Whether you’re working in the yard or on a construction site, eventually you will have to haul heavy material from one place to another. It could be large bags of mulch to spread around your garden, or it could be cement that needs to be mixed and poured.
In either case, a wheelbarrow is an indispensable asset for your needs. Wheelbarrows are great for all kinds of hauling, and because they are so simple to use, anyone can make them work for many different situations.
While you might think that wheelbarrows are all pretty much the same, the truth is that they come in all shapes and sizes, so you will have to pick one that fits all of your requirements so that you aren’t left with a large piece of junk sitting unused. We’ll be showing you some of the best wheelbarrows on the market, as well as provide all of the information you need to make an informed decision and pick the one with the best features for your job.
Table of Contents
As far as outdoor equipment goes, WORX is a well-known brand that makes high-quality gear for residential purposes. Whether it’s a leaf blower or a grass cutter, WORX knows a thing or two about making products that can handle most situations at home. So, with that in mind, we have the Aerocart Multifunction Wheelbarrow.
What makes this particular model so unique is that you can use it for all kinds of purposes, not just hauling material from one place to the other. Technically speaking, that is all you are using this for, but it works as a wheelbarrow, a dolly, and a vertical load lifting device, all in one.
The whole thing is made of heavy duty steel, and it comes with two wheels for extra stability when hauling and moving. Overall, you get three cubic feet of space, which means that this model can hold up to about three hundred pounds easily. Another important feature of this unit is that the tires are solid rubber, meaning that they won’t go flat.
Finally, one important thing about this unit is that it has two handles for when you are using it as a dolly, and those handles act as an undercarriage for the wheelbarrow. Due to their placement, they provide better stability when the unit is stationary so that you don’t have to worry about it toppling over.
Our last model is somewhat similar to our first one in that this is technically a standard design wheelbarrow. That means that you get one wheel and solid steel construction, which makes it ideal for many work sites and places where you need heavy hauling.
What sets this particular model apart from the crowd, however, is the fact that you get two steel handles instead of wooden ones. This means that they will last longer and are more sturdy, and they are far more comfortable as they have soft rubber tips.
Another feature of this wheelbarrow that makes it different than other standard models is that it comes with a solid rubber wheel instead of an air-filled one. This means that it will never go flat, although it might have a harder time on rough terrain, depending on the surface type and how much weight you’re carrying. Overall, this is a great wheelbarrow that can provide years of continuous use.
Next, we’re moving back to standard wheelbarrow territory with this model from Jackson. It is very similar to most of the units we are about to see, so don’t expect any reinvention of the wheel with this design.
That being said, the materials are top-notch and extremely durable, and it comes with a slightly improved design that can hold loads better when not in motion.
Carrying material is easy enough with this wheelbarrow as you get a six cubic foot steel tray, a single wheel for added agility, and a steel undercarriage for stability. This particular unit comes with an “H” design on the bottom, which helps keep everything from toppling over when it’s in a sitting position. Otherwise, wooden handles and a heavy load capacity make this a versatile, if simplistic wheelbarrow.
When looking at this next wheelbarrow, don’t get confused by the name. It may say “lifetime” on it, but that is the brand, so don’t expect this particular model to last a full lifetime.
While this wheelbarrow is sturdy and reliable, no model can last forever as long as you use it regularly. So, with that in mind, let’s break down what you get with this unit.
First of all, the tray is made of completely recycled material, which means that if you are trying to be eco-friendly, this could be an excellent way to go. The design of the tub is also beneficial as it is slightly tapered in the front to allow you to dump materials much easier.
What really sells this wheelbarrow is the fact that it comes with two wheels. While you are sacrificing maneuverability, you get a better load disbursement, which means that 85% of the weight is held on the wheels, while the rest goes to your body. With a maximum load capacity of 550 pounds, that means you can haul a lot of material without a ton of effort. Best of all, the handles have soft grip covers so your hands can stay relatively comfortable all day long.
Kicking off our list is a standard wheelbarrow from United General. This is about as simple as you can get, which means that if you’re looking for a standard unit without any added bells and whistles, this is an excellent way to go. The components are solid, and the design is great, so you can do a lot with this model.
As far as hauling goes, you get a four cubic foot steel tray, which can hold about two or three hundred pounds of material easily. The handles are made of tapered wood, and it has a single-wheel design, which gives you total maneuverability. Finally, the undercarriage is also made of steel to ensure that it will last a long time.
We’ve already seen wheelbarrows with one and two wheels, but this next model from Gorilla Carts has four, which makes it more of a wagon than a wheelbarrow.
Nonetheless, it’s built for sturdy hauling, so if you are into gardening or working around the house and need something that can carry everything for you, this is a great buy.
What we like about this model is that it comes with a quick dumping feature, so you don’t have to work too hard about unloading it. If this feature weren't part of the deal, it would be difficult or impossible to lift and dump the contents using the swivel handlebar provided. The way that it works is that the bed lifts up separately from the steel undercarriage, allowing you to drop without lifting the whole thing.
Although it’s rated for consumer and residential use, this unit can hold up to six hundred pounds, making it one of the more rugged and dependable models we’ve seen.
So far, we’ve seen both steel and recycled material trays, but this model from Ames uses a thick polyurethane tub to prevent corrosion and rust, as well as reduce the overall weight of the unit. Other than that, this is another standard model, although it does come with two wheels instead of one.
Having two tires is better for work where you have to haul heavy material and don’t need to worry about going up ramps or turning tight corners. You reduce the maneuverability of your wheelbarrow, but you improve the weight distribution, so it’s an even trade.
This particular model has eight cubic feet of space, which means that you can haul a lot of material with each trip. Also, it comes with two tapered wooden handles for better grip.
While wheelbarrows are more than useful on job sites and for construction purposes, the fact is that many households can benefit from having such a device on hand for random hauling, such as for gardening or light concrete work.
This Rover Wheelbarrow from Marathon is ideal for residential purposes, meaning that it’s designed for lighter loads and easier carrying. So, if you’re looking for something heavy duty, you might want to look elsewhere.
To keep the weight down and prevent rust, this unit comes with a thick polyurethane tray. Also, for improved weight distribution, it has two air-filled tires on the bottom. Overall, the load capacity for this wheelbarrow is about three hundred pounds, which is easy to carry with two wheels. The tub itself also has five cubic feet of space to allow you easier loading and unloading.
Another great feature of this unit is the steel undercarriage that moves up into the handlebars. The design has a crossbar, meaning that you can push from any angle to get the best leverage possible. Also, the handlebar is covered in soft grip rubber, which is far more comfortable than tapered wood. Overall, this is an excellent light-capacity wheelbarrow.
Most wheelbarrows are designed to be as flexible as possible, meaning that they come with a wide base and opening so you can haul anything and dump it out as easily as anything else.
This particular model from Ames, however, is designed for cement, although you can use it for other materials if you like. Why is it geared for liquid cement?
That’s because it comes with a pour spout in front so that you can have more precise control over your placement and flow as you go. Also, this unit has a polyurethane tray, which is easier to clean than steel and won’t rust over time.
Other than the pour spout, this wheelbarrow is pretty standard with a one-wheel design, a steel undercarriage for durability, and tapered wood handles for easier gripping. Thankfully, the handles are treated so as to prevent decay or splintering. Overall, this wheelbarrow has six cubic feet of space and can hold up to six hundred pounds.
We’ve seen all kinds of models already, but now it’s time to look at the different factors and features that make a wheelbarrow so useful for your job or home. If you can pick out the best unit with these categories, then you will have the best wheelbarrow possible.
For the most part, wheelbarrows come with only one wheel, but that doesn’t mean that you have to get one like that. One wheel designs are ideal for maneuverability as you can pivot and turn much more tightly, as well as walk along narrow paths or up ramps if necessary. However, only having one wheel means that you are putting more weight onto your body, which can be a problem if you’re trying to move large loads.
Overall, you can find models that have one, two, or four wheels, and each type is beneficial for different reasons. Two-wheeled units are great because they can hold more of the weight and reduce the impact to your body, and four-wheeled models are ideal for when you need to disperse the weight as much as possible, thus making it easier to haul materials.
When talking about the material of a wheelbarrow, there are four main components that you should pay attention to when making your decision. They are the tray, undercarriage, handles, and wheels. Let’s look at what options you have for each part of the wheelbarrow.
Tray: most units will use steel so as to provide the best stability and strength, but it can be heavy, and it is prone to rust. The alternative is to get a thick polyurethane tray that won’t rust or corrode, but it could give out over time and break.
Undercarriage: almost always this component is made of steel as it is the glue that holds the wheelbarrow together, so it has to be durable. Undercarriages are important because they allow you to set the whole thing down and have it stay stable without falling over.
Handles: if you get a simplified model, then wood is the most popular material here. However, if it’s not treated well, then it can decay over time, as well as splinter and cause injury. Other options will be steel handlebars, which are more durable but could rust. Also, the handles can be individual or have a crossbar to allow you better leverage when hauling.
Wheels: usually, the wheels for these models are pneumatic, but in some cases, they can be made of solid rubber or other material. Air-filled is generally the best as it has the best results, but they can get flat over time, so keep that in mind.
This factor will be important if you are hauling heavy materials on a regular basis. What is crucial to know, however, is that maximum load capacity doesn’t mean that you can move easily from one point to another. Overall, you don’t want to overload your wheelbarrow, so don’t try to fill it to max capacity if possible, as it could cause damage to the tires or the undercarriage over time.
Also, depending on the placement of the handles and the number of wheels, moving a full wheelbarrow might be extremely hard, if not impossible. A good rule to follow is to take the max load weight and reduce it by fifty or so; this will give you a decent buffer and ensure that you can still manage the wheelbarrow.
The most basic wheelbarrows come with a tray, some handles, and a wheel, but that doesn’t mean that you have to settle for something so simple. Here are some bonus features that you can look for when picking out the right model for you.
Tapered Front: this makes unloading much easier as you can pour cement better or dump anything else in a more controlled way.
Soft Grip Handles: adding some covers to the handles is an excellent way to keep your hands from getting too sore, as well as prevent splinters if they are made of wood.
Multi-Use Function: some wheelbarrows will allow you to use them as a dolly or vertical load carrier, which means that you can do a lot more with the same device. If you aren’t worried about heavy-duty lifting, this could be a good option.
When looking through these wheelbarrows, it’s hard to determine which one is the best wheelbarrow because some are built for heavy-duty hauling while others are made for residential purposes. So, with that in mind, our top pick for job-ready model is the Ames True Temper Wheelbarrow, as it has the best features and strongest materials you can get. As for a residential unit, we suggest the Rover Wheelbarrow from Marathon as it is more comfortable to use and more durable than the others we’ve seen.
A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!