Many homeowners want a lawn that stays looking fresh and lush green year after year, but maintaining it can be a pain if you don’t have the best tools to help you. Thankfully, broadcast spreaders make life a little easier when it comes to lawn maintenance and can help you achieve even and beautiful results – but you’ll want to invest in a good quality spreader if you want a show-stopping lawn every time.
Broadcast spreaders like the Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader can make for a trustworthy fertilizing tool that is built to last and helps feed your lawn in half the time compared with cheaper spreaders. Spreaders with a generous hopper (container) capacity such as this take the hassle out of larger lawn jobs and the tough-grade wheels mean you won’t be slowed down by rougher terrain.
We’ll take a look at a few of the best broadcast spreaders on the market before deciding on the overall winner. The ideal broadcast spreader should have ample hopper capacity and offer years of reliable performance (at a price that won’t break the bank). We’ll pick the top contender out of these 11 products:
- Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
- Craftsman CMXGZBF7124571 110-lb Tow Broadcast Spreader, Black
- EARTHWAY Broadcast Spreader Push 50 lb. Capacity
- Scotts Elite Spreader
- Agri-Fab 45-0288 175-Pound Max Tow Behind Drop Spreader, Black
- Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader – Spreads Grass Seed, Fertilizer and Ice Melt – Holds up to 5,000 sq. ft. of Scotts Grass Seed or Fertilizer Products
- Titan 50 Lb. Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader, Lawn Care and Ice Melter Yard Tool
- Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader
- Brinly BS36BH Black Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader, 175 lbs
- Scotts Snap System – Spreader
- Chapin International Chapin 8620B 150 Pound Tow Behind Spreader with Auto-STO, Red
11 Best Broadcast Spreader Reviews
This super sturdy 130 pound broadcast spreader by Agri-Fab was built to last. Easily the best brand of tow behind spreader on the market and a hard spreader to beat in general – this one is built for making quick work of a large lawn on a balmy spring day. In a single fill, the Agri-Fab tow behind spreader can cover ½ an acre of land (or 25,000 square feet!), making it perfect for bigger lawns. The chunky pneumatic tires also promote as even a spread as possible by transporting smoothly over rough and bumpy lawn terrain.
Unlike some other spreaders on the market, the Agri-Fab’s gearbox is enclosed – increasing its durability as the all-important gears stay safe from the elements use after use. Thanks to its wide wheelbase, far spread width and a heavy-duty rust-proof poly hopper, this is a spreader you can rely upon all year round.
- 10-12 ft spread width
- 130 pound capacity
- Sturdy rust-proof hopper
- Can cover 25,000 square feet
- Accessible controls from tractor seat
- Assembly can be tricky
With the ability to cover around 17,500 square feet of land (or the equivalent of a 1/3 acre), the Craftsman 110lb tow behind spreader is an ideal choice for keeping larger landscapes maintained throughout the seasons. It boasts an ample 110 lb hopper capacity made from rust-proof poly and can hitch easily on to any tractor – be wary though that attaching the hitch is not quite so immediately simple as similar tow behind spreaders, and may take some adjusting to get just right.
Despite its sturdy build and tire quality, some customers have noted that the Craftsman tow spreader only performs well on flat terrain, which is a big let down as not every homeowner’s lawn can boast a smooth working surface. Since an unsteady spreader will mean an uneven spread of your fertilizer, just keep this in mind if you’re using this on bumpy ground, since results may be far from perfect.
- Heavy duty steel frame
- Easy to adjust the spread rate
- Simple assembly
- Generous capacity
- Can be unsteady on uneven terrain
- Connecting hitch can take some adjusting
If you’re in need of a simple walk behind push spreader to maintain your small to average sized lawn, then this incredibly well-designed Earthway broadcast spreader is just the ticket. The Earthway 2150 holds up to 50lbs of your fertilizer and will spread at a distance of 8-10 feet, ensuring it does an even job with the help of a debris screen to filter out clumps. The 3-hole drop system further adds to the precise spread performance and the adjustable 2 height setting handlebars and tough-tread tires make even long lawn work a breeze.
This is quite a bit costlier than some other walk behind spreaders on the market, but you can forgive Earthway for this thanks to some quality craftsmanship that means you won’t be looking for a replacement lawn fertilizer anytime soon. And just in case you do run into some issues, the generous 5 year warranty and excellent customer service you’ll receive from Earthway will see you right.
- EV-N-SPRED precise 3-hole drop system
- Debris screen to prevent clogging
- 13 inch pneumatic tires
- Holds up well in winter conditions
- Epoxy powder-coated ‘diamond’ metal frame
- A little pricey
Despite naming this product the ‘Elite’ spreader, this broadcast spreader by Scotts unfortunately doesn’t quite live up to that title. This is noticeably cheaper than many other spreaders on the market, and it shows. While it might suffice as a fertilizer for small-scale jobs and sing occasionally, the Scotts Elite spreader is not up to the job of serious lawn work.
Several customers have reported mixed feelings about the spreader’s highlighted feature of a ‘dual rotor’ technology – this supposedly ensures the most accurate spread ever, but many experienced the axle and other components to be flimsy and unreliable. While this is far from one of the worst spreaders out there, the cheap construction and poor design will have you looking for others fairly soon.
- Covers up to 20,000 square feet
- Good for light work
- Ergonomic handle with smartphone holder
- Poor quality rotor and gears
- Lightweight and flimsy hopper
- Expensive compared to similar spreaders
Delivering an incredible 175 lb hopper capacity, this is one of the largest tow behind spreader sizes in the line-up and is the ideal companion for those needing to fertilize a large commercial area. For homeowners who need to cover gigantic lawns and fast, this spreader is pretty perfect too – the Agri-Fab 175 pounder can cover up to 1 acre or 40,000 square feet and with a 42 inch width of drop spread, this makes for a super fast and efficient fertilizer.
Note that spreaders with larger sized hoppers may get the job done quicker, but you should take the extra weight into consideration for long-term use and reliability. If you are fertilizing a lawn larger than 10,000 square feet, for example, your chosen hopper will need a high quality, sturdy frame to cope with the heavier weight of seed to ensure it won’t collapse (and possibly break) in the middle of your lawn!
- Enormous hopper capacity
- Galvanized steel construction to prevent rust
- Covers up to 40,000 square feet
- 42 inch controlled width spread
- Does not come pre-calibrated
‘Waste not, want not’ was the mantra Scotts had in mind when they constructed this impressive push spreader. The Scotts Turf Builder mini spreader though small is packed with plenty of features that make quick and light work of lawn fertilizing. The main attraction is the EdgeGuard technology which puts a stop to your seed, salt or ice melt going to waste – when a switch is engaged, the spreader pattern can be locked off at the right-hand side not only to ensure accurate coverage around corners and edges, bit to make sure no waste seed is spilled into flower beds or on the sidewalk.
The Scotts Turf Builder hopper can hold up to 23 lbs which works out to covering 5,000 square feet at a time, making this an ideal choice for maintaining lawn spaces on the smaller side. Then again, it wouldn’t require many refills to do a decent job of covering lawns of 10,000 square feet and larger, and thanks to the EdgeGuard innovation, it will always deliver beautifully accurate results, whatever size lawn
- ‘Edgeguard’ tech for precise, waste-free spread
- Comes fully assemble
- 5-foot spread distance
- Great value for money
- Ideal for maintaining small areas
- Fold-down handle for easy storage
- Very lightweight
This 50 lb push spreader by Titan is one of the better compact broadcast spreaders on the market. It will hardly take up storage room in your garage, yet this is a high-performing impressive little fertilizer for the price. The 50 lb drum capacity allows for a coverage of up to 25,000 square feet in one fill and features 3 flow settings for varying spread rates. Thanks to Titan’s rugged high-quality tires, maneuvering the spreader over rough terrain and around tight spaces on your lawn is a cinch too.
The Titan spreader was also designed with comfort and convenience in mind. Many push or walk-behind broadcast spreaders on the market often have a low handlebar, causing the user to stoop down to fertilize their lawn. Thankfully, the Titan spreader comes with the handy feature of an adjustable handle, so you can maintain your lawn at a comfortable standing position.
- Adjustable handle for comfort
- Performs well on uneven ground
- 3 flow settings for varied coverage
- Ideal for medium to large lawns
- Up to 25,000 square feet coverage
- Assembly instructions are unclear
Sometimes, you need a simple broadcast spreader to do the finishing touches to your lawn maintenance, and this classic drop spreader by Scotts is the perfect tool for the job. Scotts basic but reliable drop spreader ensures your fertilizer falls directly where it needs to be, so no worries about a fancy spray system feathering your seed out onto the driveway or in your flower beds.
This wasn’t built for full coverage on larger lawns, but the Scotts drop spreader is perfect for tidying up curves, edges and tight corners on your lawn – in other words – a must if you’re dealing with an irregular shaped lawn! For the price, this is a sturdy precision spreader and can cover 10,000 square feet in one hopper fill. Just be wary that your fertilizer product or seed can gather in the wheels, which may result in a need to buy replacement wheels.
- Perfect for precision spreading, tidying up edges/curves etc.
- 10,000 square feet coverage
- Heavy-duty long-lasting frame
- Affordable option
- Fertilizer can collect inside the wheels
- Not suitable for large lawn coverage
This Brinly tow behind spreader was built for big lawn jobs – the whopping 175 lb hopper capacity means you can take care of 1 acre’s worth of lawn before it needs to be refilled and the quality materials of stainless steel and a heavy-duty poly hopper make this a spreader that will last you many years.
Unfortunately, a big negative about this Brinly spreader – and a concern of many customers – is the fact that the bottom of the hopper is flat instead of slanted, causing a lot of the fertilizer product to collect in the bottom once you’re done. Ideally, all broadcast spreaders should have hoppers designed with a slight slope at the base to ensure a full and even spread. Customers have complained of stopping mid-task to push the product into the center. With this poor design by Brinly, there is also the risk that too much product will be spread in one area.
- Simple assembly
- Sturdy, well-built frame
- Generous 175 lb capacity
- Up to 1 acre of coverage in single load
- Universal hitch for any tractor/mower
- Base of hopper is flat, not sloped
The Scotts Snap System spreader immediately stands out from the crowd of other walk behind or ‘push’ broadcast spreaders out there, but this is both a good and bad sign. Beginning with the positives, the lightweight frame and ‘snap, lock and go!’ features allow you to start operating it in no time – making it ideal for first-time spreader users or those with medium sized lawns. The slim design also makes it convenient to store unlike other clunky heavy-duty push spreaders.
Sadly, a sizeable drawback is the fact that you can only use this spreader with the Scotts own brand of Snap Pac bags of fertilizer, grass seed or pesticide, since it has been designed to only accommodate the specific bag shape, which is a big let down if you have your favorite reliable kind of fertilizer. On the plus side, it features the EdgeGuard technology of many other Scotts spreaders so you can achieve a careful, precision spread pattern. Just be wary that this spreader may not be up to the task of regular all-season maintenance and you’ll be paying a higher price for less fertilizer thanks to the small volume snap pacs.
- Simple to use
- EdgeGuard technology
- Slim and lightweight design
- Convenient to store
- Can only be used with Scotts ‘Snap Pac’ fertilizer bags
This Chapin International 150 lb spreader is kitted out with many impressive features that put it above and beyond many other tow behind types of spreaders on the market. This model may carry a high price tag, but this is an investment purchase – in every sense this is a professional quality spreader that will see you through many, many seasons.
At 150lb capacity, you’ll be burning through a lot of fertilizer and Chapin have made sure none of your product goes to waste, thanks to an 11 adjustable filter settings so you can determine how accurate the application is. What’s more, this is designed with an auto-stop dual impeller feature so that once your tractor or mower stops, so does the spreader function – so no more wasted seed! If you have the budget for it and a large lawn to maintain, the Chapin International spreader is well worth it.
- 11 filter settings for more accurate spread
- 150 lb capacity
- 12-18 feet spread width
- Enclosed gearbox for increased durability
- Perfect for large lawns and yards
- Detailed instructions
- A little pricey
Things to Consider Before Buy
Most yards in the U.S. are under 8,000 square feet (with 10,000 square feet and over being considered a large yard). Once you have measured the size of your lawn, this will help you decide which capacity is best for your needs. For reference, a hopper with a 50 pound capacity will cover around 25,000 square feet, whilst a 12 pound hopper will cover about 5,000 square feet, so if you go with a smaller hopper capacity, prepare to refill your fertilizer amount when working on larger lawns.
Evenness Of Spread
All broadcast spreaders aim to spread your fertilizer evenly across your lawn to avoid either under or over feeding it which can cause damage and some spreader types will have adjustable settings that allow you to control and change how far the spread range goes i.e. a 5 or 10-foot spread. Some broadcast spreaders also have the helpful feature of an ‘edge guard’, and this is handy if you want to spread an area that is near to flower beds and other areas you wish to avoid, so the seed is only spread precisely where you need it.
If you want a broadcast spreader that will last you through many seasons, it’s wise to invest in a spreader with a weather-proof design and a stainless steel frame – these designs can be a little on the pricier side, but choosing a reputable brand of broadcast spreader will save you money in the long run, and will usually offer strong warranties and unbeatable customer service to ensure your spreader has a long shelf life.
After considering the needs of the average homeowner when it comes to regular lawn maintenance, we can confidently say that the Agri-Fab 45-0463 130-Pound Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader comes out on top for domestic broadcast spreaders.
The 130 lb model offers the best balance of ample load capacity and coverage to help users save precious time refilling on larger lawn jobs. Add to this the consistent and high-quality performance of the Agri-Fab tow behind spreader (even on the roughest of lawn terrain) and its strength to withstand the full 130 lb weight of fertilizer product without faltering.
To sum up, Agri-Fab have designed an American-made broadcast spreader to last you through years of lawn care and the brand even have your back when replacement parts and after-care are in order. A very worthwhile purchase for medium to large lawn maintenance.
Mike Zhang. Founder of FamilyLifeShare