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Best automatic hose reel?

The typical cart kind where you have to bend over and crank wonâÂÂt work for this spot. In my front yard we have a raised porch, with a âÂÂwellâ on the side where the faucet is. The hose reel has to rest down low where the faucet is. To crank one is means bending down doubleâ¦or even kneeling and bendingâ¦to below the level of the porch. Not easy, especially after a day of gardening. I also have carpal tunnel syndrome.

I researched this a few years ago and bought one. It was this kind shown below. It was enclosed inside a box which looked nice, too. I was happy with the way it performed. It cost over $80, but it functioned well enough. It retracted really well. All I had to do was to guide the hose. Pulling the hose out to use was quite difficult, though. I would have to pull with one hand, and open the top and manually rotate the reel at the same time. But then after only 2 years, the gear inside that controls how the hose comes out and in broke. My engineer husband said none of these will work for long, as long as that gear is made of plastic. Pulling the hose out strained the mechanism.

IâÂÂm looking for recommendations. I could buy a new one of the same model and just plan on replacing it every 2 years. But I hope there is a product out there that really is designed better⦠Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: model I bought before that broke in 2 years.

Comments (39)

  • 11 years ago

    We just installed what I think is the nicest hose reel ever. It's not automatic, but I agree the automatic ones seem destined to fail.

    This one is heavy duty metal and it has a leader hose so you can mount it high up on the wall which means you don't have to hunker down to crank the hose in.

    It also pivots so the hose reel can follow the line of the hose.

    Pair this with one of those new, lightweight polyurethane hoses and you will be golden!

    Link below, and I can add a pic of our install if that would be helpful.

    Here is a link that might be useful: metal hose reel

  • 11 years ago

    I know you were asking specifically for a reel, but have you thought about the new type of hose that is out this year that expands and contracts? I have it and am absolutely in love with it! I bought a lightweight pot and drilled holes in the bottom for drainage and I just plop the hose in that when I am done watering and it looks great. The hose doesn't take but a second (it's so light) to take out of the pot, turn it on and it expands to full length. Turn it off and keep watering and it contracts back to super lightweight in seconds and you just drop it back in the pot. Can't be easier or more convenient. Love, love it!

    Just remember, don't buy the one that is flourescent green (it's a cheap knockoff), but the one that is grass green or medium blue is the good one. I put two together to make a full 50-feet, but I am pretty sure it actually is longer than that. Comes with a sprayer, too. I can see a lot of benefit to using this type of hose for someone with physical issues. Very cool.

  • 11 years ago

    I have yet to find a hose reel that is better than me winding the hose in a figure 8.

    tj

  • 11 years ago

    funnthsun do you have a link? Or a brand name? I haven't heard about this hose and am having trouble envisioning it. Thanks!

    Dee

  • 11 years ago

    Wall mounted will not work. I have a brick house, and donâÂÂt want to risk damage to the mortar.

    I'm afraid I would not have the patience to lay the hose in a figure 8. ItâÂÂs too long. Besides, IâÂÂm not the only one that waters. It would be tangled in no time, and look like a mess. Just like the one in the back, on a hand crank cart, that is too hard to crank, so I just throw the hose to the side.

    After reading reviews for the automatic ones, it looks like they are all plastic and break quickly. Now IâÂÂm leaning towards an industrial type all metal one. Even though they are ugly, I need functional, and easy to crank. It doesnâÂÂt need wheels: it will never be wheeled anywhere.

    Funnthsun, I have not heard of that type of hose either. Tell me more!

  • 11 years ago

    I have a hose reel that is a water winder. When you are finished with the hose, you reverse the tab, and the water makes the hose rewind. No cranking.

  • 11 years ago

    Am I the only one who uses 150' of hose? I use it all over the front part of the house.
    I do use a hose reel, but it is a work out. I drag it all back to the front of the reel before winding.
    I would love to find something that was automatic, but it would take something industrial.

  • 11 years ago

    The one I bought 2 years ago WAS automatic. However, the plastic gears inside that did the winding up broke. Plastic Gears = bad idea. I had about 100 feet of hose on it. So far, I have been unable to find something automatic made out of metal.

  • 11 years ago

    Bumblebeez, I also use 150 feet of hose... which is why I haven't recommended any automatic hose reel, lol.

    Actually, to be honest, I never heard of an automatic one till linnea posted this thread. To find one that would work with 150 feet of heavy duty hose would be a dream come true! Probably more like a pipe dream, though!

    Dee

  • 11 years ago

    OK, here is the link for the one that I have. It is an as-seen-on-tv product, which I usually steer far clear of, but since they carried it at target and I really needed an easier solution for my area, I picked one up to see how it worked. Love, Love it! Perfect solution for something easy to handle that doesn't take 100 years to put back.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Flex-able Hose

  • 11 years ago

    They have it at Target? It's worth a try! Thanks!

  • 11 years ago

    Just remember, not the florescent green one in the plastic container (that one is a piece of well, you know) but the other one, probably found in a different dept, even, so you may have to search around a bit. Grass green or blue is the good one.

  • 11 years ago

    THanks for the reminder. In the ad they show a bright fluorescent green one AND a darker green. I wonder if the bright green one is actually a different manufacturer?

  • 11 years ago

    Yes, I think it is a different manufacturer, as it seems to be priced a bit cheaper, but you definitely get what you pay for. Here's a couple of pics to help.

    Here is a pic of the two hoses compared to each other. The true color of the darker green is the spots where it isn't wet, fyi.

  • 11 years ago

    Here's a pic of the box that the darker green came in.

  • 11 years ago

    Here's a pic of mine, all nestled away. The only thing I changed at all is that I did put an extra rubber washer between the sprayer and the hose to make it leakproof. I have had to do that with pretty much every hose I've ever owned, though. So super easy and lightweight, I just can't say enough about this one! Couldn't live without mine!

    Hope this helps.

  • 11 years ago

    Here's the link for the blue one. If you get the pro version, it comes with brass fittings.

    Here is a link that might be useful: X-hose

  • 11 years ago

    Funnthsun, can you clarify something for me? Do you have to (or, maybe not "have" to, but is it easier to) extend the hose first, then walk back and turn on the water? If you turn on the water first, and then walk with the hose, is it heavy to lug? And then vice versa for putting it away?

    I'm thinking it can't be any heavier than the black hoses I have now, but I'm just trying to visualize how this hose works.

    Thanks! This is intriguing!
    Dee

  • 11 years ago

    Before you buy, consider looking at some consumer reviews:
    I googled "consumer reviews flexible hose" and there were numerous complaints. I am glad, funthesun, that yours has works well and has held up. but that's not been the case for a lot of other people.
    idabean.

  • 11 years ago

    I have two hoses put together in the back, not sure if that is two 50ft hoses or two 75 ft hoses. I used to have a hand crank hose reel then I was at a nursery in the Fall about 4 years ago and they had two automatic hose reels on sale at 50% off. They are powered by water. There is a switch you flip that directs the water in such a way that it starts to roll up the hose without any intervention on your part, then you switch it back when the hose is rolled up.

    They work great!! I don't know what I did before I had them and they are well worth it. I haven't seen them available since, so I have no idea where to get them.

  • 11 years ago

    I have two hoses put together in the back, not sure if that is two 50ft hoses or two 75 ft hoses. I used to have a hand crank hose reel then I was at a nursery in the Fall about 4 years ago and they had two automatic hose reels on sale at 50% off. They are powered by water. There is a switch you flip that directs the water in such a way that it starts to roll up the hose without any intervention on your part, then you switch it back when the hose is rolled up.

    They work great!! I don't know what I did before I had them and they are well worth it. I haven't seen them available since, so I have no idea where to get them.

  • 11 years ago

    No problem, diggerdee. You can do it either way when you are turning the water on, although it is easier to extend it before you turn the water on, not b/c it is too heavy, but just because it's even easier empty. Even with the water on, it is really lightweight compared to a regular hose, dramatically lighter. As for putting it away, much easier to empty is first, then put it away.

    No product will meet everyone's expectations 100%, of course. However, if you googled "consumer reviews flexible hose", then you got the reviews for the knockoffs as well and those deserve terrible reviews. The original patented hose is the X-hose, although the other link that I provided seems to be the only "knockoff" that is comparable in quality. All of the rest of them are very poor quality, someone that doesn't know the whole story behind these hoses would pick up the wrong one, decide it is low quality and then review it as such, lumping them all together, not realizing that there is a huge difference in quality between different manufacturers. With that said, the lawyer in me would have to say that just b/c it is my very best friend, doesn't mean that it will be yours and anyone interested does need to do their own research and make your own accessment/decisions. I can't imagine anyone not liking the higher quality hoses, though. They are perfect for me!

  • 11 years ago

    Oh, I forgot to mention, the X-hose that is sold on Amazon under the X-hose name is not the real one, it is a knockoff, so the reviews are for a knockoff there, also. The original manufacturers have not made a deal to sell it through Amazon at this time. I have done a lot of research on these and I hope it will be a benefit to some of you. Alternately, several posters have mentioned the water-powered automatic reels and I have had good success with them as well. That is what I use in my backyard b/c I have a 120-foot hose there and dogs, so haven't really bothered replacing it b/c what I have works fine for that area. But for something that you can just grab and go and be done, the flexable hose has been much easier for me in the front. So much more lightweight than the industrial one in the back and much less of a pain, even if the water real does work well.

  • 11 years ago

    Thanks, funnthsun, for all that info. I appreciate you taking the time to report back to us!

    :)
    Dee

  • 11 years ago

    Yes, thanks for clarifying this. We'd have no way of knowing there two different products.
    Just be certain, the one you like so much is at Lowes, and is darker green or blue?
    Marie

  • 11 years ago

    Woops, I meant Target.
    mt

  • 11 years ago

    Yep, I bought the darker green Flex-able hose from Target. Should have bought it online, though, it would have been cheaper.

  • 11 years ago

    That's interesting about the flexible hose. Although I don't have any issues with rolling the hose up on the reel and that is easy, our hose is very heavy to drag across the yard. But I haven't bought a new hose in probably 15 years or longer. We bought rubber hoses at Sears a long time ago and they are still going strong without any repairs needed. So I have thought that I can't complain about the weight, which can't be much different than every hose or the minor annoyance, that getting too close to any large pots, can rub black marks onto them. Plus I don't have any joint issues which I'm very thankful for and I consider the weight of the hose, something that keeps my muscles in shape.

    I also wonder about the material that hose is made of. There are so many chemicals being used on everything from towels to clothing that have a 'chemical' odor to them, that anything that is made of a synthetic material I am always suspect might have that same odor to it, and in the case of a hose that water runs through, might leach something chemical into the water. Especially over time as it wears out.

  • 11 years ago

    PrairieMoon,

    I'm with you about wondering what hoses are made of. I also agree that hoses are heavy, stubborn and love to kink in an evil way. This is a fact of life for gardeners, but I have found a new hose that I am in love with!

    It's made of polyurethane, is drinking water safe, is made in the USA and it even comes in fun colors. I have a 25 foot and a 100 foot so far and they are both great. On the longer hose there is a noticeable decrease in water pressure since the hose is narrower than a normal hose, but so far it's a tradeoff that is well worth it.

    A link to the Lee Valley site is below, but the hose can be found on Amazon, Gardener's Supply Co, etc.

    Here is a link that might be useful: lightweight hose at Lee Valley

  • 11 years ago

    Thanks Karin, for the link and for your experiences. I am not sure I need to replace the hose I have, since I've had it for many years and it is made of natural rubber. It really doesn't kink and I do have the water powered reel, so the only issue I have is the weight of it. But it's nice to see different options. Thanks.

  • 11 years ago

    SO happy to find this thread- I am lugging 150 feet of hose around my back yard and am so tired of it. I have to wrap it around my body and lean into it like I am a draft animal! To add insult to injury my husband has a mental block about winding it up properly so that it doesn't knot up when I am dragging it back out- I swear most of the cursing from my back yard is over his winding up the hose.
    I am currently using old Lifetime guaranteed hoses that the company has now replaced three times for me- I really got my money's worth, lol.

    Which leads me to ask about the DAP company and how reliable we think their lifetime guarantee on the Pro series is?

    I know no one can make my mind up for me, but a total of $90 (hose is $70 plus two 9.95 shipping charges) is a lot of money for me even if I am getting two 75 footers for that price.
    Plus I need a set for the front yard!
    Just want to be sure I am not making a mistake and I don't live near enough anywhere to go have a feel for myself.

  • 11 years ago

    I have been looking at the pro version as well and drooling over it. I think I might take a chance on them, too. I like the idea of brass fittings instead of plastic. Didn't even notice they had a lifetime guarantee on the pro series. How did I overlook that?

  • 11 years ago

    How about the "RoboReel" as seen in the inside cover of the August 2013 "fine Gardening" magazine?

    Here is a link that might be useful: roboReel

  • 10 years ago

    Hey,

    thank you so much for your comments, they helped me a lot!
    Although, I am using titan pipes and other industrial supplies made by them, and I can tell you they are 100% great. I find them very great provided that they are facilitating my life in so many ways. So, if you are, by any case interested, hop on and see it for yourselves. Hope you like it :)

  • 10 years ago

    My plastic auto-rewind hose reel I bought at Home Depot lasted about three years. The weather and hot sun have completely ruined it. It still rewinds (sort of), but getting the hose out requires an inordinate amount of yanking, cussing, and struggle. I purchased two of the Flexable green hoses, one each for front and back lawn. I love them! I read the negative reviews about these breaking and blowing up, etc., but, knock on wood, so far mine have worked great. I think part of the problem that people have is turning the water pressure too high. In looking at online reviews for the other type, I see none that I would purchase again. Plastic is a bad idea for the job it's expected to do. Also, if I had a 'spare' $700 to throw around it would not be spent on a Robo-Reel. I could buy 70 Flexable hoses for that price, or a Litter Robot for my kitty cat!

    This post was edited by wilemut on Fri, May 23, 14 at 12:28

  • 9 years ago

    The self-rewind hose reel that linnea56 wrote about and attached a link of, is made by Suncast. I have the same reel, and when it stopped working, I called Suncast for help. It doesn't matter how long you've had it, they are wonderful about their service! They figured out the problem over the phone (which turned out to be a common problem-- which is that, after many uses, and the unit sitting out in sun, rain and other weather conditions, the gears eventually dry out, and will need to be re-oiled. However, they do not recommend using any other type of lubricant (greaser/oil) other than their own, and will gladly send you a couple of tubes of it, free of charge! I hope you haven't thrown out your Suncast auto-rewind hose reel, and this info helps!

  • 9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh, my husband threw it out as soon as it stopped working! I was not at home. We then bought an all-metal cart (not auto-wind) that lasted only for that summer, before it broke.

  • 9 years ago

    The self wind hose reel we have is ReelSmart. It works very well.