A tow-behind lawn sweeper, also known as a leaf sweeper, is a tool used to remove leaves and other debris from your lawn. The best tow-behind lawn sweeper will feature a high tip velocity and will be easy to store when not in use.
Lawn sweeping can be time-consuming, especially if you have a large area to contend with. A tow behind lawn sweeper will pick up grass and leaves that remain after mowing your lawn. It uses rotating brushes to gather the grass and other debris into a hopper (Source).
Using a lawn sweeper greatly improves the health and appearance of your lawn. If lawn clippings are not picked up, you will end up with uneven growth, which can make your yard look patchy. It will also yellow your grass. In addition to grass clippings, a lawn sweeper will pick up leaves, twigs and other unsightly debris that end up on your lawn (Source).
Different tow-behind lawn sweepers are compatible with different mowers, and they can vary in size and cost. Before buying a tow-behind lawn sweeper, consider its price, it’s size, and mower compatibility. It is also important to consider whether or not it’s emptying mechanism is easy to use.
In this article, we will take a detailed look at all the top-rated tow-behind lawn sweepers. All of the tow-behind lawn sweepers in this review will easily and quickly remove debris from a lawn, whether you are a homeowner or a landscaping contractor.
What Is A Tow Behind Lawn Sweeper?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is A Tow Behind Lawn Sweeper?
- 2 Are Lawn Sweepers Worth It?
- 3 Comparing The Best Tow Behind Lawn Sweepers
- 4 1. John Deere STS-42JD – Best Overall
- 5 2. Ohio Steel 42SWP22 – Best Lawn Sweeper for Grassed Areas
- 6 3. Agri-Fab 45-0492 – Best Lawn Sweeper for Pickup Performance
- 7 4. Brinly STS-427LXH – Best Value for Money Lawn Sweeper
- 8 5. Ohio Steel 50SWP26 Pro Sweeper – Best Lawn Sweeper for Large Yards
- 9 Is A Lawn Sweeper Better Than a Bagger?
- 10 How Does A Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper Work?
- 11 How Should You Choose The Right Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper
- 12 Things to Consider Before Buying Your Lawn Sweepers
- 13 Ready To Buy The Best Tow Behind Lawn Sweeper?
Tow-behind lawn sweepers are machines comprising of a brush system picks, flings, and collects grass clippings and debris in their compartments. They are like vacuum cleaners, but without an electric motor to suck the debris.
The brushes are attached to the wheels present on both sides of the sweeper. When the wheels move, they rotate the brushes with them. As a result, they sweep the lawns, picking and flipping the grass clippings, etc., behind them.
Lawn sweepers have huge compartments or hoppers, where all the debris is collected. After using a sweeper for its purpose, you can use its rope to pull the hopper and dump the collected leaves securely.
Tow behind lawn sweepers come with hook system to attach these to tractors, etc. That allows you to do the chores without frustration. Such equipment is suitable for large lawns and orchards without creating a mess.
Are Lawn Sweepers Worth It?
Lawn Sweepers can help you easily collect lawn clippings and leaves without having to collect the matter by hand. If you have a large piece of land, a Lawn Sweeper is necessary to use after mowing your lawn to ensure that lawn clippings don’t stunt the growth of your grass.
Comparing The Best Tow Behind Lawn Sweepers
|John Deere STS-42JD|
|Ohio Steel 42SWP22|
Overall versatility and performance
|Ohio Steel 50SWP26 Pro Sweeper|
1. John Deere STS-42JD – Best Overall
The design of the brush tips is such that heavier objects are picked up when comparing with other models. This is a good model to consider if you have trees that drop small pine cones or lots of twigs or seed pods.
The friction of the wheels and gears however, means more wear on the wheels. That means that the wheels are less durable and will need replacing more often than with other models.
It is, of course compatible with John Deere tractors.
2. Ohio Steel 42SWP22 – Best Lawn Sweeper for Grassed Areas
Most lawn sweeper manufacturers recommend however, that users do not mow when their grass is wet. As lawn sweepers are designed to be used at the same time as mowing, this should be less of a problem.
The heavy duty collecting bag and specially designed 11” spiral brushes are very efficient and mean less wear and tear on your machine.
It is easy to use including the emptying mechanism which can be operated whilst seated. Another feature which means longer life is the sealed ball bearings on the brush axle.
3. Agri-Fab 45-0492 – Best Lawn Sweeper for Pickup Performance
It is also popular because the design of the hopper reduces the number of times you need to empty it. This is achieved through the flow through design. Any reduction in the number of times you have to dismount the lawn sweeper is an advantage.
The larger sweep width also means you will finish the job in a shorter time. It is also a good lawn sweeper to purchase if you have to pick up other garden debris such as nuts and pine cones as it will handle small items like this. The dump lever has been improved on in comparison with previous models.
4. Brinly STS-427LXH – Best Value for Money Lawn Sweeper
The 42-inch sweep is standard for lawn sweepers. Its 20 cu ft hamper is smaller than other models but for smaller lawns that may not be an issue. It is easy to use, even under different ground conditions.
It is a smaller machine than some and so will fit into smaller spaces. This can be an advantage in smaller yards. Its price makes it a popular choice without compromising on quality.
5. Ohio Steel 50SWP26 Pro Sweeper – Best Lawn Sweeper for Large Yards
There is also an extra wide chute of 9 inches to prevent clogging with damp grass. The hopper is also collapsible which means it is easier to store and takes up less space. The body of the machine is sturdy and well-built, so it will last you well should you decide to purchase this machine.
It is ergonomically designed. This is important if you are using it for any length of time. This is a consideration for those users with a larger lawn to keep tidy.
Is A Lawn Sweeper Better Than a Bagger?
While a lawn mower bagger can help you clean up lawn clippings as you mow, a Lawn Sweeper will provide a more comprehensive cleanup. A Lawn Sweeper may take a little more time to use, but it will ensure the health of your lawn in the long run.
How Does A Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper Work?
Unlike a push lawn sweeper, a tow-behind is attached behind a small vehicle to sweep the lawn for grass clippings, fallen leaves, etc. The latter ones are used for extensive gardens, orchards, and fields as they have higher productivity.
As for the mechanism of tow behind lawn sweeper, the principle is quite simple. As it does not have an electric motor of any kind, it works on a mechanical process that involves rotation of the wheels.
Such sweeper wheels connect with a long brush in the middle that rotates with the wheels engulf leaves and twigs on the lawn beds. As the debris touches the brush, it gets caught and flung behind in a hopper or carrier.
The tossing action is so precise that the clippings always land in the hopper component of a lawn sweeper. Once the compartment fills up, you can easily tilt it with a rope to dump the debris.
Note that lawn sweepers are only for sweeping and collecting debris, and not mowing grass. It would help if you bought a lawnmower for that purpose. However, you can attach a lawnmower with a lawn sweeper to double your productivity.
How Should You Choose The Right Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper
To select the right tow behind lawn sweeper, you need to consider the features and components it encompasses. Here are some for your knowledge:
- Longevity – First, you should always think of the long term usage of such a machine. Lawn sweepers are all-seasonal. Thus, if you have heavy usage for them, then you need to choose a robust lawn sweeper. A decent one will have tear-proof hoppers, steel or polymer housings, durable and long brushes, etc.
- Size – Choose a tow-behind lawn sweeper based on its size. You might need sweeper with a larger width to cover more ground. A sweeper with 100″ width is suitable for larger fields, whereas a small area can be swept with a 21″ model.
- Volume – You have to take into consideration the volume of debris a hopper can collect. Large fields will need a larger hopper. An appropriate size for large fields is 78 cubic-feet. On the other hand, carriers of 12 cubic-feet can be excellent for small areas.
- Adjustable & Flexible Hitch – You have to look for a suitable hitch design in the chosen lawn sweeper. You might be needing a machine that you can attach behind your garden tractor. For that, you may need a hitch with specific ground clearance.
Furthermore, you should choose a sweeper that has a flexible hitch to adjust the height as needed for attaching it to a tractor, etc. You might never know when there is a need to change it to connect your lawn sweeper appropriately.
Things to Consider Before Buying Your Lawn Sweepers
The most durable material for lawn sweepers is steel and most models on the market today are made of this material.
Some cheaper models are made of lighter metals or have parts of the sweeper made of the same. The purchaser would be best to buy a lawn sweeper of durable steel rather than risk a less sturdy machine.
Another consideration is the type of tires used. Pneumatic tires give the best ride and are the most durable. They will also go over rough ground more easily.
In addition, find out what the material for the hopper bag is made from to work out how durable it will be. Some machines have a polyvinyl material rather than a stronger metal mesh material.
Although these are lighter in weight, they are less durable in the long run and may need replacing in your machine gets a lot of use.
A tow-behind sweeper is one of the best types of lawn sweepers to use. There are different types such as push lawn sweepers or hand lawn sweepers.
Both are less easy to use as they require an extra turn around the yard. With the tow behind type you just attach to the back of your mower or tractor.
As the sweeper works as you mow, this also means that you are saved the extra task of getting out a different machine for the sweeping. This takes all the hard work of what can be a tedious job. This is especially desirable if you have a large area of lawn.
All the lawn sweepers mentioned here have a flip back design to the hopper, making it ideal as a composting tool. You back up to your composting area and empty the hopper into it.
Again, this is a useful feature as the grass is an ideal addition to your compost pile both in terms of heat retention and bulk. It also means you have less to dispose of in terms of garden waste.
Besides lawn sweeper, if you are looking for a device that can turn piles of sticks and branches into small chips, consider buying wood chippers and shredders. These chips can be much more easily discarded. Or, you can throw them into a compost pile and turn the chips into soil.
Additional Features to Look For In Your Lawn Sweeper
There are some additional features to look for when purchasing a lawn sweeper. One of the most important is the ability to empty the hopper without getting off the sweeper.
You don’t want to be dismounting in order to empty the machine. With nearly all models you can back up to your compost area and empty the catcher then drive away to do another sweep.
Also, an adjustable height mechanism is very necessary. The more scope for adjustment there is the more useful and efficient your machine will be for you. Also, the ease with which the adjustment can be made is important.
If you have a yard with different areas, you may need to adjust the height several times during the operation to accommodate different terrains. You will need a lawn sweeper that can handle all the ground that you have in your yard.
If you have limited storage space in your shed it is worth giving consideration to a lawn sweeper with a collapsible hopper. Some of the machines reviewed here have collapsible or detachable hoppers. Others are of the foldaway variety which also saves you space.
Another consideration is the overall size of your yard sweeper. In general, smaller yards benefit from having a smaller, more maneuverable machine to operate. Tight spaces and corners are going to make your yard tasks more difficult, so a larger machine is not always the best option.
In addition, smaller machines are also more maneuverable from a driving point of view. Looking after your lawn can be a pleasurable job with the right equipment.
Lastly, you need to consider the user of the machine and make sure that you pick a lawn sweeper that is easy to use. It is no use purchasing a machine that you or whoever uses it will be reluctant to get out of the shed. This will include how easy it is to assemble before each use.
All the lawn sweepers reviewed here are made by US companies and are reliable manufacturers with a good history of warranty compliance. They are all compatible with different makes of lawnmowers.
Ready To Buy The Best Tow Behind Lawn Sweeper?
Before purchasing your lawn sweeper have a good look at your yard including the grassed areas and non-grass areas such as paved patios and driveways. Your lawn sweeper will help you maintain those areas as well.
In that regard, some sweepers are more suited to larger yards. Not all of us will need the largest of machines with the largest width. Smaller properties with smaller mowers may only need smaller and less expensive machines.
What’s your favorite tow behind lawn sweeper? Share with us below!
Did you like our review on “Tow Behind Lawn Sweepers”? If yes, you’ll love this guide on riding lawn mowers for hills as well. Likewise, if you are worried about the season’s turn and leaves cluttering in your yard or garden. We highly recommend buying a backpack leaf blower that keeps your garden clean.