What is a Selectable Firefighting Nozzle?

The selectable firefighting nozzle is a handline nozzle capable of giving you flow options on the fire ground.  

If you are wondering how they work and whether it is right for you, keep reading! 

What is a Selectable Nozzle? 

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A selectable nozzle is a firefighting nozzle with multiple flow options available to you. Your nozzle operator is able to choose a flow by using a selector ring on the nozzle. This gives you multiple flow options on the fire ground and allows you to respond to your water supply or fire needs.  

Selectable nozzles also come as combination nozzles, allowing you to choose a straight stream or fog pattern without stopping and changing tips.  

How Does a Selectable Work? 

Your selectable nozzle operates like any other combination nozzle. You use the bail handle to control water flow and can change your pattern by adjusting the bumper. 

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The difference between this nozzle and other varieties is the selector ring on the nozzle. This selector allows your nozzle operator to choose from a selection of flows. There are usually between three to five flow choices for the operator to choose from. Keep in mind that your nozzle operator can choose a different flow, but this will likely require communication between the nozzle operator and pump operator for a pressure adjustment.  

Dive deeper into how selectable nozzles work here. 

Pros and Cons of the Selectable Nozzle 

Every handline firefighting nozzle has pros and cons associated with its use. These are some common ones for selectable nozzles. 


  • The selectable allows you to have more than one flow option on the fire ground. This lets you adjust for your water source or the needs of the fire ground. 

  • Combination nozzles can do a straight stream or fog pattern which allows you to respond to changing needs on the fire ground.  


  • If your nozzle operator needs to change flows on the fire ground, it may require additional communication between the pump operator and nozzle operator. 

  • If your nozzle operator is not careful, it is possible to accidentally adjust flow. 

Is a Selectable Firefighting Nozzle Right for You? 

The decision to use a selectable nozzle is up to you and your crew! Each firefighter has their preferences in nozzles and the best way to find yours is to try them, train with them, and stay informed of the latest research and innovations. It’s also important to consider the needs of the fire ground you typically experience. You may end up preferring a selectable for one type of fire and favoring another style in a different scenario.   

Your available water supply may also impact your nozzle decision. For fire departments that experience inconsistent water supply, a selectable nozzle gives them options to change flow in response to the water they have available.