A hose reel is a useful addition to your garden, but it isn’t often something that people think about until they need one. It can be tempting to walk into any local garden center and pick up the first thing you see, but the range of reels available can be confusing. The cost may be too high or the design not practical for your garden area.
The best hose reel is a simple design, but there are some key things you need to look out for before making a purchase. Here is a list of the most important features that you should consider before buying the one for your garden.
Size and weight
You need to measure your garden and work out how much hose would be needed if it was all being used at once. It is important to work out how much hose you would need because the longer the hose on a reel, the heavier it becomes and this can limit where you can use it. Reels that have a long hose may also struggle with winding back onto the drum as gravity can be working against being able to fully wind up your hose.
The weight of the reel is also important to consider. Because you are lifting this weight for quite some time, it must be light enough so that it will not make your job of winding and unwinding the hose strenuous.
You will need to check that you have a good water flow for your hose when using the reel. Check how many holes are in the sprayer and whether they are adjustable to change the force of water flow. A good garden hose should produce a nice clean stream of water but it must be strong enough to penetrate through dirt and grime on surfaces that you may be cleaning or watering with it.
The majority of hose reels on the market are plastic which makes them lightweight and easy to move around. However, there are some designs available with metal reels and drums as well as solid plastic. A metal design has the benefit of not breaking as easily and can also be stronger. The downside to metal is that it is more likely to rust if left outside. Plastic reels are often cheaper than their metal counterparts but are unlikely to last as long if left out in the elements.
The hose guides are an important part of the reel as they guide your hose back onto the reel. Not all hoses are manufactured in the same way and sometimes the end which attaches to the tap has a kink or curve in it. This means that it may not return smoothly onto the drum which could make winding back on more difficult. Guides that have a straight section of the hose into the drum that doesn’t attach can be useful for these scenarios.
If you are thinking of buying a hose reel then price is always going to be one of the considerations. The good thing about hose reels is that there isn’t a lot of difference in price. When buying one you could often buy the same reel at different prices because it has been branded differently. At the lower end of the market, some reels are much cheaper than others and may not live up to expectations if left outside for long periods.
In conclusion, before buying a hose reel you need to think about how big your garden is, how much you would like to spend on it and whether the design of the reel suits the space available in your garden. The more you know what you are looking for, the easier it will be when shopping around.
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