Types of Lawn Spreaders and Which One to Go For

A perfect spreader is something every lawn owner needs to make the work easier and faster. Using a lawn spreader can cut the labor in half and get the work done in lesser time. While it is easy to work with a lawn spreader, choosing a spreader out of the available varieties can get challenging. Before you hit the market to find a spreader, it is better to know about the main types of lawn spreaders to see which one suits your requirements and lawn better. Let’s get started. 

Types of Lawn Spreaders 

You can find handheld, small, or heavy-duty spreaders to choose from. However, every type of spreader comes down to these two main classifications; drop spreaders and broadcast/rotary spreaders. Even though both of these spreaders are available both as walk-behind and bucket-like hoppers, but the way they spread the fertilizer or seeds is different in both types of spreaders. These spreaders are also different when it comes to the type of lawn you need them for. 

1. Drop Spreader 

Drop spreaders are known for their accuracy and even distribution of fertilizer or seeds. As their name suggests, these spreaders drop fertilizer and seeds in a neat row or wherever you take them. The seeds only drop between the wheels of the spreader, so if you want to make sure that every part of the lawn is covered, you will have to overlap the wheel paths; otherwise, you may miss a whole strip of your lawn. 

Drop spreaders are the best for small lawns and gardens, as they are easy to use and offer perfect coverage when used properly. Moreover, if there are any tight spots in a lawn, such spreaders can easily cover them without any difficulty. 

Drop spreaders are better when you don’t want to clean up after using them as they keep the product bounded and don’t let it move away from the needed spot. However, with these spreaders, the work takes a little more time as they cover lesser ground, which is why small lawn owners can easily use them. 

2. Broadcast Spreader

As the name suggests, broadcast spreaders broadcast or scatter the fertilizer or seeds without keeping a clean, accurate path. The spreader works in a fan-like manner, i.e., spreading the seeds in a wider area with the help of the rotating technology used in it. Due to its ability to spread seeds or fertilizer in a larger area, such spreaders are mostly used and suited to larger lawns as they make the work easier and faster. 

If you use a broadcast spreader, remember that the seed or fertilizer layer becomes thinner in the areas that are too far from the spreader, so make sure you go back and forth throughout the lawn for even distribution of the material. Moreover, it’s better to keep the spreading intensity of your spreader to 50% and spread the fertilizer/seeds in a two-way crosshatch pattern for best results. 

Broadcast spreaders are great for larger lawns; however, it needs the skill to use them properly and get an even distribution throughout the lawn. Such spreaders get affected by wind as they don’t drop but throw the seeds in a circular pattern, and win can change the direction of seeds or fertilizer being spread. But if you have a big lawn, there’s nothing better than having a spreader that covers a larger area in lesser time. 

How to Determine the Right Spreader for Your Lawn?

Now that you know the main types of lawn spreaders, it’s time to see which one suits your lawn best. To determine which lawn spreader would be best for your lawn, you will have to take some factors under consideration, including the size of your lawn and your budget. While other factors may also be very important, the size of your lawn matters the most when getting a lawn spreader.

Size of Your Lawn

The size and shape of a lawn greatly impact the kind of spreader you will need. For example, if you have a small or normal-sized lawn, a drop spreader should work just fine for you because you will be able to spread the fertilizer or seeds in a very uniform and even way. Moreover, it is easier to use a drop spreader in smaller lawns because there is no large area that has to be covered. 

On the other hand, for a larger lawn, you may need a broadcast spreader. It is a better option for larger lawns because it reduces the effort and time by covering a wide area at once. You can use it throughout your large lawn without having to spend hours fertilizing the lawn. These spreaders actually cut the labor time and effort to half. 

So, make sure that you consider the size of your lawn before buying a spreader to get the best results.

Your budget

Normally, both broadcast and drop spreaders don’t cost much and can be bought on a budget. When talking about the budget, there isn’t any comparison between the two spreaders. It all depends on what company or brand you are buying; both kinds of spreaders come at different prices, and you can compare different brands to see which one fits your budget. We would say, stay within your budget and don’t go for too expensive ones as generally, most low-priced spreaders are also quite durable. 

Which is Better, Broadcast or Drop Spreader?

Honestly, there is no better or worse among these spreaders. One can simply not suit your lawn while the other will. As we mentioned earlier, choosing a spreader completely depends on the size and shape of a lawn. All you need to do is choose the right one according to the given criteria. 

It would be absurd to call a drop spreader bad just because you are using it for a large lawn because it doesn’t cover a larger area in one go, and the same rule applies if you use a broadcast spreader for a small lawn, and blame the spreader for the mess you need to clean later as it covers a large area at once. 

We can say that both types of spreaders are great for what they are designed for; so, use them accordingly, and you will be satisfied. The thumb rule is to get a drop spreader if you have a smaller lawn and a broadcast spreader if you own a larger lawn. 


Lawn spreaders make caring, seeding, and fertilizing a lawn very easy and less hectic as you can simply fill the spreader and move around the lawn, and your work is done. The fact-checking and science of making the right decision will determine whether you get the right spreader for your lawn or not. While you use a spreader, either a drop spreader or a broadcast spreader, make sure you know the technique of using it. 

Moreover, ensure that the spreader is closed when you fill it with fertilizer or seeds to prevent the product from being wasted. Lastly, ensure that you take good care of your equipment so it can last longer.