How To Find The Best Drop Spreader That Suits Your Needs

a broadcast spreader

If you love gardening and landscaping, you will definitely understand the importance of having a drop spreader. Drop spreaders are very helpful gardening equipment which aids you in number garden tasks such as grass seeding, spreading fertilizer, spreading sand, ice melt mixtures and others.

The equipment is pushed along where the seeds and mixture are dropped down from the holes located at the bottom of the hopper. Unlike the broadcast spreader which scatters mixtures and garden materials randomly over a wide area on the ground, the drop spreader only on small areas with higher accuracy.

If you’re looking for a spreader that accurately spreads your garden mixtures and materials on the ground, a drop spreader would be a better choice.

Choosing the best drop spreader that suits your needs however can be quite difficult considering there are a lot to choose from in the market. So to help you with that, we’ll be giving you a few tips on the ideal drop spread that you should aim for.

Plus we’ll throw in the top 5 drop spreaders that garden owners prefer.

**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Why Choose Drop Spreader Over Broadcast Spreader?

spreader

When on the lookout for spreaders, you will probably encounter the other type of spreader which is the Broadcast and you may wonder why choose a drop spreader over the other?

Generally, there is not much difference between these two types of spreaders and they also look very much the same. The only difference is that drop spreaders provide a better accuracy in distributing garden materials and mixtures.

From the names alone, the broadcast spreader scatters mixtures over the ground randomly in a circular motion like a fan. The broadcast spreader is designed this way to provide a quick and even spreading. On the other hand, drop spreaders provide a slow performance but with optimum accuracy – a primary feature which professional gardener wants.

drop spreader

Broadcasts spreaders also spread a certain volume of mixtures depending on the holes below the hopper. This means that the outer radius of the spreads would have lesser volume – something which is not favorable for most gardeners especially if they are looking to have even spreads all throughout.

Without considering time when making spreads on your garden, it is recommended to go for the drop spreader. Not only because it provides even and accurate spreads that focus only on the wheel’s path but it also provides better aesthetics for the garden as the plants grow in a neat and uniform position.

What To Bear In Mind When Buying Drop Spreaders

With the large volume of drop spreaders that are available in the market today having various brands and many unique features, it becomes difficult to track the one that best suits your needs.

To help you get a better idea of your ideal drop spreader, we’ve made a research on the top considerations to make when making a purchase. Knowing these considerations will help you narrow down your choices and will guarantee you the best drop spreader that is worth your money.

1. Key Features

fertilizer spreader

Firstly, when looking for your ideal drop spread for your specific gardening needs, you need to check on its key features. Before cashing in on that drop spreader, make sure it has these few key features.

  • An ergonomic handle
  • Cushioned grip
  • Durable pneumatic wheels
  • Should be light and easy to move around
  • Working lever controller
  • Auto-shut off feature
  • Depth gauge
  • Seed plates
  • Row marker

There are some of the basic features that you should have in your drop spreader. For some later versions, they can be equipped with newer features such as flip-up handles and bigger-sized hoppers. Whatever feature you choose, make sure that it is one that you really need.

2. Accessories

spreader

Drop spreaders work with great accuracy in spreading garden materials but can also do other miracles in the garden by using added accessories. Some of these accessories that you can consider for your drop spreader include side deflector kits, rain cover and mounting kit.

Accessories that can be used with your drop spreader can help much in performing more tasks in the garden aside from spreading mixtures and garden materials. This is why it is also important to think in advance on what accessories to buy with your drop spreader.

3. Calibration

a drop spreader

Spreading materials evenly and accurately on the ground through the drop spreader depends on the calibration. When looking into the calibration of your equipment, you should bear in mind the materials or fertilizers that you’ll be spreading.

Make sure that it can spread the weight, texture and volume of the specific material. It should be something that you can calibrate easily without the need for professional help.

4. Sturdy Construction

a fertilizer spreader

Of course one thing that you should also consider in your ideal drop spreader is its durability. The last thing that you want is to have a drop spreader that gets worn out within just a few times of use. Also, you don’t want a spreader that easily gets destroyed from handling tough types of materials.

Go for a sturdy hopper that has been tried and tested to make sure that you are making the right purchase. Of course, you may also want to check the durability of the other parts such as the axle and wheels.

5. Wheels

drop spreader

The wheels should be sturdy and large enough to make moving on uneven terrains easy. Also, it should have an appropriate height which should match the height of the user. Lastly, it should be durable enough to last a long time even when moving over dry as well as wet terrains.

Top 5 Drop Spreaders Today

Now that you have a better view of the features of your ideal drop spreader, let’s look at your top options in the market. This list of top 5 drop spreaders are based on customer reviews as well as the most modern features which gardeners are looking for.

1. Agri-Fab 45-0288

https://www.amazon.com/Agri-Fab-45-0288-175-Pound-Behind-Spreader/dp/B000KL1L6Q/

This drop spreader from Agri-Fab is an excellent choice for gardeners looking for spreaders that are easy to operate and produces even spreads on any kind of terrain. It is designed with optimum durability with its corrosion and rust proof components that makes every bit of your penny worth it.

This drop spreader provides the versatility that you are looking for in a spreader. Whether you are looking to seed your lawn, weed it out or boost it with fertilizers, this Agri-Fab drop spreader performs these jobs better than its competitors.

This product is available in a variety of sizers as well as push designs to match every gardener’s requirements. Also, it comes with models with spiker spreaders that prepare the ground prior to using expensive mixtures and materials.

When you’re looking to save money on your drop spreader to have more to spend for your fertilizer or garden mixtures then this product could be your best option.

PROS

  • Impressive hopper capacity of 17 gallons
  • Covers a large space in the garden (40,000 sq ft)
  • Corrosion proof polyhopper
  • Convenient spread width of 42 inches
  • Durable GI steel agitator
  • Pneumatic tires for convenient and smooth transportation
  • 3-years warranty

CONS

  • Requires professional experience to fully set it up
  • Can provide inconsistent spreads after constant use
  • Can clog often

2. EdgeGuard Spreader Scotts Turf Builder

https://www.amazon.com/Scotts-Builder-EdgeGuard-Broadcast-Spreader/dp/B002YPS1KK/?tag=lovebackyard-20

This spreader from Scotts is all about efficient as well as effective garden spreading. It is designed with the patented EdgeGuard Technology that is popular for making even and accurate spreads of any garden mixture and material such as sand, fertilizer, ice melts and others.

It is designed with a precision rate adjustable setting to deliver accurate spreads on spaces of 5,000 sq ft. just like the previous options in this list, this product is also readily calibrated upon purchase and it can be used right away straight from the box.

Being this product a lot smaller and compact than other spreaders that are available in the market today, it is easy to store as well as easy to move around in the garden. This gives you better convenience as well as gets your job done faster.

It also comes with pneumatic tires that allow you to work through even as well as uneven terrains whether they’re dry or wet. With this tire construction, it is able to last a long time of use without dealing with problems of wear and tear.

PROS

  • With patented EdgeGuard System
  • Works best with Scotts products
  • Covers a huge area of land despite the compact size
  • Ready to use right out of the box
  • Already calibrated upon purchase

CONS

  • Can have inconsistent spreads for uneven terrains
  • Hopper is too small
  • Hard to pull the spreader backwards

3. Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader

https://www.amazon.com/Scotts-Builder-Classic-Spreader-000-sq/dp/B002ZTK09U/

When it comes to almost anything in life, many people think that bigger is always the better option. For the case of this drop spreader, the bigger size isn’t exactly the better option. This product is a compact as well as high-performance solution for spreading materials in the garden.

This is a common favorite for gardeners dealing with smaller or more compact areas. Although compact, it can cover as much as 10.000 sq ft of space without having to re-spread because it does its job perfectly with high accuracy.

It is designed with a sturdy frame and hopper that are guaranteed to last longer than other conventional types of drop spreaders. Also, its wheels move perfectly and smoothly over even as well as uneven soil under wet or dry conditions.

This drop spreader is also readily assembled upon purchase and can be used right away by the pro as well as the newbie gardener. It leaves a spread pattern of 22 inches which is more than enough distance for plants to grow efficiently and to have sufficient supply of nutrients for each plant.

It also saves you more money when garden mixtures like fertilizers have reduced wastage through its pre-calibrated system. This is a favorite feature among gardeners who doesn’t want to waste a gram of fertilizer.

PROS

  • With 22” spray distance
  • Pre-calibrated upon purchase for use right away
  • Covers a large area of 10,000 sq ft
  • Durable hopper and frame
  • Ergonomic lever and handle

CONS

  • Poor tire thread design which can make the tire slippery on wet terrains
  • Can be more expensive than other drop spreaders

4. Precision Products 50 Lb Drop Spreader

https://www.amazon.com/Precision-Products-50-Pound-Capacity-DS1000KDGY/dp/B000PSWSDO/

This drop spreader is an ideal choice for those who are looking to spread seeds and fertilizers around their garden without spending too much time doing it. This is because the DS1000KDGY form Precision Products is designed with an 18-0.5” spread patter which delivers efficient spreads.

It is also easy to control with its fingertip cable control which opens and shuts the spreader door with just using a single stroke of the finger. It makes it easy to use even for newbies as well as those senior citizens who enjoy landscaping and gardening.

It is also designed with a durable hopper that can hold as much as 50 pounds of garden materials. The best part about this product is that it is relatively cheap compared to others with same hopper size and weight.

PROS

  • Large hopper capacity of 50 pounds
  • Fast spreading through its 18-0.5” spread pattern
  • Easy to control using fingertip-cable control feature
  • Sturdy steel frame with heavy-duty plastic hopper

CONS

  • Requires other purchase parts for assembly
  • Hopper is less durable than other models
  • Fingertip-cable control wears easily upon constant use
  • May require modification to please other uses

5. Precision Products DS4500RDGY

https://www.amazon.com/Precision-Products-DS4500RDGY-75-Pound-Capacity/dp/B001RAOBYS/

This drop spreader from Precision Products is yet another option that you can consider if you want a spreader that delivers accurate spreads all throughout your lawn. It is designed with a 1500 cu in hopper and built to handle a total of 75 pounds of weight.

It also features 12 inch poly wheels and delivers an even spread of 22-inch spread width. If you choose its deluxe version, you’ll end up with better features such as the poly agitator along with the set of flow bar gears.

Compared to other models, it is made more durable since it is designed with 7/8" coated tubing which makes it last for longer use. If you’re looking for a cheap but durable option of drop spreader then this could be your best choice.

PROS

  • Comes available with a deluxe version for better features on a n affordable price
  • Light weight and covers a good area
  • Durable frame and hopper
  • Powerful and Efficient wheels
  • Wide spread pattern of 22”

CONS

  • Too wide spreads for compact spaces
  • Lever cannot cover holes around the bottom all the time

Conclusion

broadcast spreader

Fertilizers and other garden materials are very important substances used in gardening and landscaping and it is important that you choose the best drop spreader to deal with spreading these substances. As a personal recommendation, we would go with Agri-Fab 45-0463 for a lot of positive reasons.

One reason for suggesting the Agri-Fab 45-0463 is that it comes with a price that is friendlier than others and it has optimum durability and ease of use for both the compact and wide areas in the garden.

What do you think of choice of top 5 drop spreaders in the market today? Do you have other suggestions of drop spreaders that should be added to this list? If you do, please message us on our comment box below. We’d love to hear your thoughts about it.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

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