10 Best Hose Reels | February 2017

10 Best Hose Reels
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★★★
We spent 32 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. There is perhaps no more frustrating outdoor task than having to unkink and straighten out a wayward garden hose, so be sure to keep yours ready to use at any time with one of these reels. We've included models good for people with smaller yards through to units capable of holding a 230-foot hose for those with estate-sized plots. Skip to the best hose reel on Amazon.
10
A reel cart definitely comes in handy when you have a large yard. The Palm Springs Garden is designed to hold up to 230 feet of hose, and has a well-placed manual crank that easily winds it back up with minimal effort when you're done watering.
  • attractive dark green color
  • connections leak a bit
  • there is some play in the wheels
Brand Palm Springs
Model LMPC-0150
Weight 40 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
9
The XtremepowerUS 300 FT is made for heavy-duty use. It is ideal for those who often need to move their lines around, as it is extremely sturdy, and the four large wheels roll easily over rough terrain. It includes a six-foot leader hose for a quick connection.
  • great for commercial landscapers
  • has a small storage basket
  • assembly can be difficult
Brand XtremepowerUS
Model 96032
Weight 42 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
8
The Strongway 2100427 isn't the most attractive option, but that's because it was made for durability and function rather than looks. It has brass fittings, comes with a seven-year warranty, and can be mounted horizontally or vertically depending on your needs.
  • rated for 150 psi
  • left or right-hand friendly
  • no braking system
Brand Strongway
Model 2100427
Weight 22 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0
7
The Yard Butler SRWM-180 has a nice minimalist design that is ideal for those without a lot of room to spare. It features a sturdy rubberized cranking handle and a swiveling mount that lets you retract up to 100 feet of 5/8" tubing easily from any direction.
  • heavy-duty bracing prevents sagging
  • includes a 5-foot supply hose
  • internal parts rust quickly
Brand Yard Butler
Model SRWM-180
Weight 16 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0
6
The versatile RL Flo-Master can be wall-mounted or carried with the built-in handle, and features a spring-loaded release with a stopper, and automatic guides to keep your line from overlapping with itself while being retracted.
  • ships with swivel-bracket hardware
  • eight-pattern nozzle included
  • has a small 65-foot capacity
Brand RL FLOMASTER
Model 65HR8
Weight 27.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
5
The Eley Rapid Wall Mount is capable of being mounted parallel or perpendicular depending on your preference. Its die-cast aluminum construction will easily last though many seasons of heavy use, and it is guaranteed against breakage or leaking.
  • six-foot rubber inlet
  • attractive bronze color
  • includes all mounting hardware
Brand Eley Rapid Wall Mount
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
4
Ideal for complementing outdoor landscaping, the Ames Neverleak is a decorative reeling solution that lets you hide your yard tools when not in use. Its built-in metal water system is 8x stronger than traditional plastic ones.
  • looks great on a patio or lawn
  • auto-tracking for even distribution
  • holds up to a 150 foot line
Brand The AMES Companies, Inc
Model 2517100
Weight 38 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
3
The Liberty Garden 710 Navigator holds 125 feet of 5/8-inch diameter tubing, and features a convenient pull-on knob for easy, free-spinning release. Its steel construction has a beautiful wrought iron look and ensures longevity.
  • built-in shelf for gardening tools
  • assembly is a breeze
  • brass swivel prevents damage
Brand Liberty Garden Products
Model 710
Weight 22.6 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
2
If you're on a tight budget, the simple and affordable Suncast SWA100 is the way to go. It has an integrated plastic handle for easy winding, is removable for storage during the winter months, and includes a faucet adapter.
  • comes fully assembled
  • leakproof connection
  • won't crack in the sun
Brand Suncast
Model CPLSWA100
Weight 5.9 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
1
Constructed from heavy-duty die-cast aluminum with 10-inch tread turf tires, the Eley Rapid 1043 is ideal for those who need a mobile option for gardening that can stand up to the test of time. It holds any standard 5/8" hose up to 150 feet in length.
  • state-of-the-art braking system
  • comfortable grip handles
  • 10-year warranty is included
Brand Eley Rapid 1043
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Before The Wheel, The Reel

Not to be confused with the type of clothing men wore centuries before women called them pantyhose, the first hose was made of long strips of leather riveted or laced together the way one might lace up a combat boot.

Invented in 1673 by two Dutch firefighters, Jan and Nicholaas van der Heyden, the first fire hose was designed to replace buckets of water and hand pumps, neither of which were considered very accurate.

Unfortunately for the van der Heydens, their prototype hoses did not perform very well under pressure. The leather would dry and crack while folded up in storage resulting in leaks, and laces would pop like those of tight corsets worn by voluptuous, Early Modern courtesans.

In an attempt to limit the number of leaks, copper rivets (just like the ones you find on your jeans) replaced laces and lengths of hose were wrapped around large cylinders called drums. No more creasing, no more leaking. That was the idea, at least. But rivets still pop and wet leather still rots.

It was not until the late 1900s when linen replaced leather and rubber replaced linen that hoses became increasingly durable and therefore more reliable. However, due to their stiffness, rubber hoses were no less prone to cracking when folded, creased, and left to dry than their leather predecessors. In some cases, rubber hoses were so thick you could not crease them even if you tried. Where linen hoses folded flat and fit in smaller spaces where they often rotted due to molding, rubber hoses required reels not only to prevent cracking but because they refused to fold without unreasonable amounts of force.

Cylinders were laid on their side, hand cranks were applied, and what once took longer than putting out fires themselves became a quick and simple procedure. Hand cranks eventually became motorized and by 1922, Popular Science published an article about new-fangled handheld reels. Shortly after, the wheel was invented and reels were attached to carts that you can now buy on the internet.

The Arm Bone's Connected To The Hose Bone

When I was growing up in the mountains of Virginia, the garden hose reel at my family's house consisted of two things: the palm of your hand and your elbow. You started at the nozzle and ended at the spigot then hung the hose up to dry on a metal half cylinder drilled into the side of the house.

When you unraveled the whole hose the length of the yard, you had to play jump rope with an imaginary friend for a bit to untwist the hose so it wouldn't kink too much when you dragged it around. All the other kids in the neighborhood had Slinkies to play with, so we were special in that regard. We also wore wooden shoes and walked ten miles to school every day, but that's beside the point.

The point is that you cannot patent the human body no matter how you use it or how far you push the envelope while using it. You cannot patent Michael Phelps' arm span or his webbed size-14 feet, but you can patent a torpedo that can leave Phelps in its wake.

Likewise, you cannot patent the ancient technique of using your hand and your elbow to wrap up a hose or extension cord, but you can patent a wall-mounted reel that will make your life easier and give you time to toss around your Slinky.

And to think someone did precisely that in 1891 a hundred years before we grew our first garden in Virginia. Talk about being a bit behind the times. It makes me wonder if the reason we had a garden at all was because my father hadn't heard of the grocery store either.

Real Reels Reel Real Easily

Because you have no intention of subjecting your uncalloused elbow and palm to a dirty hose covered in grass clippings, here's a few tips for choosing a garden hose reel from a guy who wishes he had one when he was younger.

The trick to choosing a hose reel is deciding before you buy where exactly you plan to put it. When my current home in Los Angeles was being built, it never occurred to me to suggest a strategic location for my one and only outdoor spigot. As a result, I need to keep more hose on hand than my small back yard can handle because once every few years I want to pressure wash my second-story deck. It's a good thing my front yard is a runway for LAX.

For those with a penchant for large yards, keep in mind that what may appear to be aesthetically pleasing may not be athletically appealing. Some reels are designed to sit in the rain year after year, and need not be kept close to home.

In other news, homegrown rice paddies tend to defeat the purpose of hose reels.



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Last updated on February 06, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.


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