The Ultimate Guide To The Best Wheelbarrow

The Ultimate Guide To The Best Wheelbarrow

My aunt has a beautiful summer house in the mountains just outside the city – she goes there with her husband and kids every weekend to enjoy family time and to get a rest from the big city routine.

They also grow their own fruits and vegetables. However, the joy of eating fresh, home grown food comes with a lot of effort. Because gardening can involve a lot of physical exertion too.

Therefore, my aunt Claire always uses various gardening tools to make things easier. One of the key tools in her garden is a wheelbarrow. Prior to buying one, she and her husband used to handle everything without a wheelbarrow, which put a huge amount of pressure on their backs.

But since they decided to purchase a wheelbarrow, they could not be happier – it not only takes away all the strain from the back, it also allows them to perform some tasks that were not even possible before!

Whether you are looking for a good way to manage your beautiful garden (like my Aunt Clare) or you're in the construction or retail business, the wheelbarrow is going to make your life a lot easier.

However, the right wheelbarrow for one person can be completely wrong for someone else. It all depends on what kind of work you intend to carry out, your health conditions and the amount of upper body strength you have.

I've done a lot of research and below you'll find my top choices for various preferences...​

*Notice: On mobile devices, scroll right to see entire table.

Why Should You Choose Your Wheelbarrow Carefully?

When it comes to picking a wheelbarrow, the choice is vast. One key thing to remember here is to choose the wheelbarrow that will fit the job you are going to do with it.

If you have a small garden, you'll probably want a small wheelbarrow!

In the same way, if you buy a big motorized model for light garden work, this will be just a waste of money.

Therefore, in this Wheelbarrow buying guide we will consider the key things you need to pay attention to while buying a wheelbarrow. 

And I will go over a number of great models that might be a perfect fit for your needs.

Shop Like A Pro: What Makes A Good Wheelbarrow?

In order to evaluate the quality of a wheelbarrow, consider the weight of the loads it will carry, how often you'll use it, and the substances and temperatures it will be exposed to.

Another important factor to pay attention to is the compatibility with your height and your health conditions. In particular, whether the wheelbarrow is right for your back.

If you're a smaller person or have some injuries that restrict you from lifting heavy loads, a heavy wheelbarrow is not for you. Instead, choose a lighter wheelbarrow that features an even distribution of weight and that will make your back feel relaxed.

Below you'll find some of the things to pay attention to while choosing the best wheel barrow for your garden/construction job:

Material

Do you need a steel, plastic, or wooden wheelbarrow? The choice of the material is dependent on the type of work to be carried out.

Some of the manufacturers still produce old style, wooden wheelbarrows. However, they are definitely outperformed by the steel and plastic models. But if you are looking for something really durable and sturdy that can withstand heavy loads and extreme temperatures, go for steel wheelbarrow.

Bear in mind, the metal is liable to rust though, so you will need to take care of it. Also, steel wheelbarrows should be stored in a garage or summer house to protect them from exposure to different elements.

Plastic wheelbarrows are much easier on your back and are a great option for light gardening.

Some people prefer collapsible wheelbarrows that feature a canvas sling that's spread between two poles.

This type of wheelbarrow is handy for gardeners who have limited storage space.

These folding wheelbarrows are not intended for transportation of heavy loads.

Hand painted wheelbarrow in the backyard

Parts

In this section I cover about most important parts that make up every wheelbarrow.

Tray

The tray is largely covered by the previous section where I talk about choosing the right material.

Handles: Traditional Or Ergonomic?

Handles have the same importance as the tray, as they will determine the maneuverability and flexibility of the wheelbarrow. So, which ones to consider?

Traditional handles provide the most maneuverability. Moreover, they make it very easy for the worker to tilt and flip the wheelbarrow. The dumping also becomes an easy process with a wheelbarrow with traditional handles. However, they require more hand strength.

Wheelbarrow models with closed handles or single bar grips provide more ergonomic properties. Single bar grips are also better for smaller people or people with narrow shoulders who can struggle to control wheelbarrows with traditional, fixed handles.

If you intend to use the wheelbarrow on a regular basis, it's worth baring in mind that wood and metal grips can cause the most amount of blisters and discomfort. In order to optimize the balance of efficiency and comfort, look for rubber grips which will make it easier to manage the wheelbarrow and will cause less discomfort to your hands.

Wheels: One Or Two Wheels?

Wheels determine the maneuverability and the sturdiness of your wheelbarrow. The number of wheels effects how flexible and manageable your device is. And the wheel material will determine the level of cushioning.

Man transporting gardening equipment in a wheelbarrow

Traditional wheelbarrows have one wheel that's positioned under the tray.

Such design provides a great level of maneuverability and is also very handy to move between garden rows.

But this kind of wheelbarrow requires extra upper body strength to control.

If you're looking for a two-wheeled model, this is also a great choice. The dual wheel wheelbarrow provides greater stability, but it sacrifices a degree of maneuverability. Two-wheeled models are perfect for the transportation of heavy and unbalanced loads.

Wheel Tires: Pneumatic Or Non-Pneumatic?

Pneumatic wheelbarrow tires feature inner tubes that can be inflated just like the tires on a car. The air in the tube serves as a shock absorber, so pneumatic wheels provide a smoother experience.

However, they require more maintenance, as you'll need to keep an eye on the air pressure and pump them up occasionally. And of course pneumatic wheels can also develop punctures!

Non-pneumatic wheels are made from solid rubber so they can't pop or go flat. However, they are harder, so don’t expect a smooth ride.

Some of the manufacturers produce wheelbarrows with semi-pneumatic wheel tires. These type of tires are not liable to go flat and also have some shock-absorbing properties.

Weight

Each wheelbarrow has a specific maximum weight load that it can withstand. Consider this information carefully when choosing a wheelbarrow. If you need to transport cement, bricks, stones or any other heavy loads, I'd suggest buying a model that has a higher maximum weight load.

There are some models of wheelbarrows that are able to withstand heavy weights and that are also relatively light. These are usually more expensive! However, these wheelbarrows are very durable and will serve you well for a long time.

Selecting The Right Wheelbarrow

Now you know the important things to consider, it's time to take a look at the actual models of the wheelbarrows...

Best All Round Wheelbarrow

Rubbermaid Commercial Products FG564200BLA Plastic Yard Cart

Specifications

  • Construction - Foam and plastic
  • Capacity - 300 lbs
  • Tire size - 20” pneumatic tires
  • Tub size - 7.5 cubic ft

Overview

The Rubbermaid Plastic Yard Cart is a 2 wheel cart meant for heavy use in and around a yard. The solid housing and construction of the cart means it's resistant to rust, dents, and corrosion, clearly indicating long-term durability.

It has a molded 1 piece handle along with pneumatic tires that make it a highly tactile cart to effectively complete relevant chores.

The Rubbermaid Plastic Yard Cart is very well balanced and can handle serious weight without feeling it, thanks to the leverage provided by the rear handles.

The shape and size of the tub on the cart are perfect as well.

The maximum capacity of load that can be handled and hauled by the cart is 300 lb. The tire size allows you to easily move over the rougher ground as well.

Rubbermaid wheelbarrow on white background

The seamless pan design ensures that there's no leaking or cracking and cleaning is a breeze thanks to this design. Overall, the Rubbermaid Plastic Yard Cart is designed for heavy usage over a long term, thanks to its outstanding build quality and reliability.

Some significant highlights of the Rubbermaid the Plastic Yard Cart that stand out are:

  • Maximum load capacity of 300 lb.
  • 7.5 cubic feet of material can be held by the cart
  • 5 spoke, 20-inch tires that can easily maneuver harsh terrain with pneumatic flat-free wheels
  • The 1 piece molded handle requires zero maintenance
  • Seamless pan prevents cracking and leaking
  • Solid foam housing/construction will ensure no deterioration in the cart (rust, corrosion, denting etc.)
  • The handle’s ergonomic design minimizes strain

Best Motorized Wheelbarrow

PAW 24 Volt Power Assist Wheelbarrow

Specifications

  • Construction - Steel frame
  • Capacity - 200 lbs
  • Tire size - 13” pneumatic tires
  • Tub size - 6 cubic ft
  • Battery - 24V
  • Speed - Variable forward speed (With power burst)

Overview

If you need to move 200 lb loads, that can definitely be a problem. But thanks to the Power Assist Wheelbarrow (PAW), it's not a problem anymore!

The PAW’s 24V battery operation combines with the 2 wheel independent drive system to make easy work of movement and turning.

With the push of a button for forward and backward movement, you can easily haul all your material.

The wheelbarrow also possesses a variable speed gear that can even facilitate easy movement uphill, at an angle of 15 degrees!

Paw 24 Volt Power Assist Wheelbarrow on white background

The heavy duty tires can stand up to the most rugged of terrains. The unit runs on two 12V batteries and the package includes a charger. The protective motor cover plate is made out of high-quality steel and is powder coated.

  • Motor: Superior quality DC Motor for long lasting use
  • Transmission: Metal straight cut gears using 10w30 conventional oil
  • Tires: 13-inch pneumatic tires with rims that are powder coated.

Its design offers easy maneuverability over harsh terrain while still effectively maximizing battery life.

Some of the significant highlights of the 24 Volt Power Assist Wheelbarrow are:

  • 24V, powerful battery based drive system
  • Easy turning through independent 2-wheel drive
  • Solid housing thanks to a steel frame complete with 13-inch pneumatic tires
  • Simple movement control system (Push button - forward and reverse)
  • Variable speed for movement forward (inclusive of power boost for uphill movement)
  • Secure 2 hand operation thanks to the thumb throttle
  • Easily ascend a 15-degree incline with power boost
  • Can haul 200 lbs
  • Operate a full day on a single charge
  • Reliable front dump brace, to make unloading easier

Best Two Wheel Wheelbarrow

WORX Aerocart 2-Wheeled Wheelbarrow

Specifications

  • Construction - Metal frame (Multifunctional)
  • Capacity - 300 lbs
  • Tires - Flat-free tires
  • Tub size - 3 cubic ft

Overview

The WORX Aerocart is a multifunctional wheelbarrow/yard cart and can easily adapt and convert into a dolly as well, increasing its ability to perform various wide-ranging tasks.

The WORX Aerocart composition includes large, flat-free tires, folding out extension arms and an overall steel construction.

Numerous accessories can be coupled with the folding out extension arms of the WORX Aerocart to carry flower pots, bales of straw and various other large and uncommon items.

The extendibility of the WORX Aerocart’s operations through accessories allows it to perform the work of 8 different types of carts such as a wheelbarrow, cylinder holder, pot mover, bag holder, rock picker, hand truck, trailer mover and dolly.

WORX wheelbarrow on white background

The extension handles can manage 80 lbs of weight which makes it perfect for moving plants and other landscaping material.

The WORX Aerocart’s overall capacity is 300 lb and its tub capacity is 3 cubic feet. These dimensions make it an ideal choice for moving wood, dirt, rocks etc. It weighs around 48 lbs and is solid enough to handle a wide range of yard tasks that might come its way.

The WORX Aerocart’s 2-wheel, patented design adapts easily and adjusts its center of gravity effectively to improve the manageability of heavy loads. Astoundingly, it can make a weight of 200 lb feel like 17 lb. This makes it your back’s best friend!

Some of the significant highlights of the WORX Aerocart are:

  • Adaptive and extensible in its operations
  • Easily converts from a wheelbarrow into a dolly (more with additional accessories)
  • ​Large, flat-free tires
  • Center of gravity adjustments based on a patented design improve load manageability and efficiency
  • Convertibility - pot mover, extended dolly, cylinder holder, trailer mover etc.
  • ​Includes accessories such as a cylinder holder, rock mover, pot strap
  • Can hold up to 300 lbs
  • Strong, durable and reliable steel housing
  • Ergonomic patented design makes a 200 lb load feel like a measly 17lb

Best Heavy Duty Wheelbarrow

Ames True Temper 8 Cubic Foot Poly Tray Dual Wheel Contractor Wheelbarrow BP8

Specifications

  • Construction - Poly Tray
  • Tire size - 16” dual pneumatic tires
  • Tub size - 8 cubic ft
  • Handle – Wooden

Overview

The Ames True Temper is a small sized, 2 wheeled wheelbarrow that will greatly improve your gardening experience. It is highly reliable, allowing you to easily use it at its fullest capacity. It comprises of a highly durable 8 cubic ft, large poly tray with no BPA.

It is truly a lightweight wheelbarrow despite being designed for heavy usage.

The wheelbarrow has very comfortable wooden handles as well, which reduce the risk of injuries to younger users.

Maintenance is smooth as it is easy to clean with simple materials such as soap and water.

Ames true temper wheelbarrow on white background

A well-executed and reliable design makes it very safe for all age groups, so this wheelbarrow is an absolute hit with parents and their young ones too.

The wheelbarrow comes with pneumatic tires making it easy to  manoeuvre over various terrain types. And the 60 x 79.5 x 34.5” compact construction of the Ames True Temper wheelbarrow also makes it a storage friendly companion.

Once you've bought it, the Ames True Temper wheel barrow is put together easily with the help of standard hardware tools and is then ready to use!

Some of the significant highlights of the Ames True Temper wheelbarrow are the following:

  • Solid and reliable build quality/construction
  • Wooden handles (Improved safety even for younger users)
  • Poly Tray that is lightweight and corrosion proof
  • Very easy maintenance with basic materials
  • 2-wheel design with pneumatic tires allowing easy maneuverability

Best Folding Wheelbarrow

Allsop Home And Garden WheelEasy Folding Yard Cart / Ground Load Wheelbarrow

Specifications

  • Construction - Thick, UV resistant and vinyl coated nylon surface
  • Capacity - 300 lbs / 150 lbs (2 variants)
  • Handle - Steel handle (Foam grip)
  • Weight - 15 lbs
  • Tire size - 12.5” Pneumatic tires

Overview

The Wall Street Journal rated the Allsop Home and Garden WheelEasy as one of the top ten products of the year in their gardening segment. And it's easy to see why...

The WheelEasy has a unique build where the barrow lays flush on the ground.

The design allows you to just roll sweep, drag or slide with no heavy lifting necessary. There are 2 sizes available depending on the job at hand.

The 350lb capacity WheelEasy can be used for bigger jobs thanks to its size, whereas the 150lb capacity can fill in for the lighter jobs.

Allsop Home and Garden WheelEasy Folding Yard Cart

Consumers are always looking for ways to make their lives easier and the Allsop does a great job at doing just that.

The WheelEasy makes sure you rest your back as much as possible while getting the job done efficiently. Technically, it might be hard to call the WheelEasy a wheelbarrow, it perhaps should rather be called a collapsible yard cart.

The WheelEasy’s build makes it an ideal partner for all sorts of work in the yard. And when the handles of the WheelEasy are lowered, even ground level loading is achievable.

Lifting is unnecessary to get anything in, rather raking, sliding or shoveling will do the job. The only lifting would be lifting the handle off the ground, raising only a partial part of the load. Mixing concrete is also possible with this wheelbarrow.

Some of the significant highlights of the Allsop Home and Garden WheelEasy Folding Yard Cart are the following:

  • Easy loading on ground level by shoveling, raking or sliding
  • Thick, UV resistant and vinyl coated nylon surface
  • Solid steel handles with grips of foam
  • Weight of the WheelEasy is around 15 lb
  • Foldable / Collapsable design making it a perfect fit for yard work

Conclusion

Summing up, it is worth noting that although the above analysis is just friendly advice, there is a lot of genuine and thorough research behind it.

All of the discussed wheelbarrow models are a worthwhile investment that I'm sure will bring a whole lot of benefits to your working routine. In case you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave them in the comments section below.

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