There are different types, models, and brands of lawn sweepers in the market. This creates a variety that can befuddle a person who wants to acquire his or her first lawn sweeper.
So what should you consider before buying one?
For you, this question can be reframed as to what should you consider when choosing the right model? This buying guide aims to answer this question.
There are 12 key factors that you should consider when determining the right lawn sweeper. These factors and considerations are explained below.
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The type of debris to be swept off your lawn should be the foremost concern when choosing a lawn sweeper.
This is because different types and models of lawn sweepers are designed to handle specific types of thatch from grass clippings, acorns, twigs and sticks, and wet and dry leaves, along with other organic matter and typical yard litter such as chocolate wrappings.
Even so, there are high-quality models that are designed to handle different types of thatch, and it is recommended that you acquire one of these models if you are going to use the machine for general yard maintenance, or are going to perform yard maintenance for different people.
The lawn size helps determine the right type of lawn sweeper for you. If the lawn is 2000 square feet (sq-ft) or less, then the push-behind manual lawn sweeper will suffice.
If the lawn is larger than 2000sq-ft, then a tow-behind or an automatic self-driven lawn sweeper is recommended. Most personal lawn sweepers are designed for use in lawns that are 2000 sq-ft or less.
You should choose a type that suits your dethatching needs and lawn size.
Sometimes, you may have a preference for a specific type depending on your experience using it. You should check if this type suits your dethatching needs and if it is recommended for your lawn size.
Likewise, if you have a lawn tractor or riding mower, you should go for a tow-behind lawn sweeper with an appropriate sweeping path. This shows that user convenience needs to be considered.
Another consideration to make after choosing the appropriate type is how easy it is to use the model chosen. Usually, models that come with easy-to-follow user guides or instruction guidelines are easy to use.
This is quite important for tow-behind models that need to be assembled. You should, therefore, choose a model that you can easily use, and if need be, easily assemble and disassemble.
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After choosing the right type of lawn sweeper, you need to choose a model whose sweeping path minimizes the number of rounds you need to make when sweeping the entire yard. As expected, the appropriate sweeping path is determined by lawn size and type of lawn sweeper.
For instance, you can use a tow-behind model with a narrower sweeping path to clear the yard faster than (when) using a push-behind model with a wider sweeping path.
This shows that the operational speed of the model should be factored when choosing the appropriate sweeping path (width).
Nonetheless, there are 3 rough guidelines that match the sweeping path (widths) to lawn sizes. The first one is that a sweeping path of 21-26inches is suitable for small lawns. For medium-sized lawns, the appropriate sweeping path ranges from 27-38inches.
The third guideline is that large lawns require models whose sweeping paths are greater than 39inches.
As mentioned earlier, the capacity of the collection bag, bin, or hopper determines how much of the lawn can be swept until the bag/bin is full.
Once the bin/bag/hopper is full, it needs to be emptied before dethatching can continue, and this creates an interruption in sweeping rounds.
Relatedly, emptying requires the debris to be thrown into a compost heap or trash pit, which can be located on the far edge of the lawn, hence requiring you to travel repeatedly when emptying the collection bag.
It is for these aforementioned reasons that you need to choose a model whose collection capacity allows you to sweep the lawn with the least number of interruptions.
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The ability to raise the brush unit to accommodate different grass heights in the yard is important if you are going to sweep a lawn whose different sectors have had their grass cut to different heights.
Moreover, height adjustment allows for the collection of twigs and pine cones that are taller than a layer of grass clippings.
Additionally, lowering the height allows for sweeping of thatch that has accumulated between the grass blades, or have settled on the lawn floor.
Relatedly, if you choose a tow-behind model, it is recommended that you choose one whose tow bar can be fitted to hitches on a different tractor and riding mower models.
Different vehicles have their hitches raised to different heights above the ground and having a model whose tow-bar can accommodate these different hitch heights is recommended.
Therefore, for the tow-behind model, allowance for adjustment of the height of the brush axle, as well as hitch height adjustment are advantageous features.
The number of bristles per row and the number of rows in the brush determine how effectively the brush sweeps debris when it is rotating. Also, the type of bristles, either soft or hard bristles, impacts lawn sweeping.
Usually, it is recommended that you choose a brush that has bristles closely packed per row because it is this close spacing of bristles that allow the brush to pick very small debris (e.g small grass clippings).
Construction and Build Design
The materials used to build the handle frame, tow bar, brush axle, gears, wheels, wheel axle, and collection bin/hopper of the lawn sweeper, as well as the brush housing and associated guard determine how long the model will last.
Usually, models that have a metal frame are more durable, yet heavier, than those made of plastic. Nonetheless, plastic construction allows for manual lawn sweepers to be lightweight.
Even so, aluminum construction can also be lightweight, yet strong and long-lasting.
Moreover, sturdy construction allows the machine to be used frequently and takes lots of abuse without breaking down. As expected, you should choose a model with durable construction.
The lawn sweeper is a wheeled machine, and the wheel size determines how much distance is covered per single wheel rotation.
Therefore, large wheels allow for much ground to be covered. Even so, wheels add weight to the machine and large wheels are usually heavier than small wheels, and the manufacturer must, therefore, strike a balance between the overall model weight and wheel size in a manual push-behind lawn sweeper.
The same cannot be said of the tow-behind model, and therefore tow-behind models have much larger wheels than push-behind models. Also, the number of wheels should be considered as they affect the stability of the machine during use.
Another important consideration is the thread pattern on wheels as they determine the amount of traction that the wheels have on the lawn.
Also, the material of the wheel should be considered. Usually, a threaded rubber wheel offers better traction on the wet ground than a plastic wheel that features the same thread pattern.
This is one of the reasons why the tow-behind model with large rubber wheels and a brush with rough bristles is recommended for sweeping wet lawns rather than a push-behind model which usually has small plastic wheels and lightweight brush with soft bristles.
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Foldable Model for Storage
Tow-behind models come with a tow bar which increases the machine bulk during storage. To manage this, manufacturers have designed models that have detachable tow bars, or whose tow bars can be folded so as to minimize the amount of storage space it takes.
Likewise, a detachable collection bin or hopper, or a foldable collection bag, help minimize the storage space required.
Some push-behind models also allow the user to fold the frame onto the machine during storage so as create a compact lawn sweeper that saves on storage space. As expected, if your store has limited space for storing the lawn sweeper, then you should choose a foldable model.
High-end lawn sweepers made by reputable manufacturers come with warranties that guarantee buyers that the models will work well.
The warranty indicates that the manufacturer has faith in the build design and performance of the lawn sweeper. You should, therefore, opt for a model that comes with a warranty.
Apart from warranty, consideration of the aforementioned 10 factors should help you narrow down your choices of models.
If your models are expensive, then you should check for the warranty and the duration of the warranty offered for each model.
However, if you are going for a standard model or budget model, then your budget should determine the model that you will acquire.
When comparing two or more models that fall within your budget, it is always advisable to choose a model that comes with most of the features that you want or desire.
The aforementioned factors to consider before acquiring a lawn sweeper can also be used to rate the models available in the market according to their types and pricing.
This allows for the identification of the best models in different categories. 5 of these best lawn sweepers have been chosen for review.
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