The 14 best bathtubs in 2021

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A closeup of a tub in a tiled shower with the water falling from the showerhead
  • When shopping for a bathtub, consider the size of your bathroom and how you intend to use your tub.
  • The best bathtubs come from brands like Delta, Kohler, and Rejuvenation.
  • Consider calling a professional to install your new tub since it can involve tricky plumbing.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Whether you enjoy an occasional deep soak or regularly treat yourself to bubble baths, a comfortable and well-built bathtub is an essential fixture of your home. It’s a big investment, so it’s important to carefully weigh how you intend to use it, your budget, and the amount of available space.

The most common kind of bathtub is an alcove tub, which is surrounded by walls on three sides. You can add a showerhead to an alcove tub to maximize space and utility. Other types of bathtubs include drop-in, corner, freestanding, and walk-in tubs.

The best bathtub for you depends on many factors. The biggest things to consider are the size of your bathroom and where you’d like to place the tub. Certain materials, like cast iron, are heavy and you may need to reinforce your floor. The location of your plumbing and the size of your water heater may also impact what type of tub you buy. Finally, you’ll want to consider whether you want certain features, including massage jets or accessibility options such as grab bars or seating. Learn more about the differences among bathtub types, factors and features to consider, how to install a bathtub, and other bathtub FAQs.

For each type of bathtub, we included a few options so you can find the best one for your needs, budget, and style. Alex Rennie contributed previous reporting to this piece.

Here are the best bathtubs of 2021

Our testing methodology

white freestanding bathtub in front of a tiled wall testing methodology for best bathtubs in 2021

We consulted Kerrie Kelly, National Board Chair of the American Society of Interior Designers, and Tricia Fraser, a merchant and bathtub expert at The Home Depot, for insights into the bathtub-buying process.

Taking their advice and our own research and experience into account, we chose two to three options covering a variety of materials, budgets, and styles for each category. We also looked at whether the retailer offered home installation and other services that make it easier to buy a bathtub.

The best alcove bathtub

closeup of white alcove bathtub with bath products lining the wall the best alcove bathtubs in 2021

You’re probably most familiar with the ubiquitous alcove bathtub. There are plenty of options to choose from, and we love them because they’re usually pretty affordable.

Classic Rectangular Alcove Bathtub (medium)Aloha Rectangular Alcove Bathtub (medium)Villager Rectangular Alcove Bathtub (medium)
The best drop-in bathtub

american standard drop-in bathtub in front of a window the best drop-in bathtubs in 2021

A drop-in tub requires a little more space than an alcove tub because it doesn’t touch your walls. It has a slightly more sleek look and tends to be more expensive.

Evolution Bathtub (medium)Devonshire Drop-In Bathtub (medium)
The best corner bathtub

the ariel right drain corner whirlpool bathtub in a bathroom the best corner bathtub in 2021

Corner bathtubs make the most of limited space. These days, they commonly have built-in jets so you can enjoy a bath and massage without going to the spa. Extra features like jets or lights do make corner tubs more expensive.

Eureka Corner Whirlpool Bathtub (medium)Right Drain Corner Whirlpool Bathtub (medium)Dual Corner Bathtub (medium)
The best freestanding soaking bathtub

curved red clawfoot soaking bathtub with white trim the best freestanding bathtubs in 2021

Freestanding bathtub styles range from vintage and elaborate to modern and minimalist. Whatever your personal style is, keep in mind that freestanding tubs take up a lot of space and can be heavy since many tend to be made from cast iron.

Arseni Clawfoot Soaking Bathtub (medium)Rebecca Flatbottom Bathtub (medium)Bordeaux Flatbottom Bathtub (medium)West Slope Cast Iron Tub (medium)
The best walk-in bathtub

universal tubs quick fill walk-in bathtub the best walk-in bathtub in 2021

Walk-in tubs are designed with accessibility and ergonomics in mind, so you don’t need to lift your leg over a ledge. Not only are they easier to enter, they often feature comfortable benches, a grab bar, and other add-ons to enhance your bathing experience.

Quick Fill Walk-In Bathtub (medium)Walk-In Jetted Tub (medium)

What are the different kinds of bathtubs? How do I know which one is best for my bathroom?

Alcove bathtub: An alcove tub is surrounded on three sides by walls, so you get in on the exposed side. It’s usually the most affordable and space-efficient. 

Drop-in bathtub: A drop-in tub is “framed by materials like cabinetry, tile, or solid surface slabs and ‘drop-in’ to a deck,” said Kerrie Kelly, National Board Chair of the American Society of Interior Designers. Although it might be surrounded by walls like an alcove tub, its sides do not actually touch the walls directly. 

Corner bathtub: A corner tub is often three-sided or heart-shaped, with two of the sides in the corner of your space. It’s best for small spaces. 

Freestanding bathtub: A freestanding tub can be placed anywhere in the room and is often the focal point. It can stand directly on the floor, on a low pedestal, or on claw feet. It takes up a lot of space and tends to be heavy, so you might need to reinforce your floor, but it has the most eye-catching and elegant look of all the tub types. Both Kelly and Tricia Fraser, a merchant and bathtub expert at The Home Depot say freestanding tubs are growing in popularity and the biggest trend in bathroom design recently. 

Walk-in bathtub: A walk-in tub is for people who can’t step into a regular tub. It has a watertight door and “typically has safety features, like a grab bar, slip-resistant textured flooring, and ADA-compliant seating. These tubs can also offer a therapeutic massage experience with features like jetted whirlpool or jetted air,” said Fraser.


What to consider when buying a bathtub 

The main factors to consider as you decide which bathtub to buy are: 

Bathroom size: Take measurements of your bathroom and doorway. Depending on the amount of space available, you may only be able to buy certain tub styles. 

Plumbing location: The location of your plumbing rough-in limits where you can place your tub. The drain location needs to work with your tub’s design. 

Water heater size: “Confirm that your water heater can handle the size of tub you are looking to fill. Make sure your water heater is large enough to fill about 2/3 of your tub with warm water,” said Kelly. This is especially important if you opt for a deeper soaking tub. 

Material: Material affects the price, feel, and longevity of your tub. The most common bathtub materials are acrylic, fiberglass, porcelain-enameled steel, and porcelain-enameled cast iron. Acrylic is long-lasting, lightweight, affordable, and widely available in many colors and styles. Fiberglass is the most affordable but not as durable. Both enameled cast iron and steel are very durable and resistant to scratches and stains, but cast iron has even greater heat retention, keeping your bath water hot for a longer period of time. 

Weight capacity of your floor: If your tub is going on the second floor, you might need to reinforce the floor based on what materials you choose. Acrylic tubs are lighter in weight, while cast iron tubs are a lot heavier. 

Extra features: Features like whirlpool jets, grab bars, and seating will bring the price of your tub up but add to the overall experience of your bath.


What are the standard measurements for a bathtub? 

According to Fraser, a standard tub measures 60″ x 30″. The average water depth is 16 inches. Corner, freestanding, and walk-in baths tend to be deeper. As you look at different sizes, consider the heights of anyone who will use the tub, how many people will usually be in the tub at once, and if you prefer to curl up or splay out in the water. If you’re in a physical store or showroom, it always helps to climb into the tub to test the ergonomics and feel out the size for yourself.


How much does a bathtub cost? 

It all depends on the materials and features, but a bathtub usually starts at $200 and averages around $300 to $500. Corner, freestanding, and walk-in tubs tend to be more expensive and can cost thousands of dollars.


Should I install a bathtub by myself or call a professional? 

We love a DIY project, but it’s best to call a professional for this one. Because bathtub installation involves plumbing and tiling expertise, “incorrect installation can result in water damage or an unleveled tub,” said Fraser. 

If you do have prior plumbing experience, Fraser’s advice is “to double check the door width to make sure you can move the tub into the bathroom, be knowledgeable on basic plumbing and framing, and know your existing flooring and plumbing’s condition.”

Check out our other home renovation guides

Bath mats thumbnail image
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The best garden hose nozzles in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

So you’ve finally found a garden hose that’s durable, easy to use, and doesn’t kink. Next, you’ll need a garden hose nozzle. It makes watering tasks more convenient and efficient, plus you’ll save water.

“It’s absolutely necessary to attach an adjustable nozzle to your garden hose,” said John Jo rs, a Florida Master Gardener and volunteer groundskeeper at the 35-acre Bonnet House Museum and Gardens. “Otherwise, you may find yourself running back and forth to turn your water spigot off and on as needed.”

There are a few different nozzle styles to consider, including pistol grip, fire-hose, and watering wand. If you plan on using your hose for a wide variety of tasks, Jors recommends a pistol grip nozzle with multiple spray options and adjustable water pressure.

But if you have trouble holding down a pistol grip for long periods of time, fire hose-style and watering wands are good alternatives. Learn which nozzle style and spray option you should use.

We tested garden hose nozzles of different styles on the same hose (our pick for the best hose overall, the Dramm ColorStorm Garden Hose). For each hose nozzle, we tracked ease of use, comfort, water pressure, spray distance, and durability. Read more about our methodology.

Here are the best garden hose nozzles in 2021

The best garden hose nozzle overall

Best garden hose nozzles 2021 - Gardenite 10 Pattern Garden Hose Nozzle

The Gardenite 10-Pattern Garden Hose Nozzle is the most versatile, reliable, and comfortable nozzle you can attach to your hose. All the spray patterns are consistent and using it won’t tire out your hand. 

Pros: Many spray patterns, easy to switch among patterns, strong metal and rubber construction

Cons: The multiple settings may be superfluous if you only use your hose for a few tasks, jet setting doesn’t offer strongest pressure

With this Gardenite hose nozzle, you won’t have to worry about whether you’ll have the appropriate spray pattern for the task in front of you. The 10 patterns include “cone,” “shower,” “mist,” and “jet,” plus less common ones like “flat” and “vertical.” Whether you’re washing your dog, watering delicate plants, or hosing down dirt, you’ll be properly equipped. 

It’s easy to twist the nozzle to the spray pattern you need, and the nozzle clicks clearly to let you know you’re ready to use your selected pattern. When you hold down the trigger, the water doesn’t shoot out aggressively — an issue I discovered with other nozzles. The nozzle also never leaked in all my tests. 

The flow control knob at the back of the nozzle lets you adjust the pressure of each of the 10 patterns, allowing for even more adjustability. 

Despite all these ways to diversify your watering experience, the jet option was a little disappointing and wasn’t as strong as our high-pressure nozzle pick below. Overall, the all-in-one design and quality construction of this nozzle still earn it our top position, but consider whether you’d rather have the versatility or a more specialized nozzle. 

This nozzle has a pistol grip, with a front trigger that is made from metal and has indents for your fingers. The handle is cushioned rubber. These features combined make the grip as comfortable as it can get. 

The best garden hose nozzle on a budget

Best garden hose nozzles 2021 - Melnor 5 Pattern Watering Nozzle budget cheap affordable

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, the Melnor 5-Pattern Watering Nozzle is a solid alternative that still offers five spray options. Just be warned it’s not as durable as our other picks.

Pros: Affordable, easy to use, versatile 

Cons: Can leak a little, not rugged, doesn’t offer long spray distance 

A good, solid garden hose is an investment, and after spending that money, you might not want to splurge on an additional accessory. Luckily, this Melnor hose nozzle is very affordable, while still offering features you need and decent comfort. 

This nozzle keeps it simple with five spray options that should suit most activities: shower, full, stream, flat, and mist. All the settings worked well and had strong, consistent pressure, though the spray distance fell short compared to the other nozzles. The mist option was especially effective.

The nozzle attached securely to my hose, but there were some small leaking issues. The droplets were tiny and didn’t significantly affect my watering experience but it’s worth noting since this was the only nozzle I tested that leaked at all. 

It’s decently comfortable to hold — the rubber grip features indents for your fingers, but the back trigger section is made from plastic which is less comfortable than an all-rubber grip. There is a trigger lock to help prevent grip fatigue, so you don’t need to squeeze down the whole time you’re watering. 

Made from a combination of metal, plastic, and rubber, the nozzle is lightweight, but you can’t bang it around the ground too much. In our durability tests, the metal pin that acts as a trigger lock fell out. While we know you won’t purposely drop your nozzle onto concrete repeatedly, it’s also good to keep in mind that this nozzle isn’t going to last for years. But if you need a temporary solution, or don’t use your garden hose often, it’s a quick and cheap buy with most of the features you need. 

The best watering wand

Best garden hose nozzles 2021 - Melnor RelaxGrip Watering Wand 2

Avid gardeners will want the Melnor RelaxGrip Watering Wand, which offers a gentle shower of water, is long enough to reach tall hanging plants, and uses a comfortable thumb control rather than a pistol grip. 

Pros: Long, less tiring to grip, ideal for delicate flowers and plants in hanging pots 

Cons: Singular purpose, may have leakage problems after long-term use 

If you have trouble holding down a pistol grip, you’ll love the easy thumb control of this nozzle. You simply slide the control up and down whenever you need to adjust the water flow. This smart design reduces the strain on your wrists and fingers, allowing you to water your garden for longer. The textured rubber grip is also comfortable with ergonomic indents for your fingers. 

The thumb control acts as a sliding scale in that there isn’t a distinct click for each different flow setting. Instead, you might have to play around with the control at first to learn where the flow intensity changes and how far you should slide the control. Over time, you’ll have a better natural sense of how to control the water.  

This watering wand has a long stick design (this version is 33 inches long from nozzle tip to end, while the short version is 15 inches long) that lets you reach tall branches with no struggle. The water travels smoothly all the way through, and the water flow is consistent. 

It attached securely and didn’t leak, but after seeing some customer reports of leakage issues, we’ll keep an eye out for that in our long-term testing. Given the wand is made up of many distinct parts, it’s possible it may leak if any of the parts break. In our durability tests, however, the wand emerged unscathed and nothing broke.

Since this nozzle only offers a concentrated shower pattern, it’s best for gardeners who intend to use it frequently for their plants and flowers. It will not help you in the way of washing a deck or covering a large amount of ground.

The best high-pressure garden hose nozzle

Best garden hose nozzles 2021 - Twinkle Star Adjustable Twist Hose Nozzle high pressure

This simple and compact brass nozzle from Twinkle Star shoots out strong jets of water over long distances, making it perfect for chores that require some water pressure. 

Pros: Made from sturdy solid brass, small, good jet and wide spray options 

Cons: No two-way shutoff, less control over water flow 

For grimy trash cans, a car in need of a good wash, or your deck that has so many layers of dirt it’s starting to change colors, it’s handy to have a high-pressure nozzle to do all the hard rinsing work for you. 

The Twinkle Star is a long and slim nozzle that has powerful and efficient jet and wide spray settings. To use, you twist the nozzle in one direction to find the pattern you need. Though there aren’t specific settings that you can “click” into, the nozzle twists smoothly and the spray patterns transition well into each other. The one-way shutoff means you have to twist it off the same way you twist it on, which isn’t a huge dealbreaker, but it’s a little convenient. The nozzle attached securely to my hose and never leaked. 

Its spray distance was long, on par with the Gardenite nozzle‘s. The high pressure and long spray distance are a great combo for attacking dirty surfaces from afar.

We also loved the solid brass construction. It’s resistant to rust and all-around durable, plus it looks sleek. 

This product actually comes with two nozzles, a long one and a much smaller one. We wouldn’t recommend the small tip nozzle, as it wasn’t adjustable and couldn’t shut off the flow of water. It offered medium pressure and a very narrow spray, so we’re not sure what the use of this extra nozzle is. Stick with the long nozzle, and you’ll be set. 

The best fireman-style garden hose nozzle

Best garden hose nozzles 2021 - Bon Aire Hose Nozzle fireman style

A fire-hose-style nozzle like the Bon-Aire Hose Nozzle is perfect if you want versatile spray options without straining your hand. 

Pros: Very comfortable to hold, strong rubber and metal construction, two-way shutoff 

Cons: Less control over water flow 

Rather than hold down a trigger, you only need to twist the barrel of the Bon-Air nozzle to start and stop the flow of water. Like a few of the nozzles above, it doesn’t have distinct spray settings, so you just gradually turn the nozzle to find the different options. Conveniently, the nozzle has two-way shutoff, meaning you don’t have to turn it back all the way to the beginning in order to stop the water flow. 

I enjoyed using this nozzle a lot because it was comfortable to hold and all the water flow options were consistent in pressure. The jet and wide spray settings were especially strong. 

Compared to the Twinkle Star nozzle, the Bon-Aire is bulkier but also likely more durable. Since most of it is encased in rubber, the metal middle section rarely touches the ground. If you drop it on the ground from a tall height, it simply bounces around. 

Our gardening expert John Jors reminds us, “Although [a fire hose-style nozzle] is very durable, the spray options are limited and you won’t have the flow control you have with the pistol grip.” 

This was certainly my experience with the Bon-Aire nozzle. It’s available for around the same price as our best overall pick, so choosing this nozzle is ultimately a matter of personal preference and comfort. It’s ergonomic and durable, but you will have the deal with the lack of distinct spray settings. 

What else we tested

best garden hose nozzles 2021 Gilmour Metal Pistol Nozzle what else we tested

What we don’t recommend and why

Gilmour Metal Pistol Nozzle: This simple nozzle is cheap but also really rugged. It’s metal all around and intuitive to use — just squeeze the trigger and the water flow will change depending on how hard you squeeze. My main critique is that it’s not comfortable to hold at all and has no cushioning for your fingers, so you’ll have to wear your own gloves. The nozzle is small, brittle, and stiff, and you’ll have to use the hold-open clip to spray continuously. 

What we’re testing next

What we look forward to testing - best garden hose nozzles 2021 Dramm 14866 One Touch Rain Wand with One Touch Valve

Dramm One-Touch Rain Wand: Another promising watering wand has a similar thumb control valve to our current best wandering wand and looks to be durable and consistent. 

Gilmour Swivel Connect 1-Pattern Nozzle: Gilmour’s innovative “swivel connect” design means that you can turn the nozzle in any direction without turning the hose itself, reducing annoying kinks and bends as you handle your hose. Though it doesn’t have multiple spray options, there is a comfortable thumb control valve. 

Methodology

Best garden hose nozzles 2021 - Methodology slide

We put all the hose nozzles through these same five tests: 

  1. Ease of use: We noted how easy or difficult it was to attach to the hose, how many spray options it had, and whether it leaked. 
  2. Comfort: We noted if the grip was ergonomic. If the nozzle had a pistol grip design, we timed how long we could press the grip down before it got too tiring to press. 
  3. Spray distance: On concrete, we measured how far the nozzle sprayed water when holding the hose at a regular position (a foot away from the body).
  4. Water pressure: We measured the pressure of water coming out of the nozzle with a water pressure gauge. If there was more than one spray setting, we measured the low, medium, and high settings. 
  5. Durability: We dropped each nozzle on concrete from 10 feet high 10 times and noted scuffing, scratches, abrasion, and any broken or bent parts. We also left the nozzles outside for two consecutive weeks through various weather conditions, including sun and rain, noting any rust and other signs of wear and tear.

Garden hose nozzles FAQs

best Garden hose nozzles 2021 FAQs

Why do you need a garden hose nozzle?  

  1. It saves water. Water will not come out of your hose unless you open the nozzle, meaning you don’t need to run back and forth to the spigot. This is especially helpful if you’re using a long hose. 
  2. A garden hose nozzle helps distribute water in a more controlled manner than a garden hose alone. The regular flow of a garden hose alone isn’t always the best for tasks like watering delicate flowers or washing a car. The different spray options of a nozzle let you customize the flow to your specific task. 

What are the different types of garden hose nozzles? How do you use them?

Pistol grip nozzle: Features a trigger that controls the amount or flow of water. Hold down the trigger (which may be in front of or behind the handle) to release water. The harder you press, the more water comes out. 

Dial nozzle: Features a rotating dial of distinct spray patterns. It’s often combined with a pistol grip so you only need to hold down the trigger to activate the flow of water, while the dial setting controls the specific flow.

Watering wand or rain wand: A long nozzle that helps extend water flow to hard-to-reach areas. It’s usually controlled with a comfortable sliding thumb control. 

Firehose (or fireman)-style nozzle: A large dial-style nozzle that does not have a pistol grip. The spray patterns are not distinct and must be gradually adjusted. 

What nozzle and spray type do you use for…

  • Watering flowers or a vegetable garden: Use a flat spray or shower delicate plants with a rain wand because it’s the most gentle spray type. Make sure to water at soil level at the base of the plants. It’s best to water them in the morning, before it gets too sunny and hot, so that less water will evaporate.  
  • Watering trees and shrubs: Drip lines are ideal, and if you’re using a hose, you actually shouldn’t use a nozzle. Simply place the hose on the ground near the tree and let water slowly and steadily dribble out. Rotate the hose around the tree (in a ring shape) periodically. 
  • Washing a car: Use a jet spray with any of the nozzles above except the rain wand. If you’re just doing a light rinse, a setting like a full shower could also work. 
  • Power-washing a deck: Use a jet spray with any of the nozzles above except the rain wand. 

Check out our other backyard and gardening guides

Purple garden hose on the sidewalk
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The 5 best kitchen faucets in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

The workhorse kitchen faucet is often taken for granted – until it breaks. Just think of how frequently you and other household members use it to wash your hands, get a drink, scrub vegetables, rinse dishes, wet sponges, and more. Ideally, you want one that stands up to everyday use.

As a residential contractor, I’ve been replacing and installing different types of faucets for years. From large commercial kitchen models to simple bathroom faucets, I know the mechanical red flags to avoid (like plastic ball valves that leak) and unreliable brands to stay away from.

Using this knowledge – and after reviewing each option’s installation and design specs – I visited several appliance showrooms and hardware stores in my area to analyze my top choices. Once I got a hands-on feel for each model’s functionality and mechanics, I landed on these options as my top picks for the best kitchen faucets.

Even if you don’t end up going with one of our picks, there are a few things you should keep in mind when shopping for a new kitchen faucet. For a short explainer of things to consider, read here

Here are our top picks for the best kitchen faucets in 2021

The best overall

Delta Faucet Leland Single Handle Kitchen Sink Faucet

The sleek and sturdy Delta Leland Pull-Down Touch2O Kitchen Faucet adds the convenience of touch activation to the versatility of a pull-down spray head.

Pros: Stylish, lifetime warranty on parts and finishes, design reduces valve wear and tear.

Cons: Electronics only have a five-year warranty, batteries need to be replaced every 2 years.

The Delta Leland Pull-Down Touch2O Kitchen Faucet doesn’t just pack a ton of features into a single faucet, it also looks good while doing it. From the sprayer wand to the integrated LED temperature indicator, it all comes together to make a nice, solid faucet.

What really sets the Delta Leland apart from competitors is the functional design of its pull-down spray-head. It’s got a nice ergonomic tulip-shape that is easy to get a grip on, and its magnetic locking system connects it to the spout nice and tight.

The spray head itself has a rocker-style switch for toggling between settings — standard and sprayer — without having to hold a button down the whole time. A separate button controls the Spray Shield setting, which is one of those things that sounds like a gimmicky feature but is actually pretty useful. Basically, the Spray Shield focuses the water into a thin, extra powerful stream to blast off stuck-on food, while also creating a cone of water around the area to prevent splashing.

I was really surprised by the flexibility of the connector hose. Usually, these are stiff and rubbery, but even with a braided nylon covering, the Delta hose didn’t affect my control at all. The 22″ hose, plus the 15.4″ faucet height make it great for tasks like filling up a big pot of water on the counter, instead of having to place it in the sink.

The Touch2O technology is the main feature of the Delta Leland Faucet, and it really shines here. This allows you to turn on the water by touching anywhere on the spout or handle.  I can control the water with my elbow through the entire process of rinsing off the meat, breading it, tossing it in the pan, and then washing my hands. 

A handy LED display on the base of the Delta Leland Pull-Down Touch2O Kitchen Faucet tells you the current temperature, transitioning from blue to red as it moves from cold to hot. Keep in mind though; this LED only turns on when the water is running. This means that you’ll have to be a little more self-aware when using the touch feature, and confirm via the LED that the temperature is what you think it is.

The drawback of any touch-activated faucet is the need for a power source, and this model requires four AAAA batteries — or you could use the included AC adapter if you have an outlet in your sink cabinet. If you have a garbage disposal you probably do.

In my personal experience replacing faucets — and several plumbers that I spoke with agree — single handle faucets like this are eventually going to wear out and begin to leak. It’s inevitable. Which is why touch activation is a great way to extend the lifespan of your faucet.

That being said, if you don’t think you need the touch activation, Delta does make the same faucet in a standard style for a bit cheaper. That model still includes everything else, the Spray Shield, etc.

Even with the solenoid needed to power the sensor, installation of the Delta Leland Pull-Down Touch2O Kitchen Faucet is pretty straightforward if you have a couple of adjustable pliers on hand and an Allen key. Delta did a nice job with the instruction manual, and also has some helpful videos that supplement it nicely.

The best on a budget

WEWE Single Handle High Arc Brushed Nickel Pull out Kitchen Faucet

The WEWE Single Handle High Arc Brushed Nickel Pull-Out Kitchen Faucet is low in price but high in quality with efficient operation and a simple tulip design.  

Pros: Good price, nice appearance, three-way spray setting, and easy installation

Cons: Zinc alloy is less durable, brushed nickel requires more maintenance than stainless steel

Typically, lower-priced faucets look nice on the surface but skimp on components behind the scenes. The WEWE Single Handle Faucet delivers on both fronts, with braided supply lines for durability, an ABS plastic aerator (think of the tough plastic used to make Lego bricks), and ceramic disk valves.

With no rubber caps to wear down over time, this faucet’s ceramic valves prevent leaks more effectively than ball valves and are pretty much mandatory for a quality faucet. (Though they are susceptible to cracking if you apply too much pressure to them, so keep that in mind.)

In addition to the standard stream and sprayer settings, the WEWE Faucet also lets you pause the water with a button on the spray head, which I really appreciate. You do have to continuously hold down the button while pausing, but it’s still a useful feature for preventing over-spraying while moving back and forth between the sink and countertop, for example.

All of its components are solid metal, which gives the WEWE Faucet a nice solid feel to it. This faucet definitely doesn’t have a flimsy or “cheap” feel you might expect from a budget option.

That being said, the zinc alloy and nickel finish are probably the reason for its low price. Cheaper than stainless steel, and not as resistant to water spots, brushed nickel will need a little more maintenance to stay clean. A soft cloth and soapy water should do the trick, just remember to stay away from any abrasive cleaning pads that can scratch the finish, as well as any cleaners that contain ammonia. 

The WEWE Faucet has a high-arc (15.7-inches tall) neck that swivels 360 degrees. The spout hangs 8.5 inches above and reaches 8.5 inches across the top of the sink. The sprayer head hose is 71 inches in total length, and 23 inches when pulled out of the faucet.

Just like the higher-priced options on this list, installation is simple and should be doable for anyone willing to crawl under their sink and spend 30 minutes down there. You’re not getting the “quick-connect” technology that pricier models have, so you’ll be tightening the supply lines the old-fashioned way (with your fingers and a couple of wrenches).

The best touchless faucet

Moen 7594ESRS Arbor Motionsense Two Sensor Touchless One Handle High Arc Pulldown Kitchen Faucet

Even if your hands are full or covered with grease or raw meat juices, you can still turn the water on and off with the Moen Arbor Spot Resist Stainless One-Handle High Arc MotionSense Wave Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet.

Pros: Convenient no-touch operation, spot-resistant finish

Cons: Expensive, motion sensors may need to be re-calibrated routinely

Marrying form with function, this faucet model offers convenient, hands-free operation with just the wave of your hand; the Wave Sensor (on top) and Ready Sensor (in front) initiate and stop water flow when either one detects motion.

By adjusting the control box under the sink, you’re also able to control the default temperature of the water when the sensors activate the faucet. The Moen factory setting is lukewarm, but if you’d rather have it be warmer for rinsing dishes, or colder for drinking water, it couldn’t be easier to adjust.

And if you ever feel like disabling one or both of the sensors, that’s simple too. Just hold your hand in front of the sensor for 5 seconds and it will stop registering until it’s activated again. While they’re disabled you also can use the lever handle to turn the water on and off manually, as well as adjust the water pressure and temperature. 

The Moen Arbor MotionSense Faucet has a 100-degree-rotating high-arc spout (15.5 inches) — great for filling and cleaning large pots. The spout with a pull-down spray head offers three functions: an aerated stream, a strong “PowerClean” spray for heavy-duty cleaning, and a pause that temporarily stops the water flow (1.5 gallons per minute maximum). The spray head’s hose is 68 inches in total length and retracts smoothly to dock into place.

When it comes to installation, don’t let the intimidating control box fool you, Moen’s are among the easiest faucets to install. Their “Duralock Quick-Connect” installation system makes it easy to attach the hoses and lines to the control box, and their one-way connections basically make them impossible to install incorrectly. 

The best pull-out faucet

MOEN Brantford faucet

Perfect for cozier spaces, the Moen Brantford Single-Handle Pull-Out Sprayer Kitchen Faucet is easy to use and keep clean.

Pros: Available in multiple finishes, easy to clean, quick installation

Cons: A little pricey, plastic components can make it feel “cheaper” 

The Moen Brantford Single-Handle Pull-Out Sprayer Kitchen Faucet shouldn’t be confused with the pull-down Moen Arbor MotionSense that we profiled above, but you could consider it as the baby brother. If you have a small sink or you don’t have a lot of vertical clearance, this faucet may be the right fit.

What I love about pull-out style faucets is that without all that extra spout length — the Moen Brantford Single-Handle Pull-Out Sprayer Kitchen Faucet is only 12.9 inches high — you gain a lot of maneuverability. By pulling it “out” instead of down, you avoid wasting any hose length on the bend of the faucet spout, giving you more range of motion.

The 68-inch hose itself is especially flexible, and can be easily maneuvered around any sink. This faucet does technically have a plastic spray head, but its stainless steel finish and easy installation make it a great faucet option. 

The Moen Brantford Pull-Out Faucet spout swivels 360 degrees and has several functions in common with the Moen Arbor MotionSense, including an aerated stream, and a strong “PowerClean” spray for heavy-duty cleaning. 

The installation of the Moen Pull-Out Faucet also uses Duralock Quick Connect hoses, allowing the water lines to be connected without a lot of twisting and turning. To make things even easier, this faucet also includes a cool little installation tool that basically acts as sort of a basin wrench, which makes tightening those mounting nuts a lot easier (especially if you don’t have much space between the wall and your sink basin).

The best commercial-style faucet

Kohler Sous Pro-Style Single Handle Pull-Down Sprayer Faucet

The Kohler Sous Pro-Style Single Handle Pull-Down Sprayer Faucet has the power and size of a commercial faucet, with all the features of a standard model.

Pros: Sturdy, magnetic locking arm, high quality

Cons: Spring needs to be cleaned periodically, installation can be tricky depending on your surface

The Kohler Sous Pro-Style Single Handle Pull-Down Sprayer Faucet features the sturdy construction of a commercial kitchen-style faucet, with a modern style that looks right at home in a residential kitchen. It’s great for an active kitchen and the ideal faucet for tackling large piles of dishes.

The Kohler Sous Pro-Style Faucet has a magnetic docking arm that the spray head firmly attaches to when not in use. Unlike other commercial-style faucets, the docking arm swivels out of the way when you’re working.

Something I’ve come to notice about these commercial-style faucets is that sometimes their height makes them look out of place in some kitchens. That’s not the case with the Kohler. Its 22-inch vertical is still short enough to look great on most counters. I’ve even seen this on a kitchen island — usually a no-no for taller faucets — and it looked great.

The spring-loaded design of the pull-down spray head has the perfect amount of tension to it. Not so tight that it restricts movement, but solid enough to have a feeling of control while you’re using it. The downside of any spring-type tension mechanism is that debris can become lodged in the gaps of the spring. What’s great about the Kohler Sous Pro-Style is that the entire spring is simple to remove and you can just spray the whole thing off on the sink. 

In addition to the standard stream setting, the faucet also features “Sweep Spray” technology, turning the stream into a linear broom-style pattern. This is great for “sweeping” away food from dishes, instead of just blasting it around with a standard sprayer. This setting is also excellent for cleaning out the sink itself.

If you are installing this faucet to a stainless steel sink, you will need to add a small 1/2-inch plywood support piece under the counter. It’s nothing crazy, but it’s an extra step that most other faucets don’t have.

What to consider when shopping for a kitchen faucet

Choosing a kitchen faucet may seem like a mundane task, but it’s actually important. You want the right kind to fit your needs and your kitchen’s decor, and you don’t want to simply opt for the cheapest model. So before you shop for a new kitchen faucet, think about where (the existing space, pre-existing hardware) and how you plan to use it. Consider each model’s specs: 

  • Valve Control: This is the mechanism that turns your faucet on and off, and adjusts the temperature of the water. Single-handle designs use one lever to control both temperature and flow, while double-handles have two (each handle controlling either the hot or cold water supply). Touch and motion-activated designs are convenient in a lot of ways, but they are dependent on a power source for their sensor.
    Note: Double handle styles are less common and are generally bought for their aesthetics over practicality — which is why we don’t have any featured here. That said, I definitely value their durability: dual handles tend to be sturdier, and less easily yanked on than single handles.
  • Spout style: Choose from revolving or stationary, regular (steady stream) or two-mode (regular and spray), low arc (3 to 8 inches above the top of the sink), or high arc (also known as gooseneck, which is more than 8 inches above the top of the sink) models. 
  • Spray head: The sprayer can be separate from and next to the faucet, or at the end of the spout. The latter type is either pull-down (often on taller faucets) or pull-out (which sometimes includes much of the spout itself).
  • Finish: Whatever material comprises the faucet’s finish (chrome, stainless steel, bronze, copper, brass, nickel, etc.) affects its appearance, cleanability, resistance to spotting and rusting, and price.
  • Arc and spout height and reach: Do you have ample clearance for a high-arc faucet or a cozier kitchen better suited to a low-arc model? Will you need to maneuver pots and pans under the faucet in order to wash them? Do you care how far the spout reaches across or extends over the sink?
  • Flow rate: Do you want adjustable water pressure? Do you need just a stream (for filling pots or washing vegetables) or also a spray (to add oomph to scrubbing sticky or burnt-on food off of dishes)? 
  • Installation requirements: How many holes does your sink have for fitting a faucet? Some sinks have only one hole, and faucets requiring more than one hole can’t be used (unless you plan to drill more holes … which may be inconvenient, costly, or structurally impossible). If your sink does have extra holes that the faucet doesn’t need, you can cover them with an escutcheon or deck plate or use them to fit accessories like a side sprayer or soap dispenser. It’s also worth checking to make sure you have enough clearance between the faucet and the wall behind – to ensure your handle can rotate as far as it needs to.

No matter which kitchen faucet you pick, choose a model that helps save water. A faucet aerator efficiently reduces the flow rate while still maintaining water pressure, thus conserving water and saving you money. Also, fix (or replace if necessary) the faucet when you notice any leaking. According to the Alliance for Water Efficiency, “A faucet leaking 60 drops per minute will waste 192 gallons (726.8 liters) per month … 2,304 gallons (8.7 m3) per year.” To calculate your household’s potential water waste from a leaky kitchen faucet, visit the U.S. Geological Survey’s Drip Calculator.  

Check out our other kitchen buying guides.

LG dishwasher
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The best cordless drills

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • No home is complete without a good drill for hanging pictures, fixing wobbly shelves, or helping out with a kitchen renovation.
  • A cordless drill allows for easy movement around the house without the need for an outlet nearby.
  • The DeWalt 20V MAX Cordless Compact Drill/Driver is our top choice because it’s fairly priced, easy to use, and powerful.

Even if you’re not an avid DIY fan, it’s good to have a drill at home to help hang pictures or shelves and perform other small tasks more easily. Using a power tool can save you lots of time and can prevent hand and wrist aches versus using a screwdriver to sink screws. And for drilling holes, there’s really no viable alternative to using a drill. 

First off, let’s clarify something that confuses many people: when someone talks about a drill, they usually mean a drill/diver. The same tool can create holes when outfitted with a drill bit or sink screws when it has a screwdriver bit. The term drill is used as shorthand, but all of the tools on our list are suitable for drilling holes and for driving in screws.

When choosing the best drill, there’s always the budget to consider, but you don’t have to spend big to get a drill that’s suitable for most household projects or even for a good deal of commercial-grade work. 

We’ve included a compact, lightweight drill suitable for use in confined spaces or for working overhead. And we found numerous drills that have variable speed control, easy chuck adjustment, and plenty of power. And as they’re all cordless, you can get your work done anywhere, anytime with no need for access to a power outlet.

Here are the best cordless drills:

Prices and links are current as of 12/18/2020. We also updated formatting.

The best overall

dewalt

The DeWalt 20V MAX Cordless Compact Drill/Driver is a reliable, well-rounded tool that’s suitable for minor home repairs, DIY projects, or a professional worksite.

Pros: Suitable for wide range of tasks, comprehensive speed and torque control, good price point

Cons: Batteries drain too quickly

The DeWalt 20V MAX Cordless Compact Drill/Driver is a perfect everyman’s tool. It’s priced in range for most budgets, it will last for years even with regular use, and it’s suitable for most drilling and driving projects that are likely to arise in your average household.

With the right bit, this drill can power down through lumber, concrete, sheet metal, and more. It can be set to operate in two different speed ranges, with the option for speeds between zero and 450 revolutions per minute, which is perfect for precision drilling, or at up to 1,500 RPM, which will help you make short work of even tougher materials like masonry.

The drill’s 16 clutch settings help you control the amount of force you bring to bear, helping prevent accidental damage to surfaces or hardware. Also, the drill comes with two 20-volt battery packs, a charger, and a bag that’s perfect for transport and storage. 

This DeWalt drill stands out thanks to being both powerful and lightweight. While ideal for home use, it’s even suitable for professional use.

The DeWalt brand is also known for its solid products. Personally, after buying a DeWalt measuring tape more than a decade ago, I have never bought another measuring tape, because the thing still works perfectly. My DeWalt drill, unfortunately, got lost in the shuffle of a major renovation project. However, as soon as the other drill I got as a stopgap fails me, I’ll probably go right back to DeWalt.

The best on a budget

b&d

The Black+Decker LDX120C Cordless Drill costs half the price of many cordless drills with similar capabilities, but it’s still reasonably powerful.

Pros: Great low price, moderate weight and size, variable speed control

Cons: Underpowered for some materials

The most affordable drill we recommend is the Black+Decker LDX120C Cordless Drill. Most cordless drills that cost less than this one are so cheap in quality that you’ll either get a tool that’s not suitable for the tasks at hand or that will break quickly. Or worse, it will be both underpowered and lacking in durability. While the Black + Decker drill we recommend is budget-friendly, it’s not a cheap tool.

This drill/driver has an 11-position clutch, offering plenty of torque control for most applications. Its maximum RPM speed of 650 is notably lower than you get with many tools, but that’s a suitable rotation for most DIY projects. A built-in LED light helps to illuminate your working space whenever the trigger is depressed, while the drill’s modest 3.25-pound weight minimizes strain and fatigue even if said workspace is overhead.

While it’s probably not the right choice for the professional framer who needs to sink thousands of screws through 2 by 12s, this is definitely the right tool for a discerning but budget-conscious amateur carpenter or hobbyist.

The best for masonry

makita

If you need to drill into stone, concrete, brick, or other masonry, the Makita XPH102 Hammer Driver-Drill is a commercial-grade powerhouse that comes at a great price.

Pros: Makes short work of stone and concrete, high RPM and BPM, fast-charging battery

Cons: Occasional smoky smell from motor

Like all drill/drivers, a hammer drill is a tool that spins a bit around super fast, boring holes or sinking screws as needed. But unlike a standard drill, a hammer drill incorporates a rapid back and forth thrusting motion while its bit revolves. This hammering action helps to pulverize hard materials, like concrete, stone, brick, and mortar, so you can more quickly and easily drill into such surfaces. 

First off, this is a reliable, durable tool that’s yours for a more than fair price. It is rugged enough for professional use and is sealed to resist damage from dust and water, both common factors on a worksite. 

The Makita XPH102 can whirl at up to 1,900 revolutions per minute, which is a great deal faster than most of the tools on our list. But perhaps even more impressive than the RPMs are the BPMs, or blows per minute. This hammer drill can pound out an astonishing 28,500 small but effective taps per minute, greatly easing the process of drilling into literally rock-solid materials.

And finally, while many 18-volt Lithium-Ion batteries take several hours to reach a full charge, the 3.0Ah battery you get with this drill charges to capacity in just 30 minutes, so you can spend more time working, less time waiting.

The best compact

bosch drill

The Bosch PS31-2A 12-Volt Drill/Driver weighs barely over 2 pounds, but it can handle just about every home drilling or driving project with ease.

Pros: Compact and lightweight, long battery life, precise and reliable

Cons: Lower RPM than most cordless drills

The Bosch PS31-2A 12-Volt Drill/Driver weighs just 2.14 pounds. That’s a full 33% less than the next lightest weight tool on our list. You can use this drill for hours on end, whether you’re working overhead on the rafters or bent underneath the kitchen sink, and your arms and hands will never get tired. And thanks to its compact size, even when you are working in a cramped area like under the sink or in a crawlspace, you will be able to maneuver the drill about as needed.

With that small size does come some loss of power, of course. This drill’s maximum RPM rating of 1,300 is lower than that of most drills, and its maximum torque output of 265 inch-pounds is on the lower side, too. But here’s the thing: Most DIY repairs and projects don’t need more speed or power than that.

For drilling into wood, drywall, thin sheet metal (like air ducts), or various composite materials, this tool is more than adequate. It’s perfectly capable when it comes to sinking screws, too. Its 20 clutch settings help you avoid damaging hardware, while a bright light helps illuminate your work area. A power gauge on the side of the tool lets you know how much battery life you have left.

Check out our other great guides to tools

milwaukee reciprocating saws 2625 20 66_1000
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