Rainbird 3500 vs 5000 : Complete Comparison Review

If you want to invest in a reliable sprinkler that will keep your lawn and garden well-watered for years to come. Then two of the top models on the market are the Rainbird 3500 and Rainbird 5000 rotary sprinklers. While both are highly rated and built to last, there are some key differences to consider before making your purchase. In this article we will compare the Rainbird 3500 and the Rainbird 5000 rotary sprinklers to help determine which is the best choice for your needs and budget.

Table of Contents

Rainbird 3500 vs Rainbird 5000: Technical Specifications

Rainbird 3500 Rainbird 5000
Item Dimensions 2.5 × 2.5 × 6.6 Inches ‎2.5 × 2.5 × 6.6 Inches
Item Weight 3.99 Ounces 10.4 Ounces
Model Number Y34000 Y4510020
Nozzle Pressure 30 PSI 40 PSI
Sprinkler Style Rotary Rotary
Material Zinc, Stainless Steel Heavy-duty Brass, Stainless Steel
Sprinkler Type Pop Up Pop Up
Area Coverage 5300 Square Feet 7500 Square Feet
Arc Degrees 50° – 360° 40° – 360°
Number of Watering Zones 3 to 6 Zones 6 to 22 Zones
Arc Radius 35 Feet 50 Feet
Time It Takes For Full Rotation 9 Minutes 6 Minutes
Warranty 5 Year Limited Warranty 10 Year Limited Warranty
Price Check Price On Amazon Check Price On Amazon
Rainbird 3500
Rainbird 3500
Rainbird 5000
Rainbird 5000

The Key Features and  Benefits of The Rainbird 3500

The Rainbird 3500 is a reliable and affordable sprinkler designed for residential use. This rotary sprinkler is designed for medium to large areas, covering up to 50 feet in diameter. It features Rainbird’s patented rotor technology for even water distribution. The Rainbird 3500 allows you to customize the watering pattern to fit the shape of your lawn or garden. You can set the arc from 40 to 360 degrees and the radius from 15 to 50 feet. The Rainbird 3500 sprinkler also comes with several nozzles to choose from to suit different watering needs. You can select high-efficiency nozzles for water conservation or high-volume nozzles for maximum coverage. It is also built to last with a rugged die-cast zinc body and stainless steel spring. It resists damage from weather and environmental exposure. The Rainbird 3500 also works with most timers and controllers, giving you flexibility in how you automate your irrigation system.

The Key Features and Benefits of The Rainbird 5000

The Rainbird 5000 is a gear-driven sprinkler designed for medium to large residential and commercial lawns. It is constructed of heavy-duty brass and stainless steel components for enhanced durability. It also provides more customization options, with 12 different nozzles to choose from to suit your specific watering needs. The nozzles control the spray pattern, droplet size and flow rate. This allows you to optimize the sprinkler for maximum efficiency. With the Rainbird 5000, you’ll get an increased spray distance of up to 50 feet in diameter covering up to 7500 square feet. The Rainbird 5000 includes several useful features not found on the Rainbird 3500. It has a slip clutch mechanism to prevent gear damage if the sprinkler is struck. An automatic arc adjustment ensures an even spray pattern and a pressure regulator helps maintain optimal pressure.

Battle of The Rainbird 3500 vs The Rainbird 5000: The Most Important Things

When comparing the Rainbird 3500 and Rainbird 5000 rotary sprinkler models, there are some important factors to consider and here are most of them:

Rainbird 3500 vs 5000: Spray Distance

The Rainbird 3500 has a maximum spray distance of 35 feet, covering up to 5,300 square feet. The Rainbird 5000 increases the spray distance to 50 feet, covering up to 7,500 square feet. For larger lawns, the added spray distance of the Rainbird 5000 model will reduce the number of sprinklers needed for full coverage.

Rainbird 3500 vs 5000: Spray Pattern

Both the Rainbird 3500 and 5000 offer adjustable spray patterns for full or partial coverage. The Rainbird 3500 has spray patterns ranging from 50 to 360 degrees, while the Rainbird 5000 offers 40 to 360 degree coverage. For irregularly shaped lawns or to avoid spraying structures and walkways the adjustable pattern can be very useful. The wider range of the Rainbird 5000 may provide more flexibility in spray pattern for some spaces.

Rainbird 3500 vs 5000: Rotating Spray Head

Each sprinkler model contains a rotating spray head to distribute water evenly over the coverage area. The Rainbird 3500 rotates at a rate of 40 degrees per minute, completing a full rotation in 9 minutes. The Rainbird 5000 rotates at a faster rate of 60 degrees per minute, completing a full rotation in just 6 minutes. The quicker rotation of the Rainbird 5000 helps ensure even watering over the larger coverage area.

Rainbird 3500 vs 5000: Water Pressure

Higher water pressure results in increased spray distance and coverage. The minimum operating pressure for the Rainbird 3500 is 30 PSI, while the Rainbird 5000 requires 40 PSI for activation. Most residential water systems will are compatible with the pressure requirements for either of the two models, but the Rainbird 5000 may provide better performance for those with higher water pressure.

Rainbird 3500 vs 5000: Simple Programming

The Rainbird 3500 model is the more basic of the two, with simple manual controls and a minimal number of sprinkler settings to adjust. This can make it easier to program for those less familiar with irrigation systems. The Rainbird 5000 offers more advanced programming options through its Smart Controller, allowing you to customize watering schedules to best suit your lawn’s needs. While the additional features provide more precision they do require some time to learn.

Rainbird 3500 vs 5000: Installation

Both sprinklers can be installed as a DIY project for homeowners with basic skills. The Rainbird 3500 has a more straightforward installation as it only needs to be connected to a garden hose. The Rainbird 5000 is installed permanently in-ground so it requires some digging to bury the lines. However the Rainbird 5000’s in-ground installation provides a cleaner look without hoses and also more stable water pressure. Professional installation for either model is also available if you prefer to leave it to the experts.

Rainbird 3500 vs 5000: Flow Control

The flow control dial on each rotary sprinkler enables you to increase or decrease water flow and pressure. Turn the dial to apply more water to areas with dense vegetation or less to areas with sparse planting. Adjusting the flow control helps prevent over- or under-watering different parts of your lawn. The Rainbird 5000 model provides more precise flow control with its multi-stream rotor for partial-circle coverage.

Rainbird 3500 vs 5000: Construction Materials

The Rainbird 3500 and 5000 are both constructed from high-quality metals designed to withstand outdoor conditions, but the Rainbird 5000 is built to last longer because of its heavy-duty brass head. The Rainbird 3500 features a plastic body and stainless steel spray head, while the 5000 has a reinforced plastic body and heavy-duty brass spray head. Brass components are more resistant to damage and corrosion. The Rainbird 5000 also has a powder-coated brass riser, compared to the 3500’s zinc coated riser.

Rainbird 3500 vs 5000: Price

When determining which sprinkler system is the most budget-friendly for your needs then you’ll want to compare the upfront costs as well as long-term expenses. Both the Rainbird 3500 and Rainbird 5000 are affordable, high-quality options but some key differences in their pricing and features may sway you one way or the other. The Rainbird 3500 is typically a more affordable investment. Its simple but durable design focuses on the essentials, so you’re not paying for extra bells and whistles. The 3500 comes with a basic timer and 6-12 fixed spray nozzles for most small to mid-sized lawns. But the Rainbird 5000 model has more flexibility and advanced programming with its Smart Controller which allows you to control up to 22 zones. However this increased functionality contributes to a higher upfront cost.

Rainbird 3500 vs 5000: So Which One Is The Better Option

You can’t go wrong with either the Rainbird 3500 or the Rainbird 5000 for that matter. For smaller lawns or more customized coverage, the Rainbird 3500 is a great choice but if you need to water large turf areas as efficiently as possible then the Rainbird 5000 is ideal. Both are built to last and designed for easy use so choose based on your specific needs and budget.

Why The Rainbird 3500 and Rainbird 500 Are Special Rotary Sprinklers: Additional Nozzles

For more customized watering, you can purchase additional nozzles for the Rainbird 3500 and Rainbird 5000 sprinklers that offer different spray patterns, distances and flows. For example the Rainbird 5000 includes an optional nozzle tree with six different nozzles to choose from. These interchangeable nozzles provide maximum flexibility to customize your sprinkler system to the specific conditions in your yard. While both the Rainbird 3500 and Rainbird 5000 offer useful adjustability and customization features, the Rainbird 5000 model provides additional options for more precise control and tailored watering. If you have a variety of plant types and terrains in your yard then the increased customization of the Rainbird 5000 sprinkler may be worth the investment.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Between The Rainbird 3500 and The Rainbird 5000

When choosing between the Rain Bird 3500 and 5000 sprinkler systems then several factors should be considered to determine which model is the best fit for your needs, like:

  • Coverage Area – The coverage area refers to the maximum space each sprinkler can effectively irrigate. The Rainbird 3500 model can cover up to 5300 square feet, while the Rainbird 5000 model provides coverage for areas up to 7500 square feet.
  • Number of Zones – Each system contains multiple zones to control different areas of your lawn. The Rainbird 3500 offers 3 to 6 zones which is suitable for most residential needs. The Rainbird 5000 provides 6 to 22 zones for more complex irrigation of larger properties. More zones allow for greater customization and control.
  • Sprinkler Types – Both systems are compatible with various sprinkler types like rotors, sprays and drip lines. The Rainbird 5000 model offers compatibility with more sprinkler types, including the long-range Eagle Rotors which can irrigate up to 70 feet. The additional options provide more flexibility in how you choose to water your lawn.
  • Installation Difficulty – The Rainbird 3500 is designed for easy DIY installation, suitable for most homeowners. The Rainbird 5000 however is a more complex professional-grade system that is best installed by a licensed irrigator or technician.

Some Frequently Asked Questions About The Rainbird 3500 and The Rainbird 5000

What Are The Key Differences Between The Rainbird 3500 and 5000 Models?

The Rainbird 3500 and Rainbird 5000 are two of the company’s most popular rotary sprinkler, but there are a few key differences to consider like; The 3500 being Rainbird’s most basic residential rotary sprinkler, suitable for small to mid-sized lawns. The Rainbird 5000 is a more advanced, commercial-grade model and is ideal for larger properties.

How Do I Determine Which [Sprinkler] Model Is Right For My Needs?

Check the size and complexity of your lawn or garden. For a typical small to mid-sized residential property, the Rainbird 3500 should work well and may save money. For larger and more intricate landscaping then the Rainbird 5000 is worth the investment. Also consider how hands-on you want to be with programming and scheduling. If you prefer a straightforward, manual process than the Rainbird 3500 will do. But if you want the convenience of automated features then the Rainbird 5000 is a better choice.


As you have seen both the Rainbird 3500 and the Rainbird 5000 rotary sprinklers offer quality, durable and well-built options for residential watering needs. The final choice comes down to specific needs and budget. If cost is a concern and you have a smaller yard the the Rainbird 3500 should work great and provide years of reliable service. For larger yards or if you want the latest technology and maximum efficiency, the Rainbird 5000 is an investment that will pay off over time through lower water bills and healthier landscaping. Either of the two models from Rainbird, an industry leader, will have you enjoying a lush, vibrant yard for years to come.

Rainbird 3500
Rainbird 3500
Rainbird 5000
Rainbird 5000