Best Broadcast Spreader 2024 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Landscaping and lawn care often involves the maintenance of a healthy and verdant lawn. Doing so requires the occasional reapplication of seed or other treatments and the regular application of fertilizer. In general, you should do the latter every 6 to 8 weeks during the warmer months or at least once in the spring and fall, respectively.


However, you will need a broadcast or other spreader to do this work, especially for larger lawns. Choosing the best broadcast spreader comes down to determining the right size and style for your lawn and garden needs.

**Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can also click links above to check current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

What is a Broadcaster?

Broadcast Spreader


A broadcaster is a tool for spreading grass and other seed, feed, fertilizers, pesticides, and even ice melt or rock salt. These important tools are also known as lawn spreaders and come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, with different sets of features. You should identify your particular landscaping needs and choose that will best meet them.

Among the main types, you can start by choosing a broadcast or drop spreader. These differ by the method used to apply seed. Then, you’ll have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of pull-behind and hand-held spreaders, which differ by design. The main differences and features are as follows.

  • Broadcasters spray seed in a semicircular range of 10 to 16 feet in diameter.
  • Drop spreaders apply seeds straight down for a more exact disbursement.
  • Hand-held models are carried by hand and spread seed over small areas.
  • Pull-behind spreaders have a wider spread and can cover a larger area.

Across both of the above sets of options, you will also have to choose between professional or homeowner quality spreaders. While the former will provide more uniform application and custom calibration, homeowner-grade models tend to be less expensive if ideal for small lawns with little need for consistency.

Investing in a particular type of garden spreader fundamentally comes down to meeting your particular landscaping needs. You can thus choose between each pair based on your particular problems – whether establishing a lawn from the start or addressing recently damaged patches.

How Should I Use Each Type?

how to use a broadcast spreader


While broadcast spreaders can cover larger areas, drop models have more versatile applications. In particular, although broadcasters speed the application process by covering a wider area, seed is much more difficult to control in the process.

In contrast, drop spreaders use a flow control mechanism to prevent seeds from unintentionally spreading to flower gardens and other areas. To get a sense of how a drop and a broadcast model will each work, you can view this video demonstration.

Both varieties can be hand-held or pull-behind, though the former work best for repairing smaller, damaged areas. Hand-held models specifically provide greater precision through greater control. Pull-behind models, on the other hand, allow you to cover a significantly larger area in fewer passes. They may be attached to a four wheeler, ATV, or lawn tractor for even faster distribution.

Accordingly, you should choose a hand-held or smaller, pull-behind drop spreader for targeting specific areas of your lawn. On the other hand, a pull-behind, broadcast spreader would be best for applying fertilizer or other treatments to a larger landscape. Different combinations, though, will address other specific sets of needs.

How Do I Choose the Right Broadcaster?

When you need a broader range, a broadcast spreader is ideal. Yet, there are many options and potential features available. As a result, it can be confusing to try to match your particular needs with a particular model. Still, doing this basic legwork will help you make a good investment that will help you care for your lawn for years to come.

When searching for the best broadcast spreader for your needs, you should keep the following factors in mind. However, remember that you should adapt each of these to your particular needs and choose a model that clearly aligns with them.

Brinly BS36BH Tow Behind Broadcast Spreader


#1 - A Durable Container

To start, you should select the appropriate spreader container. Plastic hoppers are best when weight is an issue, but a steel hopper will provide a more precise and consistent spreading pattern.

The container should also have a firm attachment to the carriage with enough volume to avoid wasting time on refilling.

#2 - A Strong Frame

Agri-Fab Broadcast Spreader


The carriage or spreader frame should be durable enough to meet your landscaping needs.

In particular, it should be made from reinforced steel tubing when spreading over larger lawns, as you will need to spread a large amount of seed. 

For smaller lawns, less durable materials may be an option.


#3 - A Quality Spreader

No matter the project, the spreading mechanism should be adjustable, rust-proof, and clog-proof with easy-to-read settings.

You will be using this outdoors on a regular basis, so it should be easy to use and not break easily. In addition, the arc of coverage should be broad or narrow depending on your needs.

Clear Manual

#4 - A Clear Manual

The manual should be clear and understandable so that you can easily assemble and use your spreader for a variety of projects.

Alternately, the model that you choose should come pre-calibrated and ready-to-use. That way, you can get to work right away without having to set anything up beforehand.

#5 - Long-Lasting Materials

long-lasting material

The hopper, tires, and other materials should be durable and easy to maintain. In particular, each part should be high-quality so that the spreader lasts for several years without significant repair or replacement.

Guarantees or warranties from the manufacturer should also provide comprehensive coverage in case of problems.

Specific types have different requirements, as well. For instance, a pull-behind model should have pneumatic wheels and a sturdy tongue. Hand-held models, in contrast, should have a supportive shoulder strap to keep pressure off your wrists while applying seed or fertilizer.

Choosing the best broadcast spreader before you make your investment is essential. Otherwise, you may end up with a gardening tool that cannot help you address your needs, whether starting a lawn from scratch or dealing with bare patches. For more tips on using a broadcaster spreader, you can turn to this video guide.

What Are the Best Broadcast Spreaders?

Here are some of the most popular and well-received broadcast spreaders on the market. These range from portable models to tow-behind ones so that you can choose the one best suited to your particular project.

Earthway 2150 Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreader


Between its well-balanced frame and 50-pound capacity, the Earthway 2150 is the veritable Cadillac of broadcast spreaders. As a walk-behind model, it specifically allows for the spreading of seed, fertilizer or otherwise with minimal effort. Yet, this model combines the best of both worlds with its relatively small size and heavy-duty materials that can easily stand up to salt.

In addition, this broadcaster boasts large, pneumatic tires that easily traverse uneven ground and the Ev-N-Spred drop hole system with three separate openings for dispersing seed. With adjustable spreader controls, the Earthway 2150 can also accommodate narrow or wide strips of lawn, even as it keeps materials out of other gardens.

While the 2150’s enclosed gearbox does indeed prevent the common issue of chute clogging, it is not ideal for rock salt or powdered materials. Still, materials are made in the USA and designed to stand up to the ravages of time – with little to no maintenance required over this broadcaster’s life. Accordingly, you should look to other models for similar applications.


  • Durable construction
  • Heavy-duty frame with 175-pound load capacity
  • Adjustable handle height and spreading rate
  • Ev-N-Spred system for even spread


  • Not suited to rock salt or powdered materials
Agri-Fab 45-0463 Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreader


In contrast, as a tow-behind broadcast spreader, the Agri-Fab 45-0463 is a specialized farm tool designed to be towed by a tractor, mower, or cart. Accordingly, this broadcaster has a much higher capacity of 130 pounds with a focus on larger lawns and bigger jobs. A larger wheelbase and tire diameter ensures stability under rugged conditions, alongside rust-proof components.

At the same time, you can conveniently adjust flow from your seat with user-friendly controls on this professional quality broadcaster. In addition, an enclosed gear box with tapered gears ensures an even spread while extending the lifespan of your broadcast spreader. However, durability comes at a cost – namely the Agri-Fab 45-0463’s heavy weight compared to most pull-behind models.

Beyond the basics, you can also add a hopper cover or grate, along with a material deflector and more besides. More importantly, this broadcaster comes at an affordable price with a 30-year warranty and can be towed or pushed on its own.


  • Rust proof hopper
  • Universal tow hitch
  • 130-pound hopper capacity
  • Safe for use with herbicides


  • Heavier than similar pull-behind models
Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader


This bestselling broadcaster is designed for smaller lawns with areas that are more difficult to reach. In particular, this mini broadcast spreader spreads materials in an arc for a quick and consistent spread over lawns for large and small. As such, the Turf Builder Mini is both compact and lightweight, making it easy to maneuver and simple to store with a foldable handle.

At the same time, EdgeGuard Technology blocks the spreader from spraying out the sides and sprinkling seed, fertilizer, or otherwise where it is not wanted. Similarly, large wheels prevent spreading into walkways and gardens, while a precise control panel ensures accurate coverage of the lawn or area in question. All of the above makes the Turf Builder ideal for narrow strips of lawn or other areas where larger models cannot be used.

The Turf Builder Mini’s performance is hardly surprising, given Scots’ strong reputation for quality lawn care supplies. However, high quality in this case comes at an affordable price, albeit not as adaptable to individual needs as other models.


  • EdgeGuard technology
  • Simple, easy-to-use controls
  • Holds up to 5,000 square feet of product
  • Pre-calibrated and ready-to-use upon arrivalCons:


  • Non-adjustable height
  •  Lightweight plastic wheels
Garden-Outdoor Earthway 2750 Hand-Operated Bag Spreader


Another more compact model is the Earthway 2750 hand-held bag spreader. This type of broadcaster starts with a heavy-duty nylon bag and adds a broad, adjustable strap for comfort. From there, the gearbox ensures feather edges and smooth spread patterns. Accordingly, bag spreaders specifically offer greater precision, better results, and less waste overall.

Since it only has a 25-pound capacity, this broadcaster is generally used for smaller landscapes, with regular intervals of refilling. Despite any potential inconvenience, bag spreaders like this one are carried while being used to dispense fertilizer, seeds, and other materials. The Earthway 2750’s compactness makes it ideal when you don’t have much storage space. Meanwhile, the standard top zipper makes it incredibly easy to fill and empty the bag’s contents.

However, when a bag spreader like this is used to spread fertilizer, the gears can easily lock up. For the most part, the Earthway 2750 avoids this issue with shut-off plate that oscillates to help manage flow control and prevent clumping, especially at larger events. Overall, this type of broadcaster makes it possible to cover more ground with less hassle or funding, even as it ensures a smoother and more even application


  • Collapsible for easy storage
  • Holds up to 25 pounds of seed
  • Zippered top for easy closure and filling
  • Oscillating shut-off plate to aid in flow control
  • High-rpm gearbox for smooth edge broadcast


  • Gears lock when used for fertilizer
Solo 421S Portable Spreader


The Solo 421S is a portable broadcast spreader that is designed to go where wheels cannot reach on both small and medium lawns. Unlike the other models on this list, it requires a steady walking speed to ensure even distribution. To that end, this broadcaster weighs only 7 pounds and comes with an adjustable cross-shoulder strap to prevent even that weight from doing harm.

In addition, the direction and drop rate controls are located at the user’s fingertips, with a 240-degree spread radius on the ground. This model is well-suited to a wide range of chemicals and fine-grained materials, including sand and rock salt alike. This versatility is reflected in the enclosure protecting the gearbox and the hopper cap, the latter of which protects the operator from potentially dangerous dust and chemicals.

​The Solo 421S’ compact and lightweight design do not take away from its versatility. In particular, this portable broadcaster can spread fine granular and larger sized material s- large opening makes it easy to clean as needed. In the process, the agitator prevents any potential blocks while ensuring this model’s uniform spread.


  • 20-pound capacity
  • Fingertip control levers
  • Corrosion resistant agitator
  • Large opening for cleaning and filling


  • Hopper feed level is not easily visible
  • Requires a regular walking speed for even distribution

The Best Broadcaster Meets Your Needs

The best broadcast spreader for your gardening needs will very much depend on the project, your lawn, and your particular preferences. However, the Earthway 2150 walk-behind spreader is likely the best choice for its versatility. This model’s combination of high-quality materials and high capacity hopper in a compact and well-balanced frame will meet most spreading needs.

In contrast, the other models are ideal for larger or smaller projects. Still, they reveal the wide range of broadcasters on the market and the importance of doing your research. With so many options, you can easily find the right model for your particular project and related needs.

About the Author Laura Bennett

Hello, I’m Laura Bennett. I love nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. I started a very small garden behind my house and I named it Humid Garden. So, I created this blog to provide aspiring and inspiring thoughts about gardening for gardeners and anyone who has the intention of keeping a garden.

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