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Commercial sweepers are generally designed to pick up debris you would find in industrial type settings like workshops and warehouses. The versatility of some models allow for indoor and outdoor use, while other models are specifically designed for outdoor use to pick up litter, leaves, landscaping trimmings, and similar types of debris.

Sweepers can have a manually driven brush or have a vacuum motor. The manually driven models are great for outdoors because they do not require any power, other than human power. These types of units can be very beneficial as they can often completely eliminate the need for cleaning with a regular broom or push broom. Sweepers with a vacuum motor can vary on the type and size of debris they can pick up. However, they can generally be used just like other commercial vacuums and can accommodate a wide variety of surfaces.

When considering a sweeper it's important to evaluate the size of the area as well as the type of debris the unit will be used for. A sweeper with a vacuum function may be appropriate in areas that require a more thorough cleaning. Just like with other commercial vacuums, it's important to consider air watt or airwatt rating - a ratio of the airflow and water lift. The airflow and water lift are measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and inches of water (inH2O) respectively. Manufacturers use CFM to convey the strength of a vacuum, a higher CFM will move more air through the unit at a faster rate than a lower CFM unit. Water lift, also known as static pressure refers to the suction force. Airwatts can be expressed in the following formula:

(CFM x inH2O)/8.5 = Airwatt Rating

A commercial vacuum should have about 1000 airwatts in order to achieve a desirable cleaning outcome or include an adjustable brush that is either manual or automatic. 

Decision-makers should review the following considerations.

  • Space: Area(s) where the sweeper will be used. Is the unit appropriate for the size of the space and will there be obstacles or furniture to navigate?
  • Surfaces/Application: Type of surface(s) the sweeper will be used on. What material(s) will the unit be used on? Is the tank sufficient for the volume of material? Is the motor powerful enough to take care of the type of debris?
  • Users: The physical characteristics of the end-users. Is the unit adaptable to be used by different height users?  
  • Storage: The units will need to be stored somewhere. Is there storage space in an existing custodial closet?
  • Portability: The ease by which a user can get the equipment to the job site. Is there elevator access?
  • Maintenance: Ease of changing filters/bags. Is a special tool needed for regular field and daily maintenance?
  • Power: Access to power. Units can be corded, battery-powered, or manually powered. Are there outlets available? Is the cord long enough? Is the battery capable of lasting the entire shift/task on a single charge?
  • Noise and Vibration: Are noise or vibration an issue where the unit will be used? Are equipment operators exposed to hand-arm or whole-body vibration?
  • Testing and Feedback: Demo the product. What was the users’ feedback on the unit after trying in the work environment?

Recommended Sweepers

Mfr. & Model



Criteria Rating




Minuteman MPV-31


Powerful Suction with a Telescopic Wand. Indoor/Outdoor.

Ultra-powerful suction and equipped with a telescopic cleaning wand and folding handle for storage and transportation. This machine can be used on multiple surfaces both indoors and outdoors.

Lightweight, Versatile, and Durable. For outdoor use.

Manual belt/brush-driven unit that does not have a vacuum feature. Great replacement for sweeping by hand. Great for litter, leaves, grass, and other outdoor applications. Fold-down handle for transportation and storage.

UC Supplier

Waxie Waxie


CFM: 212

Water Lift: 63"

Airwatt: 1571"

Weight: 130 lbs

Cord: 75'

Decibel: 72 db

Cleaning Path: 30"

Attached Wand: Yes ♠

Removable brush: Yes

Brush Height Adj: Manual

Folding Handle for Storage: Yes ♠

Height-Adjustable Handle: No

Clean Close to Walls: Yes ♠

CFM: N/A ⚠

Water Lift: N/A ⚠

Airwatt: N/A ⚠

Weight: 57 lbs

Cord: Manual powered

Decibel: N/A

Cleaning Path: 26"

Attached Wand: No

Removable brush: Yes

Brush Height Adj: Manual

Folding Handle for Storage: Yes ♠

Height-Adjustable Handle: Yes ♠

Clean Close to Walls: Yes ♠


MPV-31 Website

MPV-31 Brochure

KleenSweep27 Website

KleenSweep27 Manual

Products are rated on a 5-star scale based on the Criteria Rating - ★
The product specification exceeds minimum UC Criteria - ♠
The product does not meet minimum UC Criteria - ⚠