There’s something incredibly rewarding about having a clean lawn, clear of any debris.
But that can often be difficult to maintain, especially with only a rake and Mother Nature blowing sticks and leaves into your yard.
That’s where a lawn sweeper comes in handy.
A lawn sweeper is a device on two wheels that collects grass clippings, leaves, sticks, cones, and other debris from your yard into a large bag called a hopper. The hopper can collect a ton of volume before needing to be emptied, making it a more efficient process to traditional raking.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what important features you should consider when picking out the best lawn sweeper for your specific needs.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What to Look for in a Lawn Sweeper
There are a few important specifications you’re going to want to consider before buying a new lawn sweeper. These include type, size, hopper capacity, weight, wheel type, brush to wheel ratio, and height adjustment.
Let’s take a look at each below.
The first thing you’re going to want to consider is the type of lawn sweeper you want to purchase. The two most popular kinds are tow-behind lawn sweepers and push lawn sweepers.
A tow-behind lawn sweeper attaches to a tractor or riding mower and collects leaves and clippings while pulling behind you. A push lawn sweeper is manual and is pushed in front of the user.
The overall size of your yard and the equipment you own will help determine which type is best for you. If you have a smaller yard or don’t own a tractor, a push option is probably going to be best whereas a larger property with a tractor is better suited for a pull lawn sweeper.
The width of a lawn sweeper will determine how much ground you’ll cover in each stretch. Tow-behind lawn sweepers are generally much wider than push sweepers, although there are a few brands that offer 26-inch sweeping width options in both push and pull.
It’s important to consider the space and terrain you’ll be working with when making your decision. For example, a small lawn sweeper will be better for a residential yard in a busier neighborhood, while a big lawn sweeper might be better suited for a property with more land outside the city.
The right width will depend on your specific area and needs. Consider your entire property and any trees or other obstacles that might be in the way of each pass.
Every lawn sweeper can hold a certain amount of debris before the bag, or hopper becomes full. This is known as the hopper capacity.
The hopper capacity on a tow lawn sweeper can be four to five times bigger than the hopper on a push sweeper. For example, the hopper on a 42-inch lawn sweeper is normally 20+ cubic feet, depending on the brand. Compare that to the hopper of a 26-inch push lawn sweeper, which can be under 7 cubic square feet. The difference is pretty clear.
It’s best to choose a size and hopper capacity that fits your specific needs.
As you can probably assume, a pull behind lawn sweeper is going to be a lot heavier than a push sweeper. Most options in the 40-inch sweeper width range will weigh between 90 and 100 pounds. The weight shouldn’t really be an issue because you’re attaching the lawn sweeper to a tractor that is doing all the heavy lifting for you.
If you’re looking into a push lawn sweeper, weight might be more of a deciding factor for you. While none of them are heavy per se, there are a few lighter options in the 10-15 pound range, while others can get up to the 25+ pound range. You’ll likely give up a few cubic feet of space in the hopper the lighter you go, so weigh (no pun intended) your options.
The right kind of wheels plays an important part in the lawn sweeper you choose. A lot of top-rated pull behind lawn sweepers will use semi-pneumatic wheels. Unlike pneumatic wheels, like what you use in a car, semi-pneumatic wheels don’t have any air inside and instead are shaped out of firm rubber with a completely hollow inside. Because there’s no air, semi-pneumatic wheels can’t go flat, which makes them perfect for going over uneasy terrain, sticks, and other debris.
Now because semi-pneumatic wheels can be a little heavier, most of the best push lawn sweepers will use something lighter, but just as durable for the expected terrain like plastic.
Height Adjustment and Brushing Specs
Not everyone has the same height or even type of lawn, so it’s important to consider a lawn sweeper that allows you to adjust the height to suit your personal needs. This is especially important if you have some uneven areas as the adjustment can help preserve the brush underneath.
The size of the brush and the brush to wheel ratio will help determine how efficient the lawn sweeper is going to be with each pass. Most products will show a brush to wheel ratio like “4:1” which indicates the brush underneath makes four rotations with every one wheel rotation. The higher the first number in the ratio, the faster the brushes work and pick up leaves, sticks, and grass clippings.
Now let’s take a look at some of the top lawn sweepers for each type.
Best Tow-Behind Lawn Sweepers
Now that you have a pretty good sense of what to look for, let’s see how the best tow-behind lawn sweepers fit our specs.
The Agri-Fab 45-0492 is one of the top-rated pull-behind lawn sweepers available. The assembly is quick and only two tools are required for a few screws and bolts. The rest of the unit is held together through pins and velcro from the hopper.
Width: The Agri-Fab 45-0492 has a 44-inch width, which is a nice size for a medium or larger property. It might be a little tough to navigate if you have a lot of trees to get around, so you won’t want to go any larger if that’s the case. The width is ideal for picking up a wide range of leaves and sticks.
Hopper Capacity: This is where the Agri-Fab 45-0492 really stands out with a hopper size of 25 cu. ft. which is noticeably larger than a lot of other models. Especially for being only 44-inches. Depending on the size of your yard, you may be able to sweep everything in one or two passes, only needing to empty the hopper once or twice. This is really where this lawn sweeper stands out.
Weight: It weighs 95 pounds, so you shouldn’t have any issues pulling behind a tractor or riding mower. It’s also collapsible so storage is simple.
Wheels: The unit comes with two semi-pneumatic wheels, already attached to the main body unit, so there’s no need for additional assembly. They are glass infused nylon which helps to prevent rusting while keeping the overall weight down. Sticks won’t puncture them, so the only real maintenance required is a little oil once or twice a year.
Height Adjustment: There are three height settings for attaching the sweeper to your tractor. The lowest height between the hitch and the ground ranges between 7 and 9 inches. The middle height is 9 to 11 inches, while the tallest height is 11 to 13 inches. The brush is also adjustable, with six height settings to fit the specific height of your lawn.
Brush Specs: The Agri-Fab 45-0492 has a 12-inch brush, with a 5.6:1 brush to wheel ratio. This is quite fast compared to other top lawn sweepers on the market, so you’re definitely going to collect a solid volume with each wheel turn.
Final Assessment: Overall, this is a really great unit. It’s a little pricier than other models, but the size and efficiency are unmatched. We recommend this as the best lawn sweeper available on the market.
The Ohio Steel 42SWP22 Sweeper is a bit cheaper in price, but still offers a ton of great features behind a trusted brand in the industry. The assembly process and instructions are also quicker and easier to follow compared to the Agri-Fab 45-0492 model which is an added benefit as well.
Width: The 42-inch sweeping width makes this a bit smaller than some other options, but it’s still a great size, especially if 44 inches is a tad too big. This also means it doesn’t take up as much storage which is nice.
Hopper Capacity: The hopper is also a nice size with a 22 cu. ft. capacity. This makes it a bit smaller than the Agri-Fab model above. You’ll still be able to cover a lot of ground before it fills up, but you may have to empty it one more time.
Weight: The total weight is 95 pounds, which is interesting because it’s smaller in size compared to the Agri-Fab 45-0492, but they weigh the same. Either way, your tractor shouldn’t have any issues with this pull lawn sweeper.
Wheels: These also come with two semi-pneumatic wheels, which are 11 inches in diameter. You won’t need to worry about one of the wheels deflating which can add additional maintenance costs.
Height Adjustment: The brush height can be adjusted by removing an installed hairpin and moving the attached handle upwards to lower the brush height or downwards to raise the brush height. Reinserting the hairpin will secure it in place. Overall it passes our test for height adjustment requirements as it allows for you to set the proper height for your lawn to maintain the brush and wheels.
Brush Specs: This is where you’ll notice the biggest difference in performance compared to the 44-inch lawn sweeper from Agri-Fab. The brush is 1 inch shorter at 11 inches, while the brush to wheel ratio comes in 1.1 times slower at 4.5:1. This means you’re getting one less brush rotation per wheel turn.
Final Assessment: The slower brush to wheel ratio and smaller size makes this a less efficient lawn sweeper, but it’s tough to beat at its price point. We also prefer the release handle on the Agri-Fab 45-0492 instead of the pull string release used here. But this is still a great machine and you can’t go wrong if you’re looking for a cheap lawn sweeper.
Agri-Fab makes our list again with the more cost-efficient 45-0320 model. This lawn sweeper is comparable in size to the Ohio Steel 42SWP22 Sweeper, with a few differences. The overall assembly takes the longest with the most steps compared to the other two options on our list, but the universal fit hitch ensures this fits any tractor.
Width: The brushing width of this model is 42 inches, smaller than the 45-0492. We mentioned 44 inches might be a bit too wide if you have to turn through a lot of trees, so this might be a better option if you still want something from the Agri-Fab brand.
Hopper Capacity: Unfortunately this is where we have to take off points as the hopper capacity is only 12 cu. ft. This is half the size of the other options listed above, which means you will most likely be emptying the bag a few more times. There is the small added benefit that the hopper won’t take up as much storage space, but because they are also collapsible, it’s not enough to raise the score. Overall, it’s a significant downgrade compared to the other lawn sweepers on our list.
Weight: At only 73 pounds, this lawn sweeper is significantly lighter which can make it easier to maneuver around.
Wheels: Similar to other top lawn sweepers, the Agri-Fab 45-0320 has two semi-pneumatic wheels which makes it ideal for going over sticks and other uneven terrains.
Height Adjustment: There are two height adjustments when attaching the hitch to your tractor. They are 8 to 10 inches and 10 to 13 inches between the hitch and the ground. It can’t go quite as low as the 45-0492 by one inch, but it still offers great versatility. Similar to other Agri-Fab models, the brush height can also easily be adjusted.
Brush Specs: The brush specs are comparable to the Ohio Steel lawn sweeper above with a brush diameter of 11 inches and a 4.5:1 brush to wheel ratio. Not the biggest or fastest, but still efficient enough to get the job done.
Final Assessment: If your budget is limited, definitely consider the Agri-Fab 45-0320. It’s a great price for an efficient and durable model from a reputable brand. The limitations in hopper capacity are tough to overcome, so we wouldn’t recommend this as the best lawn sweeper available, but still a great option overall.
Best Push Lawn Sweepers
Now let’s take a look at the top push lawn sweepers based on our spec outline.
We know you’re not surprised to see another Agri-Fab product on our list, but the 45-0218 is easily one of the best push lawn sweepers available. The assembly isn’t complicated and the durability of the parts will allow use for years to come.
Let’s see how this manual lawn sweeper checks out with our top requirements.
Width: The width is 26 inches which is a really nice size for a push lawn sweeper. It covers a solid amount of ground without being too heavy. You probably won’t find many models larger than this so it’s off to a great start.
Hopper Capacity: This is where you’re going to really start to notice the difference between a push and pull lawn sweeper. The hopper capacity on the Agri-Fab 45-0218 is 7 cu. ft., which is actually quite large for a manual lawn sweeper and still will clear up leaves 50% faster than a rake.
Weight: The total weight is only 25 pounds, and it was intentionally designed to be lightweight to help get the job done faster. You shouldn’t have any issues pushing this lawn sweeper.
Wheels: The Agri-Fab 45-0218 uses plastic wheels a little under 10 inches in diameter. They help keep the overall product lightweight while providing durability for various terrains. The wheels come attached to the Sweeper Housing Assembly in the box and only need to be removed once every year or two to clean the gears.
Height Adjustment: The brush height can easily be adjusted by loosening the front knob and sliding it upwards or downwards. You can retighten the knob at whatever height works best for your lawn. This is especially helpful if you have a lot of big leaves in your yard.
Brush Specs: The 4.5:1 wheel to brush ratio is a really nice pace for a push lawn sweeper. Combined with the width and it’s hard to find a more efficient product.
Final Assessment: It’s not hard to see why we rate the Agri-Fab 45-0218 26-inch push lawn sweeper so high on our list. The size, durability, and efficiency make it hard to beat. In terms of manual options, this is the best lawn sweeper for leaves if you’re used to raking every fall. The price is a little more than the other options on our list, but we’d say it’s worth it.
Scotts is one of the most recognized names in the lawn care business, and their lawn sweeper can be a nice addition to your toolset. There aren’t too many parts and only a few pieces of hardware, so the assembly doesn’t take very long. There are also photos with step-by-step instructions in English, Spanish, and French which is a great addition.
Width: Similar to the Agri-Fab model, the Scotts push lawn sweeper has a 26-inch sweeping width, which will allow for the best pickup possible.
Hopper Capacity: Depending on the size of your yard, you’re most likely going to have to empty this sweeper more often because the hopper capacity is only 4.48 cubic feet. If you have a larger yard and don’t want to empty the collector bag as much, you might want to go with the Agri-Fab.
Weight: The Scotts lawn sweeper is only 13 pounds, which is half the weight of the Agri-Fab. This will allow you to push a little quicker, which is nice considering it picks up 80% of debris on the first pass.
Wheels: The plastic wheels meet our needs for a push lawn sweeper. No complaints here.
Height Adjustment: The brush height on the Scotts LSW70026S adjusts almost the exact same way as the Agri-Fab 45-0218. There are minimum and maximum settings for the height, and it’s best to set it so there is between a fourth and a half-inch distance between the brush and the top of the grass.
Brush Specs: Unfortunately Scotts doesn’t say the specific wheel to brush ratio, but we’d have to imagine it’s in the 4-5 range similar to the Agri-Fab model.
Final Assessment: Overall this isn’t a bad option, especially if you’re looking for a more economical lawn sweeper. The smaller hopper capacity is the biggest downside to this option, but it is more lightweight and easier to move around. We’d recommend the Scotts push lawn sweeper as the second-best option available.
As you can see, there are quite a few great options available when it comes to finding the best lawn sweeper, each having their own specs. It’s important to always consider your personal needs and yard when making your purchasing decision, as well as the tools and equipment you already own. You don’t want to end up buying a pull lawn sweeper if you don’t already own a tractor or have a smaller lawn where it’s not necessary.
With that being said, we’d recommend starting with any of the Agri-Fab models first as they score the highest on our spec assessment list. They are efficient and the durability will last you season after season.
Hopefully, this information will help you finally put the rake down knowing you’ll be able to choose the best lawn sweeper for your needs.