6 Excellent Fertilizer Spreaders of Every Type and Size
Last updated: Feb 15, 2020
68Hours of Research
Whether you are a farmer wanting the best crop yield, or a homeowner wanting to maintain a pristine lawn, you will be aware of the importance of fertilizer in ensuring healthy and sustained crop growth. The market for fertilizer spreaders has grown hugely, with a variety of products now available. In this article, we’re here to help you choose the best fertilizer spreader to suit your needs.
We have reviewed 36 different fertilizer spreaders that are currently available to purchase online. These spreaders vary from industrial and commercial use to the small-scale garden lawn. Each has a variety of different features that you should take time to consider. Our editor’s choice for the best fertilizer spreader is the Chapin International 8400C. This spreader is made from highly durable materials and has large load capacity, meaning it does not have to be regularly reloaded.
Top 6 Fertilizer Spreaders Review 2020
It is important to know what you’re looking for when you purchasing any product. Factors we consider important when looking to purchase the best fertilizer spreader to suit your needs include the hopper capacity, spreading pattern, warranty information and product weight. Our article begins with a comparison table of reviewed products, followed by the 6 in-depth product reviews which feature a description, outlines key features and pros/cons. This followed by the buying guide which outlines all the factors you should consider before purchasing. There is also a brief FAQ section and the conclusion reveals our verdict on the top 3 best fertilizer spreaders that are currently available to purchase.
The Chapin International 8400C is known for being one of the easiest and most convenient fertilizer spreaders currently available to purchase. This walk-behind spreader is available for a reasonable price and is guaranteed to perform well in all weather conditions.
For those who have to fertilize a large area of land, the Chapin International 8400C can be a useful purchase with a poly hopper capacity of 100 lbs. This larger capacity prevents you from having to regularly fill up, making the whole fertilizer spreading process considerably more efficient. The frame, linkage and t-handle of the Chapin International 8400C are all constructed from stainless steel, guaranteeing strong and stable performance.
The Chapin International 8400C also contains an enclosed gearbox to assist with the running of the spreader. The gearbox also has a grease fitting to prevent rust. Having a good range of gears can be beneficial to ensure a smooth running of the spreader particularly on hilly terrain. The gears for the Chapin International 8400C are constructed from a secure metal-alloy material which is known for its durability.
Another crucial aspect of the Chapin International 8400C is the 14″ wide pneumatic tires which have a secure grip and strength to ensure a smooth rolling throughout different weather conditions. The fertilizer mix can also be protected from the rain due to the Chapin International 8400C having a rain cover. Those in control of the machine also can change the spread pattern as and when it is necessary.
The Agri-Fab 45-0288 is renowned for being one the best tow-behind fertilizer spreaders currently available in the market. This spreader has to be fitted to a tractor or small vehicle to be moved. The spreader can also be controlled from the vehicle to enhance the performance. The Agri-Fab 45-0288 is best suited for farmers who have to cover large areas of land.
One of the reasons why the Agri-Fab 45-0288 is best suited to farmers or those with large fields is the large hopper capacity at 175 lbs. This vast capacity is much larger than the majority of other similarly priced fertilizer spreaders. For one full capacity load of fertilizer, the Agri-Fab 45-0288 can spread approximately 40,000 square feet. Another significant advantage of the Agri-Fab 45-0288 is the widespread pattern at 42″. This increases the overall spread capacity, ensuring a highly efficient spreading process.
The poly hopper is made from a rustproof hard plastic material which can cope with all the weather demands that the year can bring. The durability of the Agri-Fab 45-0288 is also enhanced by the premium galvanized steel agitator and the securely constructed pneumatic tires which can guarantee smooth transport across the terrain.
Another great advantage of purchasing the Agri-Fab 45-0288 is 3-year warranty agreement that comes with the purchase. Although the agreement is limited and you should always read the small print, this length of the agreement is generous compared to many other fertilizer spreaders.
The Craftsman CMXGZBF7124571 is known for being a fertilizer spreader with one of the largest spread patterns. This tow-behind fertilizer spreader which contains a semi-circular poly hopper can spread at a width of 10ft within a single broadcast pattern, which enables you to cover areas of land very quickly. By being tow-behind fertilizer spreader, it has to be attached to a tractor or small vehicle to ensure top performance.
The Craftsman CMXGZBF7124571 has a rustproof poly hopper and spreader plate which ensure the spreader has long-lasting durability. For one use, the Craftsman CMXGZBF7124571 can cover approximately 17,500 square feet which are 1/3 Acre. Although the spread pattern is large, the restricted poly hopper capacity means that the Craftsman CMXGZBF7124571 may not be best suited to large pieces of land. It is perfectly suited for small land sizes.
The Craftsman CMXGZBF7124571 is designed to cope with the natural weather elements. The heavy-duty steel gear is non-corrosive and will ensure strong performance over a long period. With assembled dimensions of 43 in. L x 26 in. W x 38 in. H, the Craftsman CMXGZBF7124571 is a large fertilizer spreader to handle.
Another great advantage of purchasing the Craftsman CMXGZBF7124571 is the universal hitch which allows the spreader to be quickly and easily attached to all tractor types. This eradicates concerns among some who fear hitch incompatibility. The Craftsman CMXGZBF7124571 gives you that extra peace of mind.
The EARTHWAY PRODUCTS EV-N-Spred is a great choice for those who want a small scale, lightweight and compact fertilizer spreader for garden lawn use. The EARTHWAY PRODUCTS EV-N-Spred is a hand crank type of fertilizer spreader which is operated while strapped to the shoulders of the person operating the fertilizer.
The hopper of the EARTHWAY PRODUCTS EV-N-Spred is rustproof and can cope with a variety of weather demands. At 40lbs in capacity, the EARTHWAY PRODUCTS EV-N-Spred is regarded as a small-scale fertilizer spreader and should not be used when looking to spread fertilizer on large acres of land. This practical spreader is worn with straps with the hopper located in front of the person who can then access the hand crank.
The EARTHWAY PRODUCTS EV-N-Spred comes with a powdered coated chassis which enhances the performance and distribution of the fertilizer. There is also a rain cover included in the purchasing package to ensure that you can still fertilize your crops in wet, rainy conditions.
Another great advantage of purchasing the EARTHWAY PRODUCTS EV-N-Spred is the consumer protection that comes with the purchase. For the whole spreader, there is a 1-year limited warranty agreement but for the technology of the spreader, EARTHWAY PRODUCTS provide a lifetime of support. This can be of great assistance to those who are new to using a fertilizer spreader. Especially as this spreader is more designed for home use, the manufacturers have the support in place to help you with your needs.
The Scotts Elite Spreader is budget price, high tech fertilizer spreader that is a great purchase for those who want a convenient fertilizer spreader that does not set them back too much financially. Despite not specifying the exact poly hopper capacity, the Scotts Elite Spreader is expected to perform a medium to high range of load capacity.
One of the best features of the Scotts Elite Spreader is the dual rotor technology that is designed to give you one of the most accurate fertilizer spreads. The dual rotor technology can give a 6ft spread pattern. This width of pattern performs very well compared to more expensive fertilizer spreaders. The advantage of having a widespread pattern is the potential time it can save as the Scotts Elite Spreader can cover land quickly.
For one full load of fertilizer, the Scotts Elite Spreader can cover approximately 20,000 square feet, which for a product that is available at a budget price, is very useful. If you are a farmer or someone who owns larger areas of land, the square footage of the Scotts Elite Spreader may not favor too well. The Scotts Elite Spreader is mainly targeted at homeowners with gardens.
Some additional noteworthy features of the Scotts Elite Spreader include the 10-inch foam-filled tires that can cope with most terrains and perform reliably for a long period. The ergonomic handle makes the fertilizer spreading experience much more comfortable and there is also a smartphone holder so that you can listen to your favorite tunes while spreading. The product also requires minimal assembly.
The Lesco Commercial Plus is known for being one of the best commercial fertilizer spreaders currently available to purchase. Known for its reliable performance, the Lesco Commercial Plus has a capacity of 80 lbs and can easily cover the majority of gardens and small fields.
The reason why the Lesco Commercial Plus is at the premium end of the market is because of the excellent quality materials used in the construction. The stainless-steel frame is rustproof and can survive all the different weather conditions without reducing performance. The gearbox is enclosed so that it is protected from the elements and has 5:1 gear ratio. This ratio is more advanced than other gear-based fertilizer spreaders and ensures the spreader can perform well on more challenging terrains.
The Lesco Commercial Plus is a walk-behind fertilizer spreader which makes it very easy and low-maintenance to operate. You simply need to push the frame handles over the crops the rotor technology disperses the fertilizer. The spread pattern on the Lesco Commercial Plus is not specified, but it would right to assume that the width of the pattern will be at the least competitive with rival products.
The Lesco Commercial Plus has pneumatic tires which are built to last in all conditions and require minimal maintenance. The warranty of the Lesco Commercial Plus is a one-year limited agreement. It is best practice for you to read the terms and conditions to know what you are protected against.
Quality control issues
Having a flourishing garden means adding fertilizers to the plants. There are a lot of fertilizer spreads in the market and it can be hard to find the perfect one for your garden. This guide will give you the information that you need to purchase the best fertilizer spreader for your needs.
Why invest in a fertilizer spreader?
Fertilizer spreaders help you maintain your garden or lawn with ease. The following are the benefits of owning a fertilizer spreader:
Improved yields – fertilizers help to improve the health of the soil which leads to an increase in the crops yield. To achieve optimum results, the fertilizers need to be spread evenly. Hence the need for a fertilizer spreader to easily dispense the fertilizers uniformly.
Reduced labor – spreading fertilizer using your hand can be a laborious task and it is not a favorite job to do. Using a fertilizer spreader can significantly reduce the manual effort needed. Some spreaders can even be latched to the back of a tractor and operated in an automatic mode.
Higher accuracy – spreading fertilizer manually has the risk of concentrating fertilizer on specific areas of your field only. You can even drop too much of the fertilizer all over the field. Using a spreader ensures that the fertilizer is spread accurately by considering critical elements such as the flow rate, the volume and the direction.
How to use a fertilizer spreader
First, you will need to work out the spreader setting and the application rate needed for the area that you want to treat. It is recommended to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the manual or speak to a trained technical advisor.
Map out in your head where you need to drive or walk, keeping in mind the distance that the fertilizer is spread. The fertilizer will be spread further if you move faster.
Fill the fertilizer spreader and be careful to not overfill or spill.
Start spreading the fertilizer, snaking up and down the field, paddock or lawn is recommended. Be careful to not over-treat the corners.
Once you have finished spreading, any remaining fertilizer should be returned to the bag for you to use next time.
The price you pay for fertilizer spreaders will depend on the branding, build quality and the individual features. The price will be higher if the functions are better.
Avoid compromising on the features and quality just to buy a cheaper spreader. Since you will want it to be a one-time investment, find a balance between the quality and the price. The fertilizer spreaders reviewed above have a price range of between $100 to $500.
Choose the best fertilizer spreader by the following features
To purchase the best fertilizer spreader for your needs, consider the following available features:
Type of spreaders
There are different types of spreaders for fertilizers and each comes with specific features and design as explained below:
Handheld spreader – this spreader gives you control of where the fertilizers fall. They are suitable for small yards and gardens.
Push/walk-behind spreader – this spreader works by you pushing and walking behind it. It is designed in a way that when the wheels rotate, the dispensing mechanism is engaged in distributing the fertilizer. It is your responsibility to guide the spreader around the entire field.
Tow-behind spreader – this spreader uses the same mechanism as the walk-behind spreader but it is attached to a riding mower or an all-terrain vehicle.
Broadcast spreader – this spreader is designed to spread fertilizer over large fields. Depending on the design, it can be pulled in a retreating way, pushed forward or attached to a lawn tractor.
Drop spreader – this spreader is designed to spread the fertilizer in specific distances between the wheels. This spreader is suitable for small to medium-sized yards.
This refers to the amount that the hopper can hold. When you have a large hopper, it means that you do not have to refill it frequently which is ideal when distributing fertilizer in large fields.
If you are planning on spreading fertilizer in a small yard, a small hopper is ideal. A hopper with a capacity of 120+ lbs such as the Agri-Fab 45-0288 is suitable for the commercial or larger setting. A hopper that can hold between 30 to 50 lbs is ideal for small to medium-sized yards.
Size and weight
Weight may not be a concern except when you are using a hand-held spreader because you will be pulling, pushing or towing the spreader.
If you planning to use a hand-held spreader, purchase one that is lightweight for you to carry it around without feeling tired. Keep in mind that you will also be carrying the weight of the fertilizer. The best hand-held spreader weighs less than 10 pounds.
The wheels play an important role in supporting the main body of the fertilizer spreader. Therefore, if the wheels are not well designed, then they will offer weak support to the spreader. Choose a spreader with wide and well-balanced tires to have excellent support and stability.
Materials and quality
Consider buying a spreader that is made of durable and stronger materials. Spreaders made of stainless steel and steel are durable because of their hardwearing nature.
Since spreaders are primarily used outdoors, choose one that is made of materials which are less affected by the weather elements. Spreaders made of stainless steel are an excellent choice but make sure that they are treated for rust and corrosion protection.
Maintaining the spreader regularly will keep it in good condition for a long period. Some frames are made of plastic which wears out over time especially during summer. Some engineered plastics are durable and designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.
The durability of a spreader has a lot to do with the materials used to design it but it is also partly determined by the workmanship quality. If you are spending more money on the spreader, buy one which is solidly constructed and made of strong materials for it to last longer.
If you are spending more money on a fertilizer spreader, choose one that has a longer warranty term so that you get your money’s worth in support of the manufacturer. The above fertilizer spreaders have different warranty periods ranging from one-year limited to a lifetime of support for the technological side, as seen with the EARTHWAY PRODUCTS EV-N-Spred.
To ensure that there is even spreading of the fertilizer, purchase a spreader that is suitable for your terrain to achieve uniform look across the lawn, yard or farm.
If you use the wrong spreader for your terrain, some part of the farm will receive more fertilizer than others. This will be evident in how the plants look like when they germinate and grow.
A fertilizer spreader does not need many accessories to be user-friendly. The main accessory that you need is a hopper cover. The main purpose of the cover is to protect the content in the hopper from rain, humidity, snow and other forms of moisture that can affect the quality of the product. It also keeps the fertilizer chemical and dust particles inside the hopper to protect you from skin contact with the chemicals and dust inhalation.
Some products such as the Scotts Elite Spreader have a smartphone holder in case you wanted to listen to some music whilst spreading the fertilizer.
For you to be able to get more out of your spreader, buy one that feels good during operations. If you are a senior with issues of joint mobility, make sure that you do not buy a spreader that exceeds your physical limitation. You should be comfortable when using a fertilizer spreader.
The following questions are frequently asked by the owners and customers of fertilizer spreaders:
Most fertilizer spreaders can be used for other purposes apart from fertilizer applications. It saves you on the costs of buying additional spreaders that you may need. You can use a fertilizer spreader to spread seeds, lime, ice melt and sand.
It is logical to choose a larger fertilizer spreader if you have a larger yard. The same logic applies for a smaller yard, you need a smaller spreader. It would be time-consuming and exhausting to use a small hand-carry spreader in a large field.
If you have a large piece of land, a tow-behind fertilizer spreader is suitable and you can latch it onto an ATV and spread the fertilizer easily. For a medium-size yard, you can opt to use a walk-behind spreader.
Yes. You can use a fertilizer spreader in a small yard. This will ensure that the fertilizer that you apply on your yard is evenly distributed and reaches every corner. This is more so if you choose a spreader suitable for your yard size and terrain.
Hopefully, this article has given you all the essential information you need to know about fertilizer spreaders.
Our verdict on the top 3 best fertilizer spreaders currently in the market is:
The Chapin International 8400C comes top of our rankings because of how convenient the spreader is to use in all weather conditions as well as its long-term durability.
The Agri-Fab 45-0288 finishes second in our rankings because of its large load capacity and ability to cover large fields in a small amount of time.
The Craftsman CMXGZBF7124571 comes third in our rankings its usability due to a universal hitch that can easily connect to all tractors.
When looking to purchase the best fertilizer spreader to suit your needs, you must take your time to research online and read customer reviews to give yourself the best chance of purchasing a great value product.