If you’ve ever applied grass seed or granulated fertilizer by hand, you know that getting even coverage isn’t easy. This is especially true if you have a large yard and a lot of ground to cover.
A broadcast spreader can change that. The best broadcast spreader allows you to quickly and easily spread grass seed, granular fertilizer, and even ice-melting pellets evenly. They make taking care of your lawn so much easier, in any season.
Table of Contents
- What is a Broadcast Spreader?
- Broadcast Spreader vs. Drop Spreader
- The 10 Best Broadcast Spreaders For Your Lawns
- Best Broadcast Spreader Reviews
- 1. Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard DLX Broadcast Spreader
- 2. Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader
- 3. Earthway 2150 Commercial Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader
- 4. Agri-Fab 45-0463 Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
- 5. Brinly BS36BH Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader
- 6. Brinly P20-500BHDF Push Spreader
- 7. Chapin International 8620B Tow Behind Spreader
- 8. Scotts Turf Builder Edgeguard Mini Broadcast Spreader
- 9. Titan Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader
- 10. Solo 421 Capacity Portable Chest-mount Spreader
- Consider with a Broadcast Spreader for Your Lawn Area
- How to Use a Broadcast Spreader?
What is a Broadcast Spreader?
A broadcast spreader is used to spread seed, granular fertilizer, or ice-melting pellets evenly over a large area. There are a few types to consider, but they all work the same way.
Each spreader has a hopper that you fill with the material you’re going to spread. Inside, a disc spins and fins allow a measured amount of the material to escape the hopper and spread over your lawn.
There are three basic types of broadcast spreaders. Tow spreaders are for larger areas and attach to tractors or ATVs. They carry a large quantity of material so you don’t have to stop and refill the hopper often.
Walk-behind spreaders are a good choice for medium-sized lawns. They have large, rugged wheels and are designed to be pushed around. Chest-mounted spreaders are the smallest. As you walk around, crank the handle to turn the internal disk, dropping the materials.
Broadcast Spreader vs. Drop Spreader
Broadcast spreaders and drop spreaders look a lot alike, and while they are similar, there are a lot of differences between them.
A drop spreader as a rectangular hopper and a lever near the handle. As you push the spreader around your yard, you engage the handle when you want to drop the product.
One of the benefits of a drop spreader is its precision. You don’t waste any product and you can place it exactly where you need it. Drop spreaders are good for small areas, especially narrow tracts of grass where there isn’t a lot of room to maneuver.
The downside to a drop spreader is that it’s pretty small, so you have to refill them pretty often. They’re also not the best choice if you have a large yard because it takes a lot of time to cover a large area using one.
Broadcast spreaders are designed to cover a large area quickly and spread the fertilizer or seed in a fan-like shape.
They hold a lot more product than drop spreaders, so they don’t need to be refilled often, and you can cover acres of land in no time if you use a tow spreader.
The biggest issue with broadcast spreaders is that they can be a little messy. Because they spread the lawn product so far, it’s easy to get it on your driveway or the sidewalk. They’re not nearly as accurate, but they make up for it in speed.
Most broadcast spreaders are easy to adjust, and some even have edging systems in place so you can block half of the spreader when you’re near an area where you don’t want the product to spread.
The 10 Best Broadcast Spreaders For Your Lawns
If you’re looking for the right broadcast spreader for your lawn, we found 10 of the best models out there. We included a few different types so you’re sure to find one to suit your needs.
|Pictures||Broadcast Spreaders||Capacity/ Coverage||Links|
|Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard DLX Broadcast Spreader||15,000 sq ft|
|Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader||130 lb|
25,000 sq ft
|Earthway 2150 Commercial Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader||50 lb|
12,000 sq ft
|Agri-Fab 45-0463 Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader||130 lb|
25,000 sq ft
|Brinly BS36BH Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader||75 lb|
3.5 cu ft
|Brinly P20-500BHDF Push Spreader||50 lb|
1.0 cu ft
|Chapin International 8620B Tow Behind Spreader||150 lb|
|Scotts Turf Builder Edgeguard Mini Broadcast Spreader||5,000 sq ft|
|Titan Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader||50 lb|
|Solo 421 Capacity Portable Chest-mount Spreader||20 lb|
Best Broadcast Spreader Reviews
1. Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard DLX Broadcast Spreader
This large-capacity broadcast spreader from Scotts is a great choice to apply either grass seed or fertilizer. It holds enough Scotts lawn products to cover 15,000 square feet and delivers even coverage where you need it.
The control panel adjusts for precision and accuracy so you can be sure you’re applying the right amount of product. Just use the settings on the packaging of your grass seed or granular fertilizer. It comes calibrated and ready to use with no assembly required.
We love the Edgeguard technology, which blocks off the right side of the sprayer to prevent the product from getting on your driveway or other non-lawn areas. This walk-behind spreader is easy to use and helps you cover a large area in no time. It’s one of the best if you have a yard over 5,000 square feet.
2. Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader
Agri-Fab’s heavy-duty push broadcast spreader is designed to evenly cover areas as large as 25,000 square feet. With a 130-pound capacity, it is the ideal choice for big jobs when you don’t want to have to keep stopping to refill the hopper.
A 12-feet spread width covers a lot of ground, fast, and there’s an adjustable flow stop so you can be sure to spread only what you need. The steel rod flow control allows you to open or close the spreader as you move around your yard, and the pneumatic tires are ideal for maneuvering over any surface.
In addition to the rustproof material, this spreader also has an enclosed taper and an aluminum beveled gearbox that’s made to last. It’s also covered by a three-year warranty.
3. Earthway 2150 Commercial Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader
To make sure it spreads evenly, this machine from Earthway has a three-hole drop shut-off system that feathers the edges for more accurate applications. You can adjust it to work for narrow sections of your lawn without worrying about getting fertilizer or seed on your driveway.
There’s a debris screen to prevent clumps from getting into the system and a fully enclosed gearbox that is designed to be nearly impossible to block, even when it’s wet or moist outside. Plus, the chassis and T-bar handle are covered in epoxy for protection against the elements.
This spreader has a wide-set frame and pneumatic tires so pushing it over uneven terrain is easy. It also has an adjustable handle so it’s a great choice for tall people who don’t like having to constantly bend down to reach other spreaders.
4. Agri-Fab 45-0463 Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader
If you have an exceptionally large area to cover, this hopper from Agri-Fab is worth a closer look. It holds up to 130 pounds of seed or fertilizer so you can save time on refilling when you have a lot of acreages to cover.
This is a tow-behind broadcaster that features an enclosed gearbox with tapers geared that deliver optimal spread and ensure that this one will last a long time. A wide wheelbase and large tire diameter bring a lot of stability so you can travel over rough terrain without worrying about the spreader tipping over.
Optional accessories are also available, including a hooper cover to protect the product and a deflector to narrow the wide-spreading pattern. An optional grate is available, too, if you want to change the flow.
5. Brinly BS36BH Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader
This extra-large, high-capacity spreader is rust- and dent-proof, and the large hopper holds up to 175 pounds of seed, fertilizer, or other products. All of the hardware, the spinner shaft, and the agitator are made of stainless steel, and the gears are fully enclosed for additional protection.
In addition to being built tough and made to last, this spreader also has a patented auto-flow that makes it easy to adjust for the material you’re working with. Grass seed spreads much differently than granular fertilizer, and now you can easily adjust for those differences, inducing multiple pre-calibrated options.
The tow-behind hitch has a universal clip that fits most lawn tractors and makes this an ideal choice for lawns that are greater than an acre. It also includes a clear-top cover to protect whatever material you’re spreading.
6. Brinly P20-500BHDF Push Spreader
Push spreaders are a great choice for medium-sized yards, and this product from Brinly is one of the best. It’s just the right size, so you won’t have to refill too often but it’s not so big that it’s unmanageable. The heavy-duty hopper holds about 50 pounds of materials, like seed, fertilizer, or ice-melting agents.
A deflector controls the flow of the material and prevents it from getting onto driveways, sidewalks, and other unwanted areas. All you have to do is flip it up and out of the way when it’s not in use. Calibration is easy, and the large pneumatic tires are easy to maneuver.
This spreader has a powder-coated frame, fully-enclosed rust-resistant gearbox, and a stainless steel agitator, shaft, and hardware. With all that and a poly hopper that won’t crack, rust, or dents, it’s easy to see that this one is built to last.
7. Chapin International 8620B Tow Behind Spreader
There’s a lot to love about this tow-behind broadcast spreader from Chapin. The auto-stop dual impeller only spreads material when in motion, and because it has a 150-pound capacity, you can cover a lot of ground without having to stop to refill too often.
It’s also built to last. This design has oil-impregnated bearings to minimize friction and protect the gearbox and axle. The wide tread 14-inch pneumatic tires move easily over any terrain, and the trailer hitch is designed for professional use and attaches to most standard tractor fittings.
This spreader has an easy-to-set adjustment with 11 settings so you can get an accurate application, whether you’re spreading grass seed or fertilizer. It has a limited lifetime warranty, and customer service is based in the USA.
8. Scotts Turf Builder Edgeguard Mini Broadcast Spreader
For smaller lawns, this mini broadcast spreader from Scotts is just the right fit. It holds enough Scotts product to cover up to 5,000 square feet, whether you’re using seed, fertilizer, salt, or ice melt.
Edge guard technology prevents application to areas other than your lawn by blocking the right side of the when engaged. This spreader comes already calibrated for your convenience, so all you have to do is attach the wheels, fill it, and you’re ready to go.
This is the smallest of Scotts walk-behind spreaders, so if you’ve been wanting one but didn’t want to invest in a larger model, this might be the perfect option for you. It’s also great if you have a lot of landscaping in your yard and need a narrower spreader to fit through any small spaces.
9. Titan Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader
This Titan spreader is just the right size for a small yard and durable enough to handle heavy use. A large capacity drum holds 50 pounds of fertilizer, grass seed, or any other materials that need spreading, so you can cover your whole lawn without having to stop to refill.
The axle and tires are made using strong, durable materials that last. They also make it easy to maneuver around different terrains and over branches, rocks, and roots, but it won’t damage your lawn or sod. It’s easy to use and won’t require a lot of maintenance or repairs.
To help manage applications, there are three flow settings that you can adjust right from the handle. It also has a high-quality axle and a durable gearbox so you can work as safely and efficiently as possible.
10. Solo 421 Capacity Portable Chest-mount Spreader
Here’s a different style that you might find works perfectly for you. The Solo portable chest-mount spreader is super easy to use, and a great choice for small or narrow spaces. It holds twenty pounds of material, which is enough to get the job done without weighing too much.
Easy-to-use fingertip controls adjust the flow, volume, and direction of the spreader, and the large opening makes filling and cleaning easy. It also has an adjustable comfortable cross-shoulder strap that fits just about anyone.
This product is very well made, too. It has a fully enclosed gear-box and a corrosion-resistant agitator, plus a polyethylene and stainless steel hopper that resists rust and won’t clog. The screw-on cap prevents spills or odors from escaping, and the crank handle is smooth and sturdy.
Consider with a Broadcast Spreader for Your Lawn Area
The biggest thing to consider when choosing a broadcast spreader is the size of your lawn. For example, if you have a lot of land and already own an ATV or tractor, a tow spreader makes the most sense.
On the other hand, if you have a medium-sized lawn, a walk-behind broadcast spreader is best. A tow spreader would be overkill, and a chest-mounted spread might work, but it would take much longer.
Chest-mounted broadcast spreaders are great for small lawns, but it’s also worth considering using one in conjunction with a larger spreader.
If you have a lot of landscaping, including mulch beds, walkways, and trees, a small portable spreader is an excellent way to make sure you cover and narrow areas that are too small for larger spreaders to go.
How to Use a Broadcast Spreader?
Every broadcast spreader is a little different, but here’s a general guide for how to use one.
1. Make sure you’re using the right type of fertilizer or other lawn products. You’ll find this information on the packaging, which will tell you whether or not the product can be applied with a broadcast spreader. If it can, it will also tell you the settings you should use.
2. Determine the area you need to cover. Use a tape measure if you have to, but most people have a general idea about the size of their lawn. You need the total area to get an idea of how much product you will need to use.
3. Place the broadcast spreader on the driveway or sidewalk with the flow lever closed, then fill the hopper. This way, if anything spills out, you can easily clean it up without worrying about damaging your lawn.
4. After the hopper is full, adjust the settings. Again, this information is available on the packaging of whatever product you are using. It’s called a distribution rate and it’s usually a number between one and 10.
5. Put the spreader on your lawn, about three feet or so away from one of the edges. Don’t stand right on the edge because the spreader will spray out to the side and you want that to land in your yard, not on the concrete.
6. Squeeze or push the handle to begin spreading the lawn product. Walk at a leisurely pace, about three miles per hour or so. Workaround the entire perimeter of the lawn first, then release the handle when you get back to your starting position.
7. Move the spreader further into your lawn, right beside the starting point. Squeeze the handle, and walk back and forth across your lawn, overlapping the previous pass by about six to 12 inches. Continue in this manner until the whole lawn is covered.
8. After you’re finished, water the area with a garden hose or sprinkler until the top inch of the soil is damp.
9. Rinse the spreader with the hose to make sure all of the fertilizer is out of the machine. If you measured your lawn and the amount of fertilizer correctly, there shouldn’t be that much remaining in the spreader.
When it comes to the best broadcast spreaders, there are a lot of things to consider, so we have a few top picks for you.
If you’re looking for a push or walk-behind spreader, take a look at the Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard DLX Broadcast Spreader. It covers up to 15,000 square feet with a full hopper and has a control panel to adjust for accuracy. Edgeguard technology is great, too, because it stops the product from getting everything and makes for a neater application.
The Agri-Fab 45-0463 Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader is a great option if you have a lot of land to cover and already own a tractor or ATV. It holds up to 130 pounds of fertilizer or seed so it keeps going and going. It’s also extremely durable and has a handful of useful accessories available for it.
Finally, if you have a small yard but want something more effective and timesaving than a handheld spreader, we recommend the Solo 421 Capacity Portable Chest-mount Spreader.
This one holds about 20 pounds of material and is carried comfortably over the shoulder. The fingertip controls are great because you can adjust the flow, volume, and direction to get the exact coverage you need.
All that said, each of the products we reviewed are great. Consider the size of your lawn and how much product you need to spread, then choose the one that’s right for you.