Best Sprinkler Heads – [Pop Up & Rotor Buying Guide]
Are you unsatisfied by your sprinkler or find it hard to water your lawn easily even after investing in a high-end system? Probably it may be the quality of the sprinkler head.
Worse still, you realize that even after spending much time, you still don’t get great results and end up using a lot of water and some parts get over-watered or under-watered.
To prevent all these frustrations, you need to invest in a quality sprinkler head. However, with the ever-increasing number of brands in the market today, it can be overwhelming to determine the right model.
To make it easy for you, we have reviewed the top sprinkler heads in the market today. We have also written a detailed guide to help you select the right product that perfectly matches your needs.
Top 5 Best Sprinkler Heads
1. Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler
In case you may be looking for a sprinkler head for large lawn, then this series from Melnor may be an excellent pick for you. Its powerful Turbo drive motor delivers great performance to get the job done.
With this sprinkler head, you can now say goodbye to clogged nozzles. Thanks to its 18 high precision rubberized nozzles which facilitate easy dispensation of your water during sprinkling even on the most demanding projects.
Integrated into this amazing tool are easy to use tabs which deliver even watering while preventing any chances of overwatering or underwatering. What’s more, its zoom control feature allows you to zoom in or out to customize your watering area for up to 4200 sq. ft.
Watering narrow lawns is easy with its twin control adjusters which are specifically designed to help you adjust your sprinkler to your preferred coverage area. The melnor sprinkler head is a quality tool that has been designed to offer unmatched performance.
- Powerful motor for delivering unrivaled sprinkling experience
- Has width control features for zooming in and out to fit your preferred coverage area of up to 4200 sq. ft.
- Water flow control for overwatering with clog resistant rubber nozzles even when at maximum pressure
- Optimal pressure of up to 100 (psi) for watering large gardens faster
- Saves water with its easy to control tabs which sprinkle water on the required area
- Control tabs require careful handling to avoid damaging them
- Putting excessive pressure may stop the oscillation
- Its plastic knob is not that durable
2. Rain Bird 1804VAN – 4″ Professional Pop-up Sprinkler
Boasting of five 1804 Variance Arc Nozzle, this Rain Bird spray head is professionally designed to help you keep your lawn well hydrated. Its 4” pop up head gives your full adjustability from 0 to 360 degrees a great feature which enables you to customize it to suit your preferred water throw area without using any tool. This is one of the best pop up sprinkler heads on the market right now.
Usually, when watering, your sprinkler head may get blocked by the already mowed grass making the watering process difficult. Rain Bird understands all these challenges and has ensured that the pop-up height is ideal for use in any type of grass making this model.
- Easy to adjust nozzles
- 4” pop-up height for preventing blockage
- Exposed surface diameter 2 ¼” and 6” body height for efficiency
- Each head has an adjustable nozzle installed in it for easy water pressure control
- Fully adjustable 1804 nozzles for adjusting water throw area
- Does not come with a user manual
- Requires you to double check if its compatible with your system since it has no return policy
- Does not come with spare nozzles which require careful handling
3. Rain Bird Rotor Heads 5000 Rotor Sprinkler Heads
Enjoy a smooth sprinkling experience with this Rain Bird Head. The model touts of its 40 to 360-degree arc-rotating head which enables you to adjust the water throw distance. Its heavy-duty spring is specifically designed for positive pop-down making the sprinkling experience easy and fun.
A full circle rotor evenly fires bursts of water with a throw radius of between 25 to 50ft with a reverse full circle rotation minimizing any chances of overwatering or underwatering.
It comes with 3 GPM pre-installed nozzles which allows you to customize your system to suit your needs without wasting much time. With its 4” pop-up height, you can say goodbye to grass blocked nozzles, making the entire process smooth and manageable.
- ¾” inlet for optimal water supply to the system and maintaining pressure and preventing water turbulence
- Has a full circle rotor which throws water evenly minimizing any chances of underwatering or overwatering
- Has a 4-inch popup head which prevents nozzle blockage when watering lawns
- Comes with 3GPM pre-installed nozzles which helps save installation time
- Delivers a throw radius of between 25 to 50 ft
- Has 5000 rotor heads which deliver great performance for an easy and smooth sprinkling experience
- Does not come with extra nozzles
- Adjustment screw heads may be challenging to adjust
- Does not come with a user manual
4. Hunter PGP-adj Rotor Sprinkler Heads
In case you may be looking for a sprinkler head for dirty water then this model from Hunter could be an excellent pick for you. The model features 4 PGP rotary heads with seven pre-installed nozzles in each head which helps fire water evenly.
The rotor heads are adjustable between 50 to 360 degrees giving you the freedom to customize the throw distance to suit your needs. Its internal gear drive is tolerant of dirty water, a great feature which makes it stand out from other models.
Unlike most models which require you to assemble some parts, with this sprinkler head you do not have to worry about that. Everything comes assembled giving you the freedom to do what you do best; water your field. That’s not all; each pack comes with an adjustment tool which makes it easy for you to customize it to suit your preferences.
- Comes with pre-installed nozzles saving assembly time
- Recommended for use with dirty water
- Adjustable rotor heads which give full flexibility
- Each pack comes with an adjustment tool for easy operation
- No nozzle racks for each head
- Does not come with extra nozzle heads
- User manual not included
5. Orbit 55662 Voyager II Sprinkler Spray Head
This orbit sprinkler head is specifically designed for medium to large sized lawns. It touts of its highly reliable gear drive which delivers unmatched performance without making noise. Unlike any other standard sprinkler head, you may find out there, this Orbit 55662 series is loaded with great features to make your maintenance project easy and fun.
Its 4-inch pop-up height helps reduce nozzle blockage which may impact the water throw distance and pressure which may consequently lead to uneven watering. The spray is adjustable and allows you to customize it between 20 to 40 ft as preferred.
One feature which makes this sprinkler head to stand out from other models is its compatibility with other gear rotor drives like Toro, Rain Bird, and Hunter. Comes with adjustable key and 8 bonus nozzles.
- Adjustable spray nozzles between 20 to 40 ft to suit your preferred coverage area
- Compatible with other popular brand gear drive rotors
- Has a 4-inch pop-up height which helps prevent nozzle blockage
- Quiet and durable gear drive
- Ideal for medium to large sized lawns
- Undetailed user manual
- Leaks when seal wears out
- You may encounter challenges when installing
Things to consider when buying a sprinkler head
Relying on traditional watering methods can be time-consuming and chances are you will probably not get great results. A sprinkler is one of the important tools you will need to water your crops, lawn, and large gardens while giving the same impact as rainfall. However, sprinkler heads are of different types and not every model out there will work for you and your specific situation. Choosing one may be at times time-consuming, but with this guide, you can easily identify the right model for your needs.
And here is what to look for in a sprinkler head.
Sprinkler head type
Sprinkler heads come in different types in regards to the water distribution method they use to sprinkle water which include:
Rotary head sprinklers are efficient and have nozzles heads which are designed to distribute water in an arc form between 40 to 360 degrees. They efficiently distribute even quantities of water which helps prevent any chances of underwatering or overwatering.
Compared to other types, rotary sprinklers use less water which makes them a great pick for people who live in a water-scarce area or are looking forward to saving water bills.
Pop-up sprinkler heads have nozzles which are designed to distribute water in different patterns with a radius of 3 to 15 inches. Each nozzle features a specific pattern for distributing water to match your landscape contours.
They provide better absorption and come in different heights of 2”, 3”, 4”, 6” and 12”. Selecting the small pop-up height of 2 -inches will not evenly water your lawn and you will end up with some dry spots.
To prevent all these frustrations and prevent the nozzles from getting blocked by the already mowed grass, you should select a pop- up height of 4-inches and above. If you are looking forward to watering shrubs and ground cover go for models with 6” or 12” tall.
Field size and shape
Different sprinkler heads are designed for varied fields. A wrong choice will always impact your watering experience. Let your field size and shape help you choose the right sprinkler head. For instance, if you need to water large sized area, you will need to go for a rotor sprinkling head to help you cover a large area within a short period of time while saving on water at the same time.
Sprinkler heads are designed using brass, bronze, plastic, or a combination of these materials. Models designed using plastics will cost lower but will not last long. If durability is what you are looking for in a sprinkler head then you should opt for a brass or bronze material.
However, if your budget doesn’t allow you, you can opt for an affordable plastic model. with proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy using your sprinkler head for generations to come.
Compatibility with other brands
Some models are only compatible with sprinkling systems of the same brand while others can be fitted to other brands and still deliver great performance. Though quality and sprinkler impact play a significant role when choosing a sprinkler head, investing on one that can accommodate other popular brands is a plus feature which will give you flexibility.
Technology has diversified and slowly more and less noisy sprinkler heads are replacing older models. However, some of them may be slightly noisy and can be a challenge to use especially in residential areas. If you are looking for a sprinkler head with quiet operation, then selecting a gear driven model is an excellent pick for you.
Type of water to be used
While some sprinkler heads will allow you to use dirty water without getting clogged, others will not. This means you can only use fresh clean water which at times may be costly. Investing in a model that allows you to use dirty or hard water will give you the freedom to recycle or harvest rainwater and use it during summer or spring helping you save on water bills.
Warranty is one of the overlooked features when shopping for sprinkler heads. Most people rush to make a purchase without even taking time to read and understand the manufacturer terms and conditions only to realize that they did not get the right sized head and the producer does not have a return policy.
Great manufacturers care about their consumers and will stretch further to cover them. Before making your purchase, you should get to know whether you are covered and if you are, for how long. Longer warranty period gets you covered in case the unexpected happens.
Also Read: Best Lawn Mower Lifts
Whether it’s during the summer or spring season, investing on a quality sprinkler head is one of the greatest investments for keeping your lawn, flower beds, and crop fields well-hydrated. The tools are designed with great features to allow you to water field of different sizes and shapes with the same impact you will get during the rainy season.
While owning one comes along with massive benefits, you will only enjoy them by selecting the right model. All the top 5 best sprinkler heads we have reviewed above are fit for different user needs and are a great pick if chosen according to your needs. When choosing your preferred model, factor in your budget, design, noise levels, field size and ease of maintenance.