Hose Reels 101: An Educational Guide

Hose Reels 101: An Educational Guide
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If you’re trying to increase your knowledge and understanding of hose reels, then you’ll gain a lot from this guide. We’ll help you by giving you enough information on how they work, different types of hose reels, and things to look for before buying a hose reel.

Our goal is to give you the information you need to make a more informed decision when shopping for hose reels. Those who tend to buy impulsively often can’t tell the quality difference between which hose reel is of good quality and which one isn’t. This often leads them into wasting money on a product they don’t need.

Women Watering Garden

By the end of this post, you’ll have enough insight on which hose reel is the best for you. Continue reading to learn more about hose reels and become a better buyer because of it.

What Is A Hose Reel?

Hose reels are cylinder shaped spindles that is made of plastic, fiberglass or metal. The most common forms of hose reels are motor driven, hand crank or spring driven (self-retracting) reels. Each of these reels was designed with the purpose to water your plants and help them grow fully.

Hose Reel On Pathway

The first thing you must know with hose reels is that

Why Do I Need A Hose Reel?

Although it seems obvious, having a hose reel is better than storing your hose in an unorganized manner. Here are some reasons why you should invest in a hose reel:


When left unattended, water hoses can become safety hazards. For instance, someone could accidentally trip on them. Or, someone could keep the hose running and cause for an excessive amount of moisture to build up in an area. Having a hose reel protects you and your family by keeping your water hose stored in a safe place.


A hose reel reduces the amount of clutter in your garden. Instead of leaving your hose on the ground in one tangled mess, a hose reel allows you to place the hose in an area where it won’t get exposed to clutter, bacteria, or other contaminants that might reduce its quality.

Keep a hose reel with you to ensure that your garden remains organized. Having an organized garden makes it easier for you to water your plants, provide them sunlight, and keeps them growing at a healthy rate. Make sure to get a hose reel to enhance the appearance of your garden further.


Now that you know the benefits of hose reels, it’s time to find out which type works best for you. Hose reels come in many different sizes, each of them with a specialized set of features. No matter which one you buy, you’ll receive a tool that aids you in utilizing your garden hose and making your garden look beautiful.

Stationary And Portable Hose Reel

Stationary hose reels are the most common and simplest type of water hose reels. They usually include a crank for users to wind and rewind the hose onto the reel manually. While it has a simple design, stationary hose reels are made from various materials such as stainless steel and plastic. Thus, these changes affect the total price of your next hose reel.

Man Using Portable Hose Reel

Portable hose reels are great if you need the extra mobility. This type of wheel is designed in a similar way to an upright dolly or a hand truck. Most portable hose reels have a manual crank to help users rewind the hose back on the reel. Portable reels are transported via heavy duty casters or rubber wheels.

Manual And Automatic Hose Reel

Manual hose reels are powered through the crank placed on the sides of the reel. Users have to manually move the crank into their direction to wind and unwind the reel. The spring loaded contraction makes it easier for users to retract and rewind the hose, but come at a higher price than other reel types.

Automatic Hose Reel Types

Automatic hose reels can be either spring loaded, battery powered, or controlled via air. It’s important to know the difference between the three to help you buy the right reel for your garden.

Battery Powered

Battery powered reels work by reeling and unreeling your hose at the press of a button. Since automatic reels are motor powered, you’ll have to invest in one that doesn’t take too much of your total household energy.

Air Hose Reel

Air hose reels are known for their versatility and are used to wind and retract air hoses. They can be wall mounted, stationary, or portable. Each air hose reel has a fast connect feature for power air tools and hoses.

Air hose reels are usually found in gas stations, garages, and service centers, but also can be placed in one’s home and is great for fair frequent compressor use.

Water Powered

As its name suggests, water powered hose reels rely on hydropower to work. To explain, they use a water engine ran by a piston. The piston helps the water energy quickly convert to mechanical power. Once you are completed with the reel, it will start reeling the hose back on the reel.

Water Powered Hose Reel

Thus, water powered reels are great for long term gardening. They are motor powered reels but don’t cost too much for users to utilize it fully. Try a water powered reel if you want an automatic reel that’s simple to use and saves you hundreds on your energy bills each month.

Hose Reel Cart

If you want the ultimate mobility, look into a hose reel cart. Hose reel carts are similar to portable or mobile hose reels in that they are transported and pushed around via wheels. But, hose reel carts come in either table styled or horizontal designs. And, hose reel carts usually include storage components and shelves for various water nozzle types or quick connects.

Hideaway Hose Reel

Hideaway reels can be either wall-mounted or freestanding and usually has a box-shaped design. Due to this design, the hose is easily hidden and is in a more organized location. Most of the time, hideaway hose reels use detachable hand cranks that help rewind a hose onto the reel and can be quickly stored away.

Decorative Hose Reel

Decorative hose reels are designed to match the texture of your home. This reel type is usually wall mounted or uses a manual hand crank to retract and rewind the hose. They are used for more simple and basic hoses and are used for appearance instead of practical usage.

Wall Mounted

Last, is the wall mounted hose reels. You’ll usually see them in garages, workshops, and other areas where an easily accessed hose is required. Wall mounted reels are reliable, inexpensive, and can be used immediately after its been installed.

On average, it takes at least 4 hours to properly install a wall mounted hose reel. When installed, the reel provides a convenient place for the hose to be stored, and can distribute a large amount of water to the desired area. You can wind wall mounted wheels while standing up and they add to the outdoor décor of your garden.


Most important thing after choosing a type of a hose reel is to look on it's specifications.

Modern Hose Reel


First feature to look is a material of a hose reel:


Vinyl is the more popular choice amongst homeowners. These hoses are lightweight, versatile, and easy to use. You should get a vinyl hose if you’re planning on doing simple gardening projects where a small amount of water is needed.


Rubber materials have a lot more durability and are used for contractors. You’ll want to use this hose reel material for when you have an extensive project. Since they are made of rubber, hot water can easily be transferred through rubber reels.

Automatic Options

Automatic Hose Reel options have a lot of benefits such as:

  • Motor driver hose reels allow you to wind and retract your hose easily and save more time than manually using a crank operated reel.
  • Safer to use. Sometimes you’ll accidentally get your hand stuck inside the wheel using a traditional reel. Automatic reels relieve that fear by making it easier to reel up the hose without causing any hazards to you or someone else.
  • Keeps your shed, and garden looking neat. Automatic hose reels are great at keeping the area organized and provides more security than an unwound garden hose.

Hose Length And Width

Last but not less important specifications are length and width of a hose reel:


The length of your hose can range from 50-350 feet. Garden hoses can be purchased within 25 feet increments. Your average garden will need at least a 50-75 foot hose. But you might need a longer hose if you’re trying to reach areas that aren’t close to the spigot.

Green Garden Hose

The spigot is the faucet where your hose is attached to. For larger projects, you’ll need a hose that extends up to 75-100 feet. This ensures that you’ll water the targeted areas while having enough length to safely reel the hose back when you’re finished.


The width of your reel is an important factor to consider when searching for your next hose reel. Hose Reel’s width tends to be measured by the hose’s diameter. On average, your hose diameter is at 5/8”. Although some professional contractors prefer a ¾” diameter because it provides more water.


Hose reels provide many benefits to their users. First and foremost, the proper storage and care offered by hose reels increase a hose’s lifespan, by keeping accidental tearing and the wear of elements like snow and sun. Here are our top hose reels manufacturers:


Suncast is known as one of the leading companies in hose wheel manufacturing. The company offers products such as sheds, indoor and outdoor tools, and hose reels. You should buy from this company if you want a reliable, trustworthy hose reel that’s going to last for more than 5 years.

If you ever experience any discomfort with any of their products, you’re backed by their 25 Year Warranty. If your hose reel breaks or becomes destroyed, you can send it back to them for a full replacement free of charge.

Liberty Garden Products

We believe that the Liberty Garden Products is one of the best companies for hose reels. One thing that sets them apart is their product ranging in styles such as modern or classic. They use the best materials and practical designs to add some shine to your garden.

All of their products are crafted to the highest level. They make sure that their hose reel products are strong and can handle rigorous outdoor elements such as snow, ice, and bacteria. Using powerful coated steel, and aluminum and some brass fillings, their hose reels will last for a long time.

Liberty Garden Products 704 Hose Reel On Wall

You can trust Liberty Garden Products because their tools have stood the test of time against their competitors.


Ames is a company that’s well known for their gardening and landscaping tools. Each of their products is made to help you tackle the most intense projects and complete them properly. Their garden hose reels are easy to use, and you’ll gain a lot of utility when buying one of their products.

Home Depot

If you want a fully functional hose reel, you should get one from Home Depot. Home Depot is a popular American tool manufacturer that provides products for the DIY to the professional level of garden work such as landscaping.


Lowes is a retail chain that focuses on home improvement and DIY appliances. The company has 1,840 stores spread throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. They are the second largest hardware chain company behind Home Depot. But they are past other companies such as OBI and B&Q.

Ever since its origins in 1921, Lowes has gained a reputation for delivering home improvement products. We recommend buying from Lowe's if you want a hose reel that generates the maximum performance. If any issue does occur, you’re protected by Lowe’s Protection Plan. The company will reimburse up to $300 on any hose reel that’s been damaged.

How To Properly Put A Hose On A Hose Reel

Make sure to follow these 4 essential steps if you want to attach your hose onto a hose reel correctly.

  • Start by assembling the parts of your hose reel according to your manufacturer’s directions on a new reel. Then, you place the cart or reel near a source of water such as a spigot, or a shed that has water supply
  • Put the rubber washer on the female side of the water that’s coupling on a drum. The water coupling has a male and female end placed upon it. Both have their external and internal threads placed in different directions. The female end is horizontal to the ground while the male end is vertical to the ground
  • Screw in one area of the leader hose, that’s supplied with the reel, onto the female end. Turn clockwise to keep the tightly seal the hose. Connect it to the opposite side of the leader hose and the water spigot. Tighten the leader hose lightly
  • Connect and place the female end of your hose onto the male end. Tighten them both clockwise. Retract the hose through either pressing down on a retraction button placed on an automatic reel, or via turning your manual handle clockwise

DIY Hose Reel

If you ever need to create a garden hose reel to store your garden hose easily, you can either buy one from a retail manufacturer or create one at home. Follow these 7 steps to make your unique hose reel within a few hours.

Car Rim Hose Reel

Step 1: Obtain A Wooden Wire Spindle

Search and visit different companies that sell household improvement products such as wooden spindles. The spindles are used to hold the hose in place when you’re retracting or rewinding the device. If your hose is around 20-24 inches in diameter is great for hoses up to 25 to 50 feet. Use a 36-inch spindle for hoses that have a larger length.

Step 2: Create The Frame

Next, you’ll want to cut out a 2 x 10 lumber into either two equal lengths of 20 (small spindles) or 30 (larger spindles). Cut a ¾ inch plywood to an optimal size for your reel base. This should be ½ to 2 times the overall length of your spindle.

Step 3: Drill A Few Holes For The Rebar

You have to measure your rebar’s diameter. Use one that’s slightly a bit larger than the diameter to drill holes in a 2x10 lumber that allows you to center your spindle. Make sure that the spindle top is even with your lumber’s top.

For instance, if you have a spindle that has a 24-inch diameter, make sure that the rebar holes are about 12 inches from the top base of the lumber.

Step 4: Install The Rebar And Spindle

You’ll need extra assistance for this step. Have the extra person help by threading the rebar through the 2x10 holes you previously drilled in and the spindle’s center. Your spindle’s weight must allow you to use the hose reel without having the rebar fall out.

Step 5: Attach The Handle

With wood screws, attach the wood drowel’s length to the spindle’s outside page. Then, you must attach the small L-clips. Secure the clips with the wood screws to ensure that the handle remains in place.

Step 6: Painting The Reel

Paint or finish your hose reel to your needs.

Painting Car Rim For Hose Reel Use

Step 7: Connect The Water Hose

For your final step, you have to drape the hose over the spindle. You have to leave enough slack in the back of the reel to make sure that it easily reaches the water faucet. Then, you have to use the C-clamps to screw in the water hose to any spindle side.

And that’s how you make your personal hose reel. While it won’t have as many features as a store-bought reel, it will hold you until you have the money to purchase your own hose reel. Take a look in our next section to ensure that you’ll properly maintain your hose reel. Doing this increases the lifespan of the reel, and makes it easier for you to use for the long term.

Maintenance And Cleaning

We’ve created this section to give you extra tips and tricks on how to operate your hose reel. Follow these tips to help your hose reel last throughout the seasons.

  • If you have the space, opt in for a hose reel with a larger hose capacity than you need. This keeps the hose protected within its disc dimension and rewind the hose easier
  • Your hose reel swivel allows the drums to change and turn whenever the hose is rolled and unrolled. It has rubber o-rings that can be exposed to certain contaminants such as water conditions, chemicals, and bacteria. Regularly inspect your o-rings to reduce the amount of leaking and maintains their quality
  • Keep an extra pair of o-rings handy to conduct repairs faster
  • Let your hose reel cart do the heavy work. Even a short garden hose feels a bit awkward to carry around. Depending on your yard size, dragging your hose reel can place a lot of unnecessary strain on the back. Use hose reel carts to move garden hoses with less of a hassle
  • Coiling your hose can be a strenuous task, so it’s best to invest in a piece of equipment that makes the process easier. Powered reels are a great choice because they allow you to automatically wind up the hose. At least, a hose with a manual crank handle allows you to wind the hose into one clean coil

Final Word

Hose reels are important for the development of any garden. They are reliable, and allow users to water their plants faster than they would at hand. If you want to keep your garden looking at its best, you’ll need a hose reel to preserve the quality and the maintenance of the reel.

Portable Hose Reel

That concludes our educational guide on hose reels. However, there are a few things that we’ve missed out on. We invite you to look into our buying guide to see which hose reel meets or exceeds your expectations. There, we’ll show you the top five hose reels that are out on today’s market.

If you have any questions or concerns, please share them in the comment section.

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