Since I discovered Ames Tools earlier this year and got to see firsthand how some of them are made and what the company's philosophies are towards their products and their customers, I've become a big fan. I have to tell you when they first contacted me about trying out some of their products, I was hesitant. But I'm very glad I decided to go ahead, because they've become some of my favorite garden tools and products ever.
When I visited their headquarters in Camp Hill, Penn., in April, one of the products that caught my attention was a hose reel that was actually attractive (as far as hose reels go) and had a guide on it that helped the hose wind up evenly on the reel when you wound it up. I was pretty excited when they sent one to me to try.
The basic info on the Ames Neverleak™ Hose Reel and Cabinet is this:
- NeverLeak™ aluminum water system, which resists cross threading, stands up to cold temperatures, and is 8X stronger than typical plastic water systems
- Features the Auto-Track® system that quickly and automatically distributes the hose along the reel during rewinding
- Holds up to 150' of hose
- Includes leader hose
- 20" x 23½" x 21"
- 2-year warranty
The cabinet is made of metal, painted black, and is heavy enough to stay put when you're reeling in the hose. We have heavy rubber hoses that we use in most locations of our yard and sometimes it feels like I'm wresting big rubber snakes when I'm trying to hang the hoses on a hanger. I just could NOT believe how easily the hose reel wound that thing up.
I also got a chance to try out the Ames NeverLeak™ Poly Wall Mount Hose Reel with Manual Hose Guide. For comparison, here are its features:
- Fully assembled design; just take it out of the box and mount to the wall
- Features Ames NeverLeak® aluminum water system, which resists cross threading, stands up to cold temperatures and is 8 times stronger than typical plastic water systems
- Includes a manual hose guide to keep hands clean, and accessory tray and easy-spin grip for added convenience
- Capacity ranges from 50’ to 225' of 5/8" hose
- 17½" x 23" x 17"
- 2-year warranty
The two major differences between the free-standing one and the wall mounted one are that the wall-mounted one isn't entirely enclosed, so it isn't as attractive, and it doesn't have the Auto-Track® system. There's a hose guide, but you have to guide it manually as you reel the hose in. A knob on top of the guide makes it easy to hold onto and move back and forth as needed, but the other hose reel is definitely easier. Of course, there's a difference in cost too, with the cabinet style selling for $119 at Lowe's and the wall mount version for $39.98.
Time will tell how they hold up over the years, and though I prefer the cabinet hose reel that I demo'ed in the video, each one does a nice job of reeling the hose in and each is appropriate for the place where we're using it. (Cabinet version, outside. Wall mounted one, inside the garage.) What I really like is that now we don't have to wrestle the hoses to put them away, so we actually PUT THEM AWAY. :-)
For more information on all the hose reels that Ames has to offer, check their website.
Ames Tools provided me with both hose reels to try out for the purpose of this review. As always, the thoughts expressed here are my own.