Without a garden hose reel you will curse that hose until the day you have to buy a new one. And that will be every year or two.
If you don’t slice it with the mower, someone will walk on and bend or break the hose fittings.
To store your garden hoses, a hose reel will keep your hoses neatly coiled and up off the ground, safe from lawn mowers, vehicles and the suns’ harmful rays. No one will be tripping over them, especially in the dark.
Most Garden Hose Reels are built with plastic, steel, or aluminum.
Heavy duty is best. The thicker the material, whether plastic or metal, the sturdier they are and the less they will flex.
Don’t be afraid of plastics, manufacturers have made great progress in developing tougher, more UV resistant products. Today’s polymers are less prone to cracking and becoming brittle. They feel much more “rubbery” then they once did.
Wall mount hose reels can be fastened to most any flat surface. The important thing is to get a good bond to the surface to resist the weight and twisting forces of reeling in a long heavy hose. They can be mounted to your house, garage, fence, even your potting bench.
They come in left or right hand crank and mount parallel or perpendicular to the mounting surface. Portable hose carts have two or four wheels and can be easily pushed or pulled from storage to any hose bib in your yard. The only difficulty I’ve had with the wheeled units is they’re not heavy enough to stay put when a heavy hose is being spooled up.
It can be a little awkward to wind the hose in evenly across the reel while keeping a foot on the cart so that it doesn’t move around while you crank. It is doable though, in fact this is the type that I use at home and I’m quite pleased with it’s robustness.
Some of the upscale models have a gear system that moves a leveling device back and forth as you crank. This keeps the hose nice and neat on the reel as you wind. On others you move the leveling device back and forth with your hand.
Some are even water driven! The stationary cabinet hose reels are usually built in to more permanent structures like storage units or potting benches.
There are a couple of other storage products, worth mentioning.
While wall hangers and hose pots don’t offer the same ease of use that hose reels provide they are a great improvement over trying to coil a garden hose by hand. They are usually cheaper than a garden hose reel and some are very ornate and a beautiful enhancement to your garden.