Homeowners will know the struggle of maintaining a clean backyard and front lawn, especially during the autumn season when it seems like nature is going against your needs to keep a clean yard. Of course, you can take the rake out and pile up leaves manually then dispose of them, but where’s the fun in thatIn addition, raking leaves and twigs manually is time-consuming, and most of us can’t be darned to pull up our sleeves and spends hours each day raking.
The solution to this problem is using a tow behind lawn sweeper. Lawn sweepers come in three styles – push lawn sweepers, gas- or electric-powered lawn sweepers, and tow-behind lawn sweepers. The tow-behind models are the most commonly used ones and make efficient work out of otherwise energy- and time-consuming raking.
What is a tow-behind lawn sweeper?
A tow-behind lawn sweeper is a garden tool that attaches to the back of your riding mower or tractor. While you drag the lawn sweeper, a brush and rotary mechanism collects fallen leaves, pine needles, twigs, and other debris from the ground and deposits them into a bag or hopper. When the hopper is full, just pull on a rope and it’ll dump the contents right out.
What to look for in a tow-behind lawn sweeper
Before purchasing a tow-behind lawn sweeper, first of all, make sure you have a riding mower, tractor, or similar vehicle in which the lawn sweeper can be attached. Pulling the garden tool manually won’t do you much good since we’re going to avoid doing as much manual labor as possible. In addition, there are certain specs that you should take into consideration.
Although lawn sweepers make raking, piling, and disposing of fallen leaves and other debris much easier to do, you should get a model with a large-enough hopper to allow for as few visits to the compost pile or leaf-burning pit as possible. Generally speaking, the larger the hopper, the less frequent you’ll need to unload the contents. However, the total carry capacity of the hopper depends on how large your lawn and backyards are, as well as how cluttered they are during the autumn season.
Durability and storage
Even though fallen leaves and pine needles is a problem only during the fall season, it doesn’t mean you won’t find any use of a tow-behind lawn sweeper throughout the year. In the spring, take it out to pick up any residual debris when the snow melts to prevent mold growth, and in the summer, use it to pick up grass clippings after mowing your lawn. Since you’re using the garden tool for three-quarters of a year, make sure that it’s made of a rust-proof material and takes little floor space when stored.
Another important thing to look out for is the width of the lawn sweeper. Generally, wide tow-behind lawn sweepers can cover more area with each pass, and they come with large-sized hoppers. The tradeoff is that it may be difficult to navigate since you need to accommodate the swing of the lawn sweeper as you make a U-turn. However, we feel that the swing and U-turn problem is definitely worth it since wider lawn sweepers can get work done much more efficiently.
Which tow-behind lawn sweeper to get
By now, we should know the basics of a tow-behind lawn sweeper. Controlling one of these garden tools is simple since you just attach it to the back of a small vehicle and drag it around your lawn and yard. The question now is which brand and model should you getHere is our pick for the top 5 tow-behind lawn sweepers.
5 Agri-Fab Inc 45-0521 Lawn Sweeper
Agri-Fab is one of the leaders in the garden tool industry. Their line of tow-behind lawn sweepers is some of the most popular, best-selling ones out there. The 45-021 is a 42-inch tow-behind lawn sweeper that comes with a 20-cubic-foot hopper. Its body is made using stamped steel which, unfortunately, can rust if left in moist sheds or storage containers.
The 42-inch width of the unit means you can cover a lot of area with every single pass, though this model may require repeated passes to pick up every single fallen leaf. In addition, the height of the unit can be adjusted to fit your tractor or riding mower, and the height of the brushes can be adjusted for picking up debris.
4 Brinly STS-427LXH 20 Cubic Feet Tow Behind Lawn Sweeper
The STS-427LXH by Brinly is another popular model. It also comes with a 20-cubic-foot hopper, and depending on the size of your lawn, it can be enough to hold onto all of the fallen debris that found their way on your grass.
It’s also 42 inches wide to make for fewer passes over your yard. It uses a 6-brush setup for optimal cleaning ability, reducing the number of repeated passes you need to make to pick up every single fallen leaf. In addition, the height of the brushes can be adjusted based on what materials you’re picking up. The hopper can be detached and folded while the unit itself can be stored upright to reduce floor space.
3 Agri-Fab 45-0320 42-Inch Tow Lawn Sweeper
The Agri-Fab 45-0320 has an extremely compact hopper – only 12 cubic feet – so it’s best-suited for homes with small lawns and backyards. Despite the small-sized hopper, the unit is 42 inches wide, so you can get work done on your small-sized lawn super quickly. Due to its compact size, it’s a budget-friendly alternative for people who aren’t willing to invest in larger models.
The collapsible hopper makes for reduced storage space in your shed for when it’s not in use. The paint job of this unit is a shiny black, though users found that the paint chips away rather easily. When the paint breaks off, this increases the risk of rust occurrence while in storage.
2 Ohio Steel 50SWP26 Pro Sweeper
This is the largest tow-behind lawn sweeper on our list. The 50SWP26 by Ohio Steel is a massive 50 inches wide and comes with a large 26-cubic-foot hopper. This means you can get work lawn sweeping work done extremely efficiently, and there are fewer trips to the compost pile or fire pit. It comes with five positions to fit onto almost every tractor and riding mower.
The tremendous size of the unit in combination with the adjustable brush height means it can pick up large objects like pinecones and apples with ease. The only drawback for having such a wide lawn sweeper is that making U-turns is a hassle, and you’ll need to make repeated passes over the same area to pick up every single piece of fallen debris.
1 Agri-Fab 45-0492 Lawn Sweeper
Finally, the number one pick on our list is another Agri-Fab-made model. The 45-0492 comes with a large 25-cubic-foot hopper. Its 44-inch width makes it quicker and picking up leaves and other debris on your lawn without sacrificing maneuverability too much. The hopper’s spring-loaded design allows for easy removal when it’s time to place for storage.
Its universal hitch lets the unit be attached to every tractor and riding mower out there. In addition, adjusting the height of the hitch and brushes is done completely without the use of external tools. Finally, its ingenious de-thatcher placed at the front of the unit (behind your tractor or riding mower) scratches the earth and loosens up any dead matter compacted during the winter season.
The tow-behind lawn sweeper is the most popular lawn sweeper type on the market, and it’s easy to see why: you don’t need to manually push the unit, and it attaches easily to tractors, riding mowers, and other small vehicles so you can drag the garden tool to pick up whatever debris nature left on your lawn.
Before purchasing a tow-behind lawn sweeper, the most important specs to look out for are the hopper’s capacity in terms of cubic feet; how durable the tool is at withstanding oxygen and moisture, as well as maintenance frequency; and how wide the unit and brushes are. In general, the wider the brushes, the harder it is to control the unit while turning, but the quicker it finishes sweeping your entire lawn.
Out of our pick for the top 5 tow-behind lawn sweepers, Agri-Fab has taken three spots, and it’s not hard to see why. Their lawn sweepers’ space-saving design in combination with a number of different hopper capacities that fit your lawn and backyard’s needs are just a few reasons why the company is currently dominating the lawn sweeper market.
The Agri-Fab 45-0492 is not the largest model on our list in terms of hopper capacity and width, but it is the easiest to use and saves space while placed upright and its hopper detached from the body. In addition, the amazing de-thatcher loosens up any dead organic matter from your lawn and yard, making it easier to pick up by the sweeper’s brushes.
In our opinion, if you’re going to get a lawn sweeper, choose Agri-Fab, and if you’re going to get an Agri-Fab, choose the 45-0492. However, it all depends on your specific needs (how cluttered your lawn is, how much land area you need to clean, etc.).
Want to know moreRead our article on how to use a lawn sweeper.