How to choose a pull-down or pull-out kitchen faucet

Before you buy a run-of-the-mill kitchen faucet, first consider the benefits of a pull-out or pull-down faucet. Do you need a faucet that can reach every area of a sink or even an adjacent counter? Do you wash a lot of produce or find yourself constantly filling up pots, glasses, and vases? If so, a pull-down or pull-out faucet can help make your kitchen tasks quicker and easier.

What’s the difference between a pull-down and pull-out faucet?

With a pull-down faucet, the spray wand is an extension of the faucet that you can literally pull down, whereas you need to pull out a pull-out spray wand. A pull-out wand can also be a part of the faucet or mounted separately on the sink ledge.

What you choose depends on your personal preference, but there are some key quality indicators that you should look for.

Faucet Wand

If you want a full handle, you’ll want a pull-out wand. If you don’t need a full handle, a pull-down won’t give you as much space to grab onto the wand. However, it’s more ergonomically correct to pull down.

When making a decision about a pull-out versus a pull-down faucet, first consider your sink depth and water pressure. It’s recommended that you have a deep sink if you’re installing a pull-down faucet to prevent splashing whereas a pull-out faucet will work in all sink sizes.

Hose retraction, size, and locking method

Whether you choose a pull-down or pull-out faucet, pay attention to how seamlessly the wand extends and goes back into place. Test the following in the store:

  • First, observe how long the hose is. Is it going to extend far enough to meet your needs?
  • Then, see how the hose retracts. Do you have to manually slide it back into place, or does it glide smoothly?
  • Finally, once the hose and faucet head is back in place, does it stay? You don’t want it to be loose and spray water everywhere.

Manufacturers like Delta® use a magnetic lock (Delta® calls theirs MagnaTite® docking) to ensure the spray wand stays firmly in place when not in use.

Spray type

How well the spray button functions on your pull-out or pull-down kitchen faucet will impact your overall satisfaction. Test out the button before you buy. How easy is it to switch between modes? Some buttons push in, while others click, almost like a switch. How many modes are there? Oftentimes, pull-down faucets will have more spray types and pressure options. Some even let you widen or narrow your spray stream.

With the pull-down style, you’ll have easy access to the spray button, which allows you to switch spray modes. Also, because the pull-down faucet has a raised, curved design, filling up tall items, like a pitcher or vase, is a breeze.

Other Kitchen Faucet Solutions

Even with a pull-out or pull-down faucet, you’ll find other features to make your kitchen seem state of the art. During your search, check out technologies that allow you to turn your faucet on and off without using your hands. This feature also reduces germs in the kitchen. With Delta® Touch2O® Technology, you just have to tap the faucet with your wrist. Similarly, Sensate by Kohler® uses Response™ technology. Simply wave your hand above or in front of the faucet to activate it.

We’ll walk you through it.

Shopping for a kitchen faucet can be a fun experience—especially at Handy Man where you can test out several types with our working water displays. If you have any questions about pull-out or pull-down kitchen faucets, or need recommendations, stop by our store in Sioux Falls, SD; Sioux City, IA; or Lincoln, NE. We’ll walk you through it!

Updated December 2019