I get lots of product requests. Product managers and marketers email me all the time asking if we’d review their latest gizmo or gadget. When we got an email about their new PneuPower ReCoiler Retractable Air Hose Management system, however, I couldn’t help but take a good, hard look at what seemed to be one of the most practical accessories I’ve seen all year. That’s saying a lot since this was at the end of a year of very innovative tools. The pneuPower Recioler is a retractable air hose system that seems perfect for those tradesman who would like to simplify their on-the-job deployment and cleanup…but really, everyone is going to love using this hose system.
PneuPower ReCoiler Retractable Air Hose Design & Function
The first thing I know about air hoses, even the good ones, is that they tend to kink and get tangled. This is particularly true for the 100 foot models. And if you’re not smart enough to get a cold-pliable polyurethane (or similar) model, then when it freezes up outside, you’re going to lose half your hose length in knotted-up tangles. Even with the better hoses, at longer lengths they simply become unmanageable and I find myself having to manually recoil them by stretching them out at the end of the day and wrapping them back up. That’s not a lot of fun when you’re trying to go home for the evening or when you might be standing outside in the rain or the cold.
The pneuPower ReCoiler offers a different take by basically coming in the form factor of a briefcase that stores your air hose along with a handled wheel that allows you to manually retract the hose when you’re finished. On top of that, the construction is top notch, letting you treat the “suitcase” like a box and not have to worry too much about it breaking. My sample fell off the back of a truck onto concrete without any difficulties, but honestly I think it could take a much higher tumble and live to tell about it.
The ReCoiler has feet on both the long and short sides, letting you place it squat on the ground, or sit it up like a briefcase. Either way works, though you’ll have more stability with it flat on a surface. The ReCoiler will ultimately be available in three models, including 50 ft, 75 ft and 100 ft, but for now the 50 ft and 100 ft models are what you can pick up. Since all three models utilize the same basic chassis, as you increase in length, you narrow the diameter of the hose. It plays out this way:
- 50 ft x 3/8″ hose
- 75 ft x 5/16″ hose (not yet available as of this review)
- 100 ft x 1/4″ hose
The hose itself is pretty impressive. PneuPower went with a Lexan material. It’s double-walled and features an embedded webbing. It looks very familiar to some other $50 hoses we currently use and, like those hoses, it doesn’t kink or coil. If you pull it straight out of the ReCoiler, however, you can crank it straight back in with no difficulties. Which brings me to to my testing.
PneuPower ReCoiler Retractable Air Hose Specifications
- Case material: Composite lexan
- Hose material: Polyurethane “Cold Flex” with support ribs
- Sizes: 1/4” (100 ft), 5/16” (75 ft), 3/8” (50 ft)
- Working pressure: 250 psi working
- Burst pressure: 750 psi (3/8″ x 50 ft), 850 psi (1/4″ x 100 ft)
- Retractor: Manual Rewind
- Coupling: 1/4″ MNPT w/sealer & hose restrain
- Temperature rating: Between -60ºF and +175ºF
- Orientation: Horizontal or vertical
- Dimensions: 18.5” x 18” x 5”
- Weight: 9.5 lbs (3/8″ x 50 ft), 9.0 lbs (1/4″ x 100 ft)
PneuPower ReCoiler Retractable Air Hose in the Field
We tested out the 100 ft PneuPower ReCoiler Retractable Air Hose, but before we could use it, we had to purchase a couple of 1/4″ FNPT couplers for the inlet and outlet sides of the system. The ReCoiler doesn’t ship with anything but the 1/4 threaded compression MNPT fittings, so be sure to pick up the correct adapters for your tool (most will need the same ones I used.) Once I was hooked up, I connected the short inlet side of the ReCoiler hose to my Bosch CET4-20W compressor and the other to a finish nailer I was planning to use to put up some trim I needed to complete on a bathroom remodel.
I probably only needed about 20 feet of hose to accomplish what I was doing but I opted to leave the compressor and the ReCoiler in the shed. This allowed me to pull about 75 feet of hose from the ReCoiler—a worthy test if there ever was one. I simply walked the tool to where I was working and the ReCoiler stayed in place while the hose was extracted slowly and efficiently. I’d love to say that I fully vetted the hose in sub-zero temperatures, framing up igloos for the local indigenous tribes of northern Alaska—but I live in Florida. The temperature rarely gets to freezing—and when it does, it’s at 4am and the neighbors probably wouldn’t take too kindly to having me review pneumatic tools tat late. Since we’re not really reviewing the hose, but the actual system, I’ll take pneuPower’s claims at face value.
Retracting the ReCoiler hose was very simple. I just disconnected it from my tool, went back to the shed and cranked the wheel steadily until the hose was completely back in the ReCoiler. The coiling system is fairly intuitive and it didn’t gang up in one area or otherwise slow down or block the recoil process. I later ran the hose out and back into the ReCoiler at least a dozen more times to make sure the system could consistently recoil without either kinking or binding up within the case. It never once gave me any problems.
A note on the case: It’s made of a proprietary composite Lexan formula, so it’s a bit tougher than it may look. In fact, it’s apparently a similar material to what is used in manufacturing sport helmets and products found in the aircraft industry. PneuPower has also drop-tested the Recoiler extensively to ensure its durability. The hose is also replaceable. There are six screws located along the side of the unit which, along with two other pieces, can be easily removed to open up the housing. PneuPower offers 3/8″ and 1/4″ individual hoses for sale (55 ft for the 3/8″ and 105 ft for the 1/4″). The company also informed us that wall mounts are now available, so if you want the Recoiler to stay in place, you can lock it down and do so. Hi-flow couplings are also coming soon, including a new 1/4″ FNPT Quick Connect coupling which will eliminate the pressure drop to the tool without installing a bulky 3/8″ coupling.