Do Lawn Sweepers Work? 18 Things You Need To Know

Lawn sweepers are known to replace the old-fashioned garden rake in collecting leaves and debris from your lawn. There’s no doubt that clearing leaves can be energy-sapping and often seem like a never-ending task of chasing swirls of them around the yard…but do lawn sweepers work?

I can tell you straight of the bat…yes, lawn sweepers do work, they save you the hassle, time, and the need to do a near-perfect job of sweeping leaves, twigs, and other debris off your lawn. So let me run you through what to expect from your new lawn sweeper.

What Will a Lawn Sweeper Pick Up?

Lawn sweepers will pick up a variety of debris, including grass clippings, leaves, pinecones, acorns, sticks, and other windfall items. The machine works best when used to sweep dry waste.

Damp leaves, grass clippings, and other wet items have a tendency to clog up the brushes, causing manual intervention to free up the mechanism. So, let’s look at a list of items you may wish to sweep from your lawn and check out if a lawn sweeper is up to the job.

By the way, our site is supported by visitors like you. Some links on this page may be affiliate links which means if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support! You can find out more here.

Do Lawn Sweepers Pick Up Grass Clippings?

Yes, lawn sweepers do pick up grass clippings, offering a great alternative if you don’t have a hopper for your lawnmower. Still, it’s better to leave the leaves to dry before attempting to pick them with your lawn sweeper.

Wet grass clippings can clog up into moist clumps. When these clumps get stuck in the sweeper’s brushes and block the bristles, it’ll most likely obstruct the collection chute. So, don’t be in haste to sweep. You may also leave clippings to mulch into the earth and serve as fertilizer for your lawn.   

Do Lawn Sweepers Pick Up Sticks?

Lawn sweepers can pick up small sticks and twigs from your lawn. Use a tow-behind lawn sweeper if your lawn often contains sticks, gravel, and rocks. A push lawn sweeper will produce a lower brush rotation speed than a tow-behind lawn sweeper, meaning they will be less effective in clearing larger sticks or branches.

Do Lawn Sweepers Pick Up Rocks?

No, they don’t because lawn sweepers were not originally made to pick up rigid objects like rocks or stones and can’t handle even the smallest pebble. A mower-powered lawn sweeper can remove small rocks, but it’s not advisable to do this often as it may damage the sweeper mechanics beyond repairs.

Try to pick them up by hand before running a sweeper over your lawn. If you must pick up rocks with a sweeper, make sure the sweeper is the sturdy pull-behind type of sweeper.

Do Lawn Sweepers Pick Up Gravel?

A push lawn sweeper is not designed to pick up rigid small objects like gravel and will most likely fail to clear even the smallest of stones. The push lawn sweeper struggles to clear a low-lying dense object such as gravel.

Powerful pull-behind lawn sweepers are better equipped at handling more rigid objects like gravel because of their firmer brushes. However, the brush will need to be running at speed and be very low to the ground to have a chance of clearing gravel.

Do Lawn Sweepers Pick Up Dog Poop?

Yes. Most lawn sweepers can collect dog poop when it’s dry. But would you really want to pick up dog poop with your sweeper?

It’s a good practice to dispose of dog poop daily instead of waiting until you have to sweep the lawn. In addition, it would be more hygienic to scoop the poop with a shovel and poop bag instead of allowing it to smear over your sweeper.

If you mistakenly pick up dog poop in your lawn sweeper while sweeping, it is unlikely to damage the machine, but it’d be best if you washed the chute afterward.

Do Lawn Sweepers Pick Up Acorns?

Absolutely! Lawn sweepers are perfect for clearing acorns off your lawn, they are very effective. If you have a large sweeping oak tree in your yard, you’ll be familiar with how much debris can end up on your lawn.

The lawn sweeper will easily throw the acorns into the hopper with one pass, leaving the lawn looking pristine.

Do Lawn Sweepers Pick Up Walnuts?

Walnuts usually prove too heavy for push-behind lawn sweeper brushes to pick. The best option is to use a rake to gather the walnuts into a pile after you have taken one pass with your lawn sweeper. This will leave behind only the heaviest nuts.

Black walnuts can be messy; hence, we recommend that you wear gloves when handling them. You can also use an inexpensive and straightforward manual nut gatherer. Although using the machine may be time-consuming, it is easier and safer to use than a rake.

Do Lawn Sweepers Pick Up Gumballs?

Lawn sweepers can effectively pick up gumballs, but only if you adjust the height appropriately. Ensure you set the sweeper high enough to pass over the gumballs and low enough to pick them up. 

An alternative is to rake the gumballs into a pile and scoop with a shovel. You can also handpick them but ensure you’re wearing gardening gloves while doing so.

Do Lawn Sweepers Pick Up Leaves?

Your lawn sweeper is capable of picking and gathering leaves during the Fall, but the leaves must be reasonably dry to prevent them from sticking to the lawn in wet clumps.

Damp leaves cluster together just as grass clippings do and clog your lawn sweeper; therefore, try to sweep up large quantities of leaves on a dry day.

Sweeping up the leaves is not as easy as it sounds, so first, test your lawn sweeper on a patch of leaves-covered grass to determine whether it can manage the level of moisture in the leaves. It may be necessary to rake off the worst, before making a pass with your lawn sweeper.

Will A Lawn Sweeper Pick Up Apples?

No, lawn sweepers can’t pick apples because they are bigger and heavier than the brushes can handle. They do not have enough space clearance to hold an apple or any object of a similar size and weight.

Therefore, if you have fallen apples on your lawn, it’s best to handpick them before sweeping through with your lawn sweeper.

Will A Lawn Sweeper Pick Up Hickory Nuts?

Like walnuts, hickory nuts can be tricky for your lawn sweeper to handle effectively. I would not recommend using a lawn sweeper to pick up hickory nuts.

Or at least do not take it for granted that it will work. As with other small dense items, you can make a pass with your lawn sweep and anything left behind such as hickory nuts will need to be cleared with a garden rake.

Will A Lawn Sweeper Pick Up Thatch?

A lawn sweeper is a perfect machine for cleaning up your lawn after detaching. A lawn sweeper will pick up thatches, especially when they’re dry enough not to clog up in the brushes.

I recommend that you choose a dry day to pick up thatches off your lawn. Otherwise, a rake will be the ideal fallback option if you can’t wait.

Will Lawn Sweepers Pick Up Pine Cones?

Lawn sweepers are very effective for clearing pine cones, whether they are small or large, pine cones are very light and easy to sweep into the hopper.

As a general rule small dense items like gravel is a challenge for a lawn sweep, small to medium lightweight items are easy to sweep and throw into the hopper or sweeping bag.

Can You Use A Lawn Sweeper While Mowing?

Yes, using a lawn sweeper while mowing is possible, but you’ll need to have a rear discharge deck to make it work better. You may also need to modify the lawnmower with many new models having a right-hand discharge.

Still, it’s possible to use the lawn sweeper while mowing without modifying the lawnmower. But it would be best if you cut in a clockwise direction to minimize the number of passes you’ll need to make.

Can You Use A Lawn Sweeper with A Zero Turn Mower?

Zero-turn mowers can be fitted with a rear tow hitch, however, the load capacity they can pull will vary between models and manufacturers. Generally, they are equipped to tow up to 200lb.

A tow-behind lawn sweeper can weigh in the region of 100lb when empty, so a fully loaded sweeper could breach the manufacturer’s two hundred pound limit. I recommend you check your manufacturer’s warranty and cross-check that will the estimated total weight of your tow behind the lawn sweeper.

Do Lawn Sweepers Work on Uneven Ground?

Ideally, lawn sweepers are best suited for flat surfaces and not for uneven grounds. However, some lawn sweepers work flawlessly on uneven surfaces.

If your lawn isn’t a flat surface but has slight undulations or depressions across its surface, you should get good results.

However, if you intend to use the sweeper on the ground with notable fluctuations consider the brushes under the sweeper need to skim the lawn surface, any gaps will lead to the brushes failing to lift debris off the lawn surface, and any humps may halt the movement of the sweeper.

What Size Lawn Sweeper Do I Need?

Because lawn sweepers come in various sizes ranging between 21 inches and 50+ inches, you will need to determine your lawn size before deciding on the size of lawn sweeper to buy. Generally, if you have a big lawn, you should go for a large lawn sweeper.

Larger lawn sweepers make the lawn clearing faster and more efficient, the downside being a larger machine is more challenging to maneuver around your lawn.

What’s the Difference Between A Lawn Sweeper and A Bagger?

The main difference between lawn sweepers and a bagger is in their function. A lawn sweeper collects all sorts of debris from your lawn surface, from fallen leaves to acorns, while a bagger is an attachment for your lawnmower to gathers grass clippings, or sometimes as a hand-held leaf vacuum bagger.

Leaf vacuum baggers are hand-held and used for collecting leaves. They often have a built-in mulching function.

Do Lawn Sweepers Work?

So there we have it, I’ve given you a bunch of jobs that lawn sweepers can perform with excellent results. From picking up acorns to sweeping leaves, I think we have conclusively answered your question…do lawn sweepers work!