A wheelbarrow is something that most homeowners and gardeners don’t consider until they need it. This little vehicle helps you in gardening, construction, landscaping, pet grooming, waste removal, storage, and so much more.
So, we agree that it’s vital, but what’s the best out of the pool of options available on the market, and what’s the right way to choose one? If you’d like an answer to these questions, continue reading.
The Best Wheelbarrow Right Now
Trying to choose the wheelbarrow that matches your needs in the middle of all options on the market is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Consequently, we’ve decided to make the searching process easier for you by making a list of our favorite options and why we like them.
Best Overall: Polar Trailer 8449 Cub Cart
If you don’t have much time for research and want to know the best wheelbarrow on the market, don’t look further than this one. Polar Trailer never seems to miss when it comes to carts.
Let’s start with something that understandably matters to many people: the price. Polar Trailer managed to make a high-quality cart at a very affordable price.
In terms of construction, it’s impressive, thanks to sporting two rugged wide-track rubber tires that can handle rough terrain with ease and stability. The use of the high-impact polyethylene tub makes it strong yet lightweight. Plus, the wheelbarrow has a high-quality, all-steel frame for extra ruggedness.
Even better, it can carry 400 pounds and provides 7 cubic feet to do so.
Two rugged rubber tires
Large loading capacity and volume
High-quality, all-steel frame
Not that easy to assemble
Heavy Duty: Gorilla Carts GOR10-16
While most homeowners can do with a light-duty cart, this Gorilla cart is made for homeowners and gardeners with pretty high expectations of how strong and durable a wheelbarrow should be.
Gorilla paid a lot of attention to the details here. The wheelbarrow boasts a maintenance-free, rust-resistant poly tray that puts other trays to shame. It also has four wheels to keep the cat stable at all times. Also, the use of the pneumatic tire ensures proper shock absorption.
Thanks to the patented quick-release dumping feature, you can tilt the bed to unload with the cart still balanced. Plus, the patented 2-in-1 handle allows the cart to be pulled by hand or towed.
Finally, it stands out with an extremely large 1500-pound load capacity and 10-cubic-foot volume.
Extremely large load capacity and volume
Four wheels for maximum stability with pneumatic tires
Maintenance-free, rust-resistant poly bed
Patented quick-release dumping feature
Patented 2-in-1 handle for seamless maneuverability
Relatively expensive for most people
Best Multifunctional: WORX Aerocart Multifunction 2-Wheeled Yard Cart
Everybody has probably owned a traditional wheelbarrow at some point, but some people don’t find it versatile enough for their different needs. If you’re looking for a vehicle that has at least eight applications, look no further than the Worx Aerocart.
Despite being reasonably priced, it’s actually a metal wheelbarrow that’s still easy to manage. In fact, unlike its metal counterpart, it feels much lighter than its actual weight. Also, it has two solid rubber tires that provide enough balance and don’t need inflation. The 3-year warranty is testimony to its quality as well.
More importantly, the cart boasts a lifting and moving work system with fold-out extension arms that convert the cart into a dolly, trailer tote, and so much more.
Convertible system for versatility
Two solid rubber tires
Feels lighter than its weight
Not large enough for heavy loads
Best Collapsible: Mac Sports WTC-111 Outdoor Utility Wagon
A lot of people want a wheelbarrow but don’t have enough space to store it. The ideal solution is this folding wheelbarrow that collapses to only 8” thick.
First things first, this foldable wheelbarrow is budget-friendly because you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a yard cart.
Also, its foldable design enables it to be large enough for light-duty use and compact enough to store anywhere. It even comes with a carrying case. We love the large four wheels because they add maximum stability. It also sports a UV and mildew-resistant fabric. Even better, the fabric comes in a variety of color options.
Different color options
Foldable design with carrying case
Four large wheels for stability
Not large enough for heavy loads
Most Versatile: Gorilla Carts GOR4PS
If you’re looking for a wheelbarrow that’s versatile enough to do it all, whether it’s light-duty or heavy-duty, it’s time to check out this Gorilla cart.
Gorilla proves itself once again with this budget-friendly model. Thanks to the four pneumatic tires, your cart will be stable, and all the shocks will be absorbed. Also, the padded pull handle makes it comfortable to grip all day. The patented quick-release dumping feature enables you to tilt the bed to unload with the cart staying balanced.
Finally, you can load it up to 600 pounds with materials.
Four pneumatic tires
Comfortable padded pull handle
Large load capacity
Patented quick-release dumping feature
Not that easy to assemble
Self-Propelled: Greenworks Cordless Garden Cart
If you find the manual garden cart too exhausting to move around, we highly recommend this motorized wheelbarrow.
Since it’s an electric wheelbarrow, it’s self-propelled, which makes you much more relaxed as a user who doesn’t want to injure themselves while pushing a cart around. The spring-loaded tipping device enables you to unload the contents of the wheelbarrow effortlessly.
As an electric wheelbarrow, it’s powered by a battery. The Greenworks battery stands out in that you can use the same one for all 40V devices, which makes it eco-friendly and clean. Also, it’s much quieter than other electric wheelbarrows.
Spring-loaded tipping device
Self-propelled operation for convenience
Battery and charger not included
Huge Hauls: Scenic Road Dual Wheel 8 Cube Wheelbarrow
If you travel long distances while hauling the wheelbarrow around, it helps to have large wheels, which is exactly what this wheelbarrow has to offer.
The two large wheels are the perfect balance between stability and maneuverability for all kinds of users.
This cart also prides itself on having lacquered American ash wood handles, which don’t get affected by the heat and leave your hands cool. The fact that it’s backed with a 10-year warranty speaks volumes of its durability.
Finally, it can carry everything, thanks to its 800-pound capacity and 8-cubic-foot volume.
Lacquered American ash wood handles for use in the sun
Large loading capacity and volume
Two large wheels for stability and maneuverability
Not the most lightweight
How to Choose a Wheelbarrow
There isn’t one choice that works well for everyone, which is why you have to know how to choose the one that’s right for you.
To do so, you have to understand the most important features to consider before buying a wheelbarrow. So, here are the most important points that decide what you need out of a wheelbarrow.
Wheelbarrows come in three main types. These include:
Even if you have no prior knowledge of wheelbarrows, you can tell from the name that it’s a combination of different qualities. A hybrid model features the traditional wheelbarrow that’s upgraded to match our modern needs.
Instead of the shallow tub and single wheel of the traditional wheelbarrow, the newer hybrid models offer different sizes and different options for wheels. You don’t have to choose between the past and the future anymore.
As the name suggests, a hill-use wheelbarrow is specifically made for hilly terrains. Pushing any wheelbarrow over hills is one of the most exhausting gardening chores.
However, this type of wheelbarrow can handle heavy-duty use and carrying heavy loads up and down slopes, which would shorten the life of the average traditional wheelbarrow. It has sturdy ball bearings that should be lubricated to add to the stability of the wheels, especially when you travel long distances.
Quick Pro Tip: For hill use, get a two-wheel instead of a single-wheel one to have more stability on rough terrain. Try to also get one with a lightweight frame so that it’s not tiring to carry over hills.
As time goes by, there’s a higher demand for the electric wheelbarrow. It often boasts a higher load-bearing capacity than its counterparts, around three times more on average. So, it’s a no-brainer to have for heavier loads.
Despite the ability to carry the heaviest loads, the motorized wheelbarrow is actually the most portable. Plus, it reduces the risk of injury and accidents. In addition, it tends to allow more customization and variety of options than a manual one, including different speed settings and size options.
Needless to say, the electric wheelbarrow is the most expensive type. Yet, it’s worth the price for what it provides.
Quick Pro Tip: Try to check the battery life of the self-propelled to ensure that it’s long enough to match your needs.
Load Tub Material (Steel, Plastic)
It comes as no surprise that the material of the load tub makes a big difference in how it performs. Your choice will depend on what you prioritize.
Steel is heavy, which enables it to carry heavier loads for prolonged periods of time, such as large plants, tree limbs, rocks, stone, bricks, or heavy supplies.
However, steel adds weight to the wheelbarrow, making it harder to maneuver. Also, the steel wheelbarrow can rust if you leave it exposed to the rain, so keep that in mind and find a place to store it.
On the other hand, heavy-duty plastic is budget-friendly and lightweight, making it the ideal choice for everyday, non-demanding chores, such as moving lightweight tools, grass, bottles, and so on.
The plastic wheelbarrow won’t rust in the rain, so it has a long shelf life, but extreme weather conditions can make it brittle. Also, don’t expect it to carry loads as heavy as a steel wheelbarrow would.
Weight limit, load capacity, and weight capacity all refer to the same thing, which is how much you can carry in the wheelbarrow. Thankfully, you won’t have to guess whether you’re ordering online or in-store, as every manufacturer lists their wheelbarrow’s load capacity in pounds.
Quick Pro Tip: Try to estimate how much weight you have to carry on average. Don’t go much lower or higher than your needs, or else you’ll either push your wheelbarrow beyond its limits or have to haul an unnecessarily heavy wheelbarrow around.
Knowing the weight capacity alone isn’t enough to know whether a wheelbarrow can handle your needs or not. You’ll also need to know the cargo volume, which refers to the space that you can fill with materials in the wheelbarrow tray. The average cargo volume ranges from three to ten cubic feet.
Number of Wheels (One-wheel, Two-wheel, Four-wheel)
The best advantage of modern wheelbarrows is that you can find different numbers of wheels that appeal to different uses.
The one-wheel garden cart is the classic design that’s the easiest to maneuver and turn. Yet, it’s the least stable, which is why multiple wheels became a thing.
The two-wheel yard cart provides a good balance between maneuverability and stability. If you’re looking for maximum stability for heavy loads, a four-wheel garden cart is a no-brainer to get.
Wheel Types (Pneumatic Tires, Semi-Pneumatic, Airless Tire)
The number of wheels matters, and so does the wheelbarrow tire.
A pneumatic tire, meaning that it’s filled with air, is the best option for a car-like quality in tires. It can glide smoothly on all kinds of terrains and acts as a shock absorber. However, remember that you’ll have to pump it full when it goes flat. Also, try to prevent it from going over something sharp that could puncture it.
If you find the pneumatic wheel to be too much work and don’t want to pump anything regularly, consider the semi-pneumatic tire. It’s also cushioned from the inside to protect it from sharp objects.
Finally, there is the airless or solid rubber tire. It’s tough and long-lasting and has the ability to run over anything without being punctured. Nonetheless, it doesn’t absorb shocks as well as the other types.
You have to consider the handles because they’re what you’ll use to maneuver the wheelbarrow.
The most common type is the wooden handle because it doesn’t get hot in the sun, so it protects your hands from the heat. However, wood can cause splinters if it gets too rough. Also, the wooden handle reacts negatively to the rain, as it causes it to rot away. So, keep your wheelbarrow away from the rain.
The steel handle is the more long-lasting option that doesn’t bend or splinter. The only downside is that it gets hot in the sun, so we recommend wearing gloves while using them.
Regardless of the type of handles you choose, always look for rubberized grips to hold onto comfortably.
It’s important to consider pegged rests if your wheelbarrow isn’t a four-wheel because that’s what it will use to rest. Some rests are wooden, but the best ones are stainless steel because they don’t bend or warp even if the wheelbarrow is filled to the fullest.
Some wheelbarrows have an additional yet pretty handy feature, which is storage racks that are usually placed between the handles.
An avid gardener who always needs to carry additional supplies or garden waste with them that wouldn’t fit in the tray would definitely benefit from this feature.
Rust is a big issue when it comes to garden tools and equipment because they’re often left in the open for rain and wetness to affect them.
Plastic is one way to go if you want to avoid rusting, although it doesn’t do very well in the sun. However, the steel wheelbarrow isn’t rust-resistant. So, for best results, get a stainless steel wheelbarrow.
The biggest tell-tale on whether a product is long-lasting or not is the length of its warranty. So, check for warranties, how long they are, and what exactly they cover.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are the most common questions that people have.
What’s Better: Steel or Poly Wheelbarrow?
It depends on what you’re looking for. A polyethylene or plastic wheelbarrow is the ideal choice for gardeners on a budget who want something lightweight and doesn’t rust. On the other hand, the steel wheelbarrow is a must-have for avid gardeners who like to fill their tough wheelbarrows with heavy loads.
What Is a Good Size Wheelbarrow?
You’ll have to look at the space you’ll use it in and what it’s expected to carry. Small wheelbarrows under five cubic feet are great for young gardeners or gardeners working in a very small backyard. The average size that meets most needs is five to eight cubic feet. Large wheelbarrows that range from eight to ten cubic feet can carry a lot of stuff but are difficult to store.
Are 2 Wheel Wheelbarrows Better?
It’s better for some and worse for others. If you have strong hands, you can definitely handle a one-wheel wheelbarrow. In fact, it’ll be easy to maneuver and dump. However, if you’re looking for more stability in the movement, which comes in handy with heavier loads, go for a two-wheel model.
Why Does a Wheelbarrow Have One Wheel?
The traditional wheelbarrow has a single wheel because it has a lot of benefits that stood the test of time. It’s the easiest to maneuver in small or problematic spaces that are full of tiny obstacles. In addition, it enables you to position exactly where you want to dump the load.
- The motorized wheelbarrow is the least exhausting to use.
- The metal wheelbarrow is heavy but can rust, while the plastic wheelbarrow is lightweight but suffers from sun damage.
- The one-wheel model is maneuverable, the two-wheel one is more stable, and the four-wheel model is the most stable.