The Best Garden Hose Nozzle

With more than 30 hours of testing seven garden 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 easy to use and comfortable, it also had all the functions the vast majority of garden hose users will need.

We also liked the Bon-Aire Original Aluminum Hose Nozzle for its durability and ease of use. For cost-effectiveness, the Gilmour nozzle was our favorite choice and is perfect for those who just need a simple and straightforward garden hose nozzle that’s also high quality.

Top Pick: SprayTec 9-Pattern Nozzle Sprayer

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

Table of contents

Why we are qualified to test garden hose nozzles

We spent 30 hours over the course of a month and a half in our backyard, testing each of the garden hose nozzles to determine which would work the best in real life conditions.

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 to determine which we recommend as the best option for consumers.

How we found the best garden hose nozzles

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

Durability

The first thing we looked at on each nozzle was the 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 of the ways we tested durability was to drop each nozzle on concrete to check if there were any particularly weak components that 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 anything else you end up using your garden hose for) can require holding a garden hose for an extended period of time, it’s important that the garden hose nozzle be 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 easy the nozzle was to lock into place, and to switch from one “mode” to another.

Functionality

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 be best for every application.

That being said, we did look at the specific functions on each garden hose 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.

jet distance

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 need to settle for a product that breaks after light or moderate use, wasting your time and money.

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

The seven best garden hose nozzles

Product NameSpray PatternsSpray DistancePrice
Orbit Mini XL Fire Hose Nozzle16195 ft.$$$
Spray-Tec 9-Pattern Garden Hose9247 ft.$$
Home Depot Brass Twist Nozzle2265 ft.$
Gilmore Medium Duty Full Sized Cleaning Nozzle2270 ft.$
Home Depot Firehose Style Nozzle10310 ft.$
Bon-Aire Original Aluminum Hose Nozzle3315 ft.$$
Dramm 9-Pattern Revolver Spray Nozzle9324 ft.$$

Group of Nozzles

Do you need a garden hose nozzle?

If you don’t yet have a garden hose nozzle, or have an old one that is still attached to your garden hose, you might be wondering whether or not it’s worth spending money to get a new one.

In general, if you already have a garden hose nozzle that is working, and you don’t have a specific function that it is failing to do, you probably don’t need to buy another one — at least until your current one stops working.

However, if you have a specific function you’re looking to do — such as use a mist or shower spray pattern to water your garden — you could be better off investing in a new garden hose nozzle.

Alternatively, if you have a garden hose but don’t have a garden hose nozzle at all, we strongly recommend you get at least a simple nozzle. This will prevent dirt and other contaminants from getting into your garden hose.

Garden hose nozzles will help you use less water. Without a nozzle, you’ll have water running constantly while the spigot is on. With a nozzle, water will only be running when you are actively trying to water something.

Garden hose nozzles also make it easier to run a direct stream of water specifically where it needs to go, and in a spray pattern that works best for a given activity. Nozzles also prevent dirt from splashing around when watering your garden.

Considerations when buying a garden hose nozzle

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 should be 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 might 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 needing to be replaced, be sure to take the build quality and any applicable warranties into consideration when making your choice.

The best garden hose nozzle overall

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 extended periods of 10 minutes or more.

Functionality and reliability

The SprayTec has nine different spray patterns to choose from. In actual testing, we found the most useful ones 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.

spray pattern

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 with us, and we found the combination of the SprayTec and the Craftsman hose to be our favorite combination overall.

Top Pick

SprayTec

A durable all-around performer, the SprayTec is our preferred choice.

In terms of reliability, we saw no evidence of leaking from the SprayTec, even after extensive use, and also after 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 comes with a lifetime 100% money back guarantee. SprayTec wouldn’t be able to do this unless they were very confident in the long-term reliability of their product, and 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 garden hose nozzle is our top pick due to its durability, build-quality, and 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.

The most durable nozzle

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 Ultimate Aluminum Hose

Made from aircraft-grade aluminum and heavy-duty rubber, the Bon-Aire is our most durable top 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 to the left or to the 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, overall we think that this is a minor negative, and the Bon-Aire Aluminum Nozzle is an excellent, and 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.

The most cost-effective nozzle

Gilmour Hose Nozzle

Value Pick

Gilmour Medium-Duty Nozzle

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 Medium Duty Nozzle is a worthwhile option as well. 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 $8 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 which can be made tighter or looser, 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 nozzle 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 is an inexpensive and well-establish 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 Gilmore is a viable option.

The other nozzles we tested

Group of Hose Nozzzles - Non-Finalists

The remaining four garden hose nozzles we tested each had their own pros and cons. However, we felt that our top three picks were able to do the job better than these four:

Dramm 9-Pattern Revolver Spray Nozzle

The Dramm revolver nozzle was the closest of the remaining four to be recommended by us as well. It functions similarly to the SprayTec nozzle, and has a unique design feature which 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 already started to see 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Bryan VuEditor

Bryan is our cooking and kitchen expert, with more than 15 years of experience of cooking and testing kitchen products. He thoroughly enjoys discovering the best, whether it’s ingredients or equipment, and finding products that can stand the rigors of daily use.

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  • I own SprayTec 9-Pattern Nozzle Sprayer and I can really say that it’s perfect for that money. It’s not the highest quality nozzle I have seen, but for that money and at least 2 year lifetime it’s good. 🙂