There is no clear consensus what would be called pull-down and what pull-out faucet. Most people agree though that a pull-down kitchen faucet is the one on which the pulling direction is downwards as opposed to horizontally out. We will stick to this definition and describe here only the type of faucets that fit under the pull-out label.
Different solutions were offered for reaching any point in the sink with a direct stream. There were aerators that could be directed, additional hoses and ends. But then there came a faucet from which the sprayer could be detached and moved all around the sink with the stream direction at your choice. This was found to be extremely convenient.
The faucet manufacturers took to developing this concept, and the faucets that we see now offered for sale are at times real masterpieces. Pull-down kitchen faucets are, as a rule, high arch faucets, and they usually come in a gooseneck shape. They are normally high enough for even the biggest pots and pans.
No doubt, the pull-down function is convenient. It helps to streamline washing vegetables, for example, and cleaning the sink. The hose in majority of cases reaches beyond the sink, so you can easily fill pots on the countertop or even pails on the floor. But there are things that need to be considered before ordering such a faucet.
As said already, these faucets tend to be high. They cannot be installed in places where there is not enough space above the sink. If there is a shelf or sloping roof over the sink, you will have to choose a lower model which might then be a pull-out one.
If there is too little space under the sink, they won’t be suitable either. The pull-down hose moves under the sink, balanced with a special weight. The faucet will be more of a nuisance than enhancement if it does not move freely.
Pull-down faucets are different, and the way they work is not exactly the same for all. Concerning the docking facility of the sprayer, the most popular are those in which magnets are used for keeping the sprayer in place. The click that confirms the sprayer being precisely in its place, gives a feel of elegancy. The certainty of the sprayer never falling out goes a long way. That is why the faucets with magnetic sprayer docks are among the most popular. Homeowners just love them.
The pull-down feature loses a lot of its value if there is no button for pausing the flow on the sprayer. Most high end pull-down faucets have it but some mainstream faucets, even some of the most popular, do not. You will have to consider this trade-off. You can have an otherwise excellent faucet for a reasonable price, but it may come without this function. But if you really want it, you will have to either go for a high end exquisite item or give up some other useful functionality like the magnetic docking. But don’t be disappointed here. There are high quality pull-down faucets available that use a precise docking technologies even without using magnets.