Choosing The Best Garden Hose Reel

A hose reel is a cylindrical spindle that is used for hose storage. Hose reels are made from a variety of materials, including metal, fiberglass, or plastic. The mechanism of the hose reel can be motor-driven, spring-driven, or a hand crank. They can be portable and able to attach to a cart, trailer, or truck, or they can be fixed in one location.

A hose reel should do 3 things well: reel in a hose easily, make hose extension simple and be able to store garden hoses conveniently and neatly. Buyers also select a hose reel by their pressure rating, by what method they use to rewind, and by the length and diameter of the hoses they can hold.

Garden hose reels can make your life a lot easier by preventing longer hoses from becoming entangled, reducing the potential for tripping or other accidents, and improving a gardener's efficiency by providing superior handling and control.

This article will evaluate and discuss five different quality hose reels available in the marketplace today.

My Top 5 Best Garden Hose Reels

Image

Model

Capacity

Type

Our Rating

Eley Wall Mount Hose Reel

150'

Wall Mount

5 out of 5

Liberty Garden Wall Mount Hose Reel

125'

Wall Mount

5 out of 5

Eley Hose Reel Cart

150'

Cart

4.5 out of 5

Liberty Garden Hose Reel Cart

300'

Cart

4.5 out of 5

Suncast RSW125D Hose Reel

125'

Stand Alone

4 out of 5

Summary

Garden Hose Reel Reviews

Pros

  • plus
    Cam brake prevents reel from free spinning when it's pulled out
  • plus
    No negative reviews are available related to this product's construction or operation
  • plus
    Reel can be set up for either perpendicular or parallel use and comes with a 10-year full warranty

Cons

  • minus
    Doesn't come with a guide, and is more expensive than other similar reels

We gave the Eley Rapid-Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel a 5 out of 5 stars and is the editor's choice for a superbly constructed piece of equipment. This reel is constructed of rustproof aluminum alloy and is equipped with the highest grade stainless steel mounting hardware available in the marketplace today. It has an easy-to-mount wall plate and is coated with a Spartan-brown, high-grade powder coat finish and comes with a solid 10 year No-Rust and No-Brake warranty.


Leaking will never be an issue for this hose reel's 2 super-strong components - a 6 1/2 ft. polyurethane inlet hose (sometimes called a jumper hose) and a stainless steel and solid brass swivel (sometimes referred to as a rotary union). This Eley garden hose reel also comes with an unsurpassed 10 year No Leak Guarantee.


This premium garden reel has been configured to be mounted for either perpendicular or parallel use, as well as for either right hand or left-hand rewinding. It also features a state-of-the-art cam lever brake, a comfortable-grip crank handle, smooth spinning axle bushings and a cutting-edge hose strap, which all work together to make this hose reel the finest piece of equipment possible for all your gardening, cleaning, and watering needs.


The Eley Model 1041 Garden Hose Reel comes equipped with a 3/4 in. full-flow gooseneck swivel and a 5/8 in. inlet hose. If you wish to convert this hose reel to a full 3/4 in. flow reel you can upgrade the supplied inlet hose for a 3/4 in. inlet hose (this size not sold by Eley). A 5/8 in. capacity hose can reach 150 feet. If you purchase Eley's Extra-Capacity Kit, the garden hose will extend to 225 ft. A 3/4 in. capacity will cover 100 ft. and with the Extra-Capacity Kit, it will cover 170 feet.


The 1041 Garden Hose Reel can handle a maximum temperature of 140º F (60º C) and a maximum pressure of 150 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). It can be mounted directly on a brick face or the mortar joints, and it can also be mounted to stucco or concrete. The wall plate can be mounted either horizontally or vertically, which is a boon for customers with unusual workspaces. It is not recommended to mount this reel to pressure-treated lumber since pressure treatments CA (Copper Azole), and ACQ (Alkaline Copper Quaternary) are extremely corrosive, and any contact with aluminum must be avoided.


Pros

  • plus
    Built of non-rusting cast aluminum and has aluminum and brass plumbing fixtures with a weather resistant powder coat finish
  • plus
    Includes a shelf perfect for garden tools, nozzles, or 5 ft. of leader hose
  • plus
    Performs flawlessly and makes bulky garden hose handling a snap

Cons

  • minus
    Harder to crank compared to other models
  • minus
    Finish wore off for some users after about a year of use

We rated the Liberty Garden 704 Decorative Cast-Aluminum Wall-Mount Garden Hose Reel 5.0 out of 5 stars and allows you to wind and store garden hoses in style. The durable aluminum frame has attractive brass / galvanized fittings and spiraled flourishes, and has a hose capacity of 125 feet. It has a convenient 7" x 14" storage shelf on top and includes 5 ft. of leader hose.


The 704 Garden Hose Reel comes fully assembled, and is functional as well as stylish. Simply attach the handle and mount on the wall of your choice. Its heavy-gauge cast-aluminum construction, complete with a strong powder-coated finish will provide its owner with years of use. This model weighs 11.6 pounds and measures 15" x 22.8" x 15.4". Its mounting holes measure 13 1/2" vertically on-center and 16" horizontally on-center.


Construction on this wall mount garden hose reel is top notch - leak free and solid metal. Torque the hose up tightly when you first install it, and you should have no problems. This reel glides effortlessly using the slightest of pulls, and rolling it back is just as easy. It also fits well into the most challenging of spaces. In the off chance that some part will wear out or break repair parts are inexpensive and readily available.


This attractive hose reel looks good with any house color and makes wrapping up a hose the simplest of tasks. It conveniently keeps the hose from sitting on the ground, and protects the hose from dirt, bad weather, pavement and dirt abrasion, and kinking. Despite its attractive appearance, this hose reel is sturdy and can be used for heavy-duty commercial applications.


Other features of this quality garden wall-mounted hose reel are standard 16" horizontal mounting holes, a brass swivel, very smooth winding capability, a clear online owner's manual with easy instructions, and a receptive and helpful manufacturer. This unit should not be exposed to freezing temperatures, and the water should not be left running unsupervised.


Pros

  • plus
    Alloy-aluminum rustproof garden hose reel cart is the highest rated reel in the marketplace today
  • plus
    Solid 10" tires won't go flat while using it
  • plus
    Reel comes with brass swivel and can accommodate both 5/8" and 3/4" hoses

Cons

  • minus
    Lacks a storage for holding garden accessories
  • minus
    Some easy assembly is required

The Eley Portable 2 Wheel Garden Hose Reel Cart is ranked 4.5 out of 5 stars (it is a very high quality product, just a bit expensive). This highly ranked hose cart features flat-free, rugged all-rubber tires and is backed up by an incredible 10-year warranty. An excellent choice for both residential and commercial use, this garden hose reel features stainless steel hardware, a 1 1/2" oversized tubular frame, and rustproof, sturdy metal construction. In addition, it has a Spartan bronze top-grade powder coat finish and will give its buyer years of reliable performance and industrial-duty strength.


Leakage is a thing of the past for this durable hose reel cart. The Eley hose reel has two super-strong components - a 6 1/2" polyurethane inlet hose and a stainless steel and brass swivel (also called a rotary union) which come with a no-leak for ten years guarantee!


This garden hose reel cart has a number of special features that will provide easier frustration-free watering tasks. It has a unique cam-lever break, an easy-grip crank handle, a state-of-the-art hose strap, grab and pull/push handlebars, and very smooth-spinning axle bushings. This proprietary design is perfect for both right-handed or left-handed rewinding.


Also, several optional kits are available to make your watering chores easier. The Eley Quad-Wheel Kit can transform this 2-wheeled garden cart-reel into a 4-wheeled reel and also replace the 2-wheeled cart's front foot stand with a brand new wheeled bumper. The Eley Extra-Capacity Kit widens the center drum of the reel with a simple-to-install spacer, increases the 5/8" hose capacity 75 feet (150' to 225') or Increases the 3/4" hose capacity 75 feet (100' to 175').


Online reviews for this product are mostly positive, with users remarking on how durable it is and how simple its operation is. They also liked it straightforward assembly and its durability.


Pros

  • plus
    Has a hose-carrying capacity of 300 ft. long hoses
  • plus
    Very sturdy, and reels in heavy garden hose effortlessly
  • plus
    Easy to assemble, fast shipment, and reasonably priced

Cons

  • minus
    Can tip over when reeling the hose back in
  • minus
    4 Pneumatic tires must be kept inflated (but they make it easy to wheel it around)

We rated the Liberty Garden 870-M1-2 Garden Hose Reel Cart 4.5 out of 5 stars and is an excellent choice for both commercial and residential use. It is constructed of high-quality materials - a non-slip handle, 13 gauge steel, galvanized brass fixtures, a 90º brass swivel connector, and a long lasting powder coat finish. It also features four 10" pneumatic tires that provide great maneuverability, and its low center of gravity keeps this unit from tipping.


This attractive beige reel cart weighs 35 pounds, measures 32" x 28" x 36", and is praised by reviewers for its heavy gauge and machined brass swivel section and hose fittings. The swivel has a C-clip and can be easily taken apart to replace the O-ring seals when that becomes necessary.


This hose reel cart is sturdy, fairly priced, and comes with clear instructions. The 5' connector to the hose bib is more than long enough for the task and appears stronger than other models in the marketplace. Its threaded connectors are pre-taped with Teflon, which ensure a leakproof seal if everything is tightened down correctly. This cart also has nice paint job. Just make certain to keep it stored inside during the wintertime!


Many reviewers noted that this unit is so sturdy that they will never consider purchasing plastic hose reels again. It is packed well and very easy to assemble. Some people use this unit to store generator cord reels and are very satisfied with its performance.  Whether you are a commercial or home landscaper or a professional gardener, you'll find that the Liberty Garden 870-M1-2 Industrial 300 Garden Hose Reel Cart fulfills all of its positive reviews and will add enjoyment and ease to your outdoor work.


Pros

  • plus
    Automatic water-powered hose reel provides hands-free rewinding with a simple lever flip
  • plus
    Even rewinding using the Smart-Trak hose guide
  • plus
    Uses a more reliable water-pressure retracting system instead of a spring-loaded system

Cons

  • minus
    Some users found the Inner plastic reel warped
  • minus
    Drain hose that it cames with is too small

We rated the Suncast RSW125D Hose Reel 4.0 out of 5 stars and is a quality stand-alone hose reel. It is made of strong resin (durable plastic), this reel comes fully assembled and includes both discharge and leader hoses. Two garden stakes are included to help secure this hose reel into the ground. It has a capacity of holding 125 ft. of 5/8" standard vinyl hose.


Its operation is simple - merely flip the lever and water pressure will automatically rewind the hose. No hands needed! When you unwind the hose, make sure that the water is turned off. Even winding without tangles is ensured by the Smart-Trak hose guide. No batteries and no worries - just straighten the hose in front of it and you'll never need to manually rewind your hose ever again!


This automatic hose reel comes in an attractive dark brown java color and features a very nice decorative wicker pattern that fully conceals reel and hose. Because it is constructed of very strong plastic, it won't develop any cracks when left outdoors in high temperatures. It weighs 22.1 pounds and measures 24" x 27" x 23.5", comes with a discharge hose and a leader hose, and is a great choice for elderly people or people with back problems or pain issues in their wrists and hands. It takes away all of the struggle involved when using a hand crank.


It is essential to manually draw out the hose, keeping it straight, so the hose guide will be able to feed a hose off or on the reel properly. It's also necessary to avoid any angles. In addition, you'll need to avoid any obstacles like lawn furniture or bushes so that the hose can be reeled in straight.

TYPES OF GARDEN HOSE REELS

There are four basic types of garden hose reels - manual (which we won't be addressing today), wall mounted, cart, and stand alone. Some thought should be given to make sure that you are purchasing the correct garden hose reel for your needs. Other considerations are - Is it retractable or not? How portable do you want it to be? Will the garden hose reel be large enough to accommodate the length of your garden hoses?

WALL MOUNTED

Wall mounted garden hose reels can be either parallel or perpendicular, or both. A parallel mount will pull the garden hose out along the side of a wall, and the perpendicular mount will pull the garden hose straight out and away from a wall. Many users prefer wall mounted hose reels because of their inexpensive price. If you don't need to take a reel with you to different locations, a wall mounted unit may be the best choice for you.

CART

A cart hose reel holder offers the convenience of being able to move your hose reel to different locations. Cart holders are perfect for those gardeners who don't want to leave their hoses outside - they can easily use the cart holder to roll their hoses inside a garage or shed. They are particularly useful for a larger yard. Simply wheel your cart to whatever section of the yard needs attention - many carts can hold 300' long hoses.

Professional landscapers and those people who work in plant nurseries and commercial gardens tend to prefer garden hose carts. A good cart with durable wheels makes it simple to move over moderately rough terrain.

STAND ALONE

A stand-alone hose reel is a perfect choice for the person that doesn't want to attach a reel to a wall of their house, but is looking for a reel with a retractable system that can hold 50'-225' of hose. Drilling holes into certain types of walls can be quite difficult, and might not be an option for some people, including renters who can't drill holes anywhere on the property. Stand-alone hose reels are so popular that firefighters in some situations even use them. It's also a good choice for people who are moving soon and don't want to leave their hose reel behind.

HOSE REEL FEATURES & BENEFITS

Perhaps the most important feature of a good hose reel is that it doesn't leak. Although it's not critical to be leak-free, a reel that does leak will become very annoying in a short period of time. Make sure that the hose reel you purchase comes equipped with a better quality swivel that is leak proof.

DURABILITY / HEAVY DUTY

The more you plan to use your garden hose reel, the stronger you will want it to be. People that live in areas with a 12-month growing season and have very large yards and gardens to care for will need a more durable hose reel than those people who have smaller yards and a 3 or 4-month growing season. Choose an aluminum-alloy for lighter weight strength, or stainless steel or lead-free brass hardware for a heavy duty, more commercial, and more expensive option.

PORTABLE

Portability is important for most gardeners, especially so for seniors or those people who suffer from back or neck problems. Look for a reel cart that has flat-free, rugged rubber tires. Do you want a 2-wheel cart or a 4-wheel cart? The answer to this question depends on mobility, balance, and price. A 4-wheel cart will be more expensive, but it will give you a lot more "non-tipping" stability. Four wheels let you maneuver your cart using a simple push/pull motion. Two wheels mean that you must balance the unit while you're pushing or pulling it. If you start out with a 2-wheel cart, many manufacturers offer an upgrade kit that will change it into a 4-wheel cart.

PLASTIC VS. METAL (STEEL)

Most garden hose reels are made of either plastic or metal (usually brass, aluminum or steel). Rusting is a problem for equipment that spends a lot of time outdoors. If you can't stand rust and aren't eager to apply rust-prevention measures, then you should be looking for a high quality plastic resin model. Make sure that the plastic reel you purchase is high quality since less expensive plastic tends to crack if used in higher temperatures.

Stainless steel or aluminum alloys are the best choices for metal garden hose reels. Eley Hose Reels are among the finest in the business and come with a 10-year no-break, no-leak, and no-rust warranty.

WINDING MECHANISM & CAPACITY

Auto rewind is one of the great perks of buying a slightly more expensive hose reel. You'll want to look for a winding mechanism that is simple to operate and features a steel retraction spring if you're interested in top of the line retraction. Using water power to do the work of winding is also an excellent option. A good hose reel will automatically wind up the hose by using a water-propulsion internal winding mechanism.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHEAP AND EXPENSIVE MODELS

Excellent garden hose reels can be purchased for $200 or less, and some good models can be purchased for about $80. Lower priced models will almost certainly be made with plastic parts and will break easily.

The first thing to consider when choosing a hose reel is to make certain that it has an aluminum water-system, which is found on most higher-end metal hose reels. Aluminum water systems eliminate leaking much better since they're approximately 8 times stronger than cheaper plastic water systems. Aluminum systems will help to prevent cracking caused by accidental freezing.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY?

Inexpensive hose reels are everywhere. They start out at about $25 and range to approximately $70. The problem with these reels is extensive. First of all, they tend to be made of cheap plastic which frequently only lasts about a season or so, if that. Second, there is usually not a watertight connection between the hose and the hose reel, and leakage is constantly present. Third, any rubber on it will crack in a very short period of time. The 5 hose reels that we are reviewing range in price from $80 to $230. Our number one pick, the Eley Wall Mount Hose Reel, has a current price tag of around $150. For this price fully 97% of online reviewers rated it as either 5 or 4 stars. Only a few reviewers had issues with it, and most of those issues concerned packaging issues and unhappiness with the online instructions.

HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR HOSE REEL

Before buying a brand new hose reel, you should troubleshoot any leaks you might have. There might be an easy fix such as replacement of a rubber gasket or tightening up a hose connection. Identify the source of your leak by unwinding the hose fully and pressurizing it. Check, clean, and replace all rubber gaskets with silicon grease. Tighten the connections where the leak was noticed. Use a wrench to tighten metal-to-metal connections. Make sure not to overtighten a connection that is metal-to-plastic since plastic could break. Next (only on plastic water systems) check for any cross threading. Then call the manufacturer with any questions.

If you need to purchase a new reel, make sure to buy a hose reel featuring aluminum or brass fittings. When attaching the garden hose to your water system outlet or your leader hose to a water-system inlet, make sure to avoid cross threading. This is critical if your garden hose reel contains a plastic water system. If you do cross thread, the hose coupling's metal threads may cut plastic water-system threads and cause a permanent leak.

Next, check for any defective O-rings. Check your manual or manufacturer website to confirm the correct size of replacement O-ring you will need. Detach the reel from the hose, use a screwdriver to remove any bolts, remove the shield, and then install the new O-ring. Next, oil the bushings by smearing degreaser on a paper or fabric towel and spread it over the knob, shaft, bushings, or any other part. Let it seal and air dry before adding a final coat of lubricant.

If the garden hose reel has spent the winter in storage, make sure to put a small bit of silicon grease to every rubber gasket present on all accessories and hoses. If there are any dried out or missing gaskets, they must be replaced.

If you're preparing for winter, drain all the water out of your garden hose reel and bring it inside. If you can't bring it inside, make sure you disconnect the reel from the spigot, remove any attachments or nozzles and remove any remaining water. Most manufacturers recommend disassembling the garden reel at this point and spraying it with a finish-protecting clear coat. Some reviewers recommend that after each season the unit should be thoroughly cleaned and painted, using a transparent acrylic paint.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, after studying a wide variety of hose reels and reading a great number of online reviews, our editor's choice is the Eley Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel (Model 1041). It is practically impossible to find a negative review of this product - buyers appreciate the versatility of this product, and well as the multiple options, it provides for accessibility and mounting. It is sturdily built, reels in the hose smoothly and effortlessly, employs a cam brake that eliminates any free-spinning of the reel, and it comes with a comprehensive 10-year warranty.

About the author

Mark Kelly

Hi, I'm Mark the owner of Yard Care Gurus. I love to be outside working on my lawn, planning my next project. I created this website to help people like you find the best products for yard care and great advice. Thanks for stopping by!

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