The Best Lawn Sweepers for a Well-Manicured Lawn
Clearing grass clippings, leaves, and small debris has never been so easy. Keep your yard neat and tidy with these helpful lawn-manicuring companions.
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- BEST OVERALLAgri-Fab 44-Inch Lawn SweeperCheck Latest Price
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCKAgri-Fab 42-Inch Tow Lawn SweeperCheck Latest Price
- LIGHT-DUTY PICKCRAFTSMAN 42-Inch Hi-Speed Tow Lawn SweeperCheck Latest Price
The best lawn sweepers are fast and efficient at picking up leaves, grass clippings, and even pine needles, giving your yard a pristine look. These machines collect yard waste in a hopper for the homeowner to dump, making it easy to add the debris to a woodline, burn pile, or load it up into eco-friendly lawn bags.
Not all lawn sweepers work the same, however. It helps to know how much the hopper holds, the sweeping path, and whether the lawn sweeper will last through years of cleanup. You also need to understand the different styles, as well as the various capacities between models. This primer on lawn sweepers will help you pick the best one for your yard.
- BEST OVERALL: Agri-Fab 44-Inch Lawn Sweeper
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Agri-Fab 42-Inch Tow Lawn Sweeper
- LIGHT-DUTY PICK: CRAFTSMAN 42-Inch Hi-Speed Tow Lawn Sweeper
- HEAVY-DUTY PICK: Ohio Steel 50-Inch Pro Sweeper
Before You Buy a Lawn Sweeper
Lawn sweepers are not one-size-fits-all tools. The truth is that some people who purchase the wrong model for their needs might find using their lawn sweeper more hassle than it’s worth.
Lawn sweepers fill up with grass clippings and leaves quickly, particularly in yards with dense foliage. This means frequent stops to empty the hopper before fully clearing the yard of debris. You’ll need a place to dump the debris, whether beyond a tree line or near a burn pile. Dumping the yard debris onto the ground and then scooping it into a bag is another option, though it’s far less convenient.
For larger properties that don’t require perfectly manicured yards, homeowners might find that using a riding mower that mulches the grass and leaves to fertilize the land proves a more convenient option.
Types of Lawn Sweepers
Shoppers can find a few different styles of lawn sweepers on the market. Knowing which one best suits a lawn’s size and cleaning needs is important. Whether you have a tiny space that requires an occasional yard cleanup, or a larger property heavily covered in maple leaves, there’s a sweeper style that’s just right for the job.
Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper
Tow-behind lawn sweepers by far offer the most convenience of all styles. These sweepers hook to a riding lawn mower, ATV, or a side-by-side to pull across a property. Tow-behind models are designed with capacity in mind as well, able to hold a large amount of debris before emptying.
When it comes time to empty the hopper, users will appreciate the convenient dump feature many models of tow-behind lawn sweepers have. The hopper dumps its entire contents with a simple lift of a handle or a pull of a rope. Once the user latches the handle again, it’s easy to go right back to cleaning up the yard.
Tow-behind sweepers are excellent for large properties. However, they might not be ideal if a section of property needing cleanup tends to hold water. The tow vehicle can get stuck or cause ruts, and the sweeper can clog with mud.
Push Lawn Sweeper
Push-style sweepers work great for cleaning small properties without a lot of trees. They’ll do a reasonably good job of picking up grass clippings and leaves, but they tend to be more work to operate than tow-behind models.
Push lawn sweepers don’t hold as much material as tow-behind sweepers, so you’ll need to stop frequently to empty the sweeper’s hopper. A push lawn sweeper, as the name implies, requires you to push the unit, requiring some legwork to complete a yard cleanup. The pushing provides great exercise, but it’s a slower process than some other sweepers.
For large properties, or when homeowners just want to get the job done as fast as possible, a power lawn sweeper can fit the bill. These sweepers come in either push-style models or trailered behind a mower or tractor, just like tow-behind models. The main difference between them is that power sweepers run on gasoline engines.
Power sweepers are usually about the size of a push mower but can come in large tow-behind styles. They use brushes like push sweepers and tow-behinds, but the brushes spin at a much faster rate. This means more thorough grooming of the same patch of lawn in one pass than with the other styles. Some also have huge hoppers, making short work of the job on big properties.
What to Consider When Buying a Lawn Sweeper
A lawn sweeper can save time and clean up a property, either for a relatively small investment or a significant one. Regardless of how much you spend on a lawn sweeper, familiarizing yourself with a few features first ensures you spend the right amount for the job you need the lawn sweeper to perform. Here are a few shopping considerations before making a sweeper purchase.
Companies categorize lawn sweepers by the size of their sweeping path. This represents the amount of ground the brushes can cover in one pass of the machine. Typical paths for both powered and push-style sweepers measure anywhere between 21 and 26 inches. Smaller path models will be easier to push, but require more passes to finish the job compared to models with larger sweeping paths.
Tow-behind sweepers have much wider sweeping paths. Some sweepers boast upward of 50 inches in width. They’ll take far fewer passes than a push sweeper, and their width enables larger hoppers to hold more gathered debris. This means you’ll have to stop fewer times to dump what you collect.
Size of the Lawn
Before deciding which lawn sweeper to take home, consider how much sweeping you need to do based on the size of your lawn. If you have a small patch of grass that you like to keep neat and orderly, a push-style sweeper will be more than adequate. By the time the hopper fills, you’re likely to be done with the yard.
For properties with lots of land, the best bet is to invest in a tow-behind sweeper. They’re far less taxing on the user, and they can make quick work of cleaning an entire field. When the hopper fills, the user can dump it quickly and set back out to finish sweeping the property.
Hopper capacity depends somewhat on the size of the machine, but it’s still worth considering when choosing your sweeper. If you don’t like having to repeatedly stop to dump the hopper, choosing a larger model might be the way to go—even if you own a smaller property.
Large-capacity hoppers measure upwards of 25 cubic feet. Users should know, though, that 25 cubic feet of damp grass clippings can weigh quite a bit. If you’re purchasing a model with a large hopper, make sure it has a dump feature to save back or arm strain.
Lawn sweepers use cylindrical brushes to sweep debris up from the lawn and into the hopper. Its wheels drive the brushes, which spin even faster than the wheels turn. They accomplish this through a transmission that multiplies the number of times the brushes spin in relation to the wheels. The higher the ratio, the more times the brushes will rotate per spin of the wheels.
As with any tool, you should buy the best quality option you can afford, within reason. Most users won’t need a top-of-the-line industrial model, but it might be worth spending a little bit extra for a quality unit that won’t jam or break after a few uses. The higher-end models often cause far less frustration during both setup and use.
High-quality lawn sweepers feature components made of durable materials, providing for a much longer usable lifespan. Though plastic parts are commonplace, the best lawn sweepers are strong where it matters most, like the drive gear that spins the brush. Also, the highest-quality lawn sweepers have built-in adjustable heights, so users select how aggressively they want their sweeper to operate.
Our Top Picks
We took all of our shopping considerations into account when compiling our list of the top lawn sweepers. We looked for machines with high-quality components, considered ease of use, and decided which sweepers provide the best sweep for your buck. Here are our top five choices for the best lawn sweepers.
1. BEST OVERALL: Agri-Fab 44-Inch Lawn Sweeper
Agri-Fab’s top-of-the-line model cleans up lawns quickly and efficiently. This sweeper uses a 5.1:1 brush-to-wheel ratio, rotating the brushes faster than most other models and putting more bristles to work grooming the grass. It also boasts a massive 25-cubic foot hopper, which empties easily from the back with a lever accessible from the tractor seat. Another nice feature of this model is that the user can adjust the position of the trailer tongue, changing how the sweeper trails. Setting the sweeper off-center using this option makes it possible to mow and sweep at the same time. When evaluating this model, consider that it has plastic wheels instead of semi-pneumatic or fully pneumatic rubber tires.
2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Agri-Fab 42-Inch Tow Lawn Sweeper
Anyone looking to add a small, affordable lawn sweeper to their lawn maintenance fleet should consider this 42-inch model from Agri-Fab. This model’s smaller sweep path makes quick work of cleaning up smaller properties and weaves between trees or down footpaths. With a 4.5:1 brush-to-wheel ratio, the Agri-Fab quickly snatches debris from a lawn’s surface. A dumping rope helps the user empty the hopper without getting down from the tractor seat, but the hopper is small enough to maneuver by hand for anyone who struggles with backing up a trailer.
The only drawback to this best-value Agri-Fab 42-inch sweeper is its small hopper capacity. At only 12 cubic feet, most users will have to stop and dump the hopper at least a few times before completing the job.
3. LIGHT-DUTY PICK: CRAFTSMAN 42-Inch Hi-Speed Tow Lawn Sweeper
Don’t let the small footprint of this CRAFTSMAN tow-behind sweeper fool you. It’s a seriously fast sweeper with a huge hopper. This sweeper uses an 8.5:1 brush-to-wheel ratio, so it will quickly whip grass clippings up off of the yard and into the 22-cubic foot hopper. Though the CRAFTSMAN lawn sweeper is small enough to fit between some tight places, its big hopper means fewer stops to dump debris.
When brushes rotate as quickly as they do on this lawn sweeper, they’ll often struggle with wet leaves and clog easily. This model is best suited for grass clippings and dry leaves.
4. HEAVY-DUTY PICK: Ohio Steel 50-Inch Pro Sweeper
This 50-inch sweeper from Ohio Steel is the choice for pros who need to quickly clean up grass on large properties (like before a sporting event or family party). The extra-large path can make much less work of neatening up a field, while the patented spiralized brushes rotate at a 4.5:1 brush-to-wheel ratio. The hopper holds up to 26 cubic feet of grass clippings and leaves, so finishing the job requires fewer dump stops with this model. Plus, a handy rope reachable from the tractor seat makes quick work of emptying the hopper.
This large sweeper is a heavy model, weighing more than 100 pounds. Anyone who needs a sweeper can fold up and store away easily might find this model difficult to manipulate around a garage when working alone.
The Advantages of Owning a Lawn Sweeper
There are a lot of advantages to owning your own lawn sweeper. They can quickly clean up a large property, giving you a look and cleanliness you can be proud of. Depending on your situation, collecting yard debris and keeping your grass squeaky clean has its advantages.
Grass clippings can be an excellent fertilizer for your property, but if you miss a cutting and the grass gets too long, the clippings can smother your lawn. A lawn sweeper can quickly clear up that layer of cut grass, allowing sunlight and air to flow to the growing grass beneath. The same scenario applies to fallen leaves, since leaving them in dense layers on top of your lawn can kill the grass below.
It might seem reasonable to hire a pro to perform leaf removal, but it can get expensive. Instead, using your own sweeper, you can clean up your lawn whenever you want. You can also make several smaller sweeps throughout the fall, keeping up with the leaves a little at a time.
- You can keep your lawn from being smothered by leaves and grass.
- You’ll save money over hiring a pro.
- You can keep up with the leaves in the fall, making several smaller cleanups rather than facing an overwhelming effort.
FAQ About Your New Lawn Sweeper
Lawn sweepers don’t fall into the common lawn tool category, so not everyone has a good idea of how they work or what they do. We’ve collected some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding lawn sweepers. If you’re looking for an answer to a question not listed here, reach out to the machine’s manufacturer and speak to a customer service representative.
Q. How does a lawn sweeper work?
Lawn sweepers use a transmission, driven by one of the wheels, to turn cylindrical brushes. These brushes grab debris and propel them down a chute and into a hopper.
Q. How do you empty a lawn sweeper?
Most lawn sweepers have dump functions. The hoppers empty by either lifting a handle or by pulling an attached rope. The hopper will open up and release its contents onto the ground.
Q. Do lawn sweepers work on grass clippings?
Lawn sweepers work very well on grass clippings, but some models perform better than others.
Q. Do lawn sweepers work on a wet lawn?
Wet lawns are a real challenge for lawn sweepers. Wet clippings tend to clump together, getting stuck in the brushes and the collection chute. You’re better off letting them dry before sweeping.