Best Garden Sprinklers
Besides the energy from the sunlight, your garden needs proper watering to survive. Every garden grower and the owner knows this but knowing is only half the battle. It is one thing to understand that gardens flourish with water, it is another thing to actually do something about it. Clearly, it is a flat-out nuisance and monotonous task to manually water your garden every day. So, why not have a sprinkler system accomplish it for you? Sprinklers come in various different forms, shapes, and designs and choosing the right one for you is critical. Only you will know what you desire but with the assistance of this guide, your path to a flourishing garden should be a heck of a lot easier.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
It is a self-propelled train along the pattern of the hose
Works autonomously to water your garden
Backed by a lifetime warranty against material defects
- Nelson Raintrain
- Nelson Eight-Pattern
- Gilmour Impulse
- Bosch Garden & Watering
- Orbit 3-Arm
- Orbit Yard Enforcer
- Melnor Mini-Turbo
- Melnor 9550C
- Gilmour Twin Spot
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top Ten Garden Sprinklers
1. Nelson Raintrain
It is a self-propelled train along the pattern of the hose
Works autonomously to water your garden
Backed by a lifetime warranty against material defects
Obstacles such as large sticks need to be picked up beforehand
As it seems, the more innovative they come the stranger they get. While one would probably assume this next sprinkler belongs in a toy box, it is actually an ingenious way to water your garden or yard. The RainTrain is almost like a robot vacuum without the astronomical price tag.Read more
Essentially, this train uses the power of water to navigate around your lawn (or garden). As this is a self-propelled system, it will run along the pattern laid out by the house.
The train itself can travel up to 200 feet and as it is going, it can spray water from 15 to 55 feet in diameter. At its peak, it could cover an insane 13,500 square footage around your lawn.
There are two really cool additions to this model. For starters, you can choose between three different operating speeds to account for a lighter or heavier saturation of water. Also, there is an auto shut-off feature that is initiated when the train gets to the ramp.
The body is made of cast-iron and is coated with a chip-resistant powder-coat paint. In addition, it comes with easily accessible parts that can be replaced.
If the core of this unit was not already durable enough, the fittings are made of brass for even greater durability and performance. Plus, it is not prone to rust.
As great as this sprinkler is and it is phenomenal, it can be a pain at times as you do need to outline the route it takes. Plus, large obstacles can become a huge nuisance. But, this can be tolerated because of its impeccable design.
2. Nelson Eight-Pattern
The hose connector is designed with brass
Customers rave about how easy this is to adjust
Has eight pre-set watering patterns
Could have more water pressure
As the name of this model suggests, its most notable feature is that it allows for eight different watering patterns. They are all pre-set patterns but they provide you with the versatility that some garden owners will crave in a sprinkler system.Read more
This stationary sprinkler is equipped with a heavy metal base and it is designed to provide you with a constant spray of water.
One of the positions, the half-circle, is able to cover around 20 to 30 feet of your garden. This is really ideal for a smaller garden and actually performs quite well for oddly shaped areas.
It is time to discuss the real treasure of this sprinkler. It comes designed with eight pre-set water patterns for you to try out and use. The soft-grip sleeve on the head makes it easy to adjust, as well.
Even though looks can be deceiving, the base of this model is made of metal. Past its durability, it also is a very decorative base that can add to an outdoor décor.
Two aspects make the hose connection of this model notable. One is the metal ergo swivel coupling and the second is the brass fittings that are used.
If Nelson had a do-over, perhaps they would consider constructing this sprinkler with a little more girth. It is a perfectly fine and suitable system, but you need to secure the base to prevent it from tipping over most of the time.
3. Gilmour Impulse
Features an all-metal construction with a wide base
Designed with a wide range of features
The metal swivel coupling delivers a durable connection
It is not that easy to adjust
When a basic sprinkler is just not going to cut it for you, the Impulse Sprinkler from Gilmour will get the job done. Outside of its impressive durability and all-metal construction, it sports a plethora of adjustable features to make it a highly versatile unit.Read more
A pulsating sprinkler is attached to the top of an all-metal base and that is the overall premise of this design. One thing to note, however, is the sprinkler will not reciprocate if the water pressure is too low.
Whether you want to water your small garden or entire front yard, the choice is really up to you as this can cover up to 5800 square feet. Not only that but you can also adjust the water spray to be either a fine mist or a heavy stream.
On the top of the sprinkler head is a control dial and this allows you to adjust the distance that it sprays. Additionally, you can use the adjustable collar to mess around with the head’s rotation. But, adjusting these features is not the easiest.
Both the sprinkler and the base are designed with durability in mind. The former is made of zinc and brass while the latter is made of a die-cast metal.
To provide a durable connection between your hose and the sprinkler, this has been outfitted with a metal swivel coupling. In addition to this, you can hook up additional sprinklers to this system to cover more areas.
If you ever thought that sprinklers could not be diverse pieces of equipment with several design features, you were wrong. This model from Gilmour completely debunks that thought and is perfect for those who require more than a basic sprinkler.
4. Bosch Garden & Watering
The head is comprised of zinc and brass for enhanced durability
Provides water coverage for up to 5800 of square footage
Features a diffuser screw that allows for fingertip adjustment
The stake could be more durable
A lot of customers will love pulsating sprinklers as these tend to cycle 360 degrees to cover a wider surface area. This specific model is nice because its sprinkler head is constructed of long-lasting brass and zinc.Read more
While this pulsating sprinkler does not have a base, it is designed with a spike that can be installed in the ground. From there, the sprinkler will do the rest.
The sprinkler alone has a diameter coverage of 86 feet and after it gets done rotating, it can account for 5800 square feet.
For an even coverage, there is a diffuser screw and you can adjust the water stream with your fingertips. Also, there are two moveable controls underneath the sprinkler head.
While the spike is sturdy enough for most surfaces, a few buyers have noted it broke when installing it in heavy soil. But, the sprinkler head is made of long-lasting brass and die-cast zinc.
Not too many users or reviewers have commented on any issues with the hose connection; which is, of course, a good thing.
What is nice about this type of a sprinkler is the square coverage it provides for you. Whether you have a small or large garden, this bad boy should be suitable for all sizes.
5. Orbit 3-Arm
It is made out of metal and not plastic
The three arms work in a twirling action for more coverage
Ideal for small to medium garden sizes
Could be more durable
Orbit presents the next sprinkler on this list and their model integrates three different arms and they are used to water your desired area. For distance purposes, it covers a diameter of 24 feet which should be suitable for medium-sized gardens.Read more
This model is comprised of two parts, the sprinkler and the base. Because the sprinkler is designed with three arms and rotates 360 degrees in a circle pattern, it can cover a lot of ground.
Outside of being able to deliver an even coverage because of the manner in which it is designed, this sprinkler can cover a maximum distance of 24 feet.
Past its 360-degree motion, this does not offer too much in regards to additional design features. It would have been nice if you could spray a certain section, though.
While there have been a few buyers who have experienced durability issues, it is made of metal and not plastic. In addition, it is coated with paint to help with rust just a little bit.
If you wanted to, you could connect another sprinkler to this one. However, just remember that if you plan on doing this, you need the water pressure to be high enough.
The twirling action of this three-arm sprinkler makes it an intriguing option for you. However, it may be better suited for smaller or medium-sized gardens as it can’t provide the coverage that other models can.
6. Orbit Yard Enforcer
On just four AA batteries, it can produce 7500 cycles
You can adjust the time of the day in which it is activated
It will double as a traditional sprinkler
The sensor detection can be a bit random at times
What if a device could both water your garden and scare off unwanted pests that are ruining the integrity of it? That would be amazing, huh? Well, it just so happens that you are being witnessed to a sprinkler that does exactly that.Read more
Because this uses motion sensor technology, it can detect when unwanted pests are infiltrating the area and douse them in water. But, you can decide when it is activated by the different modes for the night, day and 24/7.
From up to a massive 40 feet away, this device can detect when a creature is approaching. On top of this, it has a viewing angle of 120 degrees. What this means is it can cover up to 1600 square feet.
Outside of this system functioning as protection from outside animals, it can still function as a traditional sprinkler system with its 30-minute timed watering setting. But, when using it as a protector, you can also adjust the angle of the sensor.
The structural integrity of this sprinkler is up-to-par with other high-end models. Part of the reason why is its metal dual-step spike and otherwise heavy-duty construction.
Via the dual flow-through ports on this device, you can connect additional impact sprinklers to cover more of your yard. Also, the connector is made of brass for enhanced longevity.
Either way, you want to use this sprinkler, it is an amazing piece of equipment. Being able to prevent pests from terrorizing your garden along with providing it with the water it needs to survive is an epic combination.
7. Melnor Mini-Turbo
Sports patented one-touch adjustment controls
The infinity turbo motor guarantees smooth operation
You can alter the position of the stream
Does not perform well in high winds
Next up is the Mini-Turbo Sprinkler from Melnor and unlike many of the other models on this list, this is an oscillating sprinkler. Do you remember the sprinkler systems that you used to play with as a kid? This type of a sprinkler was probably the type you had hours of fun with but now you get to see how functional they are.Read more
Even though this sprinkler is a bit more compact than most oscillating models, it still packs a punch. The infinity motor ensures that as it can handle both low and high water pressures.
There are operating tabs where you can control the watering pattern from 10 feet to 75 feet. In total, this system can cover up to 3900 square feet.
Outside of the previously mentioned adjustment, there is an integrated flow control dial that can allow you to rotate the sprinkler 360 degrees. Plus, with the one-touch adjustment controls, you can adjust each side of the stream independently.
Because the base is made of plastic and not metal, only time will tell to see how long it lasts. But, the motor’s durability is not in question.
On the sprinkler system, there is a connection for your hose and you need to connect the male end of it to the female coupling on the sprinkler.
One of the benefits of the Mini-Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler is that you can control the length of the watering pattern in the air. As it can extend all the way up to 75 feet, there is no limit to the areas this can cover.
Can cover up to 3600 of square footage
Is designed to rotate 360 degrees for full coverage
It is ideal for roof cooling, garden watering, etc
Needs to be stabilized to prevent it from falling over
This is another pulsating sprinkler with a durable base underneath that is capable of covering 360 degrees of the area in which it is installed. Because of the sturdy ABS construction, which is not cheap by any means, though, you may need to secure it to the ground.Read more
Indeed, this is a sprinkler that has been encountered a few times on this list. It works as a pulsating model and delivers 360 degrees of coverage.
The diameter of an individual spray can reach 32 to 40 feet. But, after a full rotation, this can cover areas up to 3600 square feet.
Unfortunately, the water distance is impossible to adjust. Yet, the water-saving feature is a nice touch as this will save water by automatically adjusting the water density.
Over the years, the ABS construction of this base should hold up quite well. But, it does need to be stabilized to keep it from falling over.
With your investment, you will receive one spray head and one water nipple.
One detail you may notice right away about this sprinkler is its stunning blue appeal. While this is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, it is a nice touch. Although, the 360-degree full coverage and sturdy ABS construction are the true selling points.
9. Melnor 9550C
Allows for unit-to-unit connections
The water pattern can be adjusted
Features a special arm to eliminate wasted water
The material could be tougher
If Melnor would have put a little bit more effort into designing the spike of their sprinkler as they did with the head, perhaps it could have ascended a little higher on this list. As it sits, the last system on this list does tag along one glaring issue.Read more
The special arm on this pulsating sprinkler is able to eliminate wasted water as it prevents side splashes.
Up to an 85-foot diameter circle can be created and if you do the math, that is a huge coverage area. But, the flow and angle are also adjustable to better suit your needs.
Not only can you adjust the watering pattern from either a narrow 30-degree angle to a staggering 360-degree angle, it is also very easy to do so.
This is not the most durable sprinkler on the market; let’s just say that. The biggest point of criticism is the spike as even though it is metal, it has been crucified by several buyers.
Besides being able to fit any standard garden hose thread, other sprinklers can be connected to this model.
Albeit the durability is not the best, this is still a suitable sprinkler system for your garden. However, you can see why it ranks on the bottom of this list.
10. Gilmour Twin Spot
Works well with both high and low-pressure water
It is attached to twin spray openings
There are no moving parts to break and the core is durable
Needs to be weighted down to keep it in place
Perhaps you could care less about owning a sprinkler that has all the bells and whistles. Maybe, you just want a model that gets the job done without any hassles. For the most part, that is what you are getting with this Twin Spot Sprinkler.Read more
This is actually a twin-spot garden and lawn sprinkler. But, it needs to be stabilized as it tips over way too frequently if not.
While it is a small sprinkler, it can still cover areas of up to 707 square feet as it sprays in a circular pattern with a diameter of 30 feet.
About the only aspect of note here is that this works with both high and low-pressure water. Outside of that, it is a very basic design.
This is one of the best components of this sprinkler. First off, there are no moving parts to wear out. Secondly, it is made of die-cast zinc and will resist both corrosion and rust.
Probably the most noteworthy factor of the hose connection is it will not clog up as often due to the design of the twin sprayers.
If you prefer more in-depth and functional sprinklers, then you may want to pass on this one. Yet, it is almost too good to be true for those who despise complexity.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When you are in the market for a garden sprinkler, you first need to realize that there are several different types to choose from. As you noticed throughout this list, several of each appeared and there are noticeable pros and cons associated with each of them. To start, let’s talk about oscillating sprinklers. If you have ever played with a sprinkler when you were a kid and jumped through the stream, you probably did so with an oscillating model. Not only do these types do a marvelous job with rectangular lawns, they typically do well with both low and high-pressure waters. But, they can miss the mark a lot with rounded or irregular areas.
Also, you have pulsating sprinklers. As it sounds, this consists of a sprinkler head and it will rotate around in a pulsating motion. What these are sufficient at is covering wide areas, even up to 10,000 square feet with some models. However, they are noisier than others and do not work very well with low-pressure waters. Of course, you also have stationary sprinklers (which are more so for small areas and do not have any moving parts) and traveling sprinklers that work almost like autonomous cleaners.
This next section ties right into what was just discussed. The square coverage you need your sprinkler to cover is going to have serious implications to what sprinkler type you are going to need. After all, it was just mentioned how specific types offer superior coverage than others. For example, pulsating and traveling models may be the best to cover wide areas. On the contrary, stationary sprinklers will work admirably for smaller gardens. However, even if you choose a sprinkler that covers more distance than the square footage of your garden, you can always adjust the water flow if the model allows you.
But, it really all comes down to how large your garden is and if you want the sprinkler to also water your lawn. If you want a model that will cover everything, you better go with one that can account for 5000 plus feet of square footage. Sprinkler systems are usually not priced based on how much square footage they can cover so do not worry about the price in this situation.
It is important to note that not all sprinkler types will sport adjustable features. For example, as stationary models have no moving parts, they may not have any adjustable features. But, what exactly are you supposed to look for in the adjustability department? For starters, how about the range and the distance of the sprinkler? Clearly, there is only so far the stream is going to travel but being able to adjust it to certain situations can be nice. Having them integrated into the sprinkler head is a much more efficient option than merely adjusting the water pressure to adjust the distance.
In addition to this, though, look for rotation control. For example, on a pulsating sprinkler, if you can rotate the head then you can decide which part of your garden is getting watered. If areas need a deeper watering, this can come in handy. Also, something as simple as adjusting the stream properties (for example creating more of a mist or more of a stream) can be important to look for.
Most garden sprinklers come down to two components. The first is the actual head or the portion that is delivering the water flow and the other is the base. Let’s address the former first as it is arguably the most important. Look, seeing a product with plastic does not automatically insinuate that it is a piece of junk. Plastic is a popular material in the manufacturing business and for good reason. Yet, it may be better to look for a head that is made of metal. More specifically, look for metals that will not corrode or rust easily. For example, materials such as die-cast zinc and brass as they will both resist rust. Brass may corrode if it is not protected by a finish, though.
As for the base, it is typically either an actual base or a spike. With a spike, which is typically designed on pulsating sprinklers, you physically install it in the ground. Look for models that are made of metal and durable enough to withstand the installation. As for an actual base, again, the metal may be the way to go for both weight and durability.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you have any intentions on growing a healthy garden that will flourish, you need to address your watering system. Perhaps, something as simple as a garden sprinkler will suffice. Overall you need to keep your plants and vegetables watered regularly to make sure your plants can flourish and you have a bold beautiful garden.
Other Factors to Consider
Last but not least on your checklist for what to look for in a garden sprinkler would be the design of the connectors. One of the connectors will be used for your garden hose and there is one key feature to look for. Of course, this is referring to brass fittings. For the most part, you should avoid plastic fittings as their durability is simply not up-to-par as compared to brass fittings. This will maximize the lifespan of the connector and the unit as a whole.
Past this, some sprinklers will also be outfitted to be interconnected with other garden sprinklers. In this case, you can use another sprinkler to account for even more square footage of your garden or yard. But, if you do this, remember that your water pressure needs to be high enough.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Is a Sprinkler Really Necessary in High-Rain Areas?
Before this question is answered it is interesting to note that rain will work about as well as your tap water will. But, that is not really the issue here. Even if you live in an area that experiences high amounts of rain every year, you still may need a garden sprinkler. The sole reason is that relying on the rain is too inconsistent and sporadic. If you think about it, it could rain for seven days straight for eight hours a day. Then, it could turn around and be spotless for two straight weeks. Plus, the watering of this method is not even and can even oversaturate your garden.
The growth and health of your garden will be compromised if you rely on Mother Nature to do your deeds. Now, while it is raining, there is no need to have your sprinkler going as the rain is a sufficient source of water. It is just that you can’t put all your eggs in that basket.
q: Why Do Oscillating Sprinklers Stop Oscillating?
If you have ever owned an oscillating sprinkler, you probably have experienced issues with it from time to time. Most notably, it may stop oscillating which is an issue as it is the primary design feature. Believe it or not, it may not even be an issue with your sprinkler. A common issue is when your water pressure is too low. If this is the case, it may struggle to oscillate as it is merely not receiving high enough pressures of water. Of course, what if this is not the issue?
Go ahead and unscrew the hose connector and ensure that there is no debris or blockage in the filter. If so, remove it and try the sprinkler again. If there is still an issue, try and turn the dial knob to the maximum so the system is outputting as much water as it physically can.
q: How Frequently Do You Need to Water Your Garden?
Would it not be nice if there was a straight up answer to this question? Any garden owner knows this is not the case as it depends on several different variables. The first variable is the type of soil your garden has and whether or not it is sandy or heavier with soil. Because sandier soil is going to hold less water, it is going to dry quicker. On the contrary, with heavier soil, it is going to hold moisture longer and can be susceptible to over saturation. In addition, it also depends on weather conditions.
For instance, if it has been hot and dry recently then you will need to water it with more frequency. Also, the type of plants you are watering comes into play. Take, for instance, vegetables as they have shallower roots and will require more watering than others.
q: How Do You Adjust the Width on a Single-Dial Oscillating Sprinkler?
If you decide to go with a single-dial oscillating sprinkler, then you may end up struggling with how to adjust the width. It is not that complicated of a process but it is something that novices may need a bit of elaboration on. To start off with, go ahead and turn the adjustment dial to the right to allow the water to throw all the way to the right. From there, move the dial and twist it to the left and it will do the same thing except to the left side of the sprinkler.
However, simply move it to full if to get the maximum distance out of both sides of the sprinkler. Do not overthink this one folks; it really is as simple as it sounds.
q: How Do You Repair a Pulsating Sprinkler?
Unless you are ignorant, you are already aware that sprinklers are not foolproof. Pulsating models are certainly not immune to this and they may begin to malfunction for you. If this is the case, there may be some remedies to the solution. One of the more common issues and the one that is going to be discussed in-depth here, is issues with the nozzle. Go ahead and lift the nozzle up and unscrew the seating screws to remove it. There is one of two issues that could be happening. On one side, it may be a simple matter of clogging. If not this, then it could be leaking.
Either way, you slice it, this can be remedied by removing any debris or dirt that is trapped inside the nozzle. To rid it, drop the nozzle into a bucket of warm soapy water. Once it has been submerged for around 10 to 15 minutes, begin to scrape out the dirt with an appropriate pointed tool.
q: Can You Increase Your Water Pressure?
It has been alluded to a few times that you need to pay attention to your water pressure as it can be the reason why your sprinkler is not performing the way it should. If you notice that your water pressure is too low, can you increase it? Yes, you can. Consult your water department to see if your home water system can deliver more pressure. If it can’t then you may need to look into a pressure booster. This is a machine that takes the water from the street and increases its pressure via an electric pump and a pressure tank.
But, what if your pressure is too high? This is a simpler solution as your pressure valve needs to be set lower. If it is and is not functioning properly, contact the proper people.