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In search of a retractable air hose reel.

1764 Views 39 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  sharkie
Looking for feedback on getting a retractable air hose reel. Don't really need 50 feet, 25 feet would be fine. 3/8", min. My problem is there are so many choices. I have a Dewalt, hand reel near the air compressor, which I like but I'm not climbing a ladder to wind it up. :)

It would go here, In rectangle, to right of next to hdtv. Or above on the 2x12. The plywood seams are above 6x6 (down door side) and 2x6 studs. I'll make a plywood plate to span the gap.

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Mount to wall, air hose hanging straight down, not out and down. Pumping air to it is easy, there's a 1/2" line (PEX) near it.
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I have a Goodyear branded 50-foot 3/8 hose/reel that I bought 11 years ago. It has been 100% trouble free.

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I picked up a DeWalt unit 3 years ago. It's been trouble free. A little more expensive than some other options though...

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I have the Harbor Freight version with 50 ft of 3/8" hose. The first one had been cross threaded and returned so I had to exchange it. I think it's 3 or 4 years old and has been trouble and leak free.

I have it u-bolted to the ceiling rafters.
Most of the reels seem to made in the same factory oversees, just have different color paint. I just bought one with made in the USA Flexilla hose, and darn if the reel doesn't look EXACLTY the same as the one @Gizmo2 just bought from Horrible Fright. I also have a Dewalt one on the other side of the building, and it too looks the same.





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A flexible hose is very valuable. I have a 15+ year old Grizzly reel that's been great, but the 1/2" PVC hose gets stiff in even moderately cold weather.
I just bought one with made in the USA Flexilla hose[/URL]
Agreed a quality hose that stays soft and pliable is more important than the reel. Same with extension cords quality rubber not PVC plastic coating
A flexible hose is very valuable. I have a 15+ year old Grizzly reel that's been great, but the 1/2" PVC hose gets stiff in even moderately cold weather.
Quite true. Shopping for the best hose is more important the the reel itself IMHO. So far I really like the Flexilla hose, its very lightweight and flexible. The Dewalt hose is OK, but not perfect in cold weather.
A flexible hose is very valuable. I have a 15+ year old Grizzly reel that's been great, but the 1/2" PVC hose gets stiff in even moderately cold weather.
Spot on. As you know I found the same thing.


Most of the reels seem to made in the same factory oversees, just have different color paint. I just bought one with made in the USA Flexilla hose, and darn if the reel doesn't look EXACLTY the same as the one @Gizmo2 just bought from Horrible Fright. I also have a Dewalt one on the other side of the building, and it too looks the same.
Looking for feedback on getting a retractable air hose reel.
I picked up a 50 ft on 1/14/23...3/8 in. x 50 ft. Retractable Hose Reel (I also had a 25% off coupon)
They also have a 25 ft unit... 3/8 in. x 25 ft. Retractable Air Hose Reel
As @Kennyd pointed out to me, "Keep in mind if you mount the unit in the overhead you lose hose length the height you mount it."
I am very pleased with the one I bought,,,so far.
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Might as well go for the gold. Gotta keep up with the Jones’s (Garage Journal).
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I've had a coxreel for probably 30 years, and it saw daily use for a lot of those years. Back when I bought it the wide selection of inexpensive chinese made reels we have today was non-existent. You could find a couple hand crank reels that were really terrible or you bought a pro quality reel.

It's never had any problems with the mechanism, started leaking a little air once or twice over the years. It only took a couple minutes to replace the O-rings and good as new. I bought it at Northern when it was called Northern Hydraulics then. It wasn't so bad, only about $200 at that time.

I bought a Dewalt reel for about $90 a couple years ago to hang in another location. It works fine but it's nowhere near as solid or as strong as the coxreel. You almost have to feed the hose back in, even after I've added numerous wraps to tighten it up.

Flexzilla hoses are nice and flexible, but don't buy one of their enclosed plastic reels, total junk. I've seen three of them and none would reel up right or even at all. Frustrating and all but totally unusable.
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What's funny is I have a Flexzilla 50' 14/3 cord reel in the garage and it works pretty good. Of course I don't use it for daily use; the only reason I picked it was because of the cold weather flexibility. I wouldn't want one for something thick like an air hose, just not enough "beef" to the mechanism.

I've got an 80 gallon 2 cylinder compressor for the barn to hook up, that will likely get a Coxreel. My buddy's company uses them on their trucks and they're pretty solid. Like FIll-Rite/Tuthill, they're expensive but worth it.
I've had a coxreel for probably 30 years, and it saw daily use for a lot of those years. Back when I bought it the wide selection of inexpensive chinese made reels we have today was non-existent. You could find a couple hand crank reels that were really terrible or you bought a pro quality reel.

It's never had any problems with the mechanism, started leaking a little air once or twice over the years. It only took a couple minutes to replace the O-rings and good as new. I bought it at Northern when it was called Northern Hydraulics then. It wasn't so bad, only about $200 at that time.

I bought a Dewalt reel for about $90 a couple years ago to hang in another location. It works fine but it's nowhere near as solid or as strong as the coxreel. You almost have to feed the hose back in, even after I've added numerous wraps to tighten it up.

Flexzilla hoses are nice and flexible, but don't buy one of their enclosed plastic reels, total junk. I've seen three of them and none would reel up right or even at all. Frustrating and all but totally unusable.
I was given a REELCRAFT.
Best price around. (y)
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I have 50 footer from HF and so do a couple neighbors and they have been fine for all of us. Mine gets a lot of use have had it quite awhile. To save the hose I have a ball valve at the compressor to shut off supply to it and always release the pressure in it.

www.harborfreight.com/38-in-x-50-ft-retractable-hose-reel-93897.html
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I also have the Goodyear branded reel and hose lije the picture above. It was a birthday present from the wife.
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I picked one up at Northern Tool over 10 years ago and it sees quite a bit of use. Still working great!
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I've not heard of a standard steel hose reel that is crappy and has failed. Even the HF reels (of which I have one), seem to do fine and last. Mine's nearly 20 years old and I probably should replace the hose, but the retractable reel is fine...
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Keith I'm liking the red air "dispenser"! A lot.
Spot on. As you know I found the same thing.


I picked up a 50 ft on 1/14/23...3/8 in. x 50 ft. Retractable Hose Reel (I also had a 25% off coupon)
They also have a 25 ft unit... 3/8 in. x 25 ft. Retractable Air Hose Reel
As @Kennyd pointed out to me, "Keep in mind if you mount the unit in the overhead you lose hose length the height you mount it."
I am very pleased with the one I bought,,,so far.
View attachment 883981
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