So, you love the green grass in your backyard, but don’t like tripping over the water hose? Also, you don’t like that gross feeling of picking up the hose all tangled up, wet and muddy, do you? What you need to get rid of these problems, yet have a fluffy green carpet in your backyard is a self winding hose reel.
A self winding hose reel is a practical invention that allows you to easily use the hose, without it getting all tangled up, and with much less effort to roll it back once the job is done, because it will do it by itself. But, finding the right model is not that easy as there are so many models available on the market, and not all of them are high-quality. That’s where we jump in and help you out in your search.
The Reel RSH125 Crate Hose Reel is our pick for the best self winding hose reel. It comes with a rugged design that allows you to storage 125 feet of hose, and has an auto-sort guide for even winding. Also, it prolongs the lifespan of your hose, by protecting it from the sun, and since it uses water power for rewinding, you won’t be needing electricity or batteries to power it.
The step up pick landed on the Suncast PW100 Powerwind Hose Reel. This is an automatic hose reel system that a 100-foot hose capacity, a tangle free design, and with a convenient foot pedal function. Also, the unit is fully assembled and ready to use, and includes a rechargeable battery and a charger unit.
The budget pick this time, is the RL Flo-Master 65HR8 Retractable Hose Reel. This is a slow retracting hose reel with a spring-loaded hose that also includes a stopper. It likewise has an automatic guide that prevents the hose from overlapping while retracting. Furthermore, it comes with a 8-pattern nozzle, and includes mounting hardware for the mounting brackets that allow 180 degree. The unit includes a 65 feet long, reinforced 5/8 inch hose, with a threaded brass end, and since it includes a carrying handle, it can also be removed from the bracket and carried around the backyard.
A Little Insight Into Self Winding Hose Reels
On a hot summer day, if you have a day off from work, you will probably decide that it’s time to water the lawn, or clean and fill the swimming pool, or maybe to let the sprinkler water the backyard and provide some fresh air to make the heat more tolerable. For any of the mentioned jobs, you will need a hose.
But, dragging out the hose and untangling it, usually kills the mood and makes you forget all about it, right? Therefore, you had decided to buy a self winding hose and forget all about the knotted, tangled hose problems, and to also keep the hose safely stored and out of eyesight when not using it.
However, the best part is that such a hose reel, gets half of the job done as it reels in the hose by itself, and we all know how frustrating fighting with the hose is, when you try to put it away, as it kinks, bends, and rolling it up evenly is impossible when done manually. Even with a manual hose reel, you still won’t be able to do it quickly and perfectly.
Furthermore, automatic hose reel prolongs the life of your hose, by keeping it safe from the outside elements, such as the sun or exposure to low temperatures, and by rolling it up evenly and without kinks. All of the listed issues, damage the hose and significantly shorten its lifespan.
How we picked and What You Need to Know Before Buying
Beside the obvious, using a reel for your hose, is a much better idea than simply leaving it rolled up on a nail on the wall, in the outside where the weather is destroying it slowly. Here are a few things why you actually need a hose reel, and what you need to keep an eye when shopping for one:
Expanding the Lifespan of Your Hose
Normally, people use their hoses from March to September, for various chores such as watering the lawn, the garden or washing the car. During that period, the hose is under stress, and it’s never a bad idea to properly store it an protected after use because you will prolong its lifespan.
If you start using a hose reel, especially self winding type, the lifespan of your hose will drastically extend. You won’t be having the common problems such as cracks due to leaving the hose tangled for a while, damage from the sun, and other issues that are connected to the use of a hose. A self winding hose reel will save you from the stress of all these problems, but will also save you money in the long run as you won’t have the need to buy a new hose after each season.
Just how many times did it happen to you to forget the hose unrolled across the lawn, and to trip over it? Probably a dozen of times, right? Well, with a self winding hose reel, you will not “forget” to roll up, or simply leave the hose there, because the very thought of fighting with it put you off, and with a simple press of a button or push of a pedal, the hose will perfectly and properly roll up on its own, and stay away from your way.
A self winding hose reel is especially a smart idea for parents with small kids, because this way, they won’t trip over the hose and scrape their knees and elbows.
Protects the Lawn
Most people, after using the hose, simply leave it there, lying on the ground. This is actually a mistake because it will kill the plants or the grass underneath.
Having a reel will always remind you to roll up the hose, thus the plants will be safe. Also, it will make the entire process much easier, and, the hose won’t get all tangled up with the rest of your garden equipment, which makes the whole garden organization much easier.
Before Buying the Reel, Check the Length of Your Hose
The most important thing that you should know before buying the hose reel, is the actual length of your hose. This will allow to choose the right reel size, and not end up with a model that simply isn’t big enough for your entire hose.
The rule of thumb says that when choosing the reel, always opt for a model that can hold at least 50 feet more of the hose, than you actually need. This is important as the hose expands and contracts in the heat or when it’s cold, and it needs the extra space.
Another question you need to ask yourself before making the purchase, is how portable does your hose reel needs to be? Those who have large gardens will benefit from having a portable hose reel, with wheels on the sides, for ease of movement around the garden.
On the other hand, if your hose is long enough to reach the farthest parts of your yard or the garden, having a fixed, self winding or wall mounted hose reel, would be an easier choice as it will make the watering process easier.
Before making the final choice and hitting that “Order” button, you need to check if the model you want to buy includes accessories. Usually, reels are offered with various useful accessories, such as various attachment fittings, so that you can attach the reel to your water outlet.
However, not all manufacturers offer great bundle deals, so you need to check if the package you chose, has all the parts you need, for example, check if a nozzle for the end of the reel is included, or you need to order it separately.
Top Pick: Best Self Winding Hose Reel 2018
The Reel RHS125 Crate Hose Reel is a quite versatile model that that comes with plenty of useful features. For example, it comes with 125 feet 5/8 inch garden hose capacity, has the ability to withstand prolonged use in the outdoors as it comes made of corrosion-resistant plastic, and it’s self winding.
This unit has been designed with floor mounting in mind, and considering that it can hold a 125 foot long hose, which retracts by itself, there’s no actual need for moving the crate around the yard. And, speaking of self winding, the reel comes with a mechanism that doesn’t have either a spring nor it needs electricity or batteries. Instead, it uses water to power the mechanism and roll up your hose.
We chose this model to be our top pick because it comes with a great price to overall usability factor, as it offers a compact design, uses water to power the retraction, can be left outside without worrying the weather will damage it, protects your hose from the sun, makes it easier for you because it also has an auto-sort guide to prevent the hose from binding, and is quite affordable.
Flaws but Not Dealbreakers
The only thing that might be considered as a flaw, but definitely isn’t a deal breaker, that your hose always has to be at a nearly straight angle to the crate because if it’s all the way on the left, or the right, the reel might have some difficulties to roll it up properly. So, the reel does need some assistance, but that’s nothing when compared to rolling up the hose on your own.
The Suncast PW100 Powerwind Hose Reel is the Step-up pick for various reasons. For starters, this series of automatic hose reels, is considered to be one of the quickest on the market. It is capable of winding around 50 feet of garden hose, for no more than 30 seconds.
It is not our Top Pick just because it uses batteries to power the mechanism, and that means recharging from time to time is needed, instead of having an always-ready model. And, it’s hose capacity is slightly lover, as it can store 100 feet of garden hose.
However, we can’t really take the battery use as a downside as this model comes with an impressive battery life time, which makes it quite an efficient, as well as a hassle-free automatic hose reel unit.
The choice of the budget pick model, this time, landed on the RL Flo-Master Self Winding Hose Reel, a model that is above all, budget friendly. But, don’t let the price turn you off, because even though the manufacturer offers quite a bargain, the reel really does what it’s advertised for, it rolls up your hose automatically and quite easily, and makes your garden chores much easier.
Furthermore, to add to its versatility, the manufacturer included a 180-degree swivel bracket, and all the hardware needed for mounting it to a wall or a piece of solid wood, assuming that the wood is heavy enough to hold it in place. Another great thing about this model is that it includes its own 65 feet long, reinforced 5/8" hose, and a threaded brass end to hold the included 8-pattern nozzle.
As for the retracting mechanism, unlike the previous two models, this reel comes with a spring loaded mechanism, with a stopper, and slowly rolls up the hose back inside the housing.
Best Hose Reel Look
When talking about the Suncast RSW125D Self Winding Hose Reel, the first thing we we will say is that it uses the same hose winding mechanism as the first model we reviewed, meaning that it’s a hydro-powered automatic hose reel. Also, this model is capable of safely storing up to 125 feet of garden hose, which is a capacity, with which, most of the garden owners will be satisfied.
As for the design, this unit comes with a pretty brown color and a woven wicker pattern, making it not seem as a hose reel at all, and easily compatible with many garden organization types. Also, in order to provide a great stability, the manufacturer included two pegs to make it stable and reliable, and to ease the process of installation.
But, even though we think that this model is a great one overall as it really serves its purpose, the quality of the hose connectors could be slightly better.
Best Portable Self Winding Hose Reel
The GARDENA Self Winding Hose Reel comes as a yet another great model that provides a significantly improved, hassle-free hose rewinding process. Also, you won’t be needing batteries or electricity, as it comes with a retracting mechanism that uses a solid steel spring that ensures a powerful winding process, and is quite durable and will last you for many seasons.
The ease-of-use level is quite high with this unit, as it includes an integrated hose guide, which eliminates the possibility of the hoes entanglement. And, speaking of the hose, the Gardena Self Winding Hose Reel, comes with an inbuilt hose, and you can choose the length when ordering. You can choose from the models that come with 72 feet, 82 feet, 100 feet, and 115 feet of hose length.
As for the mounting of the unit, it’s an extremely easy process, and you can pretty much mount it anywhere you want. And, this compact model can be unmounted any time you want, which is great because you can easily take it off and store it in a safer place during the winter.
Best Self Mounting Hose Reel for Wall Mounting
The ikris Self Winding Hose Reel is on our list because it delivers quite a convenience, and comes with its own PVC hose that is 50 feet long, strong, and durable. The housing of the units is likewise made of durable materials, and includes a self winding mechanism that doesn’t allow hose overlapping and tangling.
This reel model is designed to be mounted on 1800 swivel brackets, and can be detached from them, for safely storing away when the winter comes. The mechanism also includes a brake that allows you to lock the hose if you don’t want tit to roll out any further, and the unit itself, is rather useful and most households will find it quite satisfying.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are retractable hose reels easy to use?
A: Yes, they are much easier to use than everyone thinks. But, there is something you should know before using them:
They do need some assistance. Even the most expensive self winding hose reels need some assistance when the hose is being rolled up back in the housing. For starters, you need to make sure that the path of the hose is free, because it can easily get tangled in the garden chair or something else, and that can potentially damage the reel unit and damage the hose itself.
You should stay close to the reel when it’s retracting the hose. The self winding hose reel will do the job and roll up the hose on its own, but you need to stay close to it and make sure that you hold the hose at a straight angle. This is important because if the hose is entering at an angle (too far left or too far right) the mechanism will suffer and can potentially break down, and that is why you need to slightly help the hose and the reel.
Q: How to know which Hose reel size to get?
A: You should get a hose reel that has the capacity to take at least 50 feet more of hose, than you actually have.
Have at least 50 feet of extra hose space. Your hose expands and shrinks as the temperature changes. For example, during the summer, it will change its length constantly, due to high temperatures during the day and lower temperatures during the night, which means that it will need more space in the reel housing so that it can return to its original shape and size freely.
Q: Are there different types of retractable hose reels?
A: Yes, there are three different types of retractable hose reels, and they are classified based on the principle of how they retract the hose back.
Spring powered. The spring powered hose retracting mechanisms are spring loaded, and are usually more durable than electricity or battery powered automatic hose reels.
Water powered. These hose reels don’t use spring, nor they need electrical power to roll the hose back in the housing. Instead, they use the power and pressure the water creates for the winding process.
Battery powered. As the name suggests, the battery, or electrical current is needed to power the automatic hose reels. These are usually the quickest and most precise ones, but they need more maintenance and are more possible to break down than the other two types.
The best Self winding hose reel for 2018 is the Reel RSH125 Crate Hose Reel. We consider it as the best model because it really does the job perfectly, has plenty of hose storage room and can accommodate up to 125 feet of hose, uses the water pressure for the winding process, and what is most interesting, it comes with a really affordable price. Best value to price ratio and definitely on the top spot for good reasons.
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Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.