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Do You Need an Oscillating Sprinkler? Find Out Here!

Taking care of a garden or a lawn isn’t always an easy task. It’s sometimes strenuous and sometimes tedious, and that’s something we can get on board with. However, there are so many items that you can now turn to in order to avoid spending countless hours in the sun having to water the lawn, and oscillating sprinklers are an example of that.

Oscillating SprinklerView in gallery

Today, we’re going to take a look at the benefits that an oscillating sprinkler can bring to those who use it, as well as take a look at some of the best products that money can buy.

Top Picks

Best-seller: Melnor 65074-AMZ XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler

“Everything about this Melnor oscillating sprinkler is designed to give you the best value for your money.”

Best mini sprinkler: Melnor 65003-AMZ MiniMax Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler

“I wanted to be able to water specific areas of my flower gardens without wasting a tremendous amount of water. This works perfectly!” (customer review)

Easiest setup: GrowGreen Sprinkler

“Setup was extremely easy…just attach the top piece to the base and plug in hose! A toddler could do it!” (customer review)

Easier maintenance: Eden 94113 Lawn & Garden Essential Oscillating Sprinkler

“The Eden sprinkler comes with a built-in cleaning tool that allows you to remove dust and debris from the nozzles in a matter of minutes.”

Best metal oscillating sprinkler: Melnor 65079-AMZ Metal Oscillating Sprinkler

“Unlike other oscillating sprinklers made mostly out of plastic, the Melnor 65079-AMZ comes with a metal construction that translates into more stability and durability.”

Bargain buy: Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 Oscillating Sprinkler

“When you’re looking to buy an oscillating sprinkler that doesn’t cost a small fortune, the Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 delivers just what you’d expect it to for the money.”

Best for gardens: Eden 94125 Adjustable 4-Way Mini Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler

“The Eden 94125 sprinkler offers four-way adjustment which grants you more control over how the spraying patterns works, and how far and wide it can go.”

How to Choose

There is always the question of what to look for when you’re shopping for a sprinkler. Knowing your garden’s needs is the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s still easy for one to get lost in the multitude of features and be confused over which oscillating sprinkler is the best choice. So, let’s take a look at the main features to look out for:

  • The spray range of the sprinkler is really important, and it goes hand-in-hand with the coverage area. You will find that most oscillating sprinklers are equipped with flow rate dials, which means that you can adjust the spray to better suit your needs. The coverage area is also important because sprinklers are relatively limited in that way, and if you have a really large area to water, you might need multiple of them.
  • The construction of the sprinkler is another important factor because it will help determine the maintenance frequency as well as the durability of the product. Some oscillating sprinklers are made from cheap plastic which doesn’t have a UV resistant coating, so prolonged sun exposure will cause irreversible damage. Make sure that the oscillating sprinkler you opt for can resist the weather’s elements for a long time and that the metal parts (if any) are resistant to rust and corrosion. Otherwise, you will find yourself in a situation where you have to replace the sprinkler sooner than intended.
  • Take a look at the sprinkler’s watering pattern before buying it. There are plenty of options out there which offer custom watering patterns. If you’re purchasing a sprinkler offline, check to see if the crossbar has two adjustable directional tabs. You want this feature for moments when you have to switch from wide spraying patterns to narrower ones.
  • Some sprinklers come with timers, which can make the whole gardening watering process a whole lot easier. A timer can be programmed to water the garden while you’re away, will know just how water the garden needs (so there will be no under or overwatering), helps save money because it prevents water waste, and is super easy to install. If these are benefits you’re interested in, look for an oscillating sprinkler sold with a garden water timer.
  • The oscillating sprinklers also need to have connectors that are compatible with your garden hose. If you don’t have a good hose for watering your garden, you can check out the Zero-G hose, a product designed to be resistant to leaks and punctures, and that offers an amazing burst rating. But regardless of whether you choose this hose or another one, make sure the connectors are compatible.

Best Oscillating Sprinklers

Melnor 65074-AMZ XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler

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The Melnor 65074-AMZ XT Turbo oscillating sprinkler is a best-selling product with a lot of aces up its sleeve. It is designed with 20 rubber nozzles that will spray water onto your lawn, being able to cover about 4,500 square feet of ground. It has an adapter that allows you to quickly connect and disconnect it, so you have a stress-free setup every time you want to use the sprinkler.

This particular model comes with twin-touch adjustment controls so that you have more control over the watering pattern, allowing you to spray water over the entire width and length covered by the sprinkler or in a narrower spot (like on a flower bed, for instance). You can also choose some of the other models, like the one-way adjustable model or the three-way adjustable one.

Pros:

  • Width pattern control.
  • Quick-connect adapter.
  • Easy to mount/dismount.
  • Cleanable filter.

Cons:

  • Not the best plastic construction.

Melnor 65003-AMZ MiniMax Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler

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Next up, we have this miniature-sized oscillator, but one that still has the power and the construction to cover an area of up to 4,000 square feet. It measures 12.63 x 9.68 x 2.67 inches and comes with four-way precision watering adjustment so that you can be more specific with your yard or garden’s watering needs.

It has a method of quickly connecting and disconnecting the sprinkler, but you are going to need the quick connector which is sold separately. The infinite turbo drive motor is here to make sure that you benefit from smooth operation each time you turn on the sprinkler. It also helps avoid puddles which lead to overwatering or can be really nasty when they form on the driveway.

Pros:

  • Quick connect system.
  • Compact design.
  • Doesn’t waste water.

Cons:

  • Base not made with the best materials.

GrowGreen Sprinkler

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The GrowGreen sprinkler is probably closer in design to what you would expect an oscillating sprinkler to look like. It works even in households that have 80 PSI water pressure and can spray at a distance of maximum 32.8 feet. It has a 360 degrees rotation which helps cover a lot of ground, making sure there aren’t any yard spots left unwatered.

It’s made with high-quality ABS plastic and rust-proof polymer, promising to deliver long-term durability (or, at least, longer compared to that delivered by sprinklers made from plastic that’s cheap and prone to cracks). Using the water conservation technology, this sprinkler promises to water the lawn in an ever layer, avoiding water waste. It also offers the possibility to adjust the spray nozzles in different directions.

Pros:

  • Weighted base.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Adjustable nozzles.
  • Works with higher pressure.

Cons:

  • Covers rather small areas.

Eden 94113 Lawn & Garden Essential Oscillating Sprinkler

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The Eden oscillating sprinkler is a versatile product which is available in different options: with 16, 18, and 20 brass nozzles, depending on how much area you have to cover. The 16-nozzle version should be enough to cover a medium-sized yard, but there are other features that impressed us even more than that.

First of all, how amazing is it that you get a built-in cleaning tool for cleaning those nozzles? This is super important because it’s very easy for them to get clogged with dust and debris, considering the fact that they sit on the ground. They are equipped with leak-proof connectors and have a weighted base that prevents the unit from being tipped over by either human or nature’s intervention. You can adjust the watering patterns thanks to the sliding tab which offers a very smooth user experience.

Pros:

  • Multiple nozzle options.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Weighted base.
  • Dirt-resistant sealed turbo drive.

Cons:

  • Complaints about difficulty in adjustment.

Melnor 65079-AMZ Metal Oscillating Sprinkler

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Here we have yet another impressive Melnor oscillating sprinkler, this time with 18 brass nozzles that promise to deliver water spraying patterns and power just like you need it to. It can cover areas of up to 3,600 square feet and has a system that allows you to quickly adjust the watering area according to your garden’s needs.

A lot of the specifications and features are true to the Melnor brand promise, offering a generous warranty coverage, ease of operation even for people who are not used to how sprinklers work, a smooth operation, and the quick connect and disconnect technology that’s used across all of Melnor’s oscillating sprinklers.

Pros:

  • Sturdy metal construction.
  • Easy to operate.
  • Quick connect system.
  • Good warranty coverage.

Cons:

  • More expensive than the others.

Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 Indestructible Metal Base Oscillating Sprinkler

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The Aqua Joe sprinkler is a great example of how you can stick within a budget and still get a product that delivers just like you’d expect it to. It comes with 16 clog-resistant nozzles, a feature that’s super important in an environment where water and soil come together and are likely to clog up the device.

It’s built with leak-resistant connectors to make sure that no water or pressure is wasted. It promises to cover areas of up to 3,600 square feet, although some customers claim that it doesn’t offer that much coverage. It comes with a turbo drive motor that’s pretty similar to what we’ve seen on other sprinklers we’ve reviewed today. The lightweight feature is important for those of you that plan to move the sprinkler around a lot, but it might not be the best choice in a windy climate. 

Pros:

  • Built-in cleaning tool.
  • Clog-resistant nozzles.
  • Good price.
  • Lightweight construction.

Cons:

  • Questionable long-term durability.

Eden 94125 Adjustable 4-Way Mini Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler

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Our last suggestion for today is an oscillating sprinkler that works wonderfully in gardens, but can also be a good product for those of you with large yards, since it can cover a little over 4,000 square feet with its spraying power and design. It comes with 16 clog-resistant nozzles and four-way adjustment so that you can control the width, length, and even angle of spraying.

The flow control dial grants access over micro-adjustments that need to be made if you want to have the optimal spraying pattern for your garden’s needs. It comes with a weighted base to prevent the sprinkler from being tipped over. The material used to make it is ABS plastic with impact-resistant and rust-proof features.

Pros:

  • Quick connect adapter.
  • Weighted base.
  • Clog-resistant nozzles.
  • 4-way adjustment.

Cons:

  • A little expensive.

FAQ

Why is my sprinkler not oscillating?

Every good oscillating sprinkler on the market should come with a troubleshooting manual that includes the answer to this particular question. One of the mains reasons why an oscillating sprinkler might not work as intended is the low water pressure in your home. The oscillating system of a sprinkler requires high water pressure in order to be efficient, so you might want to check out your water pressure first.

How long does it take an oscillating sprinkler to water an inch of soil?

As you can imagine, there is no standard answer for this because each oscillating sprinkler is created differently and works at a different capacity. However, there is a way for you to test this on the particular model that you own. Set up the sprinkler in your backyard and turn it on. Grab a Tupperware container and put it somewhere in the sprinkler’s watering path. Observe to see how long it takes for the sprinkler to fill one inch of the container.

Where can I purchase the best oscillating sprinkler?

There are plenty of online stores that sell oscillating sprinklers, including third-party sellers, giant online commerciants, and even brands that sell their products on their own official websites. One of the best places to look for an oscillating sprinkler is Amazon. It has a very wide range of products, many different sellers, and a ton of customer reviews to help you get a clearer picture of what you’re spending your money on.

Bottom Line

When you’re on the market looking to buy an oscillating sprinkler, consider the needs of your garden/yard first. You need products that are able to cover as much of the area that needs watering as possible. Otherwise, you’re going to have to invest in multiple sprinklers to avoid dry spots. Looking for products that avoid water waste as much as possible, but also provide you with even spraying patterns, to help avoid over and underwatering. Consider the ease of cleaning as well, because those nozzles are constantly exposed to dust, dirt, and debris.