What to Look for in a New Wheelbarrow & My 10 Best Wheelbarrows | ZG

What to Look for in a New Wheelbarrow

Our Picks for the 10 Best Wheelbarrows Available Online

Selecting the Best Wheelbarrow - Wheelbarrow filled with dirt

Get a grip on a wheelborrow that will give you many years of exceptional performance

Want to save time and quickly compare for yourself? You can see my favorite two wheelbarrows here and here

NO ONE WANTS to have to move garden soil, rocks, construction materials or any one of dozens of other heavy items around the yard by hand. Not only is this time consuming, but you could easily hurt yourself trying to lift and carry large numbers of heavy items.

The humble wheelbarrow…

No other "gardening tool" has been the object of so much change and innovation since its inception.

how do you know if the features the one you like

But what makes a good, strong and durable wheelbarrow? With literally hundreds of models available online, it’s easy to get confused. Is it a plastic or steel tub, wooden or metal frame?

To find out exactly what makes a great value wheelbarrow, we take a close look at the 10 best wheelbarrows for your money.

The Best Way to Start Your Search for the Best Wheelbarrow

If you have already started looking around, you have already found that there is a confusing array of wheelbarrows to choose from.

Beyond your immediate needs, there are several very important things to consider before you hop online and spend your hard-earned cash on a wheelbarrow.

Armed with the right information, you should be in a good position to choose the best wheelbarrow to fit your needs.

When I went shopping for mine, I started by going out to my local discount hardware stores and testing the models they had on the floor. I was looking at overall quality, size, how well it handled, and finally how much each one cost. I then took this information and went online to find the best possible deal.

Man with barrow full of ground, work in garden

A home made wheelbarrow someone has welded up

"What Are Wheelbarrows Made From?"

While there may be a few vintage wheelbarrows made from wood around, the vast majority are now made with either a steel or plastic bucket.

The most common material is steel as it is extremely durable and can handle plenty of weight. However, steel will eventually rust through, especially if you leave your wheelbarrow outside.

Plastic buckets are much lighter, cost less, and are perfect for light gardening tasks. However, while they won't rust, they will crack under heavy loads or if left out in extremely cold weather.

In the end, you need to decide what type of load you plan to carry and what your budget looks like as both are very capable of doing the job they are designed to handle. 

Selecting the Best Wheelbarrow - Wheelbarrow filled with branches

"How Much Will A Wheelbarrow Hold?"

Wheelbarrows are rated by the number of cubic feet the bucket will hold. Consider carefully what you are planning to use your new barrow for as this will help you decide what size you are likely to need.

You may also want to look at homeowner grade vs. contractor grade. Not only are most contractor grade bigger, but in many cases, they are better built.

"How Many Wheels Do You Really Need?"

United General WH89685
Bon28 903 Premium

The traditional wheelbarrow has a single wheel centrally mounted at the front. This design makes it easy for you to maneuver your load and dump it. However, it also requires more strength and skill to control where the wheelbarrow is going.

Adding the second wheel will make the barrow far more stable, which is very helpful when moving heavy or awkward loads. However, two wheels will make it harder to maneuver and can make going up hills much harder.

What You Need to Know About Wheelbarrow Tires

The best wheelbarrows come with either pneumatic (tires that have a tube and are filled with air) or non-pneumatic tires (made from solid rubber).

Those that have a pneumatic tire offer a smoother ride and are typically easier to maneuver. However, these tires, much like car or bicycle tires, are susceptible to being damaged and going flat.

Non-pneumatic tires will never go flat, but at the same time offer a rougher ride making it harder to control the wheelbarrow. There are also semi-pneumatic tires that have air pockets built-in for a smoother ride but don't require inflation. 

Best Wheelbarrow - Wheelbarrow on path

Get a Grip - Wheelbarrow Handles

Another important thing to consider is what type of handles your wheelbarrow should have. The choices are the traditional straight handles or the new ergonomic style handles.

Straight handles tend to make the wheelbarrow much easier to control. They also make it much easier to tilt, dump, and flip. However, they do require far more hand and arm strength. They are also harder for those with narrow shoulders to handle.

On the other hand, ergonomic closed and single-bar handles offer much better ergonomics and are considered to be much easier to pull. They are perfect for use by virtually anyone, no matter how big or small they happen to be.

In the end, you have to decide which type of handle works best for you. Even if you plan to order your wheelbarrow online, you can still visit your local Home Depot or Lowes and try out the different styles to see which one suits you best. 

Best Wheelbarrow - Wheelbarrows leaning against wall

"How Much Should I Spend on a Wheelbarrow?"

This is the $60,000 question to be sure, but in all reality cost should be the last thing on your mind. I know that if you are like me, you have a budget to work with.

However, like most garden tools, you will find that the best wheelbarrows online are not the cheapest models, but at the same time, they are not necessarily the most expensive.

With this in mind, be prepared to invest a fair amount of money if you want to buy a wheelbarrow that is going to give you many years of exceptional performance.

The 10 Best Wheelborrows Available Online

Now that you have a much better idea of what you should be looking for when you decide to go shopping for that new wheelbarrow, let's take a look at the 10 best wheelbarrows I could find that are readily available online.

1. Worx Aerocart Multifunction Wheelbarrow

Two Wheels, Two Handles, A Multifunction Winner

This little beauty is more than just a wheelbarrow, it quickly and easily converts into a wheelbarrow, yard cart, dolly, bag holder, extended dolly, rock/plant mover, trailer tote, and cylinder carrier.

With this great wheelbarrow, you should never need to buy another cart to haul virtually anything in your garden again. It has a 3 cubic feet tub and all-steel construction that should last a lifetime.

It even features extension arms that lets you carry flower pots, mulch bags, small trees, and more. The dual wheels and low center of gravity make moving heavy loads up to 300 pounds simple.

Dual wheels and low center of gravity make it easy to use
Painted steel is not scratch proof and may rust over time
Multifunction design
Wheel bearings can come out of wheels
Can handle up to 300 lbs.
Small capacity may not be suited to larger jobs

2. Jackson M6T22 Steel Tray Contractor Wheelbarrow

6 Cubic Feet of Pure Contractor Quality Wheelbarrow

Imagine having 6 cubic feet of seamless, durable, heavy-duty steel to carry your loads around the yard. To further enhance the strength of this wheelbarrow, it features for steel cross strips and front braces for extra support.

Up front is a single 16-inch tube style tire for ease of maneuverability and shock absorption. At the other end is a pair of wood handles designed to make lifting and moving your load much easier. The heavy gauge steel tub is made to be used and abused and should last for many years.

Heavy-duty steel tub made to last
Steel will rust once paint is damaged
Strong wood handles
Poor quality hard to follow assembly instructions
Extra bracing for heavy loads
Ships with a ridged tire instead of a knobby one

3. Worx Polar Trailer

Dual Wheel and a 7 Cubic Feet Tray Make this a Real Workhorse

This wheelbarrow features a 7 cubic feet tray that can easily handle up to 400 pounds of pretty much anything you want to toss in it.

The tub is made from heavy-duty polyethylene and measures 50″ x 28″ x 29″. Up front is a pair of solid rubber tires that measure 16-inches in diameter and 4.8-inches wide for maximum load carrying capacity.

Each wheel uses shielded ball bearings for a smoother ride and easy movement. The all-steel frame creates a single bar handle making it easier to move the barrow around your yard.

Heavy-duty polyethylene tub made to last
Inside of tub has ridges and insets that retain dirt
Strong steel frame
Some of the assembly holes not drilled
Dual wheels make this wheelbarrow very stable
Poor assembly instructions hard to put together

4. Marathon Dual-Wheel Residential Yard Rover

Features a Comfortable Cushion Grip

The Yard Rover features a 5-cubic foot polyethylene tray that can hold up to 300 pounds quite comfortably.  The nice thing about a poly tray is that you never have to worry about rust. Up front is a pair of pneumatic tires that make balancing, maneuvering, and lifting your load much easier.

This beauty only weighs 29 pounds, which is approximately 25 percent less than the average wheelbarrow.  The steel frame creates a single bar handle that helps you to keep everything under control, even on the roughest terrain.

Easy to assemble only takes a flathead screwdriver and a crescent wrench
Not made for continuous heavy work
Heavy-duty poly tub won’t rust
Many units shipped with holes not drilled correctly
Loop handle can be used to hang from the wall
Wheels are flimsy

5. Bon 28 903 Premium Contractor-Grade Double-Wheel Wheelbarrow

Two Steel Handles, a 6-Cubic Foot Tray, and Knobby Tires, Who Could Ask for More

Made here in the USA, this wheelbarrow features a full 6 cubic foot steel tray that is 26-inches wide to handle bigger loads. For extra strength, the lip of the tray is rolled.

Dual-wheel design with 16-inch knobby tires makes balancing your load and getting around the yard simple. The steel handles and undercarriage make it possible to really fill the Bon 28 with your heaviest loads.

This wheelbarrow is perfect for homeowner and contractor alike.

18-gauge steel tray is very strong
Poor packaging can result in damage during shipping
Easy to assemble
Bolt holes in tub too big for carriage bolts to hold
Very affordable
Rubber handgrips may come off

6. True Temper 6 Cubic Foot Wheelbarrow with Steel Handles and Flat-Free Tire

No More Flat Tires in Your Garden

If you are looking for a wheelbarrow designed to let you get more done, this one from True Temper might be just what you are looking for.

Start with the 6-cubic foot high capacity steel tray that is designed to handle your toughest loads. Then look to the single rubber tire up front that will never need to have air put in it, that's right, no more flat tires, ever.

The steel frame provides a heavy-duty undercarriage that can handle plenty of weight. Finally, for your comfort and safety, the handles are fitted with comfort grips.

Flat-free airless tire
Tire is foam filled and may squash under heavy loads
6 cubic foot tray offers plenty of room
Steel handles subject to rust
Steel frame for added strength
Support brackets weak

7. Truper 6-cu. ft. Steel Wheelbarrow

Unusual Handles Make this One A Winner

This unique wheelbarrow from Truper features a pair of ergonomic handles designed to improve how they feel and give you the maximum amount of control no matter whether you are lifting, moving, or lowering the wheelbarrow.

The handles are fitted with ergonomic grips that are wider than normal and offer better hand placement. The steel frame and tub can take a beating and keep going. The tray is made to hold up to 6 cubic feet and is made from heavy gauge steel that has been powder coated to keep it from rusting.

Ergo handles offer better grip and control
Handles flex under heavier loads
Wide handle stance makes lifting easier
Paint comes off easily in tray leading to rust
Pneumatic tire for smoother ride
Plastic grips may break

8. Lifetime 6.5 cu. ft. Plastic Wheelbarrow

Front Bumper Makes Tipping and Dumping Very Easy

This lightweight plastic wheelbarrow will make moving heavy loads around your yard far less challenging. It is made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled materials.

The front of the tray features a special tapered design to make dumping your load easier. The extra-wide wheelbase and lowered center of gravity allow you to move up to 550 lbs. around with ease.

Up to 85 percent of the weight of your load is centered directly on the wheels, helping to significantly lighten your load. The steel frame is powder coated to help keep rust at bay.

Tapered tray makes dumping easy
Plastic tub gets brittle in extreme cold
Very sturdy construction
Holes in tub do not line up with those on frame
Pneumatic tires for a smoother ride
Low center of gravity makes it hard to push empty

9. Blue Hawk 4 cu. ft. Steel Wheelbarrow

Very Useful Medium Size Wheelbarrow

Not everyone needs a huge wheelbarrow that is hard to handle, especially when full. This is a solid medium-size wheelbarrow with a steel 4 cubic foot tray that is perfect for most jobs around the average yard or garden.

The pneumatic tire and wheel ride on long-lasting nylon bearings. The wood handles are coated to ensure they give you many years of service. The tray sits on a pair of poly riser designed to keep wear to a minimum. Small and very easy to use, yet big enough to handle most of your chores.

Perfect size for average use
Not made for heavy loads
Pneumatic tires for better ride
Metal tray is thin and dents easily
Coated wood handles for long life
Frame is not very rigid

10. United General WH89685 Steel Tray Wheelbarrow

Holds Up to 4 Cubic Feet or 20 Gallons in a Steel Tub

This wheelbarrow features a steel 20-gallon tub and a pair of strong wood handles. The single 14-inch pneumatic wheel/tire make maneuvering around your garden a cinch.

This affordable wheelbarrow offers you contractor quality, including a heavy-duty steel undercarriage. The tub is coated in a quality red paint to keep it from rusting. The inflatable tire gives you some relief from bouncing around in the garden.

This is an excellent choice for the homeowner who wants a contractor grade wheelbarrow at a homeowner price.

Strong steel tub
Paint needs to be thicker
Dual wood handles for better stability during use
Valve stem moves and pulls into tire
Strong undercarriage holds heavy loads
Assembly instructions very poor

The Last Load

Now that you have had a chance to see what it takes to make a good wheelbarrow and taken a look at ten of the best wheelbarrows available online, the final choice is up to you.

For me, it was the WORX Aerocart Multifunction Wheelbarrow as it can be converted to handle such a wide range of tasks, perfect for my hobby farm.

I hope that all of this information has helped you find the right wheelbarrow to meet your needs.

If you have enjoyed reading about finding the best wheelbarrow, please let me know.

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