What’s the best way to store a hose after each use?
I’ve tried coiling it on the ground under/near the spigot, placing it in coil pot or bin, draping it on a support that’s attached to a wall, piling it up as a tangled mess, leaving it stretched out on the ground (a potential tripping hazard, however), winding it up on a hose cart and a variety of other methods (necessity is the mother of invention).
In the end, I must admit that what really works best for me is a hose reel that’s permanently mounted to a wall.
Last year, we tested the Navigator Rotating Hose Reel from Liberty Garden Products (see the review here). After the Navigator review, Liberty was kind enough to send us the Revolution Rotating Hose Reel (Model # 713), their “industrial grade” version of the Navigator.
- Industrial grade
- Up to 150’ of 5/8” hose capacity
- 5’ Leader hose
- 90 degree solid brass swivel
- Pull up knob for full 360 degree rotation
- 24 locking positions
- 18 gauge steel construction
- Durable powder coat finish
- Attachable crank handle
- 12” x 14” storage tray
- Color: Red
- Height: 20.5”
- Width: 17.5”
- Depth: 22.5”
Assembling the Revolution Hose Reel
The Revolution hose reel arrived unscathed in a sturdy cardboard box with a lot of internal cardboard supports to protect it during shipping.
It essentially comes with the same hardware and instructions as the Navigator. There were slight variations, but nothing significant. If you take a look at the unassembled Navigator pictured on the GPR website, you’ll get a feel for what the unassembled Revolution hose reel looks like.
There was very little assembly required and the assembly instructions were very straightforward. The assembly hardware, some basic tools, crank handle, and leader hose were neatly packaged in plastic bags.
Simple to Install
Don’t feel intimidated by the installation process, but a thorough read of the instructions BEFORE you proceed is mandatory.
Liberty Garden Products provides a decent set of installation instructions, as well as an installation video (it’s for the Navigator hose reel but applies just as well to the Revolution).
The only thing I’d like to see is a more comprehensive list of the tools required. Having drawings of these tools at the beginning of the instructions would greatly simplify the process of knowing what you need before you start installation. As it is, they only mention an Allen wrench, pliers, adjustable wrench and a drill. But later in the written instructions, they tell you that you’ll need additional tools.
For example, Liberty mentions the use of a “hammer drill” for drilling 5/16’ x 2 2 ½” holes into a brick or masonry wall. I’m a serious tool collector, so I have a hammer drill in my arsenal. But I’ll bet that most people don’t own this expensive and very specific tool, and likely don’t even know what a hammer drill is. An alternative to this tool is a regular drill with a masonry bit. Masonry bits, if you don’t have one, can be purchased at virtually any home improvement or hardware store for a few dollars.
Also mentioned is the need for a stud finder and a ¼” drill bit to drill the hole for the wood screws (if you’re mounting the Revolution hose reel to a stud framed wall). And like the masonry drill bit, a wood drill bit can also be secured from a home improvement or hardware store.
Another tool that I think is absolutely crucial is a bubble level. This tool makes sure that you’ve mounted the hose hanger frame perfectly level so that the hose reel drum will be parallel to the ground. This facilitates even coiling of the hose onto the hose reel drum without a large coil ending up at either end of the drum (which is what would happen if you mounted the frame off-level).
Liberty has a video on their website showing how to install different models of wall mounted hose reels, but it’s not specific to the Revolution model. If you watch the online video, you’ll get the gist of what’s required. It’s a good video to watch in preparation for hanging the Revolution.
After saying all this, don’t get discouraged. Some preparation before you start the project will save you a lot of time and aggravation later.
And as a final note, a second pair of hands makes the mounting process much easier. The Revolution’s wall frame is not all that heavy, but having a friend or family member hold it in place while you mark where the hanging hardware is supposed to go is much easier with two people. Also, your friend/family network may have some or all of the tools that you don’t own to complete this project, saving you some green-backs and potential rental costs. You can also reference our video on the Navigator review to get a feel for the process.
Sturdy and High Quality
Once mounted to a stud wall with the recommended wood screws, the Revolution hose reel was rock solid.
Quality abounds throughout the Revolution, from the 18 gauge steel construction, powder-coated finish and solid brass swivel, to the hefty pull up knob.
After almost a year of use, the hose reel is still going strong, although there’s been some fading of the powder coat paint. Then again, we live in Tucson, AZ where the sun destroys just about everything – considering that the reel is mounted to an outside wall and gets at least 6 hours of sun per day, I would expect paint to fade.
I’ve also used the storage tray for trowels, hand pruners, hose nozzles, digging tools and the like. Many of these tools have sharp edges. To date the paint has held up remarkably well. There have been no dings, pits, chips or degradation of the powder coating. Only time will tell if this changes.
If you want to protect your investment in the event that it starts to rust (due to chipped paint, abrasion, etc.), it’s recommended to lightly sand down the rusted area and put a clear coat paint over the compromised surface. And if you live in colder climates where frozen hoses become a problem, Liberty suggests that the hose and reel be detached from the frame and stored inside for the winter. The detachment is very easy and only requires the removal of two provided Allen bolts. Then it’s just a matter of lifting the hose reel drum and attached hose and moving it into a warm storage area. You might want to drain the water from the hose before storing it for the winter.
The Revolution is supposed to hold 150 feet of 5/8” hose, as long as it’s coiled evenly over the entire drum spool. We have 50 feet of Dramm ColorStorm Premium hose coiled on the reel. This is an industrial grade 5/8” hose and my tests indicated that I wouldn’t be able to add another 50 feet of this hose to the reel drum, although I might be able to add another 25 feet. With a light-duty 5/8” hose, I was able to get about 120 feet on the spool. But definitely don’t plan on reeling 150’ of thick, industrial grade hose onto the Revolution hose reel.
Spins 360 Degrees
The Revolution uses a pull up knob and pin that allows you to lock the reel into any of 24 positions so you can micro-adjust it to the perfect angle from which to retract or pull out the hose.
This fine-tuning made it possible to easily pull the hose off the drum with a minimum of effort in the exact direction I wanted to drag the hose to. And reeling the hose back onto the drum was a breeze as well.
The reel drum spun freely 360 degrees when the spring pin was pulled up.
High Quality Leader Hose
I found that the 5 feet of leader hose that connects the hose reel swivel to the outside water spigot was long enough to prevent this piece of hose from kinking while the hose drum was rotated a full 360 degrees. I wouldn’t make a habit of spinning the drum more than 720 degrees in one direction though, or the leader hose will get twisted. And if you find that the 5’ leader hose isn’t long enough, you can easily substitute a longer hose.
The leader hose is constructed of quality hose with brass fittings at both ends. The hose connects to the solid brass swivel that’s mounted on the side of the hose reel. After many months of almost daily use, this swivel never leaked. The swivel was particularly handy when rotating the hose reel a full 360 degrees and allowed the hose reel to swing effortlessly in both clockwise and counterclockwise movements.
The swivel is also supplied with an interior washer, so there’s no need to add a separate one before attaching the leader
Crank Arm And Handle
The Revolution comes with a crank handle to retract the hose back onto the reel. Similar to what we found in our Navigator review, the handle arm length may be a little short for some people to get the leverage they need to effortlessly reel in the hose. Liberty Garden Products might consider offering a longer crank arm in future designs.
The rubber grip on the crank arm is large enough even for the biggest hands (and I have pretty big hands). I found that while reeling in the hose, the grip spun easily against the handle’s metal stem.
Differences From The Navigator Hose Reel
The Revolution hose reel drum and crank handle are virtually the same size as the Navigator we tested previously, although there are a few differences.
First, the top storage tray on the Revolution is larger. Second, there are 24 locking positions as you rotate the reel 360 degrees versus only 8 locking positions on the Navigator. I personally liked the larger storage shelf as I could get more gardening stuff on this platform. I like to store my most used hose nozzle(s), watering wands(s), a pair of hand pruners, a trowel and a digging tool. The Revolution with its larger storage shelf provided ample space for all my frequently used hand tools.
Strong and Sturdy
As with the Navigator, once correctly attached to a vertical surface (brick/masonry or wood) it had amazing holding power. I’m 6’ and weigh 175 pounds. I sat on top of the Revolution when mounted to a stud wall with wood screws – it didn’t budge. I’ll bet that I could have held a 100 lb. bag of fertilizer while sitting on the Revolution and it would’ve still remained on the wall. BUT as they say on so many crazy reality TV shows, “don’t try this at home”. All I can say is that the design of the Revolution makes it a strong, sturdy, practical and nice-to-have accessory for any gardener.
As mentioned previously, I would like to have seen better instructions and the tools required to hang the unit. And from a purely subjective point of view, I would have appreciated a larger unit that would accommodate more hose.
To me, “industrial grade” means bigger, stronger and tougher. I really liked the larger 12” x 14” storage tray and the 24 locking positions of the hose reel. But these minor tweaks to the Navigator design, in my mind, do not make it an “industrial grade” product. I found the 713’s design to be so close to the Navigator’s that it was mostly just a matter of aesthetic differences.
That said, the Revolution (model # 713) is a quality product from Liberty Garden Products, and should definitely be considered if you want a hose reel with plenty of storage room on the top tray and micro-adjustment of the rotating hose drum/reel assembly. Based on my tests to date, the Revolution should provide many years of reliable service.
Where to Buy
Some hardware stores and garden centers sell the Liberty Garden Products Revolution #713 Hose Reel, but the best place to purchase it is on Amazon, where it retails for just over $100.
Now over to you – Have you tried a rotating hose reel before? How did it work? Let us know in the comments below!