Handheld broadcast spreaders are the choice of many people. They can hold practically any variety of granular substances - fertilizer, grass seed, sand, ice melt, kitty litter, and feed and seed mixtures, and are useful for farm, home, and commercial use. Just like the wheeled broadcast spreaders available, a handheld spreader offers a flexibility of pattern size, ranging from a few inches wide to 12 or more feet wide. A numbered gauge is used to adjust the coverage diameter.
Handheld spreaders attach to the chest for simple manual application. They are powered by a hand crack that is mounted on one side of the spreader. Spreaders should have a strong plastic hopper and an oscillating shut-off plate to eliminate clumping, as well as to control material flow. They are preferred for seeding smaller plots. A recommendation for handheld spreaders is to purchase a good scale so that the area of coverage and your stride can be calibrated to your gate width.
Earthway is a well established U.S. company that is recognized as a dealer of quality broadcast spreaders and other garden and lawn products since 1965. The Earthway model 3100 can last a lifetime if used and taken care of properly.
- Works well spreading pelletized lime, seed, and fertilizer
- Much easier to operate than broadcast spreaders that need to be hooked up to a tractor
- Has a swath width of 8 to 12 feet, and the spread can be adjusted from side to side
- Perfectly balanced for filling with fertilizer or seed
- Great price for such a quality product
- Awkward to handle and carry if filled too full
- Difficult to get straps over the back
- This product isn't suitable for spreading rock salt or grit
- Rustproof 1,180 cubic inches capacity high impact red molded hopper holds approximately 40 pounds (18 kg)
- Evenly distributes fertilizers, grass seeds, ice melt, and more
- Includes a heavy duty rain cover and rain calculation matrix
- Epoxy powder-coated tubular steel chassis (featuring an integrated stand), and substantial gearbox, which promises a long life of trouble-free service
- Exclusive Ev-N-SPRED PRO dual-port (twin port) adjustable shutoff - This permits the user to reduce or close either the right or the left spreading side and provides increased accuracy and versatility
- Simple to use operator shut-off setting control on handle
- Comfortable wide carrying straps and harness assembly contribute to operator comfort and control - A bottom support plate distributes load equally across the user's lower abdomen
- Broadcast system is a three hole drop with dual flow control double stainless steel adjustable plates
- Offers a five-year limited warranty, as well as lifetime tech support - Because of the corrosive nature of some ice melt products and fertilizers, Earthway Products does not provide a warranty on any product failure or degradation due to the effects of corrosion
The Earthway 3100 Heavy Duty Broadcast Spreader weighs 9 pounds, and is 14.2" x 20" x 23". This broadcast spreader works especially well in locations where a wheel-based spreader doesn't function correctly. Correct work gear should be worn while using this product, especially face masks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts, since staining can occur when operating. This is a strap-on hand crank spreader and is ideal for spreading granular material over uneven terrain, in wet areas, or in those places where a push spreader can't go.
A user of this product has a large number of options concerning spread pattern, including weight, material size, and flight characteristics. The high-speed gearbox commonly provides spread widths of up to 15 feet (4.5 meters or 457 cm). The user should select the proper setting for each material from the setting matrix before operation. All material should be removed from the hopper after spreading, and it should be thoroughly washed and dried before storage. No oiling is needed for this product.
Different spreader settings may be required based on walking speed (i.e. a brisk speed of 3 mph), the roughness of the terrain surface, and the physical characteristics of whatever material is being applied. Check the rate setting instructions for hand crank spreaders before operating.
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Fully 81% of online reviewers consider this to be an excellent product and would recommend its purchase. Ten percent of reviewers are moderately satisfied with this product. One reviewer stated that he thought this product was cheaply made, especially the scaling and rate control lever. Nine percent of reviewers were dissatisfied with this product, and would not recommend its purchase. They mentioned that the strap attachment points are uneven and extremely flimsy.