Best Retractable Air Hose Reels [2021 REVIEWS & GUIDE]
Buying the right air hose reel for your workshop is important. You need a unit that is not only sturdy but has versatile mounting options and includes a high-quality hose with enough PSI capacity to deliver what you need.
However, with so many options on the market, knowing which model to buy can be confusing. Well, that’s where we aim to help.
Below you will find 7 carefully selected air hose reels that we consider to be among the best available today. For our findings at a glance, just head to the table below. For a comprehensive review of each of our picks, plus a detailed buyer’s guide, keep on reading.
- Top 7 Best Air Hose Reels
- Air Hose Reel Reviews
- 1. TOP PICK: Goodyear 27527153G Enclosed Retractable Air Compressor/Water Hose Reel
- 2. Coxreels P-LP-415 Retractable Air/Water Hose Reel
- 3. BEST BUDGET: Campbell Hausfeld, Air Hose Reel
- 4. REELWORKS Air Compressor/Water Hand Crank Reel
- 5. Primefit HRRUB380503 Industrial Grade Retractable Air Hose Reel
- 6. Legacy Levelwind Retractable Air/Water Reel, 1/2 in. x 50 ft, PVC – L8335
- 7. Yescom 65’x3/8″ Retractable Auto Rewind Air Hose Reel
- Air Hose Reel Buyer’s Guide
- Retractable Air Hose FAQs
Top 7 Best Air Hose Reels
Air Hose Reel Reviews
The following air hose reels have been selected based on construction quality, mounting ability, hose length, and capacity as well as price point.
Our testing method involves a combination of the above criteria, plus recent customer reviews and feedback on performance, as well as analysis of how each product fares against others on the market.
1. TOP PICK: Goodyear 27527153G Enclosed Retractable Air Compressor/Water Hose Reel
Our top pick air hose reel for 2021 has to be this enclosed, retractable polymer hose from the ever-reliable Goodyear.
The unit perfectly balances affordability, with high-quality construction and design.
The heavy-duty impact-resistant case is built to withstand the abuse you might expect at a busy worksite, while components such as the swivel hose inlet connection have been designed from the ground up to prevent wear and potential leaks.
Other great features on the case include a double adjustment enclosed multi-position release ratchet spring. This gives the user ultimate control of hose retraction length and speed, while an automatic guide system helps to ensure no ungainly pile up as the hose is either released or wound away.
There’s also an adjustable hose stopper and non-snag rollers to help maintain the integrity of the reel while ensuring you experience trouble-free operation.
And let’s talk about that hose for a moment. While not the longest included system in our top 7, (the premium commercial Hybrid Flex Polymer Hose measures in at 50ft), the high-quality blend of rubber & PVC & has an excellent working pressure of 300PSI / 20BAR.
For the uninitiated, that is more than enough stability to handle both high-pressure water and air usage.
You can also expect the hose to go the distance longevity wise. The hybrid polymer has been constructed to offer superior abrasion & puncture resistance while having no memory with which to obtain persistent and annoying kinks.
The hose will lay flat when fully unrolled and is also resistant to otherwise damaging substances such as oil, heat, and ozone.
In fact, Goodyear state that you will be able to operate the hose without issue works in environmental conditions from -4°F to 140°F (-20°C to 60°C).
To top it all off the list of certifications and approval that the Goodyear 27527153G has is very impressive. All their reels are OSHA, RoHS, ISO: 9001, 14001, SQC, IAF and MSHA, listed approved & certified, including cull quality tested.
You won’t get that with a cheap, Chinese knock off from Alibaba.
The unit works with 1/4″ NPT connections, but also comes with a 36″ (0.9m) lead-in hose complete with ergonomic PVC grip.
Goodyear really has come up trumps with this air hose reel. The design, construction quality and overall operation of the unit are top-notch, and all at a price point that really is competitive. Our number one pick for 2021 for good reason.
2. Coxreels P-LP-415 Retractable Air/Water Hose Reel
The Coxreels P-LP-415 is a premium retractable air/water hose that will appeal to those looking for a cost effective hose solution for standard PSI level jobs.
With a capacity of 300 PSI is an adequate addition to any workshop needing a reliable air supply.
The reel itself is constructed very well indeed, featuring CNC machine-spun discs that are ribbed with rolled edges for increased stability and durability.
The swivel component is also extremely well made, being machined from solid brass. It allows for 90◦ full-flow and includes an NPT swivel allowing the operator access to the seal for easier maintenance and hose installation.
The lubricated (and fully enclosed) cartridge-style motor offers maximum reliability while being just as easy to remove when maintenance is required.
While its all well and good having a sturdy and well-built reel mechanism, the stand also has to be up to the task in keeping the hose in situ.
Here, there are no complaints about this offering from Coxreels. The ¼” steel base features a robust single pedestal design built as a solid one-piece steel base and support post. The fact there are no welding joints only increases the overall stability.
A multi-position guide arm adds to the versatility of the unit as it has the ability to adjust to the wall, floor, ceiling, and vehicle mounting positions.
Finally, the adjustable solid rubber hose stop provides the operator with superior control over lead length positioning. Which is exactly what you need no matter the type of work you are using the hose for.
The Coxreels low-pressure air/water hose and reel feature high-quality design and build. However, with both our top pick and budget picks below offering great performance at a lower price point, it becomes difficult to fully endorse the purchase of this particular unit.
In other words, there are better options elsewhere.
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3. BEST BUDGET: Campbell Hausfeld, Air Hose Reel
Our best budget air hose reel for 2021 is this little number from Campbell Hausfeld. While not a household name in the tools arena, the company has delivered here in manufacturing a reliable reel, with good features at an extremely budget-friendly price.
Let’s take a closer look.
This is a non-marking PVC hose with an adequate maximum pressure capacity of 300 PSI. It features a 2-1/2’ leader for connection to the majority of common air compressors.
Similar to our top pick from Goodyear, you get a full 50 feet of hose reeling capacity, making it shorter than some of the competition, but again sufficient for most purposes.
Being a budget option, the case is made from plastic, however, this is durable and crack resistant and can handle a range of temperatures between 35 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hose retraction is smooth and fast and features an automatic winding system latch to pull in the excess hose.
The portable design also allows for the unit to be easily hung on a wall for use with large compressors.
Finally, the abrasion-resistant PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) hose cover is designed for heavy-duty use over the long haul.
It is clear why this air hose reel with retractable 50′ hose is our number one budget choice. The price point, combined with the operational reliability makes this a fantastic option for those that need a working air hose for little money.
Professional users will want to look elsewhere however for a sturdier unit.
4. REELWORKS Air Compressor/Water Hand Crank Reel
The Reelworks Air Compressor/Water Hand Crank Reel is another unit where construction quality and price point converge, resulting in an affordable reel that will suit both home and commercial use.
The reel features a portable 360° pivoting base for stable operation. The unit is constructed from heavy gauge industrial steel, complete with a corrosion-resistant powder coating.
As we say, this is a reel built with longevity in mind.
A full flow solid swivel joint hose inlet connection has been built in a manner to minimize leaks.
The included hose, (made from hybrid Flex Polymer and measuring 1/4″x100′) is capable of working under pressures of 300PSI/20BAR with 1/4″ MNPT connections.
The construction of the hose is a blend of rubber & PVC. The end result is a hose with a superior bend radius and essentially has no memory so it doesn’t easily kink.
The hose is also extremely resistant to water and oils as well as extreme heat, ozone, and abrasions.
Reelworks have opted for a hand crank handle system on this reel. While not as convenient as some of the other models in our top 7, this still provides for a smooth and orderly hose rewind.
Much like our top pick from Goodyear, Reelworks have had this reel and hose listed and certified by OSHA, RoHS, ISO: 9001, 14001, CNAS, SQC, IAF.
A lead-in supply hose of 1/4 MNPT 43″/1.1m is also included, however, things can get confusing here.
The inlet on the unit is actually 3/8″ female so you will need a 3/8″ male to 1/4″ reducer (purchased separately) to ensure components will connect correctly.
Build quality and price are competitive on this offering from Reelworks, (from Northern Tool). The included 100’ hose represents good value for money too. However, we were not a fan of the hand crank system. Recommended nonetheless.
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5. Primefit HRRUB380503 Industrial Grade Retractable Air Hose Reel
The Primefit industrial grade retractable air hose reel features a steel construction and again, the powder coated finish is present for increased durability and its anti-corrosive properties.
A 50’ hose is included in this unit which is the same as our top pick from Goodyear, as well as our favorite budget option.
The hose is oil and abrasion resistant and features solid brass end fittings for secure, leak-free connections.
The operation is smooth. You just need to select the length of hose you desire for working and the continuous ratchet gear will lock that position on the reel in place so you do not experience any backward tension from the hose.
To engage the automatic rewind you just give the hose a tug for the ratchet to unlock.
The unit is designed for mounting on the wall, ceiling, or floor, making it a versatile option for most workshops.
The path of the hose on and off the reel is smoothly guided by a 4-roller guide arm. A nice feature of this is that 9 different positions of operation are allowed.
The Primefit air hose reel offers smooth operation all in one handy unit. However, with more than just a few complaints on the overall quality of construction and it does highlight how your money is better spent elsewhere.
6. Legacy Levelwind Retractable Air/Water Reel, 1/2 in. x 50 ft, PVC – L8335
The Legacy Levelwind is one of the more premium options in our top 7 and the higher price point does result in some interesting features.
One of the main ones being the leveling technology that automatically layers the hose back and forth across the reel in neat lines.
In theory, this obviously leads to a smooth spool system and superior operation. In reality, some users have had issues with the system (a minority complain of it not spooling as neatly as they had expected).
There’s also a system that allows the operator to let the hose run free for immediate automatic rewinding. You can alternatively choose the latching mode that will engage and latch the hose every 3 feet.
The high price point also results in a more durable material used for the included hose. Made from UV stabilized polypropylene, this 50’ hose is built to withstand challenging industrial working environments and applications.
The Levelwind has 7 locking positions via the locking bracket and can be swiveled up to 135 degrees for operation. The unit can also be mounted on the wall or ceiling and floor; whichever suits your workshop best.
The Legacy Levelwind includes a garden hose adapter for both discharge and lead-in hoses.
One final benefit is that the reel is made in the USA. So buying this really does help support the American economy.
The Legacy Levelwind Retractable Air/Water Reel is an advanced reel with some great features. However, whether these justify the higher price tag is debatable.
Some will find the spool leveler a real benefit, others may not. The decision on that really is a personal one.
In our opinion, the added features are enough to make us part money for this particular unit.
7. Yescom 65’x3/8″ Retractable Auto Rewind Air Hose Reel
This air hose reel option from Yescom features a 65’ hose and will work under operating pressures up to 261PSI. (The hose also features a burst pressure of 54bar (783psi))
On the surface, this is another great option for those looking for an air hose solution for their garage workshop.
The Portable design can be mounted to the wall or ceiling. The unit features an automatic retraction system meaning you do not sit there wasting time hand cranking it back in.
For versatile operation, the Yescom reel comes with a swivel bracket that can be rotated through 180 degrees. While not the highest in our top 7, this still provides adequate work-based convenience.
Connector size is the standard 1/4″ NPT/BSPT, meaning the reel and hose is compatible with most air compressors and other relevant machines.
The fact the Yescom 65’x3/8″ Retractable Auto Rewind Air Hose Reel comes with a 65’ hose is a benefit. However, not much else makes this unit shine above those already reviewed above.
A worthwhile solution that does its job, but nothing here to make it a top pick.
Air Hose Reel Buyer’s Guide
There’s a wide range of air hose reels available and knowing which is the best product for you can be confusing. Factors to consider before you make your purchase include the length of the hose, the build quality of the actual reel, how versatile it is to mount and of course your available budget.
Other variables such as brand reputation, the level of warranty are also important.
With these in mind, let’s take a closer look at what you should think about before buying a new air hose reel.
Length and strength of the hose
A significant issue that can affect your choice of the air hose reel is the hose length capacity and what type of hose is included.
As you will have seen from the reviews above, the majority of manufacturers opt for a hardwearing polymer, PVC and rubber type hose with 50’ being the most common.
If you require more length, the next level of hose normally comes in at 100’. It is also possible to get shorter, 25’ hoses that suit smaller workshops.
You should aim to buy a reel with the most robust hose possible.
If you plan on using the reel daily, you will want a hose that has no memory (doesn’t kink) and is resistant to wear, abrasions and if you are working outside, rain and ultraviolet rays. (Many models come with UV protective properties).
To ascertain the strength of a reel, reviews and customer feedback is a vital source of information as these will give you details of how the hose holds up over the long run.
Hose Working pressure
The most common hose capacity is 300PSI. This is suitable for most home use and the majority of commercial purposes.
However, if you are working on an industrial scale you should check the power of your compressor and the tools you are powering to ensure that 300PSI is enough.
Some machines require greater pressure than this and you will need to buy a reel that is compatible.
Type of reel
There are two main types of air hose reel; retractable reels and manual crank reels. We actually prefer the former as they are easier to use.
Some operators prefer hand crank models due to the perceived greater control you have via working them manually.
The major difference lies in the fact that the retractable reel has components in place to automatically pull the hose back into the reel after use.
As the name suggests, the same action is done by hand power in the manual crank reel.
Another benefit of the retractable option is that it gives you more choice on where to mount the reel. A hand-crank model cannot be mounted on the ceiling for instance.
Conversely, a hand crank model generally requires less maintenance as there is not much that can go wrong.
Reels designed for the home workshop and garage, with the assumption that they will not be used daily, can afford to be housed in a plastic housing.
These can be durable and weather-resistant to a degree that is sufficient for such an application.
However, a reel designed for use in a busy auto shop, factory, or similar type of work setting will need to have a more robust, metal casing in order to withstand regular daily use.
Before you buy an air hose reel, consider how much it will be used and ensure that you purchase a unit built for that level of work.
Air hose reels generally come with a leader hose. This is the pipe that connects the reel to the air compressor. Length is a factor to consider with the leader hose; is it long enough to connect your compressor to where you plan to mount the reel? Ceiling mounting, for instance, would require a longer leader hose.
Mounting Ability and Bracket
The bracket will take a lot of strain over the lifetime of the reel. Not only is it the component that has to hold the weight of the reel once you mount it, but it will also need to withstand the regular adjustment of weight as you swivel the reel while in operation.
A strong bracket made from high-quality materials is a must. Some manufacturers build these components from one piece of steel to avoid creating any weld joints that can be a point of weakness.
CNC machined brackets are worth looking out for. Any detail in the construction that alludes to a stronger built bracket is a benefit. You need this part of the reel to last.
And finally, a reel that allows you to mount on either the wall, floor or ceiling is the type to look for as this will give you the most versatility in terms of application on your workspace.
Retractable Air Hose FAQs
Q. What is a Retractable Air Hose Reel?
Retractable air hoses feature a retracting mechanism within the case so that the hose is automatically reeled in after use. This differs from other earlier models where a crank would have been used to wind the hose back onto the spool.
Q. Can retractable air hose reels get tangled?
Superior retractable air hose reels today come equipped with an auto-level mechanism. This is designed to rewind the hose at a steady pace, and fill the reel evenly. This all helps to reduce the risk of tangles and kinks.
Q. Do retractable air hoses have a standard hose size and connectors?
Yes, most air hose reels have a diameter of 3/8 inches and feature ¼-inch National Pipe Tapered Thread (NPT) connectors. This is to make them uniformly compatible with most accessories and air compressors.
Q. Where is the best place to mount an air hose reel?
This depends on the layout of your workshop, where you intend to use your hose, and where your compressor is located.
Traditional bench and wall options remain popular, however, because of safety concerns shops are more frequently opting to mount their hose reels from the ceiling. The benefit of this is easier access and less chance of the hose getting caught on objects on the floor.
Q. What is the general airflow rate of an air hose?
The normal airflow rate of a standard air hose is 60 to 80 SCFM. However, the length of the hose, as well as the inner diameter, can all have an impact on the flow rate.
Q. I currently use a manual crank air hose reel, is it worth upgrading to a retractable hose?
Manual reels still have their place in small workshops. They do the job without fuss and also require less maintenance.
However, if you could benefit from having your reel mounted to the ceiling (or maybe you just don’t want to bother with the crank anymore), a retractable hose is definitely worth the small investment.