Whether you’re watering your lawn, caring for flowerbeds, or watering your garden plot, having easy, direct access to water is vital. A water hose makes that possible, but you’ll need a way to store and use that hose. A hose reel helps you keep your water hose stored properly and neatly, eliminates mess, helps prevent kinks, and allows you to roll/unroll the hose quickly whenever you need to.
However, you’ll quickly find that there are many different styles of hose reel on the market, and they’re not even remotely the same, while performing identical functions. We’ve assembled this guide to help you make sense of your options and choose the best hose reel for your specific needs. We’ll get started with a head-to-head garden hose reel comparison, then move on to in-depth reviews to help you find the best hose reel. Finally, we’ll cover some must-know topics about buying hose reels so you can make an informed decision.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Hose Reels
- 2 Eley/Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel Model 1041
- 3 The Ames Companies, Inc. 2519100 NeverLeak Decorative Metal Hose Cabinet
- 4 Liberty Garden 712 Single Arm Navigator Multi-Directional Garden Hose Reel
- 5 HOSELINK Automatic Retractable Garden Hose Reel with 7-Function Spray Gun, 82-Feet
- 6 ELEY Drinking Water Safe Polyurethane Garden Hose 100'
- 7 Liberty Garden 713 Revolution Multi-Directional Garden Hose Reel, Red
- 8 RL Flo-Master 65HR8 Retractable Hose Reel, 65 Feet, Brown
- 9 Suncast Powerwind 12-Volt Automatic Hose Reel Rechargeable Garden Hose Reel with Pedal Operation
- 10 Eley/Rapid Reel Two Wheel Garden Hose Reel Cart Model 1043
- 11 Finding the Best Garden Hose Reel: A Buying Guide
- 12 Conclusion
The Best Hose Reels
|Name||Construction Material||Mount/Install Type||Hose Capacity||Fitting Type|
|Eley/Rapid Reel Model 1041||Diecast aluminum||Wall mount||150 ft. of 5/8 hose or 100 ft. of 3/4 hose||Crush-proof brass|
|The Ames Companies 2519100 NeverLeak Hose Cabinet||Aluminum||Standalone||150 ft. of 5/8 hose or 100 ft. of 3/4 hose||Not listed|
|Liberty Garden 712 Single Arm Navigator Hose eel||Steel||Wall mount||150 ft. of 5/8 hose.||Brass and galvanized steel|
|HOSELINK Automatic Retractable Garden Hose Reel||Plastic||Wall mount/portable||Includes hose/82 ft., 9/16 hose||Brass|
|ELEY Drinking Water Safe Polyurethane Garden Hose 100′||Diecast aluminum||Standalone||150 ft. of 5/8 hose or 100 ft. of 3/4 hose||Crush-proof brass|
|Liberty Garden 713 Revolution Garden Hose Reel||Steel||Wall mount||125 ft. 5/8 hose||Brass and galvanized steel|
|RL Flo-Master 65HR8 Retractable Hose Reel||Plastic||Wall mount||Includes 65 ft. 5/8 hose||Brass hose end|
|Suncast Powerwind 12 Volt Automatic Hose Reel||Plastic||Standalone||100 ft. of 5/8 or 3/4 vinyl hose (*not rubber)||Not listed|
|Eley / Rapid Reel Two Wheel Garden Hose Reel Cart Model #1043||Diecast aluminum||Standalone||150 ft. of 5/8 hose||Crush-proof brass|
Now that we have taken a quick look at how the various garden hose reels on the market stack up to one another, we need to go a bit deeper. Below, you’ll find our in-depth retractable hose reel reviews to inform your purchase decision.
Eley/Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel Model 1041
The Eley/Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel Model 1041 is one of the most streamlined options on our list. It is made from diecast aluminum, which offers less weight but extreme durability in outdoor conditions. Aluminum will never rust, and oxidation is prevented by the powder coated finish.
This particular hose reel is wall mountable only, and it includes a six-foot leader hose to help connect to your spigot. The fittings are made from crush-proof brass rather than plastic, and it also comes with all the mounting hardware necessary – all you need to do is supply the area. Note that some assembly is required with this reel, and that it does not include a water hose. It can support up to 150 feet of standard 5/8-inch garden hose, or 100 feet of heavy-duty 3/4-inch garden hose.
Note that the manufacturer does stipulate that some hose brands and styles may be incompatible with this hose reel. The hose reel uses a compact handle mounted on the outside rim that swivels as you turn, helping to prevent blisters. The reel is a dark brown in color, which helps it look good against virtually any home color.
Finally, this hose reel comes with a full 10-year warranty that guarantees no breaks and no leaks, making this one of the best hose reels on the market.
The Ames Companies, Inc. 2519100 NeverLeak Decorative Metal Hose Cabinet
The second choice on our list, the NeverLeak hose reel cabinet is an interesting option. It is a standalone reel that requires space near the base of your home for installation, which simply involves placing the cabinet on the ground, installing your hose, and then connecting it to an outdoor spigot with the included leader hose.
The cabinet is a dark brown in color, so it will blend in with your landscape rather than standing out. It is built to withstand cold temperatures, and you can leave your hose out all year, as long as you drain the water from the hose before freezing temperatures set in.
Like conventional hose cabinets, the NeverLeak hose reel has a side-mounted handle and a sliding hose guide. As you turn the handle, the inner drum winds, and the guide moves back and forth to help ensure that your hose reels up without tangling or kinking. This hose reel can hold up to 150 feet of 5/8-inch hose.
The first of two Liberty Garden hose reels to make our list, the Navigator is a lovely rubbed bronze in color. It’s also very unique when compared to other hose reels on the market. It is made from 18-guage steel for superior durability and long-lasting performance. The powder coating helps prevent rust and degradation.
The hose reel offers 90-degree arm with a pivoting reel holder that allows you greater freedom of movement when using your hose. The pull-up knob allows you to free the reel for full 360-degree turning capabilities. There is also a convenient basket built into the top of the hose reel to hold things like gloves, different hose nozzles, and more.
Note that this is a wall mount hose reel only and will require space on your home’s exterior wall for installation. Also note that it does not include any mounting hardware. You will need to supply the screws necessary to attach it to your home. It does have brass and galvanized steel fittings for superior performance over time.
This hose reel arrives fully assembled. The only thing you’ll need to do is attach the handle, then mount it to your home.
HOSELINK Automatic Retractable Garden Hose Reel with 7-Function Spray Gun, 82-Feet
For those looking for an automatic solution to reeling in their garden hose, the HOSELINK Automatic Retractable Garden Hose Reel offers quite a few benefits. It’s one of the more unique hose reels on our list.
One of the most interesting things about this particular reel is the fact that it can be mounted to the wall, but it can also be removed and carried with you. It’s designed to be portable, which is why the body is made out of plastic. It is also one of the few hose reels on our list to come with a water hose. It includes 82-feet of 9/16-inch hose with brass threaded ends and even includes a spray gun. It’s made form metal and offers seven different spray functions.
The wall bracket allows you to swivel the hose reel up to 180 degrees to ensure that you’re able to get the perfect solution to your watering needs. The rewind function is simple and easy to use, as well, and it eliminates the need to manually wind the hose back up when you’re done. Note that the rewind mechanism is not electronic – it’s spring-based – so there is no need to plug in the reel or to charge batteries.
ELEY Drinking Water Safe Polyurethane Garden Hose 100'
The second Eley/Rapid Reel model on our list, the 1042 is a freestanding version of the 1041. It offers an almost identical appearance, all the way down to the rubbed bronze finish on the diecast aluminum construction. The only difference is that this hose reel uses a four-footed base stand rather than a wall mount.
This hose reel features the same crush-proof brass fittings and can hold up to 150 feet of 5/8-inch hose. The base is designed to be tip-resistant, so you can really use your hose without worrying about it toppling over on you. It also includes an inlet hose and leader so you can connect to your spigot with ease.
Note that this hose reel does not include a hose, and there is some assembly required. However, it comes with a 10-year warranty that guarantees it will not leak or break during that time.
Liberty Garden 713 Revolution Multi-Directional Garden Hose Reel, Red
The second Liberty Garden hose reel to make our list, the 713 Revolution is a bold, bright red in color, and it’s made from 18-guage steel for durability. The paint is applied through a powder coating process to help prevent chipping or peeling and ensure there’s plenty of protection against rust and corrosion.
This hose reel features many of the same benefits as the previous Liberty Garden model. This includes the rotating bracket, and the pull-knob on top that enables 360 degrees of rotation. The primary difference, other than the color, is the top. The previous model featured a side-mounted basket, whereas this one includes a wide storage tray where you can place things like extra nozzles and tools.
Note that this hose reel does not come with mounting hardware – you’ll need to supply your own screws/bolts. The handle also needs to be attached, but there is no other assembly required. It is capable of holding 125 feet of 5/8-inch hose, which is not included with the purchase. There are also 24 locking positions on the swivel that will allow you to dial in the ideal angle and then lock the reel in place for no-worry operation from day to day.
RL Flo-Master 65HR8 Retractable Hose Reel, 65 Feet, Brown
Another solution for those who’re sick and tired of manually re-reeling their water hose, the RL Flo-Master 65HR8 is a wall-mountable hose reel that delivers plenty of benefits. The body is made from UV-resistant plastic to reduce weight, and the mounting plate is small, ensuring that you can mount your reel anywhere you might want.
One of the more interesting things about this particular hose reel is the fact that the entire reel pivots – you get up to 180 degrees of angular movement while the base remains securely attached to the wall of your structure. The bracket is also designed for easy removal, and the reel can be carried by the top-mounted handle if you need to change locations.
The reel features a handy guide that ensures the hose does not overlap itself while re-winding, and it actually comes with a hose. The hose measures 65 feet long and is 5/8-inch in thickness. It also includes a nozzle that offers eight different spray patterns. Note that the retraction mechanism is spring-based and is not electric, which means no batteries.
Suncast Powerwind 12-Volt Automatic Hose Reel Rechargeable Garden Hose Reel with Pedal Operation
No doubt you are familiar with the Suncast name. The company manufactures an incredibly wide range of outdoor equipment, from pool boxes to storage sheds to this convenient automatic hose reel. Like the company’s other offerings, this reel is an excellent purchase, particularly for those who want a bit more convenience in their garden and lawn maintenance.
The Suncast Powerwind can hold up to 100 feet of hose, and it includes a hose guide so that there’s no worry about overlapping when rewinding. While it is an automatic reel, there is also a handle available if you’d rather use that. You’ll also find a convenient front-mounted drawer that allows you to store work gloves and other items.
Of course, the real beauty (pun intended) of this gadget is the automatic rewind function. Unlike the others on our list, which use spring-based systems, this one uses a battery-powered electric motor. Simply step on the side-mounted pedal and the motor engages, reeling in your hose without you having to do a single thing. The battery is rechargeable and will give you up to 20 uses per charge. It also takes very little time to charge the battery, ensuring convenience.
Eley/Rapid Reel Two Wheel Garden Hose Reel Cart Model 1043
The third Eley/Rapid Reel model to hit our list, the 1043 is virtually identical to the other two but with a single key difference. It’s mounted to a wheeled cart that lets you move it around your yard with ease. When lowered, the front-mounted legs ensure complete stability. All you need to do to move it is tilt it backward and off you go.
The entire body of the reel is made from diecast aluminum and protected by powder coated paint to ensure durability. It also features the same crush-proof brass fittings as the other two models and comes with a leader hose to make it easy to connect to your spigot. The wheels measure 10 inches in diameter, are solid to prevent leaks, and the knobby tread makes it easy to roll over any type of terrain.
Note that this hose reel comes with the same 10-year warranty as the other two from Eley/Rapid Reel and guarantees no leaks or breakage during that time. Some assembly is required to set it up, though.
That concludes our hose reel reviews. As you can see from our list of the nine best hose reels on the market, there’s something for just about anyone. Whether you’re looking for a wall-mounted hose reel, one that automatically retracts, or one that can roll around the yard with you, there’s a solution for your needs.
However, what if you’ve never actually bought a hose reel before? What should you base your buying decision on? What are the most important features to look for in a garden hose reel? Our buying guide below will give you all the information needed.
Finding the Best Garden Hose Reel: A Buying Guide
Making the most out of your yard is important. However, you need the right yard tools to do so. One of the most critical is your water hose – it’s what allows you to water your lawn, or to grow live-giving fruits and vegetables. You use your water hose for washing your car, for power washing your home, your deck, and for so many other things. The problem is that without a solution for storing your hose, it can become problematic. A hose reel is the solution to those challenges.
Why Do You Need a Hose Reel?
First, let’s address why you need a hose reel in the first place. There are actually several reasons, and we’ll break them down for you below.
Organization – First, you’ll find that having a hose reel helps a lot with organization. You’re able to keep your hose reeled up in place, and many of the reels we reviewed have additional features that allow you to store nozzles, gloves, and other tools conveniently nearby.
Safety – How often do you trip on an unrolled garden hose? Chances are you can remember at least once. What about your children or pets? Having a garden hose reel helps ensure better safety for anyone who might be using your yard.
Protection – Your garden hose is an investment and you expect it to stand the test of time. However, exposure to UV rays and sunlight can cause degradation and damage in a surprisingly short amount of time. This will lead to your hose weakening and eventually blowing out, or to the exterior cracking. A hose reel can keep your hose out of direct sunlight (for the most part) and protected from other dangers, such as lawn mowers, trimmers, tillers, and chewing from pets.
Ease of Use – Using your water hose shouldn’t be a challenge, but many homeowners struggle with kinks, tangles, and knots. A hose reel will roll and unroll smoothly, helping to prevent those hassles and problems.
So, now that we have established some of the most important benefits of hose reels, we need to look at the things you’ll want to consider when buying one.
Materials and Durability
First, we need to consider the materials the reel is made from. On our list alone you can see three different construction materials, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. There are also other materials out there that you might encounter that we’ve not included on our list.
Steel – Steel is super strong and exceptionally durable. With proper care, it can last for decades and stand up to a lot of use and abuse. However, care should be taken to ensure that you’re buying the right steel hose reel. Only choose steel reels that are painted/powder coated. Steel is susceptible to rust and inferior paints (or unpainted metal) will not stand the test of time. All of the steel reels on our list are powder coated to ensure durability and longevity.
Aluminum – Aluminum is one of the lightest and most durable metals on the market. Unlike steel, it does not rust, so corrosion and degradation are not concerns. However, aluminum will oxidize over time. If you choose an aluminum hose reel, make sure that it is powder coated to prevent oxidation.
Plastic – Plastic hose reels are among the most affordable options on the market. Several of the reels we featured have plastic housings, and this material is used frequently in conjunction with retractable reels to offset the additional weight of the motor or spring system used.
Resin – Resin is a lot like a thicker plastic and offers the same benefits, namely reduced weight, and good durability. Suncast makes a lot of resin hose reels, but you’ll find plenty of others on the market, too. Resin is very UV resistant, more so than many types of plastic.
Cast Iron – Cast iron reels are available on the market and come in two styles: wall mounted and freestanding. Cast iron can be elegant and incredibly durable, but it is highly-susceptible to rust from exposure to moisture. If you go with cast iron, make sure to get a reel that is well coated in a UV resistant paint, and be prepared to repaint it in a few years’ time.
Type of Reel
You will also need to consider the type of reel. Do you want one that you simply wrap the hose around without any sort of automatic retraction capabilities? These rely on a manual crank and allow you to reel in the hose on your own. Most have a hose guide that helps to prevent the hose from overlapping itself, as well.
Retractable reels are also available, and you have two choices – spring-operated and battery powered. There are examples of both types on our list of the best hose reels on the market. There is really no tangible benefit to either type over the other. Spring-loaded options do not require batteries, but battery-powered reels sometimes operate more smoothly and a little faster. However, the battery does need to be recharged from time to time.
Hose Length and Size
The length and size of the hose you want to use will make a difference. Obviously, length will determine just how far out into your yard you can extend the hose. Size will affect the volume of water within the hose, as well as the durability of the hose over time. Most of the reels we reviewed are able to store a minimum of 100 feet of 5/8-inch hose. That’s more than ample length for most homeowners, and 5/8-inch is standard size.
Some of the reels we featured can handle 3/4-inch hose, which is heavier duty and will last longer. However, understand that the thicker the material of the hose, the heavier it will be and the shorter the length of hose the reel will be able to support. All hose reels should stipulate the size and length of hose they’re capable of holding.
Not all hose reels are particularly portable, but many models are. However, they may offer portability in different ways.
Wheels – The most common type of portability solution is to equip the reel with wheels. You’ll find wheeled reels made from metal, plastic, and from resin. In this situation, large, solid wheels with an aggressive tread are usually the better option as they can more easily traverse grass, sand, gravel, and other materials. Narrow, plastic wheels, or small, air-filled wheels should be avoided because they are difficult to roll over rough terrain and they are susceptible to punctures.
Handles – Some of the wall-mounted hose reels we covered in our reviews have handles on top that allow you to easily carry them where you want in your hard. You just need to release the body of the reel from the mounting bracket, grasp the handle, and off you go. Note that hand-held portable reels may not offer the same ease of reeling when not attached to a mount.
With that being said, some reels are not designed for portability. They’re made to be mounted or set in one place and used there.
Mounted hose reels and stationary reels are widely available. If you want to mount a reel to the side of a structure, you’ll need to consider several things. One of those is the amount of room the mounting bracket/plate on the reel will need, as well as the amount of space taken up by the body of the reel. Make sure you have enough space on the wall of the structure to mount it and that you have ample room for the reel body. With standalone reels that are designed for stationary use, make sure that they will be stable while reeling. A low, wide-set stance is best for this.
When shopping for a hose reel, you’ll definitely want to consider the type of couplings used. There are two that you’ll need to concern yourself with – the connection of the leader hose to the reel water outlet and the connection of the leader hose to your spigot. Some of the lower-quality hose reels on the market use plastic here. Avoid those.
Plastic is an inferior material and is prone to breaking in cold weather and through accidents. Look for metal couplings. Brass is the best, as it is corrosion resistant and will not rust with exposure to water. Crush-proof brass is ideal, as it helps to ensure that you don’t accidentally make your reel inoperable by crushing one of the couplings to the point that it won’t connect.
Hose or No Hose?
As you noticed from our hose reel review, most reels do not come with a hose, but some do. Which is better or your needs? Really, it comes down to personal preference in regard to the hose that you want to use in your yard. However, in some cases, that’s not the issue.
Some of the automatic retractable hose reels come with their own hose, which is usually a smaller diameter than standard (such as 9/16-inch). They come with a hose because this size is required for the retraction mechanism to operate. So, in this instance, the inclusion of a hose is a necessity for you.
The vast majority of basic hose reels do not come with a hose, although some companies will let you bundle a purchase when you buy online. In these cases, always check the reel’s specifications and limits to make sure that you get a hose length and size that’s compatible.
Most hose reels are pretty basic, but some come with additional accessories that can make a difference in your usability and enjoyment of the reel.
Sprayer – Some of the hose reels on our comparison list included sprayers with different patterns. Often, these are worth considering as they are higher quality than what you might find from a big box store and are guaranteed to work with the reel.
Storage – A few of the hose reels we reviewed included storage options, such as a basic, shelf, or drawer where you can store things like gloves, nozzles, and the like. These can add convenience but should not be seen as deal breakers if they’re not included.
A hose reel can offer convenience, protection, improved safety around your home and yard, and can even be a beautiful addition to your home. You’ll find something out there that fits your style goals, use needs, and budget.
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