If you have plants to water, a car to wash, or a sprinkler to connect so the kids can splash around this summer, then you're going to need a good garden hose. The Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose is our top pick because it's a flexible, durable, all-weather hose that's made in America and backed by a lifetime warranty.
I bought two absurdly cheap hoses shortly after my wife and I moved into our first house. I spent the better part of a year wrangling tangles and bends, trying and failing to make even coils after use, and soon enough, wrapping plumber's tape around numerous dripping punctures, cracks, and tears. Long story short, if you buy a cheap hose, you get a cheap hose. I researched and testes a variety of garden hoses to find the best ones for different needs. While budget is definitely a factor, if you need it for all your watering, washing, and summer fun projects, you'll want something durable and easy to coil. The frustration of using a shoddy garden hose ranks up there with multiple paper cuts and burned out bulbs on holiday light strands. For the smaller property, a coiled or expandable hose minimizes space occupied during storage. A super-strong steel-plated hose might be great for the home with a dog who tends to chew on things, but might not be ideal for someone who has trouble lifting heavier objects. Here are the best garden hoses:
Best overall: Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose Best lightweight hose: Water Right 400 Series Slim & Light Garden Hose Best coiled hose: Orbit 26380 50-Foot Coil Hose Best expandable hose: Aterod Expandable Garden Hose Best steel hose: Tardigrade 50-Foot Steel Hose Best irrigation hose: Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose
Prices and links are current as of 8/31/2020. SEE ALSO: The best rakes you can buy The best overall
The Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose will last a lifetime — guaranteed — and it doesn't get twisted easily. If I weren't already calling the Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose a superlative product based on its quality, I'd call it a great buy simply due to its price. This rugged, capable hose could easily sell for double its price tag thanks to its durability. It just might be the last hose you buy, in fact, unless you run over it with a lawnmower. And yes, I've cut short the life of a hose that way (OK, two), though thankfully not a Craftsman. The thick yet pliant rubber used in the construction of this hose remains flexible and resists cracking even in temperatures down to 25 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit). It is safe for use with water as hot as 160 degrees, which is dozens of degrees hotter than you'll probably ever run through it anyway. The nickel-plated brass hardware is crush-proof and corrosion-resistant, and the octagonal exterior shape of the couplings makes it easy to twist the hose onto or off of a spigot, sprinkler, sprayer, and so forth. Pros: Exceptional durability, works in extreme temperatures, kink-resistant Cons: Leaves scuff marks on some surfaces, only 25 feet long The best lightweight hose
The 50-foot Water Right 400 Series Slim & Light Garden Hose weighs less than many garden hoses that are half its length yet it still delivers plenty of water pressure and volume. If you think dealing with a heavy garden hose is no big deal, then you have clearly never dealt with a heavy garden hose. I had a 110-foot long monster hose a few years back, and I guarantee my neighbors learned new curse words listening to me haul the thing around our property. Even many 50-foot hoses can weigh more than 10 pounds when dry, with any water trapped in the tube adding lots of extra weight. For many, a heavy hose can be a serious hindrance to gardening, cleaning, and other such projects. With the Water Right 400 Series Slim and Light Garden Hose, weight is not an issue. This slender flexible hose weighs scarcely more than three pounds, so you can move about with ease while using it, distributing water anywhere you need up to 50 feet away from the source. Made with sturdy, durable polyurethane, it also resists permanent kinks and is safe to use in sub-freezing conditions or in temperatures hotter than any yet recorded on earth. (Which was 134 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded in Death Valley, CA on July 10, 1913 in case you were wondering.) It's also free of lead, BPA, and phthalates, so you don't have to worry about dangerous chemicals leaching into your soil. Pros: Lightweight and flexible, resists permanent kinks Cons: Expensive The best coiled hose
The Orbit 26380 50-Foot Coil Hose is ready to stretch out to its full 50-foot length when you need it and coil back up when you're done. There are a few scenarios in which you probably shouldn't opt for a coil-style garden hose. If you need to use your hose for a sprinkler that rests on the lawn, this design is a bad pick. If you need to run high-pressure water through your hose, same story. For just about everything else, however, a coiled hose gives you the reach you need when you need it and stores away in significantly less space than a traditional rubber or vinyl garden hose, with no laborious winding or looping needed to stow it away. The Orbit 26380 50-Foot Coil Hose is a great choice for your next coiled hose because it's a good price, it's of good quality, and because it comes with a sprayer head. For watering potted plants on a porch, balcony, or patio; for irrigating small patches of lawn or garden beds; or for spraying down a car in the driveway, this hose gives you reach and easy control, and then it coils itself right back up again when you don't need it anymore. I do have to note that some users report leaking problems, many of which I suspect were caused by too much water pressure. Pros: Self-coiling for easy storage, comes with sprayer head, lightweight design Cons: Occasional leaking issues, not suitable for all applications The best expandable garden hose
The Aterod Expandable Garden Hose extends out to a full 50 feet when water is flowing through it, yet contracts back to a mere 17-foot length again after use. You've probably seen TV commercials for hoses like this, right? You hook them to a spigot, turn on the flow, and that "short" hose starts to stretch out, eventually doubling or even tripling the length as if by magic. Well, that magic is just the inherent elasticity of latex and the clever design of a knit polyester cover. The Aterod Expandable Garden Hose is one of the finest examples of these hoses around. It delivers plenty of water pressure for most common residential and light commercial tasks, from car washing to watering gardens to hosing off decks or driveways, and it has a 50-foot reach when in operation yet measures just 17 feet long when "dry," so it takes up minimal storage space. The Aterod Expandable Garden Hose features durable, rust-resistant brass fittings and has a convenient on/off valve built into the end of the hose. It also comes with a removable spray head with nine modes ranging from a light shower to a powerful stream. If you need a relatively long hose but don't want to deal with a large, hulking piece of hardware, this just might be the one for you. Pros: Requires minimal storage space, features built-in shut-off valve, comes with a spray nozzle, lightweight and flexible Cons: Extending and retracting processes wastes water, can crack if left in extreme temperatures The best steel hose
The Tardigrade 50-Foot Steel Hose is durable enough to resist punctures from dog bites, rakes, and more while staying affordable. If you have rambunctious kids or pets prone to cause hose damage, or if you need a hose for a high traffic area like a garden nursery open to the public, this tough hose is a fine choice. Looking at the Tardigrade 50-Foot Steel Hose, you would probably think the most notable thing about it was the fact that the exterior of the hose is constructed entirely from bands of stainless steel. Indeed that's a fine feature. The hose resists damage from dog bites, crushing, and even encounters with tools like shovels or rakes. (Don't try mowing over it. It will still probably lose.) On learning that the hose can easily tolerate high water flow such as might be used for pressure washing, you might think its capabilities were the real selling point. But in fact, it's the affordable price point that ultimately sells this hose. It's an excellent value compared to some other steel hoses on the market. It also manages to be extremely lightweight considering its steel housing. The whole 50-foot hose weighs just under five pounds when dry, so positioning it on your lawn won't be a headache. Of course, that weight goes up considerably when you add water. Pros: Low price, resists damage, high water volume, lightweight for a steel hose Cons: Vulnerable to cracking at connectors The best irrigation hose
The Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose delivers a slow, steady drizzle of water to tree roots, garden beds, planter boxes, or even to small patches of grass. While all garden hoses can, of course, be used for irrigation of plants, flowers, turf, and so on, a standard garden hose is not referred to as an irrigation hose. That's a classification reserved for hoses like the Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose, which features a permeable exterior that allows water to slowly but steadily leak out all along its length. This design allows you to weave the hose among rows of flowers or food plants, to coil it loosely around the base of a tree, or to snake it up into planter boxes or along the edge of a strip of grass or ground cover. The Melnor Flat Soaker Garden Hose can be used in place of much more expensive and invasive irrigation systems, and it can be moved around or removed entirely as needed, unlike more permanent watering hardware. While this hose is going to prove entirely ineffective for powering a sprinkler or pressure washing a front stoop, it's a superlative choice for keeping plants, flowers, trees, shrubs, and patches of ground cover watered and healthy. Pros: Provides ideal irrigation, durable construction Cons: Not suitable for use with sprinklers or sprayers Check out our other gardening gear guides
The best gardening tools Having the essential gardening tools ready in your shed or garage makes the work even more of a joy, instead of a chore. That's why we've gathered up a collection of the best tools for a variety of gardening needs.
The best gardening gloves Gardening isn't for the faint of heart — pulling weeds, tilling the earth, and digging up roots is sweaty work, and it really does a number on your hands. To protect yourself from dirt, thorns, chemicals, and other irritants; you need a good pair of gardening gloves. These are our top picks for the best gardening gloves.
The best gardening shovels While a shovel is undeniably not a sexy or exciting purchase, this utilitarian workhorse belongs in the tool shed of every gardener, whether that garden is a few potted plants, or an extensive vegetable garden. Whether you're looking for a spade, a trowel, a scoop, or you yet don't know the difference between them, we're here to help you find the best gardening shovel for your purposes.
The best rakes From clearing fallen leaves to prepping garden beds for a new season of planting, a rake is more of a year-round tool than many realize. You'll want a durable one that can withstand hitting a stray rock or two without bending or breaking. These are the best rakes you can buy.
The best electric lawn mowers Electric lawn mowers are ideal if you have minimal storage space and don't want to deal with the hassle of storing gasoline and oil. Electric mowers tend to weigh much less than their gas-powered counterparts, so they can be easier to transport and use. Plus, they have a push-button start, so no more yanking a starter cord to turn on the engine. If you're ready to make the switch, these are the best electric lawn mowers.
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Having the essential gardening tools ready in your shed or garage makes the work even more...Having the essential gardening tools ready in your shed or garage makes the work even more of a joy instead of a chore. We've gathered up a collection of the best tools for a variety of gardening needs. If you are like most people, your garden might be your most frequent encounter with nature. Perhaps that's why gardening calls to the spirit of so many people, and time spent working in the yard feels like enjoyment instead of labor. For those who love to garden, a little dirt under the fingernails is a small price to pay for the meditative joy of working the soil, smelling the rich earth, planting seeds or young sprouts, and watching the miraculous growth into a beautiful flowering plant or a harvest of vegetables. Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States, and it's easy to understand why. You don't have to have an enormous plot of land. Your garden can be as small as a few pots on a balcony. You can invest thousands of dollars into your garden, or just pay a dollar for a packet of seeds. The majority of gardeners, however, fall somewhere in the middle range. And for those gardeners, having a good collection of gardening tools makes it easier and more enjoyable to spend time working the land. We've researched, tested, and reviewed tons of gardening gear over the years. But if you're looking for a one-stop guide to the best gardening tools you can buy, look no further. If you want to read more about any of our top picks, we link to each specific buying guide where applicable. Here are the best gardening tools: Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose Gardenite Heavy-Duty Watering Nozzle Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears Gardena 1951 Spike Sprinkler SEE ALSO: The best gardening gloves you can buy The best gloves The Showa Atlas Nitrile Gloves keep your hands clean and dry but won't get in the way or impede your dexterity while handing delicate seedlings. These gardening gloves from Showa are made of a durable nylon fabric and coated with a layer of nitrile rubber — the same material used to make medical gloves. They'll keep your hand clean and dry, but they're form-fitting enough to ensure that you maintain your dexterity when handing seedlings or delicate blooms. We like these gloves so much that we selected them as our best overall pick in our guide to the best gardening gloves. Insider Reviews deputy editor Malarie Gokey writes, "The best gardening gloves make it feel like you're not wearing anything on your hands at all. The Showa Atlas Nitrile Gloves protect you from dirt and other debris with their durable nylon fabric and nitrile coating without adding unnecessary bulk or impeding your gardening." The one downside to these gloves is that they're relatively thin, meaning they won't protect you from thorns or brambles. If you're looking for something a bit more heavy-duty, click over to our full buying guide and take a look at some of our other picks. Pros: Flexible, lightweight, machine washable Cons: Not thick enough to handle thorny plants Read our full buying guide to the best gardening gloves. The best shovel The Fiskars Long-Handle Round-Point Steel Digging Shovel is a durable shovel that will handle dense dirt, rocks, and root systems with ease. Though probably the least fun part of landscaping, digging holes is as about as essential a task as they come when planting a garden. And unless you really want to get your hands dirty, you'll need a good shovel. For large tasks like planting shrubs or moving rose bushes, you'll want a sturdy steel shovel with a sharp rounded blade. The Fiskars Long-Handle Round-Point Steel Digging Shovel is our top pick in our larger buying guide to the best shovels. Insider Reviews writer Michelle Ullman writes, "This beauty of a tool has a 14-gauge steel blade and an 18-gauge steel handle welded together so the shovel won't snap even under rugged use. It has a large foot platform so you can really throw your weight into your digging, and a rubbery orange grip to keep your gloved hands in place without slipping or sliding." Of course, this is a shovel best used for planting larger shrubs and bushes. If you're looking for a trowel or a spade more suited to planting flowers or seeds, check out our buying guide for further recommendations. Pros: Steel construction, welded handle and blade Cons: Too large for detail work Read our full buying guide to the best gardening shovels. The best garden hose With a lifetime guarantee and durable, thick rubber construction, the Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose is a great buy at a reasonable price. Our top pick in our guide to the best garden hoses, the Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose is a great example of solid craftsmanship. It's a simply constructed rubber garden hose that won't kink easily, won't crack or warp in the sun, and is backed by a lifetime guarantee. Insider Reviews writer Steven John writes, "If I weren't already calling the Craftsman Premium Rubber Garden Hose a superlative product based on its quality, I'd call it a great buy simply due to its price. This rugged, capable hose could easily sell for double its price tag thanks to its durability." It's rated to withstand temperatures from 25 degrees below zero all the way up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you're in the habit of leaving your hose outside in all weather, the Craftsman won't spring a leak the next time you uncoil it. Pros: Durable, can withstand extreme temperatures, lifetime guarantee from Craftsman Cons: Stiff, difficult to coil, can scuff surfaces Read our guide to the best garden hoses. The best garden hose nozzle With 10 spray settings and an independent pressure knob, the Gardenite Heavy-Duty Watering Nozzle is just about as customizable as they come. The Gardenite Heavy-Duty Watering Nozzle is our top pick in our guide to the best hose nozzles thanks to its impressive versatility. It can easily transition from a hard, direct spray suitable for hosing down garbage cans to a soft, gentle mist to water your seedlings and flowers. Insider Reviews writer Alex Rennie writes in his review, "In addition to the 10 different spray options available, a separate pressure knob allows you to also adjust the intensity of any of those options. With this freedom to customize every aspect of your spray and its operating system, nothing is stopping you from adapting the Gardenite Heavy-Duty Watering Nozzle to any specific task." The nozzle is made of metal, so it's resistant to cracks, even if you drop it on the pavement. That does make it a bit heavier than other models, so if you're watering a large swath of your garden, you might experience a bit more fatigue than with other nozzles. Pros: Incredibly versatile, easy to squeeze, metal construction Cons: May be too complicated for some, adds weight to your hose Read our full buying guide to the best garden hose nozzles. The best watering can With its ability to switch from a gentle rain shower to a full stream, the Bloem Easy Pour Watering Can is one of the most versatile out there. For smaller gardens, window boxes, and even houseplants, a watering can might be the best way to supply your plants with the water they crave. But some plants require a gentle sprinkle so as not to crush leaves or delicate blooms. Other, hardier plants may need a larger volume of water more easily delivered in a steady stream. The Bloem Easy Pour Watering Can has a rotating head that allows you to deliver the proper stream to your plants. It's a large watering can with a 2.6-gallon capacity, and anyone who's hauled water across their lawn to their plants can attest to how heavy water gets. These larger cans can be tough to pour, putting strain on your arms and wrists. Bloem has taken that into consideration as well. Its double grip allows you to place your hand however you'll get the most leverage. You can also grip with two hands for additional support. The Bloem Easy Pour Watering Can is constructed from UV-stabilized resin plastic so it will resist fading, warping, cracking, and freezing. The material is also FDA-approved for contact with food, so you won't have to worry about dangerous chemicals leaching into the water you give to your vegetable patch. Pros: Large capacity, two stream types, constructed from FDA-approved resin plastic, dual handle grip Cons: May be too heavy for some gardeners when full The best pruning shears Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears sport precision-ground steel blades lubricated with a non-stick coating to prevent sap and debris from locking them up. If you've ever left your pruning shears in your garage only for them to be completely locked up the next time you go to prune your roses, they were likely a victim of sap gluing the blades together. Fiskars has aimed to put a stop to gummed up pruning shears by treating its blades with a non-stick coating. The coating not only prevents sap buildup, but it also allows the blades to cut through wood that much more easily. The steel blades are also of the bypass variety, meaning that the top blade descends below the hinge, making for a cleaner cut, so you don't have to saw through the branch you're trying to remove. The Fiskars Pruning Shears can handle branches up to 5/8 of an inch (a bit smaller than a dime), so they will easily be able to handle your rose bushes and forsythias that need their seasonal trims. The blades lock closed with a sliding button that can easily be accessed with your thumb, so you don't have to fumble with a latch mechanism. Fiskars also stands by its product with a lifetime warranty. Pros: Steel blades, easy locking mechanism, large cutting capacity, non-stick blades, lifetime warranty Cons: Blades can still gum up over time The best garden sprinkler The Gardena 1951 Spike Sprinkler delivers a gentle mist over a 10-yard area to ensure your plants don't get beaten down by hard water. Longtime gardener and Insider Reviews writer Mary Marlowe Levrette chose the Gardena 1951 Spike Sprinkler as the best sprinkler for flowers and vegetables in our guide to the best sprinklers. She writes, "The easy-to-move and connect spike delivers water in a fine mist that soaks into the soil slowly and doesn't beat down fragile seedlings. The mist is delivered in a circular pattern that can reach a diameter of up to 10 yards. However, by just reducing the water pressure, the diameter can be adjusted to cover much smaller areas." Simply press the spike into the soil at the center point of the area you'd like to water and turn on your hose. Though the Gardena does have a decent area of coverage, if you're looking to water your whole lawn, you'll need something a bit more powerful. Check out our other suggestions in our full guide linked below. Pros: Easy to connect and move, anchors into soil for stability, delivers a gentle mist that won't harm plants Cons: Not powerful enough for a whole lawn, hose connector is plastic and can crack Read our full buying guide to the best sprinklers. The best rake With its extra-wide 24-inch head, the Fiskars Leaf Rake makes quick work of cleaning up fall leaves, tilling soil, or spreading mulch. For many, a rake is simply a seasonal tool to clean up fallen leaves from the yard, but gardeners know it for the multipurpose tool it truly is. Whether you're aerating soil, spreading mulch, or, yes, using it for its most common purpose, you'll need a strong rake with a wide head to make quick work of your beds or lawn. The Fiskars Leaf Rake delivers with its two-foot-wide head. The handle is also longer than many other rakes, so you won't have to hunch over nearly as much. The head is made of a sturdy but flexible resin, so the tines won't break off if you hit a rogue rock. This does mean it won't be quite as strong as a metal rake, but it will be much more versatile and lighter weight. The Fiskars Leaf Rake is our best overall pick in our guide to the best rakes, but if you're looking for an all-metal rake or one suited for more specific tasks, check out our other picks. Pros: Extra-wide head, extra-long handle, flexible tines won't snap, lightweight Cons: Not strong enough to handle large rocks Read our full buying guide to the best rakes. The best string trimmer The battery-powered DeWalt 20V Max Lithium Ion XR String Trimmer boasts excellent cutting power in a lightweight tool that gives you the freedom to precisely edge around garden beds and fences. A string trimmer is more of a landscaping tool, but if your garden beds are adjacent to your lawn, you'll want a way to get clean edges without putting your flowers in danger. String trimmers, also known as weed whackers, cut grass where a lawn mower just can't go. The DeWalt 20V Max Lithium Ion XR String Trimmer is our top pick in our guide to the best string trimmers because it's lightweight, has tons of cutting power, and we stand by the DeWalt name. Because it's battery-powered, you won't have to deal with gas or running an extension cord from your garage. Insider Reviews writer Steven John writes, "This trimmer is powered by a 20-volt, five-amp lithium-ion battery that packs plenty of punch, whirling the dual cutting lines around in a 13-inch swath that will easily clear grass, weeds, thorns, and more. The tool can be operated at a high-speed, full-power setting for cutting tougher materials or it can be run at a lower speed for lighter work and for better battery life. Yes, this trimmer costs four times more than other electric options, but it will outperform and outlast them, too." Pros: Lightweight, battery-powered, gives you precise control over edging Cons: Does not come with battery but any DeWalt 20V tool battery will work Read our full buying guide to the best string trimmers. The best electric lawn mower The Ego Power+ 20-Inch Cordless Lawn Mower may be electric, but you won't sacrifice any power or versatility, and it's much quieter than gas models. You've put so much work into cultivating a beautiful and nourishing garden, so complete the look of your yard with a well-trimmed lawn. The Ego Power+ is our top pick in our guide to the best electric lawn mowers thanks to its excellent combination of functionality, versatility, power, and quiet operating volume. Insider Reviews senior home and kitchen reporter Owen Burke writes, "The Ego Power+ 20-Inch Cordless Lawn Mower offers the performance of gas but in a convenient cordless electric design. The mower creates 30% less noise than an average gas-powered model, making it more pleasant to use. Though this mower is electric, it doesn't sacrifice power or functionality. The three-in-one function allows you to mulch, bag, or use the side-discharge chute. The push-button start is easy to operate and incredibly convenient, and the LED headlights allow you to mow anytime, provided you have no qualms about disrupting your neighbors after dark." The battery will charge to full power in about 30 minutes and you'll get about 55 minutes worth of cutting time, which should be plenty to mow your average lawn. If you're doing both the front and back in one swoop, you might find yourself chugging along at the end, so it might be best to give it a quick charge in between. Pros: Powerful motor, quiet operation, charges quickly, folds for storage, five-year warranty Cons: May not have enough battery life for large lawns, replacement batteries are expensive Read our full buying guide to the best electric lawn mowers.