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
Eley Wall Mount Hose Reel
5 out of 5
Liberty Garden Wall Mount Hose Reel
5 out of 5
Eley Hose Reel Cart
4.5 out of 5
Liberty Garden Hose Reel Cart
4.5 out of 5
Suncast RSW125D Hose Reel
4 out of 5
Here are my top 5 best hose reels:
- Eley / Rapid Reel Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel Model 1041: best wall mounted hose reel.
- Liberty Garden Products 704 Cast Aluminum Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel: best wall mounted decorative hose reel.
- Eley / Rapid Reel Two Wheel Garden Hose Reel Cart Model 1043: best wheeled garden hose reel.
- Liberty Garden Products 870-M1-2 Industrial 4-Wheel Garden Hose Reel Cart: best affordable hose reel cart.
- Suncast RSW125D Aquawinder 125-Foot Capacity Hose Reel: best concealed with auto winding.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.