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Best Hose Reels of 2020

Best Hose Reel Reviews of 2020

Best-in-class
Eley 1041

Eley 1041 Aluminum Wall-Mount Garden Hose Reel

Best wall-mounted hose reel

Heavy-duty construction, easy assembly, and easy operation make it a winner.

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1 Eley 1041 Review

The Eley 1041 might not be the most decorative hose reel around, but it surely is the best. Made from heavy-duty metal rather than plastic, it allows you to mount it for both parallel and perpendicular use.

It’s manual, but really easy to wind, and it can hold up to 125 feet of 5/8-inch hose – more than enough for home gardeners as well as commercial applications.

Technical specs apart, we also like its neutral color that matches with most exterior wall surfaces, from brick to stucco to wood or stone. Comprehensive instructions ensure easy mounting, and overall, you can rest assured this sturdy hose reel will serve you for the years to come.

Best value
AMES 2416500

AMES 2416500 NeverLeak 100-Foot AutoWinder Retractable Wall Mount Hose Reel

Best retractable hose reel

Included hose and auto-winding capacity deliver exceptional value for money.

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2 AMES 2416500 Review

If you’re not really a fan of manually winding the hose on the reel after you’ve watered the plants, the AMES 2416500 could be the best garden hose reel for you.

Designed with most homeowners in mind, this auto-winder reel is very easy to fix on a wall and houses 100 feet of ½-inch hose. You can’t change the hose, but we like that it comes with a pistol-style nozzle.

It’s perfect for watering potted plants, a vegetable garden, or to clean off debris from your deck or patio.

Another highlight is the fact that you can remove the reel from the bracket, for effortless winter storage. Durable and easy to use, this is the best retractable hose reel your money can buy.

Also great
AMES 2519100

AMES 2519100 NeverLeak 150-Foot Cold-Weather Resistant Cabinet Auto-Track Hose Reel

Best cabinet hose reel

The sturdy metal cabinet can double as a garden table when the hose is not in use.

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3 AMES 2519100 Review

AMES makes its second entry on our list with the 2519100 model – a garden hose reel designed for those who don’t want to drill holes in their exterior walls. It impresses with a freestanding, incredibly stylish design.

The reel is housed in a sleek metal cabinet and features auto-track capability. In other words, the system automatically distributes the hose evenly across the reel while rewinding, so you’ll never have to worry about having to untangle it.

Like our best in class, it’s compatible with all 5/8-inch garden hoses, and it can hold a hose up to 150 feet long. No doubt, a great choice.

Best budget
Liberty Garden 708

Liberty Garden 708 Steel Decorative Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel

Best decorative hose reel

This beautiful garden hose reel comes at a price that won’t break the bank.

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4 Liberty Garden 708 Review

Who said garden hose reels have to be ugly? If you need a wall-mounted option that can also decorate your yard, the Liberty Garden 708 could be the best hose reel for you.

This manual reel doesn’t impress with auto-winding or auto-tracking functions, but it’s beautiful and affordable.

It comes fully assembled; all you have to do is mount it on the wall and wind a hose on it. Like our best in class, it can hold up to 125 feet of 5/8-inch hose. Decorative details include a top shelf you for storing hose nozzles or garden tools or to keep a potted plant.

It might not be as durable as our top picks, but it’s practical, stylish, and cheap. A great choice for homeowners on a budget.

What is a garden hose reel?

A garden hose reel is a piece of equipment designed to hold your garden hose untangled when not in use. This cylindrical spindle can be made of either plastic, fiberglass, or metal. The former two are more affordable but have a shorter lifespan. Metal hose reels are durable, resistant, and will usually last for several years.

Besides keeping the hose untangled, a garden hose reel can also help you prevent clutter in your garden while making your outdoors safer.

Different types of garden hose reels

Based on their design, there are three types of garden hose reels you can choose from:

  • Wall-mounted hose reel: Perhaps the most popular, it can be mounted on most exterior walls. Depending on the design, wall mount hose reels can have either a manual handle you can turn to rewind the hose on the drum or a spring load system that rewinds the hose automatically.
  • Freestanding hose reel: Also called hose reel box, it is perhaps the best choice for heavy-duty domestic applications. Because it sits on the ground, this type of reel is usually bigger than the wall-mounted one. As a result, it can hold a longer hose, while the larger handle makes it easier to crank the hose back on the reel when work is done.
  • Hose caddy: Similar to a trolley garden cart, these hose reels are mounted on wheeled caddies that are easy to move from one place to another. These carts are also very spacious. Indeed some of the best hose reels in this category can hold hoses up to 400 feet long. More often than not, the hose reel cart is employed by professional gardeners and landscapers.

What is a leader hose? Do I need one?

A leader hose is a short hose that connects the reel to your garden faucet, allowing you to mount it farther away from the water source. The garden hose will then connect to the leader hose at the reel level through a water coupling system, so you will be able to use the full length of the garden hose for watering.

Most hose reels available on the market require you to use a leader hose, although it might be unnecessary on stationary types of hose racks that connect directly to the faucet. Some of the best garden hose reels already come with leader hoses included in the package, or you could buy one separately. Leader hoses usually vary in length from 3 to 10 feet.

What hose reel capacity is best for me?

Garden hose reels can usually have capacities from 100 feet to 400 feet or over. However, the capacity stated by the manufacturer rarely matches the reality. For this reason, you should first determine how long you need the hose to be, then buy a reel with a higher capacity, as highlighted in the table below.

Plot size

Recommended garden hose length

Recommended hose reel capacity

Up to ½ acre

25-50 feet

100 feet

½-1 acre

50-100 feet

125 feet

1+ acre

100+ feet

150 feet

Besides the actual hose length the reel can accommodate, you should also check the hose diameter the reel you want to buy is compatible with. Most hose reels work with either ½-inch or 5/8-inch hoses, so check the diameter of your hose and buy accordingly.

Our expert top tip: When determining the garden hose length, remember that the longer it is, the weaker the water pressure will be. For this reasons, it is important to buy a hose of the exact length you need and not longer, especially if you need higher water pressure for tools such as gas or electric pressure washers, for example.

Manual vs. retractable hose reel. Which is best?

Once you determined the reel capacity, you must decide whether you want a manual or automatic hose reel.

  • Manual hose reels: Require you to manually turn a crank to wind the hose back onto the drum. There is some effort involved, but these reels are very sturdy, durable, and affordable.
  • Retractable hose reels: Ideal for beginners, the automatic hose reels come with a spring-load mechanism that winds the hose as soon as you release it. These wall mounted hose reels typically come with an included hose that cannot be changed, but a plastic box usually keeps it protected from elements. There is little to no effort involved in using these reels, but on the downside, if the spring load mechanism brakes, you won’t be able to rewind the hose.

Professionals may also opt for a heavy-duty hose reel with a spring load mechanism and retractable hose or a motorized reel. These options are usually ideal for hoses longer than 150-200 feet.

How to put the hose on a hose reel?

If your reel doesn’t come with a hose, it is essential to learn how to wind it properly. Follow the quick steps below to learn how to put the hose on a hose reel like a pro.

  1. Unpack your new hose or, if your old hose is in good condition and you plan to use it, disconnect it from the garden faucet, drain the water, then remove the water coupling on the inner drum.
  2. Insert a new rubber washer into the bottom of the hose coupling on the female end of the garden hose, then thread the end on the inner drum of the hose reel.
  3. Use the handle to wind the hose on the drum, paying attention to feeding the hose in even coils.
  4. Connect the leader hose to the water coupling on the outer drum. This will connect the entire hose system to the main water source. That’s it! You now have a neat system for keeping your garden hose organized.

Features to look for when buying the best hose reel

Not one reel is the best hose reel for everyone. If you want to make sure the one you want to buy is right for you, don’t forget to check the features below:

  • Material: Water hose reels can be made of either plastic, fiberglass, or metal. Considering that the hose is often heavy, we recommend buying a metal garden hose reel if you want to invest in a durable product.
  • Design: Hose reel designs vary from utilitarian to decorative. Utilitarian reels are perfect for gardening, but they won’t add any aesthetic value to your property. Decorative reels can vary from wall mounted hose holders with shelves for hose attachments to cabinet reels that also double as the ideal hose storage space for winter.
  • Portability: If you have a bigger plot but don’t want to invest in a long hose, you could consider investing in a portable hose reel. Models vary from freestanding cabinets to two-wheeled hose caddies and even four-wheeled carts.
  • Ease of use: Automatic hose reels are by far the easier to use, but most models come with pre-mounted hoses that can’t be replaced. Even if some of the best retractable hose reels allow you to change the hose, your best bet for a smaller garden is a manual reel.
  • Safety: If you have small children, remember that it is important to prevent them from playing with the hose and reel. You can either mount the reel high enough on a wall so that your child can’t reach it or opt for a cabinet model with hose storage to prevent access when you’re not using the hose.

Best Hose Reel for the Money

Best value
AMES 2416500

AMES 2416500 NeverLeak 100-Foot AutoWinder Retractable Wall Mount Hose Reel

Best retractable hose reel

Included hose and auto-winding capacity deliver exceptional value for money.

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