Reviews

Taming a Garden Hose: My Experience With the Liberty Garden Hose Reel

Tired of wrestling with an unruly, twisted garden hose? I installed and tested the Liberty Garden 712 hose reel—find out what I liked and didn’t like.
Glenda Taylor Avatar
Bright yellow rubber hose wrapped around a mounted hose reel
Photo: Glenda Taylor

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If you’re a gardener or just someone who loves spending time outside, you know how important garden hoses are. They’re perfect for watering plants, washing cars, and filling up the kiddie pool. But let’s face it, a pile of twisted hoses can blemish a yard’s visual appeal, and it’s not fun to deal with tangles every time you need to use the hose. Luckily, there’s a solution in a quality garden hose reel.

This simple winding device will not only keep a hose tidy, but it’ll also make it a breeze to use next time. To help consumers find the best garden hose reel, I tested a bunch of different types in my own yard and garden. One reel stood out from the pack: the Liberty Garden hose reel, model 712.

While Liberty Garden makes a range of hose reels for various watering situations, the 712 model is particularly versatile thanks to some unique features. It’s not perfect—there were a few things I didn’t like—but it’s an attractive and durable hose reel that earned the top spot in my hands-on tests. Ready to find out how it performed? Keep reading to discover how this hose reel earned my seal of approval!

The Liberty Garden 712 Hose Reel: At a Glance

Rubber knob on the top of the Liberty hose reel
Photo: Glenda Taylor

Rating: 8.75/10

PROS

  • Smooth and efficient winding mechanism makes it easy to wind up a garden hose
  • When mounted correctly, the hose reel is sturdy and stable, even with a heavy hose
  • Ability to rotate the reel makes it possible to wind hoses from any direction

CONS

  • Fasteners for mounting the hose reel are not included and must be purchased separately
  • Better suited to hoses 100 feet long than those that are 125 feet long
  • Accessory basket seems a little on the wimpy side compared with the robust reel

Get the Liberty Garden 712 hose reel at:

What is the Liberty Garden hose reel?

The Liberty Garden 712 is a hose reel designed to be permanently mounted to an exterior wall and hold a garden hose. It’s made from durable alloy steel and has a satin bronze finish. The reel portion rotates 360 degrees and locks into eight different positions. I tested the hose reel by mounting it to the siding on my home near an outdoor spigot.

However, this is not a retractable hose reel; users must manually turn the handle to wind up the hose. That said, I found the handle relatively easy to turn—the trick is to pull the garden hose out straight before winding it on the reel. Do that and you should have no problem winding up a hose.

One of the best things about this hose reel is its rotating ability. This is a boon if you’ve pulled the hose out at an angle and don’t want to have to realign it directly in front of the reel. Instead, simply turn the reel in the direction of the hose and start winding. Of all the hose reels I tested, this was the only one that offered a rotating reel.

Man turning on Liberty hose reel
Video: Glenda Taylor

How easy is it to install the Liberty Garden hose reel?

If you can find a stud in an exterior wall (using a stud finder helps!) and have a cordless drill, you can install the Liberty Garden hose reel in under 15 minutes. Installation is as simple as positioning the wall plate over a stud, marking the holes with a pencil, drilling holes for the fasteners, positioning the hose reel, and securing it with the fasteners.

However, fasteners must be purchased separately. This isn’t a sin of omission by Liberty or other hose reel brands either; manufacturers commonly do not include fasteners because they don’t know the material of the consumer’s wall. This hose reel can be mounted to different types of siding or even concrete as long as you use compatible fasteners. If you’re unsure of what type of screw to use, visit a home improvement store and ask the sales associate what type of fasteners will work best with your wall.

Brass hose connection on the Liberty hose reel
Photo: Glenda Taylor

Is the garden hose reel durable and weather-resistant?

I can’t guarantee the Liberty Garden hose reel will last for years, but from what I can tell right now, I think it will. The steel alloy has a powder coating that resists rust and corrosion. The winding handle is solid and turns smoothly—it didn’t drag, even when I was winding up heavy hoses.

The one thing that might not weather as well as the rest of the reel is its comfortable rubber handle grip. In my experience, when rubber is left outdoors it can harden and crack in just a few years. That shouldn’t affect the functionality of the reel, so if I find that the rubber deteriorates, I’ll probably cut a section of exterior pipe insulation foam and slip it over the handle to DIY an equally comfy grip.

Does the Liberty Garden hose reel come with a leader hose?

This might depend on where you purchase the 712. I bought mine from Amazon, and the description said it didn’t come with a leader hose—but lo and behold, I found a 5-foot leader hose in the box. On the Liberty Garden site, the description mentions this hose reel comes with a leader hose. So while there’s a chance the one you buy might not come with a leader hose, short 3- to 6-foot hoses are inexpensive and available online or from home improvement stores.

Depending on where you want to install the water hose reel, you may not even be able to use a short leader hose. When deciding on a location for the reel, consider accessibility from your yard—avoid putting the reel where you have to navigate the hose around obstacles. If you have a choice, opt to put it in a spot where it will be in the shade during the hottest parts of the day. This means you may want to mount the reel farther away than a short leader hose will reach.

How much garden hose can the Liberty Garden hose reel hold?

The 712 is advertised as being able to hold 125 feet of 5/8-inch garden hose. I tested that claim, and it’s true—the reel did hold that much hose. However, it was tight going to get the last 15 feet or so wound. I had to unwind the hose several times and rearrange it on the spool to get all 125 feet on. For that reason, I’d suggest using this Liberty Garden model to hold hoses closer to 100 feet in length.

Additionally, the width of the hose is a factor. Most garden hoses are ⅝ inch in diameter, but a few are narrower, and a handful are wider. You can wind a longer hose on the reel if it’s narrower, such as a ½-inch hose. Similarly, the reel will not hold as much hose if the hose is 1 inch wide.

Blue garden hose wand in basket of liberty hose reel
Photo: Glenda Taylor

Is the Liberty Garden 712 right for you?

A hose reel is an excellent solution for anyone who wants to eliminate a twisted mess of garden hose that kills curb appeal and results in knots that must be untangled before every use.

A wall-mount hose reel such as the 712 is a good option for homeowners, but renters will probably want to look for a non-mounted hose holder that doesn’t require drilling into the home’s exterior wall. For my yard, the Liberty Garden 712 is the right choice. I typically use a hose that is 100 feet or shorter, so it fit nicely on this model, plus the satin bronze finish complements my landscape. If you use a longer hose or want a portable reel or a retractable model, the 712 will not be the best choice for your hose storage needs.

Where to Buy the Liberty Garden 712 Hose Reel

Get the Liberty Garden 712 hose reel at:

Meet the Tester

Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer specializing in the construction, remodeling, and real estate industry. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and Taylor is experienced in both residential and commercial building applications. She tests a wide range of power tools as well as other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.

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Glenda Taylor

Staff Writer

Glenda Taylor is a BobVila.com staff writer with a background in the residential remodeling, home building, and home improvement industries. She started writing for BobVila.com in 2016 and covers a range of topics, including construction methods, code compliance, tool use, and the latest news in the housing and real estate industries. 

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