Fall is one of the best times of year. The leaves start to change color and bring vibrant landscapes to life, families get together for bonfires and football, and all of the best holidays are in the fall. It’s also when the trees decide to drop their leaves, covering your yard and garden area with a whole bunch to sweep up.
Raking leaves by hand takes hours, and even high powered, expensive leaf blowers just push them into giant piles of leaves to pick up. Lawn sweepers, on the other hand, can help you clear your yard of leaves in no time.
In this article we’ll look at the best lawn sweepers for your lawn and garden, to help you avoid the hours of labor that comes with raking and leaf blowing. But first, we’ll go through exactly what a lawn sweeper is and how it works, and what features to look for when buying one.
What is a Lawn Sweeper?
A lawn sweeper, which you also sometimes see referred to as a leaf sweeper, is a wheeled device that picks up debris like grass clippings, twigs, pine needles, and, of course, leaves, from your yard or driveway.
It has a long row of brushes on the bottom side of it that sweeps the debris into the collection basket, which is called the hopper, though it will not rip up any of your healthy grass beneath the debris.
Lawn sweepers are a great tool to have in your garden shed. They can save you hours of time cleaning up your yard, as compared to a rake or leaf blower they’re much more productive. They also assist in your other lawn chores. With a lawn free of leaves and twigs, mowing the lawn becomes much easier and less hazardous, as well as quicker.
Types of Lawn Sweepers
There are a few different types of lawn sweepers, and depending on your personal preferences and lawn care needs you might want to choose one specific type over another.
Tow Behind Lawn Sweepers
Some lawn sweepers can be hooked up to the back or side of a riding lawn mower, ATV, or UTV. These sweepers have a trailer hitch connected to a metal bar that just attaches to whatever vehicle you’re using, it’s very straightforward.
For large yards or public places, these are the most preferred type of sweeper. They often have a larger hopper capacity, as well as a wider sweep path, both of which allow you to sweep more debris and more efficiently. This will save you so much time in the long run, especially as you don’t even have to mow and then sweep, but can do both at the same time!
Push Lawn Sweepers
A push lawn sweeper is more labor intensive than the tow model, because you have to physically walk with it and push it in order for it to work. These are usually smaller sweepers as well, so we would recommend this type of sweeper be used for smaller lawns or ones that don’t have a lot of trees.
Due to the smaller capacity of the hopper, if you have too much debris to collect you could be stopping three or four times in one trip around the yard. However, because push lawn sweepers don’t have a motorized sweeping mechanism, and are smaller in general, they are a lot less expensive than the tow-behind models. They also break down less because with fewer moving parts there are fewer things that could go wrong.
Power lawn sweepers can come in either push models or tow behind models, although they are more commonly seen as push models. Just like a powered lawn mower, a powered sweeper runs on a motor powered either by gasoline or electricity. They often come with a shredding device as well, so they can compost your debris as they collect it.
A powered model push sweeper is often much easier to use than a non-powered one because they come self-propelling, so it feels like it is moving without your help. This could be a real benefit if it’s too hot outside or if you find it difficult to use too much effort pushing around a sweeper over the whole yard.
Features to Look For in a Lawn Sweeper
Here are the different aspects of a lawn sweeper that can differ between brands and models, so it would be important to look at these in order to be better informed. Then you can more easily find a lawn sweeper that is better suited to your needs.
These features include the width of the sweep path, the hopper bag capacity, and any attachments the sweeper can be modified to come with.
The sweep path is the term for how wide the lawn sweeper is, and therefore how much of the yard you can sweep in one pass through. The part of the lawn sweeper that determines the width of the sweep path is called the sweep deck.
Typical sweep paths for push sweepers, because they are smaller on average, can range between 21 inches and 26 inches. These sweepers, while needing more passes over an average sized yard, can navigate narrow, small areas, so if you have a lot of nooks and crannies in your lawn to collect debris from, this size could be perfect.
Powered sweepers and tow-behind sweepers can have much larger sweep paths, anywhere up to 50 inches or so if you really need it. These ultra-wide sweepers would be best for large grassy areas like public parks or acres of land.
Hopper Bag Capacity
The capacity of the Hopper Bag is another aspect of the sweeper to consider. The Hopper Bag is what collects all of the debris that is swept up by the sweeping blades on the bottom of the machine, and its capacity, or size, is measured in cubic feet.
The size of the hopper is not necessarily just bigger is better. Yes, on the one hand, the bag should be as large as possible so you can sweep up more debris before stopping to empty it, saving you time and energy and keeping your yard work to a minimum. On the other hand, the whole thing should also be convenient to store in your garage or shed, so industrial sized hoppers can be a nuisance to store and to transport when they’re not in use.
Lawn sweepers can be bought with a large variety of attachments, depending on what you value with your lawn care and what your preferences are.
Dethatcher and Scarifier
A dethatcher, also called a scarifier, is a device that has a row of metal prongs that perforate the top layer of the soil and remove the thatch that grows underneath some grass types. This is a very helpful tool and is the only way to dethatch your yard, so if you do need to remove thatch to allow your grass to grow more freely and healthy, be sure to look into a scarifying attachment.
An aerator attachment is similar to a dethatcher as it works by using a bunch of metal spikes to puncture the grass in order to create a bunch of little holes. These holes can then allow the lawn to soak up any water and nutrients that it needs to grow well. Additionally it allows fertilizer seeds to be placed deep under the grass, so they can grow more easily.
Some lawn sweepers come with an automated or mechanical dump feature that would help you to release the collected debris more easily. If you’re using a tow-behind sweeper, this would be especially beneficial because it allows you to release your debris without getting down off of the tractor or lawn mower you are driving.
You can also attach a spreader at the back of the sweeper or riding lawn mower, and this device will spread fertilizer and seeds all over your yard. It does this in an even, uniform manner that will keep your lawn looking great and healthy throughout the year.
Tips for Using a Lawn Sweeper
In order to get the best performance out of your lawn sweeper every time you use it, as well as make it last for a long time, try to follow these tips whenever you can.
Use it on Dry Lawns
It is best to only mow your lawn, as well as use a lawn sweeper on it, when the grass is dry. The best course of action, if you have the time, would be to mow your lawn in the morning and then let the grass trimmings dry in the sun for a couple hours. Then, in the afternoon, come back over the yard with the sweeper and pick up the dry grass trimmings.
Wet grass, as well as freshly mowed grass to an extent, can clump together and clog the inside mechanism of the sweeper. This can be dealt with by cleaning the undercarriage, but that is a hassle and often gross with wet grass and other debris. If you don’t clean your sweeper when it gets clogged, it can overheat or even break down. To save from all of these potential troubles, it is best to sweep up dried grass and lawn debris.
Avoid High Speeds
Many lawn spreaders come with multiple speeds at which you can use them. Using a sweeper at high speeds can damage both the lawn as well as the sweeper. If the sweeper has variable speeds, choose either the low speed or medium option, and see which one works best for you and your lawn.
If you use the high speed function, debris could more easily shoot out from the sweeper and injure someone or break something in your yard. Additionally, if you do use high speeds, make sure to do it on an even surface, so that the mechanisms aren’t in danger of being off the ground at all. Using lower speeds also extends the life and durability of the product.
Empty the Hopper Often
As you go around your yard with the lawn sweeper, the hopper bag will fill up with all the debris you gather along the way. Whether you have a tow-behind or push sweeper, it is important to empty the hopper often. You don’t want it to fill up completely before emptying it.
This could make it harder to transport it to the compost receptacle or wherever you’re emptying out the hopper into, because it’s heavier and more bulky. It could also damage the hopper and the sweeper as a whole by straining the material of the bag and putting pressure on the load-bearing mechanisms in the sweeper. EMptying it before it gets to this stage keeps the sweeper running better for longer.
In order to best take advantage of what the sweeper can do with your yard, it would be best to do some preemptive work. Mulching the debris in your yard, as well as cutting up the bigger sticks and branches and chopping or shredding some of the compost, is really helpful when sweeping.
Doing preemptive maintenance allows the sweeper to do its job better, and it lessens the chance of the sweeper becoming damaged or broken due to big debris getting lodged in the mechanisms or being shot out from underneath and potentially injuring someone. Additionally, sweeping up lots of smaller debris saves you time and energy because it goes faster and you don’t have to spend time meticulously trying to fit bigger items into the hopper.
The Best Lawn Sweeper Brands
When searching for the best lawn sweeper for your lawn and garden needs, it is helpful to know which brands have the best, most reliable products and customer service. In our experience, the best brands for lawn sweepers are Agri-Fab, Brinly, Yardwise, and Ohio Steel. These four brands make quality products and have thousands of customers that can attest to having a good experience when dealing with them.
The Top 8 Lawn Sweepers for 2021 – Reviews
#1. Agri-Fab 45-0492
- Your purchase includes One Agri-Fab 44-Inch Lawn Sweeper, 45-0492 model
- Lawn Sweeper dimensions: 78” L x 55” W x 52” H | Carton Dimensions: 54.1” L x 18” W x 19.5” H | Brush to Wheel ratio: 5.6:1 | Hooper Capacity: 25 Cu. Ft. | Wheel dimensions: 12” x 3” |...
- Height adjustment lever with easy to use indicator will never slip and assures optimum performance
The Agri-Fab 45-0492 is the best lawn sweeper currently on the market.
Firstly, the 25 cubic foot hopper bag comes with a patented “flow through” technology that allows it to hold more than other hoppers. This reduces the amount of times you need to empty it, as well as its durability and life span.
It also boasts an incredible 44 inch sweep path. However, even with a sweep path so wide and a hopper bag so large, it can collapse in on itself so it takes up only 30% of its original size in your garage or shed. It’s the perfect option for big capacity and small storage.
The height adjustment for the brushes on the Agri-Fab 45-0492 is widely variable, and you can tow it in offset mode to mow and sweep at the same time. It also has
Its dump level can also be operated from the seat of whatever you’re riding, such as your lawn mower, tractor, or ATV. Again, this helps with speed and ease of use, helping you get more yardage done in a shorter amount of time.
- 25 cubic foot capacity hopper and 44 inch sweep path, both professional grade
- Hopper design fills 2 to 3 times more completely than other brands with its “flow through” technology
- Dump lever can be operated without leaving the tractor seat
- Sweeper can be folded up and collapsed to only 30% of its original size
- Many moving parts that may need continuous replacement
#2. Ohio Steel 50SWP26
- 50” Sweeping Width; 26 cu. ft. capacity hopper
- 11″ spiraled polypropylene brushes – an Ohio Steel patented exclusive feature!
- 4.5 to 1 brush to wheel turning ratio
The Ohio Steel 50SWP26 is the largest option on this list, so if you have a lot of ground to cover this might be your best bet. It has a sweep path of 50 inches and a hopper bag capacity of 26 cubic feet, both of which are the largest of any lawn sweeper on this list, respectively.
Its brushes are made of polypropylene for extra strength and durability. It’s hopper bag collapses for storage, although it’s still very big. If you have a large yard and a large storage space, this is one of the best options for you.
It is a tow-behind sweeper that has 5 different positions you can make it fit. This gives you the most flexibility of any model when it comes to fitting the lawn sweeper to your mower or tractor.
- Heavy and well made, so you will have it for a long time
- 26 cubic foot capacity hopper and 50 inch sweep path, both the largest on this list
- Collapsible hopper removes completely for compact storage
- Can be a bit awkward to empty with a full load
- Bag can tear if you do not have it adjusted properly
#3. Agri-Fab 45-0218
- Hopper bag: 7 cu. Ft. Capacity; collapsible hopper bag for easy storage
- WHEELS: 9. 75" x 2. 25" plastic wheels
- Assembly: some assembly required; a video instruction Guide is available to assist with the assembly process
The Agri-Fab 45-0218 is the highest rated push model lawn sweeper on our list. At 26 inches, the sweep path is one of the widest possible for a push mower, meaning it can clear debris at a faster rate and keep you from making multiple passes over a smaller patch of lawn.
It is lightweight and easy to maneuver, because as a push model it doesn’t have any bulky engine or powered machinery to deal with – it only weighs 25 pounds. This makes storage a breeze, as well as transporting it from your garage or shed to your back, side, and front yards.
It is easy to set up and fully adjustable, so anyone in your household can adjust it to suit their needs. You can also adjust the height of the sweeping mechanisms in order to pick up differing levels of debris.
The hopper bag is 7 cubic foot, which again for a push sweeper is one of the largest options available, so you don’t have to empty it nearly as often as other lawn sweepers.
- Large 7 cubic foot hopper bag capacity, collapsable for easy storage
- 26 inch wide sweep path, one of the widest available
- Extremely lightweight – only weighs 25 pounds
- Durable material construction
- Non-powered sweeper, so it could be physically tiring after a while
- Smaller than most tow-behind sweepers
#4. Brinly STS-427LXH
- (6) high-velocity brushes with indexed brush height adjustment provides maximum pick up of debris
- Large 20 cubic foot hamper and 42 inch sweep for fewer passes over the yard and less emptying
- Patented storage design provides simple and convenient storage with minimal space required
The Brinly STS-427LXH is also a tow-behind lawn sweeper, and has a professional size to both its sweep path and hopper bag. The sweep path is 42 inches wide and the capacity of the hopper is 20 cubic feet, both more than enough for even a large backyard.
Its brushes have height adjustment to always pick up the perfect amount of debris, regardless of how your lawn looks or how much is on it.
Brinly has a patented storage system on this model so that it takes up the smallest space possible when you’re storing it, which is perfect for anyone who has a full garage or shed.
Its best feature, however, is the 6 brush system that Brinly has fitted it with. These brushes are all high velocity and durable, and are fitted on the back of the sweeper.
- 20 cubic foot capacity hopper that detaches and easily folds for convenient storage
- 42 inch sweep path, which is perfect for larger yards
- 6 high velocity brushes for a cleaner, more efficient sweeping
- May need to replace some parts due to wear every few years
#5. Sun Joe AJ801E
- Questions, Text 563563 to chat directly with a Sun Joe expert
- POWERFUL: 12-amp motor rakes a 13" wide path to get your job done faster
- ADJUSTABLE DECK: Tailor raking depth with 5-position depth control
The Sun Joe AJ801E is a push-style lawn sweeper, but it is also so much more than that. It is compact and manageable for home lawns and gardens; weighing only 27 pounds, it can be easily transported whenever you need to use it and stored when you don’t.
It has a sweep path of only 13 inches, which is on the narrower end, but it is still worth considering due to its other features.
The AJ801E comes with a scarifier and dethatcher attachment, helping your lawn to breathe and encouraging thicker, healthier growth both above and below the soil.
Using AirBoost technology, its spring steel tines maximize the amount of thatch it can pick up in one easy pass, as well as stay sharp and more durable for a longer time.
It boasts a 12 amp, corded electric motor that starts instantly with the push of a button. It also has a huge amount of variance in its depth control, allowing for 5 different raking depths ranging from 1 centimeter below the soil to 1 centimeter above.
- Attached scarifier and dethatcher
- AirBoost technology and steel tines collect all of the thatch from the soil and helps the sweeper last longer
- 5 different raking depth, allowing for maximum variation
- Lightweight at only 27 pounds
- 13 inch wide sweep path
- Powered by an extension cord, so must be plugged in
#6. Ohio Steel 4222V2
- 42 in. sweeping width; 22 cu. ft. capacity hopper
- 11 in. spiraled polypropylene brushes – an Ohio Steel patented exclusive feature
- Drawbar can be offset left or right for simultaneous sweeping and mowing
The Ohio Steel 4222V2 is the second lawn sweeper from Ohio Steel on this list. Just like the 50SWP26, this sweeper is a tow-behind model that is professional grade and can rid a large lawn of debris with very little time and energy.
The sweep path is 42 inches, and the storage capacity of the hopper bag is 22 cubic feet, both of which put this lawn sweeper at the top end of the range.
One of the best features of the 4222V2 is that it can be towed in an offset position – what this does is it allows you to both mow and sweep simultaneously, saving you half the time it would take to mow and sweep separately.
It is heavy, at 86 pounds, but the no-slip positive height adjustment keeps it from vibrating out of position when being towed. Also, it has numbered height brush settings on the side to allow you to view the sweeping brushes when you’re adjusting them, and without having to tilt the whole sweeper upside down.
The brushes are 11 inches and made from polypropylene, and they’re placed in spiral positions, making them more effective than straight line brushes, even at lower speeds. This means your sweeper will be even more efficient in cleaning and picking up compost, so you don’t have to go over any part of the lawn a second time.
The bag is even held open by a tension tube, so you don’t need to install difficult tension rods or worry about your hopper bag deflating at all.
- 11 inch spiral brushes for more effective and efficient sweeping
- Professional grade 42 inch sweep path and 22 cubic feet hopper bag capacity
- Can be towed at an offset position, so you can save time and mow and sweep all in one
- Tension tube to keep the bag always open
- Heavy, weighing 86 pounds
- Large and heavy to store and transport
#7. Agri-Fab 45-0320
- ASSEMBLED DIMENSIONS (L x W x H): 67.0" x 51.0" x 24.0" | Wheel Dimensions: 11.0" x 2.5" | Weight: 68 lbs
- HOPPER SIZE: 12 cu ft. hopper capacity
- BRUSH to WHEEL RATIO: 4.5 to 1 brush to wheel wheel turning ratio
The Agri-Fab 45-0320 is a tow lawn sweeper with a decent size – it has a 42 inch sweep path and a 12 cubic foot hopper bag capacity, which makes it ideal for any medium to large lawn without it being too overwhelmingly large to hook up, transport, and store.
One of its best facets is that you can easily use the dump function from the seat of the tractor, mower, or ATV that you’re towing the sweeper behind. This makes it easy and more effective when cleaning a large yard that you need to make many passes over.
Agri-Fab stands behind this model, giving it a three year warranty, as well as providing a video instruction guide to assist in the set up process. It is made from a durable and lightweight polymer material, and weighs 77 pounds, which is on the lower end for a tow behind model.
- 42 inch sweep path and 12 cubic feet of hopper bag
- Designed to be easy to dump from mower seat
- Three year warranty and video instruction guide to make setting up easy
- Leaves sometimes spill over the sides, so it needs to be emptied more often
#8. Yardwise 23630-YW Sweep It
The Yardwise 23630-YW Sweep It is a push model lawn sweeper, so it is naturally smaller and and narrower than the tow models listed here. It has a 3 cubic foot hopper bag capacity, and a 21 inch sweep path, which is fairly wide for a push model.
This makes this push sweeper perfect for smaller lawns or gardens, as well as yards that have a lot of nooks and crannies that wider, tow behind models can’t as effectively clean.
It folds up and hangs for easy storage, and its brushes have adjustable height so you can pick up large and small pieces of debris equally well. It is also extremely lightweight – it only weighs 12 pounds. Overall, for smaller gardens this could be a great, budget friendly option.
- Lightweight and easy to push
- 3 cubic foot Removable Hopper Bag and 21 inch sweep path
- Adjustable height settings and very lightweight
- Need to empty the bag fairly often
- Mostly plastic parts
We hope you were able to take a lot away from this buying guide, and come away from it with a perfect idea of what make and model you would need for you personal lawn situation.
If you’re still a bit on the fence, or don’t have an exact idea of what you want, we would recommend the Agri-Fab 45-0492. This is overall best lawn sweeper we’ve found because it has the perfect blend of hopper size, sweep path, and brush quality, balanced with convenient storage and dump control.