Hunter Mp Rotator Vs Rainbird Rotary: Which One To Buy?

by Jack Grover
Reading time: 15 min Prefer to listen?

Are you struggling to decide between the Hunter MP Rotator and Rain Bird Rotary? Worry not as we dive into the key differences between these two popular sprinkler systems!

The most significant contrast lies in their run time and flow speed, which ultimately impacts their overall performance.

The Hunter MP Rotator boasts a longer run time, allowing it to cover a wider area more efficiently. However, this efficiency comes at the cost of a slower flow speed.

In contrast, the Rain Bird Rotary is known for its higher flow rate, which enables it to deliver water more quickly to your lawn or garden. The downside is that it has a shorter run time compared to the Hunter MP Rotator.

water nozzle

To simplify your decision-making process, let’s explore the specific aspects of each nozzle and break down the essential details you need to consider. By understanding their unique features, you can confidently choose the sprinkler system that best suits your needs.

Hunter MP Rotator vs. Rain Bird Rotary: Comparison at a Glance

In this comparison, we focus on the key aspects of each product, allowing you to make an informed choice between these two popular irrigation systems. With both their pros and cons laid out, you’ll be better equipped to decide which one best suits your needs.

Here is a quick breakdown of the key aspects to consider when choosing between the Hunter MP Rotator and Rain Bird Rotary:

Key ElementsHunter MP RotatorRain Bird Rotary
Spacing2.5m to 10.7m2.4m to 7.3m
Recommended Pressure2.8 bar3.1 bar
Flow rate0.8 l/min0.94 l/min
Precipitation rate11 mm/hr0.61 In/h
Double Pop featureYesNo

Now, let’s conduct a side-by-side comparison based on those key points!

Pressure & Precipitation Rate

While the Hunter MP Rotator and Rain Bird Rotary may seem similar in terms of pressure rate, their functionality and ease of use differ significantly.

The Hunter MP Rotator requires a tool to control the precipitation rate, while the Rain Bird products offer more convenience by allowing you to modify the spray pattern and precipitation rate using just your hands. This practical difference plays a vital role in determining which brand is more suitable for your needs.

R-van adjustment

Another notable distinction between the two brands’ sprinkler heads lies in their pressure requirements. Hunter’s nozzles are designed for low, steady pressure to provide more extensive coverage of up to 35 feet.

water nozzle precipitation rates

However, its water flow is slower due to its exceptional water-saving functionality, reducing wastage by up to 30%. In contrast, all Rain Bird Rotary models need a higher water flow per minute for optimal operation.

Analyzing their precipitation rates further, the standard Hunter MP Rotator has a rate of approximately 0.4 inches/hour, while the MP800 model reaches 0.8 inches/hour, assuming a steady pressure at 40 psi — the optimal operating pressure.

On the other hand, Rain Bird Rotary nozzles have an average precipitation rate of 0.60 inches/hour when operating within the recommended pressure range of 20 to 55 psi. This official precipitation range is valid across the maximum radius range of 24 feet.

As such, you’ll need to consider factors like ease of use, coverage area, and water efficiency when choosing between the Hunter MP Rotator and Rainbird Rotary systems to fit your lawn care or gardening needs.

Also Read: Troubleshooting Rain Bird Sprinkler System — Everything You Need To Know


Efficiency is a crucial factor when choosing a sprinkler system, and both the Hunter MP Rotator and Rain Bird Rotary have their unique strengths in this regard.

The Hunter MP Rotator is renowned for its efficient water distribution. It achieves this through multiple streams that target landscape areas proportionately, ensuring uniform coverage. This nozzle’s design enables it to provide an even distribution of water throughout the area, making it highly effective in maintaining a healthy lawn or garden.

On the other hand, the Rain Bird Rotary boasts a faster operation due to its higher flow rate. However, you will need to adjust the angle of the spray head for optimal performance. While this may require some initial attention, it proves advantageous for specific applications or landscapes with unusual angles.

The Rain Bird Rotary’s flexibility makes it more efficient in covering irregularly shaped backyards or gardens.

All in all, both the Hunter MP Rotator and Rainbird Rotary offer efficient watering solutions. The former excels in providing uniform water distribution across an area, while the latter is better suited for landscapes with unique angles or challenging layouts.

When deciding between these two systems, consider your landscape’s specific needs and which efficiency features are most relevant to your situation.


When it comes to the range of coverage, both the Hunter MP Rotator and Rain Bird Rotary cater to different lawn sizes and requirements.

The Hunter MP Rotator is known for its ability to cover a larger area effectively. If you utilize specific spacing techniques, you can maximize its range capabilities even further.

During our test, we found that it could cover up to 35 feet, aligning with the manufacturer’s claims. This makes the Hunter MP Rotator an ideal choice for those with extensive lawns or gardens, as it can efficiently water a vast area.

Related: Hunter Sprinkler Head Not Rotating? Fix Now!

In comparison, the Rain Bird Rotary has a coverage range that starts at 8 feet and can reach up to 24 feet. While this range is smaller than the Hunter MP Rotator’s, it still performs exceptionally well in smaller backyards.

The lesser run time of the Rain Bird Rotary makes it perfect for covering smaller areas without wasting water or energy.

When choosing between these two systems, consider the size of your landscape and the range each system offers to ensure optimal watering performance.

Color-Coded Sprinkler Heads

When comparing the Hunter MP Rotator and Rain Bird Rotary, it’s essential to highlight a similarity both brands share: color-coded sprinkler heads.

Such color codes represent different distances and arcs, which help you design your irrigation system more efficiently. Your grass type, soil water thresholds, and soil texture may influence your preference for one brand over the other.

In addition to technical specifications, another factor worth considering is ease of cleaning. The Hunter MP Rotator‘s nozzle design does not support easy cleaning, meaning that once it gets dirty, you may need to replace it.

On the contrary, the Rain Bird Rotary nozzles are flushable and can be easily cleaned by pulling the top part. This feature enhances their durability and cost-effectiveness.

Rain Bird’s adjustable nozzles also come with a white line just below the sprinkler head for added convenience. This white tick mark indicates the left margin where the sprinkler head starts to rotate, providing better visibility and control when adjusting your irrigation system.


When comparing the prices of the Hunter MP Rotator and Rain Bird Rotary, it’s essential to consider not only their initial costs but also the features and performance each system provides.

The Rain Bird Rotary is an excellent value for its price, starting as low as ​​$7.43, with manufacturers claiming that it’s 37% lower than the Hunter MP Rotators.

While it may not offer all the same features as the Hunter MP Rotator, it delivers all the essential elements you need in a sprinkler system. Its affordability and efficiency make it an attractive option for budget-conscious buyers.

On the other hand, the Hunter MP Rotator comes with a slightly higher price tag compared to the Rainbird Rotary — starting from $12.70. This extra expense, however, translates into additional features that enhance its performance and durability.

With the Hunter MP Rotator, you can benefit from double-pop functionality and improved build quality, making the extra cost worthwhile for those seeking a more robust sprinkler system.

Both sprinkler systems offer distinctive price points and features to meet different budgetary needs. The Rainbird Rotary is a more affordable option that still delivers efficient performance, while the Hunter MP Rotator offers enhanced durability and functionality at a slightly higher cost. 

When choosing between these two systems, carefully weigh your budget against the features each system provides to find the best fit for your lawn or garden needs.

You May Like This Video, Too!


Which is better: Rain Bird or Hunter?

The better option between Rain Bird and Hunter greatly depends on the size of your lawn

For larger lawns that require a more extensive coverage area, the Hunter MP Rotator is the ideal choice due to its longer range and uniform water distribution capabilities. This system is well-suited for efficiently watering expansive landscapes.

On the other hand, if your lawn is smaller or has unique angles and layouts, the Rain Bird Rotary might be the more appropriate choice. With its flexible spray head adjustments and faster flow rate, this sprinkler system effectively covers smaller spaces in a shorter run time.

Are Hunter and Rain Bird Compatible?

Yes, Hunter and Rain Bird sprinkler systems are compatible due to their standard nozzle design. Both brands adhere to specific industry formats, which allow their components to be interchangeable and work together seamlessly.

This compatibility can be advantageous if you already have one system in place and want to incorporate or replace parts from the other brand.

Additionally, this flexibility enables you to mix and match components from both Hunter and Rain Bird to create a customized sprinkler system that best suits your lawn or garden needs.

How many MP Rotators per zone?

The number of MP Rotators required per zone depends on several factors, including:

  • size and shape of the area,
  • water pressure,
  • flow rate.

Since Hunter MP Rotators can cover a more extensive range, you typically need fewer sprinkler heads per zone compared to traditional rotary nozzles.

However, it’s essential to account for the specific characteristics of each zone in your landscape. Generally, you may need anywhere between 3 to 5 MP Rotators per zone. Keep in mind that this estimate can vary based on your unique landscaping requirements.

Takeaway: Which Sprinkler System Head Is Best For Your Lawn?

Choosing the best sprinkler system head for your lawn depends on various factors, including lawn size, range requirements, water efficiency, and desired performance speed.

For smaller lawns, the Rainbird Rotary is an ideal choice due to its faster flow rate and flexible spray head adjustments. Its efficient performance in compact spaces and unusual angles makes it a suitable option for those with limited yard space.

On the other hand, if you have a larger lawn and prioritize water conservation and reduced erosion, the Hunter MP Rotator is an excellent choice. While it may take more time to complete watering tasks, its uniform water distribution and more extensive coverage make it highly effective in maintaining healthy landscapes.

When deciding between the Rain Bird Rotary and Hunter MP Rotator, carefully evaluate your lawn’s size, range requirements, and specific needs. Opt for the Hunter MP Rotator if water efficiency and wide coverage are crucial priorities; otherwise, choose the Rainbird Rotary for quick and flexible watering solutions in smaller lawns or those with unique layouts.

You Can Also Read:

Was it helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

You may also like

Leave a Comment

About Us

Inside The Yard is your go-to source for all things lawn and garden, offering expert advice for every corner of your outdoor space, from tractor troubleshooting to the best rose-planting tips, all wrapped up in the nation’s fastest-growing garden blog.

Latest Articles