10 Best Retractable Air Hose Reels of 2023 – Top Picks & Reviews
The retractable air hose is a must-have if you use an air compressor in your workshop. Most can mount out of the way (but within reach) and automatically retract again when you let them go. However, if you have a few friends that own one of these devices, you know quality can vary, and finding a good model for your workshop can be a challenge.
We’ve chosen 10 models of the retractable air hose, and we’re going to review them for you so you can see how they differ from each other. We’ll tell you about our experience using them and cover any special features they have. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide to help you learn about what to look for while you shop.
Join us while we take a close look at the retractable air hose reels and discuss the hose length, width, max pressure, durability, and more to help you make an informed decision.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||DeWalt DXCM024-0345 Automatic Retraction Air Hose Reel||
|Best Value||Goplus 101040140 Retractable Air Hose Reel||
|Premium Choice||Milton 2780-50D Auto-Retractable Air Hose Reel||
|MaxWorks 80720 Auto Rewind Retractable Reel Air Hose||
|Flexzilla L8250FZ Retractable Plastic Air Hose Reel||
The 10 Best Retractable Air Hose Reels
1. DeWalt DXCM024-0345 Automatic Retraction Air Hose Reel – Best Overall
The DeWalt DXCM024-0345 Automatic Retraction Air Hose Reel is our pick for the best overall retractable air hose reel. It features a 50-foot hose that’s ⅜ inches thick and is suitable for use with most air compressors. It has a self-leveling system that allows for smoother hose winding, and a ‘stop anywhere’ locking mechanism allows you to set a desired length of the hose. You can mount it on the wall or ceiling, and it will enable 180° free rotation. The hose uses a hybrid material that won’t crimp.
The only problem we had with the DeWalt DXCM024-0345 was the brass fitting at the hose’s end—it’s difficult to connect to the air compressor, and care needs to be taken not to damage it with pliers.
2. Goplus 101040140 Retractable Air Hose Reel – Best Value
The Goplus 101040140 Retractable Air Hose Reel is our choice for the best retractable air hose reel for the money. It features an auto-retract mechanism that quickly winds the hose with no effort on your part. A locket ratchet mechanism provides the user with 8 different predetermined hose lengths. The machined brass fittings feature a bend restrictor that helps reduce wear and ensure a long lifespan, while the powder-coat finish resists rust corrosion. The total length of the air hose is 25 feet, and its width is ⅜ inches.
The Goplus 101040140 is a great budget air hose reel, and the only problem we had with it is that it’s hard to mount because the screw holes are directly behind the hose coil.
3. Milton 2780-50D Auto-Retractable Air Hose Reel – Premium Choice
The Milton 2780-50D Auto-Retractable Air Hose Reel is our premium choice retractable air hose reel. It features a durable dual-arm steel frame that you can mount to the floor wall or ceiling and an EPDM rubber hose that will stay flexible even as temperatures drop. The hose also features nylon braided-in reinforcement, and can handle up to 300 pounds of pressure per square inch (PSI). It’s easy to install and features keyhole mounting brackets, and the adjustable stop allows you to set how much hose remains uncoiled. The fittings are corrosion and leak-resistant, and the half-inch hose can reach up to 50 feet.
The only downsides we experienced while using the Milton 2780-50D was that the Auto-Retractable mechanism wasn’t strong enough to coil the heavy half-inch hose, and we often had to help it along.
4. MaxWorks 80720 Auto Rewind Retractable Reel Air Hose
The MaxWorks 80720 Auto Rewind Retractable Reel Air Hose is another 50-foot, ⅜-inch wide hose that maintains its softness in cold temperatures. It features an attractive and durable powder-coated chassis with a built-in auto rewind mechanism equipped with 4 non-snag rollers to help reduce hose wear from the coiling and uncoiling process. It also includes a hose stop to prevent the automatic rewind mechanism from pulling the hose back in too far while you were using it.
The downside to the MaxWorks 80720 is that the mounting bolts are behind the hose coil, so it can be difficult to install, especially overhead. The hose also had a small leak after a few months of regular use.
5. Flexzilla L8250FZ Retractable Plastic Air Hose Reel
The Flexzilla L8250FZ Retractable Plastic Air Hose Reel features an extremely durable UV stabilized polypropylene. It’s easy to use, and you can mount on the floor, ceiling, or wall. The reel also includes Flexzilla’s proprietary hose, which uses a hybrid polymer to create material without memory, so it lays flat where you put it and stays flexible in cold temperatures. The hose stop prevents it from retracting too far, and the swivel mount bracket reduces tension on the hose. The hose is 50-feet long and ⅜ inches thick, which should be suitable for most jobs.
The thing we didn’t like about the Flexzilla L8250FZ was the aluminum fittings that it uses. While we had no problem using them during our reviews, aluminum is much softer than brass and other types of metals commonly used in fittings. We also found the hose slow to retract, and the supply hose connecting to the compressor was very short.
6. AT15B Retractable Air Hose Reel
The AT15B Retractable Air Hose Reel features an all-steel air hose reel with a powder-coated finish. It’s certified, tested, and approved to meet ISO 9001 standards, and it provides the user with a 50-foot hose that’s ⅜ inches thick. Two non-snag roller guides help guide the hose onto the reel during retraction, and it features kinkless technology, so it won’t crimp on the floor.
The downside to the Giraffe AT15B is that it has a very short lead-in hose that is especially annoying if you hang your hose reel on the ceiling. There are also 2 silicone washers on the lead-in hose that are easy to over-tighten, reducing airflow through the hose. We also found that the hose often binds against the housing as it retracts, so you need to guide it in manually.
7. GOODYEAR Air Hose Reel Retractable
The GOODYEAR Air Hose Reel Retractable is an air hose reel made by a company that’s been around since 1839. It features a durable polypropylene housing that won’t deteriorate over time and can withstand considerable abuse. The hose is 50 feet long and ⅜ inches wide. It’s strong enough to withstand up to 300 PSI, and the Hybrid FlexPolymer Hose has no memory and will lay flat where you place it. The adjustable hose stopper allows you to retain as much hose as you need, and a newly designed swivel hose inlet protects against leaks.
The GOODYEAR worked well, but we had two problems with it. The first problem was that it’s difficult to install, and we struggled with it for quite some time before realizing there was an easy method. Unfortunately, Goodyear doesn’t include instructions telling you how to install it. This second problem we had was that the hose does not retract smoothly because it doesn’t move back and forth as it enters the machine and piles up in one spot.
8. ReelWorks 27807153A Air Hose Reel Retractable
The ReelWorks 27807153A Air Hose Reel Retractable is another brand that features your standard 50-foot length and ⅜-inch width. It uses an extremely durable polypropylene construction and an auto-guide rewind system. The adjustable host up prevents too much hose from retracting, and the durable hose material can withstand up to 300 PSI.
While we like using the ReelWorks 27807153A, we had a few problems with it as well. It stopped locking after a few weeks of moderate use, and we had to use a hair clip to prevent the hose from retracting too far while using it. Another problem we had was with the flimsy hose guide that is part of the retracting system. This delicate plastic piece broke after only a few uses, and the machine was no longer able to retract the hose correctly. Instead, it piled the hose up on one side of the spool.
9. Legacy L8310 Levelwind Retractable Air Hose Reel
The Legacy L8310 Levelwind Retractable Air Hose Reel features an extremely long 100-foot hose. This hose is twice as long as any other on our list. It still retains the ⅜-inch width, but can also handle up to 350 PSI. The adjustable hose stop and 7-position locking bracket help you access as much hose as you need. The extra-large swivel reduces flow restrictions, and the freestanding base allows you to use it portably. It’s capable of standing up to life on the road with its durable UV stabilized polypropylene housing.
While the UV stabilized polypropylene housing of the Legacy L8310 is durable, there is a lot of play in the body, and it feels clunky. It looks cheap and some plastic parts break off after a few uses. The guide also gets out of sync with the hose during retraction, and it can bind up. We also found the winding system to work a little slower than some other models.
10. Freeman P1465CHR Compact Retractable Air Hose Reel
The Freeman P1465CHR Compact Retractable Air Hose Reel is the final retractable air hose reel on our list, and this model features a spring-loaded torsion system that allows for rapid retracting of the hose. The hose is a little thinner than most others at ¼-inch, but the hose is 65 feet long and features a kink-free material. The length and width should be more than enough for most workshops.
Unfortunately, the Freeman P1465CHR does have one major downside, and that is its plastic mounting bracket. Ours broke under regular use, and luckily there was no damage and no injuries. We also found that it can retract dangerously fast, leading to possible injuries if you’re not careful.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Retractable Air Hose Reel
Let’s take a look at some of the most important things to consider before choosing a retractable air hose reel. There are not many, but each element is critical.
The hose quality is essential because it is responsible for transporting your air. A leak in the hose will cause a drop in air pressure, and your tools will underperform. We also recommend looking for a brand that uses a hose material with no memory. No memory means it will not hold the coil shape when you unravel it, and it can lay flat on the floor. No memory material is much safer in the workshop because there’s less risk of tripping. It also practically eliminates tangles.
The next most important thing to look for when choosing a retractable air hose reel is the hose length. Your tool will be of little use if it cannot reach your project, so it’s important to take accurate measurements and plan to ensure you have enough hose for your workshop.
We also do not recommend getting a hose that’s much longer than you need. If you only ever require 10-feet of hose, there is no need to buy a 100-foot spool. Doing so is expensive and increases the risk that a hole can develop along any portion of the hose, compromising it.
The third most important thing to look for in your retractable air hose reel is how well it retracts when you finish using it.
It must have enough power to pull the hose back into the machine in a reasonable amount of time, and there must be enough power to retract the entire hose. Too many models are very slow or putter out at the end, leaving the last few feet outside the machine.
There must be a mechanism to distribute the hose across the coil instead of in one spot, where it will build up and bind on the spool. If the hose is binding, not even a stronger retracting mechanism can get the hose on the spool. We tried to point out which models did not have a reliable retracting mechanism in our reviews.
Ease of Mounting
Less important than the other issues on the buyer’s guide, but still critical, is mounting ease. Many brands put the screw holes for the mounting bracket behind the spool, where they can be difficult to reach, especially if you are mounting the reel on the ceiling. We recommend planning where you will mount the air hose reel and making sure the model of your choice has the capability of being mounted in that way. We tried to point out any models that made it difficult to mount due to hidden screw holes.
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When choosing a retractable air hose reel for your workshop, we recommend the DeWalt DXCM024-0345 Automatic Retraction Air Hose Reel. It features a 50-foot hose in an outstanding retracting mechanism with reliable stops. If you have a smaller workshop, then the Goplus 101040140 Retractable Air Hose Reel is the smart choice. It has all of the great features as our top model, but with a shorter hose and a lower cost.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over these reviews, and they have helped you find your next workshop addition. If our buyer’s guide has helped you feel more confident about your purchase, please share these 10 best retractable air hose reels on Facebook and Twitter.
- 1 A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
- 2 The 10 Best Retractable Air Hose Reels
- 2.1 1. DeWalt DXCM024-0345 Automatic Retraction Air Hose Reel – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. Goplus 101040140 Retractable Air Hose Reel – Best Value
- 2.3 3. Milton 2780-50D Auto-Retractable Air Hose Reel – Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. MaxWorks 80720 Auto Rewind Retractable Reel Air Hose
- 2.5 5. Flexzilla L8250FZ Retractable Plastic Air Hose Reel
- 2.6 6. AT15B Retractable Air Hose Reel
- 2.7 7. GOODYEAR Air Hose Reel Retractable
- 2.8 8. ReelWorks 27807153A Air Hose Reel Retractable
- 2.9 9. Legacy L8310 Levelwind Retractable Air Hose Reel
- 2.10 10. Freeman P1465CHR Compact Retractable Air Hose Reel
- 3 Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Retractable Air Hose Reel
- 4 Conclusion