Homeowners may enjoy gardening and want to take care of their lawns, but it is hard work. Generally, you use a variety of tools to get the job done. When it comes to watering plants and grass, an oscillating sprinkler might be ideal.
We’re going to determine what they are and why they’re used. Of course, at the end, we are going to tell you which is the best oscillating sprinkler. That way, you’ve got the information needed to make a decision.
Table of Contents
What Is an Oscillating Sprinkler?
An oscillating sprinkler is a common option. It features a long tube with a base that gets attached to the hose. There are multiple holes along the tube, allowing it to spray out a lot of water.
Generally, it produces a fan-shaped curtain, which is part of the reason for the name. There’s often a metal arm that moves back and forth (oscillates).
This covers a wonder area than traditional sprinkler systems. You can cover a rectangular area that’s about 20×30 feet in size.
When the arm is attached to the tube, the entire thing might turn. That way, the water gets sprayed in all directions from where it sits. Sometimes, a single sprinkler can water an entire area, depending on its size and other factors.
The 5 Benefits of Using an Oscillating Sprinkler
You are going to notice many benefits when you use an oscillating sprinkler system. These can include:
With an oscillating sprinkler system, you can automatically water the lawn. This means that you can turn on the hose and complete the task in a few hours. You’re not standing outside with the hose in your hand for long periods.
Most lawns require consistency to look their best, as do gardens. If you find yourself tired and unable to water the area, it is going to look forlorn. Often, you are less consistent when you try to do it by hand.
With an oscillating sprinkler, you don’t have to worry. It’s much easier to turn on a hose (or use a timer function). This gets the job done without much effort on your part.
When you do the watering yourself, it’s easy to miss a few spots. This happens most frequently when you’re tired.
The oscillating sprinkler is much more efficient. It’s going to do the hard work for you and can save you time.
- Conserve Water
Everyone should want to conserve water because it’s a precious commodity. For one, you pay for it, so you want to keep your costs low. However, when you water the garden or lawn yourself, it’s easy to use too much water at once.
Of course, the hot months require more water usage, but you don’t have to waste it to have a healthy yard or garden. The oscillating sprinkler can conserve water because you only turn it on when you need it. Plus, it only uses a little water at a time and can cover the entire yard.
Generally, automation also comes into play here. Set the sprinkler to water at night when it’s cooler. You can also adjust it as needed for conservation and drought issues.
- Customize It
The oscillating sprinkler can be used to customize your strategy of watering. You can set it up where it waters one area at a time. Move it around as necessary or have multiple sprinkler systems and detach/reattach the hose as needed.
The Best Oscillating Sprinklers For Small & Large Lawns
Please see our table below, which lists all 10 of the products we reviewed. Gain some helpful information quickly before reading in-depth reviews on your favorite products.
Oscillating Sprinkler Reviewed
1. Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 Indestructible Metal Base Oscillating Sprinkler
The Aqua Joe brand is quite popular, and its oscillating sprinkler features an adjustable spray. That way, you can customize the coverage and pattern you like best. There’s also a long range of up to 3600 square feet, depending on various factors.
This product is made of metal, so it’s going to be durable. Plus, it features a leak-resistant connection, allowing you to water the lawn or garden without making a mess.
There are 16 different nozzles on the oscillating arm. They’re designed to be clog-resistant, which means there’s less chance of dirt getting inside. Of course, they’re easy to clean if any debris does get into them.
With the built-in cleaning tool, you can get rid of clogs fast. That way, the nozzles stay clean and are reliable every season.
Of course, you can use this sprinkler with any hose you prefer. This includes stainless steel, flexible, and polymer hoses.
2. Melnor 65078-AMZ XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler
The Melnor brand has a turbo oscillating sprinkler system. You’ve got 20 different nozzles available to cover a garden or lawn of roughly 4,500 square feet. They’re designed for precision, which means you’re covered no matter what.
There are twin touch controls, which help you adjust the range and width. This gives you more watering patterns and can cover the entire yard. However, you can dial it down to cover just a single flower bed if necessary.
Of course, the Infinity turbo drive allows for smooth operation. This also ensures that you get an extended lifespan from the product and even watering each time you use it.
You get the quick connect adapter included with the purchase. However, you do have to purchase the quick connect product end separately. With both, you can disconnect and connect the sprinkler very fast.
The nozzles are designed to help it avoid debris. However, if it gets knocked over into the dirt, there is a cleaning tool provided. Therefore, you can easily get it cleaned out to use again and again.
3. Melnor 65031-AMZ MiniMax Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler
Those who want a high-tech style might prefer the MiniMax from Melnor. You’re going to get coverage of roughly 3,900 square feet. Plus, it stands taller than the grass so that you know where it is.
This is helpful when mowing or walking close to the sprinkler. You can use the product to water the lawn, a large garden, and anywhere you need water frequently.
There is a four-way adjustment option to provide more precision. Aim the water precisely where you want it to go. It features a metal and plastic construction where the stake is metal, and the sprinkler is plastic.
The zoom control allows you to adjust to your watering area. Zoom it in for smaller patches of lawn or all the way to get the whole garden wet.
As with other Melnor products, this one can quickly disconnect and connect. It comes with a quick-connect adapter, but you must purchase the product end connector separately.
4. Melnor 65013-AMZ TurboTek Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler
Melnor is a top contender when it comes to oscillating sprinklers, so there is also the TurboTek. It can cover about 3,600 square feet of property and has 18 brass nozzles. Therefore, you can water the whole lawn or garden.
Of course, it features sliding range adjusters so that you can make the water go where you need it most. This also ensures that you don’t waste it on the driveway or sidewalk.
You’re going to find that this product has a clog-resistant design. Therefore, it can work through any sediment and let the water run smoothly. This also indicates that the water is going to disperse itself evenly over the lawn.
The TurboTek motor provides you with smooth operation. It’s also quieter than other brands, so you don’t hear it while you’re outside enjoying the day. Of course, it produces a gentle shower, which is ideal for delicate flowers and newly sewn seeds.
5. Aqua Joe SJI-TLS18 3-Way Turbo Oscillation Lawn Sprinkler
The Aqua Joe 3-Way Sprinkler looks highly moder4n. Plus, it is customizable, so you can choose the coverage pattern you prefer. There’s also plenty of range control, which goes about 4,500 square feet from the base.
Since it sprays in three different directions, you are going to get all-over coverage, even when it’s used on a large lawn. Of course, it features a turbo motor to spray where it’s supposed to go while still being gentle on the flowers.
There’s also a leak-resistant connection. This allows you to hook the sprinkler up to your hose without worrying about having a puddle of mud when you’re done.
Built into the side, there is a tool to help you unclog the nozzles. This way, you can keep each one spraying a fine jet of water every day or as needed.
Though you can use it with your current hose system, it is also compatible with Sun Joe’s hoses. This includes flexible tubing.
6. GARDENA ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler on Weighted Sled Base
The ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler is from Gardena, and it’s fully adjustable, as well. You can change the water flow, width, and length of the spray. This allows you to get coverage of something as small as 76 square feet up to 2,300 square feet.
It features a sled base with some weights in it. This means it isn’t going to tip over. Of course, that also means that you are going to have a ring in the grass where it sits, though this might not be an issue if you leave it in the same spot.
At the top, there are 15 rubber nozzles, and each is flexible. This means that you can move them to where you want them to spray. It also ensures that water distribution is more even.
The entire thing is quite small, which makes it ideal for small gardens or lawns. However, it does spray farther than you might think, so it can cover medium-sized lawns with ease.
7. GARDENA 1975 Aquazoom Oscillating Sprinkler
When you choose the Aquazoom Sprinkler from Gardena, you can use it to water various-sized areas. It works best with rectangular shapes. However, you’re not limited to a large or small space.
The spray width is adjustable from roughly 13 feet up to 55 feet. Of course, you can also adjust how long the spray is and how far it goes. This is from 23 feet up to 69 feet long.
In a sense, you get a coverage of between 301.4 to 3,767.4 square feet. That’s not all, though. You also get even and puddle-free watering for your lawn and garden.
It’s also more precise so that you don’t worry about watering the gravel or driveway. This also means you can make sure the water goes where you require it. Though there isn’t a height adjustment, you can control this by turning your hose on fully or not as much.
8. Martha Stewart MTS-IDSPR Oscillating Sprinkler
When you want something simple, the Martha Stewart brand might be best. It can keep the grass looking green and your lawn lush and full.
The metal base is powder-coated to make it virtually indestructible. It’s also sturdy and durable.
There are simple sliders to use, which adjust the coverage pattern. This means you can make it a shorter one or up to 3,600 square feet. Therefore, it’s ideal for gardens and lawns alike.
You can easily change the coverage pattern, as well. The slider sits right at the hose connection base. This ensures that you can click it to the one you want without getting wet.
On the oscillating part, you’ve got 16 different nozzles. They’re small, but they produce a stream that is gentle and offers full coverage of the area. Plus, the arm moves in a circular motion to cover all of the ground without soaking anything.
9. Rocky Mountain Goods Metal Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler
If you’re looking for something different, the Rocky Mountain Goods sprinkler might be ideal. It’s a bright silver color, which means you are clearly going to see it while walking around on the lawn.
The base is made of aluminum, so it’s rust-proof and heavy-duty. Of course, the middle part is a plastic tube, which has 20 different jets inside.
This means that you can easily spray the garden or lawn evenly. The nozzles can get clogged up from time to time. However, there’s a cleaning needle included with the base (opposite where the hose goes).
Therefore, you can easily keep it working properly. There’s also a built-in control for flow to allow for maximum adjustability. With that, you can change the watering width and water pattern.
You’re going to find that this product can cover 4,100 square feet of space. Generally, this is enough for medium-sized to somewhat large lawns.
10. Aqua Joe AJ-OSPR20 Adjustable Gear Driven Oscillating Sprinkler
Those who want to be sure to see their sprinkler are going to like this one from Aqua Joe. It has a small circular base that allows it to go almost anywhere. Plus, the entire thing is a light blue, which contrasts nicely with the green lawn.
This one can be adjusted 360 degrees from the neck. It can also rotate counterclockwise and clockwise.
Of course, it can cover 4,250 square feet of space with a maximum width of 59 feet. With that, you can control the spray width, water flow, and spray range. This makes it ideal for almost any garden or lawn.
The nozzles are made of rubber, and you get 20 of them. Plus, they’re clog-resistant, so you may not have to clean them all the time. This ensures that you get even watering each time you do so.
How to Use Oscillating Sprinkler?
The first step to using an oscillating sprinkler is to determine its placement on the lawn or in the garden. Make sure that the hose reaches out that far, as well. Most manufacturers list how far the spray goes in one direction, so use that as a guide.
Attach the hose to the sprinkler. Make sure it has the proper connections so that there is a tight seal. This is going to prevent water from escaping the hose before it gets into the sprinkler to rotate.
It might be best to turn on the sprinkler system and see what it does. Then, turn it off and adjust it appropriately. You can choose the water flow, length of the spray, and pattern on most models.
This can take some time to figure out, so be patient with yourself and the sprinkler. Of course, you should also follow the directions in the manual.
Oscillating Sprinkler FAQs
How Does an Oscillating Sprinkler Work?
Oscillating sprinklers work because the water gives it the power to move the arm (the thing that moves around inside the base). This allows the sprinkler arm to turn around and spin the water from the base.
There is also a small turbine inside, as well as gears. They’re designed to slow down the water’s speed and ensure that it’s not a hard jet of water. This is to ensure that your plants don’t get damaged.
How Long Should You Run an Oscillating Sprinkler?
Generally, you should run the oscillating sprinkler for one to three hours. Grass requires about one to two inches of water every week. It needs to happen all at once to help the roots grow deeper.
Therefore, you should determine how much time it takes for one inch of water to be spread over the entire area.
Some manufacturers list that (telling you it produces one inch of water an hour). If that’s the case, it’s easy to determine that you should run the sprinkler for an hour each week.
A quick way to test it is to put some tuna cans out in the area where the water should flow. Turn the sprinkler on for about 15 minutes, and then back off. Now, dip a ruler into the can to see how much water is there.
Average those numbers based on the amount of cans and multiply that number by 4. This tells you how much water is put out each hour. That can help you figure out how long you should leave your sprinkler on each time.
How Much Water Does Your Oscillating Sprinkler Use?
Usually, a sprinkler attached to a regular (5/8-inch) garden hose uses about 1,000 gallons of water per hour.
Why Is My Oscillating Sprinkler Not Rotating?
Sometimes, you may find that the oscillating sprinkler doesn’t rotate at all or not fully. If the water pressure from your hose is too low, the bar of the sprinkler might not have enough force within to move.
This can be no movement at all or just slowly, especially toward the end of the cycle.
When the pressure is too high, the gears might be forced to move too quickly. They could rub against other parts and move out of alignment. This causes the arm not to move or move erratically.
It’s possible to fix the problem by increasing or decreasing water flow from the house. Watch for changes and adjust as needed.
Another reason the sprinkler might not be rotating is if the water is pouring from the hose connection. That also indicates little pressure in the product, but it also means you’re wasting water and going to create a mess. Consider replacing the hose gasket to fix the problem.
Now that you’ve read about each of the 10 sprinklers listed, we want to tell you which ones we think are ideal. The best oscillating sprinklers include the Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 and the Melnor MiniMax.
We liked the Aqua Joe brand because it was easy to customize coverages and ranges. Plus, it featured a metal base that wasn’t going to get damaged from the water.
Then, there is the Melnor brand. With the tall stake, you can ensure that it stays upright with time. We also liked that the spike was metal. However, the only downfall is that you’ve got to buy the quick-connect end connector separately to have the ability to disconnect it fast.
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