Diy Manual to Electric Reel with Drill

Okay I’ve searched all over this site and youtube to see if this has been attempted before and have come up empty. Now obviously the correct answer would be to just buy a quality electric reel and be done with it. With that out of the way, my idea is simple and I wanted to get some feedback/experience before I attempt this on one of my Hannay reels.

The idea would be to weld on a large nut (3/4" for ex) , to the outside center of where the base of the handle meets the reel, and to then use a drill/impact to wind it up at a controlled speed. There’d be no wiring involved, most drills nowadays are pretty efficient and have great warranties. Plus if the original handle that was welded to the reel could be reinstalled with a nut and bolt, then you’d have an easy backup if your drill dies.

Just wanted to see what the experts think and if someone has tried it or if I’ve completely missed something that would render the idea useless please let me know!

Thank you,


Immediate shortcoming I can think of is not having one handed operation. So how are you going to spool the hose onto the reel while you’re running the drill?

But check out Izzy Swan on youtube. He’s always using drills to power various home made tools, and you may get a few ideas.

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Don’t stop thinking outside the box! But this one is a no go… You’d be better off welding a ring gear in place & adding a starter from a small car so you could have the leverage at the outside edge, but then again how much is an electric reel? Managing the hose is the hardest part of cranking up a reel & I just can’t picture anything being easier than a manual reel… not to mention the lack of moving parts or other unnecessary components that will certainly break down.


You could always just wind up the hose and go to the next job


Thanks for the recommendation! His channel is awesome and I can’t believe I haven’t stumbled upon it before

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So price difference on sprayer depot manual ($300) vs electric ($690) would come out to $1,560 bucks more to have 4 electric reels vs 4 manuals. Using a smaller impact I don’t think you’d need 2 hands holding the impact/drill. If one hand could run the drill and the other guide the hose, is there any other reason it wouldn’t work? I know the electric reels are turn-key and would be easy, but this would allow your average joe to upgrade their reels and save a bunch of money. Plus you wouldn’t need to run any wires from the electric motor to a battery or have to worry about replacing the reel/motor if/when it fails.

@Innocentbystander I’ve got a bad shoulder and back from my time in the military, so I’d like to try and make this setup easier on my body to spend more time working than resting.

Yeah, he’s pretty awesome.

Other issue I thought of, is that a basic cordless drill is going to be lacking the necessary torque, especially without any kind of gear reduction.

If you lay out your hoses just right so they’re not creating any strain on the drill, that’d probably work. But the additional fiddling would probably negate the advantages of having a powered reel.

For comparison, the titan electrics require a 40 amp fuse (@12v). And they use a chain and sprocket drive to reduce the rpm of the reel. They’ve got a pretty hefty motor, and it still strains occasionally if there’s too long a stretch of hose to reel in.

That is a good point, without gearing that would be a lot of work for the standard 12v impacts/drills and may be too much.

I kind of thought that was the main problem from the start…I figured someone had a super-drill i wasn’t aware of :joy:

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Well, remember drills have a reduction gear setting you can use. Just set it to ‘1’ and see how it goes. I’d be more concerned with the torque it would put on your hand.


Just charge more so you can afford it. How many hours are you going to spend this year charging batteries and getting/putting away your drill every day. Takes $ to make $ and at the end of a hard day rolling up 600’ of hose manually sucks.


Not to mention, the $1,560 is tax deductible & the reels will come with a warranty. Doesn’t some like something you would regret at all once you get them up & running.


Happy medium: get two manual and two electric. Use the electrics for whichever hoses are heaviest and most frequently used.

I have 2 electric 18” reels (for my pressure and supply hoses), and 2 manual 12” reels (for soft wash and waterfed)

Would something like that seem more attainable?

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reel for the waterfed tube? now that’s a luxury…we keep ours on an extension cord hand spool in the box.

I’m actually going to be getting one myself. Tired of changing the DI filters all the time I’m going to get a slim line RODI truckmounted system. I’ll probably splurge and get an electric reel for that too. I’m getting older and I don’t like avoidable hard work at the end of a long day.