The 8 Best Watering Tools to Buy in 2017

Shop for the best tools to water your lawn and garden

Maintaining green lawns, lush flowerbeds, or productive vegetable gardens usually means homeowners need to give Mother Nature a little boost. Good watering tools including watering cans, hoses, sprinklers, and related accessories can make managing water levels a little bit easier. Just be sure to buy the right tool for the job: That 25-foot hose may seem like a bargain until it can’t reach those farthest garden rows, and a tiny indoor watering can may not have the capacity for all those outdoor...MORE planters.

Here are eight of our favorite watering tools for a range of indoor and outdoor needs.

  • 01 of 08

    Buyers willing to invest in a lightweight hose that doesn’t skimp on quality will appreciate the Water Right Slim & Light hose, reviewers say. It earns expert praise for durability, and owners love how easy it is to move around the yard. It comes in four colors and four different lengths from 25 to 100 feet. Brass or stainless steel fittings are available.

    Reviewers unanimously agree that the Slim & Light lives up to its name. Experts say it’s significantly lighter than a traditional...MORE rubber hose and a great option for anyone who can’t afford to drag a heavy hose over fragile growth. Owners also appreciate the high-quality fittings and weather-resistant polyurethane, which is engineered to stay flexible whether it’s freezing or sweltering outside. But some grouse that the hose doesn’t live up to its no-kink promises, and a few also say the 7/16-inch diameter doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to letting enough water through. 

    Pet owners will also rest assured that the hose is lead- and BPA-free meaning it's okay to fill up your dog's water dish or your own water bottle from this hose.

  • 02 of 08

    Reviewers say the Nelson 1865 Raintrain Traveling Sprinkler offers an ideal alternative to pricey automatic sprinkler systems and inconvenient stationary sprinklers that must be constantly repositioned. The Raintrain is a self-propelling sprinkler that can slowly roll and water wherever homeowners lay out their hose. Made of cast iron, it can travel up to 200 feet and cover up to 13,500 square feet of yard.

    The Raintrain has three speed settings and adjustable arms that can cover anywhere from a...MORE 15- to 55-foot diameter. Reviewers say this makes for a high degree of customization that keeps water levels tailored for different types and sizes of yards. They also like the automatic shutoff, which means they don’t have to babysit the sprinkler as it does its job. But some say the iron body is too heavy, and it can be tricky to use on hills or in tight areas that require it to execute sharp turns.

  • 03 of 08

    Owners say OXO’s Good Grips Outdoor Pour & Store elevates the humble watering can with its thoughtful design. This 2-gallon plastic can is available in green, blue, and fuchsia. A smaller 3-liter version is also available.

    Several features make the Outdoor Pour & Store a winner, reviewers say. They like the movable spout, which can swivel back toward the can for easier storage and reduce dribbles during filling and carrying. Water levels are clearly marked, and a removable rose attachment...MORE allows for more even watering and stores directly on the can so that it isn’t misplaced. The easy-to-grip rubberized handle and large filling hole also earn praise. Complaints are minimal, but some reviewers say their cans leaked at the base of the swivel spout.

  • 04 of 08

    A scaled down version of a garden classic, the Bosmere V127GR Haws Indoor Watering Can is an ideal size and has a fine spray just right for delicate houseplants, reviewers say. Made of plastic, it comes in eight colors and has a 0.7-liter capacity.

    Owners love the Haws Indoor Watering Can’s removable brass rose, which they say provides a soft, even water flow gentle enough even for finicky plants such as orchids and Bonsai trees. They also appreciate the long spout, which makes it easier to reach...MORE plants without disturbing them. Reviewers who are short on space like how compact this can is, and some even say they leave it out between uses as decor thanks to its classic design. However, some warn that anyone with a lot of indoor plants will want to opt for a larger can.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Soaker hoses can meet the needs of thirsty plants without sacrificing water that runs off faster than they can absorb it. To that end, owners love tailoring the Miracle Gro Premium Bulk Soaker Hose Kit to their needs, saying it’s a versatile soaker system for gardens, flower beds and other areas that need extra attention. The kit contains a 100-foot soaker hose that can be cut to fit any layout, two feeders, four plugs, and 12 connector pieces.

    Reviewers say it’s easy to cut the soaker hose and...MORE fit it with connectors, and they say the hose is pliable enough for use in tight gardens where precise placement is key. They also like the slow, even flow, which doesn’t flood plants and keeps water bills low compared to more imprecise sprinklers. However, some buyers say they’ve had issues with too much water being dispersed from one end of the hose and not enough at the other.

  • 06 of 08

    Though it’s more expensive than many rain gauges, owners say the Stratus RG202 Long-Term Professional Rain and Snow Gauge makes up the price difference in quality and accuracy. The UV-resistant polycarbonate gauge is made to National Weather Service standards, and it can measure not only rain but snow, hail, and sleet as well.

    Owners say the Stratus makes measurements simple and accurate to 1/100th of an inch, and because it can accommodate amounts up to 11 inches, it won’t overflow even during...MORE serious storms. They also say it easily stands up to any weather conditions, with several reviewers reporting years of trouble-free use. A built-in “quick connect” bracket allows easy removal when it is installed properly on a post away from trees and buildings. Some reviewers are disappointed that they must measure each inch of precipitation individually in the central marked tube, however.

  • 07 of 08

    The Claber Aquadue Duplo Evolution offers user a lot more flexibility than cheaper water timers, versatility that helps justify the steeper price point, users say. It features dual valves that can turn on and shut off water flow to garden hoses and sprinklers without a lot of tinkering, and runs on a single 9-volt battery. A rain sensor that can shut down the timer automatically is available separately.

    This Aquadue has a large LCD display and push-button controls, and the dual valves are...MORE independently programmable up to three times a day every day of the week. Watering times can be as short as one minute, or as long as an entire day. There is also a manual override that makes it easy to water on demand without changing settings. The timer even retains settings for 10 minutes during battery changes, so there’s no need to remember and reset things. Reviewers love the flexibility this timer gives them, though a few say the instructions could be clearer. Some also wish for more durable hose connectors.

  • 08 of 08

    Suitable for either indoor or outdoor use, the Core Gear Garden Handheld Plant Mister has a 1.5-liter capacity that means even the most houseplant-happy buyers won’t have to refill it too often. Made of heavy-duty plastic, the mister comes with a carrying strap and belt clip that makes it easier to tote around. 

    The Core Gear Garden Handheld Plant Mister has an adjustable brass nozzle that can be closed for a fine, gentle mist or opened for a focused stream that can reach up to 25 feet—handy for...MORE hanging plants or other hard-to-reach spots. Owners say the contoured grip is comfortable to handle, and they appreciate the lock feature that means they don’t have to keep pressing down the handle to keep a steady mist or stream. However, some caution that even the mist is too forceful for delicate plants, and others say the rubber gasket inside the mister often falls out when the container is opened.

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