If you own a workshop and you regularly use pneumatic tools, then one must-have item is the air hose reel. A high-quality reel is going to speed up how fast you can work, by ensuring that your hose end is always in the same spot.
And, it reduces tripping hazards.
Not any hose reel will suffice. There are a lot of cheap knock-offs from China that are sold online at surprisingly high prices.
And then there is the challenge that the favorite brands from our youth might have changed hands a time or two and are no longer offering the same quality we had come to rely on (ever hear of Craftsman?)[go_pricing id=”air_hose_reels”]
As you see in the chart below, there are a lot of different types of hose material: rubber, hybrid, and PVC. To understand more about the advantage of each type, please see our air hose reviews.
Reviews Of The Best Air Hose Reels
|Product||Capactiy||Retraction||Hose Material||Reel Type||MAX PSI||Compatible|
|Coxreels P-LP-350||50'||Auto||Flextral PVC||Single Arm||300||Air /Water|
|Goodyear 27527153G>/a>||50'||Auto||Hybrid||Enclosed||300||Air /Water|
|Milton 2760-50D||50'||Auto||EPDM Rubber||Dual Arm||300||Air|
|DeWalt DXCM024-0343||50'||Auto||Rubber||Dual Arm||300||Air|
|REELWORKS Pro Level||100'||Manual||Hybrid||Quad Arm||300||Air/Water/Oil|
|REELWORKS L815153HA||50'||Auto||Hybrid||Single Arm||300||Air/Water/Oil|
|Giraffe Retractable||50'||Auto||Hybrid||Dual Arm||300||Air|
That’s where this Tool Tally review can save you time.
In addition to looking at how well the hose reel mechanism worked, we also looked at hose quality, especially in different temperature conditions. The resistance to kinking is also essential.
Finally, I tried to highlight where you can install them. Whether you plan on mounting it on the floor, wall, ceiling (auto-retract is a must!) and, sometimes, on the truck, I’ll have the ideal setup for you.
Your hose reel is going to last for decades, so get the right one the first time!
Note: Rankings are somewhat arbitrary and are only the opinions of this site based on the research and our experience working with some of these products.
#1 – Coxreels P-LP-350 Retractable Air Hose Reel (Made in USA)
The Coxreels P-LP-350 uses reliable brass connectors and painted metal design, making it durable in environments with diesel and other corrosive fluids. This durability makes it an easy-to-maintain air hose reel thanks to its removable lubricated cartridge-style motor. It features a sturdy build and will last you a very long time under proper maintenance.
You can attach the Coxreels P-LP-350 to walls, ceilings and even on a vehicle thanks to its multi-position guide arm making this a versatile hose reel. It requires 4 inches by 5 inches drill pattern, making it ideal for mounting to a 2×6. The steel arm with lubricated high-quality ball bearings allows smooth directional movement.
The important parts that contact the hose or the water are constructed from brass will ensure that it doesn’t rust further adding to the longevity and durability of the Coxreels steel retractable air hose reel.
The air hose reel comes with a Flextral AR40 PVC hose that is ideal for a wide range of temperatures.
The bottom line is, this reel will probably outlast most of the people who buy it.
- Heavy-duty construction
- Anti-corrosive brass parts
- Versatile and can be fixed on vehicles walls, floors, and ceilings
- Doesn’t come with its hose
- The spring isn’t the best
#2 – Goodyear 27527153G Retractable Hose Reel
I love this system because of how smooth it is. The Goodyear is a highly functional auto rewind air hose reel which enables the hose to rewind smoothly without any glitches or kinks. It also comes with a high-quality ratcheting system. This allows you to lock the hose at your desired length and work on your project while being completely at ease.
The reel uses a propylene material that is corrosion and rust-resistant. Propylene enables it to be compact and lightweight.
Unlike the Milton 2760-50D (reviewed below) that has a swivel that rotates 360 degrees, the Goodyear has a pivot that turns 180 degrees. That said, it is enough to provide you with excellent mobility around your workshop.
The Goodyear also comes with a rubber air hose. The swivel bracket, on the other hand, features a simple design which allows it to be mounted easily on the wall, ceiling or the floor.
However, for you to mount the reel, you are not able to remove the mounting but will instead need to slide it over the screws. The downside of this design is that there is the off chance that it might get bumped and fall. You can get around this by putting another screw above the mounting to act as a block.
- Features an auto guide rewind system
- Lightweight yet sturdy
- Can get bumped up and fall from the mounting
- Doesn’t have a complete 360 rotation of the swivel
#3 – Milton 2760-50D Retractable Air Hose Reel
Milton is one of the favorite hoses by artisans. I prefer Goodyear, but I can understand why so many people love Milton. It is a high-quality build.
Like the REELWORKS professional-level air hose reel that we look at below, the Milton 2760-50D also comes with a hose. What’s more, is that the tube has a nylon braid and is rubber enforced to make it sturdy and robust which means it will last you a long time. This hose is resistant to cracks, abrasions and the weather which means that you can use it almost anywhere.
The mounting plate features an easy to install design and can be mounted on the ceilings, walls as well as on benches and even on trucks.
The air inlet valve can rotate 360 degrees which allows you to work with ease and the fittings which are made from brass means that they will last a long time as they are corrosion resistant. The automatic recoil allows the hose to pull back when you are not using it thanks to the dual-arm frame which also prevents distortion and bending.
However, you may experience leaks with the Milton 2760-50D where the swivel connects to the hose. A good option to prevent or reduce the risk of leaks is to add extra seals. Also, the inside spring does not seem as powerful as you will find with the Coxreels P-LP-350.
- Automatically retracting reel
- High quality and durable hose
- Simple to install
- Air inlet can rotate a complete 360 degrees
- There could be leaks where the swivel connects to the hose
- The inside spring may not be the best quality
#4 – Flexzilla Plastic Air Hose Reel
The Flexzilla hose is one of our favorites here at ToolTally. I especially like this one for shops that need a lot of hose reels and that wants to save money on them.
The Flexzilla hybrid polymer hose means that you have added durability and no memory, making it kink-resistant. This unique hose formulation is especially handy if you are working in large temperature swings. This hose can stay flexible in temperatures from -40 degrees up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
The hose container comes with a 50-foot length of hose (maximum capacity for this reel), making it perfect for the work bay. The latch locks at 18-inch intervals, giving you plenty of slack, but occasionally requiring a final yank to lock-in that lasts 18 inches.
This is a great system for mounting from the ceiling. You’ll need a longer feeder hose to get it up there, but it seems to work well in shops that want their hoses to be out of the way truly. When you mount it from the ceiling, there is a hose stop that you can mount to keep the hose from fully retracting.
The big deal with these is that you need to adjust their spring tension before you mount them. You just remove the cover and pull the hose out. Then turn the mechanism two times clockwise and re-feed the hose back into it. Kind of a hassle, but, otherwise, it returns the hose frustratingly slow.
One more quick note: the Flexzilla end looks a lot like plastic in pictures (Which makes no sense since it is dealing with high-pressure air). It is made with high-quality aircraft aluminum, setting those concerns to rest.
With a 2-year warranty and an easy-to-reach customer service line, they have worked hard to earn their place near the top of our list.
- Hybrid hose material is more flexible
- Aircraft aluminum ends offer durability
- Fast recoil (once adjusted)
- Requires you to adjust it before use.
#5 – DeWalt DXCM024-0343 Double Arm Air Hose Reel
The DeWalt features a simple design that allows the hose to be easily wound up. It also comes with a ratchet that has 12 different lengths that you can set, allowing you to pull out the hose to any length that you desire.
The included hose is made from premium rubber, and it can be used even in subzero and extreme temperatures while remaining flexible.
The hose is easily fitted to the connector through the 4-inch lead. Even better is that it is resistant to kinking which means uninterrupted airflow.
Made from steel, the DeWalt DXCM024-0343 double-arm has a sturdy and durable feel. The internal spring drive makes retractions of the hose simple and quick.
It also comes with a hose guide which prevents the hose from wear as it retracts, which adds to the longevity.
You can attach this air hose reel to the wall or ceilings. It is also commonly mounted on floors and in the back of work trucks. What’s more, this reel is straightforward to install. It does lose points for failing to retract entirely, moving it lower on the list of my personal preferences, than I initially expected it would be.
- Heavy-duty construction
- Guide arm prevents kinking
- Simple to install
- Simple to use
- Hose Included
- The hose doesn’t retract completely
#6 – REELWORKS Pro Level Portable Air Hose Reel
The REELWORKS comes with 50 feet of hose and features an adjustable drag brake. This allows the air compressor hose to lock at your desired length allowing you to work on your projects with ease. It also comes with a hand crank reel that can turn 180 degrees and makes it easy to rewind.
It’s one of the only ones on this list that can double as a water hose reel, making it ideal for pressure washing rigs.
The frame of the REELWORKS pro-level air hose is constructed with reinforced steel and is covered with a powder coating to prevent corrosion both from the water and the weather elements. This is highly convenient and safe to use air hose reel featuring a hose inlet connection seals that help prevent any leakages. Even so, you may get a slight leak from the rotating hub.
The swivel, on the other hand, is made from solid brass which not only makes it corrosion resistant ensuring that it will last a long time but also allows for a smooth operation. You can also mount this air hose reel on the ceiling, floor as well as on walls with its L-shaped arm that feature grooves with ½ inch holes drilled in them.
The hose that comes with the REELWORKS Pro level may not be the best quality and maybe flimsy for certain operations. However, it is still possible to replace this with a much tougher 3/8-inch hose.
- High-quality construction
- Easy to mount
Comes with a hose
- The hose is not the best quality
- There may be a slight leak from the rotating hub
#7 – REELWORKS L815153HA Retractable Air Hose Reel
This is one of the steel air hose reels that features a guide that allows the hose to retract without any kinking easily. It also comes with an improved locking system to hold the hose at a certain length. This is highly useful when working around the workshop.
The Reelworks L815153HA is constructed out of thick and durable steel that is also powder coated to prevent corrosion. Inside is an enclosed spring system. This works to prevent the reel from damaging the auto guide system when reeling in the hose.
A unique benefit of this model is that it has 4 rolls on each direction which prevents friction on the hose when reeling. There is minimal leakage as a result of the inlet connection seals. This prevents accidents and ensures that the work environment is safe.
The solid brass swivel will not rust and ensures that the fluid flow is smooth and uninterrupted.
Similar to the Reelworks pro-level portable air hose reel, this model also features an L-shape arm with 4 groves. It is highly simple to mount on trucks, walls, and ceilings.
However, the downside is that when it is facing the ceiling or wall, the air input remains on the left and there is no way to using it from the right. Even while the bracket may be turned to face the opposite direction, the reels input will remain on its left which means that it is not the most versatile.
- Guide feature allows the hose to retract without kinking
- The solid brass swivel will not rust
- Simple to mount
The air input remains in one position no matter the angle of mounting.
#8 – Giraffe Retractable Air Hose Reel
The Giraffe retractable air hose reel has a rubber hose that is designed to be kink-less. It also comes with a high-quality well-designed guide arm with 3 set positions. The guide arm is also reinforced and will be enough to provide stable delivery in each of the 3 positions.
When you want to use the air reel hose, all you need to do is to pull out the reel to your desired length and then listen to the clock. Once you hear this click, you will know that the hose will be held in that locking position. This air hose reel can be mounted on the floor, the wall or the ceiling.
The swivel joint is well-made and allows you to achieve a free flow. It has a multi-position release hatchet. This spring is enclosed fully within the reel. It is constructed from steel which makes it highly durable and also has a powder coating to prevent rust.
However, unlike the DeWalt DXCM024-0343 Double Arm, it doesn’t have a guide feature which means that the hose may wind up on one side or not go all the way in. Also, the rewind spring doesn’t easily lock.
- Features a guide arm that can move in 3 positions
- Simple to use
- Good quality swivel joint
- Lacks a guide feature when reeling in
- The rewind spring doesn’t lock easily
Favorite Heavy Duty Model: With it’s heavy-duty design, sealed spring cartridge, and ball-bearing pivots it is probably going to outlast most of our shoppers. Goodyear would be our second choice.
Best Value: Flexzilla deserves a closer look for this category. It isn’t the most expensive on the list and yet delivers constant functional durability.
Best For Home Garage: Giraffe Reels are a little lighter than some of the others on this list, but your kids won’t know when they are airing up their bike tires.
The main purpose of getting an air hose reel is to keep the air hose protected and free of any blemishes. That in itself should tell you that the air hose reel should be tough and robust. Getting a reel that is week is only likely to result in more problems since it will not be able to provide the required protection for the hose.
The best way to ensure that your air hose reel is going to serve you for a long time is by checking for rugged construction. The best material construction should be steel as it can withstand plenty of punishment especially when being in the workshop.
Also, check for powder coating to ensure that the air hose reel can resist corrosion and rust.
Stay away from air hose reels that lack any mounting capabilities. It should have a spindle to provide the user with maximum use of the hose. A reel that can be mounted almost anywhere that you like provides flexibility. However, if you don’t plan on moving a lot, then you can choose one that will specifically work for your chosen area.
If there is not a lot of space in your working area, then get a reel that can you can mount in multiple ways.
There are usually three main ways of installing the spindle. The ceiling, the wall or on the floor decide for yourself which of the three is best for an individual situation. Most will need to be mounted into a 2×6 board that is then secured to a stud.
Working Pressure Limits
Another thing that you want to ensure that you check is the working capacity of the air hose reel. Ensure that the pressure rating can support the air pressure you will be working with.
For example, if you plan on using pneumatic tools, then you will probably be sorted with a maximum pressure of around 300PSI. If you are working with compressed water, then this will likely be enough as well.
On the other hand, in situations where you will require more pressure such as siphoning oil, you will need an air hose reel that can handle up to 2000PSI of pressure. For more viscous substances such as grease or lubricants, you might need as much as 4000PSI of pressure.
Another thing to consider is the inside diameter of the hose as well as the fittings. Air ratchets — especially those that are heavy-duty — will require you to use a hose with a larger inside diameter. This is because the small hoses will not be in a position to withstand the higher pressures and torques.
Having put all these factors into consideration, then you can decide the best size hose for your requirements. Getting one with the right length ensures that it can reach all corners of the workshop. While selecting a hose length, keep in mind that the longer it is, the more it could lose pressure.
Retractable vs. Manual Air Hose Reels
When choosing an air hose reel, you will often have to choose between two main designs which are retractable vs. the manual air hose reels. If you have a smaller workshop, you may find that the manual air hose reels are much more convenient and easier to maintain. The downside is that they are not the simplest to use when installing to the ceiling.
On the other hand, the retractable manual air hose reel is simpler to use and installable almost anywhere.
Types Of Bearings
The type of bearings has a significant effect on the performance that you are going to get from your air hose reel. Ball bearings allow for a smoother rotation of the spool while prevents any tension or friction on the hose which then means that it will last a long time.