If you’re like me, there are items in your home that might not function perfectly but you keep them around anyway. My kettle has a cracked handle and my electric toothbrush has lost a bit of its power, for example, but I don’t feel the need to upgrade them or fix their flaws—I just live with them. 

Such was the case with my garden hose nozzle. It was a standard-issue front-trigger variety that came with my house, so I never thought about it or questioned it—I simply lived with it. But while I was in quarantine last summer, I began pouring more energy than ever into my garden and was using the hand-me-down nozzle on a daily basis. Then out of nowhere it broke. On a whim, without doing any research (because a nozzle is a nozzle…right?), I ended up with Gilmour’s Thumb-Control Watering Nozzle. And that’s when I discovered they are not all created equal. 

Let me pause to say that I never—never, ever, ever, not in a million years—would have thought that I’d be waxing poetic about a hose attachment. But here I am. This gadget is the definition of a cheap thrill. It’s a $12 purchase that brings me joy every morning when I’m out watering my flowers and fruit trees. 

First, it has a supersmooth swivel attachment that lets the nozzle spin around in whatever direction you need—helping to avoid bothersome hose kinks. It also has eight preset spray settings that cover the bases for any type of water flow you require. But the pièce de résistance is its thumb-control lever. With a subtle, natural movement, you’re able to turn the flow up to full blast—then turn it off just as easily. And it stays in place as you’ve set it; no need to hold a thumb on it to keep the water going. 

All of these little, thoughtfully considered details add up to an item that I now can’t imagine living without. So please, let my experience serve as a reminder that life is too short to waste any time with an old, barely functioning nozzle. And now I’m going to go promptly fix my kettle’s handle and buy a new electric toothbrush. 

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Gilmour Swivel Connect Watering Thumb Control Nozzle, Target ($12)
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