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14 Comments on Best Garden Hose Nozzles & Sprayers: Guide & Recommendations 2017

  1. Linda Aaron

    is it safe to drink from the hose nozzles? I have replaced all my hoses to potable lead free hoses and want to make sure I don’t get hose nozzles that also have lead.

    • That’s a good question, Linda. I think it will depend on the individual hose nozzle and what it’s made out of. Plastic ones shouldn’t have lead. But, to be safe, you should check with the manufacturer. Lead content (if there even is any) isn’t something that’s listed on the packaging….

    • Garden Girl

      There have been many articles recently on the dangers of chemicals that leach from most hoses – arsenic, lead, mercury among others. This is legit, no ‘urban legend’ scare story. PVC hoses are the worst.

      There are a few hoses made of 100% rubber that are better. However, I can’t find ANY nozzles that claim to be lead-free. This seems to be a common problem. What I am doing in the meantime is throwing away my old hoses, getting safer versions, and not using any nozzle at all on the faucet to fill my dogs’ water bowl.

  2. Henry

    “Another good option is a metal nozzle with a plastic handle. It’s the working parts inside the nozzle that are most likely to fail so those are the parts that are most important to have in metal.”

    Not my experience. I have had three nozzles snap their handles, or the hole at the handle top that pulls the water valve, just this season. I’ll never buy a plastic-handled pistol-grip nozzle again.

    To the previous commented who was worried about lead, if the product is sold in California and has any lead in it, it will be labeled.

  3. Bill Gruener

    Great reviews! Monica’s comments mirror my experience. Here are the comments that I like best.

    “DID YOU KNOW?
    Smearing petroleum jelly on the threads of a hose coupling helps prevent mineral deposits that make a nozzle tough to remove.” NO I DID NOT KNOW, AND I’M GLAD TO KNOW. TOUGH TO REMOVE HAS BEEN A NIGHTMARE FOR ME FOR YEARS.

    “Avoid all-plastic hose nozzles.” YES! and YES! and Yes! Take that $3.99 and put in the local charity bucket. Otherwise, the hose goes directly to trash with maybe one stop in the garden. Even if you get several waterings, changes are you’ll expose the nozzle to sun and the nozzle will be worthless.

    We recommend a quality, all-metal hose nozzle with a rubber or plastic wrapped grip. DITTO.

    Thank you for the well-written, comprehensive review. I appreciate you’re willingness to review items that few review!

  4. Brian Wester

    Thank you for the write-up! I wanted to find a high quality American made hose nozzle that will last and be fully functional. I really appreciate the hard work on your write-up. You helped me find exactly what I was looking for!

    -Brian W.

  5. HHolmes

    None of the nozzles listed meet my standards. All leak. They break down after a season, and are cheaply made. I am disappointed with this review in that you simply touted the most commonly available in retail stores; not a good review of any exemplary products at all. Cheap products designed to fail or meet lowest cost point, and a poor review. Shame on ya’ll.

    • I’m sorry you feel that way H. Although I have to say that none of the nozzles we’ve tested and recommended here have failed or leaked after one season. Some are on their 4th or 5th year of constant use without any problems – that’s why we’ve recommended them.

      I’m curious to learn more about your standards for nozzles. What have we missed? And what would you consider to be an exemplary product? If it’s something that’s readily available to the typical consumer, then I’d love to test it and add it to the recommended products here if it holds up well.

      You’re right that we recommend products that are commonly available (although not all can be found in retail or big box stores). If the average reader can’t find or buy the recommended products then there’s not much point in recommending them…

  6. Darlene

    I use the Dramm 12704 9-Pattern Revolver Spray Nozzle, kind of expensive and will leak after a season or two. Hubby yells at me for wasting the money on them… But that said, they do hold up better than the cheaper ones and I like the spray pattern choices and the ergonomic fit. Plus I use it far more often than he does… I use a Clabber at my workplace and love it. However, I went through two at home and they didn’t hold up – guessing my husband tossed down onto the concrete and they leaked excessively after that.

  7. Surf Gramps

    There is one common thread that plagues ALL, non-brass heavy-duty metal, die cast hose nozzles: corrosion. I prefer squeeze or thumb-operated nozzles with the turret type selectable spray pattern, but the bodies/handles of EVERY one of these pistol-grip type nozzles are made from aluminum or zinc-alloy, and EVER one creates exfoliation corrosion on the inside of the body where the water flows; but it’s not the flowing water that causes this kind of corrosion, it’s the water itself, it’s the RESIDUAL water, i.e. the water that is trapped inside the body when the valve, and hose bib, is turned off. One could argue that to prevent this from happening, just turn off the hose bib, open the nozzle valve, it squeeze and lock it open, or twist the ball valve or thumb-operated valve open, and let the water drain out. (Right?) But that will not prevent this corrosion because during the time it’s still wet in there, the corrosion is starting/growing.

    So what’s the big deal about this corrosion, anyway? It is THAT exfoliation type of corrosion (little, white, grainy flakes) that breaks off and clogs those little, tiny holes in the “SHOWER” pattern of the turret pattern selector. Eventually, one day you turn on the water, drag the hose to where your going to water, squeeze, or thumb, your nozzle open, and what water DOES come out, sprays everywhere but where you’re aiming. You stop the water, look at the sprayer and you see little, white flakes poking out of those little, tiny holes.

    So what do we have to do to fix this? We have to remove the turret spray selector with a screwdriver, unwittingly drop the small O-ring, and drop the turret into a bowl on CLR to dissolve these little, white flakes; and even then that doesn’t totally clean out every little, tiny hole. Now, after a few hours of soaking, you take it out, rinse it and you STILL see some little, white flakes that ignored, or somehow escaped, the CLR. To finish the job, now you have to get a toothpick and back-poke each one of those 106 little, tiny holes to clear them out, and rinse again.

    Beautiful! A job well done. Now you reinstall the turret back on the nozzle. Feeling proud of about your mechanical accomplishment, you’re ready to do some serious watering. You reattach the nozzle to the hose, turn on the water, open the nozzle and now you not only have water coming out of the nice, clean and opened “SHOWER” pattern, it’s also coming out from around the edges of the turret. So you turn it all off again, remove the nozzle from the hose, remove the turret and eventually figure out the problem: “Now where could that small O-ring be?” After a 22-minute search, there it is. You put it all back together again, reattach it to the hose and you’re in business. Now you’re back to being a plant-watering machine… until it clogs up again…

    What I’m saying here is, these aluminum and zinc-alloy nozzle bodies are NOT the solution for a long-lasting spray nozzle. BRASS is, but NO ONE makes a squeeze, twist ball valve or thumb-operated, pistol grip type nozzle from BRASS. There are plenty of straight nozzles machined from solid brass that DO last forever, but so many people out here want to use the pistol grip type for convenience and ergonomics. Oh sure, we can put ourselves and our $12 – $29 spray nozzles through this rigorous cleaning process once every 2 months, OR buy a new $12 – $29 nozzle every 2 months, but WE DON’T WANT TO. (Am I right?) I sure don’t.

    So, the bottom line is, if there is a manufacturer out there who wants to make killing on garden hose nozzles that last forever without disassembly and cleaning, make the whole, damn thing out of BRASS and be done with it. Okay, it’s fine to save a few bucks by making the turret spray pattern selector out of plastic, but make the body out of brass.

    Thanks for listening.

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