5/8 vs 3/4 Inch Hose: Which Size is the Right Choice?

5/8 vs 3/4 Inch Hose

Which sized hose is the right choice for your home, lawn, and garden? The hose diameter you choose usually boils down to how much water volume you need at the end of the line.  A 5/8″ hose is slightly smaller in diameter than a larger 3/4″ hose, however the total water output volume will be significantly different between the two especially when hose length is taken into consideration.

Most garden hoses have a 5/8″ internal diameter which can accommodate good water flow volume and adequate water pressure for most domestic uses. If you require a larger volume of water then opting for a 3/4″ hose is a better option. 3/4″ hoses usually supply around 64% more water than 5/8″ hoses depending on hose length however pressure is typically decreased at the end of the hose unless a reducer is attached.

Every homeowner with a beautiful lawn and garden has at least one but maybe two or three hoses and has faced the question of which size is the right choice, a 5/8 vs ¾ inch hose.  This guide includes all the nuances behind making the right selection in hose diameter so that you pick the right option for your needs and budget and get the best garden hose you can buy.

NOTE – If you do think you need a 3/4″ hose then make sure the easy connect fittings you use on that hose also have a 3/4″ diameter otherwise you might as well save some money on a smaller hose. My favorite quick connect adapter/fitting has a 3/4″ inside diameter for full water flow. You can see my thoughts on it and other quick fit connectors here.

Which Size is the Right Choice is Based on Water Pressure Needs?

There are many different variables to consider when buying a hose.  The choice between a 5/8 vs. ¾ inch hose though is the biggest factor in determining the water pressure that you will have at the end of the line. 

Certain tasks such as running a very long hose for watering with a sprinkler system or connecting to an irrigation system will require as much water pressure as you can bring to bear.  However, connecting a hose along your driveway to wash the car may only require a 25-foot hose and either option will deliver enough water pressure to get the job done.

Water Volume Differences of 5/8 inch hoses and ¾ inch hose.

It is important to compare the total length of a hose when looking at the differences in output potential of a 5/8 inch hose and ¾ inch hose because the diameter affects water pressure.  The total distance traveled through the hose from the faucet on the outside of the hose to its final output destination at the end of the hose drastically impacts the output.  The average home has around 40 pounds per square inch of water pressure, if your home differs from the norm than the following numbers would be different for your setting.

25 Foot Hose Water Volume

  • A 5/8-inch hose that is 25 feet long can be expected to output approximately 44 gallons of water per minute at peak flow.
  • A ¾ inch hose that is 25 feet long can be expected to output approximately 72 gallons of water per minute at peak flow.

100 Foot Hose Water Volume

  • A 5/8-inch hose that is 100 feet long can be expected to output approximately 11 gallons of water per minute at peak flow.
  • A ¾ inch hose that is 100 feet long can be expected to output approximately 18 gallons of water per minute at peak flow.

As you require a hose for longer distances it is wise to consider selecting the wider ¾ inch hose diameter.  This is even more important if at the end of the hose you are requiring excellent water pressure for connecting into an irrigation system with sprinklers or drip lines.  Even for tasks like washing a car if you don’t have a outdoor spigot close to your driveway and will be running a hose around the house the loss in water volume from a 5/8 inch hose can make the task take longer and more difficult to rinse all the suds off.

FYI – If you have a lawn and don’t know how to make it look it’s best then take a look here for my free “Don’t Know Where To Start” series.

5/8-inch Hose Features

  • Reduces total water volume output for a similar sized hose compared to ¾”.
  • Slightly lighter hose due less hose material. The 1/8 of an inch difference in diameter while very small over the distance of a 100-foot hose can really lighten the load.
  • Easier to move around the yard. If you are moving the hose around the yard or from the front to the back of the house on a regular basis the smaller diameter hose will help lighten the load.
  • Easier to store on smaller racks. With the smaller diameter it will not take up as much room in the storage rack.  Make sure and check the rack you own or are planning on purchasing especially if looking at a large hose length to ensure that is designed to hold it all securely.
  • Less Cost. The reduction in total materials directly impacts the overall cost of the hose.  Other features such as the type of garden hose fitting  A plastic fitting paired with a 5/8 inch hose can bring down the cost of the overall hose and be the right solution for the homeowner on a budget.

3/4-inch Hose Features

  • Increased total water volume output for a similar sized hose compared to 5/8”. The biggest advantage and the reason to pay up for a ¾ inch hose and deal with some of the downsides is the total output of gallons of water per minute this larger diameter hose is capable of.
  • Slight heavier hose. The ¾ inch hose does contain more material and will be noticeably heavier for a long house.
  • More durable. You do gain a little bit of durability as the larger diameter hose is less likely to kink and bend.
  • Can cost more. Again, due to the additional materials used these hoses can cost a premium compared to their smaller diameter counterparts.
  • Easier to push water uphill. Water volume is the biggest advantage and if you are going to be pushing water up a grade at all, let alone a steep hill you will want as much water pressure as possible.  Anyone that needs to water up a hill should always get a ¾ inch hose no matter what the water pressure will be significantly reduced in a 5/8-inch model when pushing water uphill.

While the difference in the amount of material can make the 5/8 hose a little lighter and cost less due to less materials used, the type of fitting material like brass, stainless steel, or plastic and the material the hose is made from like rubber, vinyl, or polyurethane are the biggest drivers of the cost difference between hoses of equal length.

Best Hose 5/8 vs. ¾ for Different Uses

If you are going to be purchasing one hose for many different tasks you are always better off going for the ¾ inch hose so that you can get the maximum water pressure possible from your faucet.  You can also control the flow by partially closing your faucet if the water pressure is too much for a specific task.  But if you need the extra water flow and don’t have the capacity due to the smaller hose their nothing you can do.

  • Washing the Car. It is very likely that you have a outdoor faucet in your driveway.  In this case you can easily get away with the smaller diameter 5/8 inch hose as you can accomplish the task with a 25 foot hose which will provide enough pressure to wash the car, fill up a bucket, and rinse off the suds.
  • Watering a Small Yard. If you have a small area of grass in your front or backyard and do not need to move the hose around with a high capacity sprinkler, a 5/8-inch hose will get the job done just fine. Even a 50-foot5/8-inch diameter hose will be able to sufficiently cover the 300 square feet or so grass area that are typical in townhouses front or backyard.
  • Watering a Large Yard. It will be important that you purchase a high quality ¾ inch hose if you are moving your sprinkler system to multiple locations or are setting up a daisy chain of multiple sprinklers in order to water a large yard. The only way to be efficient is by having all the water pressure you can bring to bear to get maximum coverage.
  • Watering by Hand. Depending on the user either a 5/8-inch hose or a ¾ inch hose can be the right choice. If you can carry the slightly heavier load of the larger diameter it will give you the most water pressure.  However, for some users going with the lighter weight version is what will work best for them even though they may need to water areas for slightly longer due to the reduced water output.

In Conclusion

When making the right choice about which size to pick between a 5/8 vs ¾ inch hose, it is all about water pressure and total output volume.  If you need to get maximum water pressure go with a ¾ inch hose.  If the maximum output is not as critical and other factors such as the weight of the hose, the cost of the hose is more important than selecting a 5/8-inch hose will suffice.  If you are still unsure of which hose is going to be best for you, I always recommend to go with the ¾ inch hose so you can get the most out of the hose for those times you really need all the water pressure.