The way your body needs food to survive, fertilizers are essential for your garden to blossom. But the even distribution of the compost can be difficult without the right set of tools.
Just the thought of lugging a heavy bag of fertilizers and spreading them only a handful at a time is enough to get you tired. In this situation, the best fertilizer spreaders may come in handy.
With a spreader, this tiring job becomes easy and effortless. Not only does this save time, but it also ensures that the goods are spread evenly throughout the garden.
So, without further ado, let’s dive straight into the list of fertilizer spreaders reviews and see which one you should buy for your garden. Our objective is to hit the sweet spot between affordability and value.
Table of Contents
- Reviews of the Best Fertilizer Spreaders 2020
- 1. Scotts 76565 Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader
- 2. Solo, Inc. Solo 421 Chest-mount Spreader
- 3. Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader
- 4. EARTHWAY Hand Crank Broadcast Spreader
- 5. Lesco High Wheel Fertilizer Spreader with Manual Deflector
- 6. Chapin 8620B Tow Behind Spreader with Auto-Stop
- 7. Craftsman CMXGZBF7124571 110-lb Tow Broadcast Spreader
- 8. Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader
- 9. Spot Spreader Hand Spreader Shaker for Seed
- 10. Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader with EdgeGuard Technology
- How to Choose the Best Fertilizer Spreaders?
- Types of Spreaders
- How to Use Fertilizer Spreader Correctly?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Q1. Can you spread grass seed with a fertilizer spreader?
- Q2. How do I calibrate my fertilizer spreader?
- Q3. Should I choose a drop spreader or broadcast spreader?
- Q4. Grass seed or fertilizer which one goes down first?
- Q5. How to protect my device from rust?
- Q6. Can you spread topsoil with a fertilizer spreader?
- Final Words
Reviews of the Best Fertilizer Spreaders 2020
With the vast range of options available these days, it is easy to get lost when searching for the best drop spreader suitable for your needs.
This fertilizer spreader review is aimed towards your needs so that you don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices.
1. Scotts 76565 Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader
- Type: Drop spreader
- Hopper Capacity: 32 pounds
- Weight: 12.6 pounds
This drop spreader is the best for you if you want to start using it immediately after purchase. All of the adjustments are made straight out of the box, and pre-calibrated settings are available, which saves you the time it takes to get started.
It has no assembly requirements, unlike the other gardening tools that you might find. So, it does not require any additional craftsmanship knowledge on your part.
The size of the hopper in this unit is substantial. You can spread seeds and fertilizers on an area of up to 10,000 sq. Ft. Due to the large hopper size; you can cover most gardens in about one or two runs at best.
Further, the 22-inch spread pattern in this device ensures maximum coverage with precise accuracy. You can spread the compost evenly without missing a spot.
This unit is very versatile that does not limit you to only fertilizer spreading. The material you put in the spreader can range from seeds to even lime if you need. The durability of Scotts 76565 is never in question. The construction of the frame is sturdy and can take abuse well. This product is meant to last a lifetime.
The Scotts drop spreader is a product that you can start using the moment you get your hands on it. It is affordable, versatile, and saves you a lot of time and energy. If you are on the market for an affordable fertilizer spreader that will last for a long time, this unit is definitely worth some consideration.
- Durable construction and affordable price
- 10,000 sq. Ft of coverage
- Ease of use
- Good value for money
- Handle height is not adjustable.
- The wheels do not have a good grip
2. Solo, Inc. Solo 421 Chest-mount Spreader
- Type: Handheld spreader
- Hopper Capacity: 20 pounds
- Weight: 6.75 pounds
The Solo 421-S is a super portable and compact handheld spreader. This particular model is one of the best of its kind. The shoulder strap provided with the unit is comfortable to have on for an extended period.
Not that you need it though, as, with this device, it is easy to spread fertilizer over a small to medium-sized garden in a jiffy.
The pattern of fertilizer distribution is widespread and consistent. The included dust cap offers protection to the operator against dust and chemicals when it is in use. Although the size of the device is small, the 20lb hopper capacity is pretty impressive.
The lubricated crank to operate the device works smoothly and doesn’t jam up. A fingertip control situated at the front of the product allows you to control the flow and direction of the spread.
Since it is a handheld spreader, you can access places where it is hard to reach with wheels. The gearbox in this unit is enclosed, making it resistant to corrosion and rust. This unit is a very reliable one and should last you a long time. The Solo 421 spreader is, no doubt a fantastic tool to have at your disposal.
- Handheld unit
- Large hopper capacity
- The gearbox is enclosed to prevent corrosion
- Includes dust cap for protection
- Extremely portable
- No left-handed model
- Some people don’t like the shape of the unit
3. Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader
- Type: Push-broadcast spreader
- Hopper Capacity: 130 pounds
- Weight: 6.81 pounds
The Agri-Fab spreader rewards those who know what they are doing. It does require some preliminary assembly knowledge but nothing too tricky.
If you can get through the setup process without much hassle, you will have one of the best push broadcast spreaders that is both durable and affordable.
This unit comes with a massive hopper capacity of 130 pounds that can cover an area up to a staggering 25,000 square feet.
That is about one-third of a city block. The control lever situated next to the handlebar allows you to control the flow of spread. You can fine-tune the amount of compost that you release.
The gearbox in the unit is covered, and the gears are made up of aluminum that resists rust and decay. The thick tires and handlebar grip allow you to traverse any terrain easily.
- Can travel rough terrains
- Massive hopper capacity
- Durable gears and enclosed gearbox
- Rate of flow can be adjusted
- Capable of spreading over a large area
- Requires assembly
- Flow shutter may sometimes get stuck
4. EARTHWAY Hand Crank Broadcast Spreader
- Type: Handheld broadcast spreader
- Hopper Capacity: 40 pounds
- Weight: 9 pounds
- Coverage: 2,000 square feet
Earthway spreaders are a known brand in the business of lawn or garden maintenance. The 3100 is a hand-cranked broadcast spreader that requires no assembly and is very simple to use.
There is a plethora of useful features to keep the consumer happy and satisfied with the product.
Firstly, the hopper is significantly larger than what you might find in a similar product. The size of the hopper allows you to cover a larger area without the need to refuel.
There is a rain cover installed on the system to enable you to use it in the rain. The product comes with Earthway’s trademark system to adjust the spread pattern specific to your needs.
The crank handle is smooth, and the epoxy coated steel body is sturdy and durable. The included instruction manual is clear, and you’ll also find a fertilizer rate calculator in the box.
All in all, this is an excellent purchase with all the essential features that you might need.
- Compact design
- Heavy-duty rain cover offers protection against rain
- Large hopper capacity
- Clear instruction manual
- High-quality gearbox and chassis
- The shoulder strap does not feel durable
- The product feels a bit heavy for a handheld spreader
5. Lesco High Wheel Fertilizer Spreader with Manual Deflector
- Type: Push-broadcast spreader
- Hopper Capacity: 80 pounds
- Weight: 44.1 pounds
Lesco fertilizer spreaders are high-quality tools that some consider being the best you can buy. The High Wheel Fertilizer Spreader by Lesco is no exception to this rule. Many professionals stick to this product because of its versatility and exceptional precision.
This industry-standard product is one of the best commercial fertilizer spreaders you can find on the market. The carrying capacity of the hopper is 80 pounds, which may not seem much at first sight.
But it can handle almost anything that you can throw at it including granular seeds. The tires are massive that can reach any location without any trouble.
You can adjust the handle to three different heights, and it has protection against rust. The adjustable handle allows users of any height to use it without any problem. This device is excellent, and experts will often vouch for its reliability.
- Excellent fertilizer holding capacity
- A highly versatile tool to have at your arsenal
- Massive tires that improve mobility
- Adjustable handlebar
- Used by professionals
- Expensive product
- Requires assembly before using
6. Chapin 8620B Tow Behind Spreader with Auto-Stop
- Type: Tow Behind broadcast spreader
- Hopper Capacity: 150 pounds
- Weight: 43.15 pounds
Chapin 8620B is one of the best tow behind fertilizer spreaders found in the market. It is a high-quality tool with decent carrying capacity and adequate ground coverage.
This one comes with an auto-stop feature which makes sure you don’t waste a single ounce of fertilizers but more on that later.
The large tires allow the unit to traverse large spaces with no trouble. This device can cover around 12 to 18 feet of ground at a time, which makes it an ideal tool for people with big lawns. By using this product, you save a lot of time and energy.
The storage capacity of the hopper is a staggering 150 pounds, and none of it goes to waste thanks to the auto-stop feature.
What that means is that the dual impellers present in the system stop spreading as soon as you bring the car to a stop. This feature alone makes this product worth every penny.
- Long-lasting and durable
- Flexibility in the spread pattern
- Prevents waste of fertilizer
- Easy to use
- Large hopper capacity
- Somewhat expensive
- Heavy device
7. Craftsman CMXGZBF7124571 110-lb Tow Broadcast Spreader
- Type: Tow behind broadcast spreader
- Hopper Capacity: 110 pounds
- Weight: 30.5 pounds
The craftsman tow behind broadcast fertilizer spreader deserves its place on this list because of its affordability and functionality.
As with other tow-behind spreaders, this is designed to be attached to the back of your tractor. The 10-inch wheel can cover big spaces smoothly, which makes the entire process swift and easy.
The large hopper has a capacity of 110 pounds. The spreader pattern is 10 feet wide that ensures that no space gets left out. Both the hopper and the rotary plate of the device is rustproof. Along with the heavy-duty gears installed, this is a very durable product.
The unit shines on extensive lands because of its size. And due to the large 10-inch wheels, uneven ground is also a non-factor.
This product is also very versatile as you can use it to spread insecticides, seeds, or even ice melt. For this reason, you can use it all around the year for different purposes.
- Built like a tank
- Affordable price
- Multi-purpose use
- Large carrying capacity
- High functionality
- Requires assembly
- May need some adjustments while making the connection
8. Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader
- Type: Mini walk-behind broadcast spreader
- Hopper Capacity: 20 pounds (approx.)
- Weight: 8 pounds
This unit is a fantastic Scotts mini broadcast spreader. After going through all of the massive products, the miniature size of this unit is refreshing. The edge guard technology of this product protects the spillage of materials on the sidewalk.
Do not let the small size of the device fool you; this baby comes packed with amazing features. Though meant to be used on smaller areas, it may be one of the best push broadcast spreaders out there.
The unit can hold approximately 5,000 square feet of lawn products without running into any capacity issues. You can use it with fertilizers, ice melts, or even grass seeds.
This product is fully assembled straight out of the box. The handle can be folded down to save space, making it the perfect option for your home garden or lawn. You don’t even need to worry about any calibration. Just take it out to your yard and have at it!
- Easy to store
- Very affordable
- Pre-assembled and calibrated
- Lightweight but durable
- Edge guard technology prevents material waste
- Suitable only for a small location
- Has some stability concerns
9. Spot Spreader Hand Spreader Shaker for Seed
- Type: Mini Handheld drop spreader
- Holding Capacity: 5 pounds
- Weight: 1.05 pounds
This product is a tiny little hand spreader that is deceptively useful. It is straightforward to use.
All you need to do is fill the container with fertilizer and shake it to spread it. The ergonomic design of the device and grip handle lets you hold it for an extended period without any strain.
Let’s get one thing out of the way. You can’t use it for a big project. But this is the perfect household item for anyone with a small garden in the backyard.
The holding capacity is only 80 oz., which is about 5 pounds. It requires no fitting, no calibration, and no assembly, which makes it the perfect companion for anyone.
The spreader also has several adjustable openings for the different types of material that you might use. Due to the small footprint, storing it is a simple task. Additionally, the manufacturers use high-grade materials which make it durable.
- Easy to use
- Easy to store
- Can use different materials
- Extremely light weight
- Ergonomic design
- Limited holding capacity
- Cannot cover anything bigger than a small lawn
10. Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader with EdgeGuard Technology
- Type: Handheld broadcast spreader
- Holding Capacity: 2500 sq. feet of product
- Weight: 2.1 pounds
To round up our top fertilizer spreaders review, we have another small and handy little tool called Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader. This mini device is a battery-operated hand spreader with a very innovative design.
It operates on 4 AA sized batteries. If you do plan on using the spreader regularly, it is better to get rechargeable ones.
This nifty tool is designed to be used around the year to spread, seed, and feed your small garden or lawn. Like its big brother, the Wizz also comes with edge guard technology with 5-foot broadcast spread to prevent unnecessary spillage.
There are 23 different settings integrated into the device to provide you with precision. This spreader can hold up to 2500 square feet of lawn care materials without any issue.
The application is simple, fill the container with the desired product, set the correct settings, turn on the edge guard, and begin walking over the lawn while pulling the trigger. Oh, and did we mention that it is durable too?
- Easy to use
- Battery operated
- Lightweight and portable
- Does not take up much space
- Might clog up with salt
- The trigger lock is difficult to use
How to Choose the Best Fertilizer Spreaders?
There are several different factors that you must consider when you are out looking for a fertilizer spreader.
Here are a few basic things that you must check before you make your final decision.
Your budget might be the most crucial driving factor behind your purchase. Your choice can’t exceed your budget when you are out shopping. Thankfully, low price does not necessarily mean low quality.
You need a product that does what you need it to do without burning a hole in your wallet.
There are many brands out there that make good cost-efficient spreaders. Scotts are a well-known brand in this regard. It might be worth checking them out if your budget is tight.
First off, you need to ask yourself what you plan to do with your fertilizer spreader.
Will you be using it in the backyard? How big is the area of application? Depending on the answer, you need a device that can cover that area with no trouble.
Fertilizer spreaders come in many shapes and sizes to accommodate different conditions. Figure out what your situation is. You don’t want to get a big tow-behind spreader for the lawn in front of your house.
No matter how much advertisement a product receives, if it does not perform well, it is not good. You should always test out the product in the store if you can.
If that is not possible, read up online about the product. Research as much as you can, look for the review of people owning this product, search the forums.
Leave no stone unturned in your search for the best fertilizer spreader.
The structure of a fertilizer spreader can range from small to big, depending on their intended purpose. As such, some may require assembly once you take them out of the box. This process requires some basic knowledge of how to use several tools.
If you are someone who is not turned off by the prospect of shifting through the instruction manual and piecing the device together, then you are fine.
However, if you do have a problem with this, you should look for one that does not require any assembly.
When you are getting a new product no matter what it is, sustainability is a focus point. You want your device to last you a long time and, in some cases, even a lifetime.
So, look at the materials used in the construction of the spreader. If the product seems flimsy, it is probably a wise idea to skip it.
In our fertilizer spreader review, we chose only the most durable products that feature high-quality materials in their construction.
These spreaders should last you for an extended period with no hassle of repairing if you maintain them properly.
Communication between the manufacturer or seller and the customer is just as important as the product. If the manufacturers and sellers don’t respond to your emails, it can often get frustrating.
The companies that try to build a relationship with their customers try to provide the best service.
A good customer response team can involve replacement or craftsmanship warranties, repair, or merely answering queries. Whatever it may be, fast and responsive customer service is always a plus point towards any manufacturers and their products.
Types of Spreaders
With innovations in the industry every day, we see many new spreaders reaching the market with many unique features and functions. Despite the different form factors, the main idea remains the same.
The delivery process of the fertilizer in a spreader, however, has not changed for a long time. Keeping that in mind, there are three main types of fertilizer spreaders found today.
These types of spreaders may be the most common and popular because of their widespread pattern.
They have a piece of metal or plastic fin rotating beneath the hopper holes that distributes the fertilizer as it passes scattering them when released. People also refer to them as a broadcaster.
Broadcast spreaders require some form of energy to ensure the rotating fin. In the handheld units, a hand crank attached to the gear allows you to spin the gear sending power to the disc. The speed of the distribution depends on how fast you are turning the crank.
In tow-behind models, this mechanism attaches itself to the wheel instead of a crank. So, when you drag the device, it spreads the fertilizers automatically and stops as soon as you bring the car to a halt.
Some models come with a 12v motor attached to facilitate power. These models come with an on/off switch or trigger.
We have covered several broadcast spreaders in our fertilizer spreader review. Each of them is good in their rights and can add value to your collection.
You should spend some time going through them if you decide on getting a broadcast fertilizer spreader.
Drop spreaders are pretty straight-forward and don’t come with many complicated features. They drop seeds or fertilizers while you walk with the device through the holes at the bottom of the hopper.
They don’t spread the contained material like a broadcaster as they don’t have any rotating fins attached.
This type of spreader requires open and even land space as you need to drop the seeds in a straight line with overlapping passes.
As you cover half of each line in a single pass, two passes are good enough. They can be used to spread uneven or grainy materials without fear of any clogging.
These devices are capable of covering many different sizes of land, depending on which one you get. Although they shine on more prominent areas, some models are made keeping a smaller household in mind.
There are two subtypes of a drop spreader; pull-along and push-along. Regardless of which one you get; the function of the device is the same.
One of the best drop fertilizer spreaders is the Scotts Turf Builder Classic. We have already covered it in our fertilizer spreader review above.
But as a refresher in case you missed it, The Scotts drop spreader has a big hopper capacity that is extremely versatile. Whether you have a large open field or a small yard at the back, this device will get the job done.
Liquid Fertilizer Spreader
This type of fertilizer spreader works by attaching a canister including an adapter nozzle to a hose.
Manure, a fast-dissolving mineral, is primary in the. When the hose is turned on, liquid fertilizer comes out of the open end of the tube.
This process is all fun when using it for a small backyard garden, but when it comes to fertilizing a big yard, it can become very tiring.
Many people use them as they are swift and effortless. They don’t require any assembly or application knowledge.
However, their inefficiency in even distribution and inaccuracy make them lackluster. Especially in comparison to “drop or broadcast” fertilizer spreaders.
How to Use Fertilizer Spreader Correctly?
Even the best fertilizer spreader will fall short of your expectations if you don’t use the device correctly. This guideline is made to give you a basic idea of what you should be doing while using a spreader.
Almost all new devices will come with some instruction manual. First thing you should do after your purchase is read it thoroughly.
Not only does it contain instructions on the product itself, but also, some basic knowledge on the amount of fertilizer you should use.
Calibration of the device is essential as it will determine the overall speed of the spread.
Your walking speed should be steady as you distribute the product. If you walk too fast, you risk missing a spot. Walk too slow, and you might have a more substantial concentration of compost in a single location.
Before making your run, sweep the area for any piece of garbage. Sometimes even a bit of plastic can get in the way of you and the soil. Make sure the surface of the ground is clean.
Another vital thing to note is that after each use, you should clean the spreader thoroughly. Some fertilizers can cause rust or malfunction if left on your device.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Can you spread grass seed with a fertilizer spreader?
In most cases, yes. Most fertilizer spreader allows you to use grass seeds, insecticides, or even ice melts.
However, if you are using a liquid fertilizer spreader, this may not be the case.
Q2. How do I calibrate my fertilizer spreader?
Any new fertilizer spreader comes with an instruction manual containing calibration instructions. A general guideline is:
- Calculate the amount of fertilizer needed per 100 square feet
- Place the amount in the spreader
- Mark the area
- Use this setting
Q3. Should I choose a drop spreader or broadcast spreader?
Both types of spreaders are suitable for what they do. There is no clear answer as to which one is better as both come with its perks.
Q4. Grass seed or fertilizer which one goes down first?
The order of application does not matter. You can spread the products separately one after another.
Q5. How to protect my device from rust?
You should practice cleaning your spreader regularly after every use. Some fertilizers can cause rust in the device and cause it to malfunction.
Q6. Can you spread topsoil with a fertilizer spreader?
With a drop spreader, you can distribute topsoil evenly in the lawn. However, due to the grainy nature of the material, it is better not to use a broadcast spreader.
In our best fertilizer spreaders reviews, we have covered devices that are both affordable and efficient.
We hope that you find this guide both illuminating and helpful the next time you are out maintaining your lawn. May you have a lush, green yard that brings you happiness. Happy gardening!