Black & Decker Snake Wand™ Watering Nozzle: Product Review
Good for non-gardening tasks
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have a tough time watering high hanging planter baskets, window boxes, and even lower down planted areas that would require me to get on my knees or at least bend over sharply. In these cases, I wish I had a telescoping or long handled watering wand, but not just any hose wand – something with a flexible neck and multiple spray patterns.
Black & Decker has come up with a solution to these and many other water delivery issues, called the Snake WandTM As their tag lines says, “Quality Watering With Infinite Flexibility”.
Flexible, Long-Handled Watering Wand
The Snake WandTM is a very different kind of watering wand. Not only does it offer the reach of a traditional rigid shaft wand, but it has flexible ABS plastic joints that adjust to almost any angle. You can use the wand in a straight position, a U-curve, or anything in-between.
In total, the shaft, handle and flexible joints measure about 36 inches long – long enough to reach pretty much anything you want to water.
Plus, it has a 9-position spray nozzle with the following spray patterns: center, jet, mist, soaker, flat, vertical, shower, cone, and fan. That’s more than enough choice to get any watering job done.
The aluminum shaft has a comfortable, insulating foam grip that’s about 8 inches long – long enough to hold the wand with two hands when needed (you may want to do that when the flexible head is stretched all the way out as it gets a little heavy).
There’s also a squeeze handle/trigger that regulates the water flow, and a latch at the end of the trigger that allows you to lock it into the “on” position. That latch is both a welcome addition (it gets tiring holding the trigger in the “on” position) and an annoyance (you can’t easily or quickly shut off the water flow with the latch locked).
This all mates with a hose coupling and integrated hose washer.
In total, there’s a lot to like about the Black & Decker Snake WandTM watering nozzle.
Things That Need Improvement
I liked the product when I first started using the Snake WandTM, particularly in those hard to reach places in the garden. The flexible end made all the difference in the world and I kept coming up with new ways to use it.
However, with extended use a few drawbacks became apparent.
The first and most pressing problem was that the unit broke only after six uses. The failure point was at the squeeze handle/trigger and locking pin. I picked up the Snake Wand™ one day and the pin fell out (I never did find it). This rendered the unit dead in the water. In order to finish my testing I had to stick a cotter pin where the original pin had been (that’s something most people won’t have lying around in the garage).
In all fairness to Black & Decker, they responded quickly when I brought the problem to their attention. They sent me a replacement wand immediately (it’s covered under their 5-year warranty) and asked me to ship the broken one back to them (at their expense) so their engineers could look into what had happened. They told me that they hadn’t had any other reports about the Snake WandTM breaking.
The second thing that I wish the Snake WandTM had a more visible indicator arrow on the nozzle head. The plastic pointer is the same color as the head and has a very low profile. This makes it very difficult to see which spray pattern you’ve selected (and believe me, accidentally selecting jet instead of shower is not something you want to do!).
And finally, the squeeze handle/trigger on the Snake WandTM makes it hard to regulate water flow. I found I had to grip it either vigorously (to keep it on, unless I used the latch to hold the trigger in place) or vary my grip strength to achieve variable flow. Essentially it was fine in the full On or Off positions, but it was very difficult to achieve a water flow that was somewhere in between. When I was able to do this, my hand quickly got tired.
Strong Blast of Water
One thing to note is that the water comes out under a lot of pressure in the “full on” position (our water pressure is in the normal range so it’s not an issue with the pressure at the spigot). You’ll even feel the watering head jerk back slightly when you squeeze the trigger. Even in shower mode, water comes out too forcefully to water delicate plants or seedlings without crushing them. And, although the flexible head makes it seem like a great choice for watering handing baskets, I found that the water pressure blasted soil out of the pots and even dislodged a few plants.
Overall, while Black & Decker does market the Snake Wand as a gardening tool, I think it’s better suited for other uses, such as washing the car (it’s awesome for that), clearing gutters and hosing off walkways, where the strong stream of water is an advantage.
Black & Decker offers a 5-year limited warranty on defective workmanship and materials. As I found out, their customer service is very good and they quickly honor the warranty if there’s a problem.
I like concept of the Snake WandTM as a whole. It definitely makes watering jobs easier in hard to reach places. My biggest gripe is product quality as it applies to the squeeze handle/trigger and problem I had with the pin falling out. I also would like to see some adjustments made to the squeeze handle/trigger and the indicator on the spray head to make it easier to control water flow and see what spray pattern you’re using so you don’t end up flattening your plants.
I wouldn’t replace my regular gardening nozzle with the Snake WandTM, but I’d happily use it as a tool for other jobs where a regular nozzle falls short (such as washing the car or blasting off the driveway).
Where to Buy
The Snake WandTM is currently unavailable on Amazon where it normally sells for for $26.55.
Target is another buying option.
And now over to you – Have you tried the Snake Wand or another flexible watering wand? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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