Essentially, lawn sweepers and baggers do the same job – they clean up your lawn. However, there are some important differences in terms of how they work, what types of debris they can clear up, and the types of lawn conditions they work best in.
Depending on your yard and specific gardening needs, one will deliver better results than the other, so it’s important to go through these differences carefully before you buy.
In this article, we look at the lawn sweeper vs bagger for leaves to explore these differences in detail, as well as give you great reviews of the best models to buy, tips and advice on how to use them, and more, so you get the best tools for lawn care!
What is a Lawn Sweeper?
A lawn sweeper, also called a leaf sweeper, is a mechanical piece of equipment that you can push or pull across a lawn. As you work, the soft, rotating brush sweeps up lawn debris and gathers them into a hopper bag attached to the sweeper.
Lawn sweepers are ideal for removing grass clippings, leaves and twigs, pine needles, other organic debris and even litter. Because the brushes are quite soft, they don’t damage the lawn, and they are often used in large yards, parks, county fairs, orchards, campgrounds, paddocks and wedding venues to create a clean, pristine space.
You can read our reviews of the best lawn sweepers on the market here.
What is a Lawn Bagger?
A lawn bagger is an accessory that you attach to your lawn mower. As the mower clips the grass, it discharges it into the lawn bagger for easy collection.
There are tow-behind lawn baggers that have their own wheels, but these tend to be quite large and can make turning your mower difficult, unless you have a large lawn and a riding lawn mower.
Lawn Sweeper vs Bagger – What to Consider
Here are the most important things to consider before you buy either of these lawn clearing tools.
1. The Size of Your Lawn
If you have a smaller lawn that takes about 30-60 minutes to mow, then a lawn bagger is usually the better option. An average-sized bagger won’t get full too often with a lawn this size, and it allows you to mow and clear away clippings at the same time.
A lawn bagger is usually more compact and easy to maneuver too, so it’s a good choice if your lawn has hard-to-reach areas or obstacles you need to get around.
If your lawn is 1 acre or larger, a lawn sweeper is generally a good choice, especially if you can get a tow-behind model that attaches to a riding mower.
Rather than having to detach and empty a bagger repeatedly, the lawn sweeper offers more capacity and makes the job of maintaining your lawn much easier.
2. The Types of Debris
Lawn sweepers are more heavy-duty than lawn baggers, and they’re able to clear up fall leaves, thicker grass clippings, straw, pine needles and even litter and dry manure with ease.
If your lawn gets relatively minimal debris on it through the year, then a lawn bagger is the better choice. If you struggle with heavy fall leaves and other organic matter, then a lawn sweeper is going to be much more effective.
3. Wet Grass
It’s advisable not to mow your grass in wet conditions, and both a lawn bagger and a lawn sweeper will tend to struggle when the grass and debris are wet.
However, if it’s essential that you clear your lawn in wet conditions, then a sweeper will be more effective than a lawn bagger, as it is more powerful and does not clog up as easily.
Different Types of Lawn Sweeper and Lawn Baggers
There are 3 different types of lawn sweepers designed for different applications. These are:
Push lawn sweepers are easy and very light to use. They are also quiet since there is no noise that is coming out of noxious fumes and engine.
The good thing is that it does not need a lot of maintenance. All you have to do is to ensure that the bearings are lubricated regularly.
This type of lawn sweeper is perfect for small debris but not for wet materials and massive clumps. They are also equipped with small hoppers, which makes it ideal for smaller lawns.
Power Lawn Sweepers
Power lawn sweepers, also known as grass lawn sweepers, are powered by gas or electric. This type of sweeper can help clean areas that are large.
Typically, they come in shredding device which will contribute to reducing the volume of debris. Power lawn sweeper will also assist in getting rid of the debris much easier.
This type of lawn sweeper is self-propelled, which means that it can push itself on the lawn. The brush, on the other hand, is motorized and can help pick up large debris.
One problem that gardeners might encounter is that it can be hard to maneuver due to its weight.
Tow Behind Lawn Sweepers
Tow behind lawn sweepers is perfect for gardeners that have the ability to handle debris in large capacities. It is also perfect for huge lawns because they have a ride on mowers or tractors attached.
Attachments are also available, which will help make things done easier for you. This type of lawn sweeper is known to have a bigger hopper capacity, which makes it efficient in commercial and large lawns.
In contrast, there is only one type of lawn bagger – a bag attachment that fits onto your lawn mower and collects clippings as you mow. However, they do differ in terms of capacity, size, material and some have wheels for additional support.
When buying a lawn bagger, always make sure that:
- It is compatible with your brand of lawn mower.
- It is the right size for your lawn, so you don’t have to empty it too often as you work.
- It is made of durable, hard-wearing materials.
- It is easy to clean.
Check out available grass baggers on Amazon.
The Best Lawn Sweeper Reviews of 2021 – Read full reviews here.
When Should You Use a Lawn Sweeper?
A lawn sweeper is a great option if you are maintaining a large lawn of 1 acre or more, if you have to regularly deal with pine needles, heavy fall leaves, acorns, and other debris, and if you have to maintain your lawn in wetter conditions.
Can You Use a Lawn Sweeper While Mowing?
This depends on what model and type of lawn sweeper you buy. In order to use a lawn mower and lawn sweeper at the same time, you’ll need a riding mower with rear discharge capabilities.
This will allow the sweeper to work while you cut the grass, collecting clippings, leaves and other debris for composting or removal.
What Will a Lawn Sweeper Pick Up?
A lawn sweeper will pick up twigs, grass clippings, acorns, pine needles, and other litter from your lawn. They are also used to sweep up gravel and aeration plugs after you have aerated your lawn, and in parks and on farms, they’re used to clear away animal droppings and dry manure.
It has soft bristled brushes that rotate to pick up debris as you push or pull the sweeper over the grass, so it doesn’t damage the lawn below. It is easy to use, much faster and more efficient than raking your lawn manually.
Will a Lawn Sweeper Pick Up Wet Leaves?
It’s not recommended that you use a lawn sweeper to pick up wet leaves or grass. However, it will still work, although you may have to run it over the area a few times in order to properly clear the lawn, as the wet debris is quite heavy to remove. The sweeper may also get clogged as you work.
Is a Lawn Sweeper Better Than a Rake or Leaf Blower?
Yes. This is because they work more efficiently and require less manual labor than raking your lawn manually, and they automatically collect up the leaves and debris into a catchment bag, unlike a leaf blower or rake.
If you suffer from back pain, have a high maintenance yard or simply want to make this job easier, then a lawn sweeper is going to make a big difference in getting this job done each week.
Lawn Sweeper vs Bagger – Getting the Right Equipment for Your Yard!
So, now you know everything there is to know about lawn sweepers and baggers, including how to choose the right equipment for maintaining your yard.
Remember, a lawn bagger is simply an attachment for your mower that will collect grass clippings as you work, while a lawn sweeper is a separate piece of equipment that’s specifically for clearing lawns of everything from grass clippings and leaves to acorns, pine needles and animal droppings.
In terms of getting a lawn sweeper vs bagger, which will work best for you depends on your lawn cleaning needs, the size of your lawn and whether you need to clear your lawn even if it’s wet, so be sure to take this into account when you go shopping!