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Retractable hose reel buying guide

Retractable hose reels can tidy up the yard, but what do you need to consider before buying one?

retractable hose reels
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How do you keep your hose neat and tidy but still accessible? The answer may be a good retractable hose reel. 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.

What to look for in a retractable hose reel

Wall mounted or portable

For semi-permanent mounting, look for a hose reel that can be wall mounted. A portable model is handy for taking between yards, or for storage.


Some retractable hose reels are quite expensive, so look out for one that can be padlocked to the mounting for additional security. Alternatively you can install it inside your shed and feed the hose out through a hole in your wall, if security is a concern.

Slow rewind

Look for a slow rewind function which retracts the hose slowly. Some models are spring loaded, meaning when you trigger the rewind mechanism the hose can snap back to the housing.

Child lock

Useful for those with curious kids, you can lock the hose reel so that it cannot be drawn out of the housing.

Spray gun

Look for an adjustable spray gun included in the retractable hose-reel kit. Retractable hose reels often come as a package.

Hose length

Most models come in varying sizes so get one that will suit your yard.

Hose stopper

The stopper stops the hose from being retracted entirely into the housing.

Hose end storage

Look for a model with storage for the hose end when not in use which stops it getting dirty. Usually this means a spot on the reel housing into which you can plug the hose end after removing the spray gun.

Retractable hose reels versus manual and semi-manual hose reels

Retractable hose reels are relatively expensive. There are cheaper hose reel options on the market, such as manual and semi-manual reels. However, retractable hose reels are less cumbersome.

  • Manual reels are the cheapest, however they can be tricky to use as it's difficult to gather the hose and loop it over the reel.
  • Semi-manual reels require you to guide the hose into the reel as you turn the handle that draws the hose over the wheel. They also require a lot more effort.

How much does a retractable hose reel cost?

Retractable hose reels range in price depending on their length. As a guide, 20m reels cost from $69 up to $200 or more.

Retractable hose reel results from 2013 – all discontinued
Product name Price $ Overall % Ease of use % Features % Weight kg Warranty
Hozelock Auto Reel 2490 199 77 76 80 8.2 2yrs
Maze Moto Reel 45 MR-S45-1818 199 76 82 50 9.8 2ys
Delrico Auto Reel DEL-25W 165 72 70 80 11.3 1yr
Gardenline Retractable Garden Hose 4883 70 70 72 60 7.7 1yr
Gardena Wall-Mounted Hose Box 2648- 20 199 68 70 60 9.4 2yrs
Pope Auto Wind Hose Reel 20m 147 68 70 60 7.8 2yrs
Holman Auto Rewind Hose Reel 1120H 90 67 66 70 8.6 1yr
Gard & Grow Retractable Hose reel 15m 69 62 62 60 7.0 2yrs
Hoselink Professional Series Auto Rewind Hose Reel 20m 150 55 56 50 7.6 2yrs

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