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Finding the Best Garden Hose

Don’t believe what you read on the garden hose labels. Here’s how to really tell which gardens hoses are kink-free.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Bend the hose in the store to see if it kinks

If you're sick of buying “kink-free” rated garden hoses that constantly kink. Or, you buy, what you think is a quality hose, only to discover that it flattens out on the hose reel, this story is for you.

Here's how to select a hose that really works. First, stop reading (and believing) the marketing hype on the hose packaging. Instead of reading the specifications (which don't correlate to hose quality at all), perform your own tests on the hoses right in the store.

Remove a few twist ties from the hose packaging and unroll about 2 ft. of hose. Then coil it back against itself to see if it kinks (Photo 1). A hose that kinks in the store will kink even easier after it's been baking in the sun all day. Next, compare the wall thicknesses of different hoses by bending them at a 90-degree angle. The hoses with thicker walls will be harder to bend because they're made with more material. Sure, they cost more, but they also last longer.

Cheap vinyl

Cheap vinyl

Heavy-duty rubber/vinyl mix

Heavy-duty rubber/vinyl mix

Heavy-duty, reinforced 100 percent rubber

Heavy-duty, reinforced 100 percent rubber

Garden Hose Comparison

High quality hoses tend to be made from 100 percent rubber or a rubber/vinyl composite. They're also not cheap. Expect to pay $35 to $50 for a good 50-ft. garden hose.

Check out the brass fittings

If the hose passes the “kink test,” check the quality of the connection fittings. You want solid “crush-proof” brass fittings (Photos 2), as opposed to flimsy stamped-brass fittings (Photo 3). That way the ends won't get destroyed when Junior drives over them. Before you leave the store, make sure you reassemble the packaging on the hoses that failed the test.

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Comments from DIY Community Members

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September 03, 7:34 PM [GMT -5]

Oliver-David-this site isn`t for jokes-they come here for help-as for a good hose I would recommend the Red River line or the Factory Direct site

September 03, 7:33 PM [GMT -5]

Oliver-David-this site isn`t for jokes-they come here for help-as for a good hose I would recommend the Red River line or the Factory Direct site

May 22, 6:40 PM [GMT -5]

kbuicker, don't you know by now that stores give away cheap stuff ? haha

May 01, 5:34 AM [GMT -5]

Thanks for the tips.

It took me a while to find a good garden hose. The one I am using right now is the Gilmour Flexogen Hose.

More info: http://best-gear.org/gilmour-20-58100-20-series-platinum-58-inch-by-100-foot-8-ply-flexogen-hose/

March 23, 11:11 AM [GMT -5]

I have to agree about the Tuffguard hose. I got it at the end of last summer and with this unusually warm weather, I have already started using it.

So far it is definitely the best hose I've ever had. I bought it because even though it was a full size hose, it feels surprisingly lightweight, but it also does not kink and I don't think I could make it kink either.

I did check it out at http://tuffguardhose.com/ and found out some things I didn't know about the hose. I only have a 50 foot hose, but now that I know it comes in a 100 ft length I want one of those too!

January 24, 10:44 AM [GMT -5]

You must check out this hose. It's built right here in the USA...I promise you IT WILL NOT KINK!!!! http://tuffguardhose.com

August 15, 1:53 PM [GMT -5]

Home Depot was giving away free hoses with the purchase of Scotts Fertilizer. I knew it would be a cheap hose but still gave it a shot yesterday. The INSTANT I turned on the water the hose kinked. Wow... I thought it would at least wait until I had bent it or stretched it.

Glad I don't waste money on cheap hoses.. I've had great luck with the grey hoses with brass fittings (as mentioned in this ad).

It just doesn't pay to buy an inexpensive hose.

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