Last updated: August 7, 2021

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Welcome to our big garden hose reel test 2021. Here we present all the garden hose reels that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best garden hose reel for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a garden hose reel.




Summary

  • A garden hose reel is a space-saving solution to store your water hose gently and to protect it from any strain.
  • A distinction is made between mobile hose boxes and wall-mounted hose reels that are stationary.
  • Depending on the model, there are hose boxes that have a rewinding support that allows for convenient and quick storage of the hose.

The Best Garden Hose Reel: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a garden hose reel

What is the benefit of a garden hose reel?

A garden hose reel offers a space-saving solution for storing water hoses and preventing the risks mentioned above.

If the water hose lies loose in the garden after watering, it is exposed to the sun's rays without protection. UV radiation, however, makes the much-used garden hose less durable with prolonged exposure and the risk of the hose rupturing increases significantly.

Reels offer a simple and quick solution to store the garden hose in a material-friendly and safe way. (Image source: pixabay.com / Efraimstochter)

If the garden hose is left loose in the garden overnight, a marten may attack the hose and mistake it for a car hose.

A loose hose, whether unrolled or rolled up in a snail, is associated by many with untidiness.

Especially for older people, a loose hose is a dangerous tripping hazard that can quickly result in unpleasant injuries.

Which manufacturers are there?

There are different suppliers of hose reels. When buying, it is important to consider which garden hose system you want to install in your garden or which one you already have.

Although most suppliers use plug-in systems that are compatible with each other, there are still brands that are less so.

Once Gardena always Gardena.

The most famous garden tool brand, Gardena, is a good example. Although other companies have copied the Gardena system, their hose systems are not compatible or only compatible to a limited extent with the Gardena connector system. The consequence is usually leaking connectors.

Therefore, it is not advisable to buy a Kärcher hose box, for example, if you already own a Gardena garden hose.

What does a garden hose reel cost?

The price varies between €15 and €190 depending on the functionality of the model.

Simple garden hose reels without rewind support and not enclosed hose can already be bought for little money.

Automatic hose reels that reel up a hose length of 35m or more with the help of a motor can be found at the other end of the price spectrum.

The hose length capacity of a hose box is decisive for the price. The more hose that fits on a hose reel, the more the product will cost.

Which hose length is sufficient for my garden?

The easiest way to measure this is with a rope. Lay a rope or string from your water pipe to the furthest point in your garden (if there are still plants to water, of course). Now collect the string and lay it on the ground in 1m loops.

For a more accurate measurement, you can also wrap the rope around two objects that are exactly 1m apart.

Be aware that watering with the garden hose is more fun when you don't have to fight for hose length with the hose reel. Therefore, allow for a little leeway when deciding on the length of the hose.

If you have several water taps in your garden, a shorter and cheaper model is usually sufficient. You can then simply reposition your hose reel.

Most hose box manufacturers offer products for hose lengths from 10m to 35m. These models often have some form of rewind support.

A few suppliers also sell models for private use which have a hose capacity of up to 60m. However, these do not have a rewind support and must therefore be rewound by hand.What are the alternatives to a hose box?

Alternatives are wall mounting systems that are similar to bicycle racks. The hose is hung in a rolled-up form, a snail shape. This means that the hose does not lie on the floor and does not pose a tripping hazard.

The disadvantage of this solution is that the tube has to be neatly rolled up each time. This requires a lot of patience and intuition because a hose often has a life of its own.

A simple hose holder offers an inexpensive alternative. However, you still have to roll up the hose by hand. (Image source: pixabay.com / FixiPixi_deluxe)

What does a gardening professional recommend?

For an even winding of the garden hose, a garden hose reel with hose guide is recommended. This guarantees gentle stowing of the hose and thus a longer product life.

Furthermore, an even winding of the hose guarantees a good water flow through the hose as it is not unnecessarily crushed.

Decision: What types of garden hose reels are there and which is the right one for you?

Manufacturers offer a wide range of garden hose reels or hose reels. This is divided into the following two categories.

  • stationary Hose Reel
  • mobile Hose Reel

What distinguishes a garden hose reel and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

If your garden is a manageable, non-angled area, a stationary wall hose box is recommended. The majority of the wall-mounted hose reels available on the market have a winding support that makes it easier to wind up the water hose.

Advantages
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to store
  • Short preparation time
  • Easy to handle
Disadvantages
  • Low mobility
  • Labour-intensive assembly
  • Appearance
  • Not winterproof

A big advantage is the ease of use of the device. Watering becomes a convenient pastime. The main focus of the work is watering and not setting up and stowing the unit.

The disadvantages are the appearance and the low mobility. The wall-mounted hose reels are relatively large and must be mounted at chest height on the façade of the house or a garden wall.

Although wall-mounted hose reels can be dismantled in a few easy steps, they are not intended for mobile use.

What distinguishes a mobile hose reel and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Do you have a winding garden with more than one manageable area? Do you perhaps have more than one garden to water, such as a front garden and a main garden? Then a hose cart is recommended.

This offers a mobile solution that can either be carried from one tap to the next or rolled. Models vary widely in price and hose capacity ranges from 10m to 60m.

Advantages
  • Flexibility of use
  • reasonable price
Disadvantages
  • No rewinding support
  • time-consuming assembly and disassembly

The biggest advantage of hose trolleys is their mobility and thus their flexible range of use. The disadvantage is that they almost all have to be wound mechanically and there is hardly any mechanical support during winding.

However, some models have a hose guide that enables the hose to be rolled up evenly.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate garden hose reels

If you want to buy a hose reel, there are six different purchase criteria that you should be aware of before buying.

In order to be able to choose the right product for you, here are the six most important buying criteria that will make it easier for you to determine the right garden hose reel.

In summary, these are:

  • Rewind support
  • Hose reel
  • Garden Hose Length
  • Garden hose diameter
  • Plug-in system
  • Durability

In the following paragraphs you will find the buying criteria explained so that you have enough knowledge to make up your own mind.

Winding support

There are three different winding mechanisms. Among other things, these are decisive for the price category.

The cheapest hose reels are those that have to be wound or cranked manually. Almost all mobile hose reels have to be wound by hand. Wall-mounted reels are usually not equipped with this mechanism.

In the medium price category, there are hose boxes that have an automatic hose reel.

The hose box with automatic rewind only requires a slight pull, comparable to a window blind, to retract the garden hose. Few mobile hose reels have this mechanism.

The most expensive but also most convenient variant is the one with an electric motor. This allows the desired length to be rolled up at the touch of a button. However, this version of the garden hose holder is only available as a wall-mounted hose reel.

Hose guide

Water hose reels with hose guides are more expensive than those without. The advantage of a hose guide is that the hose is evenly distributed on the hose reel.

This means that there is no pressure point where the hose is compressed and the water pressure is reduced.

Even winding protects the material of the hose because it is not worn or strained irregularly.

Garden hose length

In principle, the longer the hose, the more you pay. Most hose reels come with a hose when you buy them. Some of the mobile hose holders do not have a hose when purchased.

Before buying, it is advisable to measure the area to be watered.

As mentioned at the beginning, a rope or cord can be used for this purpose. For more comfort, it is advisable to plan for more hose length.

If you have several water taps in the garden, it is worth considering a mobile hose reel.

If you have several green areas to water, such as the front garden and the garden, a hose cart or mobile solution is the more economical solution.

Wall-mounted hose reels usually have a hose capacity of 10m to 35m. Mobile hose boxes can have a capacity of up to 60m. Hose reels for professional gardeners are sometimes even longer.

Some DIY stores sell garden hoses by the metre. This way you can only buy the length of hose you really need. Depending on the DIY store and the type of hose, a metre costs between €1 and €3.

Garden hose diameter

The diameter of the garden hose is decisive for the amount of water that flows through the hose. The diameter always refers to the inner diameter.

In general, thicker hoses are heavier and therefore less suitable for use in private gardens.

Garden hose diameters are given either in inches or with the designation DN (English for Diameter Nominal) in combination with a number. The latter is done according to the EN ISO DN specification.

For private use, garden hoses with a diameter of 1/2 inch (1/2") and 3/4 inch (3/4") are normally used. This corresponds to the designations DN 12 (1/2") and DN 19 (3/4"). In the table below you will find an overview of the garden hose diameters.

inch EN ISO DN approximate dimensions in millimetres
1/4 DN 6 6.3
1/2 DN 12 12.7
3/4 DN 19 19
1 DN 25 25.4
1 1/4 DN 32 31.7

If your hose holder does not come with a hose, make sure you know the recommended diameter for your unit before you buy.

The thinner the hose, the more likely it is to be a flexible garden hose.

Connection systems

Depending on which garden hose diameter you choose, you will need to select your hose connection. Here again, there are big differences.

Some connections are to be plugged in, others are to be turned.

When buying a hose reel, you should therefore make sure in advance which connection systems you already use. It is not advisable to connect different brands of connection systems with each other.

There are many connection systems! Before buying, it is therefore important to check which one you already have or which one you want to use in the future. (Image source: unsplash.com / Harry Grout)

These may be compatible at the beginning, but over time such assemblies tend to break one of the two connectors.

Furthermore, the connectors of such mixed assemblies are usually not 100% tight and tend to spontaneously burst apart.

The material of most connection systems is plastic. These are perfectly adequate for private use. Professionals, however, use metal systems, as these are more durable.

Plastic connections must be brought into the warm before the first frost. If they are left in the open and there is still residual water in the hose, this can lead to breakages which will cause the device to leak. Metal connections, on the other hand, can remain outdoors at minus temperatures.

Durability

If you want to buy a long-lasting hose box, brand-name products are recommended. Especially if you have to water every day during the gardening season and your device is therefore subject to greater wear and tear, brand-name products score points over cheap products.

Well-known brands for garden hose reels are:

  • Gardena
  • Kärcher

Still, cheap products often offer a good alternative to the usually high-priced branded products. If you want to save money, you can put your trust in an unfamiliar garden tool brand. Just make sure you have the right connections for the tap and garden hose.

Facts worth knowing about the hose box

What does the professional gardener use?

A gardener must be able to rely on his material. The material is put under a lot of strain and closures are screwed on and off every day. Therefore, professionals usually trust hose systems that use metal plug/screw systems.

The Geka company would be an example of these closures. The trusted garden hose reel is understandably a mobile solution as it offers more flexibility.

How do I store the water hose reel in winter?

In winter, garden hoses should always be moved from the outdoors into the house. There is a risk that both residual water in the hose and in the connecting parts will freeze and make the water hose leak.

Certain systems, such as the Geka system, can be stored outdoors at sub-zero temperatures under certain conditions. However, all systems with plastic connectors are not frost-resistant.

How should garden hose reels be mounted on walls?

When mounting stationary wall-mounted hose reels, it is important to find a place that is close to a water tap.

For ideal garden care, it is also advisable to choose a place that is not too far away from the plants to be watered, this enables even watering of the plants from several sides.

It is advisable not to mount the hose reel too low. This allows for easier handling and the hose can be lifted over plants more easily if necessary.

If you have weak water pumps or if your water pressure is low, it is advisable not to hang the wall hose box too high. Otherwise it can lead to low water pressure in the garden hose.

For mounting the hose box, dowels and screws are enclosed with the products. In certain cases, however, these must be replaced with stronger material.

This depends on your facade and its material and must be evaluated during installation whether the screws and dowels supplied are sufficient.

Make sure that the garden hose wall mounting is fixed firmly and stably. Make sure that the reel can move freely and is not blocked.

Image source: pexels.com / Mikes Photos

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