Every homeowner will have a time when they need to move leaves, soil, gravel, or other material around their yard.
So, what is the tool they can count on the get the job done with the least amount of stress?
A wheelbarrow, of course!
Modern wheelbarrows utilize new features that take the traditional one-wheel design to new levels of functionality while reducing physical strain on the body.
Stick around to read my reviews of the top five best wheelbarrow options and learn more about why you need to own one.
I also discuss what things you need to watch out for and answer frequently asked questions about wheelbarrows so you can purchase the perfect model for your needs!
Top 5 Best Wheelbarrows
1. Rubbermaid Commercial Products FG564200BLA Plastic Yard Cart
The Rubbermaid Yard Cart features two wheels, which is a helpful feature for those who don’t want to struggle while tending to yard work.
The large bucket holds plenty of material, which reduces the number of trips between areas.
The cart is smooth polyethylene that allows the contents to slide right out of the bucket. The nearly effortless operation makes it perfect for just about any person to use, no matter their physical condition.
The leak-proof, solid-molded resin means you can quickly clean the wheelbarrow with no worries dirt or debris is stuck inside crevices.
The amount of weight this barrow can support is impressive as well, so you don’t have to worry it will crack under a big load.
Things we like:
- Pneumatic flat-free wheels
- Durable, seamless construction
- Lightweight and ergonomic design
- Easy to operate for any age/strength
Things we don’t like:
- Wheels are thin and can sink into wet or loose soil
- Short handles make it difficult to hold and walk-behind
- Support bracket has low clearance
I really like this Rubbermaid cart because the material will never rust, peel, chip, or dent, which makes the higher price point worth it.
I place it in my top five for the large bucket capacity, the large-diameter wheels that traverse many types of terrain with little effort, and how well the unit holds its position during loading and dumping.
2. Garden Star 70019 Garden Barrow Dual-Wheel Wheelbarrow/Garden Cart
The Garden Star Wheelbarrow gets top marks for being a durable, light-duty workhorse.
The air-filled tires are hefty and move with ease over bumpy or wet ground. The metal handle bends around the front, which provides a comfortable position to grip the bar securely.
I appreciate the smaller capacity bucket, which carries enough mulch or other material without being too heavy to push.
The whole unit is lightweight, which makes hanging up the wheelbarrow for storage that much easier.
Things we like:
- Long handle means no bending or straining
- Wide tires won’t sink into the ground
- Lightweight, yet durable
- Very affordable
Things we don’t like:
- May flip forward if you load too much weight toward the front
- Capacity may be too small for serious gardeners
I give the Garden Star wheelbarrow a spot in my top five for the high quality in combination with the affordable price tag.
I like the use of weather-resistant materials along with the design of the handle and the two air-filled wheels that provide stability and comfort while in use.
3. WORX WG050 Aerocart 8-in-1 All-Purpose Wheelbarrow/Yard Cart/Dolly
The WORX Aerocart offers more features than a typical wheelbarrow so your landscaping projects get done sooner.
This wheelbarrow can haul mulch or dirt with little effort due to the patented design that adjusts the center of gravity while in operation. I love the ability to pop open the dolly to move heavy cement yard ornaments or large rocks.
I like the solid steel material and the padded handles that provide better grip and comfort during use. The stability of the cart while loading and dumping is another bonus.
Things we like:
- Steel construction stands up to tough conditions
- Tires never need inflation
- Long, shallow bucket is easy to load/unload
- Can also work as a standard dolly and a fold-out carrier for trees or pots
Things we don’t like:
- Bucket capacity is very small
- Long shape is hard to maneuver in tight areas
I add the WORX wheelbarrow/cart to my list for its multi-functional use.
If you need to haul small amounts of material, but also need to move potted plants or yard ornaments this is the wheelbarrow for you. The ease of pushing this cart and the extra features it provides offset the higher price tag.
4. Gorilla Carts GOR4PS Poly Garden Dump Cart
The Gorilla Cart is one tough cookie when it comes to hauling heavy loads around your yard.
The steel framing and four pneumatic tires support more weight than most wheelbarrows. The padded pull handle and pivoting front wheels make traversing all kinds of terrain a breeze.
The best feature of this cart is the quick-release feature that allows you to lift only the bucket to dump out the load quickly. The solid poly bed will never rust and is easy to clean.
Things we like:
- Four wheels provide maximum stability
- Simple bucket-dumping feature
- Long handle to prevent stooping during use
- Supports a high weight capacity
Things we don’t like:
- Tires can deflate
- Needs assembly before use
Made to be pulled, which makes it harder to position when it’s time to dump contents
The Gorilla Cart makes the top five for the rugged design, high weight capacity, and four-wheel structure that makes hauling any type of material safe and easy.
I really like the bucket size of this model, which can handle the general needs of most homeowners.
5. Ames 2463875 Easy Roller Poly Lawn and Garden Cart
The Ames Easy Roller Cart features a wheelbarrow design with clever use of four wheels to aid in moving heavy loads.
Lift large loads using the comfortable handle design and roll the cart on the two front wheels over grass or another terrain.
Utilize the smaller wheels set into the base to move the entire cart over flat surfaces with no lifting at all.
Keep your garden tools from getting lost by placing them in the convenient tool caddy built into the base of the handle.
The bucket capacity is broad and deep, allowing you to carry plenty of mulch, dirt, leaves, or gravel to any location.
Things we like:
- Corrosion-resistant solid poly construction
- Wider wheelbase for more stability
- Longer handle with integrated tool compartment
- Lightweight and easy to empty
Things we don’t like:
- Tires are plastic and break over time
- Deep bucket makes it hard to retrieve/lift items out
- Thin material may crack during hard use or after exposure to the elements
This Ames Easy Roller lawn cart is on the list for its combination of affordable pricing and comfortable-to-use design.
The large, flat-free tires roll smoothly over most surfaces and the bucket holds plenty of material and empties with ease.
What Type of Wheelbarrow is Best?
There are benefits as well as disadvantages associated with each type of wheelbarrow.
You need to consider not only the size and weight of the loads you’ll carry, but the distance, terrain, your physical abilities, plus storage needs to find the one that suits you best.
Plastic bucket wheelbarrows are more lightweight but may crack or bend under excessively heavy loads. Metal buckets are very durable but may rust if you store them outside without proper care.
Tight on space? Try a folding wheelbarrow. The fabric material may not hold up against rough use, but it should work fantastic for moving lighter-weight items.
Technically, a wheelbarrow with more than one wheel is a yard cart.
Two-wheel models have the look of a traditional wheelbarrow, and many go by this name.
Three and four-wheel wheelbarrows look more like a wagon and sell as a cart or buggy. The extra wheels allow for more stability and control of the cart.
Of the many types of wheelbarrows available, I believe a single-wheel, 6-cubic foot model is best for serious gardeners, while most homeowners find a two or four-wheel wheelbarrow or cart more suitable for their needs.
Do You Really Need A Wheelbarrow?
For avid gardeners, a wheelbarrow is a must-have piece of equipment. But, any homeowner will find a wheelbarrow to be an invaluable tool to move heavy or bulky items around the yard.
Transporting dirt, compost, leaves, firewood, rocks, shrubs, and more are common tasks while taking care of landscaping projects.
Collecting garden tools like shovels, rakes, and hoes and bringing them back to your shed is quick when you can move them all at once in your wheelbarrow.
Pulling weeds? Toss them into your wheelbarrow and quickly move along from planter bed to planter bed. Once you finish, roll it over and dump out the contents into your compost pile.
Quit lugging heavy bags of cement, packs of shingles for a roofing project, or loads of landscaping blocks one by one when you can use the intelligent design of a wheelbarrow to bring the items in bulk to the worksite with much less muscle strain.
For all of these reasons, it’s apparent that yes, a wheelbarrow is an all-purpose tool you really need!
Things To Watch Out For
A wheelbarrow will cause difficulty if you buy the wrong one. To avoid that mistake, watch out for the following things.
Wheelbarrows are rated by how many cubic feet the bucket holds.
A small, plastic bucket on a wheelbarrow may be all you need to clean up leaves, twigs, weeds, and other lightweight yard waste. The lightweight design makes it easier to move and store.
If you plan to use your wheelbarrow for heavy-duty garden and landscaping tasks, you’ll need a metal tub that offers a more substantial capacity.
Opt for a commercial-grade wheelbarrow that is built to withstand rough treatment like moving stones, hauling large batches of dirt, or even mixing cement.
The handle length is also essential. Short handles can inhibit your ability to walk normally, while long handles can make it harder to balance the load.
Choose the most durable and weather-resistant materials when buying a wheelbarrow.
Heavy-gauge galvanized steel is a better choice than enamel-painted metal for buckets and framing.
PVC or plastic materials should be UV and crack resistant. Wood handles should be from hardwoods that won’t split or rot.
Make sure all components fit together snugly and function smoothly.
The wheel of your barrow will make or break how easy it is to use.
I find a pneumatic (air-filled), fatter tire ideal for use over all types of terrain. While you will have to watch out for punctures or flats, these tires have better grip, allow for a bit of “bounce,” and don’t bog down as easy into loose soil.
Non-pneumatic tires are solid rubber, which will never go flat, but they don’t roll the same and seems much harder to push the load.
Try to avoid wheelbarrows that have a slender wheel as you find on a bicycle. They provide less stability, sink into the ground, and are harder to push.
Always test run any wheelbarrow that interests you, since the handling of each model can vary widely.
Don’t just push a few down the aisle. Find some heavy bags of dirt or cement and load up the wheelbarrow before testing it out. This method will give you a much better idea of how comfortable it is to use.
Test some sharp turns. See if the handles enable you to lift the tub high enough to dump the load without losing control.
Spending a few extra minutes to test the wheelbarrow in real-life situations can save you long-term frustration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it wheel barrel or barrow?
Type the word “wheelbarrel” into any search engine, and you’ll find that the word does not exist.
While regional dialects may use the words wheelbarrel to describe a one-wheel cart for hauling items, this is most likely from mishearing or mispronouncing the word wheelbarrow, and no one cares enough to correct the mistake.
Why does a wheelbarrow have one wheel?
Wheelbarrow design relies on the single front wheel to provide a central base to hold the weight of your load while you transport it.
One wheel allows you to make tight turns in small spaces since the pivot point touching the ground is minimal.
One wheel also allows you to effortlessly maneuver the wheelbarrow left or right while moving forward or backward and gives you better control when it’s time to dump out the load.
The single wheel also provides the ability to traverse skinny lanes like over a wooden plank or down garden rows.
How does a wheelbarrow make life easier?
Wheelbarrows make life easier by moving bulky, heavy, or messy loads from one location to another with a minimal amount of physical stress.
Heck, I even use mine to bring groceries from my car and take it around back to my kitchen door for quick unloading.
A wheelbarrow swiftly transports loads because it utilizes the wheel/axle and lever motions which makes it less stressful to lift and move the material.
Using a wheelbarrow with multiple wheels decreases the amount of control you need to keep the cart upright. Two or four wheels drastically reduce strain when pulling heavier loads, especially on flat surfaces.
The basic science behind the wheelbarrow’s design makes this simple garden tool a life (and back) saver!
Can you leave a wheelbarrow outside?
Wheelbarrows are large. Many homeowners hate to take up their precious garage or shed space to store it indoors.
If you plan to store your wheelbarrow outdoors, start by purchasing one made of weather-resistant materials that won’t rust or become brittle over time.
Next, are some outdoor storage tips:
1. Lean the wheelbarrow up against a fence or wall with the tray side facing the wall, so water or other debris will not collect inside.
2. Purchase brackets made to hang your wheelbarrow outdoors along a fence, shed, or garage. Keeping the wheelbarrow off the ground protects it from snow, rain, and mud.
Brackets are also safer since the wheelbarrow cannot slip or fall over if a child or pet bumps into it.
3. Protect your investment by covering the wheelbarrow when not in use. An inexpensive tarp and a few bungee cords can extend the life of your wheelbarrow drastically.
A wheelbarrow is essential to complete a wide array of household projects quickly. That’s why it’s smart to invest in a quality wheelbarrow that will last for many, many years.
I think the Gorilla Cart is an outstanding choice for durability, cargo capacity, and the flexibility the four wheels allow for overall use. If that style doesn’t fit your budget, you can’t go wrong with the affordable yet functional Garden Star wheelbarrow/garden cart.
No matter which wheelbarrow you choose, you’ll be glad you have one on hand when you need it! Improving the look of your landscaping and garden, while saving on muscle strain is always a win-win!