Garden & Lawn

5 Best Lawn Sprinklers Tested on Small and Large Gardens – My recommendations

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I have been using lawn sprinklers for over 20 years and have tested many different garden sprinklers from companies such as Hozelock, Karcher, cheap supermarket sprinklers; and my latest test sprinkler was the Gardena premium oscillating sprinkler, as shown in my picture below.

Gardena premium oscillating sprinkler water large front garden to water in lawn weed and feed that was applied
Gardena premium oscillating sprinkler water large front garden to water in lawn weed and feed that was applied – Was able to cover about 400 square meters

The Gardena premium oscillating sprinkler is probably the best choice if you have a large garden, but you do need good water pressure to get the most coverage. I’ve been testing this Gardena premium oscillating sprinkler lately at my parent’s house. They have half-decent pressure, so it was an excellent place to use it over the last couple of years to test its durability as well as its overall performance. However, they don’t have what I would call amazing pressure, but it still has decent coverage and can easily cover the whole lawn in the picture above.

Gardena 8135-20 Premium Full or Part Circle Pulse Sprinkler
Gardena 8135-20 Premium Full or Part Circle Pulse Sprinkler

I review several similar models further down, but so far, I can honestly say, this has been the best oscillating sprinkler I have used. The metal build quality is very sturdy, I was really impressed with it. It also has some weight to it for a sprinkler. This means it doesn’t twist, and turnover like some of the plastic alternatives I have used in the past.

If you have ever used a cheap plastic sprinkler, you will know what I’m talking about. Personally, I don’t think the cheap plastic sprinklers are worth getting unless you have a one-off watering schedule in mind (Just laid some new turf, for example) and can treat it as a through away product. However, I prefer investing my money in garden tools that will last many years.

Testing Gardena premium oscillating sprinkler in front garden
Was able to get around 250 square meter of garden with this Costwise Pro Oscillating Bar Lawn Sprinkler during recent tests

This Costwise Pro Oscillating Bar Sprinkler has also proved to be a very useful sprinkler because it has settings to adjust the spray width to make it as wide or as narrow as I need. The incoming pressure can be adjusted on the sprinkler itself to adjust the spray length. Then, to really dial it in, you can also adjust how far it rotates back and forth. I have been using this Costwise Pro Oscillating Bar Sprinkler myself for over 3 years now, and it’s still like new. It’s a little faded, but being made from metal, it’s still in great condition and working great. Its also metal, so again, just like the previous model I mentioned by Gardenia won’t flip itself over.

The metal Costwise Pro Oscillating Bar Sprinkler has plenty of setting to fine tune watering area
The metal Costwise Pro Oscillating Bar Sprinkler has plenty of setting to fine tune watering area

What I will say, is that its better suited for smaller or medium-sized lawns like I have at the moment. However, I’ve tested this sprinkler with good pressure, and it will cover up to 200-300²m. To give you an idea, my water pressure at home isn’t always great, and I get around 150²m coverage, which covers my entire lawn but nowhere near the 200-300²m I was able to cover at my parent’s house where they have large lawns but also better pressure.

Costwise Pro Oscillating Bar Lawn Sprinkler watering my
Costwise Pro Oscillating Bar Lawn Sprinkler 144 square meter garden

Just something you need to take into account. Just because brands state they will do 375² m or 400², doesn’t mean you will get that coverage when you use it. You most likely won’t get anywhere near the coverage they say unless you have exceptional water pressure yourself.

5 Best sprinklers: my top picks from testing

  1. Costwise PRO Oscillating Metal SprinklerTested over 3 yearsThis is probably the best for small to medium-sized gardens. Lots of control in the spray pattern, plus excellent build quality.
  2. Gardena Premium Sprinkler – Tested over 2 years now – This is a great choice for larger gardens; very practical, has lots of adjustment in the distance and wide of spray and has excellent build quality.
  3. Gardena Zoommaxx Sprinkler – Another great sprinkler
  4. Gardena ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler
  5. Hozelock Rectangular Sprinkler Plus

What type of garden sprinkler do you really need?

Before I get into these lawn sprinklers in more detail, the first thing to consider is do you really need a lawn sprinkler?

This may sound like an odd question being that this guide is about lawn sprinklers but bear with me. These types of sprinklers are not always the best option for all watering situations. For watering borders, I opt for a soaker hose to slowly release water directly into the flower bed. For my raised beds, I use a sprinkler system designed for lower beds.

Automatic watering system setup in raised bed in my garden
Sprinkler system setup on raised beds to automate watering

I also did a guide on how to setup a water system here if your’re interested.

Then for my pots and containers, I use a Hozelock drip system that comes from my timer to the pots using discrete micro tubing, as shown in the photo below.

Drip systems are great for hanging baskets and pots as shown in my garden

It’s worth noting I have different watering systems connected to my LinkTap G2S Wireless Water Timer (pictured below) which is also connected to an auto hose reel. This is another game changer I highly recommend, as it allows me to quickly attach a sprinkler in the centre of my garden as well as do watering by hand. This entire watering setup helps to automate the watering for all parts of my garden. This has become very handy when I’m on holiday.

LinkTap wireless water timer I use to water my gardens lawns, borders and raised beds
LinkTap wireless water timer I use to water my gardens lawns, borders and raised beds

Best Garden Sprinklers Buyers Guide

When do you need a lawn sprinkler

Comparing lawn sprinklers to see how they compare

When it comes to lawns, sprinklers are a great way to keep your lawn watered after laying new turf or seeding a new lawn. During this time, it’s important to keep your lawn moist until the lawn seed germinates or ensure new turf does not shrink (a common problem people have after laying new turf and not watering it enough). I sometimes use them to water the lawn after applying a good quality lawn moss killer if it hasn’t rained to ensure it doesn’t burn the lawn.

The best lawn sprinklers also give you better control over where you water and if you connect it to a water timer, you can also water at certain times a day automatically. I also like water timers as you can’t forget to water your lawn, plus you can water late in the evening or morning when the water pressure is usually at its best. I actually now use a smart water timer to make things seven more automated and easier.

For my own lawn and my client’s lawns (I am a professional gardener and nurseryman by trade), this is when I always recommend getting a good lawn sprinkler for lawn maintenance.

The two types of sprinkler I recommend

Oscillating sprinklers (Pulse sprinklers)

Oscillating sprinklers (Pulse sprinklers)

Basiclly you have two types of sprinklers, spring-loaded oscillating sprinklers. These types of sprinklers, such as my favourite for medium and larger lawns, this Gardena premium oscillating sprinkler pictured above. This model can spray the water up to 360 degrees in a circular motion or whatever area you set on the sprinkler. On the model above and below, you can just spray between 25 and 360 degrees which is great if you want to position against a fence or need to water a small section of lawn.

Gardena 8135-20 Premium Full or Part Circle Pulse Sprinkler

These types of sprinklers are great for larger gardens as they can usually cover as much as 450-500 ²m but thats assumes you have good pressure. Even with good pressure, you will never achieve the same coverage with a bar sprinkler. You can also adjust the distance of the spray as well as join multi sprinklers together to cover an even larger area if needed. This setup, however, needs good water pressure to use multiple sprinklers at the same time to work effectively. However for large lawns, these are by far the best option.

Bar lawn sprinklers

best sprinkler for lawns and garden
Two different bar sprinklers

Bar lawn sprinklers are great for smaller and medium-sized lawns. These sprinklers contain a long plastic or metal tube with many openings and move back and forth, producing a fan-shaped waterfall effect. I like these types of sprinklers as it’s easy to water a certain area of lawn, as they make a rectangle-shaped spray of water, so it’s easier to water right up to the edge of the lawn. I prefer to use these types of sprinklers on square or rectangular shapes lawns are you can usually water the whole lawn at once, so you get no missed patches. Something that can happen with Oscillating sprinklers due to the shape of the spray.


5 Lawn Sprinkler Review

Below I have reviewed 5 of what I think are some of the best lawn sprinklers. However, if I had just to review two models, it would be the first two reviewed below, the Costwise Pro Oscillating Bar Lawn Sprinkler and the Gardena premium oscillating sprinkler, as these two really did stand out. Put it this way, if I had to get a new sprinkler again, it would be one of these two depending on the size of the garden.

1. Costwise Pro Oscillating Bar Lawn Sprinkler

BEST PICK

Pro Oscillating Bar Lawn Sprinkler being tested
My Costwise Pro Oscillating Bar Lawn Sprinkler is now in its third year of testing
  • Ideal for all garden sizes, including large lawns up to 385m2 (with optimum pressure, realistically around 200 m2 from my testing), thanks to the ability to adjust spray width and pressure via the sprayer itself.
  • Metal base for better stability and to prolong the life of the sprayer.
  • Unique cleanable nozzles.
  • Includes a nozzle cleaning tool to unblock nozzles if needed.
  • An Inlet filter is included to help prevent blockages.
  • Adjustable spray settings so you can water right up to the edge of a path.
  • One side can be set to spray further than the other side.

I must admit, I’d never heard of Costwise until I come across it on Amazon and decided to test it for myself. It’s not a specific gardening brand like Gardena or Hozelock but it looked like it was worth considering. That was 3 years back, and I’ve been really impressed with it so far. Personally, I think it’s actually the best bar sprinkler I have used.

Everything about it, they have got right from the different ways you can adjust the spray patterns to the overall build quality, which has a heavy metal base for stability. If you have a garden up to around 200 square meters, especially a square or rectangle-shaped lawn like I have, this is the lawn sprinkler I would recommend spending your money on.

Costwise metal lawn bar sprinkler is well designed
Gives a very even spray pattern, great for watering reseeded lawns

Forget about those cheap light plastic sprinklers. If your lawn is uneven or it’s windy, it will probably flip over; they also usually have limited spray patterns. The Costwise Pro Oscillating Bar Lawn Sprinkler is in its own league when it comes to the overall performance, how you can adjust the spray pattern and, more importantly, build quality. The closest brand that even comes close is probably Gardena premium sprinklers. What I will say, this sprinkler does have a premium price, it’s not cheap.

Pro Oscillating Bar Lawn Sprinkler being tested to see the space patterns

So what makes it stand out of the crowd? Well, the first thing you notice about this garden sprinkler is that it has a relatively heavy metal base. This ensures it’s very stable on the ground and won’t flip easily, unlike those plastic models that are so light that even a slight twist of a hose is enough to topple them over. This one is robust and still easy to relocate as needed. I have not seen a better-made sprinkler. It really is that good.

Pro Oscillating Bar Lawn Sprinkler uses Hozelock style attachments to be compatible to most hose pipes as standard
The sprinkler connects directly to any Hozelock-style quick-connect fittings

When it comes to spray coverage, it’s supposed to be 385 square meters, perfect for large lawns. However, what I will say is that from my own testing, I’ve been able to cover about 200 square meters. With this in mind, I would base your expectations on this with ok pressure. If you have very good pressure, maybe your get more like 300-400 square meters. Personally, I think it comes into its own on smaller or medium-sized lawns where you don’t have to move it or if you do, probably just once to water the whole lawn.

Adjusting the spray patterns and area watered

One of the settings I really like is that the spray width on each side is fully adjustable so you can slide the orange switches shown in the picture below up and down to point the nozzles to the left, right or straight up. Basiclly you can control the width of the spray on each side of the sprinkler independently.

You can also set how far it rotates forwards and backwards to control where you water.

Adjusting the spray pattern left or right using the lever, left lever is for left side, right lever is for right side
Adjusting the spray pattern left or right using the lever, the left lever is for the left side, the right lever is for the right side

In the picture below, the sprinkler is set to water with a narrow spray (left and right watering is not set to form a narrow spray).

Narrow spray pattern

In the picture below, you can see the sprinkler is set to water to the left and straight up.

In the picture below, you can see the sprinkler is set to water to the left and straight up.
Spraying left and in front of the sprinkler only

In the picture below, the sprinkler is set to water towards the right but not the left of the sprinkler.

In the picture the sprinkler is set to water towards the right but not left of the sprinkler.
Spraying right and in front of the sprinkler only

You can also adjust the water flow rate with the very responsive dial, which means you can adjust the coverage even further by increasing or lowing the water pressure. The only downside is you need the sprinkler on to do this properly, and will get wet trying to adjust the water pressure using the grey dial on the top right of the sprinkler as shown in the picture below.

Twist knob to increase or reduce water pressure for more control of sprinkler
Twist the large grey dial to increase and lower the pressure for more control

This model additionally features an inlet filter, which prevents dirt from entering and clogging up the nozzles. Better still, a nozzle cleaning tool is included to help clean blocked nozzles should they become blocked for any reason. This is not something I have really needed to use myself.

Nozzle cleaner for clearing blocked nozzles on sprinkler
The nozzle is stored at the end of the sprinkler and screws into it, so you always know where it is
nozzle cleaner which is stored in sprinkler end
Using the nozzle cleaner on one of the few rare occasions I have needed it

Pros

  • Ideal for medium to large lawns, thanks to 385m2 potential coverage.
  • Easy to set up and move when needed.
  • Compatible with Hozelock quick connect fittings or similar.
  • Multi-adjustable settings for spray pattern, width, and water flow rate.
  • Integrates a filter inlet to prevent nozzle blockage.
  • The metal base ensures maximum stability on the ground.
  • Supplied with a nozzle cleaning tool.
  • Built to last, one of the best sprinklers I have owned.

Cons

  • More expensive than many other models but well worth the price.

Our recommendation

This a robust and high-quality sprinkler, without a doubt, one of the best sprinklers I have ever tested. I love its heavy metal base, which obviously makes it incredibly stable, which is where many models fail.

It has proven to give great coverage with normal water pressure, and its adjustments for width, length, and flow rate are really useful. A fantastic design overall and is easy to use too. If you’re looking for a high-quality garden sprinkler, the Costwise Pro Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler is well worth considering, it’s a little more expensive but well worth the extra investment if it’s within your budget.

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2. Gardena Premium Full or Part Circle Pulse Sprinkler

Best Pick For large lawns

Gardena Premium Full or Part Circle Pulse Sprinkler
  • Ideal for large gardens as it provides good coverage of between 75-490 m2 at 4 bar and 75-415 m2 at only 2 bar.
  • Also ideal for smaller and medium-sized gardens thanks to the adjustable spray setting.
  • Stable fixing thanks to premium plastic construction and 3 metal plates underneath to weigh it down.
  • Easily extendable to add more sprinklers for very large gardens.
  • Comes with an impressive 5-year warranty.

The Gardena Premium Full or Part Circle Pulse Sprinkler is designed to irrigate large areas effortlessly, but it’s also a great sprinkler for smaller lawns too. This has a tremendous coverage of around 490m2 (at 4 bar/56 psi).

To give some comparison, if you have lower pressure, for example, I had around 2 bar/28psi, and I managed to get around 415m2 with a 23m diameter. However, in my small garden, which is around 10m x 10m, I had no issues reducing the spray to match my garden size.

Made from premium plastic and some metal parts which include the silver sprinkler head
Made from premium plastic and some metal parts which include the silver sprinkler head

Build quality is very good, it made from metal and plastic components. At first, I thought it was all metal. However, it’s actually mostly plastic, but it has metal plates in the base to add weight and some of the sprinkler head is metal too. Overall it’s very robust and weighted to keep it steady on the ground, and it seems to work well.

Turn the orange clips to adjust the rotating spray from 25 degrees for a part circle to 360 for a full circle
Turn the orange clips to adjust the rotating spray from 25 degrees for a part circle to 360 for a full circle

It also has a high-precision metal nozzle which effectively supports the distribution of water in either full or part circle. In short, this sprinkler can be set to water a wide range of sectors between 25 degrees and full 360-degree coverage by moving the orange clips left and right to adjust how far the head can rotate, as shown in the picture above.

Adjusting the turn dial to set how fat the spray reaches
Adjusting the turn dial to set how fat the spray reaches

Then you can turn the orange and black dial switch, as shown in the picture above. That simply alters the height of the spray, which in turn adjusts the spray length from around 10 meters long to as far as 25 meters to give the best coverage, which is around 415 – 490 m2, depending on your water pressure.

The end cap that can be removed to screw on another male connector to attach more sprinklers to
The end cap can be removed to screw on another male connector to attach more sprinklers to

Finally, a feature this sprinkler has but I have not used is the ability to allow you to connect more sprinklers in a row and extend your irrigation. To be fair, you can do a similar thing with most sprinklers using the right connectors and some hose if you really need to. In reality, a lot of people probably wouldn’t have suitable pressure to use a few sprinklers at the same time.

It’s also worth noting that it comes with a 5-year warranty; not many brands offer this length of warranty; most are 12 months.

Pros

  • Allows for multiple spray adjustments in terms of angle, range, and volume.
  • Has a weighted base which renders stable anchoring support.
  • Superior coverage up to 490m2, perfect for large lawns but you need good pressure.
  • Includes GARDENA System Connector, designed for connecting several other sprinklers. Again need good pressure for this to useful.
  • Robust construction for maximum durability.
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty for full peace of mind.

Cons

  • Quite expensive.
  • Falls short of the maximum range without sufficient pressure as you would expect.

Our recommendation

This is absolutely perfect for gardeners with large lawns to water, but it’s also great for small lawns too. Thats the beauty of this sprinkler; it’s so versatile that you can alter the area watered easily by adjusting the spray angle and length to adjust the area being watered.

Lastly, no one else gives a 5-year warranty on a garden sprinkler. Overall it’s probably just as good as the Costwise Pro Bar Sprayer, but it serves a different watering spray and pattern for different shapes and sizes of lawns.

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3. Gardena 2082-20 Classic Oscillating Sprinkler Polo 220

Gardena 220 Classic Oscillating Sprinkler Polo
  • Multi-stage turbodrive gear.
  • Range of spray: 7m – 17m depending on pressure.
  • Width of the spray: 13m max.
  • Water coverage – 90m2 to 220m2.

The Gardena 2082-20 Classic Oscillating Sprinkler Polo 220 is a well-made model that’s ideal for keeping areas 90m2 and 220m2 optimally hydrated. It features a multi-stage turbodrive gear that ensures uniform irrigation without puddles. The range is adjustable between 7 and 17 metres, whilst the sprinkling width can be increased up to 13 metres. The sprinkler includes a fine-mesh steel filter that traps any dirt in the incoming water and renders the unit virtually maintenance-free. 

For extra convenience, this sprinkler is made of top quality materials that are highly durable and UV-protected for extended service life. The body is actually lightweight with true-to-size faucets that are compatible with most standard hoses available in the market. The Gardena 2082-20 is affordable, ideal for light and heavy watering tasks and it’s covered by a 5-year warranty.

Pros

  • Adjustable spray range as well as sprinkling width.
  • Lightweight yet sturdy construction.
  • Built-in filter keeps out harmful particles.
  • Easy to clean the nozzles.

Cons

  • No problems to report with this model, not as durable as our previous two recommendations but it’s much more affordable.

Our recommendation

Any small garden will benefit from this garden sprinkler. It’s perhaps a little smaller than you might think but does a hell of a job.

The sprinkler is a breeze to install, and its adjustable spray settings mean you can match the size and shape of your lawn. The build is fairly high quality, and it’s even UV-protected for improved durability. That being said, it’s not my ‘Best Pick’ but it’s a much cheaper alternative and the plastic parts seem to be good quality.

I like that it has an integrated dirt filter which ensures even the smallest particles shouldn’t find a way to blog the nozzles. I highly recommend this Gardena 2082-20 Classic Oscillating Sprinkler Polo 220 as it offers fantastic quality and function at an even better price.

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4. Gardena ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler

Gardena Oscillating Sprinkler ZoomMaxx - Multi-Colour
  • 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 lightweight and compact sprinkler that comes with directional control

Pros

  • Perfect for small areas
  • 16 flexible nozzles
  • Versatile
  • Light-weight and compact
  • Directional Control

Cons

  • 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 always on every bodies mind, value for money. Superb sprinkler overall.

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5. Hozelock Rectangular Sprinkler Plus

HOZELOCK - Rectangular Oscillating Sprinkler Plus 200 m² : Medium-area Tractor-mounted Spray Sprinkler, Ideal for Lawn and Established Plant, Adjustable Oscillation: 17 Jets Even Coverage [2974P0000]
  • High performance sled sprinkler.
  • Maximum area coverage of 200 sq. m.
  • Oscillating sprinkler capable of watering full or part rectangular lawn.
  • Sled design ensures stability.

This Hozelock Rectangular Sprinkler covers 200 sq. m., measuring 48.6 x 10 x 12.5 cm and weighing 399g is one of the smaller Hozelock sledge style sprinklers.

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.

Pros

  • Perfect for people with low pressure.
  • Adjustment is easy and simple using just one simple red slider switch.
  • Affordable
  • Two Year Guarantee for extra peace of mind.

Cons

  • Can lock into position, causing puddling

Our recommendation

The Hozelock Rectangular Sprinkler Plus is one of the most affordable 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 to be watered and it’s fairly straightforward to use. 

Build quality wise, it’s more than adequate. To be honest, it’s not a bad sprinkler, but some of the other sprinklers are much better and much more reliable. Ideally we would advise you pay a little more and get a more robust model for peace of mind, however if you’re on a budget, this model is as good as they come for the price.

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Final Conclusion

At the end of the day, it depends on your needs. If you are looking for something a little more conventional for your rectangular lawn, then you can’t go wrong with the Costwise Pro Oscillating Bar Lawn Sprinkler, and for larger lawns, the Gardena Premium Full or Part Circle Pulse Sprinkler is by far the best in both build quality and performance. 

A more affordable alternative I would choose is the Gardena ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler, this was also a great little sprinkler.

The above are all more expensive than most other models, but you get what you pay for, and this is very true with sprinklers. I find cheap sprinklers are hard to set, offer very limited control and because most have no kind of filter, they seem to clog and not work properly. Then you get the weight issue, and them flipping over and easily breaking.


Last update on 2024-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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