We ended up with a wide spray of possible winners in this week’s hose nozzle Co-Op, but we need to crank up the pressure today to blast away the pretenders. Check out the six finalists below, then be sure to vote for your pick at the bottom of the post.
Editor’s note: In what has to be the longest comment in Co-Op history, cream wobbly suggests pairing the Yardsmith Metal Twist Nozzle for flow control with the and the Yardsmith Pistol Nozzle for easy on/off water control:
This one is listed as Yardsmith 4 In. Metal Twist Nozzle with Overmold. They last several summers of desert heat and grime, and even when they lose some of their ... (checks product description) “overmold”, they still work fine. Eight bucks.
There are smaller, and there are more expensive twist nozzles, but I’ve found this style to be the most resilient to desert conditions. When dust or grit gets stuck inside, you can just flush it out with a twist or two. That’s not the case for others I’ve tried, because they’re made to finer tolerances and expect to be kept pristine, away from all that dirt and messy gardening things. The one pictured above isn’t like those Garden Queens; it’s a working-class nozzle. It doesn’t mind a bit of hard work. It’ll go from a full-on firehose chug, down to a fine, conical, child-cooling mist. Thing is, you have to change the spray pattern to switch it off.
So then I add a grip valve. Again, very generic. Again, very robust in desert heat. It’s the famous Yardsmith Classic Metal Pistol Nozzle, $6.18.
Sure, you can feel the 120°F water through the steel handle at first, but if you’d just wait it gets cooler. If it bothers you that much you could use a couple of rags to cover the grip and lever. You can’t use this on its own (although I’ve seen people try) because it has no focus and no control.
Why don’t I waste my time with those combination things with insulated handles? Simple. They last a month in the sun. Even if they don’t fall apart in your hand, they’re brittle: drop it once, and boom you’re sopping. Or the nozzle gets dust stuck in it and it won’t turn any more. Or the lever gets stuck in one position and won’t switch off. - cream wobbly
Dramm’s One Touch Shower and Stream is the best for gardening. You may think a gun type design is the way to go but this allows you to hold the hose straight which makes more sense anyway. You might want one more powerful for washing a car but if watering plants is what you need one for this one is the best. - memgirl
This (or any other brand that’s essentially the same) is the right answer. Once you go thumb lever control you’ll never go back. - 46and2aheadofme
The one that’s cheapest at your local hardware store.
I kid, but only a little.
I’m not an avid gardener, so I’ll leave the suggestions to those with green thumbs, but I do have a garden to maintain. I try to do a good job without getting too heavily invested, and my tools reflect that priority. So, my recommendation is the basic metal pistol-grip nozzle:
It works, it doesn’t leak, and it’s five bucks. Unless you spend your weekends weeding and sowing (and maybe if you do), this is the perfect 80% solution. - Chatham Harrison
I dug for ages looking for a nice stainless steel or solid brass old school version and ran across the below. Built like a tank and works damn good.
Almost so nice you don’t want to use it. Stainless steel and nicely knurled. - miken5678
It’s possible that this is a knock-off of the similar one my dad bought in the 1970s and still functions, but it costs $9 or less, and is a simple, effective, water-efficient and compact design made from a small number of parts, which I appreciate as an engineer. It goes from a forceful jet to fine spray to closed with a simple twist. “Made in USA, assembled by disabled U.S. veterans.” - Applied Physics
I bought one like the one on the right a couple of years ago, and it really works like a dream. Good control, easy to handle, adjustable spay pattern, and it seems like it increases your water pressure by at least 25%. A bonus is the feeling you get when you first pull the handle back to “Let er Rip” - that alone was worth the price! - JohnBear
Gilmour Pro Fireman’s Nozzle. Durable, easy to shut the flow on and off, easy to adjust the stream from full blast to light shower. It’s the best. The best. Even better when you add quick connects. - BadRabbitNoNo