How To Set Up A Hose Reel (Step By Step Guide)

by Steve Glor on Feb 23, 2023

How To Set Up A Hose Reel

You probably know by now that a new garden hose does not come cheap. Especially when purchasing one of good quality that is built to last, it can be quite the investment. In order to keep your garden hose secured and lengthen its lifespan, the best way to keep it detangled while in use and safe when in storage is by using a hose reel.

Below, we discuss all there is to know about hose reels, their advantages, what to take into consideration when making your first purchase, and a step by step hose reel guide on how to properly set it up for success.

The advantages of owning a garden hose reel

Just like the garden hose itself, garden hose reels can come with a hefty price tag. However, they are well worth the investment as it offers one of the most secure and advantageous storage solutions for one of the most-used gardening tools.

Some of its key benefits include:

Great for longer hoses

Yard Butler Garden Hose Reel

For homeowners with a sizable yard, longer hoses are definitely more practical to acquire. However, manually having to coil it up is not a walk in the park. The longer the entire garden hose, the more time and energy it would take to accomplish such a simple task.

Cuts yard work in half

Having a hose reel makes it easier to collect and store your garden hoses. This essentially cuts the time it takes to accomplish this task in half!

More portable solution

Some of the more advanced garden hose reels come with wheels. This feature makes it a breeze to bring around the yard or even use your house in the garage up front.

Multiple storage options

Apart from being able to utilize the reel as is, they also often come with wall mounts for you to easily attach it on the side of the house or shed. In the instance that you need more space on the ground for other gardening tools, having wall mounted hose reels can clear a little room.

Lengthens the lifespan of your hose

It helps keep your garden hose strong and well maintained by preventing tangles, shading it from damaging UV rays, and lessening the risk of it being stepped on or tripped over.

Helps protect your grass

Having heavy objects sitting on top of your grass can cause it to decay and your lawn to soften up. With a reel holding your garden hose off the ground, you can help keep a lengthy hose off your yard for good and keep your grass looking fresh for a longer period of time.

What to Consider When Choosing a Garden Hose Reel?

If you are looking to buy your first hose reel, or are thinking of upgrading your current one, there are three main factors to consider when choosing the best model for you and your yard.

Ease Of Use

Depending on the type of model you have your eye on, some of them may be heavier and much harder to assemble than others. If you would rather have something quick to put together and lightweight to bring around, then this is one thing to weigh out (no pun intended).

Moreover, some reels come with wheels while others have a stand-alone design to them. Either of the two can be of great use, depending on the kind of yard work that you do and what is more useful to you.


There is a range of models to choose from, and if you are sticking to a budget, then the cost is definitely one of the first factors to consider. This can really help in narrowing down your options, and seeing what the best variants are within the price range you are most comfortable with.

There are hose reels just a little over $100 and then there are some packed with more features that you could acquire for a little over $200. Whichever you decide on, so long as it is from a reputable company, you are sure to get your money’s worth!

Storage Space

Another thing to consider is how much storage space you have left in your shed, house, or garage to store a reel. This can help in deciding whether or not you should get one with wheels, get a smaller model, or opt for one with a wall mount feature.

How To Set Up A Hose Reel (Step By Step Guide)

A hose reel has a fairly simple concept to it. The design implements a rolling feature to coil up a garden hose around a spindle. This essentially keeps the hose neatly secured, away from direct sunlight and other external elements, and also keeps the surrounding environment clean.

The most common reel style is by using a hand crank. With this, you spin a level on the side of the reel to bring the hose into the loop. The assembly and maintenance should be quite straightforward.

Step 1: Preparing The Body Of The Reel

Handy Reel Portable 2-in-1 Hose Reel

Assembling the main body of the reel can vary per model. However, most reel variants will have the following parts:

  • Hose adaptor
  • Handle
  • Reel supports
  • Drum Plates
  • Metal frames
  • Side plates
  • Wheels or wall mount

These should be fairly easy to put together, especially with the instruction manual in hand.

Step 2: Prepare The Hose


If your old hose is still attached to your current model, the first thing you want to do is fully extend it out until you can find the hose adapter that connects it to the fitting inside the drum. This should be located in the center of the reel.

Next, twist it by hand or pliers until they are disconnected.

To attach a hose to your new reel, take the female end connector and find the hose coupling connection on the new reel’s drum. Again, this should be located in the center of the reel.

Next, tighten the fitting using pliers to ensure that there are no leaks, but be sure not to over tighten it as this can damage some of the parts.

Note: You may opt to use a rubber washer at the bottom of the hose before connecting it to the drum, this way you can further prevent any leaks in the future.

Step 3: Wind It Up

winding the hose into the drum of the reel

Once the hose connection is secured, simply start winding the hose into the drum of the reel. Make sure to flatten each level out to avoid gaps or take up unnecessary space.

Step 4: Connect The Feeder Hose

Connect The Feeder Hose

Once it is set, connect the short feeder hose that you can find outside the reel to your outdoor faucet.

You’re All Set!

With this handy guide and your experience in gardening, setting up your new hose reel should be a breeze. If you are looking to shop hose reels, check our wide selection below:

  • Wall Mounted Swivel Hose Reel
  • Free-Standing Patio Swivel Hose Reel
  • 2-Wheeled Hose Reel Cart
  • 4-Wheeled Hose Truck
  • Compact Garden Hose Truck
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