A good wheelbarrow is worth its weight in gold to a gardener or landscaper. It’s hard to think of this tool as unnecessary. It can be used to transport your rakes, brooms, hoes, and other tools all at once, or you can move dirt from one area to the next. The best wheelbarrow for gardening is sturdy and hard-working, but once you start looking at wheelbarrows, you may suffer from sticker shock. Is it necessary to spend more money than $100 on a wheelbarrow? It largely depends on what you want in a wheelbarrow.
One of the most important aspects of a wheelbarrow to consider is the wheel – or wheels. Some of these yard helpers come with two wheels, which theoretically makes your job easier, right? Should you get steel or plastic? If you’re in the market for a good wheelbarrow, you’re in the right place. Read through our guide to decide which type of wheelbarrow is good for your yard, your tasks, and your back! Then read the reviews and pick the best one for you.
BEST WHEELBARROW COMPARISONS CHART
|Worx Aerocart Multifunction 2-Wheeled||
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|True Temper 6 Cubic with Poly Tray||
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|True Temper 6 Cubic Flat Tire Steel||
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|TrueJackson M6T22 6 Cubic Steel Tray||
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|Marathon Dual-Wheel Residential Yard Rover||
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WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER A WHEELBARROW?
Whether you have a few flowers to tend to around the front of your house, or a full-fledged garden in the back, you probably need a wheelbarrow. Typically, a wheelbarrow is made of a large pan with metal legs, at least one wheel, and handles. It can be used to help you carry things to and from your garden shed, to transplant your flowers that are ready for a bigger garden bed, or cart sand, topsoil, and other materials.
Gardening injuries are common, which is part of the reason you should buy a wheelbarrow. Bags of dirt and mulch are heavy, and if you have a large garden, the last thing you want to do is carry these loads one at a time from your car or truck to your backyard. You can still injure yourself while using a wheelbarrow, though, so be sure to keep these things in mind:
- Move smaller loads at once
- Bend at the knees and use your back when lifting your wheelbarrow
- Keep your back straight when pushing a wheelbarrow
- Go slowly, or you may turn your wheelbarrow over
- If your wheelbarrow starts to lean, sometimes it’s best to let it go, rather than risk back injury trying to right it
THINGS TO LOOK FOR
There are several differences in wheelbarrows, such as wheel type and size. Often it comes down to personal preference, but there are some attributes that can make it easier for you to move heavy loads, like rocks or bricks.
Generally, there are three types of wheels you can get on a wheelbarrow: pneumatic, semi-pneumatic, and non-pneumatic.
Those with pneumatic tires are a bit like bicycle tires – they have air tubes inside, which act as a cushion when you’re moving loads. If you have stairs you need to maneuver with a wheelbarrow, these tires are your best bet. You’ll need to pump them full of air on occasion, though, and there’s always a chance of them going flat.
Semi-pneumatic tires have hollow sections here and there to allow for air, which are lightweight, and they don’t go flat. Also, you don’t have to refill them with air at all. However, they’re harder to find these days.
An airless tire, or non-pneumatic tire, is a hard rubber option. These tires won’t go flat, and they can handle heavy loads without requiring too much effort on your part – which can be especially important when you’re pushing a wheelbarrow up a hill.
NUMBER OF TIRES
Traditionally, wheelbarrows were made with one tire, but they also come with two tires. There’s a hot debate about which one is best, but they both have pros and cons.
One-wheel types offer excellent maneuverability – you can take turns and more easily push it up narrow ramps (like into a truck bed). They’re also great over gravel, rocks, and uneven terrain.
Two-wheel wheelbarrows are more stable than the traditional type. They’re best for using on flat surfaces, and excellent for simple chores. Regardless of what you’re moving, it’ll likely seem lighter with these tires.
PLASTIC VS. STEEL
It can be difficult to decide between the two bin materials, and many gardeners and landscapers have strong opinions on which is better. Those who swear by steel like it for its durability, and those willing to try plastic like that they’re rust-resistant.
Plastic doesn’t automatically mean cheap – high-quality plastic can handle heavy loads without bending. However, in cold weather, some have been known for cracking.
Steel is absolutely durable, and it can take some abuse from rocks and concrete. If you take extra care, you can prevent it from rusting in the rain.
WHAT ABOUT CARTS?
There are those out there who sing the praises of garden carts, and why not? They seem much more stable with their extra wheels and great balance. As long as you have wide paved paths to push or pull your cart on, this can be an excellent choice. However, they can be difficult to move around corners (like the two-wheeled wheelbarrows).
Another benefit of a garden cart is that you don’t have to do any heavy lifting, with the cart, anyway. The load is already balanced between the four wheels, you simply push or pull it, kind of like a little red wagon. What this also means is that there’s less strain on your back. So, if you’re dealing with any mobility issues or ailments, a cart may be your best choice.
CLEVER USES FOR A WHEELBARROW
While a wheelbarrow is meant to move mulch and transplant plants, there are several other creative uses for your garden helper when it isn’t being the best workhorse in your tool shed. If you’re replacing an old wheelbarrow, you could give it a second life as a planter or chair.
Giant Ice Bucket
Having a party? There’s no need to go out and buy an ice bucket or pull out multiple ice chests. Just grab your wheelbarrow and fill it with ice and drinks. Once the party’s over, you can cart the wheelbarrow over to a tree to give it a big drink of water.
A Hay Ride
Give the little kids in your life a tour of your garden, and make it a fun experience for them. Fill your wheelbarrow with hay and plop a child or two in the bin. Then take them for a ride to the garden and point out what’s what before a ride back to the house.
Have you ever tried to bathe a dog in a bathtub? It’s awkward, to say the least. Rather than hosing your dog down and lathering them up, trying using a stable wheelbarrow as a makeshift tub. Wheelbarrows are taller than a tub, so you won’t strain your back as much. You can use warm water to make it more comfortable for Rover.
THE BEST WHEELBARROW FOR YARD WORK AND GARDENS – WHEELBARROW REVIEWS
WORX AEROCART MULTIFUNCTION WHEELBARROW
- Weight: 48.7 lbs.
- Dimensions: 41 x 12 x 18 inches
- Pan Size: 3 cubic feet
- Warranty: 3 years
There’s a lot going on with this wheelbarrow from Worx. As a wheelbarrow, it can handle large loads in its steel bin – up to 300 lbs. The two-wheeled design offers superior balance as you move from shed to garden and back again while you’re doing your landscaping. The pan is a bit smaller than standard wheelbarrows, so you may have to make more trips than usual, but if you’re worried about injury, this could help you from loading more than you can handle.
As an added benefit, this wheelbarrow transforms into a dolly, and when paired with the included flower pot strap, you can safely move fragile items without worrying about a spill and then broken flower pots. Additionally, the other accessories help you move rocks, small appliances, and other items with ease.
If you’re on the tall side, you may find this wheelbarrow uses more back muscles, as the handles are placed low. It’s a lightweight wheelbarrow that’s definitely smaller, so it may take some getting used to. Although this wheelbarrow has an all-steel construction, it’s painted, so you may notice some scratches after a few uses.
- Includes useful accessories: cylinder holder, mesh rock mover, flower pot strap, bag holder
- Converts to dolly
- Lightweight, but sturdy
- Narrow design – fits through doors easily
- Solid non-pneumatic wheels – no air needed
- Too small
- Bowl design can be awkward with some loads
The Worx Aerocart is a smaller wheelbarrow that’s more suited for small gardens that don’t require a lot of materials. As it is not the largest wheelbarrow on the market, it’s size is good for those who are shorter in stature.
TRUE TEMPER 6 CUBIC FOOT WHEELBARROW
- Weight: 23.5 lbs.
- Dimensions: 59 x 25.5 x 27 inches
- Pan size: 6 cubic feet
- Warranty: 90 days
True Temper’s 6 Cubic Foot Wheelbarrow made with a plastic tray and steel frame is a good buy when you need a compact cart to handle large loads. The bucket is made of plastic, so it will never rust, but there is a chance of cracking – especially if you live in a cold climate. The steel frame is sturdy, but could bend under a heavier load.
Steel handles are covered with comfort grips, which help to make it easy to move the wheelbarrow, and offers reinforced strength when you lift. The dual wheels offer more stability and support than a single-wheel design. Although two wheels usually equates to less maneuverability, the compact size of this wheelbarrow adds to the ease of moving it around.
It’s unlikely that this True Temper wheelbarrow will be a piece you could will to your children, it’s a good piece of equipment for the casual gardener or homeowner who needs to move mulch, dirt, concrete, or other material for home improvement projects. The tubed tires offer a pneumatic solution, so you can easily bounce it down stairs and it offers some cushion every time it lands. It also handles various terrains easily.
- Easy to assemble
- Good stability with two-wheel design
- Bucket may break under too much weight
- Axle could bend easily
If you take good care of this dual-wheeled True Temper wheelbarrow, it could serve you well in your garden and home projects for years to come.
TRUE TEMPER 6 CUBIC FOOT NEVER FLAT TIRE STEEL WHEELBARROW
- Weight: 42.4
- Dimensions: 58.8 x 27 x 25.5 inches
- Pan Size: 6 cubic feet
- Warranty: 90 days
For those rugged outdoor home projects, you want an all-steel wheelbarrow that can take whatever you throw at it. True Temper offers a 6 cubic-foot traditional wheelbarrow with single-wheel design. It includes steel handles, which offer more durability than the traditional wood from yesteryear (plus, no chance of rotting).
This one-wheel wheelbarrow lets you pivot around corners with no problems, and the solid tire offers sturdiness, and no chance for flats. It may be a bit of a rough ride down a set of stairs, but it glides along smooth, flat surfaces easily. This wheelbarrow is heavier than the plastic-bin options, but that could help with balancing whatever you’re carting around.
You’ll want to cover this wheelbarrow with a tarp or store it indoors to prevent rust. Steel wheelbarrows are susceptible to rust when the metal is exposed to water (and with enough use, your wheelbarrow will get scratched). Another option is to store it nose side down and against the side of a shed or garage so water won’t collect.
- Sturdy construction
- Large bin
- Durable tires
- Strong handles
- May rust if not properly stored after home use
- Steel bucket may dent
This True Temper is a good choice for those who live in cold or hot climates, as the bucket won’t crack like plastic bins can – and the no-flat tires reduce maintenance.
JACKSON M6T22 6 CUBIC FOOT STEEL TRAY CONTRACTOR WHEELBARROW
- Weight: 48.6 lbs.
- Dimensions: 36 x 25.5 x 27 inches
- Pan Size: 6 cubic feet
- Warranty: 90 days
This Jackson steel wheelbarrow is as close as you’re going to get to professional grade without spending more money. It’s made with robust, thick steel, so you get a much sturdier wheelbarrow than those made with plastic bins. Although the steel makes it prone to rusting, there’s little chance of the tub cracking under the pressure of a heavy load.
The 6 cubic-foot tray can handle large loads, and the curved front lip makes it easy to dump contents. This is a standard wheelbarrow with one wheel that’s pneumatic, so be sure you have a bicycle pump or equivalent to pump it with air. The benefit of this type of tire is that it can handle bumpy surfaces with ease. The disadvantage, though, is you may have to deal with flats on occasion.
It’s rare to find a traditional wheelbarrow these days that includes hardwood handles, but it’s a preference of many who like the sturdiness of wood. There’s a chance that over time the handles could rot, but they’re easy to replace. In fact, you could replace the tire or the handles any time, which makes this a potential lifetime-wheelbarrow.
- Excellent maneuverability
- Air-filled tire reduces stress over bumps
- Heavy-duty bucket
- Potential for rust
- Expect scratches and dents over time
A sturdy, stout wheelbarrow like this one from Jackson is a great choice when you have bigger projects to do at home, like pour concrete or haul heavy rocks.
MARATHON DUAL-WHEEL RESIDENTIAL YARD ROVER WHEELBARROW AND YARD CART – PINK
- Weight: 29 lbs.
- Dimensions: 38 x 25 x 12 inches
- Pan Size: 5 cubic feet
- Warranty: 1 year
If a one-wheel wheelbarrow is out of the question for you because you need an easier-to-lift tool, this Marathon cart could be what you’ve been looking for. In addition to having a lower profile, the two wheels on this wheelbarrow offer more support and stability than a standard wheelbarrow. You can haul up to 300 pounds of rock, mulch, sand, or whatever else needs moving with relative ease.
The 5-cubic-feet plastic tray is rust-proof, and still sturdy enough to handle heavy, sharp objects. The biggest issues you could have with this lighter-than-average wheelbarrow are the tires and the handles. Marathon uses pneumatic tires on this cart, so there’s potential for leaky or punctured tires. The handles and frame are steel, so it could possibly rust, but if you take care to store it properly, you shouldn’t have any problems.
At only 29 pounds, this is a lightweight wheelbarrow to make it easy for anyone to steer, push, or pull. The air-filled tires make it easy to maneuver on different terrains, too. Although the bucket is sturdy, larger loads should be unloaded or dumped with care – if you tip it forward, there’s a good chance the heavy load could break the plastic.
- Two wheels add stability
- Easy assembly
- Not as sturdy as steel
- Tires will need air/replacing
If you’re looking for an alternative to a traditional one-wheeled wheelbarrow, this two-wheeled Marathon Yard Rover could be an excellent helper with garden and yard work.
When it comes to choosing the right wheelbarrow, it’s important to keep in mind the old adage of using the right tool for the job. A single-wheeled wheelbarrow is a good choice if you need to turn and pivot often. Two wheels offer stability, but less maneuverability. A yard cart is the way to go when you have lots of heavy stuff to move, but you have a hard time lifting and pushing.
The best overall solution for gardeners who also have home improvement jobs to tackle is the Worx Aerocart Multifunction 2-Wheeled Yard Cart, Dolly, and Wheelbarrow with Flat Free Tires. It is one of our best rated wheelbarrows, and with good reason. The extra accessories are a nice bonus, and the easy transformation from wheelbarrow to dolly makes this an excellent workhorse for anyone’s outdoor tasks. Plus, the solid tires means you won’t have to worry about flats – and the two wheels offers added stability.