Best Lawn and Garden Sprinklers – We Compare and Review 8 Top Models For 2017
Best Sprinkler for 2017
There are numerous sprinklers that can be purchased for your lawn and garden which are manufactured by many different companies; some of which are recognizable brand names.
But can you really be sure that these popular named brands are up to par? There are also many benefits related to the installation of sprinklers, such as they can save time and water, they can save money, improve growth, can help weed reduction with water specifically designated to reach plants, they can also preserve soil structure and nutrients, and provide gardening flexibility.
However, there are many things to consider before purchasing your lawn/garden sprinkler which we into in more detail below.
Below is the winner of our 'Top Pick Award', the Gardena ZoomMaxx Sprinkler which is the best sprinkler for both lawns and flower beds alike.
Be sure to read our full guide to learn more about the features available and how to decide which Lawn / Garden Sprinkler would be suitable for your own needs.
Of your also in need of a good garden hose don't forget to check out our Best Garden Hose Reviews which includes some great models.
Types of Sprinklers
There are three popular sprinkler choices when it comes to watering your garden.
- Oscillating: These sprinklers contain a long plastic or metal tube with many openings and move back and forth, producing a fan shaped waterfall effect. You can find models that are priced from £8 to £22. However the more you pay, the better you can tweak the spray pattern.
- Pulsating / Impact: A rotating head sprays a pulsating jet of water with a distinctive ticking noise. These sprinklers cover a circular area or just a portion of it. Cheaper models consist of a sprinkler head on a metal spike and can be found for under £10.
- Stationary: Normally used for small areas, because it is a modest type of sprinkler that only includes one preset pattern; which can be circular, square, or rectangular. They are also generally inexpensive.
It can be difficult to find the best lawn sprinkler that will suit your needs. Below, we have gathered pros and cons for each of the three types and what features they commonly provide.
First though check our 3 Top Recommended Sprinkler below:
OUR BEST PICK
Pro & Cons of the different types of sprinklers
- Perfect for watering rectangular lawns
- Has potential to water up to 4,000 sq. ft.
- Works proficiently at both high and low water pressure
- Water will not always reach your mark if used to water curved/rounded/irregular areas
- Cheaper models can linger at end of spray cycle; potentially causing puddles
- Gently waters lawn
- Provides an even coverage
- Provides a rectangular or square pattern
- Seamless for medium and large sized areas
- Perfect for front and backgardens
- Great for newly seeded areas
Features to Look For:
- Sprinkler should at the very minimum come with fifteen spray jets. This provides a more even coverage of your lawn.
- Look for models that move back and forth quickly in order to avoid/reduce the potential for puddles.
- Make sure your sprinkler has a metal filter in the hose connector. This will help prevent clogging from dirt and debris.
- Capable of watering a very large area (nearly 10,000 sq. ft. at high pressure)
- Perfect for rounded/curved/irregular shaped areas
- Can be set to cover any size arc of a circular area
- Slow and gentle watering; rarely causes puddles
- Not the best choice for rectangular or square lawns
- Does not work well with low pressure
- Noisier than most sprinklers
- Tends to be more wind resistant than other sprinkler types
- Provides an adjustable pattern
- They are less likely to clog
- To cover large areas
- Great for front lawns and backyards
Features to Look For:
- Make sure your sprinkler is equipped with a long-lasting zinc and brass head.
- Be sure it also includes a diffuser screw, allowing to adjust the caliber of the spray for a more even distribution.
- It is also important for your sprinkler to include a metal filter in the hose connector to prevent clogging.
- No moving parts to break
- Great for small areas
- Works perfectly with low water pressure
- Not ideal for large areas
- Can cause puddling if left in one spot
- Quick and accurate watering
- Perfect for watering hard to reach areas
- Multiple pattern types
- Small areas
Features to Look For:
- As with every sprinkler, make sure that yours includes a metal filter in the hose connector to prevent clogging.
- A metal frame is the best choice, as it will out-last a plastic one.
- You may also want to find one with multiple spray turrets that are capable of generating several different water patterns. You will find these in more expensive models all though most stationary sprinklers are part of the range of budget sprinklers available which are usually not the best.
Now that you know what to look for in a sprinkler, below you will find our reviews of the eight best sprinklers, we originally started with around 20 different models and narrowed it down to the best 8 models we feel are a cut above the rest.
Gardena ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler
- Solid oscillating sprinkler
- 16 soft rubber nozzles
- Adjustable controls
- 2 Year Warranry for extra peace of mind
- Coverage area: 76 – 2,300 sq ft
- Large, weighted sled base with three metal inserts for stability
- Can be safely secured
- Sealed turbo gear-driven unit
The Gardena ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler includes fully adjustable controls in order to set your preferred width, length, and water flow. You can adjust the length from 10 to 60 feet and the width from 10 to 40 feet. The average coverage this sprinkler provides is 76 to 2,300 sq. ft., and can mostly cover any shape area.
This oscillating sprinkler is sturdy and incorporates a sealed turbo gear driven unit that includes a large sled base to provide stability. It is a very light weight and compact sprinkler that comes with directional control
- Perfect for small areas
- 16 flexible nozzles
- Light-weight and compact
- Directional Control
- Adjustments can seem complicated initially
- Nozzles can tilt up when you decrease the width
Our recommendation - The Gardena ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler provides a lot of beneficial features at an affordable price. The price is something that you may not be willing to pay, because it is not the cheapest sprinkler on our list, but it is also not the most expensive you will find in this review either. With the features you are given with this sprinkler, the price is well worth the investment. It is definitely a great recommendation with its added directional control, and overall versatility. You cannot go wrong when purchasing this sprinkler.
Because it's high quality, overall excellent performance, useful features as mentioned above and the one thing that's all ways on every bodies mind, value for money, it only made since to name this our 'Best Pick'. Superb sprinkler overall.
Nelson 1865 Raintrain Traveling Sprinkler
- Sprinkler moves along a set course of up to 200 ft.; stops when finished
- Requires little attention apart from set up and occasional monitoring
- Made from quality materials
- Provides great watering through even coverage
- Can ‘de-rail’ if the hose (track) is too curvy
- Low water pressure has the potential to cause malfunctions
- Expensive when compared to most other sprinklers
Unlike many other sprinklers on the market, the Rain Train moves on its own, allowing you to save time and improving water consumption. The tractor’s front wheel straddles the hose, allowing it to follow the path while water pressure controls its cleated back wheels. It then moves forward until it reaches a shutoff switch that is found at the end of the line. During its course, the Rain Train distributes a deep and even watering coverage over the entire area. But even though this sprinkler is self-propelled, it still needs to be monitored occasionally. You will need to be sure the path is free of hairpin turns, as well as clear of any obstructions.
The Nelson Raintrain is 23.5 x 2.5 x 51.4cm and weighs 8 Kg. The sprinkler arms are adjustable, creating a custom-made arc and angle, permitting a fifteen to fifty foot toss. It includes two speeds that allow for diverse watering rates and also includes a neutral setting for use as a stationary sprinkler. The Raintrain is able to move up to 60 ft. per hour, and can cover up to 13,500 sq. ft. of lawn during one “trip.”
- Cast-iron body/chip resistant, powder-coat paint
- Up to 13,000 sq. ft. coverage
- Travels up to 200 ft
- Adjustable aluminum spray arms provide a coverage range from 15ft. to 55ft.
- Three speeds
- Durable brass hose connection
- Ramp for hose
- Automatic shut off
- Two-Speed Transmission
- Patented rear wheel cleats
Our recommendation - Overall, the Nelson Raintrain sprinkler is recommended not only due to its unique design, but also because it provides fun for children. You can watch a tractor water your lawn. Even though it does have a hefty price tag, it does not appear to have many problems. However, if you have low water pressure, you may need to look at something a little more conventional.
Hozelock Rectangular Sprinkler Plus 200m²
- High performance sled sprinkler
- Maximum area coverage of 200 sq. m.
- Oscillating sprinkler capable of watering full or part rectangular lawn
- Water powered motor provides even water distribution
- 17 jets
- Sled design ensures stability
- Gear drive motor
This Hozelock Rectangular Sprinkler covers 200 sq. m., measuring 48.6 x 10 x 12.5 cm and weighing 399g. This oscillating sprinkler is designed to give 100% uniform water cover in spite of water pressure, (1-10 bar) and is constructed with 17 jets in order to provide maximum coverage of your lawn.
The adjustment to water a full rectangular or partial area is simple, as you only need to slide the red setting rings. The sprinkler is mounted on a stable sled which provides stability and features a reliable, water-powered, gear drive motor that functions at varying water pressures.
- Perfect for lawns and established plants
- Adjustment is easy and simple
- Two Year Guarantee for extra peace of mind
- Oscillation can stop working
- Can lock into position, causing puddling
Our recommendation - The Hozelock Rectangular Sprinkler Plus one of the best lawn sprinklers you can find on the market. It is extremely affordable and easy to use. A simple adjustment provides you with more control over what you want watered. A sprinkler that is stable, needs to be free of obstructions, and may need a little maintenance, this sprinkler could last you many years.
Hozelock Round Sprinkler Plus 254m²
- High performance
- Maximum area coverage of 354m²
- Area coverage up to 18m in diameter
- Two spray settings
- Sled base mount
- Ideal for lawn, matured plants, seeds, and seedlings
- Fine, jet, sprinkler spray pattern
- Circular shape
- Four arm rotating sprinkler
The Hozelock Round Sprinkler measures 20 x 10 x 23 cm and weighs 259g, with maximum area coverage of 254m² and a maximum 18m diameter. It contains four rotating sprinkler arms that work as a jet spray for watering lawn and matured plants, or mist spray for watering delicate plants and seedlings. By turning the easy grip knob, you can change the spray mode.
- High performance
- Four arm rotating sprinkler
- Two Year Guarantee
- Only waters in a circular shape
- Does not provide the power to meet the 254m² mark
Our recommendation - Overall, the Hozelock Round Sprinkler is a great sprinkler and is a great value considering the material it is made from. However, if you are looking for something a little more sturdy or for something that waters a higher range or in a rectangular fashion, some other sprinkler may be a better suited choice.
Quantum Garden Compact Oscillating Sprinkler
- Oscillates back and forth
- Flexible construction
- Coverage: 312m²
- 16 nozzles
- Includes a needle plug for nozzle cleaning
- Sliding range adjustments
The Quantum Garden Compact Oscillating Sprinkler is an Amazon Best Seller that includes 16 durable nozzles and contains a needle plug tool to clean the nozzles.
To adjust the range at which the water can reach, a sliding tab was constructed for ease. Its maximum coverage is 312m². This sprinkler also has a flexible construction, which helps prevent from breaking if it should get stepped on.
- Light weight
- Flexible construction
- Made entirely of plastic
- Does not function well with low water pressure
Our recommendation - Again, this sprinkler is made entirely from plastic. Even though it is constructed from a flexible material that claims to prevent breakage if stepped on, there is always a chance it could after excessive use and constant heat from the sun. However, if you are looking for something simple to water your lawn or something that you want your children to play in that is affordable, then this sprinkler is perfect for you.
Hozelock Round Sprinkler Pro 314m²
- High performance
- Maximum coverage up to 20m in diameter
- Rotating sprinkler
- Can water full or partial circular areas
- Uniform coverage
- Sled design
- Two Year Guarantee for extra peace of mind
The Hozelock Round Sprinkler Pro measures 35 x 26 x 27 cm and weighs 390g, with maximum area coverage of 314m² and up to 20m in diameter. This sprinkler contains two spray patterns and five jets, which makes it perfect for lawns and mature plants.
A fine spray is ideal for smaller areas including watering lawn seed, seedlings, or damping down a greenhouse. It is capable of uniform water distribution is due to the water powered motor and its two spray cycles.
This sprinkler is also mounted on a stable sled, giving it stability on any surface and features a reliable, water-powered gear driven motor that works at all water pressures.
- Two spray patterns; a fine spray or direct spray
- Value for money
- Some problems with circular spray pattern restrictor reported online
- Only great for circular lawns, areas
Our recommendation - The Hozelock’s durable design allows for a wide coverage. It is affordable and an ideal choice for a circular lawn or a small area. However, if you are looking for a sprinkler to water a rectangular or square area, a different model may suit your needs better.
Rehau Pulse Sprinkler
- Covers up to 520m²
- Intermittently sprays an overall circular area
- Heavy zinc and brass sprinkler
- Water pressure approximately 2-3 bar
- Tough metal stake
- Irrigates any cross sectional areas within 360 degree
- Two adjusting rings
The Rehau Pulse Sprinkler measures 33.3 x 11.9 x 6.6cm and weighs 331g, with approximate area coverage of 520m².
It is a high quality sprinkler constructed of heavy zinc and brass for watering areas up to 26m in diameter. With its sturdy metal stake, this sprinkler can efficiently water any cross areas within a 360 degree range.
It also contains two adjusting rings. A 3/4in connector with female thread permits the sprinkler to be joined effortlessly to all commercially accessible plastic irrigation systems.
- Value for money
- Made of zinc and brass
- Connects easily
- Covers a diameter of approximately 26m
- Metal spike can/will rust if not cleaned and dried
- Adjustment settings are wonky
- Only a circular pattern
Our recommendation - The Rehau Pulse Sprinkler is affordable and light weight. It is constructed from durable materials, such as zinc and brass. However, when it comes to the stake, it is constructed from an alloy which is relatively easy to crack or break. If you are planning to water a circular area, this sprinkler could be the perfect one for your lawn or garden.
Claber Idrojet 2000 Sprinkler
- Three rotating arm sprinkler
- Constructed entirely of ABS
- Adjustable nozzles
- Cover circular areas with a light rain effect
- 12m diameter
- Area coverage 113m²
- ?Works with low water pressure
- Rounded design assists in simple movement over lawn
The Claber Idrojet Sprinkler dimensions are17 x 20 x 7.5cm and weighs 249g, with an area coverage of 113m² and a maximum width coverage of 12m.
This sprinkler has a sled base that is constructed entirely of ABS plastic and features UV stabilization to promote longer product life. It has three rotating arms including adjustable nozzles to provide a gentle rain-like shower.
This sprinkler works efficiently in areas with water pressure as low as 14.5 psi and up to 58psi, which is perfect for regions with water restrictions.
- Effectively works in areas with low water pressure
- Constructed entirely of ABS plastic
Our recommendation - The Clabor Idrojet 2000 Sprinkler is a great sprinkler for your garden, as it provides a gentle mist to your flowers or vegetables. However, it may not be up to par when it comes to watering your lawn. It would also not be the first choice for larger, rectangular shaped yards.
Considering all of the sprinklers on this list, which would be the best sprinkler for your lawn? Let’s take a look each of the sprinklers’ features together.
The Nelson 1865 RainTrain Traveling Sprinkler is a fun way to irrigate your lawn. This heavy sprinkler is shaped like a tractor which features three speeds that can cover up to 13,500ft² and features adjustable aluminum spray arms which provide a coverage range from 15 feet to 55 feet in diameter. Some of its key features include a rust resistant cast-iron body, a durable brass hose connection, and a built-in automatic shut off. However, this sprinkler is expensive, can malfunction with low water pressure, and can “de-rail” if its track (the hose) is too curvy.
Gardena ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler contains 16 soft rubber nozzles, with user friendly adjustments, that provides an even water coverage. This sprinkler has an area coverage of 9 – 216m² with a diameter range of 3-12m. It is perfect for small areas and is very versatile. Its key features include directional control. However, this sprinkler is still a little pricey and the nozzles can tilt up when decreasing the width.
The Hozelock Rectangular Sprinkler Plus 200m² is a high performance sled sprinkler with a maximum coverage area of 200m². It provides 17 jets that provide uniform water coverage and is perfect for rectangular lawns and established plants. Its adjustable feature allows for watering a full rectangular area or partial. The Hozelock Rectangular Sprinkler’s key features include a two year warranty, affordability, its easy adjustment, and its ability to operate efficiently in areas with low water pressure. However, it can lock into position and cause puddles as a result.
The Hozelock Round Sprinkler Plus 254m² is a high performance, affordable, sled sprinkler with the capability to reach a maximum area coverage of 254m² and a diameter up to 18m. This sprinkler’s key features include its rotating four arms that provide two spray settings which is perfect for lawn, established plants, seeds, and seedlings. Unfortunately, it is made entirely of plastic and only sprays in a circular pattern.
The Compact Oscillating Sprinkler by Quantum Garden is an extremely affordable model for anyone on a strict budget. This sprinkler includes 16 durable nozzles and can cover up to 312m². Its key features include sliding tabs which allow for easy range adjustment, a flexible construction which prevents it from breaking, and it comes with a needle plug for cleaning the nozzles. However, it is made entirely from plastic and its lightweight design means it has the potential of sliding across the lawn when you turn on the hose.
The Hozelock Round Sprinkler Pro 314m² is an affordable high performance sled based sprinkler that can reach a coverage area of 314m² with a diameter of 20m. Its key features include five jets with two spray patterns that includes a reliable water-powered, gear driven motor that operates at all water pressures and comes with a two year guarantee. However, it is constructed entirely of plastic and there have been reports of some problems with circular spray pattern restrictor.
The Rehau Pulse Sprinkler is a high quality impulse sprinkler which sprays an area intermittently that will cover a circular area up to 520m². This sprinkler’s key features include its low price tag, and its materials constructed from heavy zinc and brass. You can also set it to spray a full 360 degrees. However, the stake is made from a metal alloy which makes it easy to crack.
The Clabor Idrojet 2000 Sprinkler has three rotating arms and is constructed entirely of ABS plastic. It features adjustable nozzles and is perfect for areas with water restrictions, as it can operate effectively with water pressure as low as 14.5psi. This is a very affordable model, however, it is made entirely of plastic, which gives it the potential to break very easily.
At the end of the day, it depends on your needs. If you are looking for something fun, exciting, and durable, then the Nelson 1865 RainTrain is the best lawn sprinkler for you, as you can customize it for any shaped or sized lawn. If you are looking for something a little more conventional for your rectangular yard, then the Gardena ZoomMaxx sprinkler would probably suit your needs the best because it sprays water back and forth evenly and is adjustable. However, if you are looking for a sprinkler that is for a circular or irregular shaped garden, then perhaps you may want to look into the Hozelock Round Sprinkler Pro 314m².
Maintenance of sprinklers
Whether you are searching for an oscillating, pulsating/impact, or a stationary sprinkler, it is important to maintain whichever you choose. Proper maintenance and cleaning of your sprinkler will give it the potential to last longer. Here are a couple of tips that will help you keep your sprinkler working for years to come.
Clogs - When your sprinkler is dirty it can become clogged with debris, which will prevent the sprinkler from watering your lawn. To get rid of a clog, all you need to do is simply take a small pin or needle (some models include a hidden poker in the end plug for unclogging your sprinklers jets), and simply insert it into the nozzle or jets to loosen the debris. Additionally, you should was the rest of the sprinkler to get rid of grease and dirt. Using a solution of vinegar and water will also clean any water deposits that your sprinkler may have.
Gears - The gears that allow your sprinkler to oscillate or rotate can become rusted, corroded, and suffer grime buildup. To prevent these problems from occurring, simply wipe your sprinkler with a clean cloth and then apply a spray lubricant at the end of each gear. This will allow the arm for an oscillating sprinkler to operate more smoothly.
Obstructions - Obstructions can interfere with any sprinkler’s process. These can include tall grass, weeds, gravel, or mulch. These sprinklers have a low profile, so anything that hinders the cylinder will cause friction, resulting in stripped or dislocated gears.
OUR BEST PICK
Have your say!
That’s it. We hope our guide and each Sprinkler review have provided meaningful solutions to your outdoor watering needs. Do you know any other models that you think we might have missed out? Feel free to share with us your thoughts in our comments section below.