There's no doubt that a hose reel is a vital part of every garden and yard. I admit I'm guilty of occasionally keeping my garden tools and equipment untidy and all over the place. However, keeping your garden hose kink-free and rolled up is a necessity. It not only makes your hose last longer but it also helps with transport and storage. Another feature of the garden hose reel is the ability to remove any residual water that might have collected in the hoses after it's used. It's also useful for keeping the hose in one place and not scattered all over.
Most garden hose reels have a means of reeling in the water hose. This can be a simple crank or, in some cases, a fully motorized reel. As the reel is rolled in, it removes the water that is collected in the hose and, thus, kills two birds with one stone in this aspect.
It's important to choose the right hose reel to suit your needs, even if, at the moment, you're not quite sure what your needs are. After reading this article, you'll have a clear picture of what you exactly need and I've already tried and tested products in each category, so you can choose the best hose reel for yourself.
Where To Buy
Hoselink Retractable Hose Reel
Best Hose Reel Overall
Ames Estate Hose Wagon
Best Portable Hose Reel
Suncast Powerwind Electric Hose Reel
Best Electric Hose Reel
Liberty Garden 712 Single Arm Garden Hose Reel
Best Wall Mounted Hose Reel
RL Flo-Master Retractable Hose Reel
Best Budget Hose Reel
Hoselink Automatic Retractable Hose Reel - The Best Hose Reel Overall
If you're like me, you've probably realized that winding up your hose takes a lot of time. Of course, the longer and heavier the hose, the more time it takes. If you add a large yard or garden to that, then you have to do a lot of winding and unwinding during the season. Fortunately, I've found a solution to our problems. Introducing Hoselink's Automatic Retractable Hose Reel - a hose reel designed to save you time and leave the hose mess and tangle free.
First off, let's start with the design. I have to admit that before purchasing it, I was sceptical whether I would like it or not. However, when it arrived I was pleasantly surprised. The hose reel is rather elegant with the smooth edges and neutral colour. However, don't let those smooth edges fool you, this hose reel is built to last. The manufacturer says that it's built for both cold and warm weather and I believe them.
Now, this is a wall-mounted hose reel, so this review would not be complete without mentioning the mounting process. Unfortunately, I didn't personally mount the hose reel, my wife took that job upon her while I was out buying meat for the barbeque. I have to admit, I had my doubts and I half expected to come back to a broken hose reel or even worse, a broken wall (you never know). However, she mounted it, in her own words, with ease in less than 10 minutes. Hats off to the manufacturers for making that process easy and keeping my house intact. All you need to do is drill the brackets to the house and simply add the hose reel, nothing fancy here. If you ever need to move the hose, it has carry handles attached, so don't sweat it.
Of course, this being an auto rewind hose reel, you're probably wondering what I think of the mechanism and hardware. Well, simply put, I think it's fantastic. Like I've said, after 2 years I don't notice it being any harder to tug, nor do I notice any wiggle room.
This retractable hose reel has an auto-lock mechanism which locks the hose in place while you're watering. You keep on unwinding it while walking and carrying it around. Once you want to end, simply give it a small tug and it will start rewinding.
If you're looking for the best retractable hose reel, this is your choice, without a doubt.
If you're sick of the constant winding and unwinding, then Hoselink's Automatic Retractable Hose Reel is made for you. It really helps with keeping the hose tidy and kink free. It is a tad on the expensive side (subjective), but the value is definitely there and it will last you a long, long time. All in all, it's so good that I decided it was the best hose reel on this list. The list is frequently updates, so if you're reading this, it means it's still the best option!
Ames Estate Hose Wagon - Best Portable Hose Reel
If you plan on moving your hose reel a lot, this might be the right choice for you, introducing - Ames Estate Hose Wagon. When I first saw this hose, it felt like I was in a time-machine. The rustic design along with the robust metal frame really made it feel like one of those old hose reels you'd see at your grandparent's place.
First of all, I'd like to note that this hose wagon doesn't come preassembled. Don't worry though, you don't have to be the worlds craftiest person to assemble it. It comes with clear instructions and what I liked about the manufacturer is that they included a bunch of spare parts as well. So, don't panic if after the assembly process you're left with a bunch of screws and bolts, you didn't make a mistake!
This being a portable hose reel, it comes with four pneumatic tires with smooth ball bearings, for which I can say nothing bad. The tires are tubed and built to last a long time, so you're safe running them over gravel or other harder terrain. However, my only issue with the wheels is that they don't have an inbuilt brake-mechanism. It's not a huge issue, but when you tug at the hose, you actually move the wagon a bit, so I thought it's worth mentioning.
Now, one of the biggest benefits of this hose reel is the fact that it's capable of storing a whopping 400 ft of hose! A friend even told me he was able to get up to 450 feet on it, but it was with a lower diameter presumably. So, if you've got a huge garden or yard, or you have some other need for such a long hose, this hose reel is the perfect option for you.
This is a sturdy, heavy-duty hose built to last, so let's talk about it's all-steel frame and how it stands the test of time. I had to reach out to a few friends to ask about this, as I've only bought one recently for my parents' house. They all agreed that this one definitely stands the test of time and of them even told me that he's had his wagon since 2010, without issues! One thing they did say, that in wetter climates, it may get rusty with time, but that's to be expected with an all steel frame.
All in all, I think this is one sturdy, heavy-duty hose reel that's worth its price for sure. If you need something to carry around the yard, while at the same time want it to last forever, you can't go wrong with the Ames Estate Hose Wagon. Just be sure to store it properly after use, as that steel frame can turn rusty if you're not careful.
Suncast Powerwind Electric Hose Reel - Best Electric Hose reel
Suncast has always taken time to think through the design aspect for all their garden supplies. Their Powerwind 12 Volt is no different. The hose reel boasts both style and function, which you can’t say about most of the products competing with it in the market. The hose reel comes with 100ft of heavy duty vinyl hose. With this particular hose reel, you have all the reel-in convenience as it automatically rewinds with the punch of a pedal. You also get a rechargeable battery that can last for up to 20 uses.
I like that the hose comes with 100ft of hose, this is perfect for those who have large backyards. The hose reel comes already set up so you won’t have to take instructions from a manual about what part goes where. You can start using the hose reel as soon as you receive it. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about improper assembly being a problem or parts getting lost in transport, which happens a lot with other hose reels.
The automatic hose reel comes with a rechargeable 12V SLA battery. A charger unit accompanies the battery for simple recharging. It's quite a powerful battery as it can serve you for up to 20 uses, which means that you probably won’t have to recharge it all through the summer.
It's worth mentioning that some people may have issues with the number of plastic parts and prefer metal or brass instead. Me, however, I'm okay with it as is.
There's no doubt about it, this is a great choice for those of you looking for the best electric hose reel. The auto rewind mechanism of it is spectacular and I'm sure you'll find it to your liking. The battery holds for a long time, so it's ideal to carry around with you in the garden, without a care in the world.
Liberty Garden 712 Single Arm Navigator Multi-Directional - Best Wall Mounted Hose Reel
The design is quite simple and straightforward. The reel has a swivel of 90 degrees that keeps the hose from damaging as you use it around the garden. It can hold up to 125ft of hose but does not come with the hose included. You also get a storage tray for some miscellaneous items you may use with the hose.
Since you're mounting it outside, it helps that is built using 18-gauge steel strengthened further by a coat of bronze powder to make it weather-resistant. The 360-degree rotation makes unwinding and winding the hose a breeze. You can move around freely, without worrying at what angle you're pulling at the reel.
If there is one thing you will appreciate about this hose, it would have to be the quality of the build. The manufacturer took time to make sure that the hose reel will serve you for many years without any defects, and that is a plus for tools that are exposed to the elements day in, day out.
While the hose reel is advertised to hold 125ft of hose, it might only be able to handle 75ft. However, that depends on the type of hose you are using. Either way, it can still hold quite a reasonable length of garden hose. You may have to drill a couple more holes to get the whole reel to remain stable. Upon mounting it, you will notice that reel seems a little shaky but becomes much firmer once you add two more screws.
If you are in the market for a wall-mounted hose reel, then this might be the choice for you. It's a well built, robust and sturdy hose reel ideal to mount right outside your home. It has a nice rustic design, so when you have guests over, you don't need to hide it. All in all, I think it's a great choice for those of you who prefer mounting the reel and letting it do all the work.
RL Flo-Master 65HR8 Retractable Hose Reel - Best Budget Option
The Flo-Master 65HR8 is one of the more convenient hose reels you can buy. The reel comes with 65ft of hose (reinforced) and a hose fitting made of brass, which immediately tells you that it's built to last. The hose also comes with a handle that makes it easier to carry. Inside it is a heavy-duty spring that allows for smooth rewinding, and the guide ensures the hose does not overlap. You will enjoy using this one as it is fitted with a pattern spray nozzle. The mounting brackets included with the hose reel allow for 180-degree swivel, which makes it easier to use in different areas of the garden.
Though the reel can be mounted outside, you don’t have to leave it there when it would be better off staying inside. Just remove the hose reel from the mount and carry it inside to protect it from bad weather, especially when the extremes of summer are in full swing.
Another thing that I like is that there are a total of eight spray patterns you can set the nozzle to. The adjustable nozzle has modes such as mist, soaker, flat, shower, jet, cone, triangle and centre. This feature allows you to tailor your spraying to whatever you're doing, whether it's washing your car or watering your plants.
However, all good sides aside, this hose reel doesn't have the most sturdiest build out there. So, if you're looking for some heavy duty hose reels, you should definitely go with one of the options above. That said, there is a 4 additional year extended warranty option available ($6) and I'd take it for a peace of mind.
For the price, you can't go wrong with the RL Flo-Master 65HR8. It's convenient, comes with a hose pre-attached and is easy to use. If you're looking for a good all-around budget option, then this is the hose reel for you.
Choosing The Best Hose Reel for Your Garden - A Detailed Buying Guide
Now that we've seen the best hose reels in each category, it's high time we take a look at how you can decide what's the best garden hose reel type for your needs. This buying guide is written to make the decision-making process easier for yourself, so if anything else is unclear after reading it, please leave a comment with your question and I'll answer ASAP.
What is a Hose Reel?
A hose reel is basically a frame to carry and store the garden hose. Depending on the budget available and the amount of hose that has to be reeled in, people may or may not need more or less complex mechanisms to deal with it. The larger hose reels need to have external wheels attached to facilitate the easy movement of the product. Carrying physically a set of large hoses is not the most practical of tasks to accomplish at any time.
Since while storing the hose as a reel, it is best to have it done with the water in them drained out, most garden hose reels are made in such a manner that the water that is collected in them is removed as it is wound on the reel.
Do You Need a Hose Reel?
As to whether you really needs a hose reel or not, I'd say it depends primarily on the length of the hose that you use. Some of the smaller hoses can be stored away easily and without the need for a reel, but the larger and longer hoses tend to need a proper garden hose reel. To add to that, it's not only about hose size, it's also about convenience. Hose reels are practical and easy to operate, not to mention they greatly help with storage. A tangled hose is just not fun.
Hose reels are a requirement for any serious gardener and garden and are an investment that does pay off. They preserve your hose and save you a lot of time, so it's really a win-win. If you buy a quality made one, they also last a long time, so after the initial investment, you can rest assured you won't be needing a new one any time soon.
Different types of Hose reels - A hose reel for everyone
Hose reels come in different shapes and sizes depending on the needs of the user and the dimensions of the hose. There's a hose reel for every garden and every need, so let's take a look at what are your options.
Retractable hose reels
These have a strong spring action built into them and help in reeling back the hose in after use. A locking mechanism is used to keep the hose from being pulled in while in use and can be "unlocked" when needed.
Retractable hose reels are usually enclosed in a casing that is meant to keep the sun and rain out. Most hoses tend to deteriorate when exposed to sunlight, so the casing really does help. Also, if you have pets like me, the casing is really handy to prevent them from "playing" with the hose, which they all love for some reason.
Wall Mounted Hose Reels
When a hose reel is mounted on to the wall using an aluminum bracket to hold it in place it's called a wall-mounted hose reel. In most cases, the hose is reeled in using a crank or spring action. This is practical as it's a set and forget process. If you ever need to move it, the process is usually pretty simple and involves unwinding some screws and bolts.
However, those who find themselves often moving the hose reel may find portable hose reels more suited to their needs.
Powered or Electric garden hose reels
Here a motor is used to reel in the hose after the use. Most of the time, the hose needs an external supply to drive the motor that spins in the piece. It is common practice to have the set up mounted on a wall so as to make it convenient to attach to a power socket and to keep the usually large amount of hose neatly packed in.
Portable Hose Reels
If you need to move your hose reel often, you should look into buying some cart hose reels, such as the Ames Estate Hose Wagon mentioned above. Also, if you find yourself having to carry your hose reel to the garage or in-house (for shelter or to protect from theft in some areas) you may want to consider this option. A good hose reel cart, such as the one mentioned above, has quality rubber tires that last a long time and can handle rougher terrain. Along with that, they have a good frame that can handle being out in the weather (as opposed to wall mounted hose reels, which are usually mounted so that they are secluded from bad weather).
4 Tips for Picking the Best Hose Reel
You have to take a lot of things into consideration when you're in the market for a hose reel. Here are some key factors to consider before making the decision.
1. Length of the Hose
The length of your garden hose will have an impact on the type of hose reel you choose. Anything over 100 feet and you should seriously consider some of the more heavy-duty options I've outlined above(such as the Ames Estate Hose Wagon). Likewise, if you have a shorter hose, you can get away with using a less sturdy hose reel or check out our budget option.
2. Ease of carrying
If you need to carry around your hose a lot, check out portable hose reels. No need? You can go with any type, or simply mount it like with the wall mounted hose reels outlined above. Both have their pros and cons, while some people will be fine with both choices, so don't worry too much about it.
3. Additional accessories
By the term additional accessories, I mean the extra fittings that give a certain flavor to the operation of the garden reel. For instance, some reels come with a rotational piece that changes the direction of the water flow without changing the lay of the hose pipe. There are practically no limits to accessorizing with most manufacturers tending to be innovative in some way or the other.
When in the market for a hose reel, durability should be on the top of your priority list. I'm not going to lie, before becoming a serious gardener, I also thought that a good hose reel wouldn't cost half as much. However, I've learned that if you go about it the right way (and you are, since you're reading this buying guide) the right hose reel will last you a long time. Of course, it depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- Climate conditions
- Storage conditions
- How you treat your hose and hose reel
- Frequency of use
But, to keep it simple, a good hose reel will last you 5+ years without a doubt. It's not only about whether it breaks or not, but a quality hose reel shouldn't start leaking during your first seasons. Usually, when you buy the lower-end ones, they start to leak in your first season, so avoid them like the plague.
Like with any product, you can't go into purchasing hose reels unprepared. We all know the old saying "You get what you pay for". It's important that you don't be too frugal when it comes to purchasing hose reels - your hose will thank you for it. However, after reading this detailed buying guide, you should have a good understanding of what you need and how to get the best bang for your buck.
Tell me, which hose reel did you end up purchasing?