The Best Sprinklers for Your Lawn and Garden

Selecting a reliable sprinkler is key to keeping your lawn green and healthy. Just attach today’s models to your garden hose and most of your work is done. The most you’ll have to do is move the sprinkler across your lawn.

But choosing the right sprinkler can be a bit of challenge. Walk into a hardware store or go online and you’re bound to confront an array of choices.

Selecting a reliable sprinkler is key to keeping your lawn green and healthy.
Selecting a reliable sprinkler is key to keeping your lawn green and healthy.

The Best Sprinklers

So, where do you start? What type of sprinkler is right for your lawn? How much should you spend? Do you need a specific kind of sprinkler for the type of grass in your yard?

Don’t fret. We’ve got your back. We’ve compiled a short list of the best sprinklers in the market to help you make the right choice.

The Best of the Best

For an extensive backyard, you’ll need an oscillating sprinkler that can command a large area. The Melnor 65056-AMZ XT sprinkler will water up to 4000 square feet of lawn. That’s a lot of lawn!

The setup process was quick and hassle-free. The device comes with either a sled base or a stepped spike. We found that the latter permits easy assembly and tweaking. You simply drive the spike into the ground for a solid base.

You can connect and disconnect the sprinkler fast and easy with Melnor’s patented Quick Connect Product Adapter. Once setup is complete, it’s time to open the spigot.

This is when the Melnor 65056 XT comes into its own. Melnor makes some top-quality, affordable gardening products, but this sprinkler is especially impressive.

We immediately noted how it delivered consistent, even coverage across 4,000 square feet of lawn. The sprinkler features adjustable watering flow, width, and length with 18 precision nozzles.

The controls were easy to adjust, permitting us to fine-tune watering according to the layout of the lawn. This should useful for gardeners who grow a variety of plants in their backyard.

However, we were disappointed to discover that the sprinkler’s flow control system doesn’t include an on and off mode. This means adjusting the flow requires turning the water off at the spigot first. That is, unless you don’t mind the risk of getting drenched.

You can rotate the entire head of the sprinkler a full 360 degrees. That means you won’t have to move the entire sprinkler when you need to water in a different direction.

Our verdict? The Melnor 65056 XT did not disappoint. With its range, adjustability, and a limited lifetime warranty, this sprinkler is our pick for best of the best.

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The Melnor 65056-AMZ XT sprinkler will water up to 4000 square feet of lawn.

A Worthy Runner-Up

If you’ve ever dealt with a clogged sprinkler, you will know the importance of a cleaning tool. The Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 oscillating sprinkler has one. The little tool makes big difference when you’re trying to solve a clogging problem.

Not that Aqua Joe’s oscillating sprinkler is prone to clogging. It isn’t. This is a heavy-duty sprinkler capable of watering 3,600 feet without so much as a hiccup.

Setup was a breeze. The Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 has a well-made connector that’s easy to plug into a trap pipe. Once engaged, you’ll find the connection is leak-resistant.

In fact, the Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16’s excellent build quality is quite apparent right out of the box. The base is solid metal, which ensures both stability and durability. Yet the entire assembly – sturdy as it looks – weighs just 1.6 lbs.

Watering with the Aqua Joe was a pleasure. The sprinkler released a balanced flow even with low water pressure. You can control the width and range of the water with the 16 clog-resistant rubber nozzles that come with the product.

You can remove and clean the sprinkler’s water inlet filter, which traps grit and debris. You can also remove errant grains from the unit’s plastic nozzles with the cleaning tool.

The sprinkler is turbo gear driven and the entire assembly is sealed and leak-proof. These together allows the sprinkler to function over long periods without any sort of trouble.

Clearly, the Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 is a whole lot of sprinkler for a reasonable price. You’d be hard pressed to find a better metal oscillating sprinkler for under $20.

That’s why this product is a close runner-up to the Melnor 65003, which belongs in the same category of this round up.

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The Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16’s excellent build quality is quite obvious right out of the box.
The Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16’s excellent build quality is quite obvious right out of the box.

Best Impact Sprinkler

You’ll know an impact sprinkler by the hammering sound it makes as it spurts water in successive intervals. They are called such because it’s the force of the water on the sprinkler’s impact head that creates the spurts. 

The Orbit 58308Z Brass Impact Sprinkler sits on a sturdy tripod that you can extend from 22 to 48 inches. This allows you just enough flexibility to select the ideal height for your lawn’s irrigation needs.

The tripod has an anti-tipping design to ensure stability during high impact spraying. The tripod’s gooseneck design eliminates difficult fiddling when you attach a hose to the sprinkler.

The tripod is collapsible and weighs just 5 pounds. You should be able to move the entire assembly around your lawn with ease. Storage shouldn’t be much of a problem, as well.

Performance-wise, what makes the Orbit 58308 stand out is its watering flexibility. This sprinkler features a brass sprinkler head that can cover 100-foot distances. When you set it to irrigate a full circle around its base, it will cover 6,360 square feet. That’s quite impressive.

The spray is adjustable, as well. You can use a built-in deflector shield and diffuser screw to alter the stream and change the spray distance radius.

All in all, the Orbit 58308 performed admirably during our tests. The only malfunction we noted occurred when we used hard well water.

We found that minerals and other particles from hard well water tend to accumulate in the system. The accumulation ultimately jams the action. That’s despite the sprinkler’s anti-clogging feature.

But then every hose-end sprinkler is bound to fail eventually. Given that context, the Orbit 58308’s performance was enough to earn it a runner-up position on our list.

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The Orbit 58308Z Brass Impact Sprinkler sits on a sturdy tripod that you can extend from 22 to 48 inches.
The Orbit 58308Z Brass Impact Sprinkler sits on a sturdy tripod that you can extend from 22 to 48 inches.

Best High-End Sprinkler

If you’re looking for a high-end tripod sprinkler, you’re looking for the Orbit 62120 Garden Enforcer Motion Activated Sprinkler. This sprinkler gets our vote for best premium sprinkler for several reasons.

The Garden Enforcer is the only motion-activated sprinkler on this list. This type of sprinkler does two things. It chases pests away with a sudden burst of water – and it waters your garden, too. That’s definitely a good thing.

Made from durable, lightweight metal and with 35-foot adjustability, this tripod sprinkler can cover 1,600 feet. It’s lightweight and collapsible, too, so it’s easy to transport, easy to set up, and easy to store. The sprinkler works with four AA batteries, which are enough to power 7,500 activation cycles.

What sets the Orbit Garden Enforcer apart is its exclusive Detection Mode feature. The sprinkler is equipped with a 120-degree sensor, complete with day only, night only, and always-on activation modes. You can adjust this sensor up or down, left or right.

This technology is so smart that it can distinguish between people, animals, and tree limbs blowing in the wind. This allows you to customize the sprinkler to meet your unique irrigation needs.

How does this serve your lawn and garden? The advanced, intelligent sensing technology can detect deer and other critters that wander into your vegetable garden. It can then send a burst of water to discourage them from your lettuce patch!

The Enforcer can also sense obstructions that get in the path of water flow. These might include people and structures up to 40 feet away. This all helps to optimize water and battery conservation when the Enforcer is performing its yard watering function.

If necessary, you can increase the Garden Enforcer’s irrigation command area. That is, if you’re willing to spend for additional impact sprinklers you can attach to the dual flow-through ports. From here, you can control other sprinklers and hoses from the valve.

The downside? The Yard Enforcer’s dual functions and technology will cost you. But then if you don’t mind spending money on a good sprinkler, we say go for it.

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What sets the Orbit Garden Enforcer apart is its exclusive Detection Mode feature.
What sets the Orbit Garden Enforcer apart is its exclusive Detection Mode feature.

When it comes to buying lawn sprinklers, homeowners are all spoiled for choice. That isn’t always a good thing. Deciding which sprinkler is worth your money depends on your needs. That means determining the size, shape, and type of lawn or garden you have.

For even more convenience, consider an underground sprinkler system that’s set on a timer. That will ensure even watering no matter where you are.

Better yet, you might want to invest in a smart sprinkler controller for even more intelligent watering and conservation.


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