Best Drop Spreader & Buying Guide

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Our Top Picks

We spent hours searching for the best drop spreaders online. Here’s a quick overview of the best ones we’ve found.

If you’d like a more detailed review, feel free to head over to our product review section below. We also made a buying guide for drop spreaders where we discuss things such as the different types of drop spreader among other important things to know about drop spreaders.

Enjoy!

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Hopper Capacity: 10,000 square feet
  • Spread Pattern: 22 inches wide
  • Dimensions: 18 x 32 x 47 inches
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  • Hopper Capacity: 2,500 square feet
  • Spread Pattern: 5 – 5 feet wide
  • Dimensions: 23.2 x 7.8 x 12 inches
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  • Hopper Capacity: 125.9 liters of material
  • Spread Pattern: 24 inches wide
  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 17.5 inches
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  • Hopper Capacity: 40,000 square feet
  • Spread Pattern: 42 inches wide
  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 17.5 inches
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  • Hopper Capacity: 20,000 square feet
  • Spread Pattern: 6 feet wide
  • Weight: 19.75 lbs
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  • Hopper Capacity: 80 oz of material
  • Spread Pattern: variable
  • Dimensions: 14.9 x 7.6 x 5.5 inches
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  • Hopper Capacity: 10,000 square feet
  • Spread Pattern: 5 feet wide
  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 20.75 x 21 inches
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Table of Contents

Topic:Page:
Our Top Picks1
Introduction: What Are Drop Spreaders?2
Best Drop Spreaders Reviewed
Overall Best Drop Spreader
– Scotts 76565
Best Handheld Drop Spreader
– Scotts 71131 Handheld Spreader
Best Push Drop Spreader
– Landzie Lawn Garden Spreader
Best Towed Drop Spreader
– Agri-Fab 45-0288




3 – 6
Honorable Mentions7
Drop Spreader Buying Guide
– Types of Drop Spreader
– Important Factors to Consider
– Maintenance Tips


8 – 10
FAQs11
Conclusion11

Introduction: What Are Drop Spreaders?

 If you’re a fellow homeowner with a green thumb, you’d understand the constant struggle of maintaining a garden. Gardening requires a lot of tools, skill and patience from anyone who chooses this as a profession or a pastime. One such tool that you might find useful for maintaining and growing a garden or lawn is a drop spreader. But what is a drop spreader and how does it work?

A drop spreader is a tool used to make spreading fertilizer and seeds around a garden or lawn easier. Drop spreaders are commonly used by landscapers and homeowners to efficiently cover more ground, making it a great choice for medium to large yards. Most drop spreaders are mechanically powered machines and have a simple rotating mechanism to control how much feed is released at a time. This can take the form of vents at the bottom of the hopper that open with every rotation of the wheel, a drum that has vents that distributes feed while being pushed, and even electrical drop spreaders that use spinning disks to spread their feed.

Drop spreaders come in all shapes, forms, sizes and price ranges. Some even have different feeding mechanisms that can all be quite confusing for some people, especially those who are new to drop spreaders. Don’t worry though because we’ll be going over all there is to know about drop spreaders and which ones might be the best for you down below.

Best Drop Spreaders Reviewed

Overall Best Drop Spreader:
Scotts 76565 Classic Drop Spreader

Scotts 76565 Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader

Specs:

  • Hopper Capacity: 10,000 square feet
  • Spread Pattern: 22 inches wide
  • Dimensions: 18 x 32 x 47 inches
  • Weight: 25.6 lbs

Key Features:

  • Heavy duty frame
  • Quick calibrations
  • Easy to use
  • Convenient trigger and rate control mechanism
  • Consistent application
Scotts 76565 Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader Features

Quick Overview:

This push drop spreader from Scotts offers users easy operation and wide coverage for lawn maintenance. The Scotts 76565 classic drop spreader is a great choice for landscapers and homeowners looking for a spreader with a wide spread pattern and large hopper capacity.This drop spreader is great for covering medium sized lawns with an even coating.

The Scotts 76565 classic drop spreader has a large hopper capacity and is capable of holding 10,000 square feet worth of lawn products like grass seeds, fertilizer and even ice melting salt. This drop spreader has a spread coverage of 22 inches wide and features a conveniently located trigger and feed rate control mechanism at the handle. To operate the Scotts 76565, the user simply has to adjust how much feed is distributed and hold down the trigger while pushing the drop spreader along. The drop spreader is delivered pre-calibrated, fully assembled and ready to use right out of the box. Users can easily adjust the calibration by adjusting the calibration screw located below the hopper. The Scotts 76565 classic drop spreader is built with heavy duty materials and can be used on all kinds of lawns at all times of the year. 

Check out the Scotts 76565 classic drop spreader here:

Best Handheld Drop Spreader:
Scotts 71131 Wizz Handheld Spreader

Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader

Key Specs:

  • Battery: 4 (four) AA batteries
  • Hopper Capacity: 2,500 square feet
  • Spread Pattern: .5 – 5 feet wide
  • Dimensions: 23.2 x 7.8 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs

Key Features:

  • Convenient spread control dial
  • 23 spread settings
  • Ideal for fertilizer, seeds, weed control
  • Compact & ergonomic design
  • Edgeguard feature
  • Lightweight
  • User friendly
Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader Features

Quick Overview:

This compact handheld spreader gives users more maneuverability and convenience for lawn maintenance tasks like fertilizing or grass growing.

The Scotts 71131 Wizz handheld spreader is powered by 4 double AA batteries and is capable of spreading fertilizer or seeds at a rate of 5 feet per second on the maximum setting. This spreader has a decently sized hopper and can hold 2,500 square feet worth of lawn maintenance product. This makes it a great choice for homeowners with small to medium sized lawns. 

Weighting in at just 2 lbs, the Scotts 71131 Wizz is designed to be ergonomic and easy to use no matter who picks it up. The Scotts 71131 Wizz comes with a convenient dial located at the front of the handle which gives users control over how wide the spread should be. Users are given 23 options to choose from ranging from .5 feet to 5 feet. To activate the spreader, the user simply has to calibrate the spread and squeeze the trigger located below the handle. 

Overall, the Scotts 71131 Wizz is a great pick for the casual homeowner or landscaper looking for a spreader that’s convenient, easy to use and effective at what it does.

Check out the Scotts 71131 Wizz handheld spreader here:

Best Push Drop Spreader:
Landzie Lawn Garden Spreader

Landzie Lawn & Garden Spreaders - 24 Inch Heavy Duty Metal Mesh Basket Push Spreader

Key Specs:

  • Hopper Capacity: 125.9 liters of material
  • Spread Pattern: 24 inches wide
  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 17.5
  • Weight: 22.4 lbs

Key Features:

  • Easy assembly
  • Comfortable handle
  • Durable construction 
  • User friendly
  • Rolling mesh cage design
  • Different sizes available
  • Lifetime support
Landzie Lawn & Garden Spreaders - 24 Inch Heavy Duty Metal Mesh Basket Push Spreader Faetures

Quick Overview:

This unique spreader from Landzie offers users maximum spread efficiency with its drum style design. The Landzie 24 inch garden spreader would be a great choice for users looking for a straightforward tool to get the job quickly. The Landzie 24 inch garden spreader is a drum style push spreader designed to evenly spread fertilizer and topdressing such as mulch, peat moss and compost. The drum of this spreader has a mesh cage with openings that measure ½ inches by ¾ inches.

This is small enough for bits to pass through with ease and catches pieces that are too large so users can grind them further. The drum style hopper of this spreader can hold upto 125.9 liters worth of material and features a swinging hinged door that allows for easy refills.

The Landzie 24 inch garden spreader is made with durable steel and is coated with rust resistant paint for a longer life span. The spreader comes with a manual and guide for hassle free assembly and Landzie even offers lifetime support in case users have any questions.

Check out the Landzie 24 inch garden spreader here:

Best Towed Drop Spreader:
Agri-Fab 45-0288 Tow Behind Drop Spreader

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

Key Specs:

  • Hopper Capacity: 40,000 square feet, 17 gallons / 175 lbs of material
  • Spread Pattern: 42 inches wide
  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 17.5
  • Tires: 12 x 3.5 inch tires

Key Features:

  • Rust proof coating
  • Polypropylene hopper
  • Galvanized steel agitator
  • 2 pneumatic tires included
  • Universal hitch
  • Easy to use flow control gauge
  • Quick height adjustments
  • 3 year warranty
Agri-Fab 45-0288 175-Pound Max Tow Behind Drop Spreader Overview

Quick Overview:

This towed drop spreader by Agri-Fab offers users superior coverage for spreading seeds, fertilizer among other lawn maintenance feeds over a large area. The Agri-Fab 45-0288 tow behind drop spreader is a great choice for users looking for a professional grade drop spreader for large lawns and properties.

The Agri-Fab 45-0288 tow behind drop spreader features a massive hopper capacity and is capable of carrying up to 175 lbs worth of material, more than enough to cover an entireacre.The Agri-Fab 45-0288 has a wide coverage area of 42 inches, the
flow of which can easily be hand calibrated or controlled using the flow control gauge for more accuracy. It also has a universal hitch and is designed to be towed by a garden tractor or riding mower. 

The Agri-Fab 45-0288 tow behind drop spreader is built to last and features a polypropylene hopper and a galvanized steel agitator for a longer lifespan. On top of that, Agri-Fab also includes a 3 year warranty to keep users’ minds at ease.

Check out the Agri-Fab 45-0288 tow behind drop spreader here:

Honorable Mentions

Here are some drop spreaders that didn’t quite make our list but we felt deserved a shout out.

Scotts Elite Spreader
Scotts 75902 Elite Spreader
Key Specs and Features:
– Hopper Capacity: 20,000 square feet
– Spread Pattern: 6 feet wide
– Weight: 19.75 lbs
– Tires: 10 inches
– Foam filled tires included
– Dual rotor technology
– Ergonomic handle
– Smartphone holder
– Convenient trigger and flow control system
TIPU Hand Spreader Shaker, Handheld Spreader for Grass Seed

TIPU Hand Spreader Shaker
Key Specs and Features:
– Hopper Capacity: 80 oz of material
– Spread Pattern: variable
– Dimensions: 14.9 x 7.6 x 5.5 inches
– Weight: 14.9 oz
– 3 spread options
– Easy spread adjustment
– Ergonomic and compact design
– Easy refills
AMAZE 75201 Broadcast Spreader
AMAZE 75201 Broadcast Spreader
Key Specs and Features:
– Hopper Capacity: 10,000 square feet
– Spread Pattern: 5 feet wide
– Dimensions: 20.5 x 20.75 x 21 inches
– Weight: 11.8 lbs
– Convenient trigger and flow control system
– Plastic wheelsSturdy design

Drop Spreader Buying Guide

Here’s a few important factors to consider when shopping for drop spreaders.

Types of Drop Spreaders

Types of Drop Spreaders

Handheld Drop Spreaders

Handheld drop spreaders are designed to be used for smaller gardens and lawns that don’t require as much material as larger lawns. These are compact and are meant to be operated with one hand with ease. Handheld drop spreaders can be battery powered or manual. Battery powered drop spreaders function in the same manner as broadcasters and have rotors or fans that effectively spread the feed. Manual handheld drop spreaders
use a hand crank mechanism to spread their contents. Other manual handheld drop spreaders simply need to be shaken or poured for their contents to be spread.

Push Drop Spreaders

These are the most commonly used drop spreaders for medium to large sized lawns. Push drop spreaders come in two different variants, these are the normal push drop spreaders and then there are drum type drop spreaders. Let’s break down the two.

Normal push drop spreaders are similar in form to wheelbarrows but have taller buckets. These buckets are called hoppers and are what hold the contents be it seeds, fertilizer, sand or ice melt. These hoppers have holes at the bottom of it and an axle that runs the width of the drop spreader. This axle is connected to both wheels and has little fins that sift through the material and periodically let the contents through the holes as the wheels turn. This is usually pre-calibrated by the manufacturer before the drop spreader is even sold but there are easy methods to recalibrate this in case the user wants more or less feed to be spread as it’s being pushed along. Manufacturers of push drop spreaders usually have a flow control rate mechanism located near the handle that users can adjust or, users can manually adjust the flow rate with a little tightening or loosening of a calibration screw located below the hopper.

Drum type push drop spreaders on the other hand take a different approach to spreading their contents. Drum type drop spreaders have meshed cages with holes around them which allows for more feeds to be dropped over an area. This meshed cage counts as the wheel and the hopper all in one. The entire drum can be filled with fertilizer, peat moss, mulch, compost among other lawn care materials. This system is more straightforward and convenient but at the same time less efficient because there’s no way to control how much material is released while the drop spreader is being pushed along.

Towed Drop Spreaders

Towed Drop Spreaders

The last and the largest type of drop spreader are the towed drop spreaders. As the name suggests, these are meant to be towed behind garden tractors or riding mowers. Towed drop spreaders have the largest hopper capacity and spread pattern, out matched only by broadcast spreaders. Towed drop spreaders are meant for large properties and can spread tens of thousands of square feet worth of material over an area of upto an acre. Similar to push drop spreaders, towed drop spreaders also come in regular or drum types.

Drop Spreaders vs Broadcast Spreader

There is a fourth type of spreader that does this differently. This is the broadcast spreader. But what exactly is a broadcast spreader and how is it different from a drop spreader?

Well, a drop spreader gets its name from the way it drops its contents onto the ground directly below the hopper. There’s nothing propelling it around a wider area and solely relies on how wide the spread pattern is. Broadcast spreaders on the other hand, have a mechanism that fans out its contents in a cone like pattern in front of the machine. This can be in the form of rotors or fans that are powered by the turning of the wheels. 

So which one is better?

Scotts ELITE Spreader Overview

While both broadcast spreaders and drop spreaders are made for spreading seeds, fertilizer and other lawn maintenance materials around an area, they are good at different aspects of this task. Broadcast spreaders can do this faster than a drop spreader because it can cover more ground but drop spreaders can be more efficient at spreading material, requiring less passes around a garden or lawn in order to get an even coating. 

Whether one or the other is better depends on your needs as a landscaper or homeowner. If you want to cover more area, a broadcast spreader would be a better choice but if you want to get the job done more accurately and want to do less passes around your lawn, then a drop spreader would be a better pick.

Important Factors to Consider

Hopper Capacity

The hopper capacity of a drop spreader refers to how much material can be held at a time. This is measured in volume, square feet of material or even in pounds. The hopper capacity varies greatly depending on the type of drop spreader. Push drop spreaders have large enough hoppers to carry thousands of square feet worth of material but the hoppers of towed drop spreaders can easily double the capacity of normal drop spreaders with some towed drop spreaders capable of carrying several gallons worth of material. The drop spreader with the least hopper capacity is, understandably, the handheld drop spreader with most handheld drop spreaders capable of carrying just a couple of ounces worth of material.

Area Coverage / Spread Width

The area coverage, also called spread pattern, of a drop spreader refers to how wide an area can be coated in material per pass. This number depends on how wide the hopper is and defers per model or type of drop spreader. Handheld drop spreaders have the smallest area coverage of the bunch. Push drop spreaders on the other hand, can easily have coverage areas of 20 inches wide or more. If you want to cover the most area however, the winner in this category would have to go to towed drop spreaders with some models having a spread pattern of upwards of 40 inches wide.

Maneuverability

Drop spreaders aren’t usually very maneuverable. These are typically meant to be pushed in a straight or curved line, requiring several passes to cover the whole area. The maneuverability of a drop spreader can be affected however by the size and number of wheels, length of the handles and the type of terrain. Unsurprisingly, handheld drop spreaders are arguably the most maneuverable in this regard because they can be carried and used anywhere and in any spread pattern the user is comfortable with.

Maintenance Tips

Most drop spreaders are built to be low maintenance and with durable materials for longer life spans. Just like any other tool however, these need to be cleaned and maintained every once in a while to keep them running at peak performance. Here are some quick tips to maintain your drop spreader.

  • For drum type drop spreaders, use a hose to wash out any material or dirt that might’ve gotten stuck in between the mesh. If left to dry, dirt could block the mesh and prevent the material from spreading properly. 
  • For push and tow type drop spreaders, users could use a hose to wash away any leftover material that might block the fins or clog the openings underneath the hopper.
  • Handheld drop spreaders can easily be cleaned using a damp cloth or with the use of a brush. Users can even use compressed air to blow out any leftover material.

FAQs

Q: How much is a drop spreader?

A: Drop spreaders can vary in price range depending on the type and brand. Push drop spreaders typically come in at a price range of $50 to as much as $250. Handheld drop spreaders are cheaper and range in price from $15 to upwards of $50 for more advanced models. Towed drop spreaders are the most expensive and can be priced at $200 to upwards of $300.

Q: Is a drop spreader worth it?

A: While not being a complete necessity, there are many instances where a drop spreader could come in handy. You could use a drop spreader to plant a new type of grass or plant on your lawn, to spread ice melt and to fertilize a lawn efficiently. If you do any of these gardening tasks, drop spreaders would make a great investment.

Q: Should I mow my lawn before using a drop spreader?

A: In preparation, you could trim your lawn before using a drop spreader. The cut grass would act as a valuable fertilizer that would help with overall lawn health and would add on to any fertilizer you plan on spreading on your lawn. Another thing you could do is to aerate your lawn prior to using a drop spreader. Aerating your lawn would help the fertilizer or seeds get into the ground faster.

Conclusion

Drop spreaders can be a useful tool for landscapers and homeowners. We hope that this article has taught you a thing or two about drop spreaders and that you leave here with a better idea on which one drop spreader is best for your needs. Thank you dear reader and happy gardening!

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