The Best Fertilizer Spreader Reviews for 2019
Updated by Brandon F. on June 15, 2019
Now that it is starting to warm up, putting down fertilizer is becoming an important (but daunting) task. If you have shopped around for very long, it is likely that you have quickly realized just how many different brands and models of fertilizer spreaders there really are. Have no fear! We have spent hundreds of hours testing and reviewing all of the top fertilizer spreaders and we are ready to pass what we have learned on to you. In this Ultimate Guide, we will be focusing on 5 of the top metrics: Performance, Ease of Use, Build Quality, Cost, and Overall Rating. We also discuss the various types of fertilizer spreaders as well as help you determine what size of fertilizer is best-suited for your needs. Below is a table with our top 5 choices. For all of our informative full reviews of all fertilizer spreaders we have tested, hop on below.
Best Fertilizer Spreaders – Top 5 Picks
There are dozens of popular garden brands that make fertilizer spreaders and within each of these brands, there can be a dozen or more specific models. It can be very overwhelming! To make it easier for you, we break down all of the popular brands below. Click on any of the buttons to hop to our full review of that particular model.
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Agri-Fab has a variety of lawn-related care products including lawn carts, sweepers, fertilizer spreaders, groomers, and more. Their reputable name and proven track record have made them one of the more popular lawn care product manufacturers out there. In regards to their lineup of spreaders, you can choose from a nice range of sizes and specifications, ranging from their hand-held spreader and 50 lb. push spreader all the way up to their large 175 lb. tow spreaders. Their reputation and great performance do result in a higher than average asking price, however.
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Brinly has a small but popular array of fertilizer spreaders. Their smallest option, the 50 lb. unit, is their only manual push option. They also offer up larger 125 and 175 lb. products that require being towed. All of their products come with premium manufactured parts and the surprisingly simple design means a much easier time both with assembly as well as during usage. Asking prices are reasonable and fall about in the middle when compared to other premium fertilizer spreader brands.
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Chapin is another large brand that has their products in a wide variety of online and brick-and-mortar stores. They seem to focus on smaller to mid-size spreaders, particularly in the 80 to 100-pound range. Some of their more popular models include the 8400 Series and the 8100 Series. Rather than make units that can handle a variety of applications, they have instead opted to create specialty spreaders of similar size and performance that are designed to handle specific materials including fertilizer, ice salt, etc. Their prices are quite competitive and typically fall into the middle and sometimes even budget price tier.
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Earthway is another one of the larger and more reputable brands that we are reviewing and they put a majority of their efforts into various types of spreaders. These spreaders include liquid sprayers, mobile spreaders, hand spreaders, and even electric spreaders. The size selection and range is basically unmatched and no matter if you are a new gardener or a seasoned commercial gardener, Earthway will have a host of fertilizer spreaders to meet your needs. That being said, asking price can be a bit on the high side to enjoy their quality products.
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Field Tuff is a lesser-known brand that isn’t synonymous with gardeners and small-time yard owners. They mostly focus on fertilizer spreaders that are intended to be attached to tractors or ATVs as well as enormous commercial-grade spreaders. Their asking prices are reasonable considering the size of output but they do have some unique quirks that are worth discussing before making a purchase.
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As opposed to other brands that focus on large and commercial-grade fertilizer spreaders, Gardena instead focuses on small, low-cost examples. Their lineup is rather limited and includes a couple of small handheld spreaders as well as their more somewhat larger Spreader L and Spreader XL. Gardena products are designed for smaller gardens where people aren’t necessarily concerned about covering large amounts of area and instead want something simple, affordable, and that has a good user control.
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Giantex sells a wide variety of items online and their small lineup of fertilizer spreaders adds to this list. Their most popular unit is the 65-pound push cart. This is a happy medium in regards to size and should fulfill the needs of your typical homeowner’s yard. The big selling point with Giantex is their very aggressive pricing. However, in order to reach this price, you may find sacrifices in quality and performance.
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Goplus is another popular online brand that spreads its wings into many different industries. Their approach seems to be one that puts good asking prices towards the top. As such, their small lineup of mid-sized fertilizer spreaders is extremely affordable. However, as we have seen time and time again, these cost-savings do affect overall performance, reliability, and durability.
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Lesco offers up a small selection of fertilizer spreaders that fall into the mid-sized range. Rather than try to compete from a low-cost standpoint, Lesco instead tries to manufacture the premiere fertilizer spreaders in the industry but at an extremely high asking price. This refreshing approach allows for unparalleled build quality and great performance but may simply be too high of an entry fee for many.
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Master Gardner is a mid-sized brand that focuses on various gardening tools (as the name might suggest). Their fertilizer spreader lineup consists of 3 models: 50, 100, and 125 pound models. These broadcaster-style spreaders are all push-type and utilize very similar technology with the primary difference being the hopper size. Build quality and performance are above average and expect to pay a higher than average asking price for it.
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Newer Spreader is a bit different than the other models we have reviewed. The name is actually short for “manure” which is what it is intended to spread. Technically, manure is a type of fertilizer so it does fall into the realm of this review but it certainly has some unique attributes outside of a traditional grain-based fertilizer spreader. These are much larger models than most and are intended to be pulled behind a tractor, ATV, or vehicle as opposed to being hand-pushed. As is expected, this means that they are also much larger (and more expensive) than most other spreaders, making them much more capable of handling large areas of land.
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Precision Products offers up a rather diverse range of spreaders that consist of their small HHBS-125 handheld spreader all the way up to their huge TBS7000RD 200-pound tow-behind spreader. With so many different size and configuration options to choose from, Precision Products hopes that they will have the perfect model to meet your specific needs. In addition, they try to design their products around meeting a competitive price point.
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Prizelawn might not be as well-known as some of the other brands we have reviewed but they do bring to the table a solid history of making quality fertilizer spreaders. Their selection is somewhat small and they are really targeted at commercial applications. They have their popular 70 and 100-pound commercial spreaders, a handful of semi-professional spreaders, and also some handheld spreaders. These spreaders aim to meet very demanding needs thanks to their very high volume output but it does come at a very high asking price.
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Scotts is one of the most recognizable brands in this review and is also one of the few brands that actually make their own fertilizer as well. Their lineup of fertilizer spreaders is about average in size and consists of mostly smaller units with a couple of more capable models sprinkled in. Scotts has aimed to be the “brand for everyone” and their spreaders reflect that through their simple operation and attractive price points.
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Spyker is one of the more recognized brands that focus on premium units designed for commercial and professional applications. However, they do have a few selections of smaller (and typically cheaper) units that are targeted for home use. The combination of great craftsmanship and solid performance make these a good contender for many people but it does come at a high asking price that may be out of reach for some.
Tahoe is a smaller brand that sells a variety of online products that include sports equipment, arts/crafts, patio, lawncare, and more. Their selection of fertilizer is very limited, with their only model being their model 20900060 Broadcast Push Spreader. This unit is very low-cost but comes at the expense of being pretty bare-boned both in features as well as not being anything ground-breaking in the performance category.
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Titan is a lesser-known brand in the fertilizer world as their products span many different categories from motorcycles to patios and even forklift equipment. Because of this, their lineup of fertilizer spreaders is just one product. It is a 50-pound broadcast spreader that has a unique shape and offers up to 50 pounds of load capacity. The asking price falls about the middle of the line considering the size and output potential.
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Turfex is one of the premier lawn care brands and their huge range of fertilizer spreaders supports this. Available in hand, push, pull, and even self-powered units, Turfex fertilizer spreaders compete with the very best in just about every category. For the sake of this review, we will be focusing mostly on their traditional manual push examples. Within this category, there are several options that range from the smallest size, the TS25, up to the versatile and robust TS95. That being said, you will pay a handsome price to enjoy a Turfex fertilizer spreader.
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Vulcan is a smaller company that sells various products, mostly on online marketplaces. They have a couple of simple and relatively low-cost fertilizer spreaders for sale. Both of these units are manual push-type and are a bit on the larger size, coming in at 80-pound and 125-pound capacity. Vulcan hopes that its simplistic user controls and straightforward approach coupled with a reasonable asking price will make their products a big hit.
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Westward is sold in some of the more popular brick and mortar stores such as Grainger but it also has its place in the online world as well. In regards to its lineup of fertilizer spreaders, the choices are about average and consist of 60, 70, 80, and 125 pound models. Some of their more popular models online include the 10F633 and 4UHC9. Performance is stated to be as good as many other premium models on the market but the asking price can vary and be quite high on the larger models.
There are many factors that go into deciding what the best fertilizer spreader is. With all of the models out there, it can be hard to keep track of everything. So we have broken down each of our rating metrics below in greater detail for your assistance.
Performance refers to how well the fertilizer spreader performs in its primary task: spreading fertilizer! This encompasses several different factors. First, know the potential coverage area of the spreader is very important. A spreader that has a wider spray width means that you can finish your task faster and with fewer passes. While a spreader with a smaller spray width means more work for you. Next, how consistent the fertilizer application is. Many lower-quality spreaders will distribute fertilizer unevenly. This can result in certain areas of your grass not receiving fertilizer and, in worst cases, certain areas receiving TOO much fertilizer (which can damage and potentially kill your grass). We look for models that apply product evenly. Another important consideration is in the level of customization and control that the spreader has. This can include things such as adjustable handles that can decrease/increase how much fertilizer comes out, how responsive the mechanism is to stopping and starting fertilizer application when you start or stop pushing the spreader, and the product’s ability to be able to handle tight corners or areas where you perhaps don’t want the maximum spray.
Ease of Use
Ease of Use is all about how user-friendly a particular fertilizer spreader is. Since these products (particularly on the larger examples) can be quite bulky and heavy, having features in place to make them much easier to move and use is very important. Specifically, we look for ergonomic shapes that are comfortable to handle and steer. In addition, having any levers, knobs, or other adjustable features in an easy-to-reach place is a nice plus. Another important aspect lies with the moving parts: how smooth the gear set and spray mechanism are, how robust and grippy the tires are, and how easy it is to adjust the frame to different body types. Also important is how easy it is to assemble.
Seeing how many fertilizer spreaders can cost hundreds of dollars and more, finding a product that will last for many years is extremely important. When it comes to building quality, we typically look for products that are designed with premium materials and fit together nicely. Steel components are almost always preferred over plastic and things such as flimsy plastic wheels, plastic gears, and cheap plastic hoppers are always a reason for concern. We also like to see materials that are rust-proof. Finally, a company offering up a good warranty is a great sign as it not only shows that the product is made to last but that the company is willing to stand behind that claim.
Cost is almost always an important consideration and that is also the case here. Finding a happy balance between cost and quality is something that we look for. Just because one model is more expensive than another doesn’t automatically mean it will score lower here. Rather, we try to compare models to similarly-priced models from other brands and find clear-cut winners. The simple fact of the matter is that quality and performance aren’t cheap and, in some cases, if you want the top-performing model it is going to cost you a lot more than a budget offering. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t winners in the value game out there!
As the name suggests, the overall rating combines all of the metrics discussed above and gives a “big picture”. As a rough rule of thumb, anything that scores a 3.5-star overall rating is considered a good buy. Those models that score 4 stars are great buys. And the few lucky products that happen to receive a 4.5 or even 5 star are considered fantastic buys in our book.
Below are our full revies for each robotic pool cleaner. We break down the metrics discussed above and assign a star rating to each. Use this guide as your roadmap for finding the best robotic pool cleaner to meet your needs.
Agri-Fab Fertilizer Spreader Review
No matter which size Agri-Fab fertilizer spreader you go with, you can be sure to enjoy the great performance for its size. The spreader width ranges from 10 to 12 inches on their smaller units and goes up to 10 feet width on the larger examples. This, combined with the large storage volumes, means that you can easily handle anywhere from ½ acre to 1/3 acre with each fill up. This is above average compared to other models and is very impressive to us. The fertilizer is sprayed evenly and consistently and you don’t have to worry about missing large areas or piling up in certain areas as well.
Ease of Use –
The wheels used on these units are large enough and provide good grip and traction. You can push the cart across typical outdoor environments including grass, mulch, roots, and some smaller rocks and sticks thanks to the pneumatic tires. As is typical of larger spreaders such as the 110 pound and 130 pound, it will be a bit more burdensome to push and steer simply due to the large weight of a full container. If you need one of these larger units we encourage you to try to take advantage of a riding lawnmower or tractor to do the dirty work for you. Assembly is a bit more complex than other premium fertilizer spreaders, however. The Agri-Fab spreaders seem to have a bit more pieces that comprise the frame. The instructions they come with are acceptable but we do wish that the frame was a single-piece construction. Also, getting the hitch height just right is a bit trial-and-error and can lead to some frustration. You may also find that the release handle is too short which can lead to excess fertilizer remaining in the spreader bowl.
Build Quality –
Build quality can really be hit or miss here. While the individual components are all made of premium metal and thick plastic/rubber, there have been many complaints about the gearboxes arriving incorrectly assembled from the factory. We do like that the gears are made of metal vs. plastic and the gears are fully enclosed in a housing, but there seem to be some fitment and assembly issues that have required many people to completely tear apart the gear set and reassemble it. Also, the spring assembly is a bit weak for some and may require some modifying to get to the level that you prefer. Beyond this, there are just some other minor fitment and design issues that will make these units (specifically the tow-behind ones) require a bit of modification to get them to the settings that you like. This isn’t a huge issue but for those who aren’t much of a handyman and prefer something to work perfectly out of the box, you may be a bit disappointed.
Expect to pay above average asking prices for Agri-Fab units. The smaller examples such as the Agri-Fab 50 lb. and 85 lb. push spreaders should be within most people’s budgets but the larger products will come with a somewhat hefty price tag. Obviously, the tow behind typically come with additional features and parts that are required for operation (and this will drive up the price tag). For the price, we feel that component quality is fine but there is just some annoying fitment issues that we wish would be sorted out for what many consider a premium-level fertilizer spreader.
Overall Rating –
The Agri-Fab fertilizer spreader family has been a key player in the fertilizer game for many years now. Their varied selection of hand, push, and pull spreaders should meet the needs of just about everybody from someone with a small lawn in the city up to someone with several acres out in the country. The overall performance and spread area are acceptable and among the top in the industry. However, there are some notable build quality issues that can really put a damper on what is otherwise a solid lineup. If you are willing to do some tinkering and minor modifications to get the spreader “just right” then these are good choices.
Brinly Fertilizer Spreader Review
The smallest unit, the Brinly P20-500BH, can hold up to 50 lbs of lawn fertilizer. This manual push option is capable of handling ½ acre lots. While this is nothing groundbreaking, the larger units (BS-26H and BS-36H) are where the performance really ramps up. The BS-26H is a 125-pound hopper with a similar gearbox and spreader to the 50 lb unit but with a significant increase in storage. It is still designed for ½ acre lots as well but comes with some great features such as the Autoflow design that helps to avoid the annoying occurrence of overfilling an area with fertilizer. The BS-36H takes it up another notch and features 175 lb of storage capacity and is designed for commercial or large residential applications of 1 acre or larger. This makes it one of the larger units we have come across. Also worth noting is the patented direction spread pattern control which helps to guarantee a balanced application and really bushes the top Brinly unit ahead of much of the competition.
Ease of Use –
Assembly here is very simple. You don’t have to deal with a ton of small structural pieces that you have to piece together. Instead, there are only a handful of components which are easily put together. You have plenty of features at your disposal to help with application control. These include things such as the directional spread pattern control, easy calibration settings that are near the handle, and large pneumatic tires that provide good grip and easy steering. It goes without saying that nobody would want to push around a full 175-pound hopper which is why the larger 2 products require being towed. Speaking of the hopper, it is also designed with specialized grates that can handle a variety of lawn-related materials including fertilizer, seeds, and salt melt.
Build Quality –
Brinly’s build quality is excellent in nearly every facet. The frame itself is made of thick metal and the welds are thick and durable. We have heard some complaints related to the tires but we personally found them to be of acceptable quality and on par with the rest of the industry’s competition. The gearbox is fully enclosed and rotates with ease and seems to last for years of typical use without any issues. We also appreciate the Brinly 2-year warranty on their units.
Brinly fertilizer spreaders certainly aren’t the cheapest out there but, given the quality and performance, are more than acceptable in regards to price. For those willing to open up their wallets a bit, you will enjoy a quality tool that is made of durable parts and will last much longer than many of the cheaper competitors on the market. That being said, the smaller 50-pound unit is still very reasonably priced and actually can compete with many of the budget brands in asking price as well.
Overall Rating –
We came away from our experience with the Brinly fertilizer spreaders very impressed. While the product selections are somewhat limited, what they do offer works well and efficiently. There is a smaller hand-push unit for those with small yards and a tighter budget while people who need something more capable can go with the enormous 175-pound hopper selection. Fertilizer is distributed evenly and there are enough customization controls to make most people happy. The build quality is great and there is a nice warranty to back it up in the rare case that something to go wrong. We highly recommend checking out Brinly’s spreaders.
Chapin Fertilizer Spreader Review
The application ability is average at best here. The spray area and potential storage capacity are all in the mid to lower range so those with large yards or that hope to finish a job quickly may be a bit underwhelmed. Nearly all of Chapin’s spreaders come with a similar bail system, side baffle, and adjustable gate lever. What makes them unique is that there are designed for a very specific application. While other brands and models will advertise that a single unit can handle fertilizer, seeds, and even salt, Chapin instead opts to make specific units for each task. This means that you do have a product that is specialized and optimized for its intended material but at the same time it does limit its flexibility. All of these models fall into the mid-size range and really are designed for lots around a ½ acre to maybe ¾ acre max. Anything larger than that and you will find that it is more hassle than it is worth. Also, all of these units are manual push and not tow-capable so the speed at which you can finish a job will be heavily dictated by how fast you can push.
Ease of Use –
A big positive in the usability category is that Chapin fertilizer spreaders are very lightweight when empty and quite mobile. This makes them easy to push and navigate by most people when they aren’t completely full. That being said, they can still be heavy when full simply because they hold quite a bit of fertilizer and are push spreaders. Also, there are several areas that have been common sources of frustration by customers. These things have required modifications to be performed to get the product where it should have been outside of the box. These include having to grind the gate control opening down to allow for smoother sliding. Next, you may have to fidget with the edge guard at the bottom of the hopper in order to get it properly centered. Finally, the gate doesn’t always close all the way and it may require a more robust spring. It is unfortunate that these things are oftentimes necessary but, once finished, the product does perform nicely.
Build Quality –
You can tell that this is a more budget-friendly fertilizer spreader by the components. Places, where other, more expensive brands would use thick metal, will be replaced with thin metal and even plastic on these models. Also, there are some noticeable fitment issues that were discussed above that all go back to poor design and questionable build quality. However, not everything is bad here. The frame itself is solid enough and the gears used do spin with relative ease.
Most of the Chapin fertilizer spreaders fall into the mid-price range. And, in the case of the smaller units, you may even be able to enjoy them in the upper budget tier. There are some noticeable sacrifices made in quality and performance to reach this asking price and those on a tight budget may be willing to overlook them.
Overall Rating –
Chapin has a lot of experience in lawn-related products but there are simply too many minor quality and usability issues to highly recommend their lineup of spreaders. There isn’t a lot of range in size and application and those after a particularly small or a commercial-grade unit may not find what you are looking for. The lightweight and simple build design are great for cost-savings and weight reduction but the impact on build quality and ease of use are too large to overlook. If you are strictly worried about saving some money you may consider these units but for most, you will be better off spending a bit more for a much more capable product.
Earthway Fertilizer Spreader Review
Powered by a state of the art 24V electric motor, the Aquabot Fury products great suction power. This allows this unit to be capable of handling pools of up to 800 square feet which is larger than just about every traditional residential pool out there. Not only does it suck, but it also will brush, vacuum, and store large amounts of debris for easy removal. Thanks to the Aqua Smart cleaning system, you can expect a full cleaning cycle to take around 1-3 hours. It is important to note that the Aquabot fury is only for in-ground pools but can handle several different types of pool liner material.
Features/Ease of Use –
There is quite a bit of flexibility with how this Aquabot cleaner performs its duty. This all goes back to the Aqua Smart System that allows you to have better control over the level of wall climbing as well as its ability to handle tight corners. Beyond this awesome feature, you also get a bottom lid debris catcher, detangler for the power cord, removable propeller, and much more.
Per our research, this unit seems to be quite reliable. The components are of high quality and seem to stand up to typical wear and tear quite well. It also comes with a 2-year warranty which is about average for what we have seen other similar units offer.
You do get a lot when it comes to performance and features here but it also comes at a rather high price tag. Despite being a “jr” unit according to Aquabot, the asking price certainly isn’t “jr” and falls well into the premium price tier. This may simply be out of the budget for some people.
Overall Rating –
The Aquabot Fury attempts to capture the main selling points of their higher-end and largest models in a smaller, more efficient unit. They are certainly successful in doing so thanks to the powerful 24V electric motor as well as the proper implementation of the Aqua Smart System. This level of flexibility and control really are strong points in this cleaner. That being said, the asking price is still very high and may be out of reach for a lot of people on the market for a residential pool cleaner.
Field Tuff Fertilizer Spreader Review
From a sheer size standpoint, Field Tuff fertilizer spreaders can compete with the best. Their “smaller” units still top out at around 80 pounds of fertilizer capability and their large sizes can be gargantuan, measuring at a whopping 350 pounds! These sizes are really intended for larger plots of land and even their smaller designs are meant to be attached to tractors and/or ATVs. Despite the large size, the spread area is about average and we noticed that there are some inconsistencies on fertilizer spray. Certain areas along the route may get above average fertilizer while others get below. This all has to do with the door (well, specifically the cable holding the door) that allows fertilizer to be released. It isn’t very reliable and doesn’t do a good job of being precise in its application.
Ease of Use –
You may find that you have to tinker with the settings some on these units to get them just right. Multiple people have complained about the door issue we mentioned above and many have resorted to modifying the cable themselves. Also, the spray guard isn’t very good and fertilizer granules are susceptible to being kicked back while being used. This is not only messy but also wastes fertilizer and requires you to consume more for a given area. Finally, the assembly is rather complex. These are large products and have quite a few parts so putting them together may take more time than you had hoped.
Build Quality –
While the individual components are of good quality, the fit and finish of them can be a bit off. Obviously, when you are dealing with a hopper that can handle 300 pounds or more, you want it to be made of thick metal and have solid weldments and bolts. This is certainly the case and you don’t have to worry about the spreader falling apart while being used. The issue is in the “small things” that will require some modifying to get just right.
You may immediately see the asking price of these and feel that they are much too high. However, it is important to remember the sheer size of them. Also, many of the smaller spreaders utilize electronics which add to the cost. From a strictly “size vs. price” standpoint, Field Tuff fertilizer spreaders fall about in line with what we are used to seeing.
Overall Rating –
The small lineup of Field Tuff fertilizer spreaders is really targeted at those with larger plots of land than a small backyard in the suburbs. Their mobile units are designed to attach to moving vehicles and their larger units will have to be towed. In other words, those after a traditional hand-push spreader may be a bit disappointed. There are also some notable fitment issues that will require you to do some light modifications to avoid overspray of fertilizer. The build quality is fine and once you get the kinks sorted out, these are proper spreaders. However, many people won’t want to deal with this added headache and may decide to look elsewhere.
Gardena Fertilizer Spreader Review
In terms of raw output, Gardena fertilizer spreaders are a bit underwhelming. The two push models, the Spreader L and Spreader XL, will not produce the wide, sweeping spray that larger units from other brands can. Specifically, you can expect around .45m of spray width in the L model. The XL is a bit more formidable at 6m, but this is still only about average compared to many other competitors on the market. When Gardena does do quite well at is in its even distribution and great control. The spreading disk design that they use does a very good job at spreading even fertilizer and you don’t have to worry about clogging. Also, since it is quite small, you can easily get up to tight edges and corners that larger units would struggle with. Being smaller also means that it is much less laborious to push but you will have to refill the hopper more often. You can expect to be able to cover between 400 m^2 and 800 m^2 of grass depending on which model you go with.
Ease of Use –
The Gardena is very simple and design and it makes pushing and steering it very simple. However, it does come with some notable issues. The spreader mechanism essentially operates as “open” or “close”. Yes, you do have a bit of control over application size with the attached lever, but you must bend down and completely turn the slide lever to stop flow out. This is very frustrating and it would be nice to have a simple button or lever near the handles that would accomplish this. Next, when you start and stop, fertilizer tends to build up underneath once you get going again. Once things are moving, the application is pretty consistent and smooth, but every time you stop you will risk piling up fertilizer in one spot. Finally, there are several reports about the wheels becoming stuck while in operation.
Build Quality –
This is a very affordable fertilizer spreader and you can definitely tell with the parts. You will find that many parts are made of plastic and are a bit on the thin side. We would prefer to see more metal components even if it caused the overall weight to go up some. Also, the constructions and final fit and finish can have some gaps and inconsistencies. In particular, we wish that Gardena would have gone with some higher-quality wheels that do a better job of gripping and going over rough terrain.
The biggest selling point of Gardena spreaders is their very competitive asking price. These units are among the most affordable you will find and should fall within just about everybody’s budget. You do have quite a few sacrifices to get there, however. The overall performance is very low and the quality of the components leaves a lot to be desired.
Overall Rating –
For those on an extremely tight garden budget and have only a very small lawn to deal with, the Gardena fertilizer spreaders might be just what you need. Even in the larger sizes, the carrying capacity and lower than average spray area mean that these are best left for small yards. There are some notable quality issues that mean you will likely have to replace this spreader with a new one sooner than you would like but the very affordable asking price makes it easier to deal with.
Giantex Fertilizer Spreader Review
The 65-pound Giantex fertilizer spreader is by no means a huge product but at the same time, it isn’t tiny, either. While it may not be able to handle the huge estates that your typical 125+ plus unit can, it will be able to handle most typical home yards without requiring numerous refills. Specifically, this spreader can tackle around 11,000 square feet before needing to be refilled. That being said, you can tell that this is a budget item by the spray characteristics. The spray area isn’t nearly as wide as with many other higher-end units and there are also issues with spray consistently, particularly when you stop and go. This can make certain areas become too saturated with fertilizer while other areas may not receive enough.
Ease of Use –
In terms of assembly and usability, this spreader is extremely user-friendly. It is lightweight and even when full, will be lightweight enough for most people to push with relative ease. Ergonomically, it is also plenty comfortable with the adjustable handle in a good location. However, there are some issues. As we mentioned above, there are some challenges with the consistency of spray. This is due to the meter not functioning correctly. Also, the tires are a bit on the flimsy side and do not have near the grip as other brands. This can make pushing it across rough terrain or up a slope more of an issue.
Build Quality –
This is a budget product and the build quality shows. Thin plastic is used where many other brands would utilize metal. The wheels, gears, and various other components were also designed with a tight budget in mind and don’t display near the level of quality we like to see. The expected operational life of this unit may only be a season or two before you have to worry about replacing it.
The biggest benefit of the Giantex Fertilizer Spreader is its awesome asking price. It is among the most affordable examples we have tested and it should fall within everybody’s budget. And, considering the asking price, it is relatively large. However, you do give up quite a bit from a quality standpoint to achieve this price.
Overall Rating –
The Giantex Fertilizer Spreader is another popular addition to the budget garden tool market. Much of its success comes from its very reasonable asking price as well as its optimal size that really hits as many target markets as possible. That being said, don’t expect the level of performance, features, or durability that you will find in other (more expensive) examples. While it isn’t terrible, we recommend saving up a bit more and getting something that will last.
Goplus Fertilizer Spreader Review
The Goplus fertilizer spreader is a very standard size that is large enough to handle most average-sized yards but is still small enough to not be overly burdensome to use. Specifically, the hopper can handle around 44 pounds of fertilizer. While this is a bit on the lower side of average, it should still be able to do around 1/3 of an acre without issue. The components are mostly plastic and there are some issues with how consistent the fertilizer is sprayed out. As we have seen in other low-end models, when you go slow or stop completely, fertilizer can sometimes still come out which can cause it to pile up in spots. Also, the spray area is rather narrow so you will have to do more passes than you would like to completely cover the intended area.
Ease of Use –
The structure is very simple and plastic is used throughout, so the overall weight is very manageable. Also, combine the fact that it can only handle 44 pounds of fertilizer and you have a product that is easy to push for even smaller people. However, that is really where the easy characteristics end. The handles of the spreader and a bit short and if you are a taller individual you may find yourself having to lean forward more than you would like. Also, the spray controls are a bit finicky so you may have to pass back over certain areas to get a good coating while other areas you will coat too much. Finally, the wheels used are made of a hard plastic-like material and really don’t get any sort of good grip. This can make rugged terrain or steep/slick surfaces very challenging to navigate.
Build Quality –
The overall build quality with the Goplus fertilizer spreader is very underwhelming. You will find thin plastic comprising nearly every component and this material won’t last nearly as long as standard metal parts. Also, the fit and finish are lacking and you may find gaps and non-flush walls during assembly. These things can cause parts to rattle and not operate as smoothly as you would have hoped. The wheels are also a big area of disappointment and they feel like something that should be on a child’s toy car instead of on an adult’s yard product.
Goplus has managed to offer their spreader at a fantastically cheap asking price. In fact, it is one of the most affordable units that we have ever tested. But, as you can clearly see above, this comes at the cost of a significant hit in performance and quality.
Overall Rating –
Goplus is another brand that seems to have prioritized too much on saving money and not enough on a product that performs well and lasts. While we can definitely respect putting cost-savings as a top goal, we feel that people will typically be willing to spend a bit extra if it gets them a product that is durable and performs well. While Goplus’s offering is serviceable for short periods of time and for smaller yards, we recommend that you spend a little more for something much better and more capable.
Lesco Fertilizer Spreader Review
Lesco’s most popular lineup of fertilizer spreaders falls into the mid-size range at 50 pounds and 80 pounds. At this size, they are more than capable of handling standard residential yards without having to constantly refill with fresh fertilizer. In addition, their hoppers are designed to handle other materials including seeds, ice melt salt, and more. The main benefit of Lesco fertilizer spreaders isn’t in their enormous storage capacity or extra wide application area. Rather, it is in their consistency and versatility. You can be guaranteed that fertilizer is spread equally and consistently across any terrain you apply it to. Also, there are some helpful deflectors that are included which allow for additional precision while using. The main source of this proven performance is the large cam-operated impeller that guarantees great fertilizer agitation. This, combined with the premium shutoff plate, means that fertilize will stop flowing and start flowing quickly and efficiently.
Ease of Use –
Pushing these units isn’t terrible. While they are a bit heavier than some of the other plastic products on the market, they are still reasonable for most healthy and fit people to handle. The 5:1 gear ratio makes controlling and moving the wheels and spray assembly very streamlined and actually somewhat fun! Another bright point of Lesco’s spreader is on their awesome wheels. Their wheels are oversized and made quality rubber with aggressive grips. This is very helpful in navigating rugged terrain or on hills. Finally, the adjustable handle is very responsive and can be mounted in three different positions depending on the person’s wants/needs.
Build Quality –
The build quality of all components is simply fantastic. The metal used is quality and Lesco aims to use the highest caliber of materials in areas that other brands would resort to using plastic or cheap rubber. The result is a product that will last for many years if not decades without fault. Many people have dubbed Lesco the “tanks” of fertilizer spreaders and there is a good reason for this nickname.
The largest hurdle with Lesco spreaders is their extremely high asking price. You will find that these units fall well into the premium price range. In fact, they are even more expensive than some of the smaller commercial-grade spreaders on the market. However, for those that are able and willing to spend this kind of money, you will truly be blessed with a fantastic product.
Overall Rating –
From a performance, usability, and durability standpoint, Lesco fertilizer spreaders can’t be beaten. The approach they take isn’t anything groundbreaking. Instead, they use quality components, great craftsmanship, and proven spread methods to ensure a consistent and controllable spray pattern every time. And the size and output ratings of their products find a “happy medium” and should be more than enough for most homeowners. However, the asking prices are extremely high and will simply be unobtainable by a lot of people. If you can handle the sticker shock and want the very best, then look no further than Lesco.
Master Gardner Fertilizer Spreader Review
The spreader mechanism on all the models of Master Gardner fertilizer spreaders is very good. The spray pattern has been shown to be consistent and stopping and stopping the spray is quick and seamless. The spread width is around 10 to 12 feet which are above average and is particularly impressive in the smaller 50-pound hopper. This wide spray width means that you will cover your desired area in much less time and few passes than with the competition. The top dog, the 125-pound unit, combines the impressive spray area with its large hopper size and is capable of doing around 25,000 square feet of coverage with each reload. This is quite large and should easily handle your typical residential yard.
Ease of Use –
We really enjoy the shape and size of the Master Gardner fertilizer spreaders. The adjustable handle is plenty long for people of any size which makes pushing it as simple and comfortable as possible. That being said, the 125-pound unit is near the top of the range for push-style spreaders and even with the ergonomic design, smaller and weaker people may struggle a bit (particularly going up inclines. The control handle is well-placed directly below the handle and is easy to control and shut off as necessary. Speaking of controls, you will get to enjoy a 0-30 micro-adjustable setting which really dials in precision. Another great feature is in the huge pneumatic wheels. Coming in at 3 to 5 inches wide and having an aggressive tread, these tires do a fantastic job of gripping. This makes steering and handling the spreader over challenging terrain much simpler. Our only complaint is with the assembly. The instructions that you receive are a bit vague and you may become frustrated trying to follow them. Ultimately, everybody figures out how to piece the parts together but we do wish that they would update their instruction manual.
Build Quality –
As is typical of other Master Gardner products, their fertilizer spreaders are made with very high-quality components and great fitment. A metal frame is used on all structural parts and the hopper, while plastic, is thick and sturdy. The gearing is made of heavy-duty nylon and can take the typical wear and tear with ease. The biggest selling point from a quality standpoint is the lifetime warranty. This is something few other brands can offer and it really shows us that Master Gardner stands behind their products.
As you can tell from the above metrics, these spreaders really knock it out of the park in just about every category. However, this does result in a bit higher asking price. These units will fall into the premium price range. But for what you get, we still feel that these higher asking prices are more than fair.
Overall Rating –
The lineup of Master Gardner fertilizer spreaders really wowed us. The performance is precise and expansive and the attached controls really work well. Ergonomically, the shape and size are very comfortable. The build quality, combined with the lifetime warranty, is industry-leading. Yes, it does come with a somewhat high price tag but we feel that it is more than justified for what really is a fantastic product across the board.
Newer Spreader Fertilizer Spreader Review
Since you are dealing with manure as the fertilizer, there are some unique attributes and performance criteria that are unlike most other models. The secret to the application falls with the agitator that is used. Rather than have a spinning gear mechanism that throws out manure in a wide area, the agitator spins horizontally and essentially “drops” manure directly below. This allows for great control but does limit how wide of an application area you will make on each pass. There are four models: the 100, 125, 200, and 225. The 100 and 125 are designated for 1 to 4 stalls while the 200 and 225 can handle 1 to 8 stalls. Capacity is much larger than most typical spreaders, ranging from 115 to 125 pounds. That being said, manure will cover a lot smaller of an area than an equivalent weight of grain-based fertilizer. You can expect the 100-series models to travel about 200 feet and the 200-series models to travel about 300 feet before they will need to be refilled.
Ease of Use –
You will be required to tow these products behind a motorized vehicle of some sort. While this makes it less demanding on your body, it also does require a vehicle that can handle it. For maneuverability, Newer Spreader has installed a split axle and drum assembly on the larger models. This greatly helps in handling the turning of it. In addition, there is an adjustable relief panel in the 125 and 225 models which is a nice touch. One of our favorite features is the large tractor trailer-like tiers. These monstrous tires have extremely aggressive treads which really bite into dirt. This is important as manure spreaders will typically be going across much more challenging terrain than your typical spreader that mostly is exposed to grass.
Build Quality –
The build quality is very good with regards to all components. The Newer Spreaders are rather unique in that the top of the hopper is actually made of wood as opposed to plastic or metal. But the wood is quite thick and pretty resilient to weather so you shouldn’t be concerned about it. The rest of the product is made of quality aluminum that finds a happy balance between weight savings while being rust-proof. And as we mentioned above, the tires are excellent quality and should last for a long time without issue.
Being a rather large and specialty product, the Newer Spreader products are extremely expensive. You will find that they are much pricier than just about every type of traditional fertilizer spreader. That being said, they perform a very specific task that normal spreaders are unable to handle. In addition, they are very good at that specific task. Just be prepared for the high asking price!
Overall Rating –
While Newer Spreader’s lineup of manure spreaders won’t be for everyone, those that are after this specific application will be very impressed with what they see. The size and output specifications are quite good and can easily handle all but the largest of farms. You will pay a high asking price but you will enjoy a quality product that will last for years and perform as expected in return.
Precision Products Fertilizer Spreader Review
Depending on which model you go with, you can expect anywhere between 8 feet to 12 feet of swath. This is about average and should provide a happy medium between a large enough application area and also be controllable. However, we have received several complaints that the spray pattern is a bit too out of control and you may end up being hit with some fertilizer in the process. Hopper sizes are large enough for just about any size of yard. For those with smaller yards, the 50 and 75-pound hoppers will do just fine while those with larger yards (1 acre or more) will be better suited with the 100+ pound hoppers. Overall, the control valve on the handle is responsive enough and seems to do a good job with making it easy for you to manipulate how much (or how little) of fertilizer you want to release.
Ease of Use –
As we alluded to above, the spray pattern can be a bit erratic. This can make trying to cover for precise areas a bit messy. In addition, many of Precision Product’s hoppers are notorious for not completely emptying. In other words, you will have to refill the hopper with more fertilizer before it has actually exhausted everything that is inside. This is very annoying and we wish that this company would address this issue. Other than that, the gears seem to operate smoothly and we didn’t notice any major problems with things getting jammed. The shape and size of the fertilizer spreaders are also quite good and are very comfortable to use for most people. The tires vary in size from around 10” up to monster 15” and have adequate tread for most environments.
Build Quality –
There have been quite a few complaints with the build quality. Most of these issues revolve around the hopper. The hopper is made of rather thin plastic and is notorious for having cracks very early on. You will have to be extra cautious when operating these models as any bump could potentially lead to a crack forming which essentially ruins the hopper. That being said, the frame is of acceptable quality. You can expect between 7/8” and 8” powder-coated steel tubing to comprise of most of the frame. This metal is resilient and can handle your typical wear and tear without issue. We also have not seen any issues with the wheels or the gear systems.
The asking prices for Precision Products fertilizer spreaders are actually pretty competitive. No matter if you go with a small size or a larger unit, they seem to compete quite well when compared to other brands of similar size. There are a few quality issues but for this price point, they are a little easier to overlook.
Overall Rating –
We are really impressed with the huge selection of fertilizer spreaders that Precision Products brings to the table. There are plenty of choices of both push and tow models of various sizes to meet everybody’s needs. The performance is also decent (albeit a bit messy). Our main issues are tied to the build quality of the hoppers. The thin plastic they use is very prone to cracking. Outside of this major problem, we are content with all other attributes and the good asking price makes these an acceptable purchase for those on a somewhat tight garden tool budget.
Prizelawn Fertilizer Spreader Review
In terms of sheer efficiency, you will be very impressed with Prizelawn’s 70 and 100 pound fertilizer spreaders. This is thanks to the hinged plate design that allows for extremely high output spreading as well as a rather large spray area. What this means in the real-world is that you will be able to cover your lawn in a much shorter time than many other models. In addition, it is designed to handle not only fertilizer but also seed mulch, sand, icemelt, limestone, and much more. The 70 and 100 pound choices provide a good storage size that can easily handle a typical yard size of around an acre.
Ease of Use –
This is a very straightforward design that just about anybody will be able to easily pick up and get to using. In terms of the amount of strain on the person using it, since these are such high-output models, the operation time is way lower and less operation time means less work for you! We also really like the self-lubricating Nylatron GS gears that provide a smooth and effortless operation and none of the headache that less calibrated gear sets can have. The wheels are also very nice, coming in at 12 inch and having an aggressive sawtooth thread that provides excellent grip on most surfaces. You won’t find an array of gears and levers that you can adjust on these models: things are very simple and straightforward. Our only issue is that with the rather large spray area it may be tough to get the precision in tight corners like you can with smaller units. For those areas, you will likely be better off using a handheld spreader.
Build Quality –
The build quality on Prizelawn fertilizer spreaders is great across the board. From the calcium filled polypropylene hopper to the stainless steel axle and fasteners, you really won’t find a weak point anywhere. In addition, Prizelawn stands behind their products with an impressive lifetime warranty. This really shows us that the quality is there when a company is willing to stand behind their product for life.
The main barrier with Prizelawn products is in their asking price. These units are extremely expensive and easily into the premium price tier. They are commercial-grade and their performance and build quality reflect that but for those trying to minimize the impact on your wallet, it may be too much to bear.
Overall Rating –
We weren’t very familiar with Prizelawn fertilizer spreaders before this review but have come away very impressed. In terms of performance, not much can beat these due to their fantastic high-output characteristics and large spray area. As for build quality, you can expect these models to last for many years without issue and the company will stand behind any issues that may pop up for the life of the product. However, all of these great features come at a very high asking price that may be more than many people are comfortable paying for a fertilizer spreader.
Scotts Fertilizer Spreader Review
Scotts fertilizer spreaders will vary on their size output, starting at around 2,5000 square feet for their small handheld Wizz Spreader and going up to around 20,000 square feet with their Elite Spreader. This size range should meet the needs of most typical residential yards. Only people with extremely large yards (1.5 acres or more) may find that these ranges are a bit too low. As for spread sizes, they will also vary quite a bit. The Classic Drop Spreader can spray up to nearly 2 feet in width is which is above average in the industry. However, the Elite Spreader, which is heralded as their “best” spreader, can only do around 6 feet width. Their smaller units like the Wizz Spreader and EdgeGuard Mini will have more accurate sprays and up to 23 spreader settings to really find that perfect approach to meet your specific needs. What this means is that you will need to make sure that you go with the correct Scotts product to meet your specific needs. These units are also versatile and can handle not only fertilizer but also seeds, ice melt, and more.
Ease of Use –
These units are made mostly of plastic and, as such, are very lightweight. The fact that they don’t hold as much fertilizer as larger spreaders in the industry also means that they are much easier to push, even when at full capacity. We do appreciate the multitude of settings that some of the Scotts spreaders have as well as the increased level of control in their specialty EdgeGuard spreaders. That being said, there are some major issues that we need to discuss. Fertilizer is notorious for collecting on the collar of the unit which causes clumping “lines” on the grass. This can overload that section of grass and cause burns in the lawn. In addition, there are many cases where the controls did not properly work out of the box which takes away a lot of the versatility that we discussed above. If you can sort through these kinks in the operation then these products are quick and easy to use but we do wish that Scotts would address these during manufacturing.
Build Quality –
You can certainly tell that these are budget products through their build quality. Plastic replaces metal and thin, more lightweight materials are found instead of more expensive metal parts. We went into detail about some major manufacturing issues above and these are directly related to questionable build quality in certain areas. Another minor complaint we have is with the wheels. We prefer to see thick, rubber wheels but Scotts uses plastic wheels on the most of their products which not only don’t provide as good of grip but are also more prone to scratching and cracking.
The overall asking price of the various Scotts fertilizer spreaders are very competitive and will oftentimes be the most affordable offering for a particular size range. This is great for people on a very tight budget. However, you won’t get the level of quality and performance that you will usually see on much more expensive spreaders.
Overall Rating –
We really appreciate the great price that Scotts has been able to get their fertilizer spreaders at. The products are also very lightweight and easy for just about anybody to pick up in use. We also like the nice selection of various sizes that each of their own specific features and targeted yard types. However, there are quite a few noticeable usability and build quality issues that are too significant to overlook. There are some simple modifications that you can do to fix most of these problems but it is silly that the consumer has to worry about these to begin with. Hopefully, Scott can address these issues and make their spreaders a much more attractive product.
Spyker Fertilizer Spreader Review
Spyker has made a name for itself through its professional fertilizer spreaders so having great performance is almost a given. Their Pro-Series are their most storied units and come in 50, 120, and 175-pound options with the 120 pound coming in both manual push as well as tow forms. Depending on which unit you go with, you can anticipate anywhere from 4’ to 12’ of spread width which is very competitive in the industry. Their smaller and more residential-friendly spreaders are the Ergo-Pro which try combine proven performance of their pro serious with a more ergonomic design for home use. With this series, you can enjoy 50, 80, and 100-pound hopper sizes with the same 4’ to 12’ spread width. What this means is that all of the Spyker spreaders are very capable and the size you go with will really depend on how large of a yard you plan on using them on. They are all also interchangeable and can handle seed, fertilizer, sand, and ice melt.
Ease of Use –
These units are a bit on the large size and they also take advantage of thicker metal parts. This means that (particularly when full), these spreaders will weigh quite a bit. However, outside of this minor issue, they are a breeze to use. The handle is ergonomically designed to be very comfortable to hold and control. In addition, the hopper is bridge-free so you don’t have to worry about fertilizer jamming or stacking like in other models. Other helpful features include AccuWay technology, a lift handle, and oversized pneumatic tires that provide adequate grip and good user control. The AccuWay technology is an adjustable cable that changes the material flow forward and backward and helps to facilitate more controlled launching of the granules from the spinner. This helps to avoid clumping fertilizer which can be a determinant to your lawn.
Build Quality –
Build quality across the board is fantastic here. The components are made of high-quality metal and you won’t find any shortcuts in the assembly process here. The hopper is made of durable polypropylene and the transmission gears are made of thick metal and come with a lifetime warranty. The frame is comprised of thick powder-coated steel which is particularly resilient to humidity and typical wear and tear. As we mentioned above, we are also very content with the oversized rubber tires that they use.
Spyker fertilizer spreaders are among the top in the industry but this does come at a rather high asking price. If you are trying to find something simple that can handle a small yard, the sheer performance capabilities and asking price of Spyker may be too much for you. But for those who can swing it, you won’t be disappointed.
Overall Rating –
Spyker fertilizer spreaders have made a name for themselves in the commercial and professional lawn world, and for good reason. Their plentiful selection of powerful and durable spreaders have become a staple in many baseball fields, football fields, and estates. The generous number of helpful accessories and proprietary features make these large and heavy units as simple as possible to use. The only issue is with the asking price which can be very high and out of reach for some people. If your budget allows and you need this level of performance, then you can’t go wrong with a Spyker fertilizer spreader.
Tahoe Fertilizer Spreader Review
The Tahoe fertilizer spreader utilizes the popular broadcast technology. This sprays fertilizer out in a circular motion and is the preference of many people who are looking for maximum area coverage with minimum effort. The spread width here is up to 10 feet which are about average if not a little below average. The controller can be adjusted to alternate this spray pattern and overall it does a good job with it. As for hopper size, this model can hold up to 85 pounds which is plenty large for most typical residential lawns.
Ease of Use –
This is a very simple model to use and set up and is straightforward. We do wish that the adjustment lever was a little more responsive and we also have seen people complain that the stop/start feature could use some tweaking. Finally, the shape of the hopper causes there to be small piles of fertilizer that can pile up and not be released from the hopper. As for ergonomics, the location of the adjustable controller is nicely laid out but we do wish that the shape and size of the handle were a bit longer to accommodate larger people.
Build Quality –
The main positives about the build quality are in the frame and tires. The frame is made of powder-coated steel and it comes with a 5/8” steel axle. The tires are made of decent rubber and are large enough to make most people happy. For the price, being able to offer a steel frame and rubber tires is a nice plus and something that many other budget models cannot achieve. That being said, you won’t find the level of craftsmanship and warranty that the premium brands in the industry can offer.
The asking price here is in the budget to lower mid-range and should be acceptable by most people. Quite frankly, for the combination of size and materials used, the price is more than fair to use. Yes, there are a few small issues related to ergonomics and operation but we can’t be too picky at this price range.
Overall Rating –
The Tahoe fertilizer spreader series is very small, being only one unit. However, this unit does find a happy medium between size and convenience and can handle most households. The build quality is surprisingly good considering the price and we appreciate the use of metal instead of plastic in many areas. The operation isn’t quite as fluid as in other more polished models but overall we feel that this spreader is successful in finding a nice balance between cost and performance.
Titan Fertilizer Spreader Review
Some people may be turned off by the relatively small hopper size (50 pounds). However, for anybody with an approximately ½ acre of lawn or less, it shouldn’t require very many (if any) refills. The broadcast-style spray mechanism is a very popular one and the choice of most lawn care enthusiasts due to its wide spray angle. While you won’t see quite the impressive spray area of other, more expensive units, it should still do the job in most cases. For added customization, there is an attached handle that allows for 3 different spray positions. This helps to be able to handle both small, tight areas as well as wide open areas. Finally, you can fill this spreader up with herbicides, fertilizers, insecticides, ice melters, seeds, and more.
Ease of Use –
From a usability standpoint, this product is very simple to use. One of the most popular features of it is the long and tall frame that is much more comfortable for taller people and doesn’t require them to hunch down to push the unit. In addition, the bucket-like hopper is taller and thinner than most models on the market which makes it much more mobile and easier to turn in restricted areas. We also really like the huge rubber tires that provide excellent grip and allow you to handle the fertilizer spreader on grass, dirt, rocks, and more. Our only big complaint comes with the assembly instructions. They are rather vague and you may find yourself becoming a little frustrated during assembly.
Build Quality –
The build quality here is about an average. While the frame is made of steel, it is a bit on the thin side compared to other models. Also, the gear set is a bit more exposed due to the enormous tires. The hopper is of acceptable quality but looks rather “cheap” due to its resemblance to a normal bucket. That being said, we haven’t heard anything but positive reviews on the reliability and feel that this product should perform as desired for many years.
From a price standpoint, the Titan fertilizer spreader falls into the high budget to low mid-price range. For the quality and performance you get, this is an acceptable price. The main limitation here will be for those who simply want something larger and with higher capacity. We wish that Titan would consider making a larger unit and carry over there good price point.
Overall Rating –
The Titan fertilizer spreader takes a unique approach in its shape and design and overall it is a success. It is reliable and there are enough features (that work) to make most people happy. Our only issue is with the lack of size choices (particularly for those with larger yards) and the installation instructions could be a bit more clear. But other than that, this is a nice entry-level spreader for those on a restricted budget.
Turfex Fertilizer Spreader Review
Turfex has really dialed in their performance and no matter which size you go with, you are sure to be impressed. Their hopper sizes range from around 50 pounds up to around 100 pounds. At this size, most normal-sized yards can be taken care of in one or two refills. Turfex allows for good modification of spray consistency and can handle a variety of spray materials including fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, and seeds. With their wider spreading units, spread width is around 12 feet maximum while their traditional non-spinning sprayers will spray directly underneath. Overall, the spray pattern is very consistent and you don’t have to worry about fertilizer piling up or missing large areas.
Ease of Use –
These units are very simple to use and the necessary locks and levers are easily accessible from the handle. As we mentioned above, the spray pattern is very good and you don’t have to worry about doing a lot of fine-tuning out of the box. Another nice feature is the large and wide rubber wheels. They have a good grip on them that allows for excellent traction over most terrain. In addition, the hopper is made of a lightweight but strong polyethylene material that helps to cut down on weight and make it easier for you to push and steer.
Build Quality –
Build quality is excellent in every size of Turfex fertilizer spreader. The hopper is made of quality plastic that is very unlikely to crack or chip. The rest of the frame is made of powder-coated steel which is rust-proof and provides superb structural support. Our only minor complaint is in the spinner which is made of molded plastic. Some other premium brands take advantage of metal spinners. However, this is a minor complaint. The fit and finish are great and all of the pieces attach together without any noticeable gaps. Also, it is worth mentioning again how good the tires are. The thick rubber not only performs well but is designed to last.
Turfex fertilizer spreaders will fall towards the top end of the price spectrum. The combination of great materials and craftsmanship ends up being much more expensive to produce and you, the consumer, will certainly see this in the market price. However, for those who can afford the high price, you will come away very impressed.
Overall Rating –
Turfex fertilizer spreaders have made a name for themselves and should be in the conversation when it comes to premium lawn care products. Their wide selection of spreaders really meets the needs of both hobbyists and professionals alike and their reputable performance and durability can be enjoyed no matter which product you go with. That only issue is the high asking price which may simply be more than many people are comfortable paying.
Vulcan Fertilizer Spreader Review
At 80 and 125-pound hopper sizes, these units are plenty large for most residential applications. However, we have several reports that these hopper sizes are a bit exaggerated and you shouldn’t actually anticipate them being able to hold that much weight of fertilizer. The spray is plenty wide, coming in at around 12 foot thanks to the rotating telescoping mechanism. This is about average, if not slightly above average compared to other models. However, there is a major glaring problem that is worth discussing. The linkage from the selector lever has two rods that don’t do a very good job of squaring up. This causes these fertilizer outputs to be pretty sloppy and inconsistent. This means that the spray pattern can be all over the place and you may find areas that have been over-fertilized as well as areas that have been under-fertilized. This is a major design flaw that Vulcan needs to address.
Ease of Use –
The unit is simple to use thanks to its lightweight components. However, the spray issue mentioned above also carries over to how easy the spreader is to use. In addition, the push handle is a bit too short and doesn’t have the level of adjustability that other models have. As for some positives, we like the large pneumatic tires that have good grips. And the rotator housing itself is well-lubricated and spins with relative ease.
Build Quality –
One thing to note with Vulcan Broadcast Spreaders is that they are made of refurbished materials. This may not be an issue to some but it does mean that there may be some small inconsistencies from one specific model to the next. You can see this in the hopper details in particular. However, we do like the rust-proof metal frame and, as we mentioned above, we are also big fans of the tires. Finally, the rotator housing is nicely protected on the shaft which is always appreciated.
For the advertised size, the Vulcan fertilizer spreaders are reasonably priced. However, when you consider that they may not actually be able to carry what they advertise then it does make the existing price point a little less attractive. A big portion of the cost-savings likely comes from the fact that refurbished materials are used.
Overall Rating –
While the small lineup of Vulcan fertilizer spreaders is not terrible, there is nothing about them that really blew us away. There is a major design flaw in the spray consistency that needs to be addressed. The build quality is acceptable considering that refurbished materials are used. And there is also the rumor that the hopper capacity isn’t quite as large as advertised. The price isn’t terrible, however, which makes these issues a little easier to swallow.
Westward Fertilizer Spreader Review
One common characteristic among nearly every size of Westward fertilizer spreader is its application width. You can expect these units to spread out across approximately 10 to 12 feet. This is about average in the industry and should be more than capable of handling the average yard. The hopper sizes hit all of the popular ranges, being as small as 60 pounds and going up to 125 pounds for the larger yards. However, it is worth noting that the advertised capacity is a bit exaggerated and you may find that it holds noticeably less than what you think it may. As for application specifics, the spread is pretty even and you don’t have to worry about major clumping.
Ease of Use –
The model is pretty easy to use, albeit the assembly instructions could use a bit of a refresh. In addition, the handles are a bit too short and you may find yourself having to lean over too far. The bright points include a very fluid rotating assembly that doesn’t seem to gunk up as well as the large pneumatic tires that provide excellent grip. Also, we haven’t seen any issues with leftover fertilizer piling up in the hopper on the corners which can be a common issue with hoppers of this shape.
Build Quality –
The build quality for Westward fertilizer spreaders is about average. We wish the hoppers were a bit thicker but it does assist in reducing weight. The frame, on the other hand, is plenty thick and made of ¾” steel tube. We also appreciate the axle being made of steel as well. This means that the moving parts (which are the most sensitive) should be able to handle several years of traditional wear and tear without issue. Finally, the rubber tires have excellent tread and should provide excellent bite across any terrain.
We noticed a rather large price range for these units. The smaller sizes are priced at a good price point and should be within most people’s budget. The larger units, on the other hand, are extremely expensive. Obviously, we expect there to be a bit of an increase as you go up in size but the increase here is almost exponential in some cases. So how good (or bad) of a deal these are will really depend on which specific model you go after.
Overall Rating –
The lineup of Westward fertilizer spreaders hits all the popular sizes and its proven approach doesn’t have any major flaws. We do wish that they would be a bit more honest with the true storage capacity. Also, the asking prices are sort of all over the place and we feel that in the larger units, the current costs are a bit too high. If Westward can align their larger spreaders to be more like the smaller sizes, then this will be a solid choice across the board.
What are the Different Types of Fertilizer Spreaders?
There are several different types of fertilizer spreaders. Depending on your specific needs (yard size, type of fertilizer being used, how precise you need to be, budget, etc.), a particular type of fertilizer spreader might be better than another. Below we will go over the most common and also discuss some of their specific pros and cons.
Broadcast Fertilizer Spreader
Arguably the most popular type of fertilizer spreader, the broadcast spreader works by using gears that spin a disk whenever the wheel axle is moved. This spinning disk will disperse the fertilizer (or seed, or ice melt) outwards thanks to centrifugal force. Picture being on a merry-go-round that is spinning fast: the force naturally wants to try to “throw” you off. This is no different than the fertilizer pellets!
Broadcast spreaders are very popular due to their ability to cover a large area with relative ease. With typical spray areas of up to 12 feet, you can make quick work of a smaller yard. And for large patches of grass such as baseball fields or golf courses, being able to cut off some time can be extremely important. Combine with the fact that these models typically have the largest hopper sizes, and you can make quick work of large estates.
Broadcast spreaders come in both manually push and tow-behind models. In the manual push, all of the adjustments are near where your hands will be at. And in the case of a tow-behind, there will typically be a lever that you can reach to the side and turn off and on as necessary.
There are some challenges associated with broadcast spreaders. First, for areas that require precision such as near flower beds or around tight corners, the fact that broadcast spreaders spray over a huge area may be negative. Sure, there are adjustments, but they don’t always perform as desired and even when they do, you still have fertilizer spraying in all directions.
Another issue is the back spray. When you get to moving quickly, the spray area can sometimes increase. This can cause fertilizer to spray back and hit you or other people nearby. Many models will come with a gear mechanism that limits this and others will also have optional spray shields, but it is still something to consider.
Finally, you always have to worry about overspray. With such a large application area, it can sometimes be difficult to tell where you have already sprayed. The result can be “lines” that are formed where you actually applied double layers of fertilizer. This can be very bad for your grass and cause it to potentially die.
Drop Fertilizer Spreader
A drop spreader also comes in both manual push as well as tow-behind models. Unlike a broadcast spreader, a drop spreader simply drops fertilizer directly underneath. This is usually accomplished by a rotating assembly that is attached directly to the wheel shaft. Similar to a broadcast spreader, this assembly will spin relative to the speed of the wheel shaft.
The big difference between a drop spreader and a broadcast spreader is in its application. You get much higher levels of control with a drop spreader since it isn’t spraying outwardly. This makes it great for very tight corners or areas that you want to avoid overspray. You will often see these products used on grass that is going to be high-visibility such as the in-field of a professional baseball stadium or at a PGA golf course. In these cases, it is extremely important to avoid going over the same area more than once as having unsightly lines of dead grass would be very embarrassing.
As you might have guessed, this added level of control and smaller application area can also be a negative. It can add significant time to how long it takes to cover a plot of land. Also, the hopper size on drop spreaders is typically smaller so you may find yourself having to go back and refill the hopper more often than you would like.
In addition, there won’t be as many customizations and fine-tuning options on many drop spreaders. Rather, they will open up and allow fertilizer to fall when moving and then shut closed when stopped.
Handheld Fertilizer Spreader
A handheld spreader is a much smaller model that is carried around by hand. It is designed for small areas (particularly around gardens) where minimal application size and maximum control is preferred.
They typically work by turning a hand crank that opens up a hole on the underside of the spreader. This will push out small amounts of fertilizer in a controlled fashion.
This level of control is hard, if not impossible, to achieve with the larger spreaders. However, it would not be recommended to use one of these on a large yard or else you would be out there all day!
You may also find that your body is closer to fertilizer since you are typically holding this type of spreader near your chest. This means that you might be more prone to have fertilizer spilled on you.
From a cost standpoint, handheld spreaders will typically be far more affordable than the other types of spreaders.
Liquid Fertilizer Spreader
We don’t really dive much into liquid fertilizer spreaders on this review, but they still have their place in the garden world. You will typically attach one of these directly to a garden hose via an adapter. This adapter will have a canister attached that contains a special type of fertilizer that reacts with water and dissolves quickly, mixing into the water.
These types of fertilizer spreaders are great for flower beds or areas that you either don’t want to or are physically unable to get directly on top of. You also have the added benefit of being able to pinpoint where you want the fertilizer to go. Also, they tend to be very affordable and will be as cheap (if not cheaper) than a handheld spreader.
But it isn’t without its cons. First, it is very easy to overspray with liquid fertilizer spreaders. Because of this, these types of fertilizers will typically be less powerful because overspray is so common.
Also, your application area is limited by the location of your water hose as well as how far you can spray outwards. If you are trying to tackle a large yard with nothing more than a liquid fertilizer spreader, you will have to have a very long water hose and a lot of patience!
What Size Fertilizer Spreader Do I Need?
We get this question asked a lot. People want to know what size spreader to get that will be big enough to easily handle their yard but not so big to the point where they are overpaying for unnecessary firepower and also having to do deal with the added headache of pushing it, storage, and higher costs.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a go-to answer. Many factors are at play including the type of fertilizer you are using, the specific model and its unique hopper size, the level of application depth you are after, and the speed at which you can push/pull the spreader.
That being said, we do have some rough rules of thumbs. These have worked for us and we encourage you to give them a go!
It is worth noting that these are for broadcast spreaders in specific. For drop spreaders, expect to add substantial time (around 8x as long). For handheld and spray spreaders: well, we encourage you to save a headache and just buy a broadcast spreader!
Less than ¼ acre: 30 pound or less
¼ acre to 1/3 acre: 50 pound
1/3 acre to ½ acre: 75 pound
½ acre to ¾ acre: 100 pound
¾ acre to 1 acre: 125 pound
1+ acre: 125 pound+ tow-behind
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- 1 The Best Fertilizer Spreader Reviews for 2019
- 1.1 Best Fertilizer Spreaders – Top 5 Picks
- 1.2 The Competition
- 1.3 Rating Metrics
- 1.4 Full Reviews
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- 1.4.2 Brinly Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.4.3 Chapin Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.4.4 Earthway Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.4.5 Field Tuff Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.4.6 Gardena Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.4.7 Giantex Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.4.8 Goplus Fertilizer Spreader Review
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- 1.4.11 Newer Spreader Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.4.12 Precision Products Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.4.13 Prizelawn Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.4.14 Scotts Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.4.15 Spyker Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.4.16 Tahoe Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.4.17 Titan Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.4.18 Turfex Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.4.19 Vulcan Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.4.20 Westward Fertilizer Spreader Review
- 1.5 What are the Different Types of Fertilizer Spreaders?
- 1.6 What Size Fertilizer Spreader Do I Need?