Best Drop Spreaders – Choosing Your Ideal Gardening Tool in 2020

Lawn planting and fertilizer application can be tiring at times. If your gardening area is considerably large, performing all the planned planting tasks might be challenging without the best drop spreaders. I have used some of these helpful tools, and I can assure you such spreaders are made to ease the gardening routine. 

Choosing the best drop spreader has always topped the list of my shopping challenges. There are many substandard items available for purchase. The work done by low-quality models always resulted in additional repair and maintenance costs. 

However, I have acquired some of the best drop spreaders later, and now I want to share my knowledge with you. Let me help you to get over this buying challenges through this article. Here, you’ll find a guide with helpful tips on purchasing the best gardening tools.

My top pick:

Scotts Turf Builder Drop Spreader – The Best Lawn Drop Spreader Overall  5/5 

Scotts 76565 Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader

ADVANTAGES:
  • A heavy-duty frame
  • An affordable price
  • Capacious
  • It comes already assembled and calibrated
  • It is accessible in four sizes
  • A spread pattern of 22 inches
  • Durable wheels

DRAWBACKS:
  • Non

This Scotts drop spreader is known for its high quality and durability. The equipment is reliable and affordable, making it retain the position of my number one recommended item. It is retailed entirely assembled and ready to use. On top of the affordable price, it doesn’t require any additional accessories, so you won’t have to spend extra money after purchasing this item.

Its 10,000 square feet capacity means you don’t have to perform frequent refilling when using the tool. Scotts drop spreaders are available in four sizes, so you get the model that completely matches your needs. The manufacturer does calibration before sending the tool to you. 

The precision of this Scott Turf Builder drop spreader puts it miles ahead of other models, as it highly minimizes product wastage. Its heavy-duty and robust frame makes the Scotts classic drop spreader the best tool you can ever find on the market. Its 22-inch spreading width ensures the planting process is as smooth and fast as desired. 

The handle is ideally made to offer optimal comfort. This walk-behind drop spreader is operated manually, and it has close-to-zero maintenance costs. Its wheels are made to move on any terrain with minimal effort application. 

I highly recommend this tool for purchase, as it does its job just perfect. It is the best walk behind drop spreader I have used so far, and the multiple sizes of the item allow you to pick the proper fit easily.

Runner-Up:

Scotts Elite – The Best Drop Spreader UTV for Medium-Sized Gardens  4.7/5 

Scotts Elite Spreader
ADVANTAGES:
  • Dual rotors for optimal accuracy
  • A comfy grip
  • Time-saving tool

DRAWBACKS:
  • Poor wheel design

The item’s cost is moderate to ensure it fits under strict budgets. This Scotts Elite drop spreader is huge and has a 20,000 square feet lawn product capacity. It is made to provide the desired precision when applying fertilizer, ice-melt, or grass seeds. 

This medium-sized spreader is mainly known for saving a considerable amount of time, thanks to its huge six-feet spreading width. You will highly enjoy working with this tool on any lawn. The equipment’s fused dual rotors allow for unsurpassed accuracy, making it the best pull behind drop spreader. 

The wheels of this model are made in a way they will never get flat, making them move easily with minimal pressure application. The handle is perfectly shaped to offer the user incredible comfort. The fitted phone holder can keep your smartphone safe while the tool is in use. 

These spreaders are available in four sizes to ensure you get the proper fit. In the event you are wondering about the item’s setup, I want to mention that the seller conveys an already assembled tool. Thus, you need to make some minimal adjustments only, depending on the way you need to use the item. However, I want to warn you that the wheels of this model are wrongly fitted, and with time it can become harder to pull the spreader behind.

Best Drop Spreader Reviews

Under this section, I have arranged six tools that I recommend the most to ease your selection hassle. You can find my preferred product down below, with other items close to the buyers’ guide.

Agri-Fab Drop Spreader – The Best Tow Drop Spreader for Large Gardens  4.9/5 

Agri-Fab 45-0288 175-Pound Max Tow Behind Drop Spreader
ADVANTAGES:
  • It is made of galvanized steel
  • It has a large capacity
  • A three-year warranty
  • Fast and efficient
  • Durable

DRAWBACKS:
  • Highly-priced

This tow-behind drop spreader is heavily-built and slightly costly. Its enormous capacity and galvanized steel frame are the reasons behind the tool’s high retail price. Its wheels are made to move smoothly on any terrain.

The equipment is fitted with a universal hitch that enables you to mount it on a tractor if needed. This drop spreader can hold a maximum of 40,000 square feet of lawn products, being suitable for those with large gardens. The item takes minimal time to work on the field, thanks to its 42-inch spreading width.

This tool has unmatched precision. Also, the seller provides a three-year warranty against the item’s defects. Its rust-resistant nature ensures the equipment will live for many years to come. Assembling it doesn’t come intuitive, but you can check out a detailed manual and search for a video guide on the web for assistance.

Agri Fab drop spreaders are arguably the only equipment you can use throughout the year. They suit summer, winter, fall, and spring applications, thanks to the versatile design. I profoundly recommend this model for purchase.

Scotts EvenGreen Drop Spreader – A Nice Budget Buy  4.8/5 

Scotts EvenGreen Drop spreader
ADVANTAGES:
  • It is fitted with variable settings
  • Highly accurate
  • Versatile
  • It has an adjustable handle

DRAWBACKS:
  • The spring breaks down easily

This drop spreader is affordable and equally versatile. It suits any fertilizer application or uniform grass planting. This tool is the most affordable model in this article. The item is uniquely made, and it puts this Scotts EvenGreen model among the highly recommended products for purchase. 

The variable Scotts drop spreader settings in the tool make it suitable for all-season use. The equipment offers a chance for uniform lawn products application. The planting is guaranteed to be comfortable, thanks to the uniquely made and adjustable handle. This adaptable grip also allows convenient item’s storage. 

Besides that, this reasonably priced spreader can be assembled in a moment, as you do not require any additional tool for the task. It has an 18-inch spreading width, and each model is factory-calibrated. There, however, exist a drawback on the machine as the fused spring is prone to frequent breakdown.

Spyker P70-12010 – The Best Quality Drop Spreader for Commercial Use  4.8/5 

Spyker P70-12010 Commercial Drop Spreader
ADVANTAGES:
  • A powder-coated frame
  • It suits for the use on narrow paths
  • Enormous capacity
  • Worth the cost

DRAWBACKS:
  • A bit pricey

This Spyker drop spreader is the biggest item in this list. Its hopper capacity is 120 pounds, and the spreader weighs 70 pounds. It is highly suitable for gardeners working on excessively large lawn areas, or those in need of a durable drop spreader for commercial use. 

The item is fitted with a universal hitch that allows connecting the spreader to almost every tractor available. It has a 36-inch spreading width and is pretty large, but with the product’s capacity, that doesn’t come as a surprise nor a disadvantage.

Away from that, the spreader frame is sturdy and durable. It is coated to keep it rust-free. The item is versatile and suits use in the summer, winter, fall, and spring. 

The wheels are ideally made to move smoothly on any terrain. However, I recommend using this P70-12010 model on narrow paths, as the tool comes as an excellent option for pavement and pathway ice-melt applications. Its assembly isn’t complicated, all thanks to the detailed guide that comes within the package. 

Unfortunately, with the item’s capacity, exorbitant pricing was inevitable. It makes the kit only available to those without budget limitations. All in all, I can assure you this drop spreader is worth the high cost, as it’s built to last a lifetime.

Ice Master 5000 – A Push Drop Spreader for Salt Spreading  4.6/5 

Ice Master 5000 - Walk Behind Salt Spreader
ADVANTAGES:
  • Easy to assemble
  • Strong
  • Durable

DRAWBACKS:
  • It is hard to regulate the salt spreader
  • Not for winter use

Ice Master drop lawn spreader isn’t among the most popular items for purchase. It is, however, spacious enough to hold up to 100 pounds of product and good quality. Its wheels are manufactured to move swiftly on any terrain. 

Upon purchase, you will also get a resilient spreader cover. The item’s frame is made of heavy-duty steel. It makes the tool strong enough to hold a huge load of salt or ice-melt and work great for many seasons. 

This salt spreader is perfectly built to withstand some challenges, even though it doesn’t suit winter use. Its salt regulator is likewise hard to set up. However, the overall assembling is easy, and I recommend this Ice Master 5000 model to those seeking sturdy and reasonably-priced spreaders to use periodically.

Broadcast Spreader Vs Drop Spreaders

Whether you are using a broadcast or drop spreader, I can agree that these items are made for similar undertakings. So, what brings about the differences between these tools, and how do the distinctive features affect each item’s application? 

Structural Contrast 

A drop spreader is wheeled, and it applies the required lawn products as directed by the below-placed rotor. It makes the planting or seeding highly accurate with minimal product wastage. A drop spreader is, however, a bit slow as compared to a broadcast spreader. 

On the other hand, a broadcast spreader scatters the lawn products in an arc. Such tools can cover a large area in a short span but not suitable for small areas. 

Accuracy and Efficiency

As already mentioned, drop spreaders are highly accurate compared to broadcast spreaders. However, broadcast ones are highly efficient, especially on large pieces of land. That said, whenever you get stuck between buying a drop spreader or broadcast tool, consider the precision needed and the size of the lawn you want to cover. 

Should the area be large, I recommend you to buy a broadcast spreader without hesitation. However, if you are working on a narrow space where accuracy is needed, then choose from the drop spreaders reviewed above.

Tips for Making an Ideal Drop Spreader Purchase

Below is a list of factors to consider before purchasing a drop spreader. By keeping these features in mind, you will make sure that you get the ideal value for your money and gardening needs.

💧 Capacity

The capacity needed mostly depends on your lawn’s size. If you have a small piece of land to cover, make sure you do purchase a low-capacity spreader. The best example here is an item that can hold lawn products for a 10,000 square feet area. However, bear in mind that bigger options exist for those with considerably large gardening lands.

💧 Aerations

Tow-behind spreaders are versatile, as they can be used for soil aeration before fertilizer application. Soil aeration ensures the applied lawn products reach even the hard-to-penetrate surfaces. Buying spiked drop spreaders or hoppers, therefore, means that you have a two-in-one tool that will enable your plants to get better access to minerals and water.

💧 Rust-Resistance

These tools get exposed to extreme weather conditions that may lead to frame corrosion. When some drop spreader parts rust, the overall durability of the tool decreases. As a result, the item may fail to provide the desired level of service.

💧 Controls

With drop spreaders, you have little to do when it comes to precision settings because such tools are highly accurate. However, if you buy a spreader with speed control knobs, you will be able to dictate the tool’s pace easily and ensure you cover your lawn faster or slower for thorough spreading.

💧 Tires

Tires highly affect the speed and comfort of the use of a drop spreader. Thus, ensure you buy a tool with well-made wheels that can move on any terrain smoothly. It will result in less tiring and enjoyable garden practices.

💧 Warranty

Low-quality spreaders are prone to corrosion, and it largely affects their lifespans. However, heavy-duty pieces usually come with a one- or two-year warranty to ensure you enjoy the item’s services. Warranties also boost your purchase confidence.

How to Calibrate a Drop Spreader

Calibration ensures you control the number of lawn products applied. Most spreaders are factory-calibrated, and it eases the setup process. Manufacturers also always include an easy-to-understand manual with detailed steps to follow, should you need to customize your tool.

Besides volume control, calibration helps with regulating the speed of the task execution. I highly recommend you to re-adjust your equipment every time you are spreading a different material. If you are wondering, how to calibrate Scotts drop spreader or any other similar tool, here are useful steps to follow:

Step 1. Record the spreading width of the tool.

Step 2. Look for an open strip, about fifty feet. Indicate on it a starting and endpoint.

Step 3. Fill the hopper with about five pounds of lawn product and record its weight.

Step 4. Adjust the spreader setting to the desired or recommended level.

Step 5. Place the spreader at the starting point and start walking at a comfy pace.

Step 6. Close the holes upon reaching the endpoint.

Step 7. Weigh the remaining lawn products.

Step 8. Determine if the distributed amount matches your desired application rate.

How to Use a Drop Spreader for Fertilizer Application

Chances are you won’t experience all the benefits of a quality drop spreader without appropriate calibration. Thus, make sure to go through the instruction manual after purchasing such equipment. When reading the guide, you may come across some important settings to adjust for optimal results. 

However, you don’t need to know everything covered in the manual. Here are some helpful tips on how to use a drop spreader correctly:

Step 1. Fill the hopper with the desirable amount of lawn products. Ensure you fill the material while the spreader is placed on an easy to clean surface. It means that in the event of spillage, cleaning won’t be challenging, and the spills won’t go into waste.

Step 2. Pull the item behind with a comfy and consistent pace for uniform product distribution.

Step 3. After fertilizer application, it is vital to clean the spreader with plenty of water.

Step 4. Make sure to grease the metals and the moving parts for protection against rust. Lastly, store your equipment in a dry place until the next time use.

Understanding What a Drop Spreader Is and Its Application Benefits

A drop spreader is a piece of gardening equipment that is mainly used for granular fertilizer applications on the lawn. However, due to its versatility, the item can be likewise used for pesticide application and seed planting. 

So, what’s the working principle of a drop spreader? The item is wheeled and contains ideally placed rotors to help with granule release. The rotors are placed between the wheels, and they drop the product inside at the specified space. It makes the tool highly effective as it minimizes product wastage. 

Unlike other planting tools, the drop spreaders are highly accurate, but their speed is a bit low. Nevertheless, the item’s main advantages are time-saving, making your work more comfortable, and ensuring you maintain the highest precision level possible. Drop spreaders are usually reasonably priced, and most of them are manually operated. It, in turn, reduces their running costs.

The Best Lawn Drop Spreader at a Glance

As I finish this comprehensive article on the specifics of drop spreaders, I hope you are now better equipped with essential tips for a satisfactory purchase. You can use a drop spreader for fertilizer application, and such an item can suit some other gardening tasks.

Buying an all-season tool, the one that can handle suit ice-melt, salting, or pesticide application, will give you the best value for money. Also, I recommend buying a perfectly-sized item after considering how big your gardening area is. 

If you are working on a pretty small lawn and wondering, what is the best drop spreader, the Scotts Turf Builder classic drop spreader can be the ideal tool for you. It has a 10,000 square feet capacity and a 22-inch spreading width. The item’s heavy-duty and durable frames make it the preferred option for those under a strict budget.

For anyone with considerably huge gardening land, the Agri-Fab tow-behind drop spreader is a perfect solution. It has a 130-pound capacity and a 42-inch spreading width. It is versatile and can even be used for soil aeration. The cost is, however, relatively high.

In my opinion, the items mentioned in this review have the best features. How does it correspond to your experience? Do you agree with the key features of these items? What drop spreaders do you prefer? Comment below to share with me your thoughts on the best drop spreaders.

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