The T301 hose nozzle from Melnor, part of their new AquaFlo Titanium series, looks like a real over-achiever. Not only does it have 7 different spray patterns, but it has a trigger lock and a flow control lever. Plus it’s made of heavy-duty metal with a slip-resistant rubberized grip and head. But does it really work? Here’s what we found …
Easy-to-Adjust Spray Head
The seven spray patterns are noticeably different from each other, unlike some hose nozzles where you can’t tell the difference between shower and mist, or full spray and jet. Each puts out a nice clean spray.
The spray head has a large ring that’s covered in rubber, making it easy to turn. There’s an audible “click” as it moves into position for each of the spray settings and once in place it stays in place. Each spray pattern is clearly marked on the outside of the ring in large, easy-to-read letters.
Controls Water Flow
At the top of the hose nozzle is a lever that controls the flow of water through the nozzle. It won’t turn the water off, but it will adjust it from full flow to about half the normal pressure. It’s a nice feature when watering different kinds of plants; I use it at full throttle for shrubs and larger plants, and put it on the low setting for potted plants and those with finer foliage.
Theoretically, you can control the flow by moving the lever with your thumb. However, unless you have enormous hands you won’t be able to reach the lever with your thumb when it’s in the full flow position. Still, you can always use your other hand to move the lever when needed.
Note that it’ll take a fair bit of force to move the lever – it’s definitely not a one-finger job. And if you get sand or grit into the moving parts, it’s even more difficult to move.
One of the features I was most interested in was the one-finger trigger lock. Instead of holding the trigger in place while watering, you simply pull the trigger lock with your index finger and the trigger stays put. To release it, depress the trigger and let go – the lock will pop open.
It sounds simple enough when you read the instructions but it can become a little confusing when actually in use. Somehow, all of our testers found that it wasn’t as intuitive as they’d expected and they had to pull much harder than with other models. You have to pull the trigger in hard to release the lock. And if you have your index finger on the lock when you do that, it won’t unlock. If you have strong enough hands, you can lock the trigger by pulling hard on the lock. If not, you have to pull in the trigger first, then pull the lock. So much pulling and releasing of individual parts…. While the trigger lock’s a good idea, I often found myself swearing at it as I tried to lock or unlock it. Eventually I decided to just hold the trigger when watering – forget about the lock.
Be careful where you place your index finger when releasing the lock – it’s easy for it to get painfully pinched between the lock and the barrel of the nozzle, especially if you have smaller hands.
Non-Slip Rubber Grip
The rubber coating on the handle and ring around the spray nozzle is a nice touch. It’s non-slip so the nozzle is easy to hold and turn, even when your hands are wet. Plus, it doesn’t get as cold in your hand as an all-metal nozzle.
Heavy Duty Construction
The Melnor AquaFlo Titanium hose nozzles are made with a strong but light-weight metal. After sitting out in the Tucson sun and being dragged around in the gravel for three months, mine is holding up extremely well. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s doing as the seasons progress.
Although the moving parts (trigger, lever, spray head) are made of plastic, they don’t feel cheap or flimsy. There’s no excess “play” or movement in the parts and the fit and finish are excellent.
There’s even a washer and filter built right into the end of the nozzle that attaches to the hose – a nice little detail that speaks to the quality of the product.
Heavy Duty Size
If you have smaller hands, you may find this hose nozzle to be too large to hold comfortably. Because of the trigger lock mechanism, the handle is quite big (2 inches from front to back and 1.25 inches wide), making it difficult for me to wrap my hand around it fully.
I give the Melnor AquaFlo Titanium Metal Front-Trigger Adjustable Nozzle a 3-shovel rating. It works well as a sprayer, has excellent water flow, and is priced right, especially when you consider the lifetime warranty. However, it’s a little too large to hold comfortably (unless you have large hands), the flow control lever can be difficult to adjust, and the trigger lock, while a nice idea, takes a lot of force to use. If you have smaller hands or grip strength issues, this is not the hose nozzle for you.
Where to Buy
Melnor hose nozzles are usually available at garden centers and home improvement stores. You can also buy them directly on Amazon. The AquaFlo Titanium Metal Front-Trigger Adjustable Nozzle sells on Amazon for about $10.50. Note that the version sold in WalMart (T301-WM) is not exactly the same as the one reviewed here.
And now over to you – What’s your favorite hose nozzle? Share your thoughts in the comments below!