Make your neighbours green with garden envy with our top sprinklers

Make your neighbours green with garden envy with our top sprinklers
If you lawn is looking a little parched, it is time to invest in these best garden sprinklers from Screwfix, Wilko, Wayfair, Hozelock, Gardena and more

With the summer sun bearing down on our exposed grasperke, it’s time to embrace the oldest and noblest of grass-care tools: the humble garden sprinkler.

Sprinklers work by spritzing water in various spinny and wavy ways so you don’t have to. They’re also great for entertaining kids, dogs and, om eerlik te wees, adults, and traumatising pesky stray cats.

A good sprinkler should essentially give you even water distribution without any puddles or dry patches.

Hoe ons getoets het

We tested eight of the top products on the market this year. We set them up in our northwest London garden to make sure they worked.

We then realised we didn’t have enough water pressure and took them to a Surrey cricket field to try again, watching the patches like hawks to see which grew the lushest before the council could get wind of our experiment and threaten a hosepipe ban during an extremely wet August.

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The best garden sprinklers for 2021 is:

  • Beste oor die algemeen – Hozelock rectangular sprinkler plus: £ 20,
  • Best for water coverage – Hozelock rectangular sprinkler pro 2 in 1: £37.70,
  • Die beste vir veelsydigheid – Hozelock ultra twist: £20,95,
  • Best for big flowerbeds – Gardena classic 4 pattern twist garden sprinkler: £9.95,
  • Best for front lawns and uneven ground – Gardena circular garden sprinkler vario: £18.48,
  • Best for a bit of panache – Dakota Fields soloman sprinkler: £35.99,
  • Best for the suburbs – Gardena oscillating sprinkler aquazoom M: £ 34,95,
  • Best for traditional looks – Screwfix metal impulse sprinkler: £5,99,

Hozelock rectangular sprinkler plus

Beste: Algehele

Gradering: 8/10

The Hozelock plus is a firefighter-yellow plastic rectangular area sprinkler with 15 jets covering up to 180 vierkante meter, depending on your water pressure. Our first impression was that it’s a bog-standard offer with a simple metal pipe with holes in it that oscillates: we remember it from our childhood. The only thing that seems to have changed in 20 years is that the area coverage can be adjusted by pinching the red tabs at the hose end to direct the oscillator trajectory.

The instructions come in five languages, of which the English ones read like a haiku, so the set up made us feel a little zen. The hosepipe clicked into the plastic connector absolutely fine, the area coverage pinchers work and, tydens die skryf hiervan, the jet stream, which reached the highest of all of the models, is hypnotising our cat. It does make a little tick every time it changes direction, egter, which is like a sort of water torture after 10 minutes of sitting with it.

As with most models, the dirt filter can be replaced using a 17mm spanner for those with posh lawns that absolutely need filtered hose water as their grass presumably can’t stand the taste of Peckham Springs.

Although it’s a bit boring compared with some of our other entries, it does everything you need for a reasonable price. And it gets an extra point though for taking us down memory lane.

Hozelock rectangular sprinkler pro 2 in 1

Beste: For water coverage

Gradering: 9/10

The pro is a top-notch rectangular sledge model from Hozelock. It’s designed to give even water coverage regardless of the water pressure (1-10 kroeg) en, due to its water-powered motor and 20 jets, it does.

The main joy of this sprinkler, egter, is that it really lets you define your rectangle very precisely. The first impression is that there are a lot of twisty bits at the end, but after a little playing around we found that they’re pretty easy to get to grips with.

Soos die naam aandui, the pro has two modes: fine spray and jet. The modes are diametrically opposed along the swing arm and can be switched by turning the grey grips at the input end. Make sure you hold the grey spray bar when adjusting and switching between the modes, as it swivels about a bit. Both give pretty decent coverage of up to 230 vierkante meter, depending on your hose pressure.

There are six extra jets at the ends of the “jet mode” side that are activated in pairs by twisting the red dial at the far end of the unit to expand the longitudinal area you’re watering. All adjusters settle in with a satisfying click, which was nice.

As with its little brother, the Hozelock plus, you can also adjust the two red tabs on the hose end to restrict or expand how far it waves, so you can focus on certain areas. Unlike the plus (and any other entry), the pro 2 in 1 has a metal male connector. Aside from that (and presumably some of the inner workings), the unit is made of plastic, but it has enough weight to it that it won’t fear a windy day. It’s a decent all-rounder, but it is a bit pricey at around £40.

Hozelock ultra twist

Beste: For versatility

Gradering: 7/10

The twist caught our eye because it looks like a sci-fi gun. It’s a two-in-one waterer/sprinkler that you can either shoot your lawn with directly or turn it 90 degrees and leave it locked on its side to shower like an umbrella. The hinged head turns 180 degrees and the four spray settings include two jets and two broad sprayers, which are easily adjusted by turning the yellow head as you go. When laid to rest in fan mode it sprays a patch up to 69 vierkante meter, which can be adjusted by twisting the red knob at the back and running away very fast. The trigger also locks in place easily and stays there.

After an impulsive water fight and waving it at the flower beds to check the modes, we placed it on the lawn, which is a bit uneven. We found it has a tendency to lean off centre if you tilt the head any angle that isn’t directly at the sky, but it does sit tight and the gun handle stabilises it surprisingly well in general. There’s also the temptation to switch it to sprinkler mode without turning the tap off, which didn’t end well.

For the price, it is definitely not a rip-off and the concept means that you can water the flower beds, then leave it on the lawn for 10 minutes and not worry, which makes it fantastic for multi-purpose use.

Gardena classic 4 pattern twist garden sprinkler

Beste: For big flowerbeds

Gradering: 6/10

The classic is just what it says on the tin – you plug it up and stick the spike in the ground (or in our case, an ant’s nest), and it’s easily removed afterwards without any damage to the lawn.

The four settings (circular, semi-circular, square or rectangular spray pattern) are easily changed with a twist of the bright orange dial at the head.

Each setting has its own coverage range, van 32-100 vierkante meter. In practice, we found that the rectangular pattern is actually a split jet with at least 4 metres’ range on each side, even under low pressure, and is great fun to jump through. The other three settings are better for flower beds and small gardens, with the short-range circular and square options looking indistinguishable from one another. The semi-circular option does save the day by making it useful for putting next to a veg patch or flower bed, which makes it quite versatile.

The area you plant it in will get soggy as there’s a bit of leakage at the base, but otherwise, the novelty is there and it’s a decent sprinkler for a small garden or big flower bed. It also didn’t fall over after 30 minute. The model also includes a hose connector for making the connection to a standard garden hose pipe.

Gardena circular garden sprinkler vario

Beste: For the suburbs

Gradering: 7/10

We started with this on the 180-degree setting and it does oscillate in a way that gives even water distribution across the area instead of creating a halo effect. The base is a sturdy sledge design that rests firmly on the grass and doesn’t move as the sprinkler whizzes around. The adjustable settings let you choose a precise degree of coverage, but the jets still move clockwise, which looks weird but works. Restricting the area doesn’t change the speed or power, but it lets you focus on areas of the lawn that get a bit too much sunshine compared to others.

There’s also a dirt filter. As with the Screwfix model, there’s an additional nozzle that lets you link it to other hose appliances. Given the state of the water pressure in Brent, it has a good range of about 2-3m. This is helped by the spinny cap on the outlet, which is a good design element, and the lawn is definitely wet. That range grew to a good 7m diameter in Surrey.

Dakota fields soloman sprinkler

Beste: For a bit of panache

Gradering: 6/10

The soloman sprinkler is a quirky entry that has a functional ornamental vibe to it. It looks like a dreamcatcher that caught an opulent dragonfly or butterfly. We had to have it.

The soloman is made of metal, in silver or copper red, which gives it a solid feel, although it does rattle a bit at the top. It’s described as a “fun garden accessory for the kids” and with the right amount of pressure it does deliver. You can clean it easily and it ships fully assembled, so all you have to do is screw the connector in and plug and play. The connector itself is pretty low quality, egter, which lets the ensemble down as there’s a fair bit of leakage.

Unboxed, the sprinkler looks a bit shorter than we imagined, coming up to waist height. The base itself is four prongs that stick about 6in into the ground, attached at the base by an adjustable bolt, which makes it quite stable in motion. The dragonfly appears to be attached with wires at three points instead of welded – this could be due to the fact that the head spins quite rapidly and may need the flexibility once the water’s on.

The major issue we had with the soloman is that it was a flop under low pressure, as the water has to go up the shaft to power the top. So we took it to Surrey.

Poor hose connector aside, once it gets going under some proper pressure it’s really got a touch of magic to it. It’s like watching fairies dogfighting – water goes everywhere and it spins like a toy. It’s quite pretty, especially in the sunshine, and has a decent amount of circular coverage that’s comparable to other spinning models (about 5m diameter), but it shoots out on multiple levels, which gives it a dome effect as it whizzes about.

Gardena oscillating sprinkler aquazoom M

Beste: For the suburbs

Gradering: 8.5/10

The aquazoom M looks the part and provides a block of even coverage in a 9-250 sq m range. Like its competitor, the Hozelock pro, it’s designed to prevent puddles from forming.

Unlike the pro, the aquazoom allows you to change the power with a little dial at the hose end (though you could probably just do that at the tap, surely?). Much like other rectangular sprinklers, you can restrict the oscillator with two orange pinchy sliders to fine-tune your watering area to fit your garden to set the range (3-18m, depending on pressure). The longitudinal spray width can also be set flexibly between 3m and 14m at either end, with two independent sliders.

In practice, we found no leakage at the base. It looks like it will outlast the five-year warranty (which is the same warranty on all Gardena products listed) and it did well with both low and high pressure. There’s also a metal base on it, which makes it feel extra sturdy as it has that bit of weight, and the manufacturer says the rest has been made to withstand frost and UV damage.

The water connection has a rust-free metal filter that prevents dirt particles from entering the oscillating sprinkler and it can be removed so that you can clean it off easily under a tap. The spray nozzles can be wiped of limescale residue with your finger.

For the price, you’re getting a good, practical sprinkler that will last you a few years, but it feels a bit like buying a new iPhone every year: it improves a lot on the basic rectangle model, but doesn’t deliver much more. Ook, make sure you drain it when you disconnect the hose as when you pick it up, there’s a bit of residual water that can ruin your jeans.

Screwfix metal impulse sprinkler

Beste: For traditional looks

Gradering: 7/10

The metal impulse sprinkler from Screwfix has that nice industrial look to it that made us feel like we should be testing it out on a cricket field. So we did.

The ticking sound isn’t for everyone, but we liked it. There are a lot of springs and little levers that you have to figure out and it is a bit fiddly, maar dit werk. Eers, the head didn’t go around in circles because of the low pressure in Brent, so we got out the instructions, which were reasonably idiot-proof, and we got it going after a minute of poking and prodding. The levers and screws adjust the spray distance, water diffusion and coverage angle.

Once up and running it does go in an infuriatingly slow circle, which is the point, but the head can get a little stuck on the adjustable clips at the bottom that control how far it turns if you’ve got low pressure. There’s also a mid-range under the spray that doesn’t get the full water coverage. Egter, at higher pressure, it shoots at least 10 metres out with a fair bit of gusto – the furthest lateral coverage on the list.

There’s also the option to attach extra hoses at the base and have a series of these surprisingly affordable things for bigger jobs, which saves on flapping around with split-taps or moving it every hour or so. The metalwork also gives it a feeling of durability and weight that we like, as it feels stable when you plonk it in the ground.

Die uitspraak: Garden sprinklers

In spite of not giving it the top mark, on the whole, we would say that the Hozelock plus is the best model just because it’s simple, effective and relatively affordable.

We found that when it comes to sprinklers there’s a correlation between gimmicks and price: While we rank the aquazoom en die Hozelock pro 2 in 1 highly, they’re almost double the price of the others to do pretty much the same job, but with a bit more precision. All three made a good impression on us from the start and we felt confident that they would still do the job just as well a few years down the line. That being said, you can’t really go all that wrong with any of the models listed.


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