Dwelling

: Libman 24″ Multi-Surface Heavy Duty Push Broom

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I have a lot of outdoor areas to sweep: patios, walkways, sidewalks, and bits of an alley and a street ...

I have a lot of outdoor areas to sweep: patios, walkways, sidewalks, and bits of an alley and a street gutter. I need to gather up leaves, pine needles, pine cones, “berries” from laurels, misc. junk, and light snow.

I kept two wooden brooms outdoors to do this, but they had problems. The wide one’s brush-head broke in half when I tossed it aside once, and its bristles gradually came out. The narrow one’s threads deteriorated and the thread-nub broke off in the socket. (I used a drill & a pair of slanting screws to attach the remainder of the pole to the other socket.)

The construction of this wide push-broom from Libman is very superior. It has a bank of bristles that is three inches deep, quite dense, and embedded in a tough-looking resin that in turn is part of the brush-head. The pole and its socket are polypropylene, a stable artificial material. The pole is a single piece that is hollow and doesn’t weigh much. It has reassuring side braces that are lacking in the competitive O-Cedar & Weiler models. It captures more debris in one sweep than my other brooms do in two. What it doesn’t get on the push stroke, it mostly gets on the pull stroke. It looks sharp, and presumably it won’t “weather” the way my other brooms have. Its bristles are recycled. It’s made in the U.S. And the price is right: only $27 (and free shipping).

But it’s not perfect for everyone, as Amazon reviewers have noted. It’s not meant for really rough surfaces. (Libman sells a $35 broom for that purpose.) It’s not meant to pick up fine sawdust as efficiently as brooms with softer bristles. It’s not meant to push a lot of heavy, wet snow (its pole is not thick and has snapped under such stress). And it isn’t as wide (and sturdy?) as Libman’s high-priced, 36-inch “commercial” model. It’s a compromise, but it hits my sweet spot.

Its Amazon rating is only 4 stars on 63 reviews. But many of the 4-star reviewers were enthusiastic in their comments — it may be that they felt shy about rating it higher because, as one of them said, “it is hard to love a broom [so] unless it pushed itself I could not give it 5 stars.”

-- Roger Knights 08/2/17