Sprinklers come in 4 basic designs. Each of these sprinkler types has its advantages and disadvantages. Lawn size, watering frequency, and soil type are all important factors in choosing which type of sprinkler is best for you.
Of the 4 basic designs, a stationary or stationary sprinkler is probably the worst type you can buy. These types of sprinklers work best for spot watering or are used in conjunction with another fire sprinkler system. The different flow rate is the biggest disadvantage of this type of sprinkler.
Oscillating sprinklers use a curved piece of metal or plastic with small holes that move back and forth to deliver water in a rectangular pattern. This sprinkler does a better job of delivering water more effectively by stopping when the spray is farthest.
One of the more awkward sprinkler systems is what is known as a traveling sprinkler. I haven't found too many of these which are too bad. This system gives decent coverage and an excellent rate of moisture even if it looks a bit patchy. The sprinkler follows the hose or track laid by the homeowner. You get excellent coverage by changing the hose pattern. The water pressure coming out of the rotating arms moves the unit along.
The alternative to sprinkler systems for most homeowners would be an in-ground system. By installing sprinkler heads at prominent locations, you ensure even coverage and excellent water distribution. Most units come with a timer to make watering your lawn even more convenient. Some models also include a sensor to tell the system if it is raining to reduce the cost of your water bill. When activated the spray heads rise above the lawn and return to their almost hidden position when finished.