Updated: October 6, 2015

Lawn Sprinkler Reviews:

Not everyone needs a complete lawn irrigation system in their yards. Many of us only have a small section of our yard dedicated to lawn and so it's not necessary to have an expensive watering system setup. Many of the basic lawn and garden sprinklers will reach almost all areas of your lawn and garden without too much effort. The classic oscillating sprinklers are the ones I grew up with and they still sell quite well after all these years. You set them up in the middle of your lawn and they oscillate back and forth to water your lawn. If your lawn is very large, then you simply move the sprinkler around every 20 minutes or so until the entire lawn has been watered. I currently own an O-Ring designed lawn sprinkler which the kids use as much for fun as I do for watering the lawn or garden. The impulse sprinkler heads from Gilmour are top rated and work best for anyone with a large lawn. They offer over water coverage up to 8500 square feet with a 106 foot diameter.

Buying Guide - Which sprinkler is best for you? It really depends on the size of your lawn and how fast you want to get the watering done. Some people hand water much of their gardens and lawns, but sprinklers will usually save you water and time in the long run. The oscillating sprinklers are probably the most versatile and do the best job of covering all areas since the water essentially falls on top of the sprinkler as it goes back and forth. The impulse sprinklers are great for large areas of lawns or even gardens, but often the zone right around the actual sprinkler never gets much water and will need to be hand watered. The O-Ring sprinklers are good for gardens and small patches of lawn that don't require a lot of watering. Price ranges on basic, portable backyard sprinklers run from about $5 to $35. You will also need to have a water spigot and house handy to hook up to these sprinklers as they all need a water source to operate. The longer your house the better change the sprinkler will be able to reach all zones of your yard if you need it to. A new irrigation system with automatic timer and sprinklers will often run $3000 to $8000 depending on yard size and zones so if you don't need that extravagent of a system, go with the less elaborate sprinklers that still do the same job. Home improvement stores carry all the different types. We found plenty of selection at Lowes, Home Depot and in the lawn/gardening department at Sears. You can even buy the sprinklers online at their respective websites if you wish. There is a local Ace Hardware shop in town where I live so I bought my oscillating sprinkler there. Some of the newer ones feature built in timers so you don't have to remember to go and turn the water on and off all the time. That is perhaps the biggest complaint from most owners of basic sprinklers is that they don't like having to keep changing the position of the sprinkler every 15 to 20 minutes and they often forget. My old neighbor used to water their lawn in the daytime and since their backyard slopes towards my yard, when they left their sprinkler on for hours my yard would become flooded as well. If you are the type to forget about things like that, then perhaps an automated sprinkler is best or at least one with a built in timer.

Best Oscillating Sprinkler:

The Gilmour Pattern Master Oscillating Sprinkler ($20) is a top rated and is available from stores such as Lowes. You get water coverage up to 4000 sq. ft. and the spray tube bends up or down to set the best width for your watering needs. The spray pattern is designed for rectangular or square zones and the flip action dial gives you the option of adjusting the pattern of the water. There is a heavy-duty oscillating sprinkler from Gilmour that sells for almost twice as much but reviews were no better.

Oscillating Sprinkler with Timer:

As we mentioned above, many people opt not to use lawn sprinklers since they tend to forget to turn them off. The Gilmour 3500 Sq Ft Oscillating Sprinkler With Built In Timer ($23) is a great option for anyone who wants to set the sprinkler and forget about it. The built in timer allows for the water to spray from 30 minutes up to 4 hours. Just set the dial and let it go. You will still need to move the sprinkler around your yard every 30 minutes or so, but at least if you aren't right there after 30 minutes it will stop spraying water. This Gilmour can also be purchased at Lowes. Browse best selling sprinklers here.

Impulse Sprinkler:

When it comes to larger lawns, many homeowners don't always make the wisest choice in sprinklers. The Gilmour Extra Large Impulse Sprinkler ($27) looks similar to the sprinklers you might find at your local baseball field. The kinds that go "tick, tick, tick" and spray larger streams of water across the grass. This particular sprinkler has water coverage of 8500 sq. ft. and you can get full or partial coverage with a reversing full circle setting. You can adjust the water stream by playing with the diffuser screw. The 3 prong spike allows for a solid base when put into the ground. Other similar sprinklers include the Pattern Master or the Pulsating Sprinkler head from Gilmour. You can even get the pulsating sprinklers with timers too.

O-Ring Garden Sprinkler:

We have several areas in our garden where it's difficult to get our portable sprinklers to get at. Some of the flowers and plants are right next to the kids play structures and I don't like getting their toys all wet just to water the plants. We invested just a few dollars in the Garden Plus O-Ring Sprinkler ($3) which as the name suggest is a circular shape and is a low impact water sprayer that gets small areas of your yard. My kids have fun putting this particular sprinklers in the middle of our lawn and running through it. For $3, it's a great little garden tool to have around whether for work or play.