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Makita 18-Volt Cyclonic Vacuum DCL500

 Makita 18-Volt Cyclonic Vacuum DCL500

Compact Cordless Vacuum for Mobile Contractors

As a remodeling carpenter we do our fair share of small service jobs and handyman work. The hidden benefit to doing these “small jobs,” is what I call “client face-time.”

We believe that the more face-time with a client ~ the better opportunity for future projects. In order to get face time you need to get in the door, and small projects offer opening of doors.

The first thing I noticed when I started doing these small jobs is that they all have one thing in common. They all require some level of clean up, and I’m not talking about dust and broom here, I’m referring to a thorough vacuuming.

At first I lugged around my 12-gallon vacuum everywhere I went, but that got old fast. Since many of these jobs required a small amount of vacuuming, I got interested in smaller, compact and cordless vacuums; like the Makita 18-Volt Cyclonic Vacuum DCL500.

Makita 18V LXT 3.0 Ah Cyclonic Canister Vacuum DCL500 Review

The Makita 18-Volt Cyclonic Vacuum DCL500 is a compact, 9.4 pounds [with battery] cordless vacuum that generates 46 CFM of suction power and 26.5″ of water lift.

Water lift is a measure for suction power and 26.5” of water lift for a little vacuum is impressive considering that’s slightly less than 1/3 of what Makita’s 12-gallon corded vacuum can lift. The Makita 12-gallon vacuum has a 92” water lift.

The Makita DCL500 has a brushless motor and operates at 64 decibels.  It  has a  that HEPA filtration system with cyclonic separation keeps strain off the motor and the filter clean.   Like a cyclone dust collector in your workshop, the cyclonic system separates large dust particles from fine dust particles so that only fine dust particles are captured on the filter for filter longevity.

The Makita DCL500 operates on an 18 Volt battery and will run continuous for 12 minutes on high and 30 minutes on low.

Using the Makita 18-Volt Cyclonic Vacuum DCL500

The Makita DL500 was impressive to use.   The suction on this small vacuum was perfect for our needs on these small projects.   I tended to use a dustpan and broom for the larger items and wood chips and then the cyclonic vacuum on the small particles and dust. The result was a super clean area that looked as if I was never there.

We especially appreciated its compact size, measuring only 13-7/8 inches long. The DCL500 is simple to operate with only two push buttons to control vacuuming. One-button controls high and low suction and the other button turns the unit off.

Two L.E.D. warning lamps were useful to indicate when the filter needed cleaning or battery charging.

A lever on top of the unit cleans the filter without having to remove the filter from vacuum. A small brush is included and stores on board to clean the units screen filter and re-usable dust filter. Both the dust cap and filter are washable.

Emptying debris from this vacuum is as simple as lifting the .53-pint dust container out of the vacuum and pressing one lever to detach the container.

The telescoping extension wand provides an adjustable reach of 38″- 40″ of reach and I was able to select a comfortable length that i not strain my back.

A shoulder strap, floor and crevice nozzles comes as accessories with this unit and I found I mostly used the floor nozzle. The floor nozzle is well designed with two relief notches to keep the nozzle from sucking into carpets.  The crevice nozzle did come in handy when installing full extension drawer slides and I needed to get saw dust from behind the slides.

The vacuum was so easy, and such a please to use on projects that I found myself spreading out of my work zone and cleaning other areas – funny I know!   The best part of this vacuum is the filtration system works so well that there is no issue of dust escaping the exhaust and getting airborne – even with plaster dust.


The debris container capacity on the DCL500 is small, fills up quickly and would be more useful if it were enlarged.  We basically empty this unit every time we use it so its ready the next time we need it.

I’d also like to see Makita, at least, double the run-time.  I used this vacuum on both high and low.  The low setting is extremely quiet and works well but I had a hard time sticking to using it – mentally I kept putting the vacuum on high to get maximum suction.

Out of the dozen of so clean ups, when I used the DCL500 on high, there were only two instances where I ran out of battery charge.  I have since trained myself to use the low setting to maximize run-time.

The want and accessories friction fit onto each other but need a lot of force to get them to stay on.

Overall Impression:

The Makita 18-Volt Cyclonic Vacuum DCL500 is a cordless tool and sold as a tool only so you will need to either own the battery platform or purchase a battery and charger separately.

The Makita DCL500 was designed for portability and works exceptionally well on small clean up jobs. It has all of the accessories needed to do a proper clean up, without the weight and size of a larger vacuum and with the convenience of not plugging in a cord or having to running an extension cord to an out of reach area.

Having a small, compact, powerful vacuum to clean up after your projects are not only the right way to do things, it portrays a professional image and leaves a lasting impression with your clients.

Highly recommended!

How Much and Where To Buy?

The Makita 18-Volt Cyclonic Vacuum DCL500 sells online for $274.00 here: Makita-DCL500Z-Canister-Vacuum>

Makita DCL500 Video Review


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