Lawn sweepers are tremendously helpful garden tools for clearing up your lawns and driveways of debris. These tools are most commonly used to pick up and dispose of fallen leaves, twigs, pine needles, and grass clippings, though they can also be used to pick up objects as large as apples and pinecones. There are three lawn towing types out there – front pushing, gas- or electric-powered lawn sweepers, and tow-behind lawn sweepers. Tow-behind models are the commonly used type of lawn sweeper out there mainly because they’re easy to assemble and use.
This time around, we’re going to look at three Agri-Fab-made tow-behind lawn sweepers – the 45-0492, the 45-0456, and the Agri-Fab 45-0320 tow lawn sweeper. Agri-Fab is arguably the best lawn sweeper manufacturer right now. They produce lawn sweepers that fit every homeowner’s specifications in terms of hopper capacity and operation. Let’s begin our comparison of these three models.
45-0492 and 45-0456
The size of the hopper determines how frequently you’ll need to visit your fire pit or compost heap to dispose of its contents. Generally, the larger the hopper, the less frequent pit stops you need to make. Both the 45-0492 and 45-0456 come with massive 25-cubic-foot hoppers. There’s no way to determine how long it’ll take to fill the hopper since every lawn is unique (number of trees, amount of leaves and pine needles litter your yard, etc.), but we like the fact that this model’s large-sized hopper works for every situation from small yards to large ones.
This lawn sweeper is different from the other in terms of hopper capacity. To be more specific, it only holds on to 12 cubic feet of leaves and debris. A small hopper such as the one in the 45-0320 isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, if you have a small yard and few trees, you most likely won’t need a large 20-plus-cubic-foot hopper to clear your yard.
Conclusion: In terms of hopper capacity, it depends on your specific needs. However, large hoppers are generally better for most – if not all – situations since they can hold onto more debris without needing to constantly tip the contents out into a composter.
45-0492 and 45-0456
The width of the tow-behind lawn sweeper helps in reducing the amount of time needed to make a full sweep over your yard and driveway. The wider the unit, the fewer single passes you need to make to pick up any debris on your lawn. However, the tradeoff for width is maneuverability, especially when it comes to U-turns. Once again, the 45-0492 and the 45-0456 have the same 44-inch width.
And once again, between the three models here, the 45-0320 is the only one that’s different. This unit is 42 inches wide (once again, better suited for smaller lawns and yards). The reduced width of the unit won’t make it significantly easier to control, and you won’t lose much time sweeping up your lawn, but the difference is noticeable.
Conclusion: Width-wise, wider is better, despite being harder to turn around or make sharp turns since you need to take the swing of the tow-behind lawn sweeper into account. However, the 2-inch reduction of width in the 45-0320 makes it marginally easier to control, but the tradeoff for longer work time, especially when working in large fields or lawns, isn’t worth it. For this reason, we favor the 44-inch wide models.
Durability and Storage
45-0492 and 45-0456
Lawn sweepers are used during the spring, summer, and fall seasons, and they’re left in storage for one-quarter of the year during winter. For this reason, it’s important to find a lawn sweeper that’s made of a rust-resistant material and takes up little space when left in the shed for the long, wintry months. Both the 45-0492 and the 45-0456 are made of casted steel which, when left exposed to moisture and oxygen, will rust. Plan ahead and find a safe, dry environment to store these lawn sweepers. In terms of storage, these models have detachable hoppers, and the units can sit upright to reduce floor space.
Space-wise, this unit is also pretty efficient when it’s time to leave it in the shed during the winter. It also comes with a collapsible hopper, but it doesn’t have a folding hitch for upright-orientation for storage. In terms of durability, it’s built using stamped steel, but the paint job is rather weak and chips away easily. This exposes the steel to oxidization and moisture which will accelerate the rusting process.
Conclusion: The 45-0320 falls short in terms of storage space since it can’t sit upright without tipping over or leaning against a sturdy object like a shelf or wall. In addition, its inferior paint chips away easily, making the steel prone to rusting. The 45-0492 and the 45-0456 don’t have any of these problems, making them the better tow-behind lawn sweeper models.
A de-thatcher is an incredibly simple but much-needed tool to get rid of dead organic material compacted by snow during the harsh winter season. The de-thatcher gently scrapes your lawn and driveway, lifting up any caked-on leaves and debris for easy picking-up by the sweeper. The 45-0492 comes with a detachable de-thatcher for when you need to lift up hard-to-get, dirty materials between your lawn’s grass blades.
45-0456 and 45-0320
As for the 45-0456 and the 45-0320, these models don’t have a de-thatcher, so you’re either left manually raking up the disgusting mess, or purchasing a de-thatcher and attachment for these units (sold separately).
Conclusion: The 45-0492 wins by default simply because it has a de-thatcher for easy removal of compacted materials. The other two kits don’t include the easy-to-attach, extremely handy tool needed to scrape your lawn to lift up any dead, organic matter from the dirt of your lawn.
Agri-Fab 45-0492 vs 45-0456 vs 45-0320: Bottom Line
Although the 45-0492 and the 45-0456 are similar in many regards, the inclusion of a de-thatcher in the former model makes it the best all-purpose tool for clearing lawns. The Agri-Fab 45-0320 tow lawn sweeper, on the other hand, isn’t a bad model at all, but rather it’s better-suited for small-sized lawns and yards due to its limited hopper capacity and smaller width.
Generally speaking, any Agri-Fab tow-behind lawn sweeper is a good model, with or without a de-thatcher, since they come with a universal hitch that attaches to virtually any riding mower and tractor – these three models included. Simply put, you can’t go wrong when it comes to Agri-Fab’s line of tow-behind lawn sweepers.