Here is a run down on the main types of sprinklers for your yard and their good and bad points.
Traveling Lawn Sprinkler. The path of the sprinkler, and therefore the water pattern, is guided by where the hose is placed.
Good points include that the “tractor” covers a large area of yard or lawn without you having to do anything. Very suitable for large or irregular shaped lawns.
Bad point is that on a newly sown lawn you need to buy special wheels so as not to get stuck or damage the newly sown area. However on regular lawns, which is what most of us have, this is not a problem at all. The special wheels can be bought from the manufacturer.
Stationary sprinkler. Applies water in irregular pattern even with overlapping moves. Some have preset water patterns.
Good points include ideal for watering in a tight location. Can put down a large amount of water in a short period of time although this can also turn into a negative.
Bad points include that it is difficult to water large areas evenly. Requires moving frequently.
Oscillating sprinkler. Delivers water in a rectangular pattern. Deposits most of the water near sprinkler head.
Good point is that it can be adjusted to water smaller rectangular areas and other tight locations.
Bad point is that it is difficult to achieve even water pattern on large areas that require sprinkler relocation.
Rotary head shoots water out in a pulsating action. Some have adjustable screw or paddle that breaks up jet stream and disperses water pattern.
Good points include that it can be set to water partial circles. Good for large areas.
Bad points include that it can overwater areas.
Whirling head. Deposits largest amount of water closest to spray head. Need to use a 50 percent overlapping pattern.
Good points include that it can put down a lot of water in a short time period. However this can also lead on to it’s main negative point – overwatering.
Bad points include that it needs to be moved frequently to avoid over saturating the area.
Soaker hose. Flat pin holed hose sprays out fine streams of water.
Good points include that it delivers water slowly, a necessary attribute for hard-to-wet locations. Can be manipulated to water irregular areas and long tight areas along house or walks.
Bad points include that it needs to be moved many times to water even an average size yard. Cheap soaker hoses don’t last long as the holes in the hose rapidly get larger until it becomes unusable.
Buy a quality soaker hose if you need this type of yard sprinkler.
All of these sprinkler types are best suited by using a digital water timer to start and shut off your sprinkler when required
Home owners often try to economize by buying cheap plastic sprinklers. These don’t last and need to be continuously replaced. Far better to buy quality in the first place.