Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Hunter Vs. Rainbird Rotor Sprinklers

Sprinkler systems allow you to keep your lawn and landscaping looking their best while saving you time, labor, water and money. Sprinkler systems provide consistent moisture levels, providing even watering that lowers stress on plants. Rotor sprinklers with gear-driven heads have largely replaced spring-loaded impact sprinklers. Rain Bird, maker of the original horizontal-action impact drive sprinkler, manufactures the most complete line of sprinkler components, so Rain Bird systems serve many residential landscapes. Hunter Industries sprinklers are used mostly in sports stadiums and golf courses.

Hunter Basics

Hunter Industries does produce special rotary sprinklers for residential use with ground cover and shrubs, for handling reclaimed water and for use in areas where vandalism and low water pressure are issues. Water-lubricated gear drives and extra-large filter screens keep the sprinklers functioning smoothly. Wireless remote controllers and Solar Sync software adjust watering schedules for temperature and weather conditions.


Hunter-brand rotary sprinklers are made for spacing from 15 feet apart to more than 90 feet apart, and the screw-adjust spray radius offers a 40 degree to 360 degree arc, combining spray and rotor functions to cover small and large areas. In some units, the non-reversing turrets combine partial- and full-circle options in one sprinkler. The water-efficient nozzles adjust at the tops of the sprinklers. Available options include 4-, 6- and 12-inch pop-ups, stainless steel models for tough conditions and areas with foot traffic, and the choice of rubber covers or special covers that signify non-potable water use.


Hunter rotary sprinklers include a wide range of features. You can select from among various flow rates. Heavy-duty pressure-activated riser seals stop excess flow and water waste. Optional drain check valves prevent wet spots. Variable stators produce consistent rotation speed no matter which nozzle size or pressure you select. The company’s vandal-proof drive mechanism allows turrets to pivot without damaging the sprinklers. Automatic arc return, eight standard and four optional low-angle top nozzles, and a drain check valve for elevation changes are also available. The FloStop feature stops water flow to individual sprinkler heads so you can work on the system while it is in operation or shut off the water to particular areas of the yard, keeping them dry at the same time you're watering other areas. Snap-in, snap-out nozzles make swapping nozzles easy.

Rain Bird Basics

Rain Bird offers regular and specialized hillside, ground-cover and shrub rotary models. Water-lubricated rotation means quiet and maintenance-free function, while pressure-activated wiper seals prevent water waste. The closed-case design and rubber covers prevent debris and plants from entering the units and causing damage.


Rain Bird rotary sprinklers range from 12SA-series mini rotor models to 52SA-series premium models. Between them are a spray range of 13 to 50 feet, depending on the model. The sprinklers pop up to 4 or 6 inches tall and offer 40 degree to 360 degree partial-circle arc rotation and reversing full-circle rotation. The units are adjustable, providing up to 35 percent radius reduction. The company's Rain Curtain spray nozzle ensures performance even in windy conditions and won’t mist under high pressure. Full-, half- and quarter-circle patterns, and multiple stream types, are possible.


Locking riser mechanisms in Rain Bird rotary sprinklers protect against theft. The company sells special tools to help make repair, adjustment and installation easier. Rain Bird’s simple-to-set Smart Indoor/Outdoor Irrigation Timer senses and adjusts to both the weather and season, eliminating the need to reprogram the sprinkler system, yet it still allows you to make adjustments as needed. The sprinkler controller is made to endure extreme temperatures, high humidity and the saltwater environments of coastal areas. It comes with built-in surge protection against lightning strikes.

Garden Guides