I researched and examined the 6 highest rated tow behind spreaders to buy in 2019…
If you have a decent sized lawn (1/2 acre or more) and a lawn tractor or ATV, a tow behind spreader is a fast and efficient way to put down seed or fertilizer.
But knowing which model to buy is tricky – there are many options and opinions of which ones are best. I’ve done my best to break down which models offer you the most bang for your buck!
Quick Look: Best tow behind spreaders in 2019
- Agri-Fab 45-0463: the best overall pull behind broadcast spreader for most homeowners
- Brinly BS36BH: very large hopper makes for less refilling, good for larger properties
- Agri-Fab 45-0288: best tow behind drop spreader, very stable and accurate
- Spyker P30-17520: super high-quality commercial level spreader, expensive, but will handle anything you through at it
- Earthway 2050TP: high quality mid-range spreader from a well known and reputable brand
- Agri-Fab 45-0530: the best small yard pull-behind fertilizer spreader, good for small yards, inexpensive
How We Rated The Spreaders
All of the spreaders above come with some sort of warranty. As a homeowner, most of the warranties included will suffice, but if you plan on using your spreader for commercial use, you should check with the manufacturer to see if that shortens the warranty period.
Also, keep in mind, that all of these spreaders have limited warranties, which means they won’t cover everything.
Most limited warranties only cover actual malfunctions due to something wrong from the factory, not if something breaks after excessive use. However this can vary depending on the manufacturer, so visiting the company’s website and reading the fine print is smart before you make a purchase. Especially since a tow behind spreader can be an expensive piece of equipment.
Quality of Spread
Another important rating decision is the actual quality of the spread – meaning how good of a job does it do spreading the application. After all, that is why you are buying a spreader :).
It’s hard to say if any of the models above have a better spread than the other, but I can say that they do have better consistency of spread vs other models not mentioned. So in this category, I would say they are all about even.
Assembly/Ease of Use
If you’re ordering your spreader online, chances are there will be some assembly required. I know how frustrating it can be to try and assemble something with poor directions, so it’s important to take a look at how easy they are put together.
The Agri-Fab spreaders have a quick assembly that will take only about 20 minutes, and the Brinly even has an easy to follow, step-by-step assembly video.
Customers have also attested that the Earthway is pretty easy to put together.
All of these spreaders make it easy to adjust the spread rate through simple hand controls. All the hoppers can also be closed without getting off your lawn tractors seat which saves you time.
Why Should You Buy a Tow Behind Spreader?
While there are many different types of spreaders – such as a hand held or push spreader – the pull-behind spreader is a great option for those with a large area to cover.
A handheld spreader is small and easy to store but requires that you walk around and spread the fertilizer or seed on foot which is pretty inconvenient and time consuming if you have a large piece of property.
While the push spreaders will take the weight off your shoulders, pushing a heavy hopper of fertilizer around your yard for hours is tough work.
A pull behind lawn spreader is really the best way to put down product on a large piece of property.
What To Look For In a Top Rated Model
When looking for a pull behind spreader, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure you get the best model for your yard.
First, you want to look for one made with durable materials that will be resistant to weather and corrosion. Having an enclosed gear-box is a good sign your spreader will be less likely to get damaged from the weather.
You’ll also want to make sure the hitch is compatible with whatever type of tractor, mower or ATV you intend to pull the spreader with, and that you can reach the spreader controls easily.
Pull Behind Broadcast Spreader
A tow behind broadcast spreader use a spinning fan mechanism to shoot the contents from the hopper out in a circular spray as the spreader moves along. This broadcast of seed, fertilizer, ice-melt, etc., allows for even distribution over a large area.
FYI, if you use your spreader for salt or ice-melt, you want to make sure you clean it after every use. Ice-mel chemicals can break down the spreader faster than normal.
Broadcast spreaders save time and energy by covering a larger area more quickly than drop spreaders can, but they don’t perform as well in tight spaces.
Tow Behind Drop Spreader
A pull behind drop spreader has benefits as well.
A drop style spreader is ideal in situations where you need more precision to your distribution.
While broadcast spreaders send a wider spray, they can also end up causing you to waste your fertilizer or seed in certain areas you don’t want to.
For instance, if you have lots of flower beds, gardens or ponds and don’t want any of the product you are spreading to reach those areas, a drop spreader will only put down product where you drive.
Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Models
The biggest difference you’ll find in the cheap and expensive models of spreaders is the size of the hoppers and the durability of the components.
Cheaper models will be more suited to residential yard work, while the more expensive models will be suitable for commercial jobs requiring more frequent use and constant wear.
Typically cheaper models are built with lots of inexpensive plastics where more expensive models use heavier duty plastics and metal.
Best Selling & Top Rated Brands
- Precision Products
- Field Tuff
- Streamline Industries
How Much Should I Expect To Pay?
For a quality tow behind spreader, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150-$300 depending on your specific needs.
Tow Behind Fertilizer Spreader Reviews
1) Agri-Fab 45-0463 Tow Behind Spreader
- Professional & consistent spread
- Sturdy and very well made
- Wide wheelbase to prevent tipping on hills
- Easy to find replacement parts
- Tube tires can go flat
- Quite a bit of assembly required, but fairly straightforw
The Agri-Fab 45-0463 tow behind spreader can cover half an acre before you have to refill its 130-pound capacity hopper (depending on your rate) and is straightforward to assemble.
Perfect for fertilizer or grass seed.
The enclosed gear-box ensures longevity and both a cover and hopper grate are available for this model. Large pneumatic tires allow for easy mobility throughout the yard. Additionally, Agri-Fab offers a 3-year limited warranty.
This spreader is my top choice. See Today’s Price
2) Brinly BS36BH Pull Behind Broadcast Spreader
- Spacious hopper for fewer refills
- Consistent spread
- Easy to understand assembly instructions
- Can be top-heavy when full and on hills
- Hard to reach controls lever from zero-turn mowers
An excellent choice for evenly distributing everything from fertilizer and seed to ice melt and salt.
Brinly’s easy to access calibration controls makes putting down the proper amount of product easy. The enclosed gearbox protects the stainless steel hardware inside from corrosion. On a light application, this spreader can do up to one full acre before refill, and Brinly offers a two-year limited warranty for residential use. See Today’s Price
3) Agri-Fab 45-0288 Tow Behind Drop Spreader
- Large, 175 pound hopper
- Plastic, rust-resistant parts
- Good customer service
- Quick and easy assembly
- Drop spreader takes longer than broadcast
- Some spread may bounce out of hopper if completely full and on uneven terrain
If you have a smaller yard and need precise distribution, the Agri-Fab 45-0288 might be the perfect option for you.
Drop spreaders are great for putting down applications near flower beds or walkways, so if your property has a lot of obstacles, this model may work well for your yard.
The 45-0288 has pneumatic tires, a steel agitator and an on/off switch that you can reach from the drivers seat of your tractor.
This is my pick for the best tow behind drop spreader. See Today’s Price
4) Spyker Pro Series P30-17520 Tow Spreader
- Suitable for commercial use
- Rain cover included
- Replacement parts can be ordered if needed
- Powder coated steel welded frame
- Expensive (but this is a very high-quality product)
- Does not work well with zero turn mowers
The Spyker Pro Series P30-17520 is a commercial grade spreader. It is the highest priced spreader on my list, but it commands that price. It comes with an all steel 1 1/8″ powder coated frame and enclosed metal gear system for long lasting durability.
It has a 175 pound capacity, so you don’t need to refill it very often and the tires handle bumps well.
From the research that I have done, there are a few people that complained about it being a bit harder than normal to put together. See Today’s Price
5) Earthway 2050TP Broadcast Pull Behind Spreader
- Very easy to assemble
- High quality pneumatic tires
- 3 hole “Ev-N-Spread” drop system
- Unstable on hills
- Hopper feels a bit lightweight
Earthway has pioneered the “Ev-N-Spread” system in their broadcast spreaders to make sure the product you are applying goes where you intend it.
The 2050TP has large pneumatic wheels that allow you to use it on uneven surfaces and prevent slippage on slick terrain. The hopper can hold up to 80 pounds of seed, fertilizer, ice-melt, etc., and it’s enclosed gear-box ensures durability and a longer lifespan.
Agri-Fab offers a 5 Year limited warranty on this model – which is longer than most in its class. This product is great for small to medium sized lawns. See Today’s Price
6) Agri-Fab 45-0530 Pull Spreader
- Solid frame construction
- Pneumatic tires
- Smallish hopper
- Too light to handle hills well
The Agri-Fab 45-0530 ig a good quality, inexpensive pull behind fertilizer spreader.
Its a great spreader for small properties, but don’t expect it to work well if you have more than a half of acre of land. The hopper only holds 85 pounds of product, so if you have a larger piece of property, you will be refilling it often. It is also not meant for commercial use, so it’s lightweight and won’t handle hills well.
It is made in the USA, easy to assemble and is constructed of high quality materials. See Today’s Price
After all of the time I put into researching the best tow behind spreader, I can confidently say that my top choice is the Agri-Fab 45-0463.
The 45-0463 is a fairly priced, has a large hopper, is easy to use and assembl and comes with a solid warranty from a reputable brand.
With the proper usage, care and storage, this product serve you well for many years to come.