best lawn sprinkler

Best Lawn Sprinkler: Choosing the Best One for You

What Is a Lawn Sprinkler?

A lawn sprinkler is a device used to irrigate a lawn.  Specifically, it is used to apply water to grass and vegetation that you want to grow.  A sprinkler mimics how rainfall would come down out of the atmosphere and water your lawn.  The water is distributed by pipes and a faucet which is normally connected to a hose.  The hose is then connected to the lawn sprinkler.  The sprinkler breaks up the water and shoots it through the air so that it can land on the lawn as small water droplets.  The general design of a sprinkler system, also known as an irrigation system, is to apply water to a lawn as evenly as possible.  You can buy small sprinklers on Amazon and have them shipped right to your home.  In this review, I'll be going over our top pick for the best lawn sprinkler out there.

Advantages/Reasons for Buying

There are many advantages and reasons for buying a lawn sprinkler.  First, is the obvious reason to water your lawn. There is the aesthetic value of a green lawn and also safety issues to keeping grass moist and growing.  In my area of the country in Wyoming, keeping dry grass down around buildings and/or watering it, cuts down on fire dangers.  If you live in an area with summer and autumn wildfires, you already know how quickly dry grass can turn into fuel for a wildfire.

Unless you live in a tropical area that gets enough rainfall year round to keep your lawn green, a sprinkler can help to keep that lawn green.  Of course, you could drag a hose around and water your lawn that way, but that is going to be time intensive on your part.  I'm going to go over over some advantages as to why you might want to use a sprinkler to water your lawn.

Convenience

Simply put, a sprinkler makes watering your lawn easier.  You can even set a timer and set up your sprinkler to water on a certain schedule.

Time saver

Sprinkler use will save you time.  Let a sprinkler do the work instead of standing there holding a hose with a nozzle.  Even if you do choose to hand-spray your lawn with a sprinkler handy, a sprinkler gives you the option to water your lawn quickly without having to stand there and do it yourself. 

Tips for Watering Your Lawn

Utilize a Rain Gauge

Grass needs about 1 inch of moisture a week.  A simple way to know if your grass is getting enough water or not, is to put a rain gauge out on your lawn in an area that the sprinkler can reach.  If the lawn is getting rainfall, then it will be caught and can be measured in the rain gauge.  Your choice of a sprinkler system can make up the difference.  For example, if your lawn gets 1/2 an inch of rainfall that week, then you will need to water your lawn another 1/2 an inch until the rain gauge reaches 1 inch for the week.  If your lawn receives no rainfall that week, then you can water your lawn a full inch.  It's important to make sure that the rain gauge is set in an area that will catch both the rain and sprinkler water.

Water in the Early Morning Hours

Watering in the morning is best because the sun is not at full strength yet.  You want to avoid watering when the sun will dry out and evaporate the water before it reaches the roots.  Also doing so in the evening or night is a bad idea because water may set on the grass blades all night and cause bacterias and molds to grow on it.  Early morning is a perfect time because there is cooler air, calmer winds and no intense sun.  All of these factors make for less evaporation and more moisture reaching the roots.

Water Slow and Steady

By watering too quickly, water will just run off and not soak in.  If you water slowly and evenly, the water will have a chance to soak down into the soil and reach the grass roots.

Observe Your Footprints

When you walk across your grass and it leaves footprints, you will know that it's time to water.  Grass that is well moisturized should not leave imprints.

Here Are the Best Lawn Sprinkler Options of 2018.

In the chart below, you will find our top 10 rated lawn sprinklers.  For a more in-depth review of each model, please click on "Read Review."

Product Image

Lawn Sprinklers

Rating

Review

Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler

4.3 out of 5

Orbit H2O Sprinkler

4.3 out of 5

Gilmour Heavy Duty Adjustable Circular Sprinkler

4.3 out of 5

Uxcell ABS 360 Degree Rotary Water Sprinkler

4.5 out of 5

Rain Bird Brass Impact Sprinkler

4.3 out of 5

Nelson Eight Pattern Spray Head Stationary Sprinkler

3.8 out of 5

Nelson Raintrain Traveling Sprinkler

4.3 out of 5

GARDENA 1975 Aquazoom Oscillating Sprinkler

4.1 out of 5

Noodlehead Flexible Lawn & Garden Sprinkler

3.3 out of 5

Green Thumb Heavy Duty Metal Oscillating Sprinkler

4.2 out of 5

Top 10 Best Lawn Sprinkler Options of 2018

How to Choose the Best Lawn Sprinkler

Different Types

There are different types of lawn sprinklers which vary widely in their design, size, cost and complexity.  There are 9 main types of lawn sprinklers.  I will go over each type.

1. Impact Sprinklers

This type of lawn sprinkler is sometimes also called an impulse sprinkler. Invented in 1933 by Orton Englehart, it is still a very popular lawn sprinkler today. This is a type of sprinkler in which the sprinkler head is driven in a circular motion by the force of the outgoing water.  It pivots on a bearing that sets on a threaded attachment nut.  An impact sprinkler makes a very clear clicking sound as it disperses water.

2. Drip Sprinklers

A drip sprinkler is a type of lawn sprinkler that is made to save water by allowing water to drip slowly into the soil and thus reaching the roots of the plants.  Drip sprinklers can either be above the soil surface or buried below the surface. The design of a drip sprinkler is to place water directly into the soil to reduce evaporation.  Drip irrigations systems, if designed well can be more efficient than other types of sprinkler systems.

3. Oscillating Sprinklers

This type of sprinkler is one of the most common types of lawn sprinklers used today.  Oscillating Sprinklers are designed to spray out a fan-shaped curtain of water.  The metal arm on this type of sprinkler, oscillates back and forth while covering a rectangular area.  Oscillating sprinklers are sometimes described as a looking like a fan-shaped waterfall.

4. Underground Sprinkler System

This type of system uses pipes and sometimes hoses that are buried underground to deliver water to the sprinkler.  While this type of sprinkler system initially takes longer to install, it can be a very efficient type of sprinkler.  An advantage to this type of sprinkler system is that there is no need to have a hose running over your lawn to the sprinkler.  A disadvantage is that it is difficult to remove the sprinkler all season and it will tend to protrude up from the lawn.

5. Fixed Sprinklers

A fixed sprinkler includes rings and shakers that cast water in a single pattern over a fixed area.

6. Rotating Sprinklers

A rotating sprinkler will have 2 or more arms that spin to disperse water in a complete circle.

7. Sprinkler Hoses

This type of irrigation system consists of hoses that lie around the ground while squirting water from tiny holes to cover a long, rectangular area.

8. Traveling Hoses

This type of sprinkler is often described as a little tractor that moves through the yard in a preset pattern.  A traveling sprinkler will drag a hose behind it.

9. In-Ground

Just as it sounds, an in-ground sprinkler system is installed directly in the ground.  At designated and preset times, an in-ground sprinkler system will pop up and cycle it's way through the yard while watering the lawn.

Things to Consider When Buying a Lawn Sprinkler

What is the shape or your lawn?  Some sprinklers water in a rectangular shape while others water in a circular pattern.  It makes it much easier to work with the natural design of the sprinkler and your lawn shape, so try to adjust to make it work.

How much lawn do you have to water?  Think about how large of an area you have to water.  Some sprinklers will shoot out water further than others.

What is your sprinkler budget?  As with most things in life, some sprinklers cost more than others.  If you have a set amount that you can spend on a sprinkler keep that in mind.

Product Types

I've gone over nine different lawn sprinkler product types.  Many of those types can fit into either spray or rotating. Now, I'm going to compare the pros and cons of each. 

Stationary Sprinklers

This type does not rotate.

Pros

  • plus
    High application rate over a small area
  • plus
    Works well in small, hard-to-reach areas
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    Will be able to vary circular patterns from half circle to full circle, etc.

Cons

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    Cover less distance than rotary sprinkler heads
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    Not ideal for slopes (creates unnecessary water waste)
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    List element

Rotary Sprinkler Heads

This type has arms that spin.

Pros

  • plus
    Can cover large distances (requires less sprinkler heads)
  • plus
    ​Great for big, open areas of lawn

Cons

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    Requires more water pressure than stationary sprinklers
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    Takes longer to water one area than stationary sprinklers
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    Some, especially the gear-driven kind can be very loud
Our Top Pick for Best Lawn Sprinkler

After carefully reviewing the top ten lawn sprinklers on the market, I've picked the Uxcell ABS 360 Degree Rotary Water Sprinkler as my choice for the best lawn sprinkler. 

best lawn sprinkler

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Common Questions

Here are some articles that answer the most popular questions about sprinklers. 

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    What type of sprinkler is best for a circular lawn area?
  • chevron-circle-right
    What type of sprinkler is best for a rectangular area of lawn?
  • chevron-circle-right
    How much do I water my lawn each week?

Conclusion

I've gone over why it's good to have a lawn sprinkler and also talked about the different types of lawn sprinklers and their uses.  There are advantages to lawn sprinklers along with considerations to think about when buying one.  Simple tips to help your maximize your sprinkler use was also covered.

Furthermore, I've looked at the different features of each of our top ten pick of lawn sprinklers in the individual reviews and picked our number one pick.  Keep in mind that our number one pick may or may not be your number one pick.  All ten sprinklers covered in this review are top rated sprinklers.  I hope that this review helps you narrow it down and pick the best sprinkler that will meet your specific lawn watering needs.