This guide will tell you everything you need to know about lawn sweepers, their types, and main features. Read a review of TOP-5 best lawn sweepers, including an overview of strong and weak points of each model. A comparative chart of the product effectiveness will help you make the choice. Learn about the benefits of using these devices and look at the extensive FAQ section offering answers to the most common questions.

Anyone who has a lawn will vouch that, no matter how much you love having a nice property, the maintenance is just downright unpleasant, and a source of constant, groan-inducing chores. Some people don’t mind gardening, weed-pulling and the like, as there can, for some, be something of a Zen to that.

However, you’re hard pressed to find anyone who genuinely likes having to mow their lawn, or having to rake leaves or grass clippings up and bag them. These are just hated chores, and we all remember as kids, dreading being tasked with these laborious chores when we’d rather be doing just about anything else except perhaps homework.

Lawn sweepers make this so much easier. You can attach some of these to your tractor mower for a much more reliable cleaning effect, while others are simple walking machines. These things can pick up leaves, acorns, grass clippings (when dry), and other yard debris to simply be dumped into a compost pile, into a mulcher, or into garbage bags for yard waste pickup.

Today, we’re going to learn about these, as too few people are aware they exist and thus don’t know they can be free of the drudgery of the rake. We’ll learn how they work, the different types, and look at some of the best ones available. I have an interesting story, that I hadn’t thought of in years, that this actually reminded me of, as well.

What You Will Learn From This Guide:

How Lawn Sweeper Works: Explaining The Technologies Behind

Lawn sweepers work pretty simply. A couple of cylinders rotate, with rigid bristles, that coop up the yard debris into a receptacle. It’s similar to how an upright vacuum cleaner scoops debris up, but there’s no vacuum present in most of them.

Some of them have an electric or gas motor that drives this rotation, while others (mostly the towed ones) rely on the wheels spinning, thus spinning the cylinders, as the device is pulled along behind you.

There’s a net behind it, usually canvas or nylon mesh, that catches the debris. The design of them is pretty simple.

Some “push” sweepers are self-propelled like with some walking lawn mowers, as well.

What Are The Types Of Lawn Sweepers And Their Differences?

There are really only two different types of these, all things said and done. There are towing models, which tend to have nothing but simple wheel-mounted rods to turn the bristles, and then there are push sweepers that have electric or gas motors, though some of these are simply driven by the wheels as you push them as well.

What To Look For When Buying A Product?

There are a few factors to consider with these, though they’re a lot more obvious than with some other things you may shop for. These are very practical variables, but they’re also important.

  • Surface Area – The wider this device is, the more area it can sweep at a time, though it will fill up faster, because of proportionality.
  • Waste Capacity – How often do you mind having to stop and empty this? It’s more annoying when you’re towing it, and have to dismount from your tractor, and go over and empty it out.
  • Tow or Push? – Do you have a tractor mower? Then you may want a tow sweeper, which you can hitch up to your tractor, and pull it along. If you don’t, you’ll need a push sweeper, which is a bit more tedious, but it’s not that bad, they’re lighter than a push mower by far.

How I Started Using Lawn Sweepers

I hadn’t thought about this in years. I currently live in Florida, and there are no trees in my yard that produce continuous or seasonal massive dumps of leaves. There are just palm fronds that need to be picked up from time to time. I don’t even mow my lawn (thank heavens), because a kid down the street mows the entire neighborhood’s lawn for 20 dollars per yard (40 for front and back). He’s a good kid and has an admirable entrepreneurial spirit, even if I wasn’t opposed to yard work at my very core, I’d support that kind of maturity and work ethic.

I am originally from LA, and while we didn’t have the severe climate shifts across seasons that you do up north, we had more of a sense of seasons than here in Florida, and a whole lot more deciduous trees. Deciduous trees drop their leaves annually, even if your autumn is mild.

I wasn’t really saddled with slave-driving levels of chores as a kid, and most of the ones I was given, I didn’t mind. However, I loathed mowing the lawn, raking leaves, anything yard work-related. I’ve never been a nature guy, and never got much personal use out of our way-too-large lawns. I hated everything about it, and to this day, I still want nothing to do with yard work!

Well, we were lucky enough, when I got a bit older (I want to say, around 10) to get a riding lawn mower, which took a lot of the bite out of how awful mowing the lawn was. There was no taking the bite out of raking, which was the worse of the chores due to the time it took, and the physical effort it involved.

Now, I know for a fact that lawn sweepers existed back then, but I was wholly unaware of them as was my dad. But I became very fed up with raking. I was just done. Around age 13, I found a couple of those very large vacuum cleaners they use to sweep massive carpeted areas, that were dead. I found a broken wagon, missing the front wheels. I cobbled together a lawn sweeper out of the rollers/bristles, the wagon, and some old fishing net. I had to pull it, it was awkward, and usually took two or three passes over a strip of lawn, to get the leaves up, but sure enough, it worked.

I half expected my dad insist I use the rake anyhow, in an attempt to teach me that sometimes you can’t logic your way out of hard work. He was a nice, very gentle guy, but he did care about preparing me for the real world that way sometimes. He actually lauded my ingenuity. About four years later, we purchased an actual lawn sweeper, when we saw them finally for sale at the local home and garden place.

My device saved me about three hours of work, to begone with those vile leaves. The real deal, when we got it, saved more like five. These things are fantastic, if you have to contend with leaves, yard clippings, or other crap in your yard, and I’d say it’s a necessity. To heck with raking, give me liberty or give me a landscaper!

TOP-5 Best Lawn Sweepers

Below, you will find TOP-5 best lawn sweepers at a price ranging from $60 to $400. These models have different capacity and sweeping width. The latter can range from 21 to 42 inches. The number of height settings should also be taken into account as they make the device capable of picking up the tiniest things on the lawn, such as nuts. The products in the review differ in design and convenience as well.

42-Inch Lawn Sweeper | Brinly 

Brinly Lawn Sweeper: photo

This Brinly tow sweeper is the only one we’re going to look at that’s intended for towing, because most people are more likely to need a push sweeper, and this one really only works with a riding/tractor mower.
It’s an excellent design, easy to hitch to most riding mowers, and I even have a friend who hitched his to his ATV, which was quite an amusing sight to behold. With a 42-inch span, and five adjustable heights, this is an inclusive sweeper for someone with a serious lawn only machines can handle.

Features

  • Type: Tow-behind.
  • Hamper Capacity: 20 cubic feet.
  • Sweep: 42 inches.
  • Height settings: Five.

Performance

My friend (the one with the ATV) has one of these, though it’s a slightly older model. The only real difference in his model, compared to this one, is the wheels are slightly bigger, the color is a little lighter, and the logo is bigger. I’ve seen him use it, and he can clean his way-too-massive yard, which has Florida live oaks (those shed leaves non-stop). It takes him a remarkably short time. If he didn’t have to stop and empty it now and then, he’d probably sweep his entire property in a little under an hour and a half – and he has a multi-acre place.

Pros Cons
  • Hitches easily.
  • High-capacity hamper. 
  • Adjustable height. 
  • Solid wheels. 
  • Cruises easily. 
  • Low-maintenance. 
  • Very wide sweep.
  • When it fills, getting off your vehicle becomes annoying.
  • Doesn’t like ditches. 
  • Is awkward to move by hand. 
  • Height adjustment lever can jam if gunk gets into it. 
  • Doesn’t like damp lawns.

Conclusion 

This is a pretty nice sweeper, and if you have a large property, and already have a riding mower, I recommend this one, for sure. It has a wide sweep, it has a very high-capacity hamper that needs less emptying, and anything is better than raking, especially with a big property. Definitely worth it, if you’re looking for a towing sweeper!

Brinly: Check the current price

Quintessential High-End Push Sweeper | Agri-Fab  

Quintessential High-End Push Sweeper: photo

This twenty-six-inch sweeper by Agri-Fab, I see a lot of landscapers using down here. My friend, who works as a landscaper, says Agri-Fab stuff is very solid, very reliable, and very durable. The one he uses isn’t this precise model, but it’s pretty similar. His one complaint is just the somewhat less than amazing hamper capacity.

You’re not going to get the capacity out of a push sweeper, that you get out of a tow-behind.

Features

  • Type: Push.
  • Hamper Capacity: 10 cubic feet.
  • Sweep: 26 inches.
  • Height settings: 1 (variable nob).

Performance

This push sweeper is pretty good up to two thousand square meters of area, though it’s probably not going to hold that much material if you have heavy leaf cover or grass clippings. However, it pushes easily, it sweeps cleanly, and it’s not exhausting to maneuver nor push, due to its light weight and smooth handling.

It does need to be emptied fairly often, and the hamper material isn’t the most fantastic, though it’s not awful either. Expect to have to replace the hamper eventually, if you’re sweeping up more than just leaves. It’s just going to happen.

Pros Cons
  • Maneuverable.
  • Light-weight. 
  • Sweeps cleanly. 
  • Good for a decent area. 
  • Durable. 
  • Reasonably-priced.
  • Needs to be emptied pretty often.
  • Hamper material is underwhelming. 
  • A bit pricy for smaller lawns, though reasonable overall. 
  • Wheels will probably need to be replaced eventually. 
  • Doesn’t like green grass clippings whatsoever. 
  • Doesn’t like wet leaves.

Conclusion 

I’m pretty comfortable recommending this to people with decent-sized yards, but not yards big enough to necessarily need a riding mower. It’s an excellent replacement for a rake, if you need to do away with leaves. But, if you’re cleaning up grass clippings, this one isn’t the best for that, unless you don’t mind waiting a day for the clippings to dry out and become straw-like.

Agri-Fab: Check the current price

Best Lawn Sweeper For Wooded Areas | Yardwise

Lawn Sweeper For Wooded Areas: photo

This one’s a nice compromise between maneuverability and capacity. It’s a little more awkward than the Agri-Fab, but has a higher hamper capacity, and doesn’t mind wet leaves.

Features

  • Type: Push.
  • Hamper Capacity: 20 gallons.
  • Sweep: 21 inches.
  • Height settings: 1 (variable nob).

Performance

I’ve seen this one being used by people living in heavily-wooded areas, where they’re endlessly cleaning up often wet leaves, and it seems to clean them up like it doesn’t even matter.
It’s a little more awkward to handle, and the wheel design isn’t great, but you can’t have everything.

Pros Cons
  • Decent capacity.
  • Handles wet leaves. 
  • Good hamper material.
  • Wheels aren’t amazing.
  • A little awkward. 
  • A bit pricy.

Conclusion 

I would recommend this to someone who lives in a heavily-forested area and has to clean up wet leaves on a regular basis, as this one seems to be engineered for it. For grass clippings and other debris, perhaps not.

Yardwise: Check the current price

Best Lawn Sweeper For Yard Clippings | Scotts

Lawn Sweeper For Yard Clippings: photo

If yard clippings are the bigger problem, this Scotts model will sweep up even green, sticky yard clippings, trimmings from bushes, and other things. It works fine on leaves as well, though it’s not really meant for wet, autumn leaves so much.

Features

  • Type: Push.
  • Hamper Capacity: 3.6 bushel.
  • Sweep: 26 inches.
  • Height settings: 1 (variable nob).

Performance

This one, I see used a lot by landscapers while they bush hog ditches, or mow overgrown lawns. You need a sweeper made with that in mind because still-green lawn clippings are a nuisance substance to cope with. This model handles them admirably.

Pros Cons
  • Decent capacity.
  • Very maneuverable. 
  • Handles wet yard clippings like a pro.
  • Wheels are really cheap plastic.
  • Hamper material feels a bit fragile. 
  • Has a tendency to not cooperate of the ground is really uneven.

Conclusion 

If you’re dealing with lots of yard clippings, this is definitely the sweeper for you, and with a name like Scotts, you know you’re getting quality landscaping equipment. I highly recommend it in that case, but not as much for heavy leaves.

Scotts: Check the current price

Affordable Home Lawn Sweeper | Earthwise

Affordable Home Lawn Sweeper: photo

This is the one for average home use, on average lawns, with average needs. It doesn’t excel at handling any particular material, but it doesn’t fail with any but really fresh yard clippings, which you need to wait to dry.

Features

  • Type: Push.
  • Hamper Capacity: 2.6 bushel.
  • Sweep: 21 inches.
  • Height settings: 1 (variable nob).

Performance

This is the one I’d have for my current property if there was anything that needed to be swept up. I made a point to remove all the flora that would do this, having only banana trees and queen palms, so all I have to deal with are picking up a stray leaf or dead frond.
It’s not especially adept at any particular application, but it handles all of it pretty well. Just, remember to let yard clippings dry out before you sweep them up. They can and will gum this one up, and in fact, will gum up all but the Scotts we looked at a moment ago.

Pros Cons
  • Affordable.
  • Jack of all trades yard sweeper.
  • Capacity is a bit low.
  • Wheels are kind of meh. 
  • Mesh hamper will rip if you sweep up little twigs and don’t remove them carefully.

Conclusion 

This is the sweeper for average lawns and average budgets, so the majority of people who just have standard yard needs, I recommend this one to with no hesitation.

Earthwise: Check the current price

Comparative Chart Of Best Lawn Sweepers Effectiveness

Product Features

Brinly

Type: Tow-behind.
Hamper Capacity: 20 cubic feet.
Sweep: 42 inches.
Height settings: Five.

Agri-Fab

Type: Push.
Hamper Capacity: 10 cubic feet.
Sweep: 26 inches.
Height settings: 1 (variable nob).

Yardwise

Lawn Sweeper For Wooded Areas min: photo

Type: Push.
Hamper Capacity: 20 gallons.
Sweep: 21 inches.
Height settings: 1 (variable nob).

Scotts

Type: Push.
Hamper Capacity: 3.6 bushel.
Sweep: 26 inches.
Height settings: 1 (variable nob).

Earthwise

Type: Push.
Hamper Capacity: 2.6 bushel.
Sweep: 21 inches.
Height settings: 1 (variable nob).

FAQs 

Can you use a lawn sweeper while mowing?
It’s generally a good idea to wait until the clippings dry before sweeping them up.

Will a lawn sweeper pick up sweet gum balls?
Yes, if you set the bristle height low enough.

Will it pick up dog poop?
If it’s dry, it will. Probably don’t use it to sweep up fresh dog poop.

When to use it?
Usually when you have lots of leaves or other crap on your lawn, but it hasn’t rained within 24 hours.

Which lawn sweeper is the best?
That depends on your needs. The Scotts is the best for lawn clippings, for example.

What size do I need?
Average half to quarter acre properties can be swept swiftly with a 21-inch sweeper, and at least a 2.6-bushel hamper.

Do these devices work on grass clippings?
The Scotts works on fresh ones, most others, wait until they’ve dried out, but yes, they do!

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The only raking you need to do is maybe get leaves away from foundations and around trees, where sweepers can get to them.
  • They clean up things you can’t easily rake, like some other tree debris.

Cons

  • They fill up faster than you think.
  • Many of them require you to walk and push them – if you hate idle walking as much as me, you’ll find this the one big drawback.
  • There aren’t very many self-propelled or otherwise motorized ones, and I wonder why.
  • Some of them don’t like wet leaves or wet grass clippings.

Conclusion

These are a wonderful invention because raking leaves and grass clippings is probably the worst household chore there is. You owe it to yourself to invest in one of these if you have a property that needs to be raked even occasionally. It goes from drudgery to an hour of your time now and then, and you’ll never look back. One of these will suit your needs, if all else fails, the last one we looked at is a one-size-fits-all solution that’ll suffice.