Lawn care, Lawn Sweepers

Lawn Sweeper vs Bagger: Comprehensive Comparison & Best Models in 2024

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by Bryan Mckenzie

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Home » Lawn care » Lawn Sweepers » Lawn Sweeper vs Bagger: Comprehensive Comparison & Best Models in 2022
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Lawn sweepers and baggers are both modern and effective cleaning tools for your garden, but there are several crucial differences that you have to consider while choosing between the two. I’m a huge gardening fan, so I’ve tested both options while expanding my yard. I know the ropes, and I want to share it with everyone who enjoys gardening routines too.

The main difference between a lawn sweeper and a bagger is that lawn sweepers are independent mechanical tools that collect grass clippings and leaves. On the contrary, baggers are dependable non-mechanical attachments that serve only as storage for clippings left by classic and riding lawnmowers.

In this article, you will find all the facts needed to choose lawn sweeper or bagger and detailed reviews of the best models of both tools’ types. Want to know how to make your lawn clean? Read on!

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Lawn Sweeper vs Bagger

Lawn Sweeper vs Bagger

How does a lawn sweeper work? It’s a relatively simple mechanical tool that’s designed to help you remove the debris from your lawn much faster. You can use them to get rid of grass clippings and twigs after trimming, fallen leaves, pine needles, and even litter on paved areas.

The rotating brush inside the sweeper moves the debris into a large bag on the backside of the trolley, which makes it easy to throw them away when the job is done. Some models can be attached to garden tractors and riding lawnmowers that don’t have an interface for bagger connection.

A grass bagger isn’t as independent and doesn’t include a special mechanism for collecting debris. Instead, an average pull behind grass bagger is used as an attachment to classic lawnmowers and riding lawnmowers.

The grass you cut and other debris are deposited to the pull behind lawn bagger through the collection chute by the airflow created by the mower blades. Now, let’s figure out which one you need. All you need to do is to answer just three questions for that.

What Is the Size of Your Lawn?

Choosing between a lawn sweeper or bagger for leaves and other debris, you must first consider the size of your lawn. If you can mow the area in roughly 30-70 minutes, then an average-size bagger is a good choice. You can attach it to your riding mower to remove the clippers simultaneously with cutting.

If you don’t plan to purchase such a mower model, you can try a compact mechanical lawn sweeper. There are models that you can simply push in front of you to collect clippers, leaves, and other debris. If your yard isn’t densely covered with debris, you don’t need a large container.

Lawn Bagger

If the number of fallen leaves, pine cones, or tall grass is large, consider solutions that are big enough to let you avoid frequent disposals, but maneuverable enough for your garden size.

For large lawns, I recommend you to look for a pull behind leaf bagger or an extended attachable bagger to achieve enough capacity. The math here is quite simple. You should buy the first type if your yard is large enough for maneuvering, and you want to minimize the number of discharges. The second type is better if the location is big enough, and you can ride around freely.

Is the Grass Wet?

No matter what type of debris collector you choose, it will suffer if you try to use it on wet grass. I don’t recommend you do it if you value your time. However, sometimes it’s impossible to choose another day, especially in rainy regions. In such a case, a lawn sweeper vs bagger contest winner is a lawn sweeper as it offers the best ability to pick up wet grass and debris.

Leaf picker upper lowes usually clog if you try to collect wet clippings, so it’s not the best solution for sure. At the same time, a pull behind sweeper bagger will work well if it has a sweeper mechanism. Choosing between a lawn sweeper vs bagger for leaves that are wet, always take a sweeper.

What Debris Are There?

Both baggers and sweepers are perfect for grass collecting. But if your yard can be covered with an assortment of debris, such as leaves, twigs, pine cones, etc., you should look for a sturdy sweeper that can deal with a large amount of this stuff. If an assortment is high, but the amount is low, a bagger can do well too.

By the way, you should also learn solutions for getting rid of collected leaves and grass.

Lawn Sweeper & Bagger Types

lawn bagger

It’s also highly important to see the difference between the types of each tool as it may play a crucial role. Here’s a list of main types with descriptions for you to remember. I also recommend you learn the sweepers guide for proper use. Let’s start with sweepers:

  • Tow-behind lawn sweepers (pull behind sweeper bagger) – good for large territories and can be attached to a vehicle.
  • Push lawn sweepers – it’s a manually-powered trolley for average gardens with
  • Powered lawn sweeper – this device is similar to the previous, but it’s much larger and has motored wheels to simplify operation.

As for baggers, there are just too many types of them to describe here. The most common type, which I use, is an attachable bagger for riding mowers, though. You can find the reviews of my favorite models below.

In this section, I provide my detailed experience-based reviews of lawn sweepers and baggers. Fortunately, all of them are still in production and usually in stock on top online marketplaces. Each review includes a description of features and usage recommendations.

3 Best Lawn Sweepers

Let’s start with lawn sweepers. Considering the average American yard size (and the size of my lawn too), I’ve tested only medium and mid-large options. Here are the three best of them.

1. Agri-Fab 45-0492 Lawn Sweeper – Best Medium Pull Behind Grass Catcher

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This 44-inch pull behind sweeper bagger is manufactured by the trusted US-based brand, Agri-Fab. The company operates an immense manufacturing facility in Sullivan, Illinois, and makes some of the most popular tools.

Their lawn sweeper has medium dimensions and carries up to 25 cubic feet of clippings, which is enough to cover up to clean large lawns. You can easily adjust the height, using the lever with indicators that make it easier to choose the proper height. By the way, the gear ratio is also adjustable so that you can sync the brushes with your average speed.

The dump lever on the top is long enough for you to discharge the sweeper without the need to leave your seat on the tractor. Just pull it and continue cleaning right away. When the job is done, you can fold the device to make it several times smaller and hide in the garage.

ADVANTAGES
  • Sturdy mechanism;
  • Compact foldable design;
  • 25 cubic feet bag capacity;
  • Easy-discharge lever;
  • Adjustable height and gear ratio.
DRAWBACKS
  • The ratchet gear may start jamming if brushes don’t rotate in one direction.

2. Ohio Steel 42SWP22 Sweeper Spiral Brush – Best Quick Pull Behind Leaf Collector

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Using this sweeper by the US-based Ohio Steel Industries, you can collect up to 22 cubic feet of debris with ease. It has a heavy-duty collector and a patented 42-inch sweeping spiral for quicker cleaning.

Although it can gather stuff faster than the previous model, you may have to discharge it a bit more often as the size of the collector could be a bit large for such a powerful collecting path. At the same time, the chute width (9”) is just perfect and minimizes the probability of clogging.

The hitch of the tool is designed to fit all tractors and riding mowers. You can easily add and remove plates to adjust it. Similarly to the previous machine, you can discharge it without leaving your seat, but there’s no solid lever for that. Instead, you have to pull a rope, which is not as comfortable and requires some practice. I recommend this model for quick cleaning of medium lawns.

ADVANTAGES
  • Spiral brush with wide collecting path and chute;
  • Sturdy construction;
  • Five hitch types supported;
  • Rope-pull discharger.
DRAWBACKS
  • Could have a larger bag.

3. Brinly STS-427LXH-A 42″ – Best High-Velocity Sweeper

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For over 170 years, Brinly has been creating high-quality gardening tools for the US market and export. STS-427LXH has one of the best brushes and high brush-to-wheel ratio, which makes the process notably faster.

This model has the quickest height adjustment lock that makes it impossible for the lever to change its position even on uneven lawns. In combination with an increased brush to ground contact, you get a rather high cleaning speed.

I also like the compact design and sturdy construction of this tool. In addition, the manufacturer offers 2 years of warranty, so that you can be sure to get a new one if something goes wrong.

The only minus of this model is that there’s no dumping lever in the package, so you have to make it on your own. I used a rope for that. And what does a lawn sweeper do when you don’t need it? It folds to become small enough for convenient storing!

ADVANTAGES
  • High brush-to-wheel ration for quick operating;
  • Two-year warranty;
  • Convenient height adjustment lever with a lock;
  • Six high-velocity brushes.
DRAWBACKS
  • No dumping lever for discharging.

3 Best Baggers

Now, take a look at the best baggers that I’ve ever had. There are 2 actual baggers and 1 replacement element on the list for your convenience.

1. Poulan Pro Soft-Sided Grass Bagger – Best Average-Size Bagger

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If it’s not the first article you read on my blog, you probably already know that Poulan Pro is a reliable sub-brand of Husqvarna. Buying their grass bagger, you can be sure that you won’t have problems. This bagger perfectly fits most models of riding lawn mowers manufactured from 2006 and later.

The list of compatible manufacturers includes Agway, Ryobi, Weed Eater, Ariens, Southern States, Murray, and, of course, Husqvarna, Craftsman, and Poulan. Unfortunately, zero-turn mowers aren’t compatible. It fits all 46-inch decks without the necessity to look for adapters.

The large non-clogging cute is made of sturdy polymer with a steel frame inside. It’s very easy to attach and detach the soft bags for unloading as they have large handles on both sides of frames. The bags are also easy to clean and store as they are foldable. I recommend you install this set if you have one of the aforementioned vehicles, and your yard isn’t too large.

ADVANTAGES
  • Fits all 46” decks;
  • Compatible with all popular vehicles;
  • Easy to unload;
  • Sturdy steel frame and poly shell;
  • All required hardware included.
DRAWBACKS
  • Incompatible with vehicles bought prior to 2006.

2. Poulan 3 Bin Soft-Sided Grass Bagger – Best Capacious Solution

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Here is one more bagger made by the same manufacturer, but it’s 50% larger than the standard model. The 54-inch frame is compatible with lawnmowers and gardening tractors by Husqvarna and Poulan Pro. I tested this one on Husqvarna YTH24V54, and it was quite easy to install and start working. Still, it’s quite heavy, and you’ll need someone’s help for sure. Unloading of three bags will also take some time, but the capacity is really worth it.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to use it with the same variety of vehicles as the 42” model, but if you have a compatible deck, get this bagger, and you will be happy to have such a large capacity.

ADVANTAGES
  • Mounting and usage hardware included;
  • Large chute (low-clogging);
  • Triple bin deck for large yards.
  • Easy to unload.
DRAWBACKS
  • You’ll need help for installation;
  • Not for zero-turn mowers.

3. Husqvarna Soft Grass Catcher Bag – Best Reusable Bagger Soft Bag

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Being a mother company of Poulan and some other major brands, Husqvarna manufactures some of the parts for many of their products and vice versa. This soft grass catcher bag is compatible with all baggers by Husqvarna, Craftsman, Poulan, and Poulan Pro.

You can use it with both 42” and 54” models that I’ve mentioned above. If you have decks by other brands, it probably won’t fit, but you can find adapter kits on Amazon if there’s no other choice. These bags are perfect for certified baggers, and there are no analogs for the same tool models.

ADVANTAGES
  • Sturdy soft mesh bags;
  • Easy to fold and store;
  • Easy to detach the bag from the frame;
  • Compatible with certified baggers.
DRAWBACKS
  • Difficult Assembly;
  • Stalls in Extreme Cold.

Ready to Choose

That’s pretty much everything you need to know about both tools to be able to make a well-considered choice. Remember that these machines are designed for specific purposes, so you shouldn’t expect to get something more from them. Make sure that you know exact purposes before purchasing one or another.

Have you already used any tools from my review? Did you find them helpful? Your experience is valuable to my readers and me, so you’re welcome to leave a line in the comments. I can answer your questions there as well. For more reviews and tips, keep reading our blog, and subscribe to our newsletter.

About
Bryan Mckenzie
Hi there — my name is Bryan McKenzie. Before I’d got into gardening, I worked as a landscape designer at landscape design and consultation company in Jacksonville. I enjoy sharing the vast gardening experience I’ve accumulated throughout the years with like-minded green thumbs. Read more about me and my wife.
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