Choosing The Best Oscillating Sprinkler For Watering Your Lawn

By Ann Sanders | Lawn Care

best oscillating sprinkler

Want to save time, energy but still maintain a healthy, green and beautiful looking garden? Get yourself a sprinkler! An oscillating sprinkler is very popular among gardeners. The best oscillating sprinkler sprays water in a fan-shaped curtain.

​Sprinklers provide homeowners with the means to keep their gardens in top shape during the summer months and hot weather. Sprinklers though are considered to be a luxury during low rain and long drought conditions.

​Sprinklers have been the target of many water conservation movements. In this regard, water sprinkler manufacturers have been designing sprinklers that can conserve water.

Top 7 Best Oscillating Sprinkler

​Proper Way To Water Lawns

If you want to have a healthy and beautiful lawn you need to properly water it. Provide just enough water for your lawn can also conserve water. Over-watering is one of the most common errors in lawn maintenance.

​On the average, a lawn should only have about 1 inch of water a week. This could be either through a hose, a sprinkler system or rain. While water requirement depends on the variety of the grass, in most cases, 1 inch of water a week is more or less sufficient.

​The amount of water also depends on the season and such factors as the wind, sun, shade, slopes in the area and condition of the soil.

​Here are some tips on the proper way to water your lawn:

  • Infrequent and thorough watering produce the healthiest lawns.
  • Watering up to 1 inch deep of water per week will allow water to go all the way to the roots.
  • Early morning and also early evenings are the best times for watering. These are the times when there is usually less heat and wind. There is not so much evaporation thus water will penetrate deep into the soil.
  • Thoroughly water your lawn for only between 10-15 minutes. If there are run-offs or when puddles start to form, turn off your sprinkler for a few minutes. That will make water penetrate faster into the soil.
  • Adjust your sprinkler system or its timing or both if water is applied faster than what the soil can absorb.
  • The lawn should be completely dry before the next watering session.

Oscillating Sprinklers

An oscillating sprinkler sprays water in the shape of a fan. The fan-like water moves back and forth, as its name oscillating suggests. Oscillating means swinging or moving back and forth at a speed.

​An oscillating sprinkler has individual jets. The jets are what move or swing back and forth while releasing water. This means water coming out of an oscillating sprinkler goes up and down across large rectangular or square areas.

​The spray or pulse pattern of most oscillating sprinklers can be adjusted to reach the farthest corner of the garden. Using an oscillating sprinkler will ensure gentle watering for your garden. It will also ensure an even coverage.

​This type of sprinkler is available in both plastic and aluminum and is most ideal for areas that have just been seeded, medium to large size gardens as well as front and back yards.

​How An Oscillating Sprinkler Works

An oscillating sprinkler is an easy tool to use. As such, avoid buying one that is too complicated. Here is how a typical oscillating sprinkler works.

  • Attach a hose to the connector on the oscillating sprinkler. Most sprinklers had a knob you can use to select the spray pattern (center, full, right or left).
  • A small arm is connected to the knob. A heart-shaped designed cam pushes and pulls the arm. The cam slowly rotates at about 1 rev per minute (rpm) as the sprinkler runs. This is what makes the arm swing or move back and forth.
  • Most sprinklers have a spray arm which is an aluminum tube containing holes. In some oscillating sprinklers the tube contains nozzles. The spray arm has contains a ferrule with an O-ring seal. It is screwed to the sprinkler’s body. When you turn on the water, water flows to the spray arm then to the aluminum tube and out of the nozzles or holes.
  • The spray arm is push back and forth by the cam. Because a crankshaft will push a lot of water at the spray pattern’s ends. Therefore, instead of a regular crankshaft, the cam has a heart-shaped design.

​Things To Look for In The Best Oscillating Sprinkler

Buying an oscillating sprinkler is not as easy as going down to a home depot store, ask for a sprinkle, pay for it and go home and set it up in your garden. Neither is it as simple as clicking on an oscillating sprinkler that catches your fancy, going through checkout and waiting for your delivery.

​There are a wide variety of oscillating sprinklers, so to be able to choose the best oscillating system there are several things you need to look for in the units available.

#1. ​Area Of Coverage

​Before searching or shopping around for a sprinkler, you need to think of the area you are going to use the sprinkler system. Oscillating sprinklers are ideal for small gardens. If you plan to cover a large area, this type is not for you.

#2. ​Spraying Range

​An oscillating sprinkler needs more holes (jets) to have a better coverage. If you want to limit the area to be watered, choose one with lesser holes. More holes in the oscillating sprinkler translate to better water coverage on a given area. The most ideal one is 18 holes bar.

​It would also be best if you could look into the handles of the sprinkler. The handles allow you to control which area you want the water to reach.

#3. ​Coverage Area

​Knowing the total area of your garden will help you decide how many oscillating sprinklers you need. Once you have the measurement of you garden, know how much area each sprinkler should cover. On the average each sprinkler should be able to approximately cover around 20 to 30 feet.

​Buying more than one oscillating sprinkler which is too much for your garden will mean you will be watering the property next door.

#4. ​Durability

​Many people say oscillating sprinklers easily break down. Of course that is not true for all brands. To be sure, choose a sprinkler that looks tough and long lasting. Choose one that can withstand severe conditions and will last for several years.

​Plastic will not last as long as aluminum. Go for sprinklers with cogs and gears that are made of tough materials so wear and tear will not be too fast.

​The best way to determine the quality of an oscillating system is to take a look at its design, materials and construction. Searching for customer feedbacks and reviews will also give you a heads up on which brands and models to go for and which ones to avoid.

#5. ​Ease Of Use

​The best oscillating sprinkler is one that you can easily attach to a hose, place it where it needs to be and turn on the water. Sprinklers should not be too complicated to operate.

​Also take a look at how easy or difficult it is to turn the sprinkler on and off. Check to if the unit you are considering has a timer so the sprinkler will automatically turn off at a pre-determined time.

#6. ​Easy To Maintain

​There will come a time when you need to disassemble your oscillating sprinkler for whatever reason. With that in mind choose a sprinkler that is easy to disassemble and reassemble. You do not want to stress yourself out and waste so much time doing these things.

#7. ​Price

​Choose a brand and or model that is cost efficient. A value for money oscillating sprinkler is one that will not put a hole in your pocket and one that will bring not break down after only a few months of use.

#8. ​Warranty

​Most oscillating sprinklers come with a warranty. Just the same, ask if it does. The warranty should be reasonable like a two year warranty.

If you are tired of watering your lawn and find it too expensive to hire someone to do it, investing in an oscillating sprinkler is your best option. Choose from among the best oscillating sprinklers below. There will definitely be one that is the right fit for your lawn.

Top 7 Oscillating Sprinkler Reviews

Melnor XT Metal Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler

Melnor XT Metal Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler

Via amazon.com

The high powered Melnor XT Metal Oscillating Lawn Sprinkle can water an area of up to 4,000 square feet. It is equipped with 18 nozzles that provide even coverage in a lawn. This sprinkle can be adjusted and the nozzles are resistant to clogging.

​This sprinkler comes with a great oscillating range and works even when water pressure is low. Regular cleaning of the sprinkler can avoid clogging. If you have a large lawn you may need to oscillating sprinkles.

​Features

  • Base is made of high quality plastic.
  • Equipped with a one-touch width adjustment ideal when multiple areas need to be watered (patented).
  • Equipped with infinity turbo motor for easy operation in both low and high water pressures
  • Comes with 3 adjustments: range, width and flow
  • 4,000 square feet with up to of 60 PSI water pressure
  • Features 18 rubber nozzles for good coverage.
  • Equipped with a motor for flawless operation
  • Comes with timer with auto-off function

What We Liked

  • Can be easily adjusted.
  • Works even when water pressure is low.
  • Even coverage even for large areas.

What We Didn't Like

  • Sprinkle is not always stable on the ground
  • Shut off valve does not completely turn off water.

This Melnor oscillating sprinkler comes with a lifetime warranty.

Green Thumb 4200MGT Metal Oscillating Sprinkler

Green Thumb 4200MGT Green Thumb Heavy Duty Metal Oscillating Sprinkler

Via amazon.com

The Green Thumb 4200MGT is a heavy duty oscillating sprinkle made of metal. It can effectively water a lawn of up to 3900 square feet. It is equipped with a turbo driver and flow control motor for a long lifespan.

This oscillating sprinkler from China has 18 clogged-free rubber nozzles providing even watering. It features a durable aluminum base and comes with a single touch width control feature.

​Features

  • Oscillating sprinkler with metal construction
  • Can water up to 3,900 square feet area
  • Equipped with a turbo drive motor
  • Features a durable aluminum base
  • Nozzles are resistant to clogging

What We Liked

  • Solid construction and design
  • Durable nozzles
  • Easy to adjust width
  • Brass connections
  • Evenly waters the lawn without wasting water
  • Coated metal base for corrosion resistance
  • Width and distance can be adjusted
  • Water shut off and metering knobs

What We Didn't Like

  • Jets go out in one stream but not too close together so areas between the streams does not get water.
  • It still holds water even when already turned off

This oscillating sprinkler is well made. It is a bit heavy keeping it stable on the ground.

Melnor XT4100 Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler

Melnor XT4100 Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler

Via amazon.com

This Melnor turbo oscillating sprinkle provides the ideal amount of control on the area you need to water. It has the capability to control water width. Water stream has a good range. The sprinkle is highly adjustable. You can set the spray width and the back and forth range.

This turbo oscillating sprinkler can cover up to 3900 square feet of lawn. It has the capability to evenly reach the entire area it covers. It comes with a turbo drive motor that is built to last for a long time. Its 18 rubber nozzles are clog resistant. It features a single touch adjustment of the width (patented).

​Features

  • Is capable of evenly covering an area of up to 3,900 square feet.
  • Equipped with 18 rubber nozzles that are resistant to clogging.
  • Comes with a single-touch adjustment for the width

What We Liked

  • Versatile and high value
  • Made of cheap plastic
  • Width, height and distance can be adjusted

What We Didn't Like

  • It is not capable of covering the area as advertised.
  • Difficult to set.

This is a great oscillating sprinkler. The main complain though is it does not cover the area the box says it does. Most users say that this is a durable oscillating sprinkler that can be used for many watering seasons.

GARDENA ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler On Metal Step Spike

GARDENA ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler on Metal Step Spike

Via amazon.com

This GARDENA ZoomMaxx oscillating sprinkler is on metal step spike. There is another version of this sprinkler but it is on a weighted sled base. Both models are used in your lawn in different ways.

The head gives you excellent control over the range and width of the spray. It features a mesh filter to prevent dirt and sand will not clog the nozzles. Its 1506 square meters maximum coverage area makes it ideal for small gardens and lawns.

​Features

  • Equipped with 16 rubber nozzles that ensures even distribution of water
  • Spray head swivels allowing convenient and easy adjustments.
  • This unit is driven by a sealed turbo gear
  • Comes with a flow control dial

What We Liked

  • Securely hammered to the ground for superior stability.
  • 16 rubber nozzles provide even water distribution.
  • Some of the nozzles can be adjusted and shut down
  • Vertical orientation of the unit with spray head that swivels in all directions to ensure water is evenly spread.

What We Didn't Like

  • Short range
  • Has a tendency to stop oscillation when used for long hours.
  • Because of its vertical design, the casing can be damaged when users stabs or secures it to the ground.

The best thing about this oscillating sprinkler is the fact that it can be secured to the ground and will work well when position in an inclined area of up to 15%. The sprinkler can be positioned in an area and it remains there.

GARDENA 1975 Aquazoom Oscillating Sprinkler

GARDENA 1975 Aquazoom 3900-Square Foot Oscillating Sprinkler

Via amazon.com

This Gardenia 1975 Aquazoom oscillating sprinkler is the favorite of many experienced and novice gardeners. It is adjustable and can cover a lawn with an area of up to 3900 square feet.

Its spray length can be adjusted from 23-feet to 69-feet and its spray width from 13-feet to 55-feet. This highly durable oscillating sprinkle comes in a rectangular design and is idea for rectangular and square gardens and lawns.

​Features

  • High quality oscillating sprinkler.
  • Runs on a turbo driven motor (patented)
  • Equipped with an adjustable sprinkler spray. Width control can be fully adjusted so the oscillating sprinkler can be customized to spray smaller areas. This eans you will not be wasting water.
  • Ideal for rectangular lawns.

What We Liked

  • Plastic components are able to withstand the sun.
  • Does not have the usual problem of oscillating sprinklers with strokes concentrating at the ends. This model delivers even and nice strokes.
  • Width adjustment allows multiple heads to be moved to ensure even water distribution.
  • Entire rectangular lawns can be easily watered because widths can be adjusted.
  • Head remains stable because of the stable stand.

What We Didn't Like

  • End to end throw can be difficult to adjust
  • Throw adjusters tend not to complement what the sprinkler is doing
  • User gets wet when making adjustments.

Be aware that you will get wet when you make adjustments in this oscillating sprinkler. Once the adjustments are done the sprinkler ensures even coverage even with irregular shaped areas. This Gardenia 1975 Aquazoom oscillating comes with a 12 month labor and parts warranty.

GARDENA ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler On Weighted Sled Base

GARDENA ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler on Weighted Sled Base

Via amazon.com

The Gardena ZoomMaxx oscillating sprinkler on weighted sled base is considered by many as the best sprinkler available in the market.

There is no other sprinkler that can water an area in any shape and size in much the same way as this Gardena model can. It does the job evenly and at varied settings and distances.

​This oscillating sprinkler can water a small 10x10 foot square lawn to as large as a 40x60 foot rectangular lawn. As it evenly waters your lawn, you will not find any flooded or dry areas.

​Features

  • Equipped with 16 water nozzles
  • Compact oscillating sprinkler equipped which comes with adjustable controls.
  • Water flows, widths and lengths are adjustable.
  • Easy to use and manipulate.
  • Features a sealed turbo gear
  • Set on a weighted based to keep it in position.

What We Liked

  • Ideal for medium to large yards
  • Compact and portable
  • Easy to set in place even in awkward and tight spaces.
  • Mechanisms are waterproofed because they are sealed.
  • Sprinkler is set on a weighted base to keep it in place.
  • Easily covers wide and narrow areas.
  • Evenly distributes water.
  • Comes with simple to use switches.
  • Durable and long lasting.

What We Didn't Like

  • Leaks tend to appear in the connections.
  • The base can be difficult to position for some users.
  • Although best in performance it is a bit expensive.
  • No numbers in the levers and dials (indicators)

The weighted sled base of this oscillating sprinkler ensures that it stays firm on the ground and can water areas where you want it to water.

Dramm ColorStorm Metal Oscillating Sprinkler

Dramm 15002 ColorStorm Premium Metal Oscillating Sprinkler with Brass Nozzle Jets

Via amazon.com

This Dramm ColorStorm metal oscillating sprinkler comes with 9 spray patterns allowing it to efficiently water lawns in varied shapes and sizes. It comes in s compact and modern design. The oscillating sprinkler is set on a metal base.

​Features

  • Available in six attractive colors
  • Can cover a lawn of up to 3,036 square feet.
  • Stores easily because it comes with a molded hook.
  • Equipped with 18 brass type nozzle jets for even watering with varied settings
  • Made from heavy duty brass and metal.
  • Comes with a needle plug for easy cleaning of the nozzle jets.

What We Liked

  • Hose is easy to attach to this oscillating sprinkler.
  • Dial and slider tabs have settings for easy control of water.
  • Made from heavy duty materials

What We Didn't Like

  • Not too durable.
  • Stops oscillating after being used only for a few times.
  • There is no component that secures the bar to the base.

This oscillating sprinkler combines aesthetic beauty and function. It is available in vibrant colors and at the same it is efficient in evenly watering your lawn.


Best Oscilating Sprinkler - Winner

The main function of an oscillating sprinkler is to water your lawn evenly without creating any dry spots or pools.

​The Gardena ZoomMaxx oscillating sprinkler on weighted sled base is the best oscillating sprinkler in the list. The weighted sled base keeps the oscillating sprinkler securely in place so it waters the areas you exactly want it to water.

Dramm 15002 ColorStorm Premium Metal Oscillating Sprinkler with Brass Nozzle Jets

Via amazon.com

​There is no other oscillating sprinkler than can match the performance of this Gardena ZoomMaxx in terms of size and shape of the lawn to be watered.

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About the Author

With the endless passion for organic living, I - Ann Sanders has come up with the idea of creating A Green Hand. Being the founder and editor of A Green Hand, my goal is to provide everyone with a wide range of tips about healthy lifestyle with multiform categories including gardening, health & beauty, food recipe,...