A Guide to Industrial Hose Reels and Carts

Hose Reels

Hose reels store a variety of hoses, cords and cables for tidy storage and easy access. Different types include industrial hose reels, electrical cable reels, hose reel carts, low pressure hose reels and stainless steel hose reels. Designed around a cylinder-shaped barrel, hose reels are most commonly used in fire stations, workplaces, schools, hotels, factories, and households to store garden hoses.  

Industrial Hose Reel / Electrical Hose Reel / Hose Reel Carts / Low Pressure Hose Reels / Stainless Steel Hose Reels 

Numerous hose reel designs ensure quick access to combat fire risks and provide easy household, industrial or workplace use. Freestanding, portable and wall-mounted options are available, along with those intended for trucks and trailers. Household hose reels are typically lightweight, while industrial hose reels are made for endurance.  


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Types of hose reels 

A wide variety of hose reels cater for different uses and industries. The most common method for retracting hoses is via a manually cranked handle. However, electric, hydraulic and spring hose reels are available.  

High pressure hose reel 
Most often designed as a safety device that meets application standards, high pressure hose reels store high pressure hoses. They’re built to accommodate significant pressure without kinking, tangling or attracting damage.  

Cable hose reel 
Offering appropriate storage and keeping workspaces tidy, cable hose reels allow easy access to ropes, wires and cables. Retraction methods include hand, spring and motor driven.  

Audio cable reel 
With the capacity to hold audio cable of over 1800 ft, audio cable reels ensure ease of transport, along with storage. A wide range of materials are used for different applications, including steel and plastic.  

Electrical cord hose reel 
Electrical cord hose reels safely store power cords while offering easy access. They’re available for cords of different lengths and diameters. Retraction methods include electric, spring and hand driven.  

Air hose reel 
Hoses stored on air hose reels are connected to air compressors. Generally, they’re attached to ceilings in mechanic workshops. Storage reels offer compact storage to save space. Continuous flow reels allow for the use of hoses while still they’re still coiled.  

Static discharge hose reel 
Static discharge hose reels are used for hazardous conditions with regard to fuelling, chemical plants and rescue operations. They’re most commonly used in the aircraft industry and prevent random electrical charges from igniting combustibles.  

Fuel hose reel 
Fuel hose reels transfer fuel safely and provide protective storage. Heavy-duty materials are used to ensure the reels withstand hazardous conditions.  

Chemical hose reel 
Industries that require the safe transfer of chemicals use chemical hose reels. They’re designed to combat the effects of damaging and corrosive materials.  

Beverage hose reel 
Used for transfer, production, processing and washing, beverage hose reels are designed to meet food industry safety standards.  

Hydraulic tool hose reel 
Hydraulic tool hose reels are used for hydraulic hoses made from materials such as thermoplastic and rubber. The reels ensure tension on the line in order for the hose to reach a predetermined location. When it does, the hose locks in place rather than rewinding.  

Emergency hose reel 
Used for fire and rescue operations, emergency hose reels accommodate water hoses and electrical cords. They’re made to withstand Class A fires and combustible material. Furthermore, they’re extra-large and rigid to provide support for higher pressure loads.  

Teach pendant hose reels 
Teach pendant hose reels organise, store and extend the life of teach cables that range in length from 10 to 30 metres long. They provide safety for workers in terms of keeping long cables untangled and off the floor.  


Hose reel retraction methods 

Spring driven, motor driven and hand crank methods are the most common hose reel retraction methods. Hose retraction is one of the biggest differences between styles made for specific purposes. The methods include: 

  • Hand crank hose reels that feature simple designs for low maintenance and ease of use. They don’t require a power source, as hoses unwind by pulling a handle and reversing the direction to recoil. They’re suitable for most locations, including household gardens.  

  • Spring driven hose reels retract automatically via a spring mechanism. They don’t require manual labour or a power source.  
  • Motor driven hose reels have a motor attached to the reel for effortless unwinding and rewinding via a power source. The benefits include no physical effort, safety and the capability of storing any length of hose. 

Types of motor driven hose reels 

A wide range of motor driven hose reels are available. AC or DC electric reels smoothly retract hoses by engaging the motor after use. Pneumatic motors use compressed air to operate in hazardous areas at risk of electrical sparking. Hydraulic drive hose retraction is also used in hazardous locations, such as mines.  


Hose reel mounting 

Five different methods ensure hose reels are mounted appropriately for specific uses and retraction methods. They include:  

  • Ceiling mounted hose reels to free up space on floors and walls. They’re commonly used in welding and mechanic shops.  

  • Wall mounted hose reels are generally hinged with a locking pin to suit the hose. The wall location ensures ease of use and saves floor space.  
  • Post mounted hose reels are attached to posts located close to applications. Designs may be immovable or hinged.  

  • Freestanding hose reels have an A frame design with the option for attachment to walls, trucks or trailers. As industrial hose reels, they’re made of heavy-duty stainless steel or aluminium.  

  • Mobile mounted hose reels are made for use in a variety of locations, such as those seen at airports when planes are refuelled.  

How to choose the right hose reel 

Made of materials such as plastic, metal, fibreglass and stainless steel, hose reels feature different methods of rewinding and storing. A variety of styles suits a range of hoses, cables and cords. It’s important to choose the right hose reel based on specific requirements.  

For light, short hoses, spring-loaded hose reels are ideal as the hose doesn’t place much pressure on the reel. Manual hose reels accommodate most hose lengths, however, they’re best for lighter hoses in terms of manual labour effort. Longer hoses require motorised hose reels for practicality and ease of use.  

Hose reels must withstand various amounts of pressure applied by different hoses. For pressurised water and air hoses, it’s important to purchase high pressure hose reels.  

Hose reels are commonly constructed from materials including aluminium, stainless steel, fibreglass, wood and plastic. Choosing the right hose reel depends on the requirements, as it may need to be corrosion-resistant, extra durable, temperature-resistant and non-abrasive.  

Choosing the right hose reel is entirely dependent on the application. For example, a ceiling-mounted, industrial hose reel may be required in a mechanic workshop. Mobile, hand cranked, low pressure hose reels are suitable for general use.

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The type of hose you use depends on the application. Heavy-duty applications using long lengths of hose require the use of motor driven hose reels. Depending on the power source, options include pneumatic air, electric and hydraulic motors. Spring retractable hose reels are ideal for light, short hoses. Manual hose reels are appropriate for most hoses, however, they can be labour intensive.


There are three major ways to retract hoses from hose reels. Automatic spring retractable hose reels are a good choice for jobs that require constant winding and unwinding. Pull the hose to the required length, latch it in place and tug to release the latch and retract. Manual hand crank hose reels are stored on barrels and manually wound. They’re capable of carrying long hoses and they’re portable for groundskeeping.  

Motor powered hose reels are suitable for long, heavy-duty hoses used for industrial applications. They require a power supply and may be more complicated to set up than other hose reels. However, very little manual labour is required to retract hoses. Different types of motors include pneumatic, hydraulic and AC or DC electric reels. 

As a general rule, water and air are the most common substances going through hoses and hose reels. It’s important to purchase hoses and reels specifically designed for corrosive fluids and hazardous substances if required. Pressure is another consideration in choosing a reel. High pressure and hot temperatures require different seals and swivels.  

Hose reel materials are selected with regard to the application. For example, industrial stainless steel reels are required when using saltwater, chemicals and corrosive substances. Heavy-duty manual reels are often made from aluminium and plastic garden hose reels are lightweight and mobile.  


Hose reels are used for effective storage of hoses, along with ensuring easy access. For workspaces and industrial areas, hose reels keep hoses off the ground for safety purposes and eliminate the possibility of tangling. They also help to maintain hoses by coiling them to reduce the risks of kinks and pressure that leads to leaks.