volts of AC electrical output. A durable tip makes checking any power outlet a breeze — just slide it into place to get a reading. A green indicator light will let you know that the tool is on and ready for use, so you can trust it’s working properly.

All you have to do is press a button to get results from this Milwaukee hand tool. The voltage detector also helps you see what you’re doing to prevent mistakes, accidents, or inaccuracies. A bright LED light is built right into the tool, helping you in dim or dark environments. Don’t be afraid to put this hand tool through its paces, as it’s meant to withstand whatever kind of wear and tear you put it through.

Key Features
  • Highly durable and suitable for industrial, commercial, and residential use
  • Can detect 50 to 1,000 volts (AC)
  • Includes a built-in LED work light
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Model 2202-20
  • Weight 3.04 ounces

The 12-pack of Milwaukee markers are perfect for those dusty, grainy workplaces where using a standard marker shows up a great inefficiency. Their fine, black tip clearly marks any and all surfaces while being clog-resistant. They even claim that these markers can easily be used on oily surfaces without any issues in transparency, leaking, or damage to the pen itself.

Buyers praise the pen’s ability to last all year round, no matter the weather and the way they can quite literally write on anything and everything — from pipes to concrete blocks, these pens will ensure your writing is visible and stand the test of time. Not only that, but the Inkzall markers come at an amazing price, particularly in comparison to the main competitors

Key Features
  • Great price
  • Can write on anything
  • Last in all weathers
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Weight 6.2 ounces

If you’re seeking a robust and flexible light for use no matter the occasion, check out our first light on our list. The Milwaukee Stick Light uses powerful LED bulbs housed in a replaceable, impact resistant lens for optimal lighting when you need it most. Milwaukee has even invested in TRUEVIEW HD lighting to get the best light placements and beam directions — a true representation of colors and optimized color temperature — all made with productivity and safety in mind.

There’s also the option of purchasing a magnet accessory, to improve the ways you can hoist this light onto any surface. Of course, if this isn’t your style, you can always use the stable hook to place your light wherever you deem necessary.

Key Features
  • TRUEVIEW HD Lighting
  • Impact-resistant
  • Powerful
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Model 2351-20
  • Weight 13.3 ounces

This Milwaukee tool set comes with 15 open-ended and box-ended wrenches that are designed to fit around a plethora of fastenings and bolts. The super-tough steel tools are a welcome addition to your collection, with comfortable handles and clear markings, to allow you to nip in-and-out of your toolbox and get the job done before you can say “Milwaukee hand tool set”.

The wrench set features a max-bite open-end grip which allows for 25% more torque, meaning you spend less time struggling and adjusting your nuts and bolts. They also come in a convenient tray, which means you won’t have to worry about these guys being loose in your box, and keeps your toolbox nice and tidy.

Key Features
  • 25% more torque
  • S2 Steel
  • Easy to store
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Model MLW48-22-9415
  • Weight 7 pounds

The second light on our list from Milwaukee and a slightly more budget-friendly version, this time. The 12-volt LED Work Light comes with a great battery lifespan and is so easy to use. It’s heavy-duty but easy to carry and even comes with a magnetic back, to help you get on with your work, hands-free. Not only that, but the adjustable head can be turned to face any direction you prefer, so you don’t have to worry about where to pop your torch.

Both the batteries and the torch itself comes with guarantees, meaning you can rest easy knowing this hardy torch will last and your value-for-money rockets. Customers love the run-time of the lights, as well as how brightly this torch can shine, making their job so much easier.

Related Posts: Best Work Light for Mechanics and Best LED Work Lights

Key Features
  • Magnetic
  • Guarantees for battery pack and defects
  • Great battery life
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Model 49-24-0146
  • Weight 11.8 ounces

This is the second set of Milwaukee pliers to appear on our list and this time, they come in the heavy-duty variety. The iron carbide cutting blades can cut through even high gauge wire with ease, due it’s longer handles and therefore greater leverage. The reaming head can fit in and up to 1.5-inch pipes for cleaning and reaming, and the rubberized overmold helps protect your hands during regular use while resisting any peeling.

Customers these 9-inch long pliers because they’re comfortable and make reaming, cleaning, cutting and crimping so much easier when compared to some competitors. These pliers are built with strength and durability in mind, so you know you can complete any task with ease.

Related Post: Best Lineman Pliers

Key Features
  • Strong
  • Comfortable
  • Rubberized overmold
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Model 48-22-6100
  • Weight 1.19 pounds

Another set of pliers (well, as one of the most common tools required on the job, you can’t blame us for giving you a great selection) and these ones are built to make sure the job gets done, with no complaints. Using Torque-lock technology, these can easily and quickly be locked into place using a screw on the back of the pliers, meaning you have complete control over your fasteners. This is backed up with notched teeth that make sure that your grip is going nowhere, except where it needs to be.

Coming in a set of two sizes — 10 and 7 inches — both pairs have the same rubberized overmold as our previous listing. This increases your comfort and grip during use while ensuring that there’s no peeling to be found, even over extended periods of use. They’re also ergonomic for your comfort-one customer even mentioned that her dad could easily use them, despite suffering from arthritis.

Key Features
  • Comfortable
  • Heavy-duty
  • Torque-lock technology
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Model 48-22-3402
  • Weight 2.35 pounds

The Milwaukee Fastback Utility Knife with Wire Stripping offers two great benefits: solid value and great quality. This handy utility knife is an asset for your tool kit, and since you get two knives for one price, you’ll have an extra one. You can keep one in your tool box at home and carry one with you on the go. These two Milwaukee hand tools are strong, effective, and have sharp edges. Each utility knife is lightweight and features an ergonomic design for comfortable use. The knife blades can be locked in two different positions: fully extended (or straight) and at a 45-degree angle. 

You can put this utility knife to use even when it’s fully closed, thanks to a gut hook compartment that’s built into the handle. And in addition to providing cutting power and sharpness, the Milwaukee Fastback knife also works as a wire stripper. Each knife includes a separate wire stripping compartment that allows you to easily strip wire measuring up to 12 gauge in thickness. That’s a little extra functionality that can be particularly helpful for many jobs.

Key Features
  • Two utility knives for one price
  • Knife blade locks in two positions, including a 45-degree angle
  • Blade can be used even when it’s closed
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Model 48-22-1901
  • Weight 11.2 ounces

It might seem like just another hammer, but the Milwaukee hammer shows off the thought and experience behind its design, which is synonymous with the Milwaukee brand. The 22Oz framing hammer drives performance with its shock-absorbing grip and perfectly balanced construction, while the anti-ring claw minimizes ringing when striking harder objects. The integrated magnetic nail set also helps you set your nails and use your hammer one-handed.

With 100% of the feedback on this item being five stars, at the time of writing, you can be sure that this is a hammer that can make even the most basic handy work so much easier. The balance, weight, and design can ensure that every opportunity to use a hammer will have you breaking this Milwaukee hammer out of the tool box and straight into the job.

Key Features
  • Well-balanced
  • Anti-ring claw
  • Vibration-absorbing handle
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Model 48-22-9023
  • Weight 2.2 pounds

Another wrench set and this time we’re looking at adjustable wrenches. This is a pair that can’t be stopped at 6 inches and 10 inches, respectively, with teeth that refuse to give up on grip, as well as an ergonomic handle that allows you to keep going all day. The adjustment wheel works perfectly, every time and the grips are second-to-none. Not to mention that they’re chrome-plated to ensure longevity and resistance against rusting.

Reviewers love the way these wrenches don’t lose their set position and how great they feel to use. The ergonomic grip doesn’t hurt your hands and keeps you on the job, and they don’t damage your fastenings during use, which can be a huge bonus for work around the house.

Key Features
  • Chrome plate for rust resistance
  • Ergonomic
  • Great Grip
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Weight 1.62 pounds

The final set of pliers on this list and we finish with an amazing pair of 6-inch, long nose locking pliers with an ergonomic grip. This is a highly durable set that comes with Torque-lock to keep your grip steady and ready for whatever work needs to get done. With hardened jaws and forged alloy steel for maximum durability and grip, these are pliers that are designed with the toughest job site in mind.

Milwaukee is so confident in its abilities that they’ve offered a lifetime guarantee with all their Torque-lock products and, given the positive reviews from customers, it seems unlikely that you’ll ever need this.

Key Features
  • Torque-lock technology
  • Ergonomic
  • Hardened jaws and alloy steel
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Model 8.8 ounces
  • Weight 48-22-3406

So, now you have all of these amazing products and wondering how best to carry them all round with you, right? Well, look no further than the Milwaukee tool bag. With heavy-duty zippers and reinforced handles and bottom, this is the bag that will take everything you’ve got and let you use it, comfortably, anywhere- literally and figuratively. The canvas material is more flexible than any plastic counterparts, and customers all agree that this is a bag that carries it all while allowing your tool to be easily found.

There are six compartments to help keep you organized on the job and the large size (24x12x12 inches) means you can take everything you need, everywhere you go. The reinforced bottom is perfect for those job sites that are a little unsteady, wet and dirty without harming or interfering with your tools and the removable strap means you can simply take this off, if you’re concerned about the strap becoming tangled with other bits and pieces, on the job.

Key Features
  • Canvas material
  • Heavy duty
  • Reinforced yet comfortable
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Weight 1.7 pounds
Best Milwaukee Hand Tool Buying Guide

Milwaukee hand tools are quality additions to anyone’s tool kit. This reputable and respected brand offers a wide selection of different tools that you can use on many different jobs whether you’re a professional or simply working around your home. But the sheer wealth of options can make choosing the best Milwaukee hand tools for your needs a little tricky. Here’s our guide to finding the right tools — you’ll be able to consider and compare your options with this information and find answers to common questions.

Milwaukee Company Overview

Milwaukee has been at the forefront of tools and tool technology for over 94 years (since 1924) and it’s easy to see how they’ve made the cut, year-after-year. With a focus on durability and performance, their main goal is to be the go-to brand for tradesmen across the globe. Their intent has always been to create time-saving tools that allow tradesmen to safely complete their jobs on schedule.

In this, they have been able to produce hand tools, corded and cordless electronic tools, and tool combo kits in a range of sizes and with forms that suit most budgets, within reason. They have also been known to produce instruments designed for measurement taking such as lighting testers, temperature meters, compress meters, and even thermal imagining items. Not to mention, so much more.

Their biggest area of development has always been how to help builders do their jobs — and a lot of this comes down to the finer things, such as dealing with grip, longevity, and general ease of use. Milwaukee automotive tools and Milwaukee hand tools often come in sets that work perfectly together and, when possible, the company offers money-back guarantees as well as easy-to-digest how-to videos and instructions for the general upkeep of your tools.

These days, you’re likely to find Milwaukee across most DIY and tool stores, or on pretty much any job site that has decent tradesmen. They continually come up in lists as having some of the best tools of the trade and, as such, are one of the biggest names on the market due to their quality and consistency of products.

Why Milwaukee Hand Tools?

Milwaukee hand tools are fantastic for dealing with the small, more irritating aspects of jobs, which can often slow work down and cause delays in project completion. They have worked to produce tools that fight against this, in particular with their new patent-pending Torque-lock selections that have been a game-changer in the hand tool world.

These new systems help with grip and dexterity for users and mean you can get your work done at a much faster rate, in a much safer way than using traditional tools. While they are working to include these across the entire range, they have added some quality extras to tools they aren’t able to implement this with.

For example, the new rubberized over-molds which have been placed on many of the Milwaukee hand tools ensure a more ergonomic fit that won’t peel over time, either due to use or simply the environment. These have made a huge impact with some users, who have found that continually working with certain tools resulted in strains and general discomfort.

Better tools also mean better health and safety, which in turn, allows you to do your job — especially knowing that you’re not causing any long-term damage to your musculoskeletal structure. Not only that, but fewer injuries means less time off. And, for those who are self-employed, something as simple as an ergonomic handle can literally mean you don’t have to lose out on work and money when you know your equipment is kitted out for your comfort.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee hand tool sets come with amazing value-for-money. The combinations available online come with great discounts compared to buying these items separately, and the online stores have some amazing selections available to get everything you need for a reasonable price.

Pros & Cons

The majority of the pros are best seen through their use. Milwaukee is known for producing high-quality goods that allow tradesmen to work, safe in the knowledge that their tools will work as hard as they do. The added extras often help keep workers’ health and safety in mind, meaning that common, small injuries that can have a huge impact on a job are less likely to occur, such as repetitive strain injuries or pinching and pulling that have a lasting effect over time.

Milwaukee is also a keen time-save and often includes small design changes on their tools that make a huge difference in the length of time that it takes to complete jobs. For example, their wrenches often come with added grips, ergonomic handles, and, for some selections, their new Torque-lock system. All of these reduce the time it takes to alter fastenings, nuts, and bolts, which means you get to spend less time fiddling with these and more time completing the main aspect of the job.

Naturally, with so many goods sent across the globe on a daily basis, there have been one or two faults that have been reported in their goods. At this point, while Milwaukee has helped when possible — either through replacement of the goods or fixing the issue — there have been some reviews that state customer service is not as high as they would like it to be. As an example, it can take longer to produce replacement parts for some Milwaukee automotive tools, due to their selling out or no longer being available, and customers have noted that they are unlikely to do anything to help at this point.

There have also been complaints that Milwaukee can sometimes charge too much for their goods. Of course, this is purely subjective, depending on the amount of value placed on a quality product. Some customers find that the pricing is just right for a hard-wearing tool that is designed to make your job easier, while others suggest the price is too high.

Generally speaking, the best advice out there is that, if you work in a trade and on job sites a lot, then the value-for-money is spot on- but for jobs around the house, it might be worth having a shop around and seeing if you can find an alternative price or previous format of the same tool.

Overall, the quality and ruggedness of the tools made by Milwaukee seem to have an overwhelmingly positive response. In particular, from tradesmen and those who spend a lot of time with their tools, it is noted that most Milwaukee products have a great lifespan, make the job much easier and faster to deal with, and offer superior tools that always suit the job in the best way.

Warranties

Milwaukee has a dedicated line that is provided for any and all concerns regarding warranties, including replacements or repairs. There’s even a full list available on their website which allows customers to see what is considered covered under warranty and what isn’t. As a general rule, however, Milwaukee will always cover any item that is defective in material or workmanship, provided it is within a reasonable timeframe of the purchase.

Of course, accidents happen, as does general wear and tear on the job. Thus, Milwaukee also works to replace or repair items that fall outside of the usual time period. Taking a look online, you’ll be able to find quotes available depending on your item, for repairs. These cover any item that is outside of the warranty but currently defective due to normal wear and tear from being used on the job.

It can also be a good idea to look at third-party warranties and insurances, some of which will be available through the shop you bought the items from. Otherwise, it can be a great idea to get the more expensive tool sets covered through an agent. This can also work well in cases of having your items stolen or becoming lost (which happens more frequently than you would think!).

The best scenario is, of course, to be aware of the warranties available to you from Milwaukee as a manufacturer while also getting yourself covered by a third party. That way, you can be sure to have yourself covered from all aspects, should the worst happen!

milwaukee tool

Our Top Pick

The Milwaukee Wire Stripping and Reaming Pliers are our top pick when it comes to Milwaukee hand tools. While there are so many great, high-quality products to choose from, this particular pair of pliers is not only useful, but it’s also a tool that everyone can use. These stripping and reaming pliers can be used in nearly any job. They’re especially beneficial for an electrician or those who perform electrical work. In addition to offering great quality and long-term durability with benefits like rust and corrosion resistance, these Milwaukee pliers are affordably priced and easy to use. They feature clear size indicators, which helps you find the right wire gauge quickly. With an included bolt and screw cutter, you can also simplify your tool box and rely on these pliers for more tasks.

Sources:

  1. Milwaukee – Milwaukee
  2. The Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation – Wikipedia