Makita 18V Xenon Flashlight Overview

Makita 18V DML185 Xenon Flashlight Product Image

Editor Rating: 3.9/5


Makita 18V Xenon Flashlight Review

Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson

Published on: January 8, 2019

Last modified:

January 8, 2019 @11:03 am

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

DML185 Review Summary:

When someone mentions a list of necessary tools, most people think about drills, saws, and grinders first. However, there are other tools that may not be as dominant as the aforementioned ones but are definitely useful in certain instances. For example, a xenon flashlight wouldn’t often be regarded as a tool per se, but Makita begs to differ. A Xenon flashlight is a useful gadget to have, especially if you’re handling tools and repairs on a daily basis or are doing it for a living. Either way, having a quality xenon light definitely improves your overall experience as well as precision and speed. You can also check out some of the Makita combo kits that include this particular model.

Back on the subject – if you’re looking for a decent flashlight, take a moment and check out the DML185 model. This battery-powered unit offers more than enough features for the vast majority of projects you are going to face in the future. Instead of utilizing obsolete incandescent lights, take a leap forward and modernize your toolbox with the newest xenon flashlight.

DML185 Specifications:

  • 4-position pivoting head
  • Luminance – 180 Lumens
  • Runtime – Up to 7.5 hours with the 5.0Ah battery
  • Dimensions – 11-1/8” long
  • Durable design

Makita Xenon Flashlight – The Basics

A xenon flashlight is a pretty simple tool. It consists of a high-powered xenon bulb that provides up to 4500-lux and a trigger. Naturally, once you press the trigger, the bulb lights up and illuminates the focused area. It’s mostly used in the automotive industry, but it can serve a purpose in any other industry as well.

This particular model is suitable for both professionals and hobbyists alike because it’s quite effective while being easy to use. In case you need a powerful xenon flashlight that doesn’t require the use of extension cables and other nuisances, this one might be a good choice. It’s lightweight, affordable, and most importantly –it’s quite powerful.

Makita Xenon Flashlight close up

Makita DML185 Features


The best thing about the design is its ergonomic aspect. Some other models might offer more lumens and better illumination, but they struggle with the ergonomic aspect of their design which can consequently lead to fatigue or discomfort. In fact, one of the most important things one should keep in mind when it comes to xenon flashlights is how much comfort they offer and how comfortable it is to hold them for extended periods of time.

The rubberized grip offers stability and prevents slipping. The head of this unit has been a subject of debate among some users where some claim it’s too bulky while others claim the opposite. Overall, it’s not as bulky as it might look, but the head could have been a bit smaller and more compact. However, it’s not a major downside by any means.


This model uses the LXT line of batteries meaning it’s compatible with other Makita products that use the same. It’s important to point out that it comes without a battery included meaning you’ll have to buy one separately in case you don’t already own one. This might be a slight issue for people who are on a tight budget because it’s an unforeseen expense. In case you opt for the 5.0Ah battery, you can expect about 7 hours of runtime. If you decide to invest in a weaker 3.0Ah battery, you can expect about 4 to 5 hours of runtime.

Other Noteworthy Features

The trigger is well-designed and while it’s not integrated into the usual spot, its position on the back of the unit comes in handy because you don’t have to think about squeezing the trigger itself. Instead, all you have to do is squeeze your whole hand and it will light up. The unit comes with a shoulder strap and two spare bulbs.

Makita Xenon Flashlight with a spare light bulb





Good runtime


Compatible with other Makita batteries



Non-adjustable beam


Somewhat dim for certain purposes


Things we liked about it

The sheer simplicity of the design coupled with decent functionality is what we liked the most. There aren’t any complicated functions, redundant buttons, and other nuisances most modern flashlights have. Instead, all you have to worry about is keeping the battery charged, and that’s it!

The price is also one of the advantages of this unit. Some other models tend to cost significantly more and the only thing they offer is more lumens. While this is a legitimate basis for a higher price, it all comes down to whether it’s worth overpaying something for a few hundred or thousands lux. Naturally, it depends on your expectations and requirements, but we think 4500 lux or 180 lumens are enough for light-duty applications.


Things we didn’t like

One of the things we weren’t too keen on is the type of bulbs. Even though they are xenon lights, LED lights might yield slightly better results while drawing less power. However, LED lights also have their disadvantages and are far from being a perfect solution.

Another thing we have noticed is that you can’t adjust the beam per your own preferences. It isn’t a game-breaking disadvantage, but you should pay attention to it in case it makes a difference for you.

What Users Say About The Makita DML185

The vast majority of people who bought this unit seem pretty satisfied with its performance. It does come with a few downsides, but it’s nothing you can’t solve and overcome promptly. The battery life is pretty good and you can expect a few hours of continuous use without any issues. The only thing that could make this deal a bit better is a battery that’s included. Nonetheless, it’s not a massive financial impact to purchase a battery separately.


This particular xenon flashlight offers decent performance and boasts a nice runtime. Those are the two most important elements you should look for when buying this tool. It’s not the best possible product on the market, but it’s sufficient for small to mid-sized projects that don’t take longer than a couple of hours. On top of that, this unit is also suitable for camping, fishing, hunting, etc.

Makita has always been a reliable brand, and it’s no different with this particular model. It’s durable, resilient, and suitable for a vast array of different applications. The price is affordable and favorable for individuals who are on a tight budget.

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