Last Updated on August 28, 2020
If you use an air hose in your shop, you know the pain of having to haul it around. Those air hoses can be heavy, can be hard to store, and can become a tripping hazard if they’re not put away correctly.
That’s why you need a retractable air hose reel. However, shopping online for those products can leave you preferring to put up with the problems they’re supposed to solve, instead. The varying prices and misleading product descriptions can make it hard to know if you’re getting a good deal or getting ripped off.
We believe that customers can make great choices when they’re presented with the full facts. Our reviews of the best retractable air hose reels of 2020 are designed to tell you the good and the bad about each model to help you find the one that is right for you. We’ve also included a buyers’ guide which is designed to help you think through the buying process, even if you’ve never owned a retractable air hose reel before.
The Goodyear 27527153G is easily the best retractable air hose reel on the market today. There are a lot of good things to know about this model, but its best feature is probably its smooth, kink-free retraction. While this model packs plenty of retracting power, it applies it evenly, reducing the odds of accidentally hitting yourself when you let go, and it is also designed to reduce kinks, which extends the hose’s life and reduces the time you spend on untangling duty. This model is also designed with great valves, which greatly reduce the frequency of leaks.
This model also comes with a hose, which really increases the value of the buy. The fit between the hose and the model is fantastic, in no small part because both are made by the same group. The only thing that might give people some pause is the price, which is quite high. However, you tend to have to spend extra to get the best, and this easily the best. If you’re looking to get a great model that reduces the amount of frustration your retractable air hose reel causes, then this is the model for you.
The DeWalt DXCM024-0345 is another good choice for those looking for a high-quality retractable air hose reel. This model also comes with a hose, which results in great compatibility with the reel itself. It’s also designed to minimize kinks, so you won’t ever accidentally cut off your air supply with a mis-rolled hose. The mount is also well-designed and allows for up to four inches of swiveling in either direction when mounted, which lowers pressure when unreeling the hose.
It also comes with a stop anywhere function, which means you can pull it out to a point and then stop, and the reel won’t try to automatically pull the hose back in. Pull out gently once more, like you’re using blinds, and release, and it will roll back up. What costs this model first place is its oversized case, which seems larger than necessary for a hose of this size. It also lacks fasteners for the wall mount. Still, this model works well enough to earn it second place on this list. If you’re looking to save a little bit of money and are willing to provide your own fasteners, then this model is one you’ll be very happy with.
If you need a retractable air hose reel to use around the garage, but you don’t want to spend too much to get one, then you’ll be very happy with the Goplus Auto-Retractable GP-101040140. You can get this model for about half of what you’d pay for the top two models on our list, making it the best overall model for this money on this list. Unlike previous models, it doesn’t come with an automatic stop system, though it does come with the option to stop at one of eight preset positions, which gives you some flexibility in that regard.
It also comes with a hose, though only a 25-foot one, as opposed to the 50-foot ones that you’d get with our top two models. It also lacks mounting hardware, though that’s not necessarily uncommon in this product category. However, the price is so low that these small problems are more than justified by the drop in price. If you don’t need a 50-foot hose, you should strongly consider this model, and if you need one of these produces but need to save money when you go to buy, this model will make your wallet very happy.
The ReelWorks 27807153A has a relatively low price, but it fails in a few key areas that it would need to succeed in to rise higher than fourth on our list. This model has an automatic hose guiding system, which reels in the hose in a manner designed to reduce kinks in the line and to extend the life of the hose. It also comes with a 50-foot hose. If you need a full 50-foot hose for less than what you’d spend on our top models, then it might be hard to pass this model up.
However, you should be aware that this model doesn’t come with a stop system. It will constantly be trying to reel the hose back in while you work, which is a pain. It also has poor overall durability. Many key parts are made from cheap plastic, so while this model could last for a year of occasional use, you should only expect it to last a few months if you use it frequently. Even though it doesn’t have the highest price on our list, those problems mean that the value it provides isn’t that good, and makes this a model to avoid.
The Campbell Hausfeld PA500400AV might the model that draws your attention if your only criteria is price. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide great value for the price and falls to fifth on our list. It does come with a 50-foot hose, though its 2-1/2-foot leader which connects to the air compressor is on the short side. It doesn’t have an automatic stop system, but it does allow for stops at regular intervals, so while you can’t customize the length, you do have some options that won’t result in it trying to pull the hose back.
It’s important to note that this model is rated for use from 35 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. That means that freezing temperatures, like those found in unheated garages and shops, could damage this model. That’s a likely culprit behind its poor overall durability. Many users get less than a year of use out of this model before it breaks irreparably. It also frequently leaks near the fittings, which lowers your efficiency as you work. While this model’s price is low, its flaws are very serious. Most people would have better experiences if they were willing to spend more to get a superior retractable air hose reel.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you better understand retractable air hoses and what leads to great value in this product category. If you’re still not sure which model is the right one for you, you’ve come to the right place. This buyer’s guide is packed full of great general information about retractable air hoses so that you can know everything you need to know about these models before you buy. We also give you some tips on getting great value, so if you want to stretch your dollar as far as you can, make sure you check out this guide.
Not all retractable air hose reels are made equally, and their design differs too. If you want to get a model that you’ll like, a good place to start is in its ease of use. If you find a model difficult to use, you’ll use it less, and will end up wasting your money.
So, there are a few features that greatly contribute to a retractable air hose reel’s ease of use. The first is the stopping system. Some models lack this feature, which means they are always trying to retract the hose, which can be tiresome. The best models feature a system that works like the cord on your blinds. Pull the hose out to the desired length, then gently retract to lock it in place. When done, pull it out and release it more firmly to get it to retract.
Mid-range models feature a system that stops at regular intervals. These work decently but could leave you frustrated if your desired length is halfway between two preset stops.
Since there’s a lot of force going on in retracting a 50-foot hose, you’ll want a model that is firmly mounted to the wall or ceiling. However, not all models excel in this department, which means that this is an area that separates the best units from those that are merely so-so. The best models will come with a hinged support which allows the reel to rotate to the left and right. That reduces the strain on the wall and makes the model easier to use.
You’ll also want to watch out for models that don’t include fasteners. While they may have a wall mount, they may not come with the screws you need to mount it to the wall. That slightly lowers the value and makes it a more inconvenient install.
Since all the models on our list come with a hose, it’s important to consider hose quality before you buy. One of the most important features is the length of the hose. 25 feet may be enough range to cover a small shop or garage. However, if you’re going to be working in an area that is medium or larger, then you’ll want to invest in a 50-foot hose. While that might sound like a major upgrade, it doesn’t always lead to a massive increase in price, making it a good investment for most people.
You’ll also want to look for models that have taken steps to reduce leakage at the joins where the hose connects to the input and the spindle. If the model doesn’t do a good job of this, you’ll spend a lot of time wondering why your air pressure isn’t great or trying to repair leaks.
Since there are a variety of qualities and price points available when shopping for a retractable air hose, it’s a good idea to make sure you maximize your value when you buy. Many people try to do this by investing in a cheap or expensive model, but that’s a poor strategy.
Instead, you should focus on the experience you want to get out of your purchase and the features that will help you get there. Make a shortlist of models that come with those features. Then, pick the cheapest from that list. It comes with all the features you need to have a great experience, and since you’re paying the least for it, it’s the best overall for your money.
The Goodyear 27527153G is our favorite model due to its smooth, kink-free retraction, easy mounting, and reduced leakage compared to other models. The DeWalt DXCM024-0345 is a good overall retractable air hose reel, and it comes with a great mount and stop-anywhere functionality, though an oversized case and lack of fasteners drop it to second place. The Goplus Auto-Retractable GP-101040140 comes with locking stop positions and a short hose, but since you can get it for a fraction of what you’d pay for the top models on our list, it’s the best overall for the money. The ReelWorks 27807153A is inexpensive and includes a long hose, but its lack of a stop system and poor durability mean it can take no higher than fourth place. The Campbell Hausfeld PA500400AV has a long hose, but it’s not rated for freezing temperatures and has poor durability, so it drops to the last place on our list.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have gone a long way towards teaching you about retractable air hose reels. Armed with that information, you should be able to find the model that’s right for you at a great price.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!