Best Fertilizer Spreader Reviews & Buyer Guide – 2021 Edition

Fertilizing your grass and garden can be the most effective way to help your lawn bloom.

When using a recommended fertilizer for St. Augustine grass, Bermuda grass, or other types of grass, you can expect to see stronger and thicker grass, along with a vibrant green color.

If you’re an experienced gardener or even a beginner, you probably know how tedious fertilizing can be. The last thing you want to do is walk around your lawn with a heavy bag, inconsistently spreading all the fertilizer by hand. And using overpriced lawn care services may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Fertilizer spreaders are an easy and effective way to spread fertilizer on your lawn and are easy to use for young and old and everyone in between. There are several types of fertilizer spreaders available and the best one for you depends on the size and area that you need to cover.

In a rush? These are the ones we recommend. But keep reading if you want more info on each.

CLICK on any option below to see Ratings and Reviews on Amazon

BEST DROP SPREADER
Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, Great for Applying...
BEST CHEST MOUNTED
SOLO Inc. Solo 421 20-Pound Capacity Portable Chest-mount...
BEST CART SPREADER
Scotts Elite Spreader for Grass Seed, Fertilizer, Salt, Ice Melt,...
Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, Great for Applying...
SOLO Inc. Solo 421 20-Pound Capacity Portable Chest-mount...
Scotts Elite Spreader for Grass Seed, Fertilizer, Salt, Ice Melt,...
33,166 Reviews
1,400 Reviews
33,179 Reviews
BEST DROP SPREADER
Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, Great for Applying...
Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, Great for Applying...
33,166 Reviews
BEST CHEST MOUNTED
SOLO Inc. Solo 421 20-Pound Capacity Portable Chest-mount...
SOLO Inc. Solo 421 20-Pound Capacity Portable Chest-mount...
1,400 Reviews
BEST CART SPREADER
Scotts Elite Spreader for Grass Seed, Fertilizer, Salt, Ice Melt,...
Scotts Elite Spreader for Grass Seed, Fertilizer, Salt, Ice Melt,...
33,179 Reviews

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Affiliate Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate and participant in various other affiliate programs, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you from qualifying purchases.


What is the Best Type of Fertilizer Spreader?

The two main types of spreaders are drop and broadcast. There are pros and cons for each type. While drop spreaders disperse the fertilizer more evenly, applying it takes longer as it is a slower process. Broadcast on the other hand will get the fertilizer spread at a much faster rate and evenly as long as you use it properly.

Spreader typeDropBroadcast
Lawn SizeUnder 5000 Sq. ftOver 5000 Sq ft to 20,000 Sq. ft
Application Coverage(Controlled) Even(Somewhat controlled) More Spray
Application SpeedSlowFaster
Hopper SizeTypically smallerSmall to Large Options Avail.

Choosing which type is best for your needs largely depends on the overall size of your yard and if you want more precise control of applying the fertilizer. I typically use my drop spreader on smaller yards.

The best spreader for your needs also depends on the type of fertilizer you’re spreading, whether liquid or granular fertilizer. Learn about the key differences between liquid and granular fertilizers.

Recommended Drop Spreaders

1. Scotts 76565 Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader

The Scotts Turf Builder Drop Spreader is my go-to spreader for smaller yards. Adding fertilizer is easy and the hopper is big enough usually for one or two fills. If you have a yard under 5000 sq ft, then this spreader won’t disappoint.

Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, Great for Applying...
33,166 Reviews
Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, Great for Applying...
  • Large capacity hopper holds up to 10,000 sq. ft. of Scotts lawn product, including grass seed and fertilizer
  • Heavy-duty frame for optimum stability
  • 22-inch spread pattern delivers maximum coverage and accuracy

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2. Agri-Fab 45-0288 175-Pound Max Tow Behind Drop Spreader

For more commercial applications, I prefer using the Agri-Fab Tow Behind Drop Spreader. It holds up to 175 lbs of product (around 17 gallons) and works great being towed by my John Deer. The universal mount will work on any tractor you have. Great for dropping product on larger yards, like 1 acre and higher.

Deal
Agri-Fab Polypropylene 45-0288 175-Pound Max Tow Behind Drop...
643 Reviews
Agri-Fab Polypropylene 45-0288 175-Pound Max Tow Behind Drop...
  • MADE IN USA
  • Hopper capacity is 17-gallons (dry)/175-pounds
  • 40,000-square feet coverage; roughly 1 acre

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Recommended Broadcast Spreaders

Okay, now there are a few ways you can disperse the fertilizer with a broadcast, and because of this, people have found innovative ways to complete this task. Most commonly, there are three broadcast spreader options. These are:

  • Cart-style
  • Handheld
  • Chest-mounted

Best Cart-Style Spreaders

Another option you may want to consider is the cart-style spreaders. As the name suggests, a cart-style spreader is one that you can push around. Usually, you fill up a tank with your fertilizer and move the spreader around, where even and accurate dispersion occurs per wheel turn. These are the most common spreaders for larger size lawns.

1. Scotts Elite Spreader Review – Most Popular With Home Owners – Best cart-style, large-coverage spreader

Field King Professional backpack sprayer

Another great spreader from a great brand, the Scotts Elite spreader is an innovative spreader that’s been designed for bigger gardens or even farms in mind. Realistically, the Scotts Elite spreader isn’t just for garden fertilizers. You could add anything such as lawn seed, ice salt, and fertilizer. 

The Scotts Elite spreader rests on a robust sturdy frame that is not only powder-coated for a smoother look but also protects against harsh weather, as it’s also rust-resistant. Something else to note is that the bin itself is made from hardened plastic to further protect against harsh environments. The full plastic tires are nice and should last for the lifetime of the unit.

Something that we love about the Elite spreader is its large capacity (up to 20k square feet of product), allowing you to cover bigger gardens and even farms within a matter of minutes.

The dual rotor tech that is on this spreader is quite impressive. This is the first dual-rotor spreader I have tried and am impressed with the 6 ft radius and is super accurate in the release of the product.

The Scotts Elite spreader is fully adjustable and arrives fully assembled, so you can get started right out of the box. Take note that before spreading any fertilizer, it’s important to perform soil test.

Deal
Scotts Elite Spreader for Grass Seed, Fertilizer, Salt, Ice Melt,...
33,179 Reviews
Scotts Elite Spreader for Grass Seed, Fertilizer, Salt, Ice Melt,...
  • Scotts Elite Spreader is advanced, accurate and engineered for a 20% faster application (vs. a standard 5 ft. spread pattern) to be used year-round
  • Push spreader can be used for feed, seed, weed, salt and melt while providing the durability you need with the comfort you want
  • The dual rotors provide exceptional accuracy while the ergonomic handle comes equipped with a smartphone holder

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2. Earthway ProGrade Large Spreader – Most Durable

If you need a spreader that will last for years on end, then look no further than the Earthway ProGrade. This spreader holds up to 15 gal of product and up to 80 lbs. The 13′ tires give it a smooth ride and will not cause ruts.

Best Fertilizer SpreaderEarthway Professional Broadcast Spreader (2050P)


Best Hand-Held Fertilizer Spreaders

The last option is a small, hand-held fertilizer spreader. These are another relatively common method for spreading fertilizer, but they are usually relatively small. Hand-held fertilizer spreaders are small systems that disperse product at the turn of a lever.

1. Scott’s Whirl Handy Spreader – My Recommended

Field King Professional backpack sprayer

The Scott’s Whirl Handy Spreader is one of the best value-for-money fertilizer spreaders on this list and for a good reason. Another of Scott’s products in this list, the handy spreader is a super-efficient, lightweight, and overall excellent value spreader.

If you have a compact lawn or a smaller area to fertilize, then the EverGreen handy spreader may be ideal for you. The compact size of the lawn spreader makes it perfect for fertilizing smaller lawns.

The EverGreen Handy Spreader has five separate settings, allowing you to control how much fertilizer is being dispersed at any time. Scotts has integrated a wrist/arm support when holding to tool to prevent user fatigue.

Although a little flimsy and cheap-feeling, this fertilizer spreader is worth it if you do not want to spend a whole lot on a fertilizer-spreading tool.

Overall, if you’re looking for an okay-quality, cost-effective fertilizer spreader that does the job it needs to do, then the Whirl Handy Spreader is worth checking out.

Deal
Scotts Whirl Hand-Powered Spreader for Seed, Fertilizer, Salt,...
  • Perfect hand-held spreader for small yards
  • Great for year-round use to weed, seed, fertilize, salt and ice melt
  • Engineered for smooth, even coverage

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2. Tipu 2L Hand-Held Fertilizer Spreader Review – Best Value

Field King Professional backpack sprayer

The Tipu 2L hand-held fertilizer is a very small yet significant spreader that you can use in your garden.

The 2-liter handheld spreader, although relatively small is very easy to use and has a number of settings on the lid in order for you to spread the right amount of fertilizer, whether you’re using it on your lawn, driveway, or allotment. 

The design features a hardened plastic and looks and feels premium compared to the competition. The Tipu’s lid is designed as a small scoop to effortlessly spread the right amount of fertilizer. 

As with most fertilizers, this one is not set to only accept a certain type of pellet. You could use the Tipu for de-icer or ice salts, planting/spreading seeds, pest control, and anything else you can spread that would fit through the holes. 

Overall, if you’re looking for a small, handheld, and very inexpensive solution to spreading pellets (not just fertilizers), then the Tipu may be ideal for you. 

TIPU Hand Spreader Shaker, Handheld Spreader for Grass Seed,...
  • Efficient Use - No more over spray and wasted Grass Seed/Fertilizer/Ice Melt/De-Icer/ during any season. Effortlessly spread salt on driveways & walkways.
  • Versatility- 3 Adjustable Openings for spreading any material you need. No need to charge anything or replace batteries.
  • Easy to Use- Twist open the lid, fill the garden Spreader, screw the lid back on, and spread as Much as You Like.

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Best Chest-Mounted Fertilizer Spreaders

In short, a chest-mounted fertilizer spreader is a fertilizer spreader that attaches to your chest. Usually, chest-mounted systems have small adjustable straps to make the unit more comfortable and can be altered should it be too heavy or tight. 

SOLO 421 Chest-Mounted Fertilizer Spreader Review – My Recommended

Field King Professional backpack sprayer

The Solo 421 chest-mounted fertilizer spreader is one of the best, all-rounded fertilizer spreaders. This chest-mounted fertilizer spreader attaches easily to anyone with the adjustable straps.

Something else to note is the number of fertilizer pellets you can carry at a time. The Solo 421 has a 20-lb plastic container with a screw lid on the top that you can store your pellets in.

The screw lid is something we don’t see all the time in fertilizer spreaders and doesn’t just help with the distribution but can also protect you as the operator to prevent the pellets from jumping up and hitting you.

The Solo 421 has a very efficient yet effective distribution method that requires you as the operator to wind a crank to distribute the pellets while walking around the zone you wish to fertilize.

Once cranked, a small distribution spinner will pull down pellets and spread them in front of you accordingly. Some side-barriers protect your hand from the pellets’ speed, which, again, is a very neat feature. 

Overall, the Solo 421 is one of the best chest-mounted and overall fertilizer spreaders on the market owing to its reasonable price point and many features. The only downside is that this is not for big gardens, but for everyday, small gardens that you may have at home.

Deal
SOLO Inc. Solo 421 20-Pound Capacity Portable Chest-mount...
1,400 Reviews
SOLO Inc. Solo 421 20-Pound Capacity Portable Chest-mount...
  • Fingertip levers control direction and volume
  • Large opening allows easy filling and cleaning
  • 20 lbs Capacity hopper with cap protects operator from chemicals and Dust

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Buyer Guide – What to Look for in a Fertilizer Spreader

Holding Capacity

fertilizer spreader holding capacity

When you look for a fertilizer spreader, you should always consider how much your spreader can hold. This depends on how big your lawn or garden you’re trying to fertilize is, but it is a significant selling point for many. 

For small, house-sized gardens, a capacity of 5-10 lbs should be more than enough to spread over your lawn, however, if you have a slightly bigger lawn such as a farm, you may want to opt for a higher capacity such as 80-100 lbs, but these are mainly for industrial use. 

Design and Robustness

fertilizer spreader design

When looking for a fertilizer spreader, you always need to buy one, use it forever. If a fertilizer spreader has a very low price tag, you may want to consider the build quality. You do not want a flimsy and weak build; otherwise, it will cause more problems than it will solve, and you may even need to rebuy.

You should also note the size. Depending on how much room you have, usually, fertilizer spreaders are usually better kept inside, and if you have no room for it, make sure you have stainless steel and or treated plastic if you want to keep it outside. 

Precision when Spreading

Fertilizer spreader precision

The whole reason you’re buying a fertilizer spreader is to help you spread and fix any inconsistencies when applying fertilizer by hand. Although you may want a cheap spreader, spending a little more upfront can save time and money as the spreader should hopefully spread it out evenly. 

If you don’t buy a spreader to precisely target your grass evenly, you may end up with underdeveloped grass, inconsistency, and patches. It’s essential to make sure that you consider your accuracy, consistency, and precision when looking for a fertilizer spreader. 

Value

A common decision for many of us is the value of the device. Fertilizer spreaders are usually relatively inexpensive for the time you’ll save, and the benefits of using one will bring to you and your garden.

When looking at fertilizer spreaders, you may see some very cheap options that will look ok but may have imperfections, failings, and other poor qualities that you don’t want when using a fertilizer spreader.

If you can afford it, it’s always better to spend a little more upfront on a more beneficial or premium-looking fertilizer spreader to ensure that it doesn’t bring up any problems down the line. Remember to also consider whether you’re spreading organic or synthetic fertilizers, as both may require different spreading techniques.

Final Thoughts

No matter how you plan on using your fertilizer spreader, there are proven benefits to using one.

If you’re looking for affordable systems, you may opt for either the Tipu or Scott’s Handy Spreader which will get the job done more efficiently and effectively. 

If you’ve got a slightly bigger lawn or area that needs fertilizing, then you may opt for the Scott’s EverGreen Drop spreader. If you are looking for an all-around best fertilizer spreader than our first option, the Solo 421 may be the option you want to look at.


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2 thoughts on “Best Fertilizer Spreader Reviews & Buyer Guide – 2021 Edition”

  1. In your review and recommendation of the Scotts Elite Lawn Spreader, you say:
    “The Elite spreader has a 22-inch spread pattern that is very consistent when dropping and even efficient as you can run with this spreader to get the best distribution rapidly.”

    First of all, the spread pattern of this spreader is much greater than 22 inches. It’s a broadcast spreader and has a spread pattern of approximately 6 feet.

    Secondly, the spreader setting allows the material being spread to fall onto the impellers at a constant rate, without regard to the speed that the spreader is traveling. Therefore, the faster the spreader travels the thinner the coverage and broader the coverage area.

    Reply
    • Thanks Gary.:) In my editing I was jumping around from different spreaders and had that in the wrong spot. I have updated it. Thanks again. If you have any feedback on what you use, would love to hear it.

      Reply

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