If you have a garden or a space where you are wanting to plant seeds, you might be considering getting a walk-behind spreader. These spreaders can also be used to apply salt if you are trying to melt ice in the winter.
In this article, we will go over the best spreaders that can be used for ice specifically. While some might also be able to be used in the garden, they are best for spreading ice to help you in the winter.
Table of Contents
- What is a Walk-Behind Spreader?
- What’s the Difference Between a Commercial and Residential Salt Spreader?
- 5 Best Commercial Walk-Behind Salt Spreaders
- 1. Agri-Fab 45-0548 130 lb. Commercial Push Spreader
- 2. Chapin 100-Pound Professional Salt and Ice Melt Spreader
- 3. Grounds Keeper Buyers Products Walk Behind Push Snow Rock Salt Spreader
- 4. Global Industrial Universal Spreader
- 5. Chapin International 8500B Chapin Professional Rock Salt Drop Spreader
- When to Choose a Commercial Walk-Behind Spreader?
- Can You Buy Other Types of Spreaders?
- Final Thoughts
What is a Walk-Behind Spreader?
Walk-behind spreaders are a useful lawn tool that distributes fertilizer evenly. The two main types are handheld and walk behind. A walk-behind spreader will have wheels and you simply push it across the lawn as it spreads grass seed and fertilizer.
For salt, these spreaders will evenly spread salt across the ice on your driveway or other areas of your outdoor living spaces. This allows ice to melt quicker and more effectively.
What’s the Difference Between a Commercial and Residential Salt Spreader?
A residential salt spreader might also be called a regular salt spreader. These are the most common type of spreaders because they are cheaper and smaller than commercial salt spreaders. Most people who use residential salt spreaders have small land or just want to spread salt on a small area such as a backyard garden or driveway.
Commercial salt spreaders are larger and have a higher capacity for holding salt. These are best used for people who have large pieces of land. They allow you to spread salt quicker.
5 Best Commercial Walk-Behind Salt Spreaders
1. Agri-Fab 45-0548 130 lb. Commercial Push Spreader
With a capacity of 130 pounds, this commercial push spreader can spread salt over a half-acre of land before you will need to add in more salt. With your purchase, you get a three-year warranty on the pneumatic tires, the grate, the cover, and the deflector.
While in the winter most people use it for spreading ice to melt salt, it also has a purpose for every season. You can apply fertilizer and herbicide in the fall as well as use them to overseed bare areas that were not completed in the spring.
In the summer, many people use it for hauling mulch and for sweeping grass clippings. In the spring, it can be used for applying fertilizer and herbicide.
Here are Some of the Main Features to Note:
- Square foot coverage: 25,000 square feet
- Spreader width: 10-12 foot spread
- Wheels: 13” x 5” pneumatic tires
- Direct rod control
- 26 pounds assembled weight
- All accessories included
- Minimal assembly required
Overall, this is a great spreader to help you fight the ice and snow during the winter. The pneumatic tires are great because they allow for super-smooth transport even over ice surfaces. There is a gearbox inside that is completely disclosed so you don’t have to worry about the gears corroding from the harsh winter conditions.
Depending on the size of your land, the 130-pound capacity is usually more than enough to spread the ice out in one fill. The included hopper cover and the deflector are great for keeping the salt dry and for narrowing the path of spreading so that your yard does not get too much salt on it.
The grate also does a nice job of making sure the salt falls freely and that the spreader performs well without getting stuck.
2. Chapin 100-Pound Professional Salt and Ice Melt Spreader
The Chapin 100-pound professional salt and ice melt spreader has a 100-pound capacity that can be used in all seasons as it’s perfect for spreading salt, ice melt, fertilizer, seeds, and more. It comes with a rain and snow cover to help protect the spread when you’re not using it.
Some Notable Features:
- Able to make gate changes from the handle
- Auger is spiked so it can tear up clumps
- Baffle system on the front and side so you can control the spread pattern
- 14-inch pneumatic tires perfect for uneven terrain
The Chapin brand is known for making spreaders that have all the functions you need for efficient performance. The two-piece hopper design is perfect for full gate control and the auger ensures that your salt is spread easily.
This model also comes in a full stainless steel option for those who prefer to have the bin made with stainless steel rather than plastic.
3. Grounds Keeper Buyers Products Walk Behind Push Snow Rock Salt Spreader
This walk-behind salt spreader has a 100-pound capacity so you can spread all your salt in one go. There is also an adjustable spread range of up to 14 feet. The product was designed by engineers and experts so you can be sure it has all the features you need.
Some Notable Features Include:
- Minimal assembly required
- Comes with a hopper screen and nylon rain cover
- 13-inch pneumatic tires
- Poly deflectors
- Solid axle for stability
- Enclosed greaseable gearbox
This is a nice simple spreader if you want to spread large bags of ice or salt without needing to stop constantly and reload. The poly deflectors are great because they control the pattern of spread and keep the material where you want it rather than putting it in unnecessary areas.
4. Global Industrial Universal Spreader
The Global Industrial Universal Spreader has a 100-pound capacity with a durable plastic hopper cover. The metal wire screen is one of the best features as it prevents jamming. It also has a flow regulator and a contoured grip handle.
Some Notable Features Include:
- Easy assembly
- Plastic cover is durable and prevents moisture and spilling
- Comfort grip handle allows everything to flow easily
- The adjustable spread radius is 3 feet to 30 feet
- Large 13-inch tires
- Rear deflector protects your feet as you push
The welded steel frame makes this spreader very durable. The enclosed gearbox ensures all your components do not corrode. The adjustable spreader is the best feature with 3 flaps that control the spread pattern. The included plastic cover is great for protecting the spreader from rain and wind.
5. Chapin International 8500B Chapin Professional Rock Salt Drop Spreader
The Chapin International 8500B is one of the most durable spreaders because it’s completely stainless steel and can hold up to 200 pounds. The hopper is 36 inches deep and it has a third-tier wheel which makes moving much easier.
Some Notable Features:
- 12-inch wide pneumatic tires
- Stainless steel drive chains
- Split axle so the salt can be broken up
- Linkage gate controls
The stainless drive chains prevent corrosion and can also break up clumps of salt. The 3rd tier wheel is great for easy spreading pushing. All parts are made in the USA. The discharge holds behind the wheels give you a full 36-inch drop width.
When to Choose a Commercial Walk-Behind Spreader?
Commercial walk-behind spreaders are best for people who own a large farm or large estate. They usually have a larger holding capacity which means you can put more salt in the holding area and spread more before needing to refill.
If you own large pieces of land and need to be able to spread salt quickly, make sure to get a commercial walk-behind spreader. If you have a small area and just want to spread salt over a driveway or another small area, you can go with a residential spreader since they are smaller and oftentimes less money as well.
Can You Buy Other Types of Spreaders?
Yes, there are many different types of spreaders you can use for spreading ice or seeds for gardening purposes. For large areas, some people choose to get tow spreaders. These are attached to the back of a vehicle and then spread salt or material as you drive.
There are also handheld spreaders. These are held in your hand and have a lever that you spin as you walk. The salt will gradually fall out and sprinkle over the land.
Finding a commercial spreader for your home or farm is easy with this guide. All the spreaders mentioned have all the features you need to ensure your garden and estate are properly deiced.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.