Handheld Spreader Buyers Guide

Many homeowners choose to take care of lawn issues on their own instead of paying landscaping companies large sums of money. Reseeding small areas of grass that have started to thin out due to high traffic or shade or spreading seed on newly created lawn space can be easily accomplished by using a small handheld grass seed spreaders. They can be used as often as necessary and are easy to store in case there is a need for them in the future.

What to Look for When Buying a Handheld Spreader

There are several things to consider when buying a handheld spreader. The most common include ease of use and storing capability. If a handheld seeder is being considered, the one thing to remember is that it will be used sporadically. It needs to be small enough to be stored easily when it isn’t being used. Durability is also a key factor in choosing a handheld spreader that is to be used for multiple purchases. Spreaders are designed to be able to spread almost any type of substance that is granular in nature. When purchasing a new spreader, it’s always wise to look at the list of possible uses to determine how it can be used and if the added features are worth the cost.

Popular Features

A handheld spreader can sometimes hold up to 25 pounds of seed or other material. Due to their ability to carry so much product, most spreaders come equipped with a wide shoulder strap to help stabilize the unit while it is being used. Spreaders are designed to provide uniform coverage up to approximately 15 feet and create a feathered edge to allow the grass to grow in a naturally fashion. Handheld spreaders are often equipped with a rustproof gear system that allows for even and uniform coverage. Gears and crank systems are designed to prevent clumps and obstructions from impeding the flow of the seed during use. Whether a metal or plastic gear is used, there should be ample amounts of clearance and a clear path for the seed to follow. This allows for access in case something becomes lodged in the mechanism. Spreaders will often have a dial or lever that allows the amount of seed to be increased or decreased as needed. This will also help in reducing the risk of blockage.


Handheld spreaders can be used with almost any type of granular substance. A few of the most common are:

  • Grass Seed
  • Fertilizer
  • Sand
  • Kitty Litter
  • Ice Melt
  • Seed and Feed Mixtures

Top Handheld Spreader Brands

Scotts Handheld Spreaders

Scotts brand offers several different handheld spreaders. Each one is lightweight and extremely durable. The smaller versions hold anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds of product and are ergonomically designed to prevent wrist pain and fatigue. Each unit is made from rustproof components. Gears and agitators are manufactured using durable plastic that helps to control the flow of product and eliminate blockages. Smaller spreaders are ideal for seeding small lawns or repairing patches of grass that have been damaged to weather or digging.

​Earthway Handheld Spreaders

Earthway also offers several different models of handheld spreaders. Spreaders can be purchased that have a durable plastic hopper (ideal for larger quantities) and smaller versions that come equipped with a nylon, zippered bag and should strap for support. Each spreader is equipped with an oscillating shut off plate that helps to control the flow of material and also eliminates clumping. Seed is broadcast through the system by a high RPM gearbox that includes a spring action, rate setting control. The broadcast range is approximately 15 feet and results in a feathered, uniform edge allowing the grass to grow in a more natural pattern.

​Chapin Handheld Spreaders

Chapin brand seeders come in various sizes and can hold approximately 25 pounds of seed (or other material). The average width of the broadcast is approximately 15 feet. Most Chapin handheld spreaders come with a commercial hand crank and wide shoulder strap to support its weight during use. It is also designed with easy to grip handles to prevent wrist fatigue.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader
577 Reviews
Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader
  • Features Scotts exclusive Edge Guard and Handy Lock Technologies
  • Year-round spreader - Feed, Seed, Weed, Melt
  • Holds up to 2,500 sq. ft. of Scotts lawn care products
  • Battery-powered 5 ft. broadcast spreader
SaleBestseller No. 2
Scotts Easy Hand-Held Broadcast Spreader
716 Reviews
Scotts Easy Hand-Held Broadcast Spreader
  • Great for small yards
  • Rustproof
  • Fully assembled
  • Great for applying seed, ice melt or other granular products on small areas
SaleBestseller No. 3
Scotts Handy Green II Hand-Held Broadcast Spreader
308 Reviews
Scotts Handy Green II Hand-Held Broadcast Spreader
  • Great for small yards
  • Rustproof spreader comes fully assembled
  • Great for applying seed, ice melt or other products on small areas
  • Ergonomically designed, reduces wrist fatigue
SaleBestseller No. 4
HandySpreader - Adjustable Hole Size - Handheld Spreader - Fertilizer, Grass Seeds, Preen Weed/Ant Killer, Insect Repellent, Diatomaceous Earth, Salt,...
116 Reviews
HandySpreader - Adjustable Hole Size - Handheld Spreader - Fertilizer, Grass Seeds, Preen Weed/Ant Killer, Insect Repellent, Diatomaceous Earth, Salt,...
  • ✓ ADJUSTABLE HOLE SIZE gives you the option to calibrate output - 7 different grades. So whether...
  • ✓ GRADED SIDES allow you to measure how much you're spreading in both L and KG, holding up to...
  • ✓ ERGONOMIC HANDLE that accommodates for all hand sizes, providing a superior grip for any...
  • ✓ EASY FILLING with the screw off lid. Allows you to effortlessly fill with fertilizer, sand,...
Bestseller No. 5
Fasmov Adjustable Handheld Spreader Salt and Seed Spreader Adjustable Hole Size Fertilizer Seeds Insect Repellent Ice Melter De Icer, Pack of 2
13 Reviews
Fasmov Adjustable Handheld Spreader Salt and Seed Spreader Adjustable Hole Size Fertilizer Seeds Insect Repellent Ice Melter De Icer, Pack of 2
  • Pack of 2, Adjustable hole size gives you the option to calibrate output,perfect for all de-ice and...
  • Providing a superior grip for any challenge encountered
  • The handheld spreader can store 2 L or 76 oz, and you can measure the substance with the grade marks...
  • Easy to use, fill shaker with salt , sand, Fertilizer, diatomaceous earth and much more
About the author

Mark Kelly

Hi, I'm Mark the owner of Yard Care Gurus. I love to be outside working on my lawn, planning my next project. I created this website to help people like you find the best products for yard care and great advice. Thanks for stopping by!

Michael Doran - May 5, 2017

There is a real need in this area for a higher quality product. The plastic on plastic gearing of the above reviewed spreaders is described as durable but, truth be told, it is the leading reason these flimsy spreaders quickly fail. A plastic crank combined with loose fitting plastic gears are only durable if you hope the parts themselves will survive, not if you expect them to work together. I went through two of the Scotts spreaders listed above in the past year. Junk. Frequent jamming, erratic cranking, and gearing that couldn’t be looser led to quick failures. A survey of the internet will tell you the same frustration applies to the other brands. Hard to believe someone can’t design a sensible durable product at a reasonable price point.
Mike D

    Mark Kelly - May 12, 2017

    Hey Mike – I’ve had pretty good luck with the Solo and Earthway. Thanks for commenting!

Billy Palmer - October 29, 2017

I have earth way hand held crank spreader doing fertilizer and grass seeds on small deer fields. They last one maybe two seasons looking for something better. I have 8 now that don’t work can’t repair due to rust on important areas to break down. No more earth ways. I had a canvas open gear crank lasted for years it wore out. The people that build spreaders must not use them if they did it would become common knowledge to know an enclosed un cleanable area with plastic gears won’t work long. Looking at the hand held turf spreader with open gears.any suggestions.

    Mark Kelly - October 31, 2017

    To be honest, I’ve always had good luck with Earthway products. Also the Solo handheld works great for me – have you tried that one?

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