How Does a Lawn Sweeper Work?

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A lawn sweeper will make shorter work of this lawn than a rake.
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A lawn sweeper is a piece of mechanical yard maintenance equipment that picks up grass clippings, twigs, leaves and other lightweight debris from your yard. Lawn sweepers are a lightweight, easy-to-use and efficient alternative to tiring hand raking or heavy, noisy leaf blowers and lawn vacuums to keep your lawn immaculate.

Sweeping Brushes

Lawn sweepers for homeowners use stiff brushes fastened to a rotating shaft. The shaft is driven through gears connected to the sweeper's rotating wheels. As the sweeper moves along, the wheels spin the brushes. The brushes comb through the grass to dislodge clippings and other debris, and flip the material into a hopper attached to the sweeper. Once the hopper is full, you detach it and empty it into the trash or onto a compost pile.

Push or Tow

Homeowners can choose between sweeper models that they push across the lawn, or units designed to be towed over the yard behind a riding mower. Apart from their motive power, both the push and towed types of wheel-driven lawn sweeper work the same way. Wheel-powered lawn sweepers are quiet, which means they won't run afoul of local noise ordinances, and you will be able to clean debris from your lawn much faster than you will using a manual rake.

Other Uses

A lawn sweeper can do more than just pick up grass clippings from your lawn. Its spinning brushes also can clean dust and dirt off a paved driveway, patio or sidewalk, and you can use them to pick up fallen leaves in autumn, too. Take the lawn sweeper down a paved driveway or sidewalk to pick up light snow. Most sweepers can clear snow up to a 1/2 inch deep.

Basic Maintenance

Lawn sweepers, like other yard machines, need regular maintenance to keep them working properly. Check the sweeper before each use for loose or broken parts and anything stuck in the mechanism. Lubricate the sweeper's brush shaft and wheel bearings twice a year, unless they are sealed. Wipe out the hopper with a dry rag and clean debris from the brushes before storing the machine.


Herb Kirchhoff

Herb Kirchhoff has more than three decades of hands-on experience as an avid garden hobbyist and home handyman. Since retiring from the news business in 2008, Kirchhoff takes care of a 12-acre rural Michigan lakefront property and applies his experience to his vegetable and flower gardens and home repair and renovation projects.