Affiliate Disclosure

Stylized i character

None of our reviews are sponsored. We earn a commission when you purchase items through our links.

The Best Garden Hose Nozzles

Updated

With more than 30 hours of testing seven hose nozzles over a period of six weeks in our backyard, we determined that the best garden hose nozzle overall is the SprayTec – 9-Pattern Nozzle Sprayer. Not only was the SprayTec comfortable to hold and easy to use, it also had all the functions the vast majority of garden-hose users will need. We also liked the Bon-Aire – Original Ultimate Hose Nozzle for its durability and ease of use.

Our Top Choices

Best Overall


SprayTec

9-Pattern Sprayer

Most Durable


Bon-Aire

Original Ultimate

Budget Pick


Gilmour

Zinc Pistol Grip

With more than 30 hours of testing seven hose nozzles over a period of six weeks in our backyard, we determined that the best garden hose nozzle overall is the SprayTec – 9-Pattern Nozzle Sprayer. Not only was the SprayTec comfortable to hold and easy to use, it also had all the functions the vast majority of garden-hose users will need. We also liked the Bon-Aire – Original Ultimate Hose Nozzle for its durability and ease of use.

Table of contents

The 9 garden-hose nozzles we tested

Product NameSpray PatternsNozzle LengthPrice
Spray-Tec 9-Pattern Garden Hose9<6"$$
Bon-Aire Original Aluminum Hose Nozzle3<6"$$
Gilmore Medium Duty Full Sized Cleaning Nozzle2<6"$
The Relaxed Gardener815"$$
Orbit - 560441036"$$
Orbit Mini XL Fire Hose Nozzle16<6"$$$
Home Depot Brass Twist Nozzle2<6"$
Home Depot Firehose Style Nozzle10<6"$
Dramm 9-Pattern Revolver Spray Nozzle9<6"$$
Group of Nozzles

1. Best overall: SprayTec – 9-Pattern Hose Nozzle

Spraytec Hose Nozzle

When choosing the best overall garden hose nozzle, we wanted an option that would appeal to the greatest number of people while also being affordable, durable, and easy to use. While some might be able to get away with a more basic garden hose nozzle, such as our other topic pick, the Gilmore, we found that the SprayTec – 9-Pattern Hose Nozzle was worth the additional cost.

Durability and ergonomics

First and foremost, the SprayTec is among the most durable of all the nozzles we tested. In addition to having an all-metal body and trigger, the tip of the nozzle itself is rubberized, making accidental drops onto concrete essentially a non-issue.

The grip was notably comfortable as well, which made the SprayTec easy to use, even for extended periods of time. The locking mechanism located on the bottom of the SprayTec handle also contributed to the ease with which the nozzle could be used for 10 minutes or longer.

Functionality and reliability

The SprayTec has nine different spray patterns to choose. In actual testing, we found the most useful to be the jet, shower and mist settings — however, the other six settings could conceivably be useful for someone with a specific need for them.

Since we tested garden hoses at the same time that we were testing garden hose nozzles, we were able to test the compatibility of the SprayTec nozzle with six different hoses. The SprayTec was easy to install and remove from all of the hoses we had,  and the combination of the SprayTec and the Craftsman hose was our favorite combination overall.

Top Pick: SprayTec - 9-Pattern Nozzle Sprayer

Featuring durability and all-around functionality, the SprayTec garden hose nozzle is our top pick overall.

In terms of reliability, we saw no evidence of leaking from the SprayTec, even after extensive use and dropping it on the ground more than a dozen times. In addition, the SprayTec nozzle came with five rubber washers, which will extend the reliability and useful life of the nozzle.

Finally, the Spraytec nozzle has a lifetime 100-percent money-back guarantee. SprayTec wouldn’t be able to do this unless they were confident in the long-term reliability of their product.  During our testing, we saw every indication that their confidence was warranted.

Overall, the Spraytec garden hose nozzle is an excellent all-around nozzle. It is compatible with all standard garden hoses, is easy to use and reliable, and will work for almost every garden hose-related function we could think of.

Key takeaways:

  • The SprayTec – 9-Pattern Hose Nozzle is our top pick due to its durability, build quality, and a wide range of useful spray patterns.
  • The metal body and rubber coating on the handle and tip of the nozzle contribute to the SprayTec’s comfort and durability.
  • The lifetime money-back guarantee gives buyers peace of mind.

2. Most durable: Bon-Aire – Original Ultimate

Bon Aire Hose Nozzle

While the SprayTec garden hose nozzle is certainly a durable nozzle and a great choice overall, we found the Bon-Aire Ultimate Aluminum Hose to be a compelling choice as well.

Durability and ergonomics

The first thing we noticed when testing the Bon-Aire nozzle was just how durable it was. In addition to being made with “aircraft-grade aluminum,” the thick-yet-soft rubber made the nozzle essentially impervious to drops on the ground.

Most Durable: Bon-Aire - Original Ultimate Hose Nozzle

Made from aircraft-grade aluminum and heavy-duty rubber, the Bon-Aire is our most durable pick.

From an ergonomic perspective, there was a lot to like about the Bon-Aire as well. The nozzle is very easy to twist from side to side, which makes turning the Bon-Aire on and off, as well as switching from one spray pattern to another, very easy to do.

Despite being easy to twist, the twisting function never felt loose or unstable and never moved unless done intentionally. The Bon-Aire nozzle also can be turned off by twisting it to the left or right, meaning that you’re never more than three settings away from turning the nozzle off.

Bon-Aire claims that this “two-way shutoff system” is patented. While we weren’t able to independently verify this claim, it is a significant advantage if true — and we have no reason to think otherwise.

Functionality and reliability

While the Bon-Aire doesn’t have quite as many spray patterns as the SprayTec, the five it does have should be more than enough for most people.

The jet-spray pattern is most noteworthy, since it was the second strongest jet-spray pattern of all the garden hose nozzles we tested. We measured a distance of 315 inches when the nozzle was held at a height of five feet — second only to the Dramm 9-Pattern Spray Nozzle at 324 inches.

The shower-spray pattern wasn’t quite as evenly spaced as the SprayTec, but we found that it should be more than sufficient for most situations where a shower-spray pattern is required.

The remaining three spray patterns probably wouldn’t be used by most people; however, the soaker setting could be useful for potted plants.

In terms of reliability, the build quality of the Bon-Aire nozzle leads us to believe that this nozzle should last for many years, even if it is banged up a fair amount during use. The fact that there is only one moving part increases the likelihood that the Bon-Aire nozzle should work well long-term.

In addition, the one-year warranty, while not quite as impressive as the lifetime warranty offered on the SprayTec nozzle, still indicates that Bon-Aire is confident in their garden hose nozzle.

What we didn’t like about the Bon-Aire Aluminum Nozzle

There wasn’t much we didn’t like about the Bon-Aire nozzle. However, we do believe that some will find the form factor somewhat strange and awkward. The front of the nozzle is fairly large and can be uncomfortable for those with smaller or weaker hands who need to frequently turn the water on and off.

However, we think that this is a minor negative overall, and the Bon-Aire Aluminum Nozzle is an excellent, durable option.

Key takeaways:

  • The Bon-Aire Aluminum nozzle is one of our top picks, thanks to its durability and strong build quality.
  • Bon-Aire’s two-way shutoff system makes it easy to turn the nozzle on or off regardless of which spray pattern you’re using.
  • With only one moving part, the Bon-Aire should work reliably for many years.

3. Budget pick: Gilmour – Zinc Pistol Grip

Gilmour Hose Nozzle

Budget Pick: Gilmour - Zinc Pistol Grip

A simple and proven garden hose nozzle that is less expensive than our other two top picks.

If you’re looking for a straightforward and reliable garden hose nozzle without the extra features, the Gilmour – Zinc Pistol Grip is a worthwhile option. Coming in at a fraction of the cost of our other top picks, the Gilmore garden hose nozzle is an effective and cost-effective garden hose nozzle for less than $5 on Amazon.

Durability and ergonomics

Built out of metal, the Gilmour nozzle is fairly resistant to cracks, especially when compared to garden hose nozzles built from plastics. However, we did notice a vulnerability with the trigger. After being dropped a few times, we noticed that it was slightly less stable than when we first started using the nozzle.

While this decrease in stability wasn’t a huge problem in the six weeks we tested the Gilmour nozzle, we think it’s reasonable to expect that the Gilmour nozzle would be more susceptible to breaking or becoming less reliable over time.

Functionality and reliability

Unlike our other two top picks, the Gilmour nozzle doesn’t have multiple spray patterns to choose from. Instead, the Gilmour is a “traditional” garden hose nozzle with a jet-spray pattern when fully engaged that becomes less intense and more spread out the lighter you press on the handle.

The Gilmour does have a locking mechanism, which makes extended use easier. The nozzle also has a screw that can be tightened or loosened, depending on what spray pattern you want to lock the Gilmour into. However, the locking mechanism and screw are moving parts that are fairly exposed and run the risk of jamming or otherwise degrading over time.

Given the low cost of the Gilmour relative to other nozzles, you can go through at least two or three before spending the same amount as you would on our other top picks. In addition, since the Gilmour nozzle is made from metal, it can easily be recycled.

It’s worth noting that the Gilmour – Zinc Pistol Grip is backed by a three-year warranty from the manufacturer, so if it breaks within that timeframe, you might even be able to get a free replacement.

Key takeaways:

  • The Gilmour – Zinc Pistol Grip is an inexpensive and well-established design that functions well as a basic garden hose nozzle.
  • While not as durable as our other top picks, the Gilmour is less than half the cost and is still fairly durable.
  • For those who only need a basic nozzle, the Gilmour is a viable option.

4. The Relaxed Gardener: great choice if it’s in stock

the relaxed gardener - gardening wand

The “Gardening Wand” from The Relaxed Gardener was an absolute joy to use. After using so many standard, stubby sized hose nozzles this 15″ nozzle really shined. You typically want to avoid watering the leaves of the plants to prevent the spared of disease, so you want to aim for the trunks of trees or the soil level of smaller plants, herbs or flowers.

The nozzle from The Relaxed Gardener gave the perfect amount of length to water our garden without having to bend over, saving a lot of effort. With typical short hose nozzles you’ll have to squat down or bend over to get into the base of pots or plants.

The flow control with the fire hose style lever is super easy to use too. It locks the flow rate wherever you set it, so as you push the lever up with your thumb it gradually increases the flow rate, and you can just leave it at whatever flow you like. In contrast to the typical squeeze or trigger style hose nozzles that have your finnicky locking mechanisms, this was really easy to use.

While many hose nozzles made of plastic may look similar, there is a sort of spectrum of build quality. Some you pick up and it just feels cheap. They can feel cheap like you have to baby them, making sure not to drop or throw them too hard, since they may break with repeated abuse. This hose nozzle was a step up from the typical plastic hose nozzles. It was still light weight, but the build quality felt sturdier and the plastic didn’t look or feel cheap. We’re not going to be throwing it around since the extended nozzle/length of it makes it naturally more prone to damage, but this does feel like a great quality product, if you can find it in stock.

5. Orbit – 56044 Turret Wand with Ratcheting Head

Orbit - 56044 hose nozzle

Orbit offers an extensive assortment of garden hose nozzles–over a dozen of the stubby typical hose nozzles, and at least three lengths of the extended wand type we tested. The Orbit – 56044 was one we wanted to try since it had a longer reach than the 15″ Relaxed Gardener we tested. It turns out that the 36″ length of this wand is a bit long and awkward to use on our garden.

Most of our plants are in grow bags about 6-12″ tall, and while yes it’s still a plus you still don’t have to bend over as much to water the base of the pots with this wand, the length of this is probably more suited if you have hanging plants or other plants really out of reach deep in bushes or ground covering that you simply could not reach otherwise.

The distance the ratcheting head is away from the handle makes it a bit awkward to change the spray pattern–you basically have to put the nozzle down or hold it by the neck to change the pattern or to adjust the angle the head is set to.

The build quality is good. The spray pattern adjustment and the ratcheting mechanism do feel high quality though, probably on par with the Relaxed Gardener, and a step up above the lower cost hose nozzles available. So unless you have specific reach needs like those mentioned above, we’d go with a shorter hose nozzle.

We do water the garden quite a bit, and maybe you’d appreciate the foam padding for the handle, but the texture and weight of the Relaxed Gardener’s handle was also just fine. If you’re the type to leave the hose nozzle hanging out in the yard, or under the sun, our guess is that the foam of the Orbit is more likely to crack and break over time compared to a solid handle.

6. Dramm – 9-Pattern Revolver Spray Nozzle

The Dramm revolver nozzle was the closest of the remaining four to be recommended by us. It functions similarly to the SprayTec nozzle and has a unique design feature that allows water to flow by clicking the valve open. The Dramm was also fairly comfortable in our hands and had the longer jet-spray distance.

However, we had concerns about the long-term durability of the Dramm nozzle, specifically due to the use of exposed plastic in both the handle and the nozzle. After dropping the Dramm nozzle several times, we saw scratches and early signs of wear and tear.

Dramm does offer a lifetime guarantee. However, for those who want a multi-function garden hose nozzle, we think the SprayTec (which also has a lifetime warranty) is a better option for your money.

7. Orbit – Mini XL Fire Hose Nozzle

We thought we’d like the Orbit nozzle much more than we did after testing. The design was intriguing since water can stream from the nozzle without needing to hold down or lock the handle.

In practice, however, we found the Orbit nozzle to be unnecessarily complex. There are multiple settings that felt redundant during our testing, and the multiple spray patterns available simply didn’t work as well as either the SprayTec or the Dramm nozzles.

While the Orbit fire hose nozzle was an interesting idea in theory, it was underwhelming in practice.

8. Home Depot – brass twist nozzle

We went to our local Home Depot to see what the typical consumer could get by walking into a store (versus having a garden hose nozzle delivered by Amazon). Since brass twist nozzles are among the most popular and highly rated designs, we gave Home Depot’s version a shot.

While we did like the sturdy and simple design of this brass nozzle, the Bon-Aire nozzle functioned in a similar manner, while also being easier to use and having more functionality. On top of that, the health issues regarding brass made the Bon-Aire an easy choice over this particular nozzle.

9. Home Depot – fire hose nozzle

The Home Depot fire hose nozzle worked similarly to the Orbit fire hose nozzle and our conclusion was largely the same. While we thought the fire hose design was innovative and potentially useful, we ultimately determined that there were simply better options to choose from.

How we selected & tested

We used several different metrics to determine which garden hose nozzle is best:

Durability

First we looked over each nozzle’s overall build quality and durability. We considered everything from the materials used to the likelihood that the individual components would jam or otherwise break down over time.

The number of moving parts within the nozzle was an important consideration as well. Since garden hose nozzles are frequently dropped and often wet, it’s important that a nozzle not be susceptible to corrosion or rapid wear and tear.

moving parts

One way we tested durability was by dropping each nozzle on concrete and then checking whether any particularly weak components could potentially break after a relatively short period of regular use.

Ergonomics

We also tested each garden-hose nozzle ergonomically. Since watering your garden or washing your car (or for any other chore you would use a garden hose) can require holding a garden hose for an extended period of time, it’s important that the nozzle is easy to hold — particularly for those who might not have a strong grip.

We also looked for nozzles that could “lock” into place so that water would continue flowing even without a hand squeezing the nozzle itself. While each nozzle had different locking mechanisms, we made sure that all the finalists we tested could lock into place.

We looked at how comfortable each nozzle was when held for an extended period of time. We also noted how easily the nozzle locked into place and switched from one “mode” to another.

Functionality

spray pattern

When testing each nozzle, we looked at the functionality that each one offered. In practice, people buy garden hose nozzles for a variety of reasons, and there is no single set of functions that will work best for every application.

That said, we did look at the specific functions on each nozzle. The most important functions we looked for were spray patterns, a locking mechanism and ease of use. We also recorded how far each nozzle could spray in the “jet” configuration.

Finally, we made note of how easy it was to actually use these functions and how well they worked together.

Longevity

In general, garden hose nozzles are fairly inexpensive. As a result, many people expect to replace them every year or so. However, just because something is relatively inexpensive doesn’t mean you should settle for a product that breaks after light or moderate use, which wastes both time and money.

While we couldn’t get a full sense of the longevity of each nozzle during our six weeks of testing, we did notice which nozzles looked like they were starting to wear down and those that looked as good as new.

Why trust us?

seedlings in small pots and a tray

Over the last few years we have grown our garden considerably. We have over four dozen pots in our garden filled with herbs, fruit, tomatoes, beans, peas, corn, lettuce, and root veggies. You name it, we’re growing it! We spend probably over 5-10 hours a week in the garden a week, with much of this time being spent on watering with a hose and hose nozzle (we really need to setup a drip system).

If real-life gardening usage wasn’t enough, we also have developed specific use case tests to compare the hose nozzles against each other. We also tested each of the nozzles with several of the best garden hoses in order to compare how each nozzle would work with different types of hoses.

While we did use a series of qualitative tests to determine which nozzle was best, ultimately our decision came down to using our finalists extensively before we could make a recommendation.

Important features to consider

When buying a garden hose nozzle, there are a few things worth thinking about before making your decision.

First and foremost, think about what you’re going to use the nozzle for. As an example, a gardener would typically want a nozzle that has a shower-spray pattern and potentially a mist option as well.

On the other hand, a garden hose nozzle used for washing a car should have a strong (but not too strong) jet-spray pattern and is durable enough to handle the inevitable falls onto driveway concrete.

It’s also worth taking your hand and wrist strength into account. If children or the elderly will be using the nozzle, it’s useful to have one that is comfortable and easy to put into a “locked” position.

If you plan on having multiple hoses — for example, one in the front yard and one in the back yard — it may be worth considering two different nozzles, depending on how you plan to use each of them.

Finally, while some people do simply accept that they will need to buy a new garden hose nozzle every year or so, not everyone thinks this way. If you plan on having a garden hose nozzle that lasts for years before it needs to be replaced, be sure to take the build quality and any applicable warranties into consideration when making your choice.

The bottom line

If you’re using a garden hose, you’re almost always better off using it with a garden hose nozzle attached. Of the six garden hose nozzles we tested, we found the SprayTec to provide the best overall value and functionality. The SprayTec’s durable build quality, alongside its ergonomic design and nine spray patterns, makes it our top garden hose nozzle overall.

For those focused primarily on durability, our favorite pick is the Bon-Aire aluminum nozzle. If you’re simply looking for an expensive yet well-built garden hose nozzle with a classic and time-tested design, the Gilmour nozzle is worthy of consideration as well.

Top Pick: SprayTec - 9-Pattern Nozzle Sprayer

Featuring durability and all-around functionality, the SprayTec garden hose nozzle is our top pick overall.

Bryan Vu, Editor

Bryan is our cooking and kitchen expert, with more than 15 years of experience of cooking and testing kitchen products. When outside of the kitchen, he enjoys woodworking, photography, videography and figuring out how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. He thoroughly enjoys discovering the best, whether it’s ingredients or equipment, and finding products that can stand the rigors of daily use.

More Reviews