Best Drop Spreader Review and Ultimate Buying Guide

Proper maintenance is essential to keep a green and healthy lawn, and for that, you will need to have the best drop spreader.

This lawn equipment can offer a convenient helping hand when tackling lawn upkeep effectively and efficiently, especially if you have a large plot.

Drop spreaders can work with various gardening products, including seeds, fertilizers, grass seed, feed mixtures, sand, and ice melt.

Our Top Pick

Scotts Elite Spreader
8,640 Reviews
Scotts Elite Spreader
  • Dual rotor technology provides unbeatable accuracy and a 6ft...
  • Holds up to 20,000 sq. ft. of Scotts lawn product, including...
  • Never-flat tires to conquer any terrain

Our best pick is the Scotts Elite Broadcast Spreader. It is one of the most advance lawn equipment you can find, and it shows in its price tag. If budget is not an issue, you’ll get the most from the Scotts Elite to work on your garden.

This high performing spreader features a dual rotor technology that ensures optimum and precise spread performance. Plus, it comes with a large capacity that can fill an acre of land without a refill of grass seeds, fertilizers, salt, or ice melts. The never-flat tire is also an advantage if you are working on challenging terrains with sharp rocks all over the area.

How to Choose the Right Drop Spreader?

Best Drop Spreader Review and Ultimate Buying Guide

Operation Types

There are two different types of design for drop spreaders, and they determine how effective the equipment is for your intended use.

  1. Push: Push spreaders are best known for accuracy and precision in dispersing whatever lawn product you are using. With this operation type, you know the exact place where that fertilizer is going. However, as they are precise, push spreaders need time to cover the entire plot.
  2. Tow-Behind: Tow-behind spreaders are best for covering larger areas at a much quicker time. They are often larger than push spreaders and more expensive. This operation type carries bigger hopper capacity but isn’t the best when it comes to precision.

Capacity

The capacity of a spreader will depend on the size of the hopper. It’s one of the first features to look out for, and the choice will largely depend on your lawn size.

If you are working on a tiny plot of land, you can get a small drop spreader like a 50-pound once.

Meanwhile, if you are dealing with larger lawn areas, some spreaders come with 80 to as much as 175 pounds hopper capacity.

Rust-Proof

You need to make sure that your equipment has protection against extreme outdoor conditions. Choose a rust-resistant spreader as you most often work with wet grass throughout the year. Galvanized steel materials are the best option.

Aeration

Aeration is not necessary for every spreader, but it comes handy if you are using a tow-behind hopper. Aerating is critical to help get the fertilizer absorbed by the soil much better, especially in harsher terrains.

This extra feature will help your spreader perforate the ground surface, and it usually comes with galvanized spikes.

Performance

The best drop spreader should perform its intended work without hassle. And when it comes to performance, it comes down to the overall quality of the machine. It has to be a heavy-duty spreader that can withstand the harsh outdoor ground and weather conditions.

It helps if the materials of the equipment are sturdy and rust-resistant.

Controls

For the best drop spreader, precision is crucial. The best option for this is a push drop spreaders. It allows you to regulate the output better and prevent material wastes.

Attached covers in the hopper will help with the precision of the fertilizer as well.

Best Drop Spreader Review and Ultimate Buying Guide

Material Durability

Stainless steel and hard plastic are among the best options as they are heavy-duty and rust-resistant. Do check if the construction, especially the frame, is sturdy enough to deal with the outdoors. The materials used for the wheels and axles should be rust-free and heavy-duty materials to make them suitable for use in any terrain.

Application

The primary application of spreaders is to scatter grass seeds or fertilizer. However, a costly gardening tool like a drop spreader shouldn’t be limited in handling these two garden products.

It’s an added advantage if you can use the machine with a variety of materials like salt, snow melting agents, or anti-pest pellets. For extra efficiency, you can also get a drop spreader that can handle granular materials to improve the greenness of your garden. A hopper than can hold sand for landscaping or construction purposes can be an advantage as well.

Tires

Most people overlook the quality of tires. However, it is a critical feature, especially if you are going to use the equipment in extreme terrains. Heavy-duty spreader tires can go over dips, bumps, and other obstacles without issue. Sturdy pneumatic wheels are the best option for all-terrain and all-season drop spreaders.

Accessories

Extra accessories in a drop spreader are not necessary, but they come in handy. Some extras you might want to consider is a spread cover to prevent your lawn products from spilling out.

Best Drop Spreader Review and Ultimate Buying Guide

Drop Spreader vs. Broadcast Spreader

Drop spreaders are best for use in a plot of land that is around 5,000 square feet in area or less. This type of machine is best known for being easy to operate and precise coverage control. Their performance isn’t affected nu the wind, so drop spreaders are ideal for use in any weather.

They also often come with large wheels that make them ideal for tackling tight areas with tons of obstacles like trees and roots. However, not all drop spreaders have the same size and hopper capacity. Some of them can cover much larger areas than others, so do check the hopper capacity for the one you are going to buy.

Meanwhile, broadcast spreaders are significantly larger and come with even bigger hopper capacity. They are best to use in a large plot of lands and can cover more large surfaces in a much shorter time. Most broadcast spreaders can cover 25,000 square feet areas of land.

However, broadcast spreaders are not the best for precise coverage. You often need to overlap your spreading pattern when using this type of machine to get an even spreading. And since it sends your garden products out of bounds, there’s a risk for material wastage, which you have to clean afterward.

Best Drop Spreader Reviews

Scotts Elite Broadcast Spreader

Scotts Elite Spreader
8,640 Reviews
Scotts Elite Spreader
  • Dual rotor technology provides unbeatable accuracy and a 6ft...
  • Holds up to 20,000 sq. ft. of Scotts lawn product, including...
  • Never-flat tires to conquer any terrain

Features

  • Dual rotor technology
  • 80 pounds hopper capacity
  • 6-feet spread pattern
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Hold as much as 20,000 square feer lawn products
  • Never-flat tire design
  • With smartphone holder

What We Like

If you have a big lawn, then the Scotts Elite Spreader is the best drop spreader you can use. It comes with tons of impressive features that can help you maintain a healthier and greener lawn properly.

This broadcast spreader features a dual rotor technology to provide an optimal and accurate spread of fertilizers of whatever material you are using. The unbeatable precision and the maximum six feet working spread pattern of the machine helps save a lot of time when working in a vast field.

The Scotts Elite is a large broadcast spreader that can hold up around 20,000 square feet of lawn products with 80 pounds hopper capacity. You can also use a variety of garden materials with this machine, including fertilizers, grass seeds, ice melt, and rock salt.

The specific designs of this lawn equipment are impressive, from the tires and a few extra accessories. The Scotts Elite features foam filling 10-inch wheels that never gets flat or punctured by sharp rocks. As such, it’s ideal for use in any kind of terrain or ground surface.

Other impressive features include an ergonomic handle and an attached convenient smartphone holder.

The spreader settings of this machine are also easy to control with different options to choose the efficiency you need while working on the field.

What Can Be Improved?

Looking at the price, it can be a bit expensive for some. Also, it can work in different terrains, but not recommended for use on ice or snow.

Agri-Fab 45-0288 Tow-Behind Drop Spreader

Agri-Fab 45-0288 175-Pound Max Tow Behind Drop Spreader,...
303 Reviews
Agri-Fab 45-0288 175-Pound Max Tow Behind Drop Spreader,...
  • Hopper capacity is 17-gallons (dry)/175-pounds
  • 40,000-square feet coverage; roughly 1 acre
  • Rustproof poly hopper increases product life

Features

  • 175 gallons hopper capacity
  • 40,000 square feet (1 acre) coverage
  • 42-inch spread reach
  • Rustproof durable poly hopper
  • Galvanized steel agitator
  • Pneumatic tires

What We Like

The Agri-Fab 45-0288 Tow-Behind Drop Spreader is the big machine perfect for vast lawn areas. This giant gardening tool can hold as much as 175 pounds of fertilizer or seeds with maximum coverage of 40,000 square feet per load. These features make it an ideal machine for uniform and precision spreading performance.

The impressive results stem from the limit placement materials attached in its wheels. It features a controlled spread width of as much as 42 inches. With that, it is ideal for use in gardens and with obstacles like shrubs.

The quality and durability are excellent. It features extreme sturdiness that can withstand the common outdoor challenges. It can hit stones and tumble over the hill, and the machine will continue working. The poly hopper material is sturdy and comes with a built-in heavy-duty metal frame.

The agitator of this drop spreader features a galvanized steel material for extreme durability. It’s easy and quick to clean and also rust-resistant.

The Agri-Fab 45-0288 Drop Spreader also comes equipped with sturdy pneumatic tires that glide over bumps and dips in the lawn. It has a smooth and straightforward adjustment level.

What Can Be Improved?

The downside of the Agri-Fab 45-0288 Drop Spreader is the agitator blades, which are a little thinner compared to most spreaders. This machine is best for spreading grass seed.

So, if you use it with other materials, especially those a bit bigger than grass seeds, you might experience some problems.

Titan Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader

Titan 50 Lb. Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader, Lawn Care and...
248 Reviews
Titan 50 Lb. Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader, Lawn Care and...
  • FOR SPREADING FERTILIZER & INSECTICIDES: If you’re looking...
  • DURABLE LAWN EQUIPMENT: Unlike many seeders, the Titan...
  • LARGE CAPACITY DRUM: Constant refills while spreading plant...

Features

  • Quick and easy operation
  • 50 pounds drum capacity
  • Three flow spreader settings
  • Durable steel and plastic materials

What We Like

The rugged and durable design of the Titan Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader is two things we like best. The parts feature high-quality materials that are sturdy and built to last. It won’t get damaged even from every tumble on the ground or rocks, perfect for the extreme conditions and work in the outdoors.

This broadcast spreader features a walk-behind design with a hopper that can carry as much as 50 pounds of fertilizer.

Another impressive specification is the three flow setting it has. It allows you to modify the amount of spread you want or need depending on where you are using the spreader.

The Titan Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader comes with high-quality large wheels built for rugged use. Its massive size and sturdiness make it suitable for use in all types of terrain at any time of the year. It’s heavy-duty enough to go around obstacles in the lawn, such as trees, roots, and others.

You can also use it with other field materials from fertilizers and seeds to rock salts. Another excellent feature is the cover stopper built for its hopper. It makes sure that whatever product you are working with, it won’t fly out where you don’t want it to go. There are also no worries about salt, fertilizer, or seeds going into the hopper.

What Can Be Improved?

The large tires of this lawn equipment are ideal when you are working on the field, but they can be a challenge during storage.

Brinly BS36BH Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader

Sale
Brinly BS36BH, 175 lb, Black Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader
319 Reviews
Brinly BS36BH, 175 lb, Black Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader
  • High-capacity hopper: Extra large, rust- and dent-proof poly...
  • Lasting durability: All parts that come in contact with...
  • Patented autoflow with spread pattern control: Brinly...

Features

  • 175 pounds hopper capacity
  • Polyethylene hopper material with stainless steel hardware
  • Glass-filled nylon gears
  • Autoflow and spread pattern control
  • Hopper cover included

What We Like

The Brinly BS36BH Broadcast Spreader is well-known for its excellent capacity, ideal for those with extensive lawns and gardens. It has a maximum capacity of 175 pounds, which can hold a lot of materials to finish a large plot at once. You can cover up around an acre without a refill.

This machine is a universal broadcast spreader with its tow behind hitch that can fit almost all lawn tractors in the market. It also offers a lot of versatility as it can work with various lawn products like grass seeds and fertilizer. During the winter season, you can also use the Brinly BS36BH for spreading ice melting agents like sand and salt.

The materials on this machine are stainless steel and non-corrosive, which is perfect for various applications. There is also an attached hopper cover to prevent any moisture from getting into the materials.

The manufacturer also used a space-saving design for the Brinly BS36BH Broadcast Spreader, so there’s no issue with storing the unit after use. It also comes with a patented auto flow features, which stops the material distribution as soon as the tractor stops. This way, you can avoid lawn products getting wasted, which is convenient for a lot of gardeners.

Another great feature of this broadcast spreader is its straightforward assembly. The machine comes with an easy to follow user manual and setup instruction.

What Can Be Improved?

Unlike other spreaders, the Brinly BS36BH Broadcast Spreader doesn’t come fully assembled. The ease of setup also depends on one person to another. And for those who are setting up a lawn spreader, constructing this one might take some time.

Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader

Sale
Scotts 76565 Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader
8,640 Reviews
Scotts 76565 Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader
  • Large capacity hopper holds up to 10,000 sq. ft. of Scotts...
  • Heavy-duty frame for optimum stability
  • 22-inch spread pattern delivers maximum coverage and...

Features

  • 22-inch spread pattern
  • 10,000 square feet hopper capacity
  • Heavy-duty frame
  • Pre-calibrated and ready to use
  • 5,000 square feet coverage

What We Like

The Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader is ideal equipment for medium-sized lawns that have at least 5,000 square feet in area. It can make precise and even applications of fertilizers or seeds with its 22 inches spread coverage. There is also a side blocker attached to prevent the hopper from propagating from the sides.

Unlike broadcast spreaders, this push-drop spreader focuses on more precise application than offering a broad coverage. And while t as a machine for seeding and feeding, the Scotts Turf Builder Classic is also best for salting the ground.

It can hold as much as 10,000 square feet of fertilizer or seed. You can also use it for spreading fire-ant repellant and anti-pest pellets.

The manufacturer used only heavy-duty and high-quality materials for this machine. While it doesn’t have a fancy design, it features a sturdy frame and can withstand the harsh work in the field.

Another selling point of the Scotts Turf Builder Classic is it ships fully assembled and pre-calibrated. It also offers adjustability and you can re-calibrate it with ease to get your desired setting. It’s perfect for first-time users as you can use this machine out of the box.

What Can Be Improved?

It all comes at a high price. The Scotts Turf Build Classic is among the high-cost options in the market. Also, the spreader can be a challenge to use during winter or snowy conditions.

Conclusion

With a lot of features to consider when buying the best drop spreader, you can see that Scotts Elite Broadcast Spreader is a great option. Its dual rotor technology is advanced compared to other machines, making it easy to work with different gardening products. The six fee spread pattern is also impressive, along with its considerable hopper capacity.

Ultimately, you need to check what your garden needs in a spreader like its hopper capacity to match its area for spreading. If you know the qualities and features you need in a piece of equipment, it’s easier to make a decision.

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Jill Sandy

Jill Sandy

Jill is a sustainable focus gardener. She loves decorating her home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques she develops herself. You can reach her at jill@constantdelights.org

Chanh Ho (MD, MPH)

Chanh Ho (MD, MPH)

Chanh is our Head of Medical Review. He is a research physician at Oxford University Clinical Research Unit. After accomplishing the program of level 1 sub-specialty in Pediatrics, he was awarded the Chevening Scholarship for his Master’s degree of Public Health in the University of Edinburgh in 2019

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