Eight of the best slug pelleters on test

We test eight of the best slug pelleters with the help of testing specialist SCS.

We tested the pelleters with the help of Staffordshire company SCS. It has been around for more than 20 years and tests thousands of agricultural sprayers, spreaders and pelleters across the UK each year. An average slug pelleter test will cost you £145.

We used the company’s standard test for our comparison of the different makes. The first part of the test involves an MOT-style assessment of the machine to check working parts including the vanes, motor and metering systems are all in order.

Then, SCS checks the suitability of pellets for spreading, using bulk density, strength and size tests before beginning the practical part – the tray test.

This involves laying out square trays in a line at 1m intervals. When testing a pelleter’s 24m spread pattern the trays are laid out to 30m to check for overlap outside the machine’s 24m width.

With the trays laid out it’s just a case of driving over them with the pelleter spreading at the desired rate. Then it’s the laborious task of counting the pellets in each tray to check the evenness of the spread.

If the spread is inconsistent it’s a case of adjusting the settings and retesting until the best coverage of pellets is achieved. In some cases this can take several hours.

We tested each pelleter at 12m and again at 24m. In several cases the machines didn’t reach that wide a width, so we noted the maximum width at which it provided good pellet coverage. You can see the maximum working widths of each machine in the table.

  •  Slug pelleter test
  •  Slug pelleter test
  •  Slug pelleter test
  •  Slug pelleter test
  •  Slug pelleter test

Picking Pellets

Our test involved two pellet types offering a very different number of baiting points – the number of pellets on the ground for a slug to graze on.

Our first pellet candidate was the orange TDS Metarex Amba, which includes 4% metaldehyde and is physically the larger of the two types. For that reason an application rate of 3.5kg/ha results in just 26 pellets/sq m, although de Sangosee suggests to aim for more than 30 pellets/sq.m.

We compared that with our other pellet brand – the blue-coloured Gusto 3. It has 3% metaldehyde and, when applied at our target rate of 3.5kg/ha, peppers the ground with 50 pellets/sq m.

However, smaller pellets tend not to be thrown quite as far as the bigger ones and they tend to be more easily affected by very light wind and rain, so if you’re after wider working widths you’re better off splashing out on the bigger pellets.

Single disc – KRM ES 100 M2

 KRM ES 100 M2 slug pelleter

Build quality: 7/10

Control box: Blister pad controls with LCD screen look nice, but are over-complicated and bulky for a simple, single-disc machine. The area covered can be recorded and a linkage lift sensor specified.

Ease of use and adjustment: An 11-position vane angle and disc drop-on point adjustable through 40deg sound good. However, that’s too much adjustment unless you have the time to fine-tune the throw pattern to improve the spread – we found that the left/right bias-only adjustment on the Bullock and Logic machines was perfectly adequate.

Disc type: Concave disc produces an arced throw. Three equal length vanes.

Claimed throw distance: Up to 27m

Spread width/pellets: 12m with Gusto 3 and 12m with Metarex Amba pellets

Hopper capacity: 105 litres

Best feature: Quick mounting

Made by: APV, Austria

Price: £1,075

Quick verdict: Decent hopper capacity and plenty of adjustments, but you need to spend time with the manual in hand if you’re going to get the best out of it. Accurate spread to 12m with both pellet types. Adjusting the application rate involves turning a threaded stop on the hopper slider, but it can work loose.


Twin disc – KRM ZS 200 M3

 KRM ZS 200 M3 slug pelleter

Build quality: 8/10

Control box: Control box Bigger aluminium-cased box than the baby one and almost the size of a shoebox, necessary to house two fans to keep things cool. Blister buttons control a more detailed screen that can record area spread, hours, etc. It’s easy to connect, too – one fat wire joins the spreader to the box, and another links from the box to the power source. The rate controller can change the shutter opening manually on the move to match travel speed, but it’s not ground related.

Ease of use and adjustment: Independent control of each disc – can slow one down for headland spreading. 90deg scale for drop-on point, which also adjust L/R bias. 11-hole vane adjustment allows you to fine-tune but seems over complicated.

Disc type: Concave, three vane discs

Claimed throw distance: 30m

Spread width/pellets: 22m with Gusto 3, 24m with Metarex Amba

Hopper capacity: 200 litres

Best feature: Headland spreading

Made by: APV, Austria

Price: £2,895

Quick verdict: Smart looking machine. The spread width isn’t limited by how far the discs will throw the material but by protective metal guards. A pretty reliable option for a 24m spread, but really designed for tractor mounting rather than for ATVs. Hard to empty leftover pellets

Single disc – Stocks Fan Jet Pro 65

 Stocks Fan Jet Pro 65 slug pelleter

Build quality: 6/10

Control box: Best on test. Compact, well made unit with two switches and a 12-stage disc speed dial. No instructions needed.

Ease of use and adjustment: Unscrew and move the position of the pointer through 90deg to adjust the drop point, which also adjusts the left-right bias. You just undo a knob and slide a scale to change the flow rate.

Disc type: Sandwiched discs with enclosed vanes. Good for ensuring even pellet trajectory.

Claimed throw distance: 24m

Spread width/pellets: 22m with Gusto 3, 24m with Metarex Amba

Hopper capacity: 65 litres

Best feature: Control box

Made by: Stocks, Cambridgeshire

Price: £1,003

Quick verdict: Tipping base plate was good and the unit is tried and tested. It also produced a reliable throw to 24m with Metarex Amba, but fell short when spreading the smaller Gusto 3 pellets. The paint on the guarding was stripped off after 90 minutes’ work. Hopper capacity is low, but the control box is as simple as it gets.


Twin disc – Stocks Fan Jet Duo

 Stocks Fan Jet slug pelleter

Build quality: 7/10

Control box: The complex RDS controller is good enough to use for combine yield mapping or drilling. However it’s overly sophisticated for pelleters – you’ll need hours with manual in hand. It also means you’re paying more money that you need unless you have another use for the box. A GPS option is available and the rate controller changes roller speed according to travel speed.

Ease of use and adjustment: Independent disc speed control. Loosen off nut to adjust bias along a 90deg scale. Change the metering rollers to change rates – it’s accurate, but can crunch pellets.

Disc type: Two long, two short vanes sandwiched by two discs.

Claimed throw distance: Up to 36m

Spread width/pellets: 24m with Gusto 3, 30m with Metarex Amba

Hopper capacity: 2 x 65 litres

Best feature: Can be mounted on self-propelled sprayers or tractor front linkages

Made by: Stocks, Cambridgeshire

Price: £5,795

Quick verdict: Two separate units working together gives wide coverage and tipping hoppers good. Not designed for spreading below 20m (at 2m high), though, and too heavy to be mounting on ATVs. The most expensive machine, but it will comfortably throw larger slug pellets out to 30m.

Techneat Outcast Duo

 Techneat slug pelleter

Build quality: 8/10

Control box: The twin-disc Duo uses a similar-looking box found to the one on the company’s single disc machines. Blister buttons control a green-faced box with LCD screen, but there’s currently no disc speed control. The suction pad mounting wasn’t always practical, either.

Ease of use and adjustment: The Duo has a proper metering system, however this means more broken pellets and adds complication. There’s also forward-speed-related rate control through the control box and fluted roller. Left-to-right bias can be varied from one to seven and this also adjusts spread width.

Disc type: Vanes sandwiched by two discs.

Claimed throw distance: 24m

Spread width/pellets: 24m with Gusto 3, 24m with Metarex Amba

Hopper capacity: 250 litres

Best feature: Hopper capacity

Made by: Techneat, Cambridgeshire

Price: £2,750 (+£411 UTV mounting frame)

Quick verdict: Optional high-level mounting frame can be useful. An excellent performer across 24m and also has the biggest hopper. Currently short of disc speed adjustment, which would improve versatility in spreading to different widths. GPS option with rate controller is available.

Spaldings Broadcaster

 Spaldings slug pelleter

Build quality: 5/10

Control box: Blister pad controls and LCD screen provided, however, you can’t stop the disc spinning without turning off the control box. Also has an empty-hopper sensor. You can also mount a sensor on the tractor linkage (or plumb it into the tractor’s system to provide a signal) to cut operation in and out according to linkage lift.

Ease of use and adjustment: Most functions are adjusted electrically – though we thought that added unnecessary complication. Also, all working parts are hidden behind guards and nothing is easily adjustable. There’s also no scope to adjust the drop-on point or quickly adjust the left-right bias – you can only do that by undoing nuts and bolts on vanes.

Disc type: Flat disc with two short, angle-adjustable vanes.

Claimed throw distance: Up to 24m

Spread width/pellets: 16m with Gusto 3, 16m with Metarex Amba

Hopper capacity: 105 litres

Best feature: Empty hopper sensor

Made by: Lehner, Germany

Price: £1,700

Quick verdict: Too much reliance on the screen overcomplicates a basic machine – all rate settings are done electrically through the control box. Empty hopper sensor is handy and it spread both pellet types to 16m, but simple adjustments can’t be completed as quickly or easily as rival pelleters. It’s also an expensive single-disc machine.

Logic EBC-TFL100PS

 Logic slug pelleter

Build quality: 6/10

Control box: Big and clumsy but simple to use, with two rubber-finished switches for disc and shutter control. When you close the shutter the disc runs at maximum speed so that when the shutter opens there’s no risk of the disc stalling under load. When the shutter opens the disc returns to the dial-set speed. No need for instructions.

Ease of use and adjustment: Sliding scale on side of machine to adjust L/R bias and flow rate.

Disc type: Three equally-sized vanes on a flat disc.

Claimed throw distance: Up to 24m

Spread width/pellets: 15m with Gusto 3, 20m with Metarex Amba

Hopper capacity: 85 litres

Best feature: Disc runs at max speed with shutter closed

Made by: Evans and Pearce, Dorset. Supplied by Logic, Gloucestershire

Price: £1,130

Quick verdict: Galvanised frame was good, as was the fold-up hopper lid. However small granules can work into the flow rate slider mechanism, which means pellets drop on to the disc in random places causing an irregular spread pattern. It reached 20m with the larger Metarex Amba pellets, but could only spread Gusto 3 to 15m.

Bullock Delimbe

 Bullock slug pelleter

Build quality: 4/10

Control box: There’s one simple throw switch for disc on/off and another for shutter open/close. Turning a dial controls disc speed – a little flimsy but a quick way to reduce spread width.

Ease of use and adjustment: A sliding scale adjusts application rate but the bolt that holds it can come loose. There’s a stuck-on scale for left/right bias adjustment, which is tweaked from the back of the frame. Maximum throw distance is changed by switching discs.

Disc type: Concave disc with four vanes – you change discs to get the desired spread width.

Claimed throw distance: 28m big disc, 24m small disc

Spread width/pellets: 24m with Gusto 3, 24m with Metarex Amba

Hopper capacity: 70 litres

Best feature: Price

Made by: DeLimbe, France. Supplied by Bullock Tillage, Worcestershire

Price: £850

Quick verdict: Basic looking and low build quality, with the agitator a simple drill bit acting as an auger and the control box including two switches and a dial. However, the end result was good and it threw both pellet types out to 24m. At £850 it’s also the cheapest.

One thing we quickly learned was that, although most pelleter manufacturers suggest their machines’ working widths can reach 24m, spreading patterns aren’t always consistent enough to achieve this.

The question is – how accurate do they need to be?

Provided you’re well clear of any watercourses, accuracy is obviously less important than it is for fertiliser spreaders – slugs can slither their way to the pellets, after all. But with prices ranging from £850-5,795, they are expensive bits of kit, so it’s not unreasonable to expect half-decent accuracy.

Either way, it’s worth checking to see how accurate yours is before the next slug invasion.

KRM ES 100 M2 – single disc

Decent hopper capacity and plenty of adjustments, but you need to spend time with the manual in hand if you’re going to get the best out of it. Accurate spread to 12m with both pellet types. Adjusting the application rate involves turning a threaded stop on the hopper slider, but it can work loose.

KRM ZS 200 M3 – twin disc

Smart looking machine. The spread width isn’t limited by how far the discs will throw the material but by protective metal guards. A pretty reliable option for a 24m spread, but really designed for tractor mounting rather than for ATVs. Hard to empty leftover pellets

Stocks Fan Jet Pro 65 – single disc

Tipping base plate was good and the unit is tried and tested. It also produced a reliable throw to 24m with Metarex Amba, but fell short when spreading the smaller Gusto 3 pellets. The paint on the guarding was stripped off after 90 minutes’ work. Hopper capacity is low, but the control box is as simple as it gets.

Stocks Fan Jet Duo – twin disc

Two separate units working together gives wide coverage and tipping hoppers good. Not designed for spreading below 20m (at 2m high), though, and too heavy to be mounting on ATVs. The most expensive machine, but it will comfortably throw larger slug pellets out to 30m.

Techneat Outcast Duo

Optional high-level mounting frame can be useful. An excellent performer across 24m and also has the biggest hopper. Currently short of disc speed adjustment, which would improve versatility in spreading to different widths. GPS option with rate controller is available.

Spaldings Broadcaster

Too much reliance on the screen overcomplicates a basic machine – all rate settings are done electrically through the control box. Empty hopper sensor is handy and it spread both pellet types to 16m, but simple adjustments can’t be completed as quickly or easily as rival pelleters. It’s also an expensive single-disc machine.

Logic EBC-TFL100PS

Galvanised frame was good, as was the fold-up hopper lid. However small granules can work into the flow rate slider mechanism, which means pellets drop on to the disc in random places causing an irregular spread pattern. It reached 20m with the larger Metarex Amba pellets, but could only spread Gusto 3 to 15m.

Bullock Delimbe

Basic looking and low build quality, with the agitator a simple drill bit acting as an auger and the control box including two switches and a dial. However, the end result was good and it threw both pellet types out to 24m. At £850 it’s also the cheapest.