The best retractable air hose reel should be compatible with the air compressor and pneumatic tools you intend to use it on. The affordable air hose reel models are often priced below the $150 mark, but prices can be as high as $1,000.
If you are looking for the right reel, you should consider such factors as the hose length, diameter, quality, mounting design, and pressure bearing capacity.
This guide will also help you understand what a retractable air reel is, how much it costs and how to choose one.
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Reviewed below are the top five retractable air hose reels you should consider.
What is a Retractable Air Reel?
Retracting air hoses with a manual crank has been around for quite a while. Unlike such models, the hose in the modern retracting air reels retracts into its casing automatically after use. As a matter of fact, most of the high-end models come equipped with an auto-level to help rewind the hose automatically and fill the reel evenly.
Having been constructed using quality materials, some of the best air hose reels are capable of handling air at high-pressure levels. Others may also be used to combat water from one point to another as well. However, these products are primarily designed to connect to an air compressor and deliver pressurized air to the required points in a workshop.
As a result, most of them have a diameter of 3/8 inches and feature ¼-inch National Pipe Tapered Thread (NPT) connectors. The reel is designed to mount on the wall or wall to save on space and give you convenient access to air whenever you need it.
Best Retractable Air Hose Reels[table “551” not found /]
1. Flexzilla Retractable Enclosed Plastic Air Hose Reel – Best Overall
The enclosed plastic air hose reel construction o this product makes it lightweight and easy to install. This Flexzilla retractable air hose reel is all-weather flexibility made Flexzilla one of the industry leaders.
The model features an adjustable hose stopper. This stopper type allows you to increase or decrease the length of the hose that remains after the rest has retracted.
The hose itself is made of a flexible hybrid polymer, making it an ideal example of a zero memory retractable air hose model. Again, this material will remain flexible is flexible in all weather conditions. The material also ensures that the hose does not kink.
For enhanced strength and durability, the reel features anodized aircraft aluminum fittings. It is also equipped with a swivel mounting bracket, allowing fie the reel to swivel up to 180° for easy storage after use.
2. Giraffe Retractable Air-Hose-Reel – The Most Affordable Retractable Air Hose Reel
Although the product is priced below the $80 price point, it features a high-quality hybrid hose construction that can withstand a pressure of up to 300PSI. It features a reinforced steel guide arm that may be adjusted to three different angles, effectively improving its versatility.
The reel lock used on this model has two symmetrical parts, each with four locking points. To lock the hose, you should just pull the length of hose slowly until you hear a ‘click’ sound. The hose has an inside diameter of 3/8 inches and is 50 feet long.
It is fitted with 1/4 In. MNPT Brass Fittings and a plastic stopper as well. The steel components on this reel are powder coated for enhanced durability. The rewind spring used in the reel housing is strong and lasts for a long period. The swivel mounting gear allows for easy storage that saves on floor space.
3. Power Retractable Hose Reel – The Best Heavy-Duty Automatic Retracting Hose
This Power Retractable AI hose reel is designed to offer enhanced strength with its 3-layer hose design. The hose is capable of handling pressure levels of up to 500PSI, making it ideal for a range of heavy-duty applications.
In addition to its slow return mechanism, the unit features a unique twist collar and patent nozzle protector. It comes with a fully retractable, slow return system. The pressure bearing capacity of this hose is about 50 percent better than that of other reels within the same category.
The auto-retract hose keeps the excess hose out of the workspace and locks it in place at different intervals. The mounting brackets allow a 180-degree swivel. As such, it may be installed on the wall or ceiling.
The exclusive nozzle protector on the hose prevents the hose from causing damages or harming someone as it retracts into its reel. Being one of the best retractable air hose reels in the market, it is backed by a 100 percent money-back guarantee by the manufacturer.
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4. Campbell Hausfeld Air Hose Reel – The Best PVC Retractable Air Hose Reel
Bring your air tools with you anywhere in the shop and experience minimal tangled hose scenarios with this retractable hose reel. It is a non-marking PVC hose with heavy-duty reinforcement, capable o handling pressure levels of up to 300 PSI.
This makes it suited for a range of auto repair and workshop applications. The portable design also offers an extended range with its 50-foot hose length. The Hose is designed to retract quickly, automatically and, saving you time.
This mechanism will also keep the hose tangle-free and keeps your workspace organized. Portable design is also able to be hung on a wall, especially when it is Bing coupled to the large compressors.
Designed to withstand a range of working temperatures, these air hoses are designed to stand up to a variety of work environments.
5. Klutch Auto Rewind Air Hose Reel – The Best Rubber Retracting Air Hose Reel
It is equipped with a heavy-duty rubber stop that is adjustable, allowing for safe usage of the hose reel. You will also like its four-direction non-snag rollers that have been proven to reduce hose wear abrasion.
The reel comes with a 3/8in. x 50ft. rubber hose, that has a maximum pressure rating of 300 PSI. The reel also comes with a strong bracket that mounts to the wall, ceiling or floor.
The included reinforced steel guide arm provides support and stability. For enhanced durability, its heavy-duty steel construction is powder-coated.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Retractable Air Hose Reel
Just as is the case with other workshop tools and equipment, choosing the best retractable air hose reel requires careful consideration.
Ranging from the reel housing to the hose itself, these products are made of different materials, which affects their durability and pressure bearing capability.
In order to buy the right one, these are some of the important things you need to consider:
The model you opt for should be durable and tough enough to withstand year of use Ina workshop or repair shop environment. Even so, it should still be flexible enough to recoil back into the reel with ease. As such, you need to ensure that you get one made of the right material.
The ends of the hose near the fixings are particularly the parts that experience a lot of wear as compared to other parts of the reel. This is why a considerable number of retractable air hose reel manufacturers fit their hoses with bend restrictors at those points.
Some of the commonly used hose materials in the industry include:
Rubber is a preferred hose due to its flexibility and affordability. Most of the affordable retractable air hose reels are made of rubber, at a price point that is similar to that of hybrid polymer hose reels.
However, rubber hoses are relatively heavy and most of them only have a temperature range of -20°F to 165°F.
If you are working on a limited budget, you may settle for the best Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) retractable air hose reels. This material is not as flexible as other materials commonly used to make these products and may kink badly, which often leads to damage
The typical temperature range for PVC is 20°F to 145°F.
This hose material is comparatively flexible, light, strong, and does not kink easily. However, retractable air hose reels made of the material are quite expensive. but it’s expensive. The typical temperature range is -40°F to 160°F.
- Hybrid polymer
Most of the hybrid polymer air hose reels are within the mid-price range. The material is relatively durable and highly resistant to kinking. As such most of them are multi-purpose units suited for a myriad of applications. They are also suited for use within a wider temperature range.
The leading retractable air hose reels have a maximum pressure rating that is usually higher than you will ever need. However, you still need to ensure that the rating on your preferred reel is compatible with the air compressor or pneumatic tool you will be using it on.
Most of the best retractable air hose reel models may be used within a pressure range of 150 pounds per square inch (PSI) to 300 PSI. Provided that the hose is undamaged, these operating pressures offer a relatively wide safety margin.
You also need to consider the inside diameter (ID) of the hose and its fittings. If you will be using the hose on heavy-duty pneumatic tools or any other demanding applications, it is advisable to get one that has a larger ID. Air hoses with a smaller ID are not ideal for high-torque pneumatic aspirations.
Almost all the retracting air hose reels are designed to be installed on the ceiling or wall. The model you settle for should be comparatively easy to install. The mounting brackets on the unit should also be strong enough to support its weight after installation. Most manufacturers equip their products with strong steel mounting brackets.
There are two main retractable air hose reel mounting bracket types available today, including:
Relatively lightweight homeowner retracting air hose reels only require two holes for installation. Mounting plates are slender and quite discreet as a result. Some are also hinged, allowing you to swivel the air hose reel itself 90° and leave it flush against a wall once you are done with it.
This type of mounting mechanism is suited for the heavier industrial retractable air hose reel models. The mounting brackets in such models are stronger and fitted with four installation holes, hence are suited for fthe loor, wall as well as ceiling installation.
The best heavy-duty retractable air hose reels have a hose length of up to 200 feet, which makes them rather heavy. Such units need to be installed more securely, hence the need for a four-hole mounting mechanism. This is particularly the case if the reel is to be installed in an overhead position.
Most preloaded air hose reels come with a leader hose that runs from the reel to the air compressor. If you do not have a suitable connection for this purpose, you may need to get a model that comes with a leader horse.
In addition to the leader horse size, you should also consider its length. Some models only come with a 3-foot leader hose, which could be too short. This is will come in handy is you would like to install the reel on the wall or ceiling.
Ready to Use a Retractable Air Hose Reel?
Retractable hoses are some of the must-have tools and equipment in any workshop or automotive repair shop. They may be used to power a range of pneumatic tools as well as deliver air under pressure for several other applications.
The model you opt for needs to feature a strong, and durable construction as well as have a high-pressure bearing capacity. Similar to the five models reviewed above, your preferred reel should allow for easy installation and be made of a flexible material that does not kink.
With this guide, you should have an easy time choosing the best retractable air hose reel for your workshop or repair.
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