We test nine retractable hose reels priced from $69 and $199.
While retractable hose reels aren’t new, we thought it timely to test what’s out there.
The coming summer promises to be as hot and dry as an Australian summer can be, and it’s likely those with a yard will be using the hose for a variety of reasons from watering the lawn to washing the car.
Retractable hose reels come in a plastic housing which you can trigger to draw the hose back in. The reel uses an internal spring-loaded mechanism that either distributes the hose side to side in the housing so it doesn’t clump together, or has a housing large enough to accommodate the entire hose reel despite clumping.
Retractable hose reels generally come as a package. They include:
- The hose
- Spray gun
- Other attachments
- Those that can be mounted come with installation brackets
Only one we tested had a slow mechanism to retract the hose. Though others claimed to have this feature, we found you’ll have to keep clear when you trigger the retraction otherwise you or bystanders might get hit. It’s safest to walk the hose back to the housing.
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Brands and Models tested
Gard & Grow
Gardena 2648- 20
Gardenline 4883 (A)
Hoselink Professional Series (A)
Maze Moto 45 MR-S45-1818
What's out there
Manufacturers supply a variety of hose lengths. We tested around the 20 metre hose length at a price range of $69-$199. All retractable hose reels on test had plastic attachments. If you want to exchange them with brass fittings it’ll cost you a little more. Most have a ball already installed at the hose ending so when you trigger the hose to retract, the spray gun end doesn’t end up inside the housing.
Aside from the Gard & Grow, if you have a more than one area to use the one reel most of them can be carried elsewhere, and some have provision for a padlock to secure it to a wall mounting.
There are cheaper hose reel options on the market. Manual reels are the most inexpensive, however these can be difficult to get the hose together and loop it over the reel. There are also semi-manual reels that require you to guide the hose into the reel as you turn the handle that draws the hose over the wheel.
- Typical cost of retractable hose reel: $139
- Typical cost of semi-manual: $32
- Typical cost of a hose keeper: $6
How we test
Ease of use Peter Horvath checks the ease of use by putting the hose reel into practice, scoring how easy the hose is to pull out of the housing, retract back inside and also relocate the hose reel.
Features This is based on the number of features the model has and, as well as those mentioned in the What to look for. It also includes whether the reel can swivel and if it has a carry handle.
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