drop spreader VS broadcast spreader: A Comparison

drop spreader vs broadcast spreader

A spreader is a great idea for anyone trying to apply fertilizer properly. Alternatively, you can also use it to properly put seeds in your lawn.

But while spreaders do make your job easy, it’s hard to choose the right one. This problem is intensified by the fact that there’s more than one kind of spreader available online. In today’s article, we are going to take a look at the Drop Spreader and the Broadcast Spreader.

We are going to compare these two kinds of spreaders and found out who emerges as the victor in the Drop Spreader VS Broadcast Spreader competition. Naturally, we are also going to check out the main features of each of these along the way and we’re also going to help you find out how you might be able to choose the one that’s more suited specifically for you.

So, are you ready to find out more about each of these types of spreaders? Well then, what are we waiting for?

What are the main features of the Drop Spreader?

The Drop Spreader is one of the things you might have heard about! It actually has a hole that’s designed in the body to properly drop the required herbicide/seed between the wheels.

This model is loved by most of the people who actually own a lawn. Even when growing grass on my steep hill (click here to find out how to do it) this is the method that I actually opted for! However, the main merits and demerits of this model can easily be summed up in a few points:

  • The drop spreader actually puts the fertilizer really accurately. One of the main points that its owners boast of is the accuracy that it has. Since the drop spreader drops the fertilizer/herbicide/seed exactly between the wheels, you can easily decide where you want it to fall, making it a much simpler model to operate!
  • Again, the Drop Spreader also boasts of air-resistance, since it does not really throw the fertilizer or seed to a distance. So, if you live in a windy place, that makes this model a better choice.  Also, since the wind does not really affect the drop spreader, you really do not have to go up cleaning after it. This saves you a lot of trouble every single time you use it, regardless to mention in the long run.
  • The Drop Spreader actually overcomes the problem of hard to reach areas with the help of better wheels. It also actually boasts of almost zero waste since you can perfectly decide where you want the seeds to fall.
  • Drop spreaders actually need a lot of manual interaction, making them more fitted for smaller areas. So, if you are taking care of less than 5000 square feet areas, the drop spreader might be a better choice. However, for larger areas, you might want to look at other choices.
  • However, the drop spreader actually has a much smaller capacity. So, you actually have to keep filling it up every once in a while if you’re planning to use it for a while. This might be a little tiring, and that is something you might want to keep in mind when going for a drop spreader.

Quoting YardCareGurus, the following can be said about the Drop Spreader:

The primary downside to choosing a drop spreader is that they cover less ground each lap than a broadcast spreader, which increases the amount of time needed to adequately seed or fertilizer a lawn. However, because of their precision, many homeowners believe the tradeoff is worth it.

What are the main features of a Broadcast Spreader?

Next in line is the Broadcast Spreader. As you can guess from its name, its a little different than the Drop Spreader. This model actually throws seeds in front of it and to the sides.

Not only that, the broadcast spreader is also a great choice when it comes to larger lawns. Since it throws the products, there naturally is a bit of problem with overusing the things you’re planning to use. But let’s find out more about its features under the following points:

  • To begin with, the Broadcast Spreader is actually a really good choice in the sense that it actually works really well for larger lawns. Since it covers more ground in a lesser amount of time and with a lesser amount of effort, it is a great choice to go with if your lawn is huge.
  • Again, this also means that you’re going to use up more product, and that has also been taken care of. The broadcast spreaders generally have a larger capacity than the Drop Spreaders, so you don’t really need to fill them up as often. This makes it a good choice if you’re lazy like me!
  • Again, it also throws the fertilizer/seed instead of actually going there, which means that you can easily reach places that are hard to reach. This gives this model a good edge above other models.
  • However, the Broadcast Spreader is not a good choice if you live in a windy area. Since it actually relies on throwing, wind has a serious effect on it. This is one of the most important points that you must consider with this model.
  • Again, since it throws whatever it’s throwing as you walk, its easy to overuse resources as your walking speed might not always be constant or you might actually happen to accidentally walk in a different direction now and then.
  • Finally, it also means that you will end up throwing some of the things where you don’t really need it. Using a Broadcast Sprinkler is almost always associated with cleaning, and that’s something you need to be prepared fori f you’re planning to go with a Broadcast Spreader!

Drop spreader VS Broadcast spreader: A Comparison

Now, as you might have noticed, there are a few difference between the two of them. Naturally, they aren’t exactly the same thing just because both of them are spreaders. However, their differences are actually distinctly noticeable, which is a pretty good thing!

The main differences between the Drop Spreader and the Broadcast Spreader might be summed up as:

  • Accuracy: The first and main thing that you might want to know about is accuracy. The Drop spreader takes the lead in accuracy as you can decide where exactly you want to apply the fertilizer/seed. The case is not so when it comes to the broadcast spreader.
  • Range: In terms of range, the broadcast spreader takes the lead. It can actually be used to cover a much larger area than the Drop spreader, making it a greater choice for anyone who actually has a comparatively larger lawn.
  • Shape: The Drop Spreader actually works in rows, while the Broadcast Spreader works in more of a fan-like shape. This might give you the brief idea of how they actually throw fertilizer/seed.
  • Wastage: Naturally, since the Drop Spreader is much more accurate, it actually boasts of almost zero wastage. The Broadcast Spreader, on the other hand, is something a lot of wastage is associated with. So, wastage is one of the things you need to actually get used to if you’re planning to go for Broadcast Spreaders.
  • Cleaning up: Cleaning up naturally comes along with the wastage, as you might have guessed. And given that we know who actually causes more wastage, it should not be too hard to figure out who causes more wastage- the Broadcast Spreader, of course!

Quoting SFGATE on the differences between the two, we can say:

The main difference between drop spreaders and broadcast spreaders is the precision of application. As their name suggests, broadcast spreaders broadcast fertilizer or weed killer out to the front and sides of the spreader in an arc, covering a large area at once. Drop spreaders drop the lawn product between the wheels so that you have control over exactly where the product falls for a precise application. In other words, a broadcast spreader is faster, but a drop spreader is more targeted.

Which one should I go for?

Now, we just showed you the main features of each of these. You must carefully consider each of them and then decide which one would be the better choice for you.

Honestly, it is not possible to declare one of these as the better of the two because they are made for different uses. So, you need to know what you’re looking for and judge each of them accordingly. That’s the only way to find out which one would be the best for you- and that’s the one you should go for.

And at the end of the day, you should always remember to take care of the one you finally go for. Taking care of your spreader is absolutely necessary to ensure its durability, which can actually be higher than you think! So, be sure to take care to keep it in top shape for years to come!


So, we have reached the end of today’s article. We discussed the main features of Drop Spreaders and Broadcast Spreaders and the main differences between the two. We also discussed which one you might want to go for any why.

So, if you have any more queries, please do not hesitate to reach out to us here at Best Lawn Sprinkler! We are always here to help you out and we look forward to hearing from you!

We really hope you liked today’s article and we really hope to meet you soon again on our next one! Until we meet again on our next one, we wish you a great day!