Update: March 30, 2017.
I still like this sweeper and it has given me no problems so I feel I made the right choice. I use it to pick up wet grass, leaves, pine cone and pine needles. I leave the unit outside but store the bag/hopper part inside a storage shed. There is nothing to rust up on the unit and the galvanized pieces look like new.
I will say, DON’T buy a pull behind sweeper that costs less than $300. The $200-$275 models don’t hold up. The Ohio Steel 50 inch unit is also a heavy duty unit. Home Depot also has the best price on it right now.
I’ve been wanting a lawn sweeper for a while now and like many of you I had a hard time deciding which one was the best for me. I wanted a lawn sweeper instead of a bagger because I have both rear discharge and side discharge mowers that I own. I use the rear discharge mowers on the front lawn where I have lots of landscaping to go around and I use side-discharge mowers in the back where the area is more open. I didn’t want to buy baggers for both mowers. Plus I test other mowers.
When I went researching lawn sweepers I found that there were too many that did not give enough information for me to make a good decision with. I looked at the different Argi-Fab and Craftsman models. I couldn’t find an Ohio Steel or Brinly anywhere to look at.
I finally decided on the Agri-Fab 44 inch for two reasons. First, you can collapse it down to about the size of a push mower without using any tools. Second, I liked the sliding, adjustable hitch. I can offset it behind the lawn tractor for sweeping clippings from a side-discharge mower and the hitch can be adjusted to work on both a lawn tractor and an ATV.
I want to mention online reviews. Home Depot and Tractor Supply have a problem with their reviews! It appears they either using a “aggregate” program that goes out and searches for reviews on the Internet or they have the same people copying reviews from one site and just pasting those reviews on both sites. It makes a small common sense problem look like a huge problem with the item. I’ll talk about this more at the end of this review.
I then went shopping for the best price. Here is what I found:
Northern Tool: $349 plus $55 shipping. Agri-Fab Lawn Sweeper – 44in.W, 25 Cu. Ft., Model# 45-0492
Home Depot: $299 with free shipping. Agri-Fab Lawn Equipment Parts 44 in. 25 cu. ft. Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper 45-0492
Sears: $359 plus $60 shipping. 44 in. 25 cu. ft. Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper
Amazon: $359 with free shipping. Agri-Fab 45-0492 Lawn Sweeper, 44-Inch
My local Farm & Fleet and Tractor Supply also offered it for $329.
I ended up going with Amazon (mainly for their return policy and the fact I had a gift card to spend there)
Update: April 15. Spring has finally arrived and i have had a chance to use the sweeper. When my wife was cleaning out her landscape beds I asked her to throw the leaves and debris on the lawn. I then ran over it all with a mulching mower. I pulled the sweeper behind as I was chewing up the stuff and it picked up every single leaf!
I also tried it down in the pine grove and it did a great job of picking up oak leaves and pine needles. I filled the dump cart 6 times off a 100 by 125 ft area. It did great with small pines cones up to about 3 inches but the large 4-5 inch ones it would only pick about half of them up. The hopper holds a lot.
Enough writing. Enjoy the rest of the pictorial review!
It’s a good sized box. I used a 2 wheel hand cart to bring it out back.
The box is 92 lbs and was delivered by UPS. I watched the driver drag it around the truck and here is the result. On corner was torn. Looking inside the box though nothing was harmed.
The first thing I do is find the manual and go through it. What a surprise! No words – just pictures! Also no tools were listed. Come to find out you don’t need any tools at all. It goes together with wing nuts, pins and clips.
Agri-Fab did a great job of painting the metal. Every little corner and underside was powder coated well. No crack or spots were moisture can get in an allow it to pop off.
Most sweepers use four brushes. This Agri-Fab bristles are reinforced at the bottom. I didn’t check the gearing but it’s at least 9 to 1. It spins very freely.
Everything out of the box. It was only 30 degrees out so I brought the hopper inside the house to warm up. Did you notice the OLFA knife I used to open the box?
Front Hitch Installer. Loosen the two wing nuts and slide it wherever you want it.
I wanted to show you the bag latch without the spring. It heavy duty and I don’t the spring to ever pop out.
All the hardware is galvanized including the two springs
The frame goes together quickly with pins and clips.
I’m glad I let the hopper warm up in the house. The fabric is water proof and quite strong.
The hopper put together. This hopper is huge!
The hopper goes together quickly. The Velcro is good quality and everything is double seamed.
The back is vented so the dry leaves stay in the hopper. Just pull the two rods you see here and the bag collapses for storage.
Yes, that’s still snow. I am so tired of winter!
I’ll talk about that gauge in another picture. I was very surprised how easy it is to adjust. Just pull the know and move the black bar. You don’t need two hands to hold the sweeper while you adjust it.
One secret to making lawn sweepers work well. The hitch has to be level. When you change the pickup height you also have to change the hitch height.
The hitch on this sweeper has more adjustment than most. I can use it on a lawn tractor or an ATV.
Tipped half-way. It is balanced well. It tips very easily.
Tipped all the way. I like the rod better than a rope.
I’m ending this review with a little common sense training. A lawn sweeper is designed to pick up debris like grass clippings, pine needles etc. from the top of the lawn. It is not designed to dethatch the lawn or dig pine needles out of the dirt. This Agri-Fab sweeper has a convenient gauge that helps you easily adjust the sweeper so it picks up well but doesn’t break it. I expect this sweeper to last me a very long time.