The 8 Best Salt Spreaders

Updated September 18, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

8 Best Salt Spreaders
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 44 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 roads or driveways 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.

8. Earthway 40 lb. Estate

If you have a fairly small amount of ground to cover, or if you don't mind frequently refilling your hopper, the Earthway 40 lb. Estate utilizes a three-hole drop system that will ensure an even spread across whatever it traverses.
  • steel t-bar handle
  • semi-pneumatic wheels
  • difficult to assemble
Brand Earthway
Model BC198226
Weight 11.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Scotts Wizz Hand-Held

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 Hand-Held will do most of that work for you, as its battery-operated broadcaster spins out material in a 5-foot fan.
  • works year-round for seed and salt
  • comes with two double-a batteries
  • limited capacity
Brand Scotts
Model 71131
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Buyers ATVS15A Broadcast

The Buyers ATVS15A Broadcast hooks up to the back of your all-terrain vehicle, so you can clear snow from the road, thereby allowing standard cars and trucks to safely follow. It can also be used for fertilizer and seeding, or for feeding livestock or game.
  • adjustable shutoff gate
  • powder-coated steel resists rust
  • flow control is clunky
Brand Buyers Products
Model ATVS15A
Weight 37.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

5. Buyers SaltDogg TGSUVPROA

The Buyers SaltDogg TGSUVPROA holds more than 330 lbs. of ice- and snow-busting rock salt, so it can cover large stretches of roadway between refillings. It is powered by a heavy-duty sealed ball bearing motor featuring variable speed settings.
  • rugged thermoplastic design
  • hitch mounting hardware included
  • frustrating assembly required
Brand Buyers SaltDogg TGSUVPR
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Earthway 2040PiPlus High Output

The oversized, 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 extra traction.
  • 1830-cubic-inch hopper
  • large-aperture drop hole
  • 6-10-foot spread pattern
Brand Earthway 2040PiPlus Hig
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. 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.
  • treats up to 5000 square feet
  • can protect grass by blocking a side
  • comes precalibrated
Brand Scotts
Model 76121
Weight 6.8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 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 accurately shake out a desired amount of material.
  • wide ergonomic handle
  • rinses clean with warm water
  • 76-ounce capacity
Brand Home-X
Model SH352
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. SnowEx SP-575X Pro Series

The behemoth that is the SnowEx SP-575X Pro Series features a patented, sealed 12-volt electric drive transmission motor. It hooks to the tailgate of a truck or large SUV and sends melt all the way across the roadway, helping clear city streets and highways alike.
  • cab-mounted controller
  • durable polyethylene hopper
  • more than three-cubic-foot capacity
Brand SnowEx
Model SP-575X
Weight 106 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 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 September 18, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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