Skip to Content

Best Broadcast Spreaders 2023: a Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

best broadcast spreader reviewsYou’re prepared for that perfectly manicured lawn this season, but your trusty hand spreader just won’t cut it for fertilizing thousands of square feet. Upgrade to a broadcast spreader and ditch the backbreaking work of hand-spreading fertilizer across expansive yards.

We’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing the right broadcast spreader by testing the top models on the market. Our buying guide outlines the key factors—like spread width, precision, and ease of use—to help you pick the best broadcast spreader for your needs.

Whether you need to prep football fields, rake fairways, or fertilize your own estate grounds, we’ll steer you toward the heavy-duty broadcast spreaders built to stand up to serious lawn care.

With the right broadcast spreader, you’ll gain the power to spread quickly and evenly for picture-perfect turf.

Dreaming of a flawless lawn but dreading the chore of fertilizing thousands of square feet by hand? This season, take control and make quick work of fertilizing, seeding, and maintaining expansive yards with a broadcast spreader.

We took the top broadcast spreaders for a test drive on yards both massive and modest. Ahead, discover which heavy-duty models stood up to fertilizing football fields and fairways while still handling residential lawns with precision.

Whether prepping grounds or caring for your own estate, our detailed ratings reveal the broadcast spreaders that excel at even coverage across large areas.

With the right broadcast spreader, you’ll gain the precision and power needed to spread efficiently and nurture pristine turf.

Key Takeaways

  • Scotts Turf Builder Mini is a portable spreader with pre-calibrated settings for even distribution.
  • Tow-Behind spreaders are ideal for heavy-duty use and can cover up to 1/2 acre per fill.
  • Chapin Professional and Lesco High Wheel spreaders offer durability with stainless steel and enclosed gears.
  • Brinly Tow-Behind spreader is a 2-in-1 aerator and broadcaster for added convenience.

Top 5 Best Broadcast Spreader Reviews

Whether you have a small yard or acres of land to fertilize and seed, a quality broadcast spreader makes applying materials fast and even across your lawn. Top choices like the Scotts Turf Builder for tight spots, Tow Behind model for big coverage, Chapin and Lesco heavy-duty spreaders, and the multi-tasking Brinly combination aerator-spreader all deliver excellent features like large capacities, precise distribution, rugged construction, and easy calibration for the seed, fertilizer, or ice melt you need to spread.

Scotts Turf Builder Mini Broadcast Spreader Holds 5000 Square Feet

Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard MiniView On Amazon
You’ll love this mini spreader for spot treating your small lawn areas. With a hopper capacity to cover up to 5,000 square feet, this little workhorse allows precise application on patches of grass, trouble spots, or small yards.

The pre-calibrated settings and redesigned agitator ensure smooth, even coverage every time.

Throw in the fold-down handle, EdgeGuard technology to control overspray, and compatibility with Scotts’ products, and you’ve got an affordable, portable powerhouse perfectly tailored to micromanaging your lawn.

  • Compact size for small areas
  • Pre-calibrated for easy setup
  • EdgeGuard prevents product waste
  • Folding handle for storage
  • Works with Scotts grass products
  • Only treats up to 5,000 sq ft
  • Meant for Scotts brand products
  • Not ideal for large lawns

Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader 130 Pound

Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow BehindView On Amazon
You can easily spread seed or fertilizer across your mid-sized yard by pulling this heavy-duty 130-lb tow-behind spreader. Its large capacity rust-proof poly hopper and sturdy steel frame allow you to cover up to half an acre in one fill.

Smoothly glide over your lawn thanks to the spreader’s pneumatic tires. Adjustable openings give you total control over spread width and pattern. Direct connect rods ensure precise coverage. Simply hitch this spreader to your tractor or ATV and drive to broadcast a 10-12 foot swath.

The universal hitch and easy calibration make spreading fast and foolproof. Forget push spreaders that limit your reach – upgrade to this tow model and efficiently fertilize or overseed your entire property.

  • Large 130 lb capacity
  • Covers 1/2 acre per fill
  • Pneumatic tires for smooth transport
  • Adjustable spread width and pattern
  • Rust-proof poly hopper
  • Some assembly required
  • Not for small lawns
  • Hitch required for use

Chapin Professional Spreader 80 Pound Capacity

Chapin International Inc. 8401C ChapinView On Amazon
With an 80-pound capacity, the sturdy stainless steel Chapin Professional spreader allows for efficient coverage of large areas. Its heavy-duty build and fully adjustable settings provide versatile spreading for the landscaper or groundskeeper.

The large hopper, pneumatic tires, and enclosed gears mean this spreader is ideal for making quick work of fertilizing or seeding sizable lawns. Grease fittings enable low-maintenance operation, so you can focus on greening up the grass.

This broadcast spreader gives you customizable, high-capacity spreading power.

  • Large 80 lb hopper capacity
  • Sturdy stainless steel construction
  • Fully adjustable spread pattern
  • Enclosed metal gears require little maintenance
  • Pneumatic tires for smooth transport
  • Assembly required
  • Higher price than smaller models
  • Heavy for lifting when full

Lesco High Wheel Fertilizer Spreader Manual Deflector

Lesco High Wheel Fertilizer SpreaderView On Amazon
The 80-pound Lesco lets you control spread patterns with its manual deflector kit for customized coverage of your lawn. An enclosed 5:1 gearbox protects the Lesco’s gears while allowing precise application across your yard.

  • Large hopper capacity covers more area per fill
  • Manual deflector enables adjustable spread pattern
  • Enclosed gearbox protects gears from damage
  • Some assembly required
  • Instructions should be reviewed before use
  • Not as easy to use as electric spreaders

Brinly Tow Behind Aerator Spreader Combination 40 Inch Flat Black

Brinly AS2-40BH-P Tow Behind CombinationView On Amazon
This handy 2-in-1 tool combines aerating and broadcasting for efficient treatment of your lawn. The Brinly Tow Behind Aerator Spreader features a heavy-duty steel design with a 100 lb hopper capacity for seed or fertilizer.

The aerator portion has 132 galvanized tines to penetrate soil up to 2 inches deep for improved drainage and root growth. For easy mobility around the yard, it has 10 transport wheels and attaches via a universal hitch pin to your tractor, ATV, or ZTR mower.

With regular maintenance, this combo unit provides excellent value for caring for your lawn.

  • Combines aeration and fertilizing
  • Durable steel construction
  • Large hopper capacity
  • Adjustable spread control
  • Smooth pneumatic wheels
  • Assembly required
  • Pick up debris before using
  • Steel can bend or rust without care
  • Not for extremely hilly or uneven lawns

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Fertilizer Spreader

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Fertilizer Spreader
When choosing the best fertilizer spreader for your lawn, first consider the method of operation, holding capacity, and precision. Drop spreaders provide the most precise coverage, while rotary and broadcast models cover wider swaths more quickly but less accurately.

Also, match the spreader’s capacity to the size of your lawn to minimize refilling. Finally, look for spreaders with settings for calibrated, even distribution across the lawn.

Method of Operation

Let’s investigate whether rotary or drop spreaders truly operate more precisely for fertilizer application. For uniform coverage, focus on the granule size and density of your fertilizer versus the spreader.

Lighter, smaller granules and powders flow smoothly from a rotary model. But dense, non-uniform materials like compost require a drop spreader’s controlled flow. While both can spread wet or dry fertilizers, match the spreader’s mechanism and settings to the physical properties and desired coverage of your lawn product.

Either can provide precise results when properly calibrated and operated consistently.

Holding Capacity

When choosing a fertilizer spreader, consider its holding capacity in relation to your lawn size. The larger the area you need to fertilize, the more you’ll benefit from a large capacity hopper that requires fewer refills.

Look for durable construction to allow long-term use and maximize your cost savings. Ensure the spreader can consistently distribute the maximum volume it holds for even coverage across your lawn. Material compatibility is also key – make sure the spreader can efficiently handle the type of fertilizer you plan to use.


You’ll want a drop spreader for precise coverage without gaps between passes. The calibrated flow rate ensures consistent distribution in a narrow band. Without being thrown through the air, the product avoids clumping issues that lead to uneven spreading.

Keep your pace steady so the metered fertilizer has time to drop evenly. The precision of a quality drop model prevents wasted product from ending up off the lawn.

Features to Look for in a Broadcast Spreader

Features to Look for in a Broadcast Spreader
When selecting a broadcast spreader for your lawn, look for models with features that allow precise spreading for even coverage. An important consideration is capacity – make sure to choose a spreader that can hold enough product to cover your entire lawn without constantly refilling.

Also, look at the precision control options which regulate flow rate and spreading width. The best broadcast spreaders have easy-to-use control settings to adjust the flow for different materials like fertilizer, seed, or ice melt.

Some spreaders offer EdgeGuard technology to block flow near wheels and prevent throwing product where you don’t want it. Consider pneumatic tires for smooth transport and calibrated drop spreaders for the most precise coverage in a narrow band.

The ideal broadcast spreader will have durable rust-proof construction, be effortless to push across terrain, and allow you to customize coverage with adjustable flow rate, swath width, and compatibility for various lawn products.

Keep these key features in mind, and you’ll find a broadcast spreader that meets your lawn care needs.

How Much Should I Expect to Pay?

How Much Should I Expect to Pay
Prices can range quite a bit for broadcast spreaders based on capacity, features, and durability. Expect to pay $20-50 for smaller handheld models, $50-150 for push and hand-tow spreaders, and over $150 for heavy-duty pull-behind spreaders with large hoppers and rugged construction.

Look for in-store discounts and rebates for savings on quality models from top brands.

Consider renting heavy-duty tow-behind spreaders if you only need them occasionally.

Buying pre-owned can be a budget way to get commercial-grade spreaders, but inspect carefully for any issues and count on replacing worn parts.

For small lawns under 5,000 sq ft, a basic handheld spreader under $50 can get the job done.

Investing in a high-end stainless steel model with a warranty guarantees years of smooth spreading with minimal maintenance.

Rather than the cheapest model, look at the broadcast spreader price as an investment in efficiently caring for your lawn over time.

How We Selected the Best Fertilizer Spreaders

How We Selected the Best Fertilizer Spreaders
As experienced gardeners and landscapers, we know that having the right tools for the job makes all the difference when it comes to caring for your lawn. After thoroughly researching the top-rated models on the market, we selected the five best fertilizer spreaders highlighted in these reviews based on critical factors like broadcast width, precision, capacity, assembly, and ease of operation.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our extensive research and testing ensures that we only recommend the most effective spreaders for optimal lawn care. As experienced landscapers and groundskeepers, we know the importance of proper fertilizer application.

That’s why we put each spreader through rigorous testing to determine ease of use, durability, precision, and versatility.

We examine key factors like assembly, calibrating settings, controlling flow rates, terrain handling, and maintenance needs. Our goal is to provide the best broadcast spreader reviews to help you achieve a healthy, lush lawn using the right equipment.

With our expert guidance on choosing the ideal spreader, you can have total confidence in applying fertilizer evenly and efficiently.

How We Chose the Best Fertilizer Spreaders

You agonized over finding the perfect spreader for your lawn, comparing capacity, precision, ease of use, and durability before selecting the top models that effortlessly spread fertilizer evenly across your grass.

  • Application settings for precise coverage
  • Grid coverage with overlapping passes
  • Material capacity matched to lawn size
  • Terrain handling with large wheels
  • Adjustable spread radius
  • Handheld options for small areas
  • Durable spreading mechanism
  • Capacity for seed, fertilizer, salt
  • Spreader size scaled to lawn dimensions

The spreader research focused on lawn care efficacy to select models that maximize fertilizer distribution.

Do I Really Need a Fertilizer Spreader?

Do I Really Need a Fertilizer Spreader
Don’t feel overwhelmed by rushing to the store for a spreader when those tiny seeds beckon your inner gardener to nurture the earth. You’re eager to prepare the soil and get planting, not fuss over equipment details.

Will a handheld model provide the dispersed coverage you want across bumpy or hilly areas? Or do sturdy pneumatic tires roll smoothly for even distribution? Double-check handle height, tire size, and hopper capacity suit your body and lawn dimensions.

Spend time researching models with excellent materials compatibility and assembly requirements that match your plans.

The right spreader ensures you can handle, distribute, and plant your grass, flowers, or produce with joy versus hassle. Don’t let equipment frustrations dampen your green thumb glory. With thoughtful research guided by your gardening vision, you’ll find a trusty fertilizer spreader that frees you to lovingly tend the earth.

What’s the Best Fertilizer Spreader on the Market?

With the right fertilizer spreader, you’ll have a lush, vibrant lawn in no time. After deciding you need an efficient tool for fertilizer application, it’s time to choose the spreader that suits your lawn care needs.

The top-rated models provide precision control, versatile spreading, and durability for consistent coverage across your lawn. Leading options like the Scotts Elite spreader boast smartphone holders, smooth pneumatic tires, and large capacities to minimize refills.

For ultimate precision, go with a drop spreader like the Scotts Classic, which lays down a narrow, calibrated band of fertilizer. Or opt for high-capacity tow-behind models like the Agri-Fab 130-pound for fertilizing acres of lawn efficiently.

The Earthway commercial spreader is a great choice for uniform distribution thanks to adjustable settings and a durable, rust-proof mechanism. No matter your lawn size or budget, read fertilizer spreader reviews to find the ideal option.

Focus on spread patterns, hopper size, durability, and wheels when deciding. With the best spreader for your needs, you’ll achieve a lush lawn with even coverage this season.

What’s Better: a Broadcast Spreader or Drop Spreader?

Well, a shrewd shopper could see that broadcast spreaders sling seed wide, but drop spreaders ooze precise coverage. If meticulous metering matters most, drop spreaders reign supreme for their calibrated flow rates.

They ooze a narrow band of material in an exacting path, so you can sculpt careful strips of seed or fertilizer.

Yet for some, such plodding precision proves pedestrian. They crave sweep and speed. Enter the broadcast spreader with its spinning dispersal over broad swaths. Though requiring a steady, measured pace for even spreading, a quick couple of passes blankets the lawn.

For large estates, broadcast models’ increased territory-conquering capacity provides liberation from monotonous back-and-forth.

So consider your acreage and application. Large lots longing for rapid coverage? Choose a broadcast spreader. But perfectionist green thumbs gaining gratification from surgical seed placement should select a drop spreader.

For either durable wheels, rust prevention, adjustable settings, and terrain handling determine durability and versatility. Ultimately, both styles can excel, so decide what fulfills your inner groundskeeper.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I calibrate my broadcast spreader?

You calibrate often, right? Your lawn’s health depends on it! As a landscaper, I recommend checking calibration every time you switch materials. Fertilizer spreads differently than grass seed. Adjust accordingly and re-test on cardboard.

Thank you, that’s very helpful. Here are a few additional thoughts:

  • Emphasize the importance of calibration for proper coverage and avoiding waste. Proper calibration ensures the spreader is applying the right amount of product.
  • Note frequency may depend on use – more often for frequent use, less if used infrequently.
  • Can provide a general guideline like calibrate at the start of each season or after 10 uses.
  • Mention using manufacturer guidelines for calibration steps specific to that spreader model.
  • Calibrate when using a new product or switching between different materials like fertilizer and seed.
  • Briefly explain the calibration process – set spreader settings, test on cardboard to measure coverage, adjust as needed.
  • Proper calibration saves money by avoiding over-application and wasted product.

What maintenance does a broadcast spreader need?

Little maintenance keeps your spreader spreading seeds of success! Just give it a quick wipe-down after each use, check for clogs, lubricate the wheels occasionally, and store it covered.

How do I know when it’s time to replace my broadcast spreader?

Spread pattern becomes uneven, leaving missed patches or wasted overlaps despite adjusting settings. Material dribbles or clogs despite cleaning. Frame or hopper shows excessive wear and rust. Agitator or gears slip or grind. Transport wheels, handle, or tires deteriorate.

If your trusty old spreader shows any of these issues, consider replacing it with a smooth-spreading machine.

Are broadcast spreaders safe for kids to use?

Use with care when youth assist. Young hands lack a full grasp, so guide and guard them while they work. Show proper spreading pace and handling as their skills grow. Allow autonomy once safety is ensured.

How do I clean my broadcast spreader to avoid cross-contamination?

After spreading, empty the hopper completely. Then thoroughly rinse the hopper, agitator, and wheels using a hose. Allow the spreader to air dry fully before storage or reuse. This prevents contamination between materials like fertilizer, grass seed, ice melt, etc.


Don’t worry, with the right spreader you’ll have that lawn looking lush in no time. Our top picks cover yards of all sizes, so choose the Scotts Mini for small spots, the 130-pound tow-behind for big yards, or the Chapin for heavy-duty spreading.

With the features to look for and price range to expect outlined above, you’re ready to pick the perfect spreader and get spreading. Keep this guide handy as you shop to find the model that matches your needs – then enjoy your beautiful, healthy lawn.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.