That a garden hose is essential to keeping every inch of your garden well-watered and lush is not debatable. But you’d likely hate the aftermath of watering a garden when you have to roll up the hose for storage. This can be time-consuming and tedious that many folks don’t bother after a while.
A hose reel is the perfect garden tool to resolve that problem. An automatic or retractable hose reel is even better in getting the job done because you could easily get tired of cranking a manual reel if you’ve got a very long hose. And you can’t ignore the cool designs that add to the overall aesthetics of the garden.
In this article, we’d show you how to get the best retractable garden hose reel, where to get the best deals, some maintenance tips, and much more. After all, isn’t that why you ended up here?
Top 5 Best Retractable Garden Hose Reels: Reviews
1. Legacy L8346 Levelwind Retractable Garden Hose
The Levelwind L8346 by Legacy kicks off this review of the best retractable garden hose reels. The wall-mounted unit weights just about 17 lbs and comes with a hose length of 50 feet. It’s got a spring-based retraction mechanism that can effortlessly reel in and cleanly layer all that 50 feet for an even coil all the time. Sticking with the retracting mechanism, this can be done in two ways: you can allow the hose to run free back into the reel or engage the latching mode which latches the hose after every 3 feet.
You would love how the wall mount can be fixed in seven different positions (up to 135°) ensuring the reel can be turned on the mount to face any direction and can be locked into the palace via the locking brace. The flat base of the reel ensures it can also be secured on level ground if there is no place to install it on a wall.
The reel is constructed with UV-stabilized polypropylene for durability and features a three-quarter inch ID swivel that minimizes flow restrictions for a significantly improved performance. And with the built-in handle, you won’t require too much strength to carrying the 16.11 lbs retractable garden hose reel.
2. Goodyear Air/Water Retractable Hose
If you are looking for a heavy-duty commercial grade retractable garden hose reel, don’t look any further than this product from Goodyear. The hose reel is constructed using high-quality polypropylene material that is very resistant to impact to ensure durability. It comes with a unique auto guide retract mechanism that can rewind the 50 feet premium commercial hybrid flex polymer hose smoothly without a single kink.
The absence of kinks in the polymer hose is also aided by the superior bend radius and the lack of memory. The quality of the hose ensures it can operate at temperatures extremes of 40°F in the middle of winter and 176°F at the height of summer.
Also suitable for air-based fluids, it comes with other outstanding features including a unique swivel hose inlet connection for protection against leaks, working pressure of up to 300PSI, a 36″ Lead-in hose with ergonomic PVC grip, double adjustment multi-position release ratchet spring to lock the hose easily to the desired length, adjustable hose stopper, non-snag rollers, and much more.
3. Giraffe Retractable Garden Hose Reel
Giraffe Tools are certainly not among the biggest names when it comes to producing retractable garden hose reels. Perhaps, that could explain why so much was put into the design and making of this garden hose reel. If you want to roll with the big players, then announce yourself with a big bang. A huge statement of quality and much more is what this product is all about.
The automatic rewind 90 feet capacity hose reel is designed for comfort, style, and utmost functionality. Capable of locking at any length, it features a patented slow rewind system that retracts the hose at a slow, consistent speed making it safe for kids and adults of all ages. It also features a mounting bracket that is easy to install with a 180° swivel capacity and a quick-release feature; removing the unit from the bracket for storage or transport to a new location can’t be any easier.
The hose reel is built with premium polypropylene that is resistant to impact. The product also comes with heavy-duty twist collar and brass fittings of top quality ensuring minor or major issues wouldn’t crop up to impede the smooth operation of the reel. And with the cord stopper, users can adjust the length of the cord that is visible when the hose is fully retracted. A thoughtful and quite convenient feature is the special no-tangle mechanism that allows the cord to be pulled easily from any direction.
4. Reelworks Extension Cord Reel
Constructed of high-impact polypropylene enclosed spring-driven case, Reelworks Extension Cord Reel is a product that catches the eye with a cool design that provides a perfect contrast for the rugged build. This is an industrial-strength hose reel packing some of the niftiest features you’d want in a retractable hose reel suited for garden and general home use.
Featuring a 50 feet quality hose with LED indicator on a tap connector that allows users to have power whenever they need it, it comes with an Advanced Slow Retraction Technology functionality that provides an uber smooth and consistent speed during retraction. While the double adjustment improved ratcheting locks the hose at the desired length without fuss.
Every inch of this product from the hose, reel, locking mechanism, casing, etc., is built and designed for extreme durability. This makes the hose reel suitable for indoor and outdoor use even in the roughest environment and weather conditions.
5. Gardena Retractable Hose
The Gardena Retractable Hose is the ultimate in convenience with all the connecting devices and other vital items such as nozzles, sprayers, and wash brushes hung and stored on the wall bracket so you can get them easily. It is also easy to use with a practical wall bracket that allows the hose reel to swivel 180°. This prevents the hose from kinking while watering. And as a space-saving measure, the hose box can be folded to the wall. It can also be removed easily from the bracket using the handle for indoor storage during the winter months.
Weighing about 12 lbs, the hose can be pulled out easily with stops at intervals of about 50 cm making it convenient to halt at the desired length. It also features an integrated steel spring perfectly suited for the 50-foot long hose to provide an even and powerful retraction. And with the integrated hose guide, twisting or tangling of the hose should never be an issue.
The kit comes complete with an adjustable spray nozzle, 3 tap connectors, a standard hose connector, a water stop, and all the hardware needed to install the wall mount.
Best Retractable Garden Hose Reel: Buyer’s Guide
Having decided you need a retractable garden hose reel, you now have to deal with picking the unit that best fits your needs. The problem now becomes, how do you choose when faced with a bunch of awesome garden hose reels like the reviewed products in this guide?
The tips below outline all the things to consider to avoid the pitfall of investing money on a reel that wouldn’t serve you needs optimally no matter how awesome.
Best Retractable Garden Hose Reel Buying Considerations
Length of hose
This surely is one of the top factors to consider when shopping for a retractable hose. You want a reel with a hose the can conveniently water the furthest end of the garden. So it’s smart to figure out that distance and get a reel with a hose of the appropriate length.
Hose lengths vary between 25 and 80 feet or even more. While it is possible to extend a short hose by attaching another hose if the one you purchased is not long enough, you have to consider that perhaps the reel won’t be big enough to accommodate the extra rolls of tubing when reeling the hose in. This makes it vital that you pick a hose length designed for the reel.
Apart from watering plants, you might also be needing the hose for other uses such as washing the car, pavement, bathing the dog, at a construction site, etc. If that is the case, pickling an easily portable unit is your best option because you’d have to move the unit to where it is needed.
In such a case, the weight is an important consideration. Something you can carry conveniently would fit your needs perfectly.
Another related consideration is to ensure that the hose reel can be removed from the wall mount so you don’t have to waste time fiddling with too many screws and connections just to unmount it.
Getting a retractable garden hose reel is the sort of one-time investment you don’t want to repeat in a while except you have to buy another unit for cogent reasons.
To ensure that the issue of repairs or replacement doesn’t come soon after buying it, make sure the hose reel is made of quality materials. The reel you decide to buy must be weather-resistant and rust-proof with a hose that doesn’t kink or break easily.
Metallic reels are obviously stronger than reels made with tough plastic parts. To be clear, the materials used in making them are numerous. These include polyurethane, steel, die-cast aluminum, rubber, wrought iron, etc. In most cases though, the best reels combine different materials to optimize efficiency and strength.
For instance, the external and moving parts could be made of steel because these are most susceptible to wear and tear. Hosepipes made of rubber are better than vinyl-based pipes in terms of durability.
Also, avoid units that come with plastic connectors in the nozzles, sprinklers, and spigots. Under the sun, plastic connectors degrade really fast leading to leaks. For the connectors, betting on brass material is the smart move.
The common rewind mechanisms are spring-based, motor-driven, and water-powered. Spring-based are the most common and feature in this review. The water and motor-driven mechanisms are usually found on commercial properties and tend to be expensive. But they are more durable and can hold heavier and longer hoses while providing more power or water pressure.
The diameter of the hose
Your water pressure, all other things being equal, would depend on the inner diameter of the hosepipe. If you want consistently high water pressure, choose a hose with a larger inner diameter.
How the weight of the unit is affected by the diameter of the hosepipe is another factor to consider. Bigger hose means more weight so you’ll have to. strike a balance between the water pressure and weight of the unit. But this shouldn’t apply if your hose is attached permanently on the wall or a fixed mount post.
How To Set Up A Retractable Garden Hose Reel
Setting up your garden hose reel is quite simple no matter the model or type. Some models don’t require any elaborate steps; simply connect them to the faucet or water supply source, and reel out the hose to start watering the garden. Of course, for wall-mounted models, you’d have to screw them to a suitable wall.
For the wall-mounted models, ensure that the wall can hold heavy weights because the hose or the unit will become heavier when water is passing through the hose.
Your hose reel should come with the mounting brackets and everything you’d need to set it up. If the wall can handle it, screw the mounting brackets directly to the wall.
Alternatively, nail or screw a wooden mounting plate on the wall before putting up the mounting brackets on the plate. Just make sure the plate is big enough for the base of the mounting bracket and sturdy enough to hold the weight of the hose reel.
With the mounting bracket ready, simply slide the hose reel into it and secure or fasten with the included screw(s). Some models designed so you can easily adjust the hose reel to face a different direction after securing it to the brackets.
Why You Need A Retractable Garden Hose Reel
Safety – In the absence of a hose reel, the hose is likely to be left lying on the ground. What are the chances that some kid or kids (even adults) won’t trip over it and hurt themselves? These are common garden accidents that can be prevented with a hose that can easily be reeled in for proper storage.
Convenience – Since they are usually mounted on the wall or secured to a permanent place, you know exactly where they are at any given time. Even with the portable units, it is unlikely you’d forget where it was kept.
Aesthetics – Hose reels come in distinctive designs. Some are so breathtakingly unique they add significantly to the decor of the wall or area. They are almost like decorative pieces.
It is more organized and better having the hose nestling inside a decorative housing than having it lying around practically littering the garden.
Enhances durability of the hose – With the hose almost always stored impeccably on the reel, it is less exposed to the environment invariably minimizing the chances of being accidental damaged.
How to use a retractable garden hose reel
Retractable reels are, basically, spring-operated. When the hose is pulled out from the reel, it generates tension in the spring. At the end of operations, it is the cumulative tension in the spring that retracts the hose winding it automatically on to the shaft.
The one downside of a retractable hose is the limitations on the length of the hose. For the system to work, the tension in the spring has to increase the more the hose is pulled. At a certain hose length, the increasing tension makes it harder to pull the hose. Older folks with waning physical strength would find it inconveniencing to pull. For them, a manual reel might be a better option.
Generally, the maximum a retractable reel can hold is a length of about 100 feet for a 2mm hose.
Using a retractable garden hose reel
- Before using your hose reel, make sure it is mounted properly with the mounting brackets firmly attached to the wall or mounting post.
- Extend the hose from the reel by gently pulling it using the buffer for leverage. The hose release mechanism allows you to keep pulling until you reach the required length, Then release it slowly to lock it down so the hose doesn’t retract.
- Retractable hose reels usually come with a bright-colored mark on the hose that indicates when to stop pulling if you intend to reel out the whole hose. This is to prevent damage due to over pulling. Also, you must stop pulling if or when you feel any resistance,
- When pulling, it helps to keep the hose level with the outlet or mouth of the reel casing or housing.
- When you are done with using the hose, turn off the tap before retracting. Also, pull the trigger gun to release all the remaining water in the hose.
- then pull the hose slightly outwards to disable the lock mechanism. Letting go of the hose would initiate the retraction mechanism. Again keep the hose level with the mouth of the reel during retraction for a smooth operation.
- When the hose is fully retracted press the trigger one more time to release any remaining water and pressure.
- If you encounter any retraction difficulties such as kinking or twisting hose, pull the hose out to the maximum length and then allow it to retract again.
- Wipe the reel casing with a soft cloth to remove any water on the surface of the reel housing.
- Trigger guns operate differently depending on the design and model. Generally, they are designed to make handling easy, The pressure of the water can also be adjusted directly from the gun. You can also adjust the spray pattern from the trigger gun or nozzle,
Retractable Garden Hose Reel Maintenance and Repairs
If you are very handy with tools, there won’t be any need to flip through the yellow pages looking for a technician to repair your home reel whenever a fault develops. Most times, proper maintenance is all that is needed to keep the equipment in top shape for as long as possible.
The most common problem after a while of using the hose reel is leakage. This can be caused by anything including a puncture on the hose.
Below are a few maintenance and repair tips you can handle yourself.
- Always ensure there is no water in the hose after using it especially during winter. Trapped water in the hose could freeze and might result in serious damage to the whole setup.
- If you can help it, install the hose reel in a shared area to protect it from harmful UV rays from the sun.
- If the hose reel of a mounted unit is not retracting properly after installation, this could be as a result of the weight of the hose on the spring mechanism. Setting the hose reel at a lower height could easily resolve the issue. This means removing the mounting bracket before screwing it back at a lower position.
- Check the U-bolts on the reel if the spring’s latch mechanism is engaged. The U-bolts could be out of position and need to be reposition properly.
- Don’t bolt or screw the hose reel on an uneven surface. This distorts the frame resulting in poor hose retraction. This is mainly due to the bind on the primary support shaft.
- Replace the O-rings if the hose reel is leaking. The problem could be worn out O-rings or the one being used is not the right size.
Other reasons for leakage includes a loose swivel and inadequate thread sealing of shaft threads. Simply tightened the swivel assembly or apply more thread sealant respectively to resolve the issues.
- For improperly locking spring retractor, look to a bent latch plate, or the latch spring is broken to find the likely cause of the problem. Here, you’d have to replace the bent or broken part respectively.
Retractable Garden Hose Reel Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can an extension be added to the main hose?
An additional house can be attached to most hoses with the right connectors. But the extension shouldn’t be forced to retract into the reel because the drum roll isn’t designed to hold more than the original hose length.
What other options are there to mount the hose reel apart from a wall?
There are many other ways to attach a hose reel if you can’t use a wall. Some manufacturers sell these alternatives; you can contact them for more information about your options telling them where and how you want to mount the reel.
Popular alternatives to wall mounts include mounts that are placed on the ground. These are suited for decks or concrete surfaces. Screws are used to hold down the mount securely to the ground. Another option includes mounting posts made specifically for garden beds. These are buried securely in the ground using concrete.
Is retractable hose reel safe for children?
Though it is not advisable to allow kids to play with them, the retractable hose reels are actually safe for children to use since they are not made with hazardous or toxic materials. Adults are even encouraged to involve kids in activities such as using the hose to water a garden.
Choosing the best retractable garden hose reel for your garden depends on a lot of factors. The size of the garden, your watering needs, the uses you want to put the hose reel to, etc., are some of the factors to consider before getting one.
The products in this review were specifically selected to match a variety of needs. But no matter the product you decide to buy, you are assured of quality because each hose reel scaled a rigorous evaluation process to make the list.
That said, no matter the retractable garden hose reel you finally settle on, pay attention to the maintenance tips above. After all, you want your new garden equipment to serve you for as long as possible.
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