As you have probably guessed already, the smaller the diameter of a hose is, the less water it can deliver. With this being said, 1/2 inch hoses are ideal for hand-watering and tasks that do not require much flow rate. 5/8 inch hoses are ideal for home-based applications. They can deliver about twice as much water per minute.
Hoses with 1/2 inch diameter can deliver nine gallons per minute while hoses with 5/8 inch diameter can deliver seventeen gallons per minute. Hoses with 3/4 inch diameter can deliver three times more water than hoses with 1/2 inch diameter.
A Discussion Between 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch Garden Hoses
The standard garden hoses in the United States typically have a diameter of 5/8 inch. Hoses with a bigger diameter can deliver more water.
Majority of the outside diameter of 5/8 inch hoses measure between 0.77” and 1”. If the outside diameter of your hose is less than 0.77”, it is most likely a 1/2 inch hose.
The water pressure can be determined by the hose diameter. Since a 1/2 inch hose has a smaller diameter, it has less water pressure.
Water Flow / Volume
5/8 inch hoses deliver more water flow/volume than 1/2 inch hoses. The bigger the diameter, the higher the water flow/volume it can deliver.
A hose with a 1/2 inch diameter can deliver nine gallons per minute while a hose with a 5/8 inch diameter can deliver seventeen gallons per minute.
The typical measurements of garden hoses are 25’, 50’, 75’, and 100’ (feet). If you want to find out how much length you need, you can measure the distance from the water source to the location where your hose is.
In general, the longer the garden hose, the heavier it is. Likewise, longer hoses tend to take up bigger storage spaces. 25-foot garden hoses are enough for small balconies, yards, and patios, while 50-foot garden hoses are ideal for bigger yards.
The length and material of the hose determine its cost. The longer the hose is, the more expensive it becomes. Likewise, certain materials are more expensive than others. Garden hoses that are made or reinforced with vinyl are usually cheaper than those that are made of rubber.
A good quality garden hose can cost $100 and up.
1/2 inch hoses are ideal for light gardening tasks such as watering plants and hanging baskets. On the other hand, 5/8 inch hoses are ideal for tasks and applications that require high water pressure such as pressure washing, car washing, and sprinklers.
Fittings / Connectors Matching Type
The fittings or couplings are the end pieces of the hose that attach to a second hose, a nozzle, or spigot. Ideally, you should opt for solid brass fittings because they are resistant to leaks. Do not go for plastic fittings because they tend to break and leak. In addition, you have to check if the fittings include a rubber washer inside because it prevents the fitting from leaking.
1/2 inch vs. 5/8 inch Garden Hose Quick Comparison Chart
Here is a comparison chart that may give you a better understanding of the differences between a 1/2 inch hose and a 5/8 inch hose.
1/2 inch Garden Hose
5/8 inch Garden Hose
0.77” to 1”
25, 50, 75, 100 ft.
25, 50, 75, 100 ft.
1/2 inch vs. 5/8 inch Garden Hose: Which Is Better?
It depends on your watering tasks. If you have to water plants and flowers in a small garden, you can use a 1/2 inch hose. If you have to maintain a park or a large yard, you can use a 5/8 inch hose.
What Is the Best Diameter for a Garden Hose?
It depends on the size of your garden and the required tasks. The bigger the garden and the heavier the task, the bigger the diameter you should get.
Does Garden Hose Diameter Matter?
Yes, it does. Choosing the right diameter gives you a higher efficiency.
Tips on How to Measure Garden Hose Diameter
You can measure the diameter of your garden hose using an index card or a piece of cardboard. It is important to use a thick piece of paper such as these items because they will not be easily damaged by the water inside the hose.
Roll the thick paper into a tube and place it inside the hose. It should be halfway out of the hose so that you can grip it.
Allow it to expand inside the hose. Tape its edges so that it can hold its shape.
Gently pull it out of your hose to take its measurements. You can use a ruler or a tape measure.
Both the 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch hoses are efficient. However, you should select one based on your needs. If you often do light hand-watering tasks, then you can safely go with a 1/2 inch hose. If you tend to do heavier watering tasks, you can go with a 5/8 inch hose.