My Guide to Lawn Sprinklers by Type

Guide to Lawn sprinklers

I’m a homeowner and I know how it can sometimes be a challenge to find the best lawn sprinkler for your yard. You don’t really want to spend a fortune but you still want good coverage from a sprinkler that’s easy to use.

Here on this site I’ve tried my best to help you figure out which lawn sprinklers are right for your needs without pushing you into spending a ton of money.

The Turf Mechanics Based on Customer Reviews

There are several Lawn Sprinklers available that claim to be the very best. But we here at Turf Mechanic bring to you a list of the actual models of lawn sprinklers that are available and discuss them in detail so you can perfectly decide on which one is the best for you!

1. The Conventional Stationary Sprinkler:

This is the sprinkler that all of us are aware of. Whenever we think of a lawn sprinkler, we imagine this sprinkler.  A sprinkler that is standing at a fixed position and is just throwing water when it’s on. That’s all that comes to our mind and that is the only one that was available in the beginning and for a long time in case of the sprinklers.

This sprinkler is without doubt the easiest sprinkler to set up. The one requiring the least care and maintenance, the one easiest to operate (just turning on and off) and finally, the one that is economically the best choice available out there. This is thus without doubt still the typical choice for people.

Here are a few of the best stationary sprinklers right now:

Nelson 50956 Eight-Pattern Spray Head Stationary Sprinkler with Decorative Metal BaseNelson 50956 Eight-Pattern Spray Head Stationary Sprinkler with Decorative Metal BaseNelson Stationary Metal SprinklerNelson Stationary Metal SprinklerNelson 50955 Eight-Pattern Spray Stationary Sprinkler Head with Plastic BaseNelson 50955 Eight-Pattern Spray Stationary Sprinkler Head with Plastic Base

However, there are a few more kinds of sprinklers available out there as well.

2. The Rotating Sprinkler:

We might now discuss the sprinkler that you might come up across on a lawn along the road. Ever saw one of those sprinklers with arms that rotate? That just throw water in all directions? Yes, exactly, this is that sprinkler.

It is also known as the Gear Sprinkler. This is so because it operates on a geared mechanism. This sprinkler is mostly used to maintain patches of shrubs or plants. This sprinkler requires a bit of care and maintenance because of its mechanism. However, it is still a great sprinkler that would keep your garden beautiful.

Here are a few of the top rated spinning or rotating sprinkler heads:

Orbit 58257N Metal 3-Arm SprinklerOrbit 58257N Metal 3-Arm SprinklerMelnor Metal Pulsating SprinklerMelnor Metal Pulsating SprinklerDramm 15072 ColorStorm Spinning Sprinkler, OrangeDramm 15072 ColorStorm Spinning Sprinkler, Orange


3. The Sliding or Traveling Sprinkler:

The Sliding sprinkler, also known as the moving or traveling sprinkler is that one which moves on a line specifically made for it. These are usually on a track as I said and move along the fixed track water both sides (or one side if you plan it that way) completely as it moves.

These sprinklers are ideal for properly watering rows of plants. In fact, if it is set up properly, it might save you the hassle of walking while balancing between two closely-paced rows. While these might be a hassle to set up, they come for pretty cheap to be honest if you judge by their ability. But once you are set up and all, you’re ready to water your garden at the press of a button!

Here are some top selling traveling sprinklers:

Nelson 1865 Raintrain Traveling SprinklerNelson 1865 Raintrain Traveling SprinklerOrbit 58322 Traveling SprinklerOrbit 58322 Traveling SprinklerWatex WX005 Water Traveling SprinklerWatex WX005 Water Traveling Sprinkler


[It must be remembered that although this sprinkler is cheap according to what it offers, it is still a pretty expensive sprinkler in comparison to the conventional stationary sprinkler, so if you are thinking about a perfectly economic model, the stationary sprinkler might still be the best choice.]

4. The Impact Sprinklers:

Another type of sprinklers are the Impact Sprinklers. Several people might feel interested in this sprinkler because of its unusual name and it is worth the interest.

The basic way that this sprinkler functions is that it moves its own arms in a circular way. It the water pressure to do that, finally using the force generated to throw the water even further away. This sprinkler can thus throw water at a huge distance with ease.

It’s controller can be used to control the amount of degrees that it covers and the amount of water that it uses. In case you might be wondering if using the water for boosting the distance would waste your water, that water is used again and so there is no wastage either!

So, if you are looking for covering a larger circular area or an area that might look like a part of a circle, then this might be the sprinkler you have been looking for. It can provide you with the right amount of water over the right distance.

Here are some of the best selling impact sprinklers:

Brass Impact Sprinkler on Metal Spike Adjustable 0 to 360 Degree Up to 5000 SQF Coverage (2PK)Brass Impact Sprinkler on Metal Spike Adjustable 0 to 360 Degree Up to 5000 SQF Coverage (2PK)Melnor Metal Pulsating SprinklerMelnor Metal Pulsating SprinklerOrbit 56667N Zinc Impact Sprinkler on Tripod BaseOrbit 56667N Zinc Impact Sprinkler on Tripod Base


Check out the following posts for more specific product recommendations:

5. The Oscillating Sprinkler:

The most amusing of all these sprinklers, however is this one. The osculating sprinkler literally uses a ‘fan spray’ technique to deliver sprinkling. It covers a huge area at a single go and uses up a lot of water. In a single spray, it can cover up to 20 feet by 30 feet. This makes it by far one of the largest-area-covering sprinklers available.

However it is easy for these sprinklers to also be obstructed. Imagine if there’s a tree in the middle, a large area behind it would not be covered. So, these sprinklers are better for comparatively open places with little or no obstructions.

If you are looking for covering a large open area really fast, then this might be the one for you. The Oscillating sprinkler is also specially designed to also be able to cover smaller areas. So if you are concerned that you can’t use it for tight spots, then there’s no need to be worried.

Here are some your best bets for osculating sprinklers:

Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler with One Touch Width Control & Flow Control, waters up to 3,900 sq.ftMelnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler with One Touch Width Control & Flow Control, waters up to 3,900 sq.ftRAINWAVE Turbo Gear Oscillating Sprinkler Set with Timer, Cover Up to 3700 Square FeetRAINWAVE Turbo Gear Oscillating Sprinkler Set with Timer, Cover Up to 3700 Square FeetGARDENA ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler on Weighted Sled BaseGARDENA ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler on Weighted Sled Base

Make sure to see the following posts on specific types of oscillating sprinklers:

Lawn Sprinkler FAQs

If you look through the following pages you’ll find lots of questions about sprinklers addressed. Some of them may be of interest to you.

Turf Mechanic – Top Rated Picks and Reviews

Are you having trouble searching for the best lawn sprinkler for your garden? Tons of consumers and professional testers have confirmed that these lawn sprinklers are the best in the market today. If you want to choose which one of these lawn sprinklers is the best, then feel free to continue reading. There will also be some pointers below that talk about some of the differences between portable sprinklers and permanent sprinklers, in case you’re still confused on what to buy.

Portable Sprinklers vs. Permanent Sprinklers

Scoring the correct type of lawn sprinkler for your garden will lead to healthy plants, as well as a better looking and greener garden. You have to look at the several factors first before picking the right lawn sprinkler for your garden. There are actually some differences and similarities between these two sprinklers. It is very important to decide which lawn sprinkler is great for you and your garden.

  • Portable sprinklers do come with one disadvantage: You have to manually move them around, especially when you have a large lawn. This can be a real chore. Permanent sprinklers, on the other hand, can be attached to timers, and be fully automated. You can purchase a soil moisture sensor and attach it to your sprinkler, so that your lawn only gets watered when it is necessary. Another thing that you can connect to a permanent sprinkler is a rain sensor, so they can turn off the sprinkler when it starts raining.
  • Another problem when it comes to portable sprinklers is that the distribution of water is usually uneven with the sprinkler’s pattern. When using a permanent sprinklers, you can accurately design placements so that every part of the lawn gets sprayed with water.
  • Permanent sprinklers are costly as well as the hard work involved in installing them. It is advisable to install permanent sprinklers before you start planting your lawn. Portable sprinklers will depend in price from the costly, to the cheap.
  • Portable sprinklers come in a whole range of styles, and they have many application rates (the way they spray out water), and application patterns (covering round, rectangular, square areas) as well. Permanent sprinklers also provide tons of flexibility when it comes to application rates, and complete distribution of water and spray patterns.

How to Choose the Best Lawn Sprinkler For Your Patch

There are many types of lawn sprinklers out on the market. Deciding on which lawn sprinkler is the best will rely on many different factors, such as the shape of your lawn, landscaping plants, and yard sizes. It also depends on how swiftly you want to finish this whole task. Once you learn about the many types of residential yard sprinklers out there, you can narrow down your choices and pick the right one for you.

Selecting the right kind of lawn sprinkler for you actually goes a long way, depending on the sprinkler’s efficiency. Your entire lawn, or just the area that needs to be watered, will help you determine in picking the perfect lawn sprinkler.

But no matter which type of sprinkler you’ll purchase in the end, you need to remember these simple watering tips to make sure that your sprinkler has enough water for your lawn:

  • A way of figuring out how to pick the best sprinkler for you is to look for one that has a good coverage pattern. This coverage needs to match the area that needs to be watered. The package details found on the sprinkler need to list down the size and the shape of the sprinkler’s coverage area.
  • If you’re the type of person who loves gardening and wants to monitor how your plants are doing on a regular basis, you might want to select a sprinkler that needs a bit of care attention. And if you want a lovely garden yet don’t have enough time to check your lawn every day, then an automatic in-ground sprinkler will do.

It’s time to discuss and compare some of the best lawn sprinklers in the market. This is a list based after several reviews made by consumers and professional sprinkler testers.

Turf Mechanic Makes and Models

Contech CRO101 Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler

This sprinkler boasts an innovative and humane way to prevent animals in distributing your garden or yard without having to use dangerous chemicals or harmful traps. The sprinkler works by spraying water on the target with unforeseen noise and movement. This helps keep your garden in looking its best.

PROS: It’s very easy to set up. It’s also inexpensive, especially when you’re faced with unfortunately landscape damage. It also protects your garden in a secure and humane way. The Scarecrow doesn’t spray any chemicals, which is an important element if you have children or pets. It can also steer other forms of wildlife away from your lawn.

CONS: The Scarecrow is made out of plastic. It’s a bit of a challenge to change the spray’s length when you want to cover smaller lawns. Once you own a small lawn, you have to keep the sprinkler away from the sidewalk, unless you want to hear passers-by complain when they walk or run by your wet lawn. Its hose coupler doesn’t spin, so it’s difficult to connect the hose to the sprinkler itself.

Contech CRO101 Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler Features and Specifications:

  • This is a motion-activated sprinkler perfect for safe animal deterrence.
  • It sprays animals inside a 1000 square-foot area 24/7.
  • The plastic shaft is lightweight, with a sprinkler head made from metal
  • Sprinkler mount and motion detector included
  • 2-year limited warranty

CONCLUSION: After using it many times, the Contech CRO202 Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler can do all of the work that it needs to do. This sprinkler is fantastic if you own small pets or children that are out in the lawn all the time. Plus it’s completely safe since it doesn’t use chemicals.

Gilmour Pattern Master Oscillating Sprinkler 7900PP

The Gilmour brand has been tried and tested a dozen times, yet it has constantly proven itself to be one of the best brands available. Their products have always met the needs of homeowners and gardeners who want the best for their gardens and homes. Gilmour has over 100 years of experience, and is very proud of their heritage.

PROS: Their lawn sprinkler has a range of up to 30 feet, front-to-back with six feet and fifteen feet from side to side. There are also instructions found in the box, with clear directions on how to change the range of the sprinkler. It puts out water in a span of 15 minutes. There is also a pin located on the side of the sprinkler, which can be used to clean out blocked jets.

CONS: Several people on Amazon have mentioned that the Gilmore doesn’t last very long because the plastic gears tend to degrade over time.

Gilmour Pattern Master Oscillating Sprinkler 7900PP Features and Specifications:

  • Comes with an adjustable length control dial, letting users modify their spray patterns
  • There is a flexible spray tube that can be adjusted for a wider precision.
  • Its length control dial lets you customize spray patterns

CONCLUSION: The Gilmour Pattern Master Oscillating Sprinkler 7900PP does what you would expect it to do – It can be adjusted to fit a range of shapes and sizes.

Here Are More Sprinkler Questions We’ve Covered