Different broom types are suitable for different uses. Due to differences in bristle strength and material, some brooms are not suitable for certain surfaces. Stiff brooms may scratch hardwood floors in the home, while soft, synthetic bristles may not be strong enough for jobs in a construction setting.
A corn broom is a stiff, strong broom, traditionally made from broomcorn. The dry, rigid broomcorn stems are woven together in various ways to create either a long-handled broom or a hand-held whisk. A corn broom is often used to sweep sidewalks, barn isles and other areas requiring a stiff broom that can move heavy debris particles along easily while not harming the surface. A corn broom is used by flicking it across the floor with short, quick strokes.
Lobby brooms are usually synthetic and may be short- or long-handled. They are most often used in households where a heavier, corn-type broom may scratch flooring. The bristles are softer and less likely to damage surfaces. These brooms come in a variety of styles and shapes. Some are simple, flat brooms with 3-inch bristles, while others are cut on an angle to allow them to sweep corners with ease. Lobby brooms are most often used with a slow-pulling motion, dragging debris across the floor into a pile where it is swept into a dust pan.
A push broom is used to sweep a large area quickly. This long-handled broom has a long, flat head, attached on an angle to a wooden handle. The bristles are approximately 3 inches long, and cover the head that may be between 18 inches and 24 inches in length and up to 3 inches wide. Bristles may be soft or hard, and made from a variety of materials. The broom is pushed in front of the user with short, repetitive strokes.
An electric broom functions similar to a vacuum cleaner, but is generally less powerful and lighter. It uses electricity to suck dirt up into a canister or bag rather than pushing it into a pile to be picked up. An electric broom may or may not have upholstery and rug brushes. Options such as a wheeled head or swivel nozzle may be available.