Buyers' Guides

Best Oscillating Sprinklers of 2021

Best oscillating sprinklers

The most beautiful gardens are often a labor of love, and I know all too well the joy that comes from spending hours among the flowers and vegetables. 

Past experience has also taught me that certain aspects of gardening are more physically demanding than others—like watering your lawn and plants, for example—but there are also more gardening tools and accessories available that can make these jobs much easier. 

Mother nature does a good job of helping out with your lawn’s water requirements, but in many climates, it cannot be the sole provider of the 1 to 2 recommended inches per week that your garden should get.

Instead of lugging around a filled-to-the-brim watering can to quench your plants’ thirst one by one, an oscillating sprinkler can make light work of your whole yard, keeping it looking luscious and a healthy shade of green even during the drier, hotter summer months

There are hundreds of oscillating sprinklers currently available on the market, so I’ve combined my knowledge with extensive research to bring you these reviews of some of the best oscillating sprinklers.

Keep reading to the end, as I’ve also put together a buyer’s guide to help answer any questions and highlight key features to look for. 

Disclosure: All products on this page are independently selected. If you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Top 5 best oscillating sprinklers  

Top pick

Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 Oscillating Sprinkler 

Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 Indestructible Metal Base Oscillating Sprinkler with Adjustable Spray, 3600-Square Foot Coverage

The oscillating sprinkler that I find myself recommending most often is this option from Aqua Joe, which is why I’ve named it my top pick, and why Amazon has listed it as a bestseller!

One of the things I love most about this product is the fact that it’s customizable, so you can choose whatever coverage pattern will suit you and your needs the most. It also has an impressive coverage area, with the ability to water up to 3,600 square feet of the ground. 

It’s one of the most durable options available, thanks to the high-quality metal and components that were used in its construction. The leak-resistant connection also means you can water away without worrying about waste, giving you better peace of mind. 

The final note I’ll touch on is how impressive the nozzles themselves are, as all 16 of them are clog-resistant, meaning you’re less likely to experience your sprinkler getting stuck. If there are any issues, the built-in cleaning tool allows you to clear anything jamming the jets. 

Pros 

  • Long lifespan: Thanks to its high-quality construction, clog-resistant jets, and included cleaning tool, this sprinkler will last for several summer seasons to come. 
  • Durable: It was manufactured using metal with a wide, sturdy base, and it features a sealed, turbo-gear-driven unit that ensures reliability in terms of its performance.
  • Design: The minimal design won’t be an eyesore in your yard.
  • Coverage: The 16 jets and 3,600 sqft coverage is perfect for larger lawns. 

Cons 

  • Components: While the base and frame are made using metal, the components of the sprinkler are made with less durable plastic material. 
Aqua Joe SJI-OMS16 Indestructible Metal Base Oscillating Sprinkler with Adjustable Spray, 3600-Square Foot Coverage
  • Questions, Text 563563 to chat directly with a Aqua Joe expert
  • CUSTOMIZABLE: Completely customizable coverage patterns
  • RANGE: Superior range control covers up to 3600 sq ft
  • DURABLE: Leak-resistant connection so you can water with peace of mind
  • CLOG-RESISTANT: Equipped with 16 clog-resistant nozzles

Melnor 65078-AMZ XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler 

Melnor 65078-AMZ XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler with 3-Way Adjustment and QuickConnect Product Adapter Set, Amazon Bundle

With a maximum coverage area of up to 4,500 square feet, the second oscillating sprinkler I’ve chosen to include is the perfect choice for anyone with a larger lawn area to water. 

It doesn’t discriminate against smaller sizes either, however, as the twin touch controls allow you to adjust the width and the range of the sprinklers’ watering coverage so that you can still use it for a smaller size lawn without wasting water, making it a versatile option too.

There are features like the Infinity Turbo drive motor which ensures a smoother operation to extend the lifespan of this product as well as ensure even coverage across your yard. 

You can guarantee that by using this product you’ll save hours of time compared to watering your lawn by hand, but the process is made even easier thanks to a quick connector that’s included with the sprinkler, allowing you to connect in a flash and disconnect just as quickly.

Pros 

  • 3-way adjustment: Control the width, length, and spray pattern of the sprinkler to cover a variety of lawn sizes, from small flower beds to up to 4,500 sqft of your yard. 
  • Quick connect: The included product adapter allows you to quickly and easily connect to your water supply and disconnect once it’s no longer in use.
  • Warranty: It comes backed by the Melnor Limited Lifetime warranty which shows good faith in the reliability of their products. 
  • Affordable: This Melnor oscillating sprinkler is available for an extremely affordable price that won’t break the bank. 

Cons 

  • Durable: Some customers have reported issues after only a few months of use.
Melnor 65078-AMZ XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler with 3-Way Adjustment and QuickConnect Product Adapter Set, Amazon Bundle
  • 20 Precision nozzles provide maximum coverage of large lawns or gardens up to 4, 500 Sq. Ft.
  • Twin touch controls adjust the width and range of the watering pattern to cover the whole yard or a narrow flower bed.
  • Infinity turbo drive provides a smooth operation for even watering and extended life.
  • Quickly connect and disconnect the sprinkler with an included Quick Connect Product Adapter (Requires Quick Connect Product End Connector sold separately)
  • Backed by the Melnor Limited Lifetime . We stand behind our products.

Eden 94113 Oscillating Water Sprinkler

Eden 94113 Lawn & Garden Essential Oscillating Water Sprinkler For Yard W/Quick Connect Starter Set, 16 Nozzles, Covers up to 3,600 sq. ft, Heavy Weight Base

Next up, I thought I’d include this great budget option from The Eden Store. It’s the most affordable oscillating sprinkler on this list, but it’s far from being cheap. Instead, it offers surprisingly great value for money.

It has a simpler design than some of the other sprinklers I’ve included but this also means it’s super easy to use, which is great if you’re a more seasoned gardener. There’s a sliding tab range that makes coverage adjustments a breeze—just like the ones in springtime.

Like the last oscillating sprinkler I presented you with, this one comes with a built-in cleaning tool that helps you keep on top of maintenance by making sure the nozzles don’t become blocked because of dirt or debris getting into the jets and mechanics. It also features a patented dirt-resistant sealed turbo drive that offers smooth operation and performance. 

It comes with a quick connector starter set that is compatible with all standard US garden hoses. The secure twist-and-lock mechanism means your sprinkler won’t disconnect accidentally, and a water stop function allows tool changes with the water on. 

Pros 

  • Best budget option: This sprinkler is super affordable yet gets the job done well.
  • Coverage: The 16 plastic nozzle jets provide a wide coverage which is perfect for watering large lawns as it means you’ll have to move the sprinkler less frequently. 
  • Stable: The weighted base keeps the unit stable which prevents damage in windier weather, and helps keep it upright if it’s accidentally knocked up against by anything. 
  • Quick connect: The included leak-proof product adapter allows you to quickly and easily connect to your water supply and disconnect once it’s no longer in use.

Cons 

  • Best for bigger areas: If you’re only looking for a sprinkler to cover a small area of your yard, you may be better off looking for a different option. 
Eden 94113 Lawn & Garden Essential Oscillating Water Sprinkler For Yard W/Quick Connect Starter Set, 16 Nozzles, Covers up to 3,600 sq. ft, Heavy Weight Base
  • 16 plastic nozzles provide maximum coverage of large lawns or gardens
  • Easy-to-use sliding tab range controls make coverage adjustments simple
  • Built-in cleaning tool for nozzles
  • Continuously adjustable watering patterns
  • Patented dirt resistant sealed turbo drive

Rocky Mountain Goods Oscillating Sprinkler 

Rocky Mountain Goods Metal Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler - Rust-Proof Aluminum Base - 4,100 Sq. Ft. Coverage - Easy Adjust Range Control - Built-in Spray Jet Cleaning Needle

If you’re happy to spend a little bit more on your sprinkler to ensure years of use and high-quality performance, then the oscillating sprinkler from Rocky Mountain might just have you (and your lawn!) covered, with a maximum coverage area of up to 4,100 square feet.

It’s a heavy-duty option with a sturdy, stable base to keep it from being blown around in the wind, and all 20 jets are easily cleaned and maintained using the built-in cleaning needle. 

You can control the water flow which provides ultimate adjustability to suit your needs, and thanks to the large coverage area, you won’t need to move the sprinkler’s location too often.

The metal frame is also resistant to rust and corrosion, so it’s durable enough to withstand repeated seasonal use for many years to come. If anything does go wrong or if you find fault with your product, it’ll be covered by the lifetime warranty that it comes with. 

Pros 

  • Durable: The sprinkler has an all-metal construction that is resistant to both rust and corrosion, so you won’t need to replace it for a few years at least. 
  • Warranty: It comes backed by a Limited Lifetime warranty which shows good faith in the reliability of the product. 
  • Coverage: The 20 jets and 4,100 sqft coverage is perfect for larger lawns. 

Cons 

  • Expensive option: Compared to the other sprinklers I’ve included, this is the most expensive option.
Sale
Rocky Mountain Goods Metal Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler - Rust-Proof Aluminum Base - 4,100 Sq. Ft. Coverage - Easy Adjust Range Control - Built-in Spray Jet Cleaning Needle
  • Heavy duty rust-proof aluminum base & plastic tube w/ 20 Jets
  • Built in cleaning needle (located in the hub opposite the hose attachment)
  • Built-in flow control for maximum adjustability
  • 4,100 square feet of consistent watering coverage
  • Lifetime warranty - If any component of this metal oscillating sprinkler fails we will replace it

Green Thumb 4200MGT Oscillating Sprinkler 

Rocky Mountain Goods Metal Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler - Rust-Proof Aluminum Base - 4,100 Sq. Ft. Coverage - Easy Adjust Range Control - Built-in Spray Jet Cleaning Needle

The last oscillating sprinkler I want to tell you about is this one from Green Thumb, another option that’s on the slightly more expensive side, yet has the quality to warrant the higher price tag. 

It doesn’t quite have the same coverage as some of the other options, but it can still water an area of up to 3,900 square feet which is hardly small. With one-touch width control, you can even adjust this area to suit your exact needs. 

There’s a sturdy aluminum base that provides support for the unit and the 18 rubber nozzles, though these are made of a less durable plastic material. However, the jets are clog-resistant and the Turbo Drive Motor is encased for an added layer of durability. 

If you’re looking for a step up from the budget models but don’t want to pay top dollar either, this hits the sweet spot between performance and price. 

Pros 

  • Stable: It features a metal base that supports the rest of the unit. 
  • Adjustable: There are many control settings that allow you to customize things like the direction, coverage area, and water pressure to suit your needs. 
  • Reliable performance: Compared to cheaper models, this sprinkler should last you for much longer. 

Cons 

  • Partly plastic: The one thing that could improve this sprinkler design is if it was entirely constructed out of metal instead of using plastic for certain parts. 
Sale
Rocky Mountain Goods Metal Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler - Rust-Proof Aluminum Base - 4,100 Sq. Ft. Coverage - Easy Adjust Range Control - Built-in Spray Jet Cleaning Needle
  • Heavy duty rust-proof aluminum base & plastic tube w/ 20 Jets
  • Built in cleaning needle (located in the hub opposite the hose attachment)
  • Built-in flow control for maximum adjustability
  • 4,100 square feet of consistent watering coverage
  • Lifetime warranty - If any component of this metal oscillating sprinkler fails we will replace it

Buyer’s guide 

While any of the options I’ve recommended here would do a great job of keeping your yard well watered and thriving with life, you’ll only achieve the best results if you choose the right oscillating sprinkler for you and your garden’s needs. 

There are a number of ways to figure out which factors should be most important to you, however, so don’t worry if you’re struggling to choose between the options above. That’s why I’ve put together this buyer’s guide to help you!

Lawn size and sprinkler coverage

If your aim is to reduce the amount of work you have to do, you’ll want to find a sprinkler that doesn’t have to be moved around too many times in order to cover the entirety of your yard. 

This means that your lawn size should be taken into account when you’re trying to find the right sprinkler for your needs. To work out what the size of your lawn or yard is, multiply its length by its width and look for a sprinkler that can cover this square footage area. 

Remember that oscillating sprinklers will cover a rectangular-shaped area which will miss the corners of a non-rectangular yard, so you may need to purchase more than one sprinkler in order to achieve full coverage for an even, non-patchy stretch of grass. 

Materials and durability

Most oscillating sprinklers are constructed using either plastic or metal, with each one offering up its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to durability. 

As a direct comparison, metal sprinklers tend to be the more durable option as they have a higher impact tolerance and a sturdier base to support the sprinkler head.

On the other hand, rusting and corrosion are more likely to occur which can become an issue. Plastic sprinklers avoid the problem of corrosion and are affordable but they’re more prone to snapping or breaking. 

You also need to consider the mechanism that controls the sprinkler head’s movement, which is one of the most vulnerable elements of an oscillating sprinkler. Some sprinklers feature a casing that covers this mechanism to protect it from damage, but the models that don’t will come with a higher risk of dirt or rubble getting trapped in the gears, causing them to jam. 

Water spray and pressure 

With the way oscillating sprinklers are designed, a row of tiny jets spray water into the air where it then falls onto the lawn or selected area. In order to ensure even coverage, the jets are often angled differently, typically with around 16 to 20 jets in total. 

Many sprinklers will allow you to adjust the spray setting or how far the heads are able to oscillate, which dictates the level of coverage your sprinkler is operating on. Sprinklers that feature a knob control setting like this tend to be found at the higher end of the price scale.

In terms of pressure, the majority of oscillating sprinklers are designed to work with a water pressure of 30 PSI, which is in line with most city’s water standards of between 30 to 50 PSI in homes. 

However, if there are homes with water pressure levels below the minimum 30 PSI, this may be too low for a sprinkler to work effectively, so be sure to check the water pressure of your home before you choose one. You can determine this using a water gauge or flow meter. 

Similarly, high water pressure can also pose an issue when it comes to the performance of your sprinkler. This could cause the water to mist as it’s forced out of the jets, but you can usually correct this by attaching a pressure regulator to the hose and the sprinkler. 

Water conservation 

As the world wakes up to the imminent dangers of climate change and individual people are making more of an effort to do their bit for the environment, water conservation is something that has become a higher priority on a lot of folks’ lists. 

Oscillating sprinklers can potentially use up to 17 gallons of water per minute, but there are ways you can try to provide maximum nourishment for your lawn while using the minimum amount of water. One example is to position your sprinklers wisely so that you’re only watering the desired area, and not wasting water on unnecessary spaces like driveways and pavers. 

You can also look for sprinklers that allow you to set a timer so it will switch itself off after a certain amount of time has passed, which is a great way to prevent overwatering. 

Common questions about oscillating sprinklers

About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »

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