The 9 Best Salt Spreaders

Updated February 23, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Whether you are aiming to keep your walkways and driveways clear of snow and ice this year to avoid any nasty falls or you have a larger property with extensive pavement on it, we've got you covered. Our selection of salt spreaders includes something for everyone, from the homeowner right up to city and county maintenance departments. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best salt spreader on Amazon.

9. Scotts Wizz

If you like the idea of distributing a small amount of ice melt by hand, but you want to save your wrist from a repetitive strain injury, the Scotts Wizz will do most of that work for you. Its battery-operated broadcaster spins out material in a five-foot fan.
  • edge guard to block off one side
  • difficult to clean
  • small hopper capacity
Brand Scotts
Model 71131
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Buyers ATVS15A

The Buyers ATVS15A hooks up to the back of your quad, so you can clear snow from the road, thereby allowing standard cars and trucks to follow safely. It can also be used for fertilizer and seeding, or for feeding livestock and game.
  • quick-release mounting unit
  • powder coated to resist corrosion
  • flow control is clunky
Brand Buyers Products
Model ATVS15A
Weight 37.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

7. Solo 421

The Solo 421 is a totally portable unit that is carried around via a crossbody shoulder strap, making it the best option when rolling out a larger model would be unfeasible. Simple fingertip controls allow you to set the throw direction and volume.
  • stainless steel hardware
  • secure screw-on cap
  • crank moves smoothly
Brand Solo, Inc.
Model 421S
Weight 6.8 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Earthway 2040PiPlus High Output

The knobbly, 9-inch pneumatic tires on the Earthway 2040PiPlus High Output make it an ideal choice for use when roads and walkways around your home have already become slippery and hazardous, as they provide you with decent traction.
  • 1830-cubic-inch hopper
  • works for sand or small particulates
  • adjustable spread pattern
Brand Earthway 2040PiPlus Hig
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini

The precise rate settings on the Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini allow you to dial in the exact amount of salt or seed you want to distribute. In light snow and freezing rain, a slower speed will do, but you can turn up the power when it's really coming down.
  • three sizes to choose from
  • can protect grass by blocking a side
  • arrives ready to use
Brand Scotts
Model 76121
Weight 11.1 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

4. Agri-Fab 45-0462

The Agri-Fab 45-0462 features a corrosion-resistant poly hopper and an enclosed gear box that will last through years of all-weather use. Its 130-pound capacity allows it cover roughly 25,000 square feet before it needs to be refilled.
  • simple to assemble
  • well-balanced when rolling
  • spreads seed and salt evenly
Brand Agri-Fab
Model 45-0462
Weight 35 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. SaltDogg TGS05B

Serious salters need the high-volume SaltDogg TGS05B. It mounts directly to the bumper just behind the tailgate of a pickup truck, and features a low-profile design that doesn't hinder visibility. The 10.79-cubic foot poly hopper utilizes a gravity-fed distribution system.
  • up to a 30-foot cast range
  • includes an in-cab controller unit
  • prewired for a vibrator add-on
Brand SaltDogg
Model TGS05B
Weight 242 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Home-X Salt and Seed

Whether you're fighting back the ice and snow plaguing your driveway or front stoop during the winter, or you're encouraging fresh grass to grow in the springtime, the Home-X Salt and Seed makes it easy for you to shake out the desired amount of material accurately.
  • extra-wide handle
  • large opening for easy filling
  • ideal for intricate applications
Brand Home-X
Model SH352
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Earthway 2150

The Earthway 2150 is available in a walk behind or towable model, both of which have a 50-pound bucket capacity. It rolls along on 13-inch pneumatic tires that can tackle a range of terrains, and does a great job of spreading seed, fertilizer, or salt evenly.
  • tough powder-coated frame
  • spread distance is based on speed
  • manufactured in america
Brand Earthway 2150
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Wait, Why Are We Spreading Salt?

Even though I watched the cinematic masterpiece known as Home Alone approximately 147 times between the ages of five and 10, one scene never failed to confound me: Kevin McAllister’s introduction to Old Man Marley as he spreads salt in the neighborhood.

“He walks up and down the street every night, salting the sidewalks,” Buzz cryptically tells Kevin. “See that garbage can full of salt? That’s where he keeps his victims.”

At first, the South Bend Shovel Slayer terrified me. But then I got to thinking: why is he wasting good salt on the sidewalk? What’s the point? Of course, it wasn’t until years later that I discovered the true use of road salt. Truth be told, it was a bit of a let-down.

People apply salt, also known as sodium chloride, to roads, sidewalks, and other types of pavement to combat snow and ice, thereby making the surfaces less slippery. The chemical process is actually rather simple: when water freezes, the loose molecules within the water position themselves in a more compact, structured way. Salt disrupts this process by acting as an impurity in the water, disrupting its ability to form ice.

The addition of salt decreases the temperature at which the water will freeze. The more salt you dissolve into the water, the lower its freezing point becomes. For example, instead of freezing at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the salted solution may not freeze until the temperature reaches 22 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whatever salt compound you choose, you are spreading it to accomplish one of two things: de-icing or anti-icing. When you de-ice a surface, you’re eliminating snow or ice that already exists. When you anti-ice, you’re taking a more preventative approach, as you intend for the solution to remain on the surface for a certain period of time to continuously delay the formation of ice or frost.

What To Look For In A Spreader

If you’re new to de-icing, you’ll quickly learn that applying salt is not a simple task. There are so many issues to consider: the size of the job, the amount and type of materials you need, the strength and durability of your equipment, and a location to store everything. If you’re looking at tailgate or hopper models, you’ll also need to consider the ease of attaching the spreader to your vehicle, the feed system you’ll use, the design of the motor and spinner, and the type of chute you require.

Overwhelming? It may seem like it now, but you should be able to narrow it down to a few suitable choices pretty quickly. First, ask yourself this: where will you use this spreader? If the answer is limited to your own property or similar residential applications, you don’t need to worry about hopper and tailgate models. And, if you only need to de-ice a little patio or walkway, just go with a handheld model and call it a day.

For use on small driveways, sidewalks, decks, and walkways, a simple walk-behind, tow-behind, or snow blower spreader will suit your needs fine. To use a walk-behind, you simply push it like a lawnmower, which prompts a set of gears to turn and dispense the salt. If you own a lawn tractor, you can attach a tow-behind model to its hitch, and it will function in a similar fashion. Snow blower spreaders integrate with your snow blower, as long as the brands are compatible.

If you maintain large parking lots or roadways, an insert hopper spreader or larger capacity tailgate spreader will be the way to go. For driveways and lighter applications, a small to mid-size tailgate spreader will get the job done. Regardless of size, durability and resistance to corrosion are important aspects to consider. Spreaders constructed with stainless steel or polyethylene are usually reliable.

You should also think about the type of material you intend to dispense. Bulk rock salt and other materials comprised of large chunks will require a hopper or tailgate spreader. Snow and ice melting solutions made with finer materials are suitable for small- to mid-capacity units.

The Art of Salt Application: Safety and Efficiency

Icy conditions cause thousands of deaths and injuries each year, but those of us who live in cold-weather climates often take salted roads for granted. Plus, snow and ice don’t only affect the safety of drivers; in some states, the daily economic costs of road closures due to wintry conditions can reach up $700 million.

To implement an effective de-icing program, safety and efficiency are key. If you’re working with a small unit at home, you can begin by using a shovel or snow blower to get rid of any snow that has accumulated. When you do begin the de-icing process, make sure to wear protective gloves. Ideally, you should keep kids and pets inside as you apply the solution.

When you’re about to embark on a commercial job, ensure that the model of your spreader and the amount of salt materials you’re dispensing are compatible with your truck. If you have a larger hopper or tailgate spreader, confirm that your vehicle can manage the load. If you will handle multiple jobs in a single outing, remember that the larger the capacity, the less frequently you’ll have to return for a refill. That being said, hauling extra materials can lead to higher fuel costs, so you’ll need to be strategic in your decision-making.

Of course, you should avoid driving in hazardous conditions if possible. However, if you do find yourself out applying salt on a slick roadway, you can take some tactical precautions. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and that your gas tank is at least half full, as the last thing you want to do is get stranded in dangerous winter conditions. You should also avoid using cruise control, accelerate and decelerate slowly, and allow for plenty of room between you and the vehicle ahead of you.

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Last updated on February 23, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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