Gardening tasks might seem endless, especially when it comes to manual lawn sweeping. At times, it feels mundane having to pick up leaves, grass clippings, twigs, and other debris all the time. Thankfully, you can save time and energy if you use a lawn sweeper. In order to help you make the right decision, read our guide to picking the best lawn sweeper.
This is the first of many Agri-Fab models on our list. Apart from a couple of nuts and bolts, there is no part here that needs additional tools to assemble. The 45-0492 variant features a mesh hopper with a capacity of 25 cubic feet, which is adequate for large properties.
When the hopper is nearly full, just use the dump lever to empty the contents without getting out of your tractor seat. You don’t have to worry about vehicle compatibility since this sweeper uses an adjustable hitch. Brush height adjustments are conveniently done with a non-slip pull button lever.
One minor but commendable detail Agri-Fab added is the indicator to help you know the current brush height. Furthermore, the Agri-Fab 0429 Lawn Sweeper has a shredding feature. Simply offset its sweeper tongue to let it cut debris into smaller pieces before sweeping them. The wheels measure 12 by 3 inches, which is expected for a sweeper having a 44-inch width.
Due to its sheer size, this sweeper can also pick up debris as large as pine cones. You can even attach an Agri-Fab dethatcher in front of the machine. Dethatching is great for removing compacted and decaying organic matter. After use and especially during winter, the Agri-Fab 45-0492 can be folded up for easy storage. Just take the hopper bag away to keep it stable against the wall.
Up next, we have the 50SWP26 lawn sweeper from Ohio Steel. Its hopper has a capacity of 26 cubic feet. Unloading the contents is as simple as pulling the rope while you remain seated in the vehicle. This can then be collapsed and wholly removed from the sweeper for easy storage.
Clogging shouldn’t be prevalent since the chute has a diameter of nine inches. In fact, even clumps of wet lawn clippings shouldn’t affect the chute. Likewise, its 50-inch sweeping width is significantly greater than the 44-inch width of the Agri-Fab 0429.
You can quickly attach this to any tractor or ride-on mower using the adjustable hitch. There is no need to get any space rings for vehicle compatibility – just pick among three hitch positions.
Instead of regular brushes, Ohio Steel opted to have patented spiraled polypropylene sweeping brushes measuring 11 inches. These exclusive brushes are designed to have reduced stress on the gears.
On the brush axle, you will find sealed steel bearings that help maintain a smooth sweeping operation. There’s also a non-slip positive lock height adjustment feature that eliminates unwanted vibrations and offers the usual height settings.
The Ohio Steel 50SWP26 Pro Sweeper is largely made out of tough steel to endure constant use. The exceptions to the overall sturdiness of this model include the wheels and the hopper. Lastly, some owners might not be too happy with the limited warranty lasting for only two years.
This time, we’ve got a tow-behind lawn sweeper sporting a 42-inch sweeping width made in Jeffersonville, Indiana. The Brinly STS-427LXH uses six high-velocity sweeping brushes that gather lawn debris even as you turn the tractor or ride-on mower. The 5:1 brush-to-wheel ratio ensures decent contact between the brushes and the ground for ample coverage.
On a related note, there’s the indexed Twist-Lock Height Adjustment feature. This allows you to pick the right brushing height without it changing as you move around the lawn – including on uneven surfaces.
As for the collection bag, it has a capacity of 20 cubic feet. The Polyweave fabric material of this hamper feels sturdy, and you can unload it with the use of a pull-rope. It’s a convenient feature, especially with the ergonomically designed t-handle to let you empty the collection bag from the comfort of your tractor seat.
The Brinly STS-427LXH lawn sweeper features a patented storage design. It is collapsible so you can keep it in your storage area at an upright position. Finally, we recommend registering your product on their website or by contacting Brinly through email. This will qualify you for the two-year warranty.
We have the second professional-grade Ohio Steel lawn sweeper on our list. Instead of a 50-inch sweeping width like that of the Ohio Steel 50SWP26 Pro Sweeper, this one has 42 inches. That’s an eight-inch difference, but this width is still enough for large-property applications.
Similarly, the collapsible and detachable hopper here is slightly smaller with a capacity of 22 cubic feet instead of 26. If the hopper is nearly full, use the pull-rope for unloading it without having to stand up.
The Ohio Steel 42SWP22 Lawn Sweeper also has the same chute and sweeping brushes of the 50SWP26 model. Thus, you can expect a nine-inch wide chute that effectively prevents clogging due to wet or sizable lawn debris. The patented 11-inch polypropylene spiral brushes unsurprisingly perform well with this model too.
Gears don’t receive too much stress from the brushes while the 5:1 brush-to-wheel ratio enables faster brush rotations. In turn, you get enough ground contact even with a single pass. Another feature the 42SWP22 shares with the 50SWP26 model is the non-slip positive lock height adjustment. Here, vibrations are significantly minimized and the chosen setting stays put regardless of the terrain.
There are sealed ball bearings located on the brush axle to improve stability. In addition, the hitch can be adjusted five different times to help you find the right fit for your chosen vehicle. There’s even a hitch pin included with this sweeper. Lastly, the Ohio Steel 42SWP22 has 11-inch semi-pneumatic wheels that can withstand extensive use.
Moving from the hefty tow-behind lawn sweepers, we have our second Agri-Fab model. The significant difference here is that the 45-0218 is a push lawn sweeper. You don’t have to attach this to a tractor nor is it designed for properties.
Thus, it is incredibly lighter than the Agri-Fab 45-0492. At just a mere 25 pounds, pushing this along your lawn with the help of the semi-pneumatic tires won’t be difficult. Also, this is still durable despite its weight because of the poly construction and the zinc-plated steel frame.
The vinyl hopper only has a capacity of seven cubic feet, but this will do for small-sized lawns. We hoped that it would be at least 10 cubic feet to reduce the frequency of unloading the hopper. The good news is that you can replace the hopper whenever you want.
Moreover, the Agri-Fab 45-0218 has a 26-inch cutting width with brush height adjustability. The cutting width and the height settings make this a much better option than a mere rake if you want to manually sweep the lawn. The 4.5:1 brush-to-wheel ratio allows the 10-inch brushes to cover the area completely.
It won’t work well on damp leaves and grass, but you can rely on this push lawn sweeper for removing dry leaves, lawn clippings, and pine cones. Also, this sweeper is very compact – just hang it against the wall in your storage area once you’ve removed the hopper. Lastly, the Agri-Fab 45-0218 being a push sweeper does not mean it won’t have an impressive three-year warranty the bigger models have.
The third Agri-Fab product on our list is the 45-0320 model, which is similar in type to the 45-0492. Instead of a 44-inch sweeping width, this one has 42 inches. While this discrepancy is minor, the hopper capacity is another issue. While the Agri-Fab 45-0492 has a large hopper with a capacity of 25 cubic feet, the 45-0320 only has a 12-cubic-foot capacity hopper.
Thus, expect to unload the hopper more frequently, which reduces overall efficiency. Still, you can empty the bag without leaving your tractor seat using a rope handle. Also, attaching the 45-0320 to any vehicle is quick with the included hitch pin.
Apart from sweeping grass clippings and leaves, the Agri-Fab 45-0320 is designed to pick up any fine straw with a single pass. To ensure maximum coverage, you can adjust the brush height. The 11-inch semi-pneumatic tires provide ample traction on the lawn surface. Its movement feels surprisingly light due to how it weighs 25 less than the Agri-Fab 45-0492.
When you move the sweeper in reverse, it will stop its sweeping mechanism and resume only when you move forward. Agri-Fab also paid attention to the possibility of strong winds putting the debris back to the lawn by adding a windscreen.
Do note that the hopper is collapsible for easy storage. In addition, this lawn sweeper is fairly durable due to its stamped steel housing. Since the 45-0320 comes from Agri-Fab, you can be confident that it comes with the three-year limited consumer warranty.
Finally, we have a lone entry from Yardwise that’s similar in type to the Agri-Fab 45-0218. As another push lawn sweeper, we expected the hopper to have a capacity of at least 10 cubic feet. In reality, the Yardwise 23630-YW only comes with a 26-gallon hopper, which is equivalent to less than four cubic feet. Still, this isn’t too bad if you do have a small lawn. Also, the hopper is removable for when you have to fold and store the sweeper.
In addition, the Yardwise 23630-YW loses to the Agri-Fab-0218 in terms of sweeping width. Compared to the latter’s 21-inch width, this sweeper has 21 inches. This reduction does have an upside — it’s much easier to push due to its weight being less than ten pounds. The brushes can be adjusted with a dial to improve coverage.
As such, you can get this instead of a rake for sweeping small patches containing dry lawn debris. There are no fumes nor any noise pollution due to its manual operation. However, there is a noticeable reduction in performance when sweeping thick piles of leaves or grass. The same goes for pine cones, pine needles, and working on uneven grass terrain.
Furthermore, the hopper fails to gather all leaves if they are thrown into the air due to the brush rotations. Thankfully, minor improvements are possible through height adjustments. The hopper can be filled in under 20 minutes, so do expect frequent unloading if you have a medium-sized lawn.
An excessive amount of fallen leaves and other debris on your lawn is detrimental to the health of your grass. However, removing them by hand or by rake requires a lot of time and effort due to their sheer quantity. Whether you have a small or large-sized property, a lawn sweeper will definitely be a more efficient option due to their design. Instead of spending hours, the whole operation could be done in minutes.
Using a rake means having to constantly bend to gather the lawn debris properly. In contrast, a lawn sweeper is specifically designed to collect them without the owner bending his back whatsoever. Thus, back pains, shoulder aches, and any physical strain are eliminated with a lawn sweeper. Furthermore, you won’t have blisters from picking debris up with your hands.
A lawn sweeper is arguably better than a rake for removing debris, but did you know that it also has an advantage compared to using a leaf blower? Both these pieces of lawn equipment can effectively remove debris, but a lawn sweeper does this with much less noise than a leaf blower. Apart from possibly annoying neighbors, your ears might suffer if you don’t have adequate ear protection.
The only time the use of a lawn sweeper could generate noise is if you use a tow-behind or a power lawn sweeper. Moreover, this will store the debris quickly with the collection bag instead of simply blowing them away from your lawn. This is helpful if you want to use the lawn debris for your compost heap.
When the blades of your mower hit relatively tough debris such as twigs and acorns, they could turn dull. With a lawn sweeper, you can ensure that the lawn mower will only have direct contact with the grass blades. In turn, this means having to sharpen the blades less frequently.
There’s a lawn sweeper for every type of homeowner. They come in different sizes to cater to small, regular, and big-sized lawns. Thus, some can have a compact design for easy storage. Likewise, there are lawn sweepers that cost just around $60 if you want to just try one out or you could get more powerful yet more expensive sweepers in the future.
In general, a lawn sweeper has brushes that move because of a rotating shaft. When in use, a lawn sweeper can collect various lawn debris that is not only limited to grass clippings — twigs, pine needles, leaves, and even litter can be collected with one.
These lawn debris are then placed in a collection bag for easy disposal afterward. However, there are there are three types of lawn sweepers that have their own set of benefits and disadvantages: power lawn sweepers, push lawn sweepers, and tow-behind lawn sweepers.
A power sweeper gets its power either from gas or electricity. Also known as a grass sweeper, this type is a good choice for homeowners with large properties to clean. It is self-propelling so you don’t have to exert a lot of effort to move it around. Also, the motorized brushes enable a power lawn sweeper to gather bigger debris than a push lawn sweeper.
Due to its impressive power, this lawn sweeper utilizes a shredder to break up the large debris into smaller pieces. This feature is great if you will use the leaves or clippings for composting. A disadvantage of this type is how some models can be too heavy to quickly maneuver around obstacles. Similarly, the commendable power comes at a price in the form of dust emissions, noise, and vibrations that might be too uncomfortable with prolonged use.
Second, this type isn’t powered by electricity or gas. This eliminates any unfavorable noise, vibrations, or gas fumes. Also, the absence of any engine or motor makes it lighter and easier to maintain than a power lawn sweeper. In fact, maintenance of a push lawn sweeper can be done only once every year. Proper lubrication of the bearings will help keep this working well for several years.
Then again, having to manually operate this means having to push this using your own strength. This is a good option if you have a small or regular-sized lawn in need of weekly maintenance. It wouldn’t be practical to use for large properties due to the small collection bag and the meager operating power it has. We don’t recommend collecting wet and heavy lawn debris with a push lawn sweeper. Similarly, it’s going to be difficult handling this on steep terrain.
Finally, there’s the tow-behind type. Its main difference compared to the first two types is how it is attached to a lawn tractor or a ride-on lawn mower. This in itself is an advantage if you have a tractor or ride-on mower. If you don’t have one, you should pick another type of lawn sweeper.
Similar to a power lawn sweeper, this does not require manual operation and has a sizable collection bag. Some models have hoppers with a capacity of 25 cubic feet, which is good enough for commercial-level operations. Once attached, you simply drive around your lawn and let it rake and collect the debris.
Afterward, empty the large hopper or bag. You don’t even need to move away from your tractor or ride-on mower seat — just use the lever or rope to unload everything. Another benefit is you can switch this to another attachment to do other lawn maintenance operation immediately after. Assembly is fairly simple due it being an attachment. Lastly, a tow-behind lawn sweeper often includes a warranty lasting for three years.
Improper use of a lawn sweeper can shorten its lifespan. While there are slight differences in using one type of lawn sweeper from another, they also have similarities in how they can be efficiently used.
Read the instruction manual included in the package and assemble the lawn sweeper. If you purchased a tow-behind lawn sweeper, use the hitch to attach it to a tractor or mower. Don’t be impatient when you assemble the sweeper.
It could take half an hour or three hours, but what matters is you follow the directions. If you don’t feel like assembling it on your own, you can go to your local hardware store and seek help. They will charge a small fee for their professional assembling services.
As we’ve mentioned before, not all lawn sweepers can handle relatively large debris. These big ones can damage the brushes and lock the sweeper wheels. All models can handle dry leaves and grass clippings, but it’s best to pick up any rocks, branches, and any other sizable debris before you use a lawn sweeper or a mower.
For areas with vines or moss, you can use your rake. Still, do practice safety by wearing sturdy gardening gloves made of leather. These should keep your hands safe from thorns and any other sharp debris.
If rainfall just occurred, wait a couple of days until the lawn becomes dry enough. Sweeper brushes can’t have a strong grip on wet and slippery lawn debris. In addition, use a lawn mower to shorten the height of the grass blades in a uniform manner. In turn, the brushes will perform with more efficiency since the debris will stand out more among the short grass.
Whether you push or pull the lawn sweeper, you can cover the lawn with the same pattern you do for mowing the lawn. This will make it easy for you to cover the entire area since you won’t have to spend time on formulating a new pattern. However, we only recommend this if your mowing pattern follows straight lines since this stops the wheels from getting locked. Go from the north to the south or from the west to the east.
Just focus and move from one end to the other so you won’t have to make a second pass. To ensure a decent coverage, you should make the paths overlap a bit. You can do this by turning the lawn sweeper around upon reaching the end of one path and moving the wheels slightly closer to the last path. This way, you can be confident that the edges of the undertaken paths have also been swept well.
As you operate the lawn sweeper, change the brush height from time to time using the dial or handle. Just look underneath the sweeper and ensure that the brushes have direct contact with the grass. You should get a brush height similar to or an inch lower than the height of your lawn grass. This will increase the amount of lawn debris the sweeper can gather with each sweep.
Also, do adjust the speed. Some homeowners prefer a comfortable walking speed while others want a faster speed if they’re in a rush. However, don’t choose a very fast speed on uneven terrain. This could severely affect the performance of sweeping brushes.
Once the hopper or collection bag is nearly full, stop the operation for a while. Don’t wait for the hopper to be filled to the brim. Otherwise, it would drag itself along your lawn as you operate the sweeper. Discard the collected lawn debris either in a trash can or use them for your compost pile.
If you are sweeping wet debris, empty the hopper with greater frequency. The added weight due to the water will affect the performance of the lawn sweeper. Worse, the overwhelming amount of wet lawn debris can tear the hopper and create holes. After emptying the hopper, go back to your lawn and continue cleaning up the debris.
Instead of waiting for your lawn to accumulate a thick layer of debris, you should practice using the lawn sweeper at least once a week. Not only will this help improve the health of your lawn but this also ensures efficiency. You won’t have to make several passes if the lawn does not have an undesirable amount of debris.
By this time, you know the benefits of lawn sweepers. You’ve also learned the pros and cons of each type of lawn sweeper. This time, we’ll look at the many factors that differentiate one model from another. As we’ve mentioned before, lawn sweepers come in different sizes and they vary in cost. When you take the following things into consideration, you can make an informed decision.
Depending on the size of your lawn, the maximum capacity of the hopper might be a big deal or not. If you have a large property, the usually large collection bags of tow-behind and power lawn sweepers will save you time from having to constantly unload them. A hopper with a carrying capacity hovering between 20 to 26 cubic feet should be enough.
For commercial properties, however, look for those with a capacity of more than 70 cubic feet. For small lawns, a compact hopper isn’t a dealbreaker. A capacity of 12 cubic feet should be more than enough. Regardless of the type, you should look at the information of each model and see the specific carrying capacity.
Similar to the carrying capacity of the collection bag, the sweeping width of a lawn sweeper significantly affects efficiency. The bigger the sweeping width, the more lawn debris it can deal with. However, an increase in width can make it more difficult to maneuver the lawn sweeper.
A width of 21-inches is adequate for small lawns while sweepers with a 50-inch sweeping width will work best for large lawns. If you need a lawn sweeper for commercial purposes, get a model with a sweeping width of 100 inches.
You shouldn’t feel bad if you have a limited budget. After all, the most expensive lawn sweeper isn’t necessarily the best choice for you. An expensive, commercial-grade model is an impractical choice for the average homeowner — maneuvering it will be difficult and storage could be a problem. Determine the needs of your lawn and see which models have the features you need instead of judging them by their price alone.
This factor is related to one’s budget. Typically, you will be using your lawn sweeper at least once every week. This frequency of use demands a great deal of durability, especially if it hits tough lawn debris. If the lawn sweeper can’t withstand extensive use, you would have to constantly spend for repair and maintenance services.
Apart from sturdy brushes made of steel, the hopper should be made of hard nylon or any other heavy-duty material. Likewise, wheels made of semi-pneumatic materials are better than plastic variants. These wheels are durable and maintain a good movement speed.
A lawn sweeper can collect different lawn debris, but not all of them. Thus, it’s important to see what debris a model is specifically designed to collect. While all lawn sweepers can rake and gather light ones such as dry leaves and lawn clippings, some can also handle branches, acorns, and pine needles with ease. Furthermore, there are models that don’t have any issues with getting rid of wet leaves and lawn clippings.
The initial brush height of the lawn sweeper might not work best for your property. Thankfully, some variants come with a dial or handle for adjusting the brush. With it, you can move the brush behind or more to the front.
Hitch adjustability is specifically for choosing a tow-behind lawn sweeper. Upon buying one, you will also get a hitch for attaching the sweeper to the ride-on mower or tractor. The problem is that the height of this hitch might not match the hitch height of the vehicle you have. A tow-behind sweeper with an adjustable hitch will make it compatible with any vehicle regardless of the hitch height.
As with any piece of equipment, it’s best to detect any minor problems before they become critical issues. It might be too late if you can easily notice performance issues. We recommend that you thoroughly inspect your lawn sweeper at least once every three months. This is a good schedule if you use the lawn sweeper once a week.
Likewise, don’t just check the parts in a random manner. Begin to check the parts located at the central portion of the sweeper. Once you’ve inspected these parts, inspect the outward sections. The chute shouldn’t be clogged. Similarly, no part should be wet and prone to rusting. Don’t forget to tighten any loose parts. In the end, you would have to just wash and clean the exterior of the lawn sweeper.
Whether you’ve used one before or not, you need to keep the instruction manual and read it. Don’t throw it away after safely assembling the lawn sweeper since performance issues could arise in the near future. Use the manual to learn the many features including height adjustment, hopper unloading, and how to use mower or tractor attachments.
Consequently, do utilize the manual so that you can quickly see any signs of damage. This way, you can immediately get the specific replacement parts online or at a store in case the parts can no longer be repaired.
Don’t panic when one of the parts doesn’t seem to work well. Here, we’ll identify the usual problems you might notice in the long run.
There are occasions when some particles of lawn debris get stuck in the chute or vacuum. In times like these, the lawn sweeper won’t perform at its optimum. Similarly, too much lawn debris can lead to debris such as pebbles and twigs to stay in the cute. A quick solution to clogging is to remove all debris from the vacuum immediately after use. Wipe the vacuum with a wet piece of cloth once every two weeks if you can.
No matter how sturdy the wheels are, extensive use will slowly but surely affect the wheels. If you don’t do anything, the sweeper wheels can become deflated or have severe wear and tear. If the former is the problem, you can address this by filling the wheels with air. You can replace the sweeper wheels, which also works well if you have the latter issue.
Furthermore, the sweeper wheels could lock during operations. Prevent this next time by adding a little bit of oil and grease. Ensure that the joints located at the axle are clean. If the locking issue persists, just replace the tires.
Just like the sweeper wheels, the brushes always get in contact with lawn debris. It can do well with lawn clippings and leaves, but not all brushes are made to withstand rocks and branches. With more use, the brushes will require a little bit of tightening and oiling from time to time. If the brushes still don’t work well, you should just replace them.
Even a collection bag made of hard nylon will have signs of wear and tear in the long run. As much as possible, don’t let heavy debris stay for too long in the hopper. Your hopper can develop mold and mildew if the leaves and grass aren’t removed properly. If you can see holes, you could still patch them up. Similarly, you can put some tape at the base of the hopper to give it more durability when it gets dragged along the ground.
As winter approaches, you’ll have to store your lawn sweeper. However, improper storage could cause significant damage throughout the cold season. Not all models are designed to be folded for easy storage. First, ensure that no interior parts have any remaining debris particles.
Replacements, lubrication, and repairs need to be conducted before winter storage. Stop any dust and moisture from entering by covering the sweeper with a tarp. Moreover, do hang it against a wall using a hitch if you can.
Overall, our favorite lawn sweeper is none other than the Agri-Fab 0492 Lawn Sweeper. The instruction manual can surely benefit from better illustrations and the assembly could have been less time-consuming. However, there is nothing else to complain about once you’ve assembled this tow-behind sweeper.
The 44-inch cutting width is great for efficiently sweeping large properties. Complementing this is the hopper with its 25 cubic feet. Unloading is convenient with a lever. Similarly, you can ensure maximum coverage through brush height adjustments using a non-slip lever — there’s even a height indicator included.
Whether you use a ride-on mower or tractor, the Agri-Fab 0429 will fit well because of its adjustable hitch. The 12-inch wheels work well on any terrain, and you could use the included dethatcher any time you want. Storing this heavy-duty sweeper isn’t difficult when it’s foldable and the hopper is removable. Lastly, you can’t go wrong with Agri-Fab’s three-year warranty.
We hope that our comprehensive guide will help you in picking the right lawn sweeper for your property. From learning its benefits and types to how you can maintain the sweeper, there is a lot of information you should know to ensure that you’ve made the right investment. If you have any queries, feel free to send us a comment.
With the endless passion for organic living, I - Ann Sanders has come up with the idea of creating A Green Hand. Being the founder and editor of A Green Hand, my goal is to provide everyone with a wide range of tips about healthy lifestyle with multiform categories including gardening, health & beauty, food recipe,...