Our landscape and garden professionals explored 40 of the best hose nozzles before purchasing 9 to compare side-by-side in this review. After buying each at retail price, we tried them out comparatively. Our urban homestead is ripe with gardens and outdoor chores, which put each contender to work. Not only did we use them daily throughout the entire summer, but we also objectively assess construction and performance. We meticulously look at features, durability, ease of use, and quality. For your next gardening project, we hope that our in-depth research and recommendations help you get a handle on what to purchase for your home.If you're in the market for a new garden hose too, check out which ones our testers recommend. We have also tested and reviewed gardening gloves, shovels, compost bins, and more so you can find the best products for all your gardening needs.
Our Top Picks
Our overall favorite hose nozzle was the Green Mount Spray Nozzle. Constructed from zinc alloy, the durable coating showed no wear after our extensive test period. Six spray modes cover all your basic watering or cleaning needs, and we love its range of pressure settings — you have the ability to adjust it from a gentle dribble to a far-reaching center spray. In addition, it's lightweight, comfortable to hold, and easy to use, making it a great overall choice for any home gardener.
On the downside, the trigger lock design can be somewhat challenging to operate when wet. And, if you're looking for a nozzle that will spray water super far in all settings, look elsewhere. Still, overall we found that the straightforward, durable design and the variety of spray patterns make the Green Mount the best overall nozzle.
The Gilmour Full Size Zinc Pistol Grip stands out for its excellent performance for a great price. It offers a simple and durable design and is a great value, delivering a strong spray pressure 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. Additionally, the high-pressure stream of water doesn't travel as far as some of the more adjustable competitors. Our tester was unpleasantly surprised by how hot the handle gets when left out in the sun. On the flip side, the simple, seemingly indestructible design makes the Gilmour an excellent value option.
The Bon-Aire Original Ultimate Aluminum is a durable option that will suit the needs of home gardeners who are hard on their equipment. After our testing, it still shows little to no signs of wear. The moving parts still function and are smooth and fluid, even after using it for a few months. The rubber outer still looks new, even after being tossed in and out of buckets, wheelbarrows, and garden beds. The spray control is simple to use with a quick rotation of the handle. The water can be turned off by rotating fully in either direction, making it easy to control.
The Bon-Aire is overbuilt, which makes it harder to handle for smaller hands. The design also takes up more space, making it a little harder to store on a rack than a traditional design. The spray patterns on the nozzle aren't labeled, meaning it takes some practice to know while the spray pattern will adjust with rotation. The Bon-Aire is a great option for the home gardener who values durability over fancy features.
The Dramm 12380 is a simple design suitable for 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 — for example, spraying out gutters and cleaning up dirt and compost from the yard and sidewalk. The very simple design feels heavy duty and proves to be quite durable. During testing, the Dramm showed none of the signs of wear that nozzles with plastic components showed.
The simple design does not allow for low-pressure settings, and this is not the right nozzle for a gardener. 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. However, if a heavy stream of pressure is what you seek, we highly recommend one.
The FANHAO Nozzle Sprayer is a solidly built all-metal option. With the best pressure and furthest sprays of the options tested, it's great for large plots of land or gardens. The nozzle could reach all garden beds in our tester's garden from one spot and in numerous settings. The pressure from the Fanhao is robust enough for both garden and household chores. The single-piece metal design is very sturdy, showing limited wear during use, with moving parts showing next to none.
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 this great nozzle.
The Signature Garden Heavy-Duty Comfort Grip is a good choice for the gardener looking for a sprayer to water the garden, clean a pet, and do light work around the house. Unlike many other options, the 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 lower pressure that is useful for watering 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 challenging 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 is 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 consumers looking for a highly adjustable companion in their garden. This nozzle features ten 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.
In comparison to other models, the Gardenite has poor water pressure. None of the spray settings delivered a particularly strong jet of water. If anything, the settings tended towards changing the shape of the water stream rather than the pressure. The low pressure translated into a short reach of 18 feet on the strongest spray setting and significantly less on most others. If you need a nozzle with a long reach, we recommend choosing another option. However, if you're looking for a highly adjustable pistol grip sprayer, the Gardenite is a good buy.
The SprayTec Nozzle Sprayer is a good buy for consumers who value ease of use over pressure and durability. The Spraytec'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 the Spraytec 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.
Although easy to use, the Spraytec leaves something to be desired. No matter the setting, this model lacks decent pressure. This will most likely be less of an issue for those who are only watering a small or patio garden. However, the real downside of the Spraytec is its moving parts. The trigger became loose during testing, and the problem got worse while in use in the garden. This leads us to suspect potential long-term issues with durability. Despite these two drawbacks, the thoughtful design makes this model a great buy for consumers looking for an easy-to-use pistol grip sprayer.
The Melnor 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 the water on and off. Unfortunately, all of these moving parts lack durability.
Within the first few uses, the plastic trigger guard on the Melnor had cracked and then 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 the Melnor is a durable product at first glance, the poor quality of its moving components means our testers cannot recommend it.
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, has worked and run educational programs on numerous community gardens, and lives 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. This includes objectively measuring how far each can throw water and its features. After weeks of testing all options in our home garden, we also look at the durability and quality. How do they fare? When we test, we test each option side-by-side to truly understand the differences in performance. Then, we rate them based on how they perform through our tests.
Analysis and Test Results
We selected an array of nozzles to helpfully mirror the current market. During our testing, we used each on our urban homestead daily throughout the summer to gain perspective as we compared each product. We assessed each across key metrics to solidify these comparisons, including reach, durability, pressure, and features. We also consider construction. Using these metrics, we hope to help you find the hose nozzle of your dreams.
The ability to adjust distance and reach hard-to-access corners of a garden or lot is an important component of a garden hose nozzle. To test this, our tester measured the farthest distance each nozzle could reach and noted how the distance varied between all available settings. We also assessed each nozzle's 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 Green Mount had excellent range in a high-pressure center setting but lost distance quickly in other settings. The center setting on this nozzle would be useful for cleaning or spot watering but did not perform well to soak a large plot. The Signature Garden Heavy Duty and Spraytec performed well in our reach tests and did better at watering a larger area (from a distance) with full coverage.
Gardens and homesteading 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. We engaged each moving part thirty times for each contender 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 depend on a very simple one-piece metal design for durability. The straightforward designs of these two models and 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 fared well in our tests.
For a highly adjustable model with excellent durability, we recommend the Green Mount Spray Nozzle. The Green Mount is solidly built. One of the few models with a dial ring did not notably deteriorate in performance when testing moving parts, 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 various pressures that allow us to fulfill various 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. It performed very well at high pressure, producing 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. These two nozzles are great options if cleaning off a car, muddy tools or boots, or cleaning up gutters. However, since they don't have dial ring adjustments for the settings, they were both slightly more challenging to get to the perfect low-pressure settings for gentle but soaking watering. The Bon-Aire had strong pressure on all settings, but it was slightly more challenging to find 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 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 has ten 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 product 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
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