When summer or spring comes, you’re going to need to do lots of watering in your garden. While gardening can be a fun activity to do, you’ll need the proper equipment to enjoy it. A great gardening hose is a good start.
However, your hose can be a headache if you don’t have a reel.
Without a hose reel, you’ll be wasting time and effort in coiling or uncoiling your hose. Hence, having a hose reel is a must for all gardeners. This is especially true for those who have big gardens.
However, buying a reel won’t simply solve your hose problems. Like any product, some may malfunction and give you more problems. An example would be the reel’s operation.
Surely, you wouldn’t want a reel that’s hard to operate. Moreover, having a reel that badly affects your hose is even worse. This is because some reels damage your hose or lower the efficiency of it. Thus, it’s important for you to buy the best garden hose reel that suits your preference.
Parts Of A Garden Hose Reel
Before deciding on a garden hose reel, you should first check its parts. This gives you an idea on how it functions. Moreover, it helps you know which part is prone to malfunction or wear out.
Furthermore, it is important to understand that a hose reel is a tool that relies heavily on basic mechanisms. Thus, a product that has further innovated these mechanisms will have a better advantage.
Here are the basic components of a hose reel.
The drum is the biggest part of a hose reel that coils your hose. Given its large frame, you should always consider the material used. A smooth drum helps avoid damage to your hose.
Inlet And Brass Hoses
When looking at these two components, durability is your priority. Inlet hoses connect your reel to the main water supply. Meanwhile, a brass hose allows you to connect your reel to your gardening hose.
A leak is a hose’ number one problem. Hence, you should check its material and its tightening feature. Another thing to check is its length. A longer inlet and brass hose gives you more versatility.
Here is a video on how an inlet hose works with a reel.
This component varies depending on your hose. Some bases feature wheels that allow you to easily move your hose. Others come with flat bases for stability.
When checking your hose reel, make sure that it has a strong base. This allows you to tug your gardening hose without the danger of toppling your reel.
Wheel And Axle
A gardening reel is basically a specified version of the wheel and axle. Although this is the most basic part, it is by far the most important.
The first thing you check when buying a reel is a smooth coordination of its wheel and axle. A reel that’s hard to crank is just a waste of money.
Types Of A Garden Hose Reel
Now that we have finished a rundown on a reel’s parts let’s check the types of garden hose reels. This will give you knowledge on what type fits best with your property.
Furthermore, it also gives you awareness on what type will provide the best comfort in your gardening.
There are many types of garden hose reels. But for now, we will provide the 3 most common ones you’ll see online.
1.Hand Crank Reel
This is the standard garden hose reel you’ll find. It’s manually operated like a simple wheel and axle. Therefore, you’ll need extra work in coiling your hose.
On the other hand, it gives you better control. This can prevent unwanted rollout from your hose. Hand crank reels can be either standalone or mounted.
Here is a video on how to mount hose reels to a wall.
2. Automatic Reel
This is a heavy-duty reel that lets the machine do all the work. The machine usually features a spring-driven motor. This retracts the reel without any problems.
Thus, if you absolutely hate tangled coils, this should be your first option. However, it does come with disadvantages. These use electricity and are more prone to break. It’s also a lot more expensive.
3. Cart Reel
This reel probably beats the others if you’re looking for portability. It comes with wheels for easy transport. It’s also usually designed with a cart-like chassis to support the drum’s weight. Hence, it allows easier control and stability.
Important Tips To Consider Before Buying
Reel parts? Check. Reel types? Check.
The last information you’ll need before buying your garden hose reel are the smallest details. Although small, you should remember that these make a lot of difference in your money. If you miss these important factors, then you might end up wasting money on your garden hose reel.
A lot of beginners tend to miss out on these crucial points. So it’s advisable for you to carefully go over the things that you’ll need to know before buying your reel. #1 How long is your garden hose?
1. How Long Is Your Garden Hose?
Always remember, your garden hose reel must accommodate your hose. Therefore, you should first buy your hose than your reel. It doesn’t work the other way around. It’s like booking a hotel room without knowing how many persons will sleep in it.
For starters, your hose will define the capacity of the reel you’re buying. The length of your hose should be not greater than the capacity of your reel. Generally, gardening hoses measure from 3 meters (10 ft) to over 30 meters (100 ft) in length. Having a reel that can accommodate a 30 meter hose gives you a lot more versatility.
For more information on the features of a gardening hose, click this link.
2. Do You Like It Portable?
Some gardeners have medium-sized yards. For this, you won’t really need a portable reel. However, if you do own a large garden with many aisles and corners, then you’ll need a portable one.
Also, portable reels are more advantageous if you’ll use your reel outside the garden. If these check all your boxes, then you’ll need a cart reel that’s light and easy to move. Remember, just because it has wheels doesn’t guarantee it’s portable.
3. Operation And Maintenance
Our last on this list is how efficiently you store and use your reel. If you’re an everyday gardener, you’ll need a reeler that’s fast and efficient. With that said, an automatic reeler might be your first option. However, you could suffer a little when it comes to maintenance.
Having a motor with belts and pulleys makes your reel harder to maintain. This is because it’s prone to motor failure. Furthermore, since the winding is automatic, it can be susceptible to misalignment.
You’ll also need to consider the electricity consumption. On the other hand, hand crank and cart reels are designed for rugged use that can last you awhile.
Some reels also have distinctive features. There are hose reels that can be mounted on your wall. This is perfect if you’re looking to save space in your garden’s storage room. Other features are brakes. These brakes are designed to prevent unwanted tangles from your gardening hose.
Finally, we’ve gone through the parts, types, and features. Now, here’s a list of some of the best garden hose reels you’ll see in the market.
Our Top 5
1. 3-in-1 Hose Reel by Liberty Garden
The Liberty Garden Multi Purpose Wall Mount Hose Reel could be wall mounted on any exterior wall or anchored to your lawn or floor. It can hold up to 200 feet of ⅝-inch hose. This reel by Liberty Garden is has 13-gauge steel with an industrial powder-coated finish. Supposedly, this gives it stronger resistance to rust and heat.
Its fixtures are all brass/galvanized. Most importantly, it comes with a free 5 foot inlet hose and a limited lifetime warranty.
- It comes with a free 5 foot inlet hose and a limited lifetime warranty.
- It is versatile compared to usual hose reels where you can either just wall mount them or anchor them to the ground. This particular hose reel gives you both options.
- Its quality in general makes it durable for long term use.
- It is durable compared to the usual plastic hose reel.
- Reeling your hose in and out is smooth because of the industrial powder coat finish.
- Depending on how you use it or how thick the powder coating is, it can actually fade and accumulate rust.
- There are several issues on its connector mechanism.
- When the hose is too heavy or long, it tends to move a bit or become unstable.
Eley has been known to be a innovator of garden reels. One of their attractive features that might peak your interest is their braking system. Eley’s braking system is designed to guide you in uncoiling your gardening hose.
If you use too much force or speed, the brakes will be applied and thus it will prevent a tangled hose. This product is a hand crank type that offers stability when using. This is achieved thanks to its no-tip base along with its rubber footing.
Furthermore, Eley’s hose reel is made out of aluminum. This assures you that your product will be rust-free and durable in the long run.
- Has a camlever braking system that prevents unwanted rollout.
- Very durable; made out of aluminum that prevents rusting.
- Comes with a heavy-duty swivel
- Sleek color and design, prevents stains that could make it look worn-out.
- Doesn’t have a guide for reeling the hose, makes the coil uneven.
- Cranking is difficult, the handle should’ve been longer for better comfort.
- Not a great reel for heavier hoses; best used for flexible ones instead.
The Suncast PW100 is our automatic garden reel for this list. It comes with a 100-ft capacity feature that makes it very versatile. The automatic feature allows you to unwind your hose easily.
Together with its large capacity, reaching the corners of your yard should be no problem.
The motor in the Suncast PW100 requires a 12V SLA rechargeable battery that comes fully assembled. The charging unit is also part of the package.
If you’re an everyday gardener and you’re wary of the motor, there’s another option. This hose reel has a back-up hand crank feature that helps you manually use it. This is very useful if you forgot to charge it or if you’re letting the machine rest.
The best part? It comes with a foot pedal for easier cranking.
- Automatic feature makes it the best for stress-free coiling/uncoiling
- Has a 100-ft hose capacity
- Rechargeable battery
- Backup crank operation gives it versatility and helps maintenance
- Very affordable price that ranges from $120-160, cheaper compared to other hand crank hose reels
- Belts and pulleys may be misaligned at times, you’ll need to remove the entire hose to fix it
- Doesn’t offer portability
- Could come in different colors, current color can accumulate too much dirt
The next product comes from Liberty Garden again. However, this time it’s a different variation. This is the first and only cart type in this list. With that said, the Liberty Garden Cart is one of the finest cart types you’ll see in the market. It’s built using a 13 gauge steel construction for long-term use.
The coating on its frame gives it better aesthetics. It also prevents rusting throughout the product. It also features four 10” Pneumatic tires that give you portability and better control.
Furthermore, this is paired with the handles and chassis that are engineered to prevent the reeler from toppling. It also has brass/galvanized hose connections. In addition, it includes 5' leader hose.
The 870-M1-2 can also hold 300 feet of a 5/8" hose. This gives it an edge if you’re looking for a reel that has a large capacity.
- Tires are sturdy; gives the cart great stability in uncoiling your hose
- Sleek and durable design
- Galvanized/Brass fittings
- 300 ft. hose capacity
- Doesn’t come with a hose guide for even coiling
- Swivel area can be prone to leakage
- Assembly is quite complicated to follow.
- Steel is not rust-free when exposed long-term
The RL Flo-Master Retractable Hose Reel is a different take compared to the ones previously listed. This product both features a reel and a hose that is tailored for it. At a $90-$120 range, it is a great bargain to have.
It not only saves you money, but it also saves you time by being a 2-in-1 product. To add. the hose is 65-ft in length. It also comes with an 8-pattern nozzle for extra versatility in your gardening.
On the other hand, the reel has several features that makes it unique. It offers a spring-loaded mechanism. This makes it retractable without the use of batteries or electricity. Furthermore, you can mount the hose reel on the wall or you can carry it. Hence, it can function versatility and portability.
- Saves you money because it’s 2-in-1
- Hose reel can be both carried or mounted
- 8-pattern nozzle makes the hose versatile
- Doesn’t need electricity despite being automatic
- Comes with a hose guide to prevent the hose from overlapping
- Casing is not durable
- Hose cannot be changed or replaced, the reel is specifically tailored for the hose
- Hose is only 65 ft long, could be longer given that it can’t be changed
- There are complaints about the retractability durability.
When looking for the best garden reel, it’s important to understand what you actually need in your gardening. Do you want portability over operation? Then a cart reel might be best for you. Or perhaps you want a simple hand crank that you can mount on a wall?
There are different features in your garden that will change your reel preference. Once you’ve listed your needs, you can now weigh which is a more valuable product.
If we’re going for operation, functionality, and price, I personally would choose the #3 Suncast PW100. It’s automatic reeling system is great for fast and easy use. Although you’ll need to charge its battery, the backup crank feature solves this problem.
It even makes winding easier by adding a foot pedal mechanism.
Lastly, it comes at a very affordable price along with a capacity of 100-ft. So if you’re not worried about its aesthetics and the occasional misalignment, then this product is for you.