There are many ways to water your lawn. Some homeowners prefer watering using a garden hose while others go for drip irrigation systems. Likewise, there are those who stand by their oscillating sprinkler. After all, it’s an efficient watering tool for evenly spreading water all around your lawn. Here, we take a look at the best oscillating sprinkler in the market.
Before you purchase one, it’s essential that you know how an oscillating sprinkler ones. As the name implies, this type of sprinkler works like a fan in that it moves back and forth to spray water. This oscillating process is carried out by the jets that not only move around but also release the water. In addition, an oscillating sprinkler can be made out of plastic or aluminum.
Here is a video of an oscillating sprinkler in action:
The oscillating sprinkler is a common watering option for homeowners to irrigate the newly seeded portions of their gardens. Also, this type of sprinkler is great for efficiently watering medium-sized and large-sized lawns. With an oscillating sprinkler, you can change the spray pattern.
Since you can adjust the pulse pattern or the spray pattern, the oscillating sprinkler can reach the nearest and the farthest corners of your lawn. In fact, it does so without relying on a high-pressure release that could harm newly grown plants.
Through its oscillating pattern, you are ensured that all sections of your lawn will ideally have an equal coverage of water. Thus, no dry patches will appear and your lawn grass will grow at the same time. Additionally, an even spread stops water from being wasted. Your garden won’t be overwatered, which helps to stop puddles from appearing and seedlings from being dislodged.
The ability to cover a huge area is why homeowners with large-sized lawns prefer this type. As the oscillating sprinkler moves and back forth, the center and the corners of one’s garden are all covered with gently released water.
Consequently, there are oscillating sprinklers with a built-in sensor. This sensor is responsible for detecting rainfall. Upon identifying rainfall, the sensor prompts the oscillating sprinkler to stop operating. This will save you money in water expenses apart from ensuring that water runoff is prevented as much as possible.
One of the most commons reasons why some homeowners don’t get an oscillating sprinkler is the cost. In particular, the biggest variants with the most advanced sensors could be quite expensive. You could treat it as a long-term investment, but it won’t prove its worth if you’ll only use the oscillating sprinkler a few times each year.
Likewise, you might need to hire a technician to help in assembling and installing an oscillating sprinkler. This is more likely if you’d like to customize the irrigating machine to suit the needs of your garden. You could be spending more apart from just purchasing the sprinkler.
Lastly, you might not benefit a lot if you get a small model of an oscillating sprinkler system. Ideally, such irrigation system should be able to cover entire your lawn. However, cutting down the cost to get a basic type for your large-sized lawn will make it less efficient. You might still have to move it around from time to time so that the jets could reach the farthest areas of the lawn.
Not all oscillating sprinklers are built the same way. Before you acquire your own, it would be best to think of the many factors that help differentiate one model from another.
We need to differentiate between useful features and gimmicky ones. Otherwise, you might pay for something you’d rarely use anyway. Some of the practical features include rain sensors, quick deactivation, and timers for a more automated irrigation. In addition, an adjustable oscillating sprinkler is more expensive than a non-adjustable variant, but it will allow you to customize or modify its components.
Even before you thought of having an oscillating sprinkler, you most likely already have other irrigation tools. These include nozzles, connectors, fittings, and hoses for watering your garden. Before you get an oscillating sprinkler, you can check if the connectors and other parts you have are compatible with the sprinkler system.
It’s expected that such piece of equipment would have a warranty. However, not all manufacturers will provide the same guarantees. For one, it’s better to get an oscillating sprinkler with a money back guarantee, regardless if it’s just for 30 days or a full three months. Similarly, you could compare the duration of the warranties. Some will only have a six-month warranty for certain parts while others will offer a one-year warranty on all parts.
A typical sprinkler would be able to irrigate an area up to 30 feet away. Regardless whether you have a small-sized lawn or a huge garden, you should know the maximum range of the oscillating sprinkler. Based on this information, you should be able to determine how many sprinklers you would require for your irrigation system. Not enough sprinklers would lead to uneven water coverage while too many of them could also affect the plants in your neighbors’ garden.
An oscillating sprinkler with many holes will provide greater coverage. However, you wouldn’t need this if you have a small lawn. In this case, you’re better off getting a variant with fewer holes to adequately limit the coverage area. Similarly, a well-designed and properly positioned handle makes it easier to move the sprayer.
Just like with any piece of equipment, the materials need to be reliable and durable. Plastic parts will obviously not be as tough as aluminum or metallic parts. A high-end model will cost you a lot, so it needs to prove its worth. The oscillating sprinkler should at least withstand weather elements such as heavy rainfall and extreme heat. Also, the moving parts should not break down immediately.
On a related note, it should be designed for easy maintenance. The user manual should be well-detailed for new users. If you need to replace or clean any specific part, it shouldn’t be hard to disassemble the oscillating sprinkler. Otherwise, you might have to pay for professional services just to conduct regular maintenance.
The first oscillating sprinkler we’ll review is designed to irrigate large-sized rectangular gardens. The maximum coverage is a staggering 4,000 square feet, which should be more than enough for homeowners. Likewise, the Melnor XT Metal Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler allows you to adjust three things: watering length, watering width, and the watering pattern.
First, you could choose the watering length to be just 10 feet for small sections and a maximum of 75 feet for large areas. This adjustment is conducted using the range control levers. Second, the minimum watering width is 10 feet while the widest comes at an impressive 53 feet. You can adjust this using the level integrated with the One-Touch system, which is patented by Melnor.
Third, you could modify the pattern to go to the left, right, or center. This should help you avoid wasting water on your pavement. Melnor also paid attention to the durability, reliability, and stability of their oscillating sprinkler.
Made of sturdy metal, the sled base is responsible for stabilizing the sprinkler to stop it from tipping over even with extensive use at maximum settings. You won’t have to put weights on it to keep it balanced, especially with the large diameter tube that can be weight as much as one pound if it is filled with water. Likewise, the pressure from this tube decreases water turbulence to enable even water spread.
Another feature that keeps the operation running well is the Infinity turbo motor. It utilizes transmission gearing to handle the flow regardless of the chosen water pressure. Thus, you can operate the Melnor oscillating sprinkler under a high-pressure setting to remove any debris without ruining the smooth flow.
Likewise, the metallic sled base should ensure an equal flow of water to all of 18 nozzles of this oscillating lawn sprinkler. Moreover, Melnor offers users with a lifetime limited warranty. In other words, there is no time limit to have your Melnor XT Metal Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler checked.
Second, we have another metal oscillating sprinkler. Manufactured in China, the Green Thumb 4200MGT does not quite match the Melnor XT Metal Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler in coverage. Compared to the latter, this Green Thumb model only has maximum water coverage of 3,900 square feet. Still, this coverage is fitting for large lawns.
As long as you read the instruction manual well, you won’t have any problems with operating this Green Thumb oscillating sprinkler. In fact, it could take you less than three minutes to get everything run. As for the nozzles, they also number 18 in total similar to the Melnor sprinkler. The 18 rubber nozzles here are highly resistant to clogging to keep a smooth water flow. Also, these nozzles along with the filter feel solid in construction.
This is advertised as a metal sprinkler, but we understand the reasoning behind the use of materials like non-corroding plastic. Still, it does have an aluminum base to maintain stability during operations and to stop erosion. In addition, the brass connections and the tightening knurls are well-made.
The Green Thumb 4200MGt Metal Oscillating Sprinkler offers a one-touch width control. However, the width adjustment feature could have been improved in terms of durability. It felt a bit flimsy, and the maximum width isn’t as big as expected. Furthermore, this oscillating sprinkler would be better off with an automatic shutoff.
This is the first of two Gardena oscillating sprinkler on our list. While the first two products we reviewed featured 18 nozzles, the Gardena ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler on Metal Step Spike only has 16 rubber nozzles. This is just a slight reduction, but even two fewer nozzles will affect the overall efficiency.
Still, Gardena is confident that their product will work on wide and narrow lawns alike. This assured remark could be in part due to the durable foot of the oscillating sprinkler. You can place the tough foot on a surface with a maximum incline of 15 degrees, and it will stay in position. Thus, the Gardena ZoomMaxx has a good degree of flexibility.
Then again, you needn’t move it if you have a narrow rectangular lawn. With the right adjustments in terms of width, angle, and volume, this Gardena variant will evenly spread water all over your lawn. Additionally, coverage won’t be a big problem whether you have a small or large lawn.
You can quickly change the range. The maximum coverage is 216 square meters while the range of spray ranges from just three meters to 18 meters. Also, you can get a maximum square width of 12 meters with this oscillating sprinkler.
If you want to increase the coverage, you only have to use the Threaded Tap Connector 18201 for attaching sprinkler along a row. No matter the range, the Gardena ZoomMaxx will have non-stop water flow regulation. Thus, there won’t be sudden outbursts of high-pressure water on your newly growing plants.
If you don’t want a section of your lawn to be watered, you’ll be glad to know that sprinkling widths could be individually adjusted. Likewise, no amount of dirt and sand will clog the nozzles with the help of the fine-mesh filter. It’s easy to remove the fine-mesh filter if you want to clean or even replace it with a new one.
Apart from these, the spray head of the Gardena ZoomMaxx contains a swivel function, which enables convenient adjustments. Similarly, a flow control dial is included with this oscillating sprinkler that is powered by a sealed turbo gear. All of these nifty features helped Gardena win a Red Dot design award. For most of the time, this oscillating sprinkler performs relatively quietly.
On the other hand, we hoped that there was a clearer indicator of which accessories were included in the product package. Similarly, it would have been better if we could also adjust where the starting line is. In addition, a leak occasionally occurs from the flow adjuster.
This time, we have another Gardena ZoomMaxx, but this one is designed with a weighted sled base. It still has 16 rubber nozzles with adequate flexibility for an even spread of water. The difference, however, is that the number of nozzles does not seem inefficient. This is due to how the Gardena ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler on Weighted Sled Base is designed for irrigating small-sized lawns.
The Gardena ZoomMaxx has a compact design while still possess all the adjustment features from bigger variants. You can still adjust the width, length, and the water flows, among others. You can individually adjust the coverage so that each can be positioned to the left, right, front, or back depending on your irrigation needs. Thus, you could water a small section of newly grown grass while avoiding a weed-infested area with good precision.
The water coverage area is around 76 square feet and it could reach 2,300 square feet. While this model does have a sizable sled base to keep it stable, the overall oscillating sprinkler is lightweight. We do wish that the adjustment controls were easier to understand since they require a bit of practice. There are five adjustment settings, and it’s likely that you won’t get the perfect setting for your first try.
Still, this is indeed a fantastic oscillating sprinkler for small lawns or watering specific sections of large one. Strong, dry winds will still move the water a bit, but they won’t turn into mist. You only have to move the oscillating sprinkler to get the right coverage again. If you have low-hanging branches, you could avoid them through the well-performing adjustment features.
Finally, we have this oscillating sprinkler which features an all-metal construction for sturdiness. The aluminum hose connector is covered with a tough rubber coating to prevent corrosion and clogging. This metallic design gives the Dramm 15002 ColorStorm enough weight to stay stable. It doesn’t even have sharp edges, so you can move it without getting any grass stuck.
While some parts of the Dramm 15002 ColorStorm come from Taiwan, it is assembled in the United States. There are the easy-to-use dial and tab that you can adjust accordingly to get the best water pattern and spray distance for your lawn irrigation needs. In fact, you could get almost any water pattern just by moving the two levers.
Additionally, this oscillating sprinkler utilizes 18 brass nozzles to achieve an even spread. If you want precision in watering narrow areas, you could use the flow control knob. Consequently, the total coverage could reach 3,036 square feet with the right adjustments.
Furthermore, the Dramm 15002 ColorStorm Oscillating Sprinkler comes in six colors: berry, blue, green, red, orange, and yellow. For convenient cleaning of the brass spray jets, the Dramm 15002 ColorStorm comes with a clean-out pin. If there any problems, you could use the lifetime guarantee included in the package.
Overall, our favorite oscillating sprinkler is the Gardena ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler on Weighted Sled Base. It might only have 16 rubber nozzles, but they are both flexible and more than enough to perform well. If you have a small-sized lawn or narrow and even irregular sections of your sizable lawn, you should get this oscillating sprinkler.
It takes some time getting used to the controls, but the many adjustment features will ensure that you will get the right pattern, length, and width. Furthermore, this compact, lightweight oscillating sprinkler manages to be stable thanks to a large sled base. This might not be the most efficient model for watering a massive lawn, but it does rise from the competition by providing superb precision and sturdiness while staying compact.
We hope that our guide on oscillating sprinklers helped you understand their appeal to homeowners. With enough information on the various factors that differentiate one model from another, you will acquire an oscillating sprinkler that is just right for the kind of lawn in your home. If you have any questions, feel free to send us a comment.
I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.
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