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. They’re great for concrete as well. 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 WG050 Aerocart 8-in-1 Wheelbarrow Cart||Check The Price!|
|Best Choice Products Dual-Wheel Utility Wheelbarrow Cart||Check The Price!|
|True Temper 6-Cubic Foot Never Flat Tire Steel Wheelbarrow||Check The Price!|
|Gorilla Carts Heavy-Duty Poly Yard Dump Cart||Check The Price!|
|Marathon Dual Wheel Residential Wheelbarrow||Check The Price!|
Why You Can Trust Us
Here at Backyard Boss, we’re all about making life better and easier for gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts. We apply that desire to our research, reviewing process, and writing to make sure you get the best possible choices for everything we recommend or discuss. Being avid gardeners ourselves, this is easy: We’re researching and reviewing products that help us in the garden, and we love passing that along to you.
Best for Odd Jobs
Why We Like It: 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.
Who Should Buy It: 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, its size is good for those who are shorter in stature.
Best for Tighter Budgets
Dual wheel steel wheelbarrow
Why We Like It: This is a great little no-frills wheelbarrow that has a sturdy plastic bin and viable steel frame, making it a great option for casual gardeners.
The wheelbarrow holds up to five cubic feet of soil, mulch, gravel, and more, for easy transport. The two-wheel design adds stability and easier steering. Plus the cart has a versatile handlebar that’s got thick padding on it and doubles as a stand for idle use.
The barrow is made from a powder-coated steel frame that resists rust and the bin is made of sturdy plastic. It can bear 330 pounds in a single haul.
Who Should Buy It: Anyone looking for a casual wheelbarrow will find this is a great budget-friendly option.
Best for Rough Terrain
six cubic foot steel wheelbarrow with never flat tire
Why We Like It: For those rugged outdoor home projects, you want an all-steel wheelbarrow that can take whatever you throw at it. True Temper offers a six cubic-foot traditional wheelbarrow with a 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.
Who Should Buy It: 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.
Best For Heavy-Duty Workloads
Why We Like It: Gorilla Carts is one of the best-trusted brands in the business and this cart is a prime example of why. The easy-to-use dump cart is basically a blend of a wheelbarrow and garden cart, making it an almost perfect option for folks who do a lot of heavy pulling.
The cart can handle 1,200 pounds of dirt, bricks, concrete, etc., making it incredibly strong. The frame design allows you to dump the back of the cart for loading and unloading easily and quickly and the padded 2-in-1 heavy-duty handle works great for either pulling or towing (meaning you really can use it for 1,200-pound loads).
Who Should Buy It: Anyone who’s got a lot of hefty hauling will find this dump cart/wheelbarrow a fantastic tool.
Best for Casual Gardening
Why We Like It: 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 five 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.
Who Should Buy It: 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.
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 Wheels
Traditionally, wheelbarrows are 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 to crack.
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.
How We Picked
We wanted to make sure we were only suggesting the best of the best, so we looked into the best-ranked wheelbarrows and dump carts on the internet. As we created a long list, we compared the quality, the price, the functionality, and more to determine which were the best options. Then, we looked into real-life user reviews and finalized the list. These are the top-rated for a reason.
Choosing the Right Wheelbarrow Can Make All the Difference
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 mean you won’t have to worry about flats – and the two wheels offer added stability.