Best Lawn Sprinkler Reviews

Gardening is a pastime with a very wide range of rewards.

If you want a bright and colorful garden, though, there’s no escaping the need for proper maintenance. Nowhere is this more important than with your lawn.

To keep your grass looking green and full of health, a suitable watering regime is essential.

Maybe you are happy to use an expandable hose but perhaps you want something that involves a little less effort…

Using Lawn Sprinkler

Today, we’ll look at 5 lawn sprinkler reviews so you can pick the best product for your specific needs.

Before that, we will try to simplify the complex issue of getting the best lawn sprinkler for the job.

First thing’s first, though…

An introduction to watering and some basic pointers to make your life easier.

Watering 101

Here are some simple tips when you are using a lawn sprinkler…

  • Avoid using a sprinkler when it’s windy. Much of the water will be carried off and wasted without reaching your lawn. You wouldn’t use a fertilizer spreader or a backpack sprayer in the wind so hold off with the watering as well
  • Watering early in the morning minimizes evaporation. The grass will then dry nicely as the day slowly warms up. Watering at night can increase the chance of mildew, rot and rust
  • Make sure you set up your sprinkler so that water does not overspill onto the pavement or any concrete. Again, this is a waste of water

When Should You Water The Lawn?

When you walk across the lawn and the grass does not spring back into place as it should, this is called footprinting.

At this time, your lawn is crying out for some moisture.

Break out the sprinkler and keep it looking bright green and in the peak of health. As long as you use the right fertilizer alongside, your grass will grow to the best of its ability when treated well.

How Much Should You Water Your Lawn?

When you are using a portable sprinkler to water your garden, you’ll need to know 2 main things:

  • The delivery rate of the sprinkler
  • How quickly water can penetrate your soil

Here’s a quick example of how 1 inch of water will moisten different types of soil:

  • Heavy Clay: 4-5inches
  • Sandy: 12 inches
  • Loam: 7 inches

Determining the delivery rate is a cinch. You can use either a little can or a dedicated rain gauge. Place it at regular intervals in the path of the sprinkler. Time how long it takes to fill with 1 inch of water.

Steer Clear of Shallow Watering

When you are watering, if you are only managing to moisten the first inch or two of soil…

You’re not watering properly. Just as you need to undergo the correct fertilizing routine in the garden, getting things right with the moisture levels is critical.

If you do not water deeply enough, the roots of the grass remain too close to the surface. This renders your lawn at risk of drought.

Water thoroughly and deeply to avoid a parched lawn.

Different Types of Lawn Sprinkler

Like with many garden tools, lawn sprinklers come in many different guises.

We’ll give you a snapshot here of the most popular varieties…

Standing/Spike Sprinkler

This is an extremely versatile variant. The sprinkler is set on top of a spike which is pushed into the ground.

You can get circular or semi-circular spray, rectangle or mist shapes so get the right one for the type of garden you have.

With a standing sprinkler, you’ll get great and even coverage. You can adjust the height as well as flicking between spray, mist or steam.

The non-oscillating spike sprinklers are your best bet. They are cheap and built to stay the distance.

Stationary Sprinkler

The key advantage of stationary sprinklers is having no moving parts to worry about. You can enjoy sprinkling in its simplest form.

This is another flexible choice. Stationary sprinklers water the lawn effectively and also do the trick for small flower beds. This variety of sprinkler will serve you well in areas with sub-par water pressure.

You’ll get pretty large drops of water and this sort of sprinkler will saturate an area quite quickly.

Rotating Sprinkler

These rotating sprinklers are sometimes known as Whirling Nelsons.

With a heavy zinc base so it won’t tip over and the durability of an aluminum top, you can string a number of rotating sprinklers together with a series connection base.

If your lawn is square shaped, this sprinkler will offer you superb coverage and will get into all the corners fuss-free.

The very fine droplets expelled from a rotating sprinkler simulate rain. You can even water very young seedlings safely with this kind of mist.

This is another cheap and rugged sprinkling solution. The key weak point is the hose connector so keep an eye on that.

Pulse-Jet Sprinkler

These sprinklers have a central pivot with a single spay jet.

A sequence of water pulses allows you to deal with watering even large areas with the utmost ease.

You can get pulse-jets in metal, plastic or brass.

Easily adjustable for long streams of water or a shower spray, pulse-jet sprinklers are an outstanding way to maintain big gardens.

Watch out for uneven or unsteady sprinkling.

Oscillating Sprinkler

These sprinklers are a combination of metal and plastic parts.

Oscillating sprinklers work best in rectangular spaces. Using a pair of levers, you can set the spray to a great range of settings.

They are more prone to breaking so work out quite expensive if you need to replace the entire sprinkler. Water flow also lacks consistency.

Hose Timers

When it comes to outright convenience, hose timers are a great add-on to almost any sprinkler. You just pop the timer between the tap and the hose.

The standard timer turns the water off according to presets, usually anywhere from 5 minutes to a couple of hours.

Computerized timers give you even more flexibility. Your can program your watering schedule even if you are not at home. These timers are tailor-made for anyone who travels frequently yet demands a well-manicured lawn.

So…

Now you have a good understanding of lawn sprinkling, time to get down to 5 lawn sprinkler reviews.

If you take the time to research your purchase, you can sit back and revel in a lush green lawn without breaking your back to keep it moist and fresh.

5 Lawn Sprinkler Reviews

Product Name

Image

Type

Coverage(square feet)

Price

Our Rating

Melnor XT Turbo

Melnor XT Turbo

Oscillating

4000

$$

#1
Editor Choice

Nelson Rainscapes

Nelson Rainscapes

Spike 3 Sprinkler

4000

$

#2

Melnor Metal

Melnor Metal

Pulsating

8000

$$

#3

Rain Bird

Rain Bird

Automatic in-ground

3000

$$$$

#4

Nelson50956

Nelson 50956

Stationary

5000

$

#5

Melnor manufacture reliable garden tools which don’t cost a fortune so you’re in safe hands with the XT Turbo sprinkler.

We are looking here at the 3-way adjustment model. You can also opt for 1, 2 or 4-way functionality but 3-way offers pretty much exactly what you will need.

An oscillating sprinkler, this is absolutely ideal for rectangular gardens so think about what kind of layout you’ll be dealing with.

You can enjoy beautiful, even watering and adjust the width with the patented one-touch system offered by Melnor.

Even if you have a large, rambling garden, the XT Turbo will power through up to 4000 square feet of lawn without you breaking into a sweat. There are 18 nozzles – 6 with positive shutoff – so you can easily make fine adjustments.

If you are in the market for a simple but efficient lawn sprinkler, pop the Melnor on your shortlist. You will not be disappointed.


Pros

  • Flow-control is inbuilt so get the right amount of water without a headache
  • 3-way adjustment for real flexibility
  • Copes with gardens up to 4000 square feet with ease
  • Lifetime warranty from Melnor so a no-risk purchase
  • Crafted to prevent clogging

Cons

  • Oscillating sprinklers can be vulnerable to breakage but you’re covered by the warranty here

This simple spike sprinkler system with 3 sprinkler heads is great if you have a smaller garden that needs attention.

The Nelson Rainscapes works best with smaller gardens up to 4000 square feet but you can connect multiple sprinklers if you have more grass that requires watering.

Set up is extremely straightforward. You can be up and running in no time at all.

You can tweak the pattern of spray on each of the 3 heads in up to 4 different ways making this a highly versatile piece of kit.

If you are looking for something that’s not as complicated as a full sprinkler system but still offers excellent coverage with minimum effort, take a good long look at this watering system from Nelson.


Pros

  • Extremely cost-effective watering solution
  • 4 adjustable spray patterns on each head
  • Simple to set up and roll up
  • Garden hose and couplings included
  • Hook up multiple units for larger spaces

Cons

  • Lacks the solidity of some more expensive models

Another superb sprinkler from Melnor up next, this rugged metal pulsating model that’s sure to last.

As with its oscillating stablemate, this pulsating sprinkler comes at an almost unbelievably cheap price. You won’t get a shoddy or lightweight sprinkler, though. Melnor are renowned for providing wonderfully durable products cheaply.

The all-metal parts mean that you won’t need to worry about replacing your sprinkler frequently as can happen with some cheaper plastic versions. The steel base is coated with black enamel.

Coverage is great. Reaching out to a wide diameter, you can water just under 8000 square feet with the Melnor.

You can tweak the spray shape between 30 and 360 degrees for total versatility.

The limited 7-year warranty allows you peace of mind.

If you are looking for an inexpensive lawn sprinkler capable of dealing with even larger yards hassle-free, think seriously about this pulsating beauty from Melnor.


Pros

  • Outstanding build quality
  • Metal base resists rust all the way
  • Hit up to 85 inches in diameter for great coverage
  • Good for gardens up to 8000 square feet
  • Buy confidently with 7-year limited warranty
  • Very flexible angles for spraying from 30 to 360 degrees

Cons

  • Monitor metal connector to hose as it can crack over time

Something a little different from Rain Bird, this automatic in-ground sprinkler system is a fantastic way to give your garden all the water it needs.

Sidestep the need for messing around with your faucet or hose. Simply connect the Rain Bird to an outdoor tap once you have set it up and you can keep your lawn watered year-round without lifting a finger.

This sprinkler is best for anyone with a middle-sized lawn. The Rain Bird comes into its own for areas from 1000 to 3000 square feet.

The timer is clear and as easy to read as it is to program.

With such high efficiency, timed watering, you can do your part for the environment as well as maintaining a tip-top lawn.

For anyone prepared to spend a little more for a highly effective sprinkler system for their lawn, the Rain Bird takes some beating.


Pros

  • Automatic watering for the whole growing season
  • No need to keep adjusting hoses and faucets
  • Simple to set up
  • Hooks up directly to an outdoor faucet
  • Great for medium sized lawns up to 3000 square feet
  • Rugged gear-drive rotors for power and performance
  • Easy to read timer settings

Cons

  • Reasonably expensive compared to other types of sprinkler

Nelson offers an extremely cheap stationary sprinkler for anyone working on a strict budget. If cash is tight, there’s no excuse not to give your lawn the care it deserves.

You can enjoy choosing from 8 pre-sets so you can vary the pattern of spray according to your needs. This is easily changed from a halo or circle through to squares and triangles.

There’s rather too much plastic on this sprinkler but for the price you cannot really complain. The overall feel is solid and it should last without letting you down.

If you want to take care of all your watering needs quickly and easily, the Nelson 50956 is a superb entry into the world of garden sprinklers.


Pros

  • Extremely cheap but built to last
  • 8 pre-set sprinkling patterns so highly versatile
  • Easy grip on sleeve makes changing patterns a breeze
  • Base looks attractive and is also highly durable
  • Ergonomic grip for ease of use

Cons

  • Too much plastic means it lacks in weight

Wrap-Up

We hope that this glance at 5 lawn sprinkler reviews has been informative and helpful in your quest for the best lawn sprinkler you can get your hands on.

Get in touch if you have any questions for us or you’d like to give any feedback. We are always extremely happy to hear from our readers.

Happy watering!

Dianne T. Lampe
 

Hi there, I’m Dianne! Welcome to a one-stop shop for your gardening needs. We aim here to offer up a very wide range of information about many aspects of gardening. From flowers and planting through to vegetables and accessories, find all the information you need here. We have a true passion for everything green. We’re highly motivated to develop this site continuously and offer any insights we can alongside useful facts and handy hints. Please get in touch and let us know what you would like us to cover. Thoughts and feedback are always welcomed. Enjoy!

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