By Stephanie Lezotte
In less than two years, I have broken not one, but two, Gilmour garden hose spray nozzles. Both developed leaks in the same seam on the top of the nozzle’s plastic housing. I sought a replacement—specifically NOT a Gilmour—and what did I end up buying? A $12 Gilmour spray nozzle. The previous two Gilmours that I owned were simple single-spray commercial grade nozzles. Because nozzles can take a beating while winding hoses in and around reels, I knew my next spray nozzle had to be something durable. One particular model caught my eye. There was something different about this one. Was it the bright teal color? Well, yes, but that wasn’t the only standout characteristic.
The Gilmour Master Series Heavy-Duty Zinc Spray Nozzle features rear thumb control flow control, sometimes referred to as the “fireman’s hose nozzle.” This lever is quite large and at first I tugged at it, but once I learned the correct hand positioning (high up on the nozzle body) I could easily maneuver the trigger with one hand. There is no trigger to squeeze so this product is ideal for individuals with injured wrists/hands or those who find squeeze triggers burdensome. This concept joins other innovative garden hose nozzle features such as rear triggers and push-button flow control mechanisms.
Like squeeze triggers, the thumb control can be finely adjusted to reduce or increase the flow pressure, so I don’t have to worry about dousing delicate flowers with a powerful stream of water. However, if you prefer a nozzle that features quick flow control, this is not the product for you. Due to the unit’s large size, I find that the thumb control is best used when I want to spray for a longer amount of time and do not need to change areas often. Otherwise, reaching my thumb up and around the lever multiple times is awkward.
While the thumb-control feature is a unique selling point, the weight and construction of this Master Series nozzle is equally impressive. Heavy-duty doesn’t even begin to describe this attachment. The body is made of a soft grip material but might be too large for smaller hands. I was worried the nozzle weight might get cumbersome after a few minutes of spraying, but I found it comfortable. The nozzle appears to be created with quality products; I have never felt a sturdier garden hose nozzle.
This nozzle features 8 spray patterns:
Jet: A standard full force thin straight line selection. It’s powerful!
Clean: Not very different from the jet spray option, possibly a bit more pulsating action. Great for clearing debris from driveways, sidewalks, and stairs.
Soft: You might also have this spray pattern as an option on your shower head. This is a full bodied mist.
Flower: A delicate, fine mist selection. Perhaps too delicate? At full force I spent too much time watering one daisy using this setting. Most of the water ended up around the target area.
Garden: An effective and large hollow spray cone that will water your entire garden area if you are far enough away.
Wash: Similar to the garden spray but with a much smaller spray radius (about an inch wide).
Shrub: This setting amuses me each time I use it (and I use it purely as amusement, as I see no real value in the shrub setting).This setting produces a mismatched array of extremely short spurts of water that appear to be furiously leaking from the nozzle. Prepare to get wet.
Sweep: My personal favorite. This setting produces a flat fan-shaped spray that can effectively cover a large and varied area at once without too little or too much force.
I was eager to find out if this Gilmour could stand the test of time. If it did not, the product’s lifetime warranty would certainly come in handy (pun intended). However, upon attaching the nozzle, water leaked from the joint between the handle and the adjustable spray setting dial. Perhaps this is just a defective unit, but this nozzle is going back to the store. And this time, I won’t be coming home with a Gilmour.
A published writer and novice gardener, Stephanie Lezotte dabbles in over 1500 square feet of newly purchased gardens that yield hundreds of tulips, daffodils, hostas, and daylilies. She enjoys trying new gardening tools and techniques and isn’t afraid to get (a little) dirty.