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How to choose a lawn sweeper

A lawn sweeper is a mechanical yard care device made to pick up leaves, twigs and other debris from your yard. It does the work of a person with a rake in a fraction of the time and with far less effort. These wide machines roll along on two wheels. As the wheels rotate, they drive gears that turn large, stiff brushes that are contained inside a metal bin for safety. As the brushes spin, they “sweep” the leaves and yard debris into a leaf bag or hopper. 

There are a variety of styles available, so it’s smart to do some research first before choosing the best one for your needs. 

Who needs a lawn sweeper?

Anyone who has a riding lawn mower is a good candidate for a lawn sweeper because they have large lawns that take time to mow, rake and sweep. Other good candidates are those who have lots of trees in their yards that drop leaves through the seasons. One benefit of removing leaves and debris from your lawn is that it won’t have brown areas or bare spots where it was starved of sunlight. 

What to look for in a lawn sweeper

Check the following product dimensions as quick reference points:

  • Weight: Lawn sweepers weigh anywhere from 10 to more than 100 pounds. 
  • Sweeping width: 14-inch sweepers are made for small lawns, 52-inch machines are made for big lawns and there are many sizes in between.
  • Bagging capacity: Large sweepers hold more than two dozen cubic feet while smaller ones hold less than half that.

What else can I do with a lawn sweeper?

When you have a lawn sweeper, you won’t need a grass collector for your mower because the brushes on your lawn sweeper will remove grass clumps and clippings from your just-mown lawn.

What’s the best way to use a lawn sweeper?

Regardless of the type of lawn sweeper you choose, always wear sturdy gloves and footwear made for outdoor work.

  1. Before you sweep your lawn, remove branches, rocks and foreign objects.  
  2. Adjust your lawn sweeper’s height to match the height of your grass blades. 
  3. Follow the same path you use when mowing your lawn.
  4. Overlap the sweeping area by a few inches to ensure you cover all the ground in the most efficient way possible.
  5. Empty your hopper and put your leaves and clippings in your composter or your yard waste storage area.

Tow-behind lawn sweepers

Owners of large properties tow special lawn sweepers behind their riding lawn mowers, often cutting the lawn as the machine behind them collects leaves, clippings and debris. 

  • Pros: People with acres of lawn and large numbers of trees on their property find tow-behind lawn sweepers useful savers of time and energy.
  • Cons: They’re expensive, bulky and hard to store.

Best tow-behind lawn sweepers

Best Agri-Fab 45-0492 44-Inch Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper

Agri-Fab 45-0492 44-Inch Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper

This 95-pound sweeper easily adjusts with the push of a button to pick up even very small bits of lawn debris and folds up to a convenient, compact size. The hopper holds 25 cubic feet of leaves and clippings, and dumps with a lever you operate without leaving the driver’s seat. 

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Best Agri-Fab 45-0320 42-Inch Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper

Agri-Fab 45-0320 42-Inch Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper

Lighter than many at 68 pounds, this sweeper has a hopper that holds 12 cubic feet of leaves and clippings. It comes with a video to guide you through assembly. 

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Best Ohio Steel 50SWP26 Pro Sweeper

Ohio Steel 50SWP26 Pro Sweeper

This 50-inch wide sweeper uses 11-inch-long propylene brushes to remove 26 cubic feet of leaves and lawn debris before needing to be emptied. The hitch adjustment mechanism has five positions so you can pull this 102-pound sweeper with any brand of riding mower. 

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Push lawn sweepers

You supply the power to push a walk-behind lawn sweeper just as you would if you were pushing an old-fashioned reel mower. Self-propelled lawn sweepers are the choice of people with small yards and people with only a few trees on their property. 

  • Pros: You don’t work as hard as you do when raking because you’re covering more ground more quickly and not stopping to collect the piles you’ve raked up. 
  • Cons: Pushing a machine full of leaves and grass back and forth across your yard can be a real workout. The more effort you put into it, the better it works and using it vigorously can sap your energy quickly.

Best push lawn sweepers

Best Earthwise 21-Inch Leaf And Grass Push Lawn Sweeper

Earthwise 21-Inch Leaf And Grass Push Lawn Sweeper

This 13-pound lawn sweeper picks up 80% of fallen leaves on the first pass of its 21-inch sweeping width and deposits them in a 2.6-bushel collection bag. It has a knob to adjust the sweeping height so you can gather yard debris from sidewalks, patios and driveways, too. 

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Best Agri-Fab 26-Inch Push Lawn Sweeper

Agri-Fab 26-Inch Push Lawn Sweeper

The lightweight poly construction of this four-brush sweeper holds its weight down to 25 pounds, about the weight of a watermelon or car tire. Lift the hopper to dump it and fold it when you’re done for easy storage. 

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Best Scotts Outdoor 26-Inch Push Lawn Sweeper

Scotts Outdoor 26-Inch Push Lawn Sweeper

This 20-pound plastic lawn sweeper has a steel handle with scratch-resistant coating and a height adjustment dial that’s easy to use. It uses a spinning rake-like action to fill its 3.6-bushel collection bag. 

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Cordless lawn sweepers

These are the hybrids of the world of lawn sweepers. Like a push lawn sweeper, you walk behind it. Like a tow-behind lawn sweeper, the power is supplied for you so all you have to do is guide it.

Best cordless lawn sweeper

Best Superhandy Cordless 14.2-Inch Lawn Sweeper And Dethacher

Superhandy Cordless 14.2-Inch Lawn Sweeper and Dethacher

Use electric power to aerate your lawn and remove thatch as well as sweep your lawn clean of leaves, twigs, clippings and yard debris. This 34-pounder has a 14.2-inch sweeping width and a collection bag that holds 10.6 gallons of debris. 

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Old-school lawn sweepers

If you have a small lawn and only a few trees, try a well-designed leaf rake.

Best old-school lawn sweeper

Best True Temper 26-Inch Poly Leaf Rake

True Temper 26-Inch Poly Leaf Rake

The innovative poly basket head design of this 2.3-pound rake keeps all the tines in contact with the ground to gather leaves quickly and efficiently. The comfortably cushioned handle is made of vinyl-coated steel and is 60 inches long for superior reach and control. 

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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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