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Pull Down vs Pull Out Faucet: Which is Better?

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Looking to get a new faucet can’t decide between a pull down or pull out faucet?

In my experience, most people looking to get a pull-down and pull-out faucet are either fed up with their conventional tap or already have a ‘pull’ unit that doesn’t work as advertised.

Whichever of the two groups you belong to, I got you.

This guide is a plumber’s tell-all on the “pull down vs pull out faucet “ dilemma.

We usually recommend a pull down faucet for home use! Be sure to check out our list of the best pull down kitchen faucets.


What’s the Difference Between a Pull Down and Pull Out Faucet?

The main difference is the point of detachment. The sprayer head of a pull-down faucet detaches at the end of the spout, while the pull-out detaches at the base.

In terms of function, they are nearly identical.


Pull Down vs Pull Out Faucet Comparison

Pros and Cons of Pull-down faucets

PROs:

  • Added flexibility of reaching every spot of the kitchen sink
  • Multiple spray options – focused or broad shower
  • All the major brands prioritize them, which means more choice and more innovative tech included
  • They are more ergonomically correct than pull-out faucets
  • The higher spout makes it easier to use with bigger dishes
  • The design of pull-down faucets is typically sleeker
  • If there’s a leak, the water goes into the sink instead of underneath it (as it would with a pull-out)
  • The hose will not twist
  • More functions in the sprayer head
  • The better ones swivel, some even fully rotate

CONs:

  • If you have water pressure problems, the added height of a pull-down kitchen faucet can make it worse (if you choose the wrong unit, that is)
  • High arc takes up more space

Pros and Cons of Pull-out faucets

Since the design is similar, the PROs and CONs of pull-out faucets are pretty much the same as above (compared to conventional units) – it all comes down to the flexibility of use.

However, compared to the pull-downs, they might be a bit trickier to use because the motion is not as natural, there’s more maneuvering involved, and the pull is not as smooth.

On the other hand, they typically come with a longer hose and make less of a splash, making them the better option for small spaces and lower counters.


Which is more durable of the two?

The mounting

If you find yourself in the unlikely scenario that both kitchen faucet types will work equally well, durability might be a factor, especially if buying a cheaper unit.

This is what I’ve seen in practice – with pull-down faucets, the stress of the hose coming out and docking back is more significant because it’s exerted at the spout’s end. This means higher forces of angular momentum, especially at docking.

To put it simply – the mounting suffers more wear and tear.

With pull-out faucets, the detachment point is closer to the base, which means less stress for the mounting.

Hose and assembly

On the other hand, the hose and the inner parts of a pull-out kitchen faucet suffer more friction as you pull them to the side and down, not straight out.

How to offset the durability issues

On installation, it’s good practice to pair pull-down kitchen faucets with a stable surface like marble or granite.

This will mean less to no wobbling.

Also, if the docking is weight-based, go with units that feature weights that click-on instead of those that come pre-attached. The former operate more smoothly and never get stuck.

The biggest plus for the pull-down

When you have a conventional unit, you think that getting a pull-down means you’ll constantly be ‘strangling’ that hose.

In reality, most kitchen tasks will still be completed without touching the hose.

This is a critical point that not many people consider before choosing between pull-down and pull-out faucets.

It’s also a massive plus for the former because, while stationary, it works just like a regular faucet.

That’s the no.1 reason why most people choose it for their kitchens.

Don’t get either type of faucet if…

Even the best of them still have more moving parts than a conventional faucet, and if you’re getting one for a rental space, you’re probably better off with a conventional unit.

If you’re looking for a new kitchen faucet check out of best kitchen faucets.


More options in the pull-down arena

With millions of units sold per year, a pull-down kitchen faucet is the bread and butter of the industry. It typically features sleek modern designs that work better with most modern American kitchens.

On the other hand, the designers of the pull-out units are more concerned with practicality (as are the people who’ll choose them).

The result is a much wider range of pull-down models to choose from, both in styles, types (center set vs single hole faucets), and finishes. You’ll also need to decide on a 4in vs 8in faucet.


FAQs on Pull Down and Pull Out Faucets

Before we move on to the actual recommendations, let’s get our basics right.

What’s a pull-down faucet?

Pull-down faucets are all faucets that feature a high-pressure sprayer (fitted inside the unit) that pulls down into the sink.

The faucet head/spray head is always the extension of the unit and usually docks back in automatically.

What’s a pull-out faucet?

A pull-out faucet is similar to a pull-down, but the sprayer pulls out towards you.
It can be a part of the faucet (as it is pull-down faucets) or come with a separate wand mounted on the side.

It’s the less common of the two, especially in kitchens.

Do pull-down faucets rotate?

Yes, the better ones do rotate in the range between 180 and 360 degrees.


Final Thoughts & Takeaways

I hope this pull down vs pull out faucet showdown was helpful!

In my experience, pull-down kitchen faucets offer more and are the way to go for modern deep-sink kitchens, and industrial uses.

Because they’re the more popular option, most well-known brands have “poured” all their latest tech into the staple pull-down models.

Finally, compared to the range of pull-down models available, the pull-out market offers slim pickings.

With all that said, the approach to choosing between the two should be simple – go with a pull-out ONLY if you have specific reasons.

In all other scenarios, a pull-down faucet will be the superior choice for most kitchens.

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