Which is the BEST Leaf Sweeper (and Why!)
A leaf or lawn sweeper is one of the best pieces of garden equipment you can invest in to help achieve a beautiful lawn. It keeps your yard from getting buried under last season’s fallen debris or summer’s grass trimmings. Keeping your lawn’s appearance manicured and professionally maintained is effortless with the help of lawn sweepers.
Lawn Sweeper Basics
The lawn sweeper, or leaf sweeper as it is also known, is a mechanical implement used to collect debris such as fallen leaves, grass clippings or any litter from paved or level surfaces like a lawn. It is operated by a revolving mechanism that picks up the leaves or other debris and places it into a container for later discard.
This isn’t the same as a leaf blower as the blower just “blows” the debris around, where as a lawn sweeper picks up everything so you don’t need to rake it up later. And if you want to see the best leaf blower, check out our article.
Lawn leaf sweepers have two main types – manual or hand powered, and motorized. The motorized models can be further classified into a push or rolling leaf sweeper or a tow behind leaf sweeper. They can also be bought with a built-in shredder attached. Determining the best choice for you will depend on your needs.
Push leaf sweepers or hand-powered leaf sweepers use gears for the brush mechanism to rotate picking up debris and transferring it into an attached bag called a hopper. The height of the rollers can be adjusted so they can be used on different surfaces, including non-grassy areas such as patio slabs or stone walkways.
Powered lawn sweepers are similar to push lawn sweepers, except that they use gasoline, oil or electricity to operate the brush mechanism. These are ideal to use for larger lawns and gardens. The height of their rollers can also be modified. One disadvantage of powered lawn sweepers is the noise they generate.
A powered leaf collector with a shredder allows the user to produce mulch with the leaves that it collects. The shredder, however, limits it use on certain surfaces. Towed lawn sweepers operate very much like the others, but instead of being pushed, they need a small vehicle, such as a garden tractor, lawnmower or ATV to lug it around. The brush heights may be modified as well so it can be used on different surfaces.
Making the Decision to Buy
Spending money on a leaf lawn sweeper takes some consideration. In addition to what they cost, you also need to think about storage. Tow lawn sweepers use up a large space to store them.
Because they are equipped with a large hamper or hopper, it is not simple to stow them away. Hand powered lawn sweepers, on the other hand, take up less space to store compared with towed sweepers. They are smaller and some can even be folded. Some are even light enough to hang on the wall right next to your garden tool rack or weed wacker.
Another benefit to choosing manual leaf sweepers over powered sweepers is that since they require no power, they are less harmful to the environment.
The size of your yard and how much debris you typically need to clean up will also help you figure out which is the best lawn sweeper to buy to meet your needs. Hopper size will also be determined by these factors.
Where you buy a lawn sweeper should also be considered. Look for a reputable supplier and look for manufacturers that offer good warranties. Warranties are important in case a problem arises. Availability of parts should also be considered. It’s also a good idea to check up front to see if finding leaf sweeper replacement parts is easy for the particular model you are considering. You don’t want to buy a model that you will later find out is near impossible to find parts for, leaving you stuck to buy a whole new apparatus down the road.
In addition to all of these considerations, lawn sweeper prices are another important factor to think about. The quality, type and model of your sweeper will depend on the money you are willing to spend.
Lawn Sweeper Maintenance
Different types of lawn and leaf sweepers have their own advantages and disadvantages, but one thing they have in common is their need for proper maintenance. Caring for your sweeper ensures that they deliver the best performance. Apart from this, keeping them well-maintained helps ensure that they last for a very long time.
Maintenance of leaf sweepers is as simple as following the directions in the User’s Manual which shows you how the machine is operated, cleaned and replaced with parts. Below are general instructions on cleaning your leaf sweeper, which is generally common to all models:
- Before every use, inspect the overall condition of the sweeper. Check for damage, loose screws, misalignment, sticks or breaks in moving parts.
- Oil the brush shaft bearings twice a year.
- Clean the hopper. Dispose of everything in it after each use. Use a dry rag to clean the insides.
- Avoid using it on wet leaves. If this happens, make sure to clean and wipe after use.
- Clean the wheels regularly. Apply an even coat of light grease after. Make sure not to overtighten the wheel bolt and nut.
- Clean the brushes. Remove the hopper first then wipe the brushes.
- Wipe the sweeper down after every use. Just take a rag and wipe it off.
- Store the leaf sweeper properly after use.
It is also important to follow safety precautions for the health and safety of the user. Below is a list of general advice to follow:
- Do not use leaf or lawn sweepers in extremely wet places.
- Keep children away.
- Use only identical replacement parts.
- Do not use a leaf sweeper for any job except that for which it is intended.
- Do not force the sweeper.
- Store when not in use.
- Do not perform any maintenance or make repairs while the sweeper is moving.
Green Living with Leaf Sweepers
One great benefit in using a leaf sweeper is its help in protecting the environment, especially those not powered by gas or oil. They do not emit fumes, and unlike leaf blowers or leaf vacuums, they do not add to carbon emissions, which increase the health risk for respiratory diseases.
Below are more environmental benefits of leaf sweepers:
- Harvests weed seeds and reduce their growth, which in turn reduces the need for a chemical weed control service.
- Reduces the aggravation of allergy and hay fever because of grass clippings.
- Reduces health problems such as asthma and hay fever because of grass, tree and weed pollen.
- Reduces the risk of fires because of debris.
- Helps eliminate potential breeding grounds for insects like flies.
- Some debris can become potential sources of alternative fuel. Grass, for example, is now being converted into bio crude oil.
Collected debris can also be made into mulch or compost. Compost is any organic matter that has been decayed for use of aiding the growth of plants and trees in particular. Mulch on the other hand is used to suppress growth, weeds specifically, and should not have undergone decomposition.
To make compost, collect shredded leaves and place them in a compost bin. Mix and water the ingredients. Turn the mixture over and swap the layers to ensure that decomposition becomes even. Once decomposed thoroughly, transfer it to another container.
To make mulch, just shred leaves and they are ready to use. Unlike compost, you do not need to do any treatments on it once placed in a bin.
Keeping your garden and backyard clean and your lawn looking perfectly manicured takes a lot of effort and time, and buying a lawn sweeper will probably be the best investment you will ever make in this respect.
What Type of Lawn Sweeper is Best?
While a lawn sweeper is not something that every homeowner needs to own, having a lawn sweeper makes easy work out of clearing the lawn of leaves and other debris. Lawn sweepers are somewhat of a luxury because they are not used on a constant basis, but if you have a lawn that is covered with many leaves or a large lawn where the cleanup process is painstakingly time consuming, then a lawn sweeper can be a great garden tool to own, and one that saves you lots of time.
What exactly is a lawn sweeper, or a lawn leaf sweeper as it’s sometimes called? It’s a device that is rolled or pushed along your lawn to sweep up leaves and other loose debris in order to clean up the lawn. Lawn sweepers are similar to vacuum cleaners, but are used outdoors. Just as you would push a vacuum cleaner along the carpet to remove any loose dirt or items, you can push or tow a lawn sweeper along the grass to pick up leaves, pine needles, loose grass, and other small objects.
A lawn sweeper works by rotating a set of brushes along an axle while the device is moved across the lawn. The brushes essentially sweep up any leaves or other small debris into a hopper. The hopper contains the leaves until it fills up or you have completed the job, at which time you can empty it. The sweeper will pick up most small items, but may not pick up larger or more difficult items such as pine cones or small twigs. The shorter your lawn is cut and the flatter the surface you are pushing the lawn sweeper across, the easier it is for it to pick up loose items.
There are two main types of lawn sweepers – push lawn sweepers and tow behind lawn sweepers. A push lawn sweeper is similar to a push lawnmower. The operator of the lawn sweeper pushes it forward in order for it to move across the lawn and do its job. There are push lawn sweepers that are manual and those that are automatic. Manual push lawn sweepers require a bit of manpower to get them moving, while an automatic or powered lawn sweeper is self propelled, just like a self propelled lawn mower. Tow behind lawn sweepers can be attached to a ride-on tractor or mower. A tow lawn sweeper can be attached whenever needed or unattached when it is not.
Lawn sweepers can range in price from around $100 to hundreds of dollars, depending on whether the sweeper is a manual push model, an automatic model, or a tow model and what features it contains. Different models contain different size hoppers and options. One drawback to some lawn sweepers is that they are somewhat difficult to assemble after you bring them home, so when possible, it is best to find a retailer that will assemble it for you prior to purchase.
There are a number of companies that manufacture lawn sweepers and before purchasing one it is best to check out some lawn sweeper reviews to see which model will best suit your needs. A lawn sweeper review should tell you the model, price range, positives and negatives of any features, ease of use and assembly, how large the hopper is, how wide the coverage is, as well as any other pertinent information that you may be interested in about lawn sweepers. If you have an artificial lawn, you also want to make sure that the model of lawn sweeper you are considering will work well with the artificial surface. Reviews are a great way to get an idea of which is the best lawn sweeper for you based on your specific type of lawn as well as your budget.
Some models of lawn sweepers to consider are listed below. You will see that a number of companies that make lawn mowers also offer models of lawn sweepers as well (and some companies that make vacuum cleaners also make lawn sweepers). This list does not include every company that offers lawn sweepers, so there is a wide selection to choose from.
Lawn sweeper manufacturers:
- Agri-Fab lawn sweepers
- Parker lawn sweepers
- Brinley Hardy lawn sweepers
- Huskee lawn sweepers
- Precision Products lawn sweepers
- Yardwise lawn sweepers
- Lambert lawn sweepers
- Ranch King lawn sweepers
- Ohio Steel lawn sweepers
- Craftsman lawn sweepers
- Hoover lawn sweepers
- Oreck lawn sweepers
- Swisher lawn sweepers
- John Deere lawn sweepers
If you are looking for an easy way to clean up your lawn each fall or anytime a lot of leaves, grass, small twigs or other debris accumulate, then using a lawn sweeper can make the chore easier and can save you time. Lawn sweepers are easier to use than leaf blowers. The only thing to keep in mind is that you need a place to store your lawn sweeper when not in use, so make sure you have room in your garage, shed or other type of garden building.