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Brinly 42inch Lawn Sweeper Review

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Man Toys | Posted on 28-09-2006

Last year after purchasing our new home I spent 3 days during Thanksgiving raking and blowing leaves. I vowed then and there that I wouldn’t be doing again. Several weeks ago I achieved man hood by purchasing a John Deere Lawn Tractor. As a result, I started investigating lawn sweepers to assist me with removing leaves, pine straw (the worst thing mother nature ever created), sweet gum balls, pine combs along with twigs and small limbs out of my yard. I settled on the Brinly 42inch Lawn Sweeper. Here are the specs:

  • Series No. STS-42 LX Deluxe
  • Description Tow-behind Sweeper
  • Working Width 42″ Working width
  • Hamper Capacity 15 Cu. Ft. Capacity
  • Brushes (6) 11″ Diameter
  • Wheels & Tires 12″ x 3″ Bar tread
  • Bearings Shielded Roller
  • Reverse Freewheels in reverse
  • Storage Stores in a compact upright position
  • Warranty 2 Year limited

Putting it together – Score F

It takes about an hour to put the Brinly together, although it may take some 2-3 hours because of the extremely poor manual. You need 2 1/2 wrenches and 2 9/16 inch wrenches. During this stage I was upset to not find any documentation that was clearly labeled as “English”. Brinly is USA made but they seem to have put more effort into documenting things for other languages than English. WTF!? If it wasn’t for my extreme IQ and manliness, I would probably still be putting the dang thing together. Basically you just have to follow the pictures, no words of wisdom will be showered upon you in the manual for putting it together. Brinly can definitely do a better job in this area. Also, there are errors in the manual. Some items are labeled wrong in some pictures and even the pictures they drew aren’t clear. For the person who just spent $239 MSRP on their product, Brinly, you get a big fat “F“.

First Trial Run

After getting the Brinly together I hooked it up behind the John Deere. I started off really slow at first to see how things worked and even varied the speeds. My John Deere runs (according to the manual) about 5.5 miles per hour at full throttle (or wide open as they say in the South). The Brinly can by no means keep up at that speed because the brushes are turning so fast that it slings the leaves and pine combs over the top of the catcher. Speaking the catcher. It is pretty flimsy and I am not sure how long it will last. I had rather have seen them provide a canvas catcher instead of the thin plastic one they provided. Honestly though, leaves don’t weigh much so I understand a little as to why they chose to skimp on the catcher. But since you skimped out on the catcher, you could have put more time in the manual.

But Does it Work? – Score A

The sweet spot to pull the Brinly seems to be about 2-3 miles per hours, probably closer to 2.5 miles per hour. Anything any faster and your leaves will be thrown out of the catcher. After pulling the Brinly around the yard for 45 minutes my yard was starting to look green again. The Brinly does an excellent job and getting up and removing everything I wanted. As a matter of fact, the picture you see to the left is exactly my results. I was really surprised at how well it removed pine straw from the yard as well as twigs.

Broke After 45 Minutes – Score F

After about 45 minutes of going over the yard I was very pleased with the results. But then I turned around and noticed the adjust lever laying over the top of the unit. Aparently the screw worked loose that holds the spring in place on the adjuster. I looked around the yard, couldn’t find it (maybe it got swept up?). So after 45 minutes, I don’t have an easy way to adjust my unit. The way the spring mechanism works isn’t the best design I’ve seen. There is a bolt, washer, spring, screw. Since you can’t tighten the screw all the way (because it then compresses the spring to much and you can adjust the unit), I suspect this is going to be one of those things I will have to do constantly over and over and over. Either that, or do something else to make the screw stay. I had a few screws and washer left over after putting it together so I managed to get the adjuster back in place so I could continue on, but I had to tighten it all the way down and I couldn’t adjust it when going to dump. I called customer service to order another spring and stayed on hold for 30 minutes, only finally to have someone come on to tell me to leave a voicemail. So far it has been 2.5 hours later and no return phone call. Since Indiana is in the EST time zone and I am in Central, my guess is they’ve left for the day.

Conclusion – Score C

The manual is horrible and my unit broke after 45 minutes of use and the quality of the catcher is less than par. With that said though the unit does do what it claims to do and does it very well in my opinion. I know that if I hand raked my yard with a rake I would still be raking. Not on that but the Brinly is going to do a MUCH better job of getting leaves up along with everything else. The easy dumping mechanism of the Brinly is nice although don’t forget to put the rope back into the catcher, otherwise it will get caught up in the brushes (cough, cough, so I was told).”

Comments (21)

I’ve had a Brinley for about 5 years now, and it has been pretty good considering I leave it out in the weather. The wheels are badly out of line, I guess, because the wheels are plastic, not steel, and the steel axle has worn away the plastic inside the wheel. Because they are mis-aligned, the wheel gears do not mesh properly, and I have had to order new wheels.
I believe it to be a relatively good product, but it could be greatly improved at little expense to the manufacturer.

Lots pd luck   same probleum    can not fine parts

I hope yours works for years but don’t hold your breath. Mine did to. It is junk. I am a mantanence guy and fix and repair things all the time. I’ve taken this thing apart and can’t believe how cheap it’s drive is.

went through 5-6 lawn sweepers in about 15 yr’s, not to good of a average, From agi-fab, 3 different models, all of them crap! same with ohio steel. Last one I had was a Ingresoll (chase) lawn sweeper 38″..the best one EVER. the wheels, rims where made out of aluminum, and the gear set-up was “cut” or machined right into the rim itself. I bought it second hand, paid 150.00 for itI got three and one half yrs out of it. looking for a new one, with some kind of metal rims. any help out there   

You should be able to find their number on their web site. I’ve called them in the past with great success.

Have had my Brinley for about two years and have the same problem that others have had with the wheel locking up.
Hopefully i can get the correct part replacement
If anyone can send me the phone number
I would appreciete it.

I bought a year old Brinly from my neighbor to replace my 10 year old Sears. What a mistake. The gears in the Brinly are all worn out and I can’t seem to find anywhere to buy new ones so I can junk it. My trash men are pretty picky. It’s not good enough to throw out the way it is.

I bought the Ohio Steel 42 inch lawn a couple of years ago, what a mistake. The axles turn in a nylon bushing and the gear in the wheel is composite and wears quickly after the nylon bushings start to wear. I went through 2 sets of wheels at $57 and it is broken again. I am looking for a chain drive brush on the next one.

I just finally took my Brinly to the dump.
2 years after I bought it the gears disintegrated. Brinly sent me replacements free. They told me however they were doing me a favor. Now about a year and a half later, the wheels would lock up and the brushes stop. That’s it! Don’t buy one of these. I wish Haban Manufacturing was still in business. They made real equipment.

Same problem as many others reported. My sweeper is two years old. Always worked beautifully. At the start of this pine needle and oak leave season; not so good. The wheels seem to turn well enough occasionally but not much gets swept. Sometimes if I lift either wheel off the ground and turn it, the brushes fail to turn.

I have read several comments that the Brinly documentation for the sweeper was terrible, bad, horrible, etc. I can only assume that since the time those reviews were written and when I bought my 42″ sweeper last week that Brinly must have put a lot of effort into improving them. Because if the instructions and packaging I read were the same as the negative reviews then those people had no business holding a wrench! 🙂 Seriously though, Brinly must have upgraded their documentation because between the well printed instruction manual and the carefully laid out parts packaging (parts separated in a step-by-step blister package) I had no trouble assembling the sweeper in under an hour, and that included the installation of the optional dethatcher attachment.

Now let me tell you how well it works – fantastic. It took me a few passes to get the dethatcher and sweeper set to the correct height for my lawn, but once I did the amount of stuff it raked up and then swept up was amazing. I used this for the first spring lawn clean up and cut and when I was done I was flat amazed at how good my lawn looked.

Downside? If I had to find a downside it would be that the thing does such a good job sweeping up yard trimmings, leaves, twigs, etc. that you end up having to empty the bin pretty frequently and that is a bit of a hassle. Not so much a design flaw but it can be difficult to ride off the lawn and find somewhere to dump the very frequent loads. It really is amazing the amount of crud you have been leaving on your lawn.

I have read a few reviews were people said the unit didn’t last long. I will have to wait to see for longevity, but for right now I couldn’t be happier with the Brinly 42″ lawn sweeper.

I have a Brinly-Hardy 42 in. Lawn sweeper and I was just using and the wheels locked up and the plastic piece of @#$% gears broke (should be metal. What do I do to get new gears and what will they cost?

I’ve been wondering how these compare to a product that I carry, the Ohio Steel 42 inch lawn sweeper (tow model). I’ve had some customers switch brands but no one could really tell me any comparision information. Has anyone had experience between the two?

Has anyone used an Ohio Steel lawn sweeper as compared to one of these? Unfortunately I can’t find much information online (for a comparison) and I get mixed signals about Brinly from my customers that I talk to.

worked well for 2-3 years then stopped picking up. They sent me new pinion gears free. Took a half hour to put them in but I did have a split washer/retainer remover…most wouldn’t. Works like a charm again. I’m impress with Brinly’s customer service..had the parts in 3 day. Beats raking!

I purchased a Brinly 42″ sweeper and have used it for 2 years. Toward the end of last year, the gears started to slip and the wheels began to lock up. After looking at the gears between the wheels and the brush axles, I cannot figure out why they are slipping and binding. There seems to be something inside the smaller gear housing that has either worn out or become loose. I any case, I may try calling their support line once I find it and see what happens. I get the feeling I will be purchasing a different model soon. This Brinly cost me $225 new and I though it was going to last a lot longer than this.

I purchased a 48″ lawn sweeper from EZ Outlet at http://www.ezoutlet.net and it has been a very good product so far. I used it during the summer after mowing and during the fall to clean up the leaves. It does require about 45 minutes to assemble but from my experience it works very well. It is manufacuted by HDC therefore it is not as expensive as and agri-fab or craftsman but still good quality. Plus they have free shipping on all their products. It cost me about $100 less then a craftsman. I believe it only cost me about $200 and that was including shipping. May be worth looking into.

I would just call Brinly and order the parts. I ordered a part for mine awhile back, wasn’t a problem.

where do you get the brushes for the sweeper?

I was pretty happy with my Brinly 42″ lawn sweeper until last fall. I must have collected too much damp grass. When taking a corner on a slight grade hill the wheel popped off and may have bent the axel slightly. (I also lost a couple of parts – E washer and washer). Now, the wheels remain locked about 80-90% of the time. So, it no longer functions. I just sent Brinly an email – we’ll see how long it takes to respond. I don’t think I an wait and will probably head out soon to purchase a new sweeper. I guess I’ll have to be more careful this time.

After a winter of use I have to say the Brinley is holding up well. I used it pretty heavily this past year and the brushes are holding up well under heavy use.

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