The Complete Makita DCM501 Coffee Maker Review (2022)

The Makita DCM501 is the only dedicated, battery-operated coffee maker by a power tool brand on sale at the moment. We know there’s nothing better than a piping hot cup of coffee to get you through the workday, but with only one power tool brand producing a coffee machine, you’re at their mercy. Should you or shouldn’t you?

The Makita DCM501 is a sturdy and portable coffee maker that produces piping hot coffee in a matter of minutes. Compatible with either ground coffee (using its reusable filter) or 60mm coffee pods. Produces three cups of coffee with an 18-volt 6.0Ah battery.

Are you fed up with your flask of lukewarm instant coffee? Or perhaps you don’t know where to buy the 60mm coffee pods. We have all the answers.

Key features:

  • Dimensions: 19.8 x 28.4 x 26.2cm
  • Weight: 1.9kg (2.2kg with battery)
  • 240ml water tank
  • Battery powered
  • Stainless steel mug
  • Measuring spoon
  • Reusable filter
  • Compatible with 60mm coffee pods or ground coffee
  • Carry handle
  • Accepts CXT and LXT batteries
  • Boil dry protection

What are the good bits?

This is the updated model to the now discontinued DCM500. Out of the box, you’ll notice that it’s incredibly lightweight at only 1.9kg (4.2lbs). A very sturdy carry handle is a great new addition saving you from having to cradle it under your arm when transporting it from job to job.

The coffee maker comes with two coffee-making attachments: one for 60mm (2 ⅜″) coffee pods and another for ground coffee.

The machine also comes with a dedicated stainless steel mug and a measuring spoon for use with ground coffee.

What I like is that this machine has really been thought about. The mug is made from stainless steel which means there’s no worry of breakages, and it’s the perfect material for keeping your brew hotter for longer.

The mug has been designed to fit snugly into the machine so that you don’t get splashed by scolding hot water. It also comes with a lid to prevent dust entry. By way of a small hole, the lid is even attachable whilst your mug is in the machine brewing. The lid is an added bonus for keeping your coffee hotter for longer, too.

Of course, you don’t need to use the dedicated Makita mug. A standard-sized mug up to 90mm in height will fit perfectly too.

Even the measuring spoon has been made with care. One level scoop is the perfect amount for the coffee filter and, after you’re done with it, pop it back into its little home under the water tank lid for safekeeping. An excellent little bonus which means you won’t go losing it.

The water tank holds a maximum of 240ml (8oz). Almost half a pint of coffee should see you good for several hours. The tank also comes with its own little handle for easy lifting in and out.

The new model comes with two battery ports: one port for 10.8-volt and 12-volt CXT batteries, and another for the 14.4-volt and 18-volt LXT batteries. A neat cover keeps the undesired battery port protected from dust and debris.

The machine features a boil dry protection function which stops the machine from burning out. If the water empties, the sensor inside will cut off power automatically should the temperature inside the machine increase. Total peace of mind when you get distracted on the job.

The reusable filter is great for not having to faff around with paper filters. Once you’re done brewing, just dump the coffee grinds in the bin, give it a quick rinse and you’re done.

What are the bad bits?

Due to the amount of energy a battery has to use to heat water to boiling point, three mugs of coffee is the maximum amount you’ll be able to make from one fully charged battery. This is using the 18v 6.0Ah LXT battery. If you use anything smaller, you’ll be drinking less coffee.

Due to being battery-operated, the machine does take a while to heat up the water. But then again, how long does it take you to get to the nearest coffee shop?

I do recommend using the most powerful 18v 6.0Ah battery to get the most from the machine both for power and for battery preservation. Look at the table below for the differences between the compatible batteries.

Battery typeAmount of mugs (240ml)Brew time per mug (minutes)
12v / 4.0Ah17
14.4v / 3.0Ah1.56
14.4v / 6.0Ah26
18v / 3.0Ah1.55
18v / 6.0Ah35

Other things to note

The filter is susceptible to clogging if you overfill it, or use coffee that has been too finely ground such as espresso-style coffee. Clogging will result in leakages starting from the filter because the water is unable to pass through the coffee. We’ll discuss which coffee is best later on.

On this new, updated model, Makita has, for some reason, decided to do away with a mains power supply option, and so you’re now limited to battery use only.

I’m not quite sure why they’ve done this as you’re not always going to be out on-site without mains power. This is definitely something I would like to see back if they update the machine in the future.

Nowhere online could I find information about whether the coffee machine is waterproof or dust-proof, so I gave Makita an email and this is what they replied:

“This machine [Makita DCM501] does not have any waterproof or dust proof ratings…”

This is unfortunate as you would think that a jobsite coffee machine would have these features as standard. I suppose the cheap price point means that they couldn’t give it all the bells and whistles.

In conclusion, this is a great little coffee machine if you regularly find yourself without access to electricity. Check out the current price for the Makita DCM501 on Amazon.

Where to buy the 60mm coffee pods

The Makita DCM501 is compatible with Senseo coffee pods. Although the Senseo pods measure 62mm in diameter, they are compatible with the machine.

If you’ve googled 60mm coffee pods for Makita, you probably didn’t have much luck tracking them down. Fortunately for you, I like coffee as much as I do power tools. Years ago I owned a Senseo coffee machine and, given the size and shape of the Makita coffee pod attachment, I guessed they would be compatible. Turned out they were.

This is great news for several reasons. You won’t have to bother taking along a bag of coffee to work, measuring out the dose whilst doing your best to keep the dust out, and then having to get rid of the ground coffee afterward. Instead, just pop in a Senseo coffee pod and that’s it.

The other great thing is that the Senseo pods are some of the cheapest ready-to-use coffee pods you’ll find on the market, and they’re very easy to get hold of at the local supermarket.

If you want to get them cheaper, it’s best to buy the pods from Amazon as they start from less than 12p per mug. That certainly beats your £2.60 cup of joe from Starbucks! This machine will literally have paid for itself within the first month.

If you want the convenience of coffee pods but you’re feeling particularly thrifty, then why not buy a reusable coffee pod and fill with ground coffee. Just buy a few pods and fill them up the night before and you’re ready to go.

Using ground coffee

For you coffee aficionados out there, you’ll insist on only brewing from a nice, fresh bag of pre-ground coffee. A word of warning is to make sure you select the right coffee. Pre-ground coffee sold in supermarkets is ground according to the brewing device.

The Makita coffee maker isn’t an espresso machine. Espresso machines use around 9 bars of pressure to force water through very finely ground coffee. The Makita DCM501 is a filter coffee machine and requires a coarser grind for the water to be able to safely pass through the coffee.

Don’t let this jargon put you off. Just look for packs of coffee with words such as filter, cafetiere, medium or coarse ground on them. Avoid anything with fine or espresso ground on the packet. I recommend a nice medium roast so your coffee isn’t too bitter.

Grinding your coffee yourself? Get you! You probably knew all this already.

Can I use it to brew a cup of tea?

If coffee isn’t your tipple, then the Makita can be used as a cordless kettle to heat your water for a nice cup of tea. I don’t think I need to give you instructions on how to put a tea bag in a cup, so I’ll leave it there.

Joshua Milton

Joshua has been passionate about specialty coffee for some 10 years now. He built to share what he's learnt over the years so that you can enjoy better-tasting coffee.

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