Best Hose Nozzle of 2020
The Green Mount is our choice for the best overall buy. The Green Mount is constructed out of durable zinc alloy, and the coating on the nozzle showed no wear after extensive use. The six spray patterns cover all watering and cleaning needs we encountered, and you can adjust pressure from a gentle dribble to a high pressure, far-reaching center spray. The lightweight design was easy and comfortable to use.
The trigger lock design included keeps with the lightweight design of the Green Mount but is challenging to use, especially when wet. If you are looking for a nozzle that will spray water far in all settings, look elsewhere. But, the variable spray patterns, and easy to use, durable, lightweight design all make the Green Mount the best overall nozzle for any setting that we tested.
The Gilmour Full Size Pistol Grip Zinc wins our award for the Best Buy. At less than half the price of most other nozzles, the Gilmour represents an exceptional value. The simple design makes it easy to use, and thanks to the simple design and lack of spray settings, it did not have any durability issues. This option delivers a strong spray that is great for cleaning up around the yard or watering heartier plants and trees.
The Gilmour does not have any adjustable spray settings, so watering delicate flowers or a veggie garden is a bit challenging. The high-pressure stream of water doesn't travel as far as from more adjustable nozzles. Our tester was surprised by how hot the handle gets when left in the sun; however, the simple, seemingly indestructible design makes the Gilmour our choice for our Best Buy Award.
The Bon-Aire Original Ultimate Aluminum is a durable option that will suit the needs of home gardeners who are hard on their equipment. It showed no signs of use after extensive testing, the moving parts functioned as good as new after being evaluated, and the rubber outer looks new, even after being tossed in and out of buckets, wheelbarrows, and garden beds. The spray control is simple to use; you just rotate the handle. The water can be turned off by rotating fully in either direction, making it simple to control.
The Bon-Aire is overbuilt, which could make it harder to handle for a smaller person. The overbuilt design also means it takes up more space and is a little harder to store on a hose rack than traditional designs. The spray patterns on the nozzle are not labeled, meaning it takes some practice to know how the spray pattern will adjust when rotating the nozzle. With a little practice, the Bon-Aire is a great option for the home gardener who values durability over other features.
The Dramm 12380 is a simple design that suits the need of home and shop chores. The twist barrel design delivers a high-pressure stream of water and can reach distances of 25 feet. The high-pressure blast is very useful for cleaning up; our tester found it very useful for spraying out gutters and cleaning up dirt and compost from the yard and sidewalk. The very simple design felt heavy duty and durable. During testing, the Dramm showed none of the signs of wear that nozzles with plastic components did.
The simple design of the Dramm does not allow for low-pressure settings, and this is not the right nozzle for a gardener or a water set up. Since none of the settings on the Dramm are labeled, it takes a fair amount of experimentation to learn what to expect as you adjust the Dramm.
The Fanhao Garden Hose Nozzle Sprayer is a solidly built all-metal option. This product has the best pressure and sprays the farthest of all the options we purchased and tested. In our expert's garden, the nozzle could reach all garden beds from one spot and on numerous settings. The pressure from the Fanhao was robust enough that it would be useful for someone looking for one nozzle for both garden and household chores. The single-piece metal design is very sturdy; it showed limited wear during use, and the moving parts did not appear to have any wear and tear.
The Fanhao only has four settings, none of which have a particularly gentle spray, so it might be a challenge to water seedlings or other plants that require a gentle touch. Once the nozzle gets wet, it is hard to adjust the spray pattern, since the adjustment is the very tip of the sprayer and has fine ribbing to gain traction. These minor drawbacks did not diminish the otherwise well-designed and far-reaching construction of the Fanhao.
The Signature Garden Heavy Duty is a good choice for the gardener looking for a sprayer that can water the garden, clean a pet, and do light work around the house. Unlike many other options, the Signature Garden labeling on the dial ring is easy to read, even while in use. The center and flat settings deliver a strong pressure stream that would be useful for cleaning up around the house or shop, while other settings have a low enough setting that it is useful for water hanging baskets or delicate plants.
The Signature Garden's moving parts did not stand up to our durability testing, as the trigger became loose after multiple uses. While it still functions, this may point to long term durability issues. The dial ring got very sticky and was a challenge to turn when dirt got in it, requiring cleaning to function well. If you are not using the Signature Garden in high use and muddy settings, this product would be a good option if you want one nozzle for many uses around the home and garden.
The Gardenite Hand Sprayer is a good buy for the consumer looking for a highly adjustable companion in their garden. The Gardenite features 10 spray settings — one more than its nearest competitor. These include a "quincunx" setting not available on the other products. Among similar designs, the Gardenite's parts stood up remarkably well to our tester's assessments. All of the moving parts functioned even after extensive use, none showed any loosening or sticking.
The Gardenite had poor pressure when compared to other models. None of the spray settings delivered a particularly strong jet of water. In fact, the settings tended towards changing the shape of the water stream much more than the pressure delivered. This low pressure translated into a short reach compared to similar options. The Gardenite could only reach 18 feet at its strongest spray setting and significantly less on most. If you're looking for a highly adjustable pistol grip sprayer, the Gardenite is a good buy.
The Spraytech Sprayer is a good buy for the consumer who values ease of use over pressure and durability. The Spraytech's unique dial ring is the best of any option tested. Its unique protruding design and grippy rubber make it easy to adjust the nine settings, even if it is very wet. The trigger lock on Spraytech is slightly larger than on comparable models and is quite easy to engage, even with one hand. Our testers found themselves using this trigger lock more than we did on the other options.
The Spraytech does not have good pressure on any setting; this would not be a dealbreaker for someone only looking for a watering companion for a small garden or a patio garden. The real downside of the Spraytech was in its moving parts. The trigger became loose during testing and loosened further while in use in the garden. This points to potential long term issues with the durability. The Spraytech's thoughtful design makes it a great buy for the consumer looking for an easy to use pistol grip sprayer.
The Melnior 65085-AMZ XT features a solid feeling rubber body and unique adjustable spray tip and thumb control for pressure, as well as a trigger control to turn water on and off. Unfortunately, all of these moving parts lack the durability for us to recommend it.
Within the first few uses, the plastic trigger guard on the Melnior had cracked and very quickly completely fell off, exposing a small internal metal trigger. The thumb control also became notably sticky after multiple uses, and the spray tip was challenging to use when wet. While on first glance the Melnior is a durable product, the poor quality of its moving components means our testers cannot recommend this product.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our expert Bix Firer bought and tested the nine best nozzles, pitting them against each other in a series of head to head tests. Bix has extensive experience in gardens and urban farms, having worked and run educational programs on numerous community gardens and living on a small urban homestead in Boise, Idaho. He has also worked testing gear for manufacturers and as a reviewer, and his Masters in Social Science gives him a love of analysis and observation.
We purchased each product at retail and put each one through our extensive testing products. Our side-by-side evaluations allowed us to test the reach, pressure, durability, and features of each product.
Analysis and Test Results
We put each nozzle through a series of head to head tests and used each one during our watering chores on an active urban homestead. The products were put through quantitative tests, which allowed us to determine their reach, durability, and pressure. They were also extensively tested and qualitatively evaluated during day-to-day use. The following observations summarize our extensive testing.
The ability to adjust distance and reach hard to access corners of a garden or lot is a very important component of a garden hose nozzle. To test this, our tester measured the farthest distance each nozzle could reach, and noted how distance varied between all available settings. Our testers also observed the ability to consistently water over far distances.
The Fanhao was the clear winner in terms of reach. In distance testing, the Fanhao reached well beyond the 25 foot range we were testing in. It could also deliver a soaking blast at numerous settings at a range of over 20 feet. Due to the progressive pressure delivered with varying pressure to the trigger, it was easy to shorten up the stream, which allowed for easy watering of a large plot — from one spot.
The Greenmount Water had excellent range on a high-pressure center setting but lost distance quickly on other settings. The center setting on the Green Mount would be useful for cleaning or spot watering but did not perform well to soak a large plot. The Signature Garden Heavy Duty and Spraytech both performed well in our reach tests and did better at watering a larger area (from a distance) with full coverage.
Gardens and home work sites can be rough places for gear. To measure which models will last through multiple seasons, we conducted a battery of tests. Moving parts are common failure points for devices like nozzles. For each contender, we engaged each moving part thirty times to note any wear or difference in performance. We also used each nozzle for more than one full watering session of our third-acre food-producing lot, noting any wear and tear to the nozzles.
The Bon-Aire Original Ultimate Aluminum stands out as the most durable of the bunch. It has an overbuilt design that covers the whole nozzle in a remarkably hard and wear-resistant rubber coating. During testing, the Bon-Aire was tossed in a wheelbarrow of rocks, and dragged through mulched garden beds and fencing; it showed nearly no wear. The Bon-Aire's simple rotational adjustment did not wear, either. During our testing, the adjustment points and connections performed like new.
The Gilmour Full Size Zinc Pistol Grip and the Fanhao both depend on a very simple one-piece metal design for durability. The simple designs of these two models, as well as their durable materials, stood up well to testing. The trigger systems on both showed slightly more wear than the simple rotation mechanism on the Bon-Aire; however, all the moving parts and features stood up well to testing.
For a highly adjustable model with excellent durability, we recommend the Green Mount Spray Nozzle. The Green Mount is solidly built. When testing moving parts, the Green Mount was one of the few models with a dial ring that did not notably deteriorate in performance, and the trigger remained solid. While we all expect our garden tools to look worn, the Green Mount's coating looks good as new, even after being jostled around in a bucket with trowels and dirt.
An ideal garden hose nozzle has a variety of pressures that allow us to fulfill a variety of jobs around the home and garden. To assess pressure, we tested the highest pressure of the nozzle. We also looked for the ability to easily adjust pressure, and the ease of watering a garden, cleaning gutters, or hosing off garden tools. The Signature Garden Heavy Duty was the most versatile option for pressure. The Signature Garden performed very well at high pressure, allowing a strong stream that easily cleaned off a dirty shovel and wheelbarrow, and could jet mulch off a concrete pad. The Signature Garden also easily adjusted for several far-reaching but lower pressure options, which allowed for easy and consistent watering.
The Fanhao and Dramm 12380 both had remarkably high-pressure settings. If cleaning off a car, muddy tools or boots, or cleaning up gutters, these two nozzles are great options; however, in not having dial ring adjustments for the settings, they were both slightly more challenging to get to the perfect low-pressure settings for a gentle but soaking watering. The Bon-Aire had strong pressure on all settings but was also slightly more difficult to determine the perfect setting for watering a garden or other plants.
Simple features make a huge difference when considering the ease of use for garden hose nozzles. Trigger locks, on/off mechanisms, handheld design, and setting adjustments all save time, energy, and water when working around the garden. The Green Mount Water Hose Nozzle Spray was the most thoughtfully designed and full feature option we tested.
The Green Mount is notably lighter than other options, which makes a difference when moving the hose and nozzle around food plots, hard to reach areas, or while navigating fencing. The rubber grip was comfortable to hold and did not become slippery when wet. The lightweight, smaller design meant that people with all hand sizes could easily change features. The trigger lock was also simple to engage with two hands.
The Gardenite Heavy Duty Watering Nozzle has 10 spray options on the dial ring and the ring is quite easy to manipulate. The trigger is thoughtfully designed and fits easily in one hand. The Bon-Aire is the most thoughtfully featured of any nozzle without a dial ring. The heavy-duty construction and bulky outer housing make it easy to handle, even when muddy and wet. The two-way on/off setting make it an ideal choice for a high-pressure nozzle that will need to be turned on and off frequently.
With so many options on the market and a wide variety of price points, finding the right garden hose nozzle to meet your budget and needs can be challenging. Choosing the right garden hose nozzle requires knowing what features you need and what you'll want to spend. Our many hours of testing can help you take that knowledge and make the right decision for your home and garden.
— Bix Firer