Watering the various spots of the landscape effectively is one of the keys…
…we tested them out. Some sprinklers require you to run a hose across the lawn…
…to reach all the little corners, while others can be programmed…
…to move around the yard watering the grass as you go about your day.
For fixed irrigation, a sprinkler pump can be used…
…to water the entire yard with an underground sprinkler system.
We tested a variety of different sprinklers, and the following models stood out.
To learn more about what type of sprinkler can help meet the watering needs of your yard…
…and to learn how each of the following sprinklers performed in our hands-on testing, read on.
Before we move on to next section, let’s hear Dan’s story…
I bought this lawn sprinkler a week or two ago, but due to rain, I have not used it yet.
However, I did unbox and unplug it to test the coverage.
In terms of adjustability and coverage, this sprinkler is fantastic.
While I have it dialed in to cover that particular patch of lawn, it can go further.
Since it is lightweight plastic, I will be careful with it.
Now it’s time to get started…
How to Choose the Best Lawn Sprinkler
Sprinklers are straightforward yard tools.
Water is dispersed in various patterns, and they are powered by water pressure in a hose.
Some are made from a variety of materials, and some have moving parts, while others don’t.
Watering needs are one of the top considerations when choosing a sprinkler for your lawn or garden.
In lawn sprinklers, plastic and metal are the two most common materials…
…but rubber and silicone are also available.
Plastics of varying quality are available, with some being durable, heavy, and stain-resistant.
Less expensive models may be thin, fade quickly, and become brittle after a season or two.
Although metal sprinklers are typically more durable than plastic, the quality of the metal also varies.
Rust-proof chrome and stainless steel are among the best metals for sprinklers.
Some have moving parts, and those with sealed ball-bearing connectors will be among the most durable.
Most lawn sprinklers today offer the capability of adjusting the spray pattern and distance…
…usually by way of a lever on the sprinkler’s top or side.
Users can select from a variety of watering patterns and sizes, including circular…
…rectangular, triangular, and fan-shaped patterns.
Ultimately, the distance of the water pattern is determined…
…by the amount of water pressure in the hose.
As an example, a distance-type impact sprinkler may advertise its ability to shoot a stream up to 30 yards…
…but if the hose pressure is low, the coverage area will be smaller.
In most residential water systems, the water pressure is between 30 and 60 pounds per square inch (psi)…
…and most sprinklers function best at a water pressure of at least 30 psi.
A few require higher psi to reach their advertised coverage area, however.
A large amount of water is consumed when watering the lawn.
During an hour of watering with a hose of ½ inches diameter…
…and a water pressure of 60 pounds per square inch, the average consumption will be around 630 gallons.
Water usage increases as the diameter of the garden hose increases.
A ⅝-inch hose will deliver approximately 1,020 gallons at the same pressure…
…and a ¾-inch hose will deliver 1,860 gallons.
The sprinklers on some lawns have features to help control water consumption.
When using an in-ground sprinkler system…
…automatic timers allow the user to schedule exact watering plans…
…(when, where, and how much water) in advance.
Similar features to look for in aboveground sprinklers include automatic shutoffs and flow-limiting timers.
Here’s the main part…
Our Top Picks for Lawn Sprinkler
|Dramm Duty Metal Base, Red 15021 ColorStorm 9-Pattern Premium Turret Sprinkler with Heavy-D
|Trazon Garden Sprinklers for Yard 360 Degree Rotating, Lawn Sprinklers for Hoses, Large and Small Areas Up to 3000 Sq. Ft, Water Sprinkler for Lawn, Plants, Garden Hose Sprinklers Heavy Duty (Blue)
|Melnor 65074-AMZ XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler with 2-Way Adjustment and QuickConnect Product Adapter Set, Amazon Bundle
|GARDENA ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler on Weighted Sled Base
|Melnor 65083-AMZ Multi-Adjustable Sprinkler and Extensions, 6 pc, Sprinkler & Riser Set
Let’s go through them one by one…
Dramm Duty sprinklers provide just the right amount of water…
…at the touch of a dial by delivering a narrow strip of water or a triangular spray, among other options.
They come in a variety of cheerful colors.
Bright cherry red was our choice, and the paint looked more like a thick coating than an enamel.
Dramm sprinklers have a heavy-duty metal base that weighs 14.4 ounces…
…so they didn’t move when we turned on the water pressure, as flimsy sprinklers often do.
The table sat perfectly flat and did not move.
There is an adjustable dial head that can be rotated to select one of nine different spray patterns.
A user can water long, narrow areas, circular spots…
…or virtually any other spot in their yard or garden without accidentally watering their neighbor’s yard.
Just by rotating the black ring, I was able to select the different watering patterns.
By adjusting the water pressure at the spigot, we were able to adjust the width and distance of the sprinkler.
Spray patterns are accurately portrayed on the dial’s face, and each offers a uniform water spray.
- Heavy-duty metal base
- Quality enamel coating
- 9 different water patterns
- Manual shutoff at sprinkler
- Lacks full range
- A bit too lightweight
Despite its diminutive appearance, this sprinkler packs a powerful punch.
To stabilize the Trazon sprinkler, we pushed its 5.8-inch spike into the ground, then turned on the water.
A perfect circle of water was emitted by the sprinkler…
…after the rotating head of the sprinkler started spinning from the water pressure.
Changing the water pressure at the spigot allowed me to go…
..from a small 5-foot circle to a large 60-foot circle, and the inside area was equally wet as the outside.
The sprinkler is made from a highly durable plastic that resists weathering.
Three separate nozzles are located at the ends of the spray arms…
…which can be turned to adjust the angle of water spray.
For the longest spray distance, turn the nozzles to the side rather than straight upward.
For added coverage, the Trazon has hose connectors on both ends…
…allowing users to connect multiple hoses and sprinklers.
- Adjustable up to 3,000 square feet
- Hose connectors on both ends
- Plastic construction
- Requires stakes
We previously owned a classic aluminum oscillating sprinkler that kept moving sideways while watering.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that the Melnor Turbo sprinkler stayed exactly where we placed it.
The wide base and solid design kept it firmly positioned…
…even when the water pressure was turned up to the highest level.
With the two sets of levers in the center of the sprinkler…
…we were able to adjust the width of the spray pattern from about 10 to 20 feet wide.
By twisting the yellow ring on the Turbo, we were able to change the spray pattern’s length…
…from about 20 to almost 50 feet.
Its rectangular oscillating head is fitted with 20 precision nozzles for uniform water distribution…
…and it comes with a tool to clean out any nozzle blockages that may occur.
Additionally, the Turbo has a metal filter washer that traps debris in its hose fitting.
Heavy-duty plastic is used to make the sprinkler, which weighs 1.5 pounds.
The twisting hose connector is perhaps our favorite feature of this sprinkler…
…you don’t have to twist the hose or spin the sprinkler…
…to connect the two-just twist the plastic connection to swiftly and securely attach the sprinkler.
“Just set it for how long you want the grass watered and the device will automatically shut off when it’s done.” Martha Sorren – Writer at Better Home & Garden
- Broad base with solid design
- Adjustable spray length
- Features a nozzle-cleaning tool
- Not great for narrow spaces
- Hose filter needs to be cleaned regularly
The first thing we noticed about the Gardena ZoomMaxx was how solid it was…
…it weighs 2.71 pounds and stays firmly in place when in use.
A great little sprinkler that can be adjusted to water various sizes of square and rectangular areas…
…from a small area of 8-feet by 8-feet, to a larger area of 20-feet by 50-feet.
We adjusted the size of the spray to water a narrow strip in my side yard…
…and then adjusted it again to water a broader area of lawn.
An oscillating head with 16 rubber nozzles keeps the ZoomMaxx in motion with water pressure.
A removable, washable filter keeps debris from getting into the moving parts of the sprinkler.
GARDENA appears to be built to stand the test of time, based on the quality of materials.
- Solid 2.71 pounds
- Adjustable to water various lawn sizes
- Great for narrow spaces
- Adjustment nozzle can be stiff
- Knobs limit the sprinkler’s reach
In spring, the direct-post sprayers that work so well for watering our garden plants…
…and flowers soon become too short to spray over the growing plants to water those behind.
Melnor’s multi-adjustable sprinklers are a practical solution.
We received three 5-inch risers to elevate the spike sprinklers when needed along with three spike sprinklers.
Each sprinkler has an adjustable head that allows users to choose…
…between a small stream of water and a 360-degree circular pattern.
Each sprinkler comes with both a male and female hose-attachment end…
…so all three sprinklers can be connected via hoses.
The plastic spikes were well built and solid; they pushed easily into the ground…
…and we were able to adjust the spray on all three so that it watered my plants perfectly.
If you have a large or complex garden spot, you could save a lot of watering time…
…by connecting two or more of these spike sets together.
The sprinkler won’t need to be moved constantly.
- Each sprinkler features a 360-degree circular pattern
- Spikes push easily into the ground
- Connect multiple spike sets
- Lightweight plastic construction
The biggest consideration when choosing a sprinkler is the size of the area you will be using it in.
It’s a good idea to figure out these measurements before you make your purchase…
…as most options provide a rough idea of their diameter.
Consider how much you can customize the spray path’s shape, width, or strength as well.
Make sure you choose a sprinkler that lets you focus the stream on a specific area…
…of your garden or newly seeded grass if you only want to water that part.
The quality of the lawn and garden sprinklers I tested surprised me more than I expected.
The ones that made my short list above all performed well and were made of quality materials…
…with the Dramm Duty Metal Base 9-Pattern Turret Sprinkler standing out as being the best of the bunch.
We expect each to perform well for many years to come.
Considering water conservation is becoming a high priority across the country…
…it makes sense to purchase the right type of sprinkler(s) for individual gardens and yards.
Various oscillating models are available, such as the Melnor 65074-AMZ XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler…
…that cover a wide area. Rotary and spot sprinklers can be used in areas that cover only a small area.