What is a Garden Hose Reel and How to Use One

Garden hose reels are used to store garden hoses of many different sizes. They are made of metal or plastic and are usually shaped like a wheel, although they sometimes come in other shapes as well. They usually come with a crank to roll the wheel and stow away the garden hose on the reel. Garden hose reels are the best way of storing garden hoses without causing any damage to the hose. In fact, they are the safest way of storing garden hoses and increase their life due to proper storage; if a garden hose isn’t stowed away properly it can start to leak or kink. Garden hose reels protect the garden hose from damage caused by being in the sunlight for too long.

There are different varieties of garden hose reels on the market, the most common ones include:

  • Freestanding hose reel—For larger yards and commercial use, the freestanding model may be the best choice. These garden hose reels are mounted on wheels and can be easily moved around large spaces, for example if you have a large garden. If you use a different type of hose in your large garden, the hose might easily become tangled. Freestanding hose reels are also easily stored away and don’t take up too much space
  • Wall mounted hose reel—The best solution for small spaces. They are easy to install because they are mounted right on the wall and don’t take up any precious floor space. They take up less space than freestanding hose reels, and can be mounted near the faucet for easy access
  • Manual hand crank—This type of garden hose reels has a manual crank bar to roll the garden hose with your hands. These types of hoses are best used in smaller gardens and with shorter hoses. They are usually the cheapest reel available
  • Piston driven—These hoses have a spring-load system in them and automatically pull in the garden hose with a circular motion. These reels work best if the length of the garden hose is very long or you don’t like the manual options that are available
  • Designs—Hose reels are also available in prettier designs for those who are concerned about how the hose will look in their garden

How to find a good garden hose reel

In order to find and buy the best garden hose reel for you, you might need to do some research and have some patience. Sure, it can be time consuming, but in the end, it will be worth it. There are several different aspects you should consider before buying a garden hose reel to go with your garden hose, which we will get into now.

Size

First, you need to figure out how long your garden hose needs to be, or, if you have already purchased a hose, how long it is. Whatever the length, you will need to find a garden hose reel that will easily fit the length of your hose, whether it is 10 or 100 feet.

A general rule of thumb is that the longer your hose is, the bigger your hose reel will need to be. That makes sense, but of course, you don’t want to end up getting a hose reel that is much smaller than the hose itself. This could allow the hose to tangle and damage your hose.

Portability

Before purchasing a hose reel, ask yourself if you will need to be able to carry your hose around or if you’re okay with keeping it in the same place. If your garden is on the larger side, it might be better to purchase a portable hose reel, rather than mounting one on the floor or side of the wall, so you can ensure you will be able to get into all the nooks and crannies of your garden.

If your garden is smaller, getting a stationary reel can be a good option. You won’t have to carry around the heavy rubber and using your hose won’t be as physically challenging, but make sure to figure out where you want to mount your reel and the length of your hose before purchasing one.

Durability

Some hoses and hose reels are made of more durable material than others. Of course, the general rule of thumb is that cheaper hoses are made of cheaper material, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Stainless steel is the strongest material available, and is often chosen by gardeners who want their hose reel to last a long time, as well as being able to move it around without having to worry it might break. Rubber and metal are also durable options while often being a bit cheaper.

On the other hand, plastic is often more flexible and cheaper (the cheapest of the bunch) and depending the climate and weather conditions, might be strong enough for you and your garden. It all depends on your needs, the shape, size and frequency of use. There are so many different types of garden reels available, the perfect one is out there for you.

Extra options

Of course, there are garden hose reels that come with extra options, and once you’ve figured out the size, portability and durability, it’s time to consider these. Things to consider include weight, wheel size, and even color and other designs. Some garden hose reels also come with extra nozzle options and extra O rings, which need to be replaced regularly.

In the end, different hoses and different hose reels serve different people. If you’re new to gardening and hose reels, don’t be afraid to ask a friend who isn’t new to lawn and garden care for some guidelines and tips. Experienced gardeners who have seen your garden and what you have to work with will be able to help you decide on the right garden hose reel for you.

After all, you don’t want a hose reel that’s too heavy for you to move around comfortably, while also being able to get in all the nooks and crannies of your garden. Going for middle ground is a great rule of thumb, but adjust accordingly based on your garden, the condition, the type of your hose and your needs as a gardener.

Check out our suggestions of garden hose reels for your own gardening needs.