There is no shame in admitting that when it comes to yard work, you could use some help. After all, there is a lot of ground to cover, and it can be backbreaking work. That is where a wheelbarrow comes in. A good wheelbarrow can make light work of even the most daunting tasks, making your yard work a breeze.
This blog post is for the homeowner who wants to know what the best wheelbarrows for yard and garden work are in 2022. We’ve outlined 8 different wheelbarrows that are great for a variety of uses, from hauling rocks to moving soil around your flower beds. So whether you’re a pro landscaper or just doing some weekend gardening, read on to find the right wheelbarrow for you!
What is a Wheelbarrow?
Wheelbarrows are small hand-propelled vehicles that typically have just one wheel and two handles at the rear, which are pushed and guided by a single person using two hands. The phrase “wheelbarrow” is made up of two words: “wheel” and “barrow.” “Barrow” is derived from the Old English term “barew”, which just means any tool or device used for carrying and transporting heavy loads.
Wheelbarrows are commonly used in construction and gardening. The usual capacity is around 100 liters (3.53 cubic feet) of material.
How Does It Work?
A wheelbarrow is classified as a second-class lever, since it distributes the weight of its load between the wheel and the operator, allowing for the easier transportation of heavier and bulkier loads than if the weight were solely carried by the user.
Some wheelbarrows have a two-wheel design, which is more stable on level ground. The much more common one-wheel type has better maneuverability in confined areas, or when tilted ground would throw the load off balance, and also on planks and in water. Using one wheel also gives you greater control over how the weight is dispersed after being emptied.
Types of Wheelbarrows
There are many different types of wheelbarrows that you might see when searching for a quality one online. Your specific needs will dictate which type of wheelbarrow is best for you. Here are the most common types that you’ll see.
The traditional wheelbarrow has a single front wheel and two handles at the back, which are pushed and guided by a single person using two hands. The typical capacity is around 100 liters (3.53 cubic feet) of material.
It has two metal legs, usually steel, at the back of the unit that allows the wheelbarrow to rest on the ground while still being high enough to be picked up without the user bending all the way down. This is a good design for moving and dumping lighter to decently-heavy material, such as rolls of sod, but it can topple over when transporting really heavy loads.
Extra tip resistance is available with the inclusion of a two-wheel design on a wheelbarrow. With two wheels, you have one on either side of the tub’s front, and wheelbarrows with multiple wheels are more stable and are better suited to flat surfaces, but they require more maintenance.
These types are more difficult to pivot sharply and move in reverse than a single-wheel model, as when pushing a wheelbarrow down a winding street or doing a turn in a tight area.
Gas or electric-powered wheelbarrows have a motor that reduces the amount of effort needed to push them. They usually include more than one wheel, and electric speed controls.
Collapsible wheelbarrows have a fabric trough rather than a metal or plastic tub, making them light and simple to push. They fold up for easy storage and some models may be hung in a garage or garden shed.
You may also want to buy a four-wheeled garden cart instead of a wheelbarrow. These are especially suitable for people with restricted mobility who have problems pushing heavy carts over rough terrain. If your garden has broad paved walkways, a garden cart is ideal.
Garden carts are easier to push and maneuver throughout your yard than wheelbarrows, particularly when full, because the weight of your load is equally distributed on the four wheels. However, garden carts may be tough to maneuver in confined areas, such as around tight corners or in rows of plants, and could be difficult to turn around on the spot.
Things to Pay Attention To
Here is our buyer’s guide for wheelbarrows, including the features of each model that you should pay the most attention to, and can change which type of wheelbarrow you get based on how important a specific feature is to you.
In addition to the amount of wheels your wheelbarrow or garden cart has, the type and material of those wheels is also an important factor to consider. There are three main types of tires that are used on wheelbarrows – pneumatic tires, semi-pneumatic tires, and airless tires.
Pneumatic tires are like bicycle tires, except that an air tube is included inside to provide a cushion when transporting heavy things, making them the best choice for gardeners who have to carry their wheelbarrows up and down stairs or over bumpy terrain. They might need to be refilled with air from time to time, and they may also become flat, necessitating that they be replaced.
Semi-pneumatic tires do not go flat. They include hollow sections which enable some air pressure variation, but they will not lose any air and are unlikely to need replacement if properly used and stored. Semi-pneumatic tires are fantastic in most situations, but they can be difficult to come by.
Airless tires are constructed of a solid rubber compound. They cannot and will not become flat, and they can help you to carry substantial weights.
The majority of wheelbarrows have two straight handles, which are typically constructed of steel or hardwood and are ideal for most hauling jobs. It’s tough to push a completely loaded wheelbarrow with basic handles because you don’t have enough arm strength.
Alternatively, you can also look for bent-arm handles that are designed to allow lifting and steering with less strain. Single-arm bar handles (these would look kind of like a shopping cart) may also be used to pull a two-wheel model as well as push it. In addition, cushioned grips are available on some versions, which can help to cut down on blisters and hand tiredness.
Today’s wheelbarrows have tubs that are made of one of two materials – thick molded plastic (polyethylene) or steel. The structural frame around the tub is also usually constructed of steel. Steel tubs are more durable than polyethylene ones and can carry denser and scratchier items such as bricks and pebbles, although they cost more.
The weight of a steel frame is also greater than that of plastic, and that extra weight can make pushing a completely loaded wheelbarrow difficult. The best wheelbarrow for you should be determined by the way you intend to use it. A molded plastic tub may enough if only lightweight loads are transported, like mulch or fertilizer for your soil. Consider investing in a steel wheelbarrow if heavy things like concrete or brick structures need to be moved.
However, regardless of the material it is composed of, a wheelbarrow will ultimately break down if it is exposed to the sun, rain, and other environmental factors. Steel wheelbarrows are susceptible to rusting and fading in sunlight, and durable plastic polymers become brittle over time when exposed to sunshine. Then, if put under too much strain, that brittle plastic can snap easily.
There are foldable fabric wheelbarrow for folks with tiny gardens who may use them to transport small loads, and they readily collapse for convenient storage. Obviously, they aren’t as sturdy as metal ones, but what they lack in strength, they make up for in convenience.
The most useful wheelbarrow will not be worth much in a yard if it can’t carry much, so one of the first things to consider is the tub capacity, which is measured in cubic feet. Though tubs may contain anything from 2.5 to 10 cubic feet of volume, most gardeners require only 4 to 6 cubic feet for soil or compost moving, or to carry garden tools and supplies.
Larger tubs allow for the transportation of greater volumes, but they are generally heavier and more difficult to push, so choose a size that fits your anticipated requirements. There is one notable exception, however: If you intend to mix a bag of concrete, at least a 7-cubic-foot capacity is required to prevent the material from spilling out when you’re mixing it.
Plastic wheelbarrows with steel frames can potentially weigh only 15 pounds when empty. Comparatively, all-steel models can weigh up to 65 pounds. An empty weight of around 20 to 40 pounds is generally sufficient for most common yard chores such as hauling mulch and dirt or moving numerous paint cans.
Weight capacities differ widely depending on the type of wheelbarrow chosen, with compact folding wheelbarrows able to carry only 50 pounds of weight and electric wheelbarrows capable of lifting up to 600 pounds.
At the high-end, contractor-type and heavy-duty wheelbarrows are capable of carrying hefty loads up to 300 pounds. Some of the lighter-weight versions can only carry about 60 pounds.
Wheelbarrows can come with a variety of features that make them more maneuverable, pleasant, and convenient.
Some models have folding down dolly shelves, which allow the wheelbarrow to perform double duty for transporting boxes or, in some cases, appliances. You can add on elevated tires to better navigate rough or uneven terrain. Motorized wheelbarrows often come equipped with LED lights that help illuminate your work area.
The Top 8 Wheelbarrows Currently Available
This is a curated list of the top wheelbarrows and yard carts that we’ve found. We’ve researched them and presented them with our favorites at the top, as well as a description of each model’s benefits and what they’re intended uses are. We think anyone can find a great wheelbarrow for their yard on this list, including you!
#1. True Temper R6STSP25 Steel Wheelbarrow
- 6 cubic foot steel tray
- Steel handles
- Comfort end grips for less fatigue
The True Temper R6STSP25 Steel Wheelbarrow is a great classic design wheelbarrow that has everything you could want in your standard model. It is a single-wheel wheelbarrow that rolls on a flat-free, ribbed tread tire that never needs air or gets a puncture, so you never have to worry about repairing or replacing it.
The handles are made of steel and have comfort end grips to make them more pleasant and less fatiguing when using them. In addition to that, the entire frame is steel, so it is very durable and will last a long time. The undercarriage and the tray are very sturdy and heavy-duty, and the steel tray has a capacity of 6 cubic feet. For those looking for the perfect traditional wheelbarrow, this is it.
#2. WORX WG050 Aerocart 8-in-1 Yard Cart and Wheelbarrow
- [200 LBS = 17] The Turbo Lift design provides leverage to transport tremendous loads, making 200 lbs feel like approximately 17 lbs.
- [8 DIFFERENT CARTS IN 1] It quickly transforms from a lightweight wheelbarrow into a yard cart, bag holder, dolly, extended dolly, cylinder carrier, rock/plant mover & trailer tote
- [FLAT-FREE TIRES] Always get a smooth ride with these rugged tires that will never need inflating
The WORX WG050 Aerocart 8-in-1 Yard Cart and Wheelbarrow is the complete opposite of the True Temper traditional wheelbarrow above. This is the latest in wheelbarrow technology, and it offers 8 different configurations for every job you could do under the sun. With the Aerocart, you can transform what was a two- or three-person task into something you may accomplish on your own.
In the hand cart configuration, you just need to load it and lean back. The unique two-wheel placement allows all eight functions to be completed by moving the fulcrum, thereby shifting the center of gravity to the ideal position for each activity, allowing for optimum balance while minimizing effort. It has a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds, and it has no flat tires that won’t get harmed while working. It can fold up flat and be stored in tight places in your garage, as well.
#3. Gorilla Carts 7GCG-NF Heavy-Duty Garden Cart
- 13-Inch No-Flat Tires are maintenance-free and can handle even the toughest terrain, ensuring you'll never have to put air in the tires again
- Exclusive all-new dump design allows for full, easy unloading
- 40" x 27" x 11" durable heavy-duty poly bed that is easy to clean and wont rust
The Gorilla Carts 7GCG-NF Heavy-Duty Garden Cart is again, a different tool altogether than a traditional wheelbarrow, but in no time you’ll never want to use a standard model again. This garden cart has four wheels, and every wheel is a 13-inch no-flat tire that is maintenance-free and can handle even rough and uneven terrain, meaning you’ll never have to repair or replace your tires again.
The brand-new dump design that is innovative to Gorilla Carts allows for full and easy unloading of any materials being transported, and they gave it a new and improved frame design for greater strength and convenient assembly.
The heavy-duty poly bed, at 40″ x 27″ x 11″, is durable and easy to clean, and can carry and transport up to 1,200 pounds of garden equipment and materials.
#4. Best Choice Products Dual Wheel Wheelbarrow
- MULTIPURPOSE GARDEN CART: Deep wheelbarrow holds up to 5 cubic feet of soil, bricks, mulch, gravel, and more, so you can conveniently carry out landscaping and other home improvement projects
- 2-WHEEL DESIGN: Built with inflatable, 13-inch rubber wheels for a sturdy build that makes it easy to steer the cart on various terrains
- VERSATILE HANDLEBAR: Thick, padded handlebar doubles as a stand for idle use and makes moving the wheelbarrow easy and comfortable
The Best Choice Products Dual Wheel Wheelbarrow is a great budget-friendly option for a wheelbarrow. The wheelbarrow is constructed of a sturdy plastic bin and steel frame. It can carry up to 330 pounds of bricks, gravel, soil, mulch, and other landscaping materials.
While the tires are inflatable rather than flat-free, they’re quite sturdy and versatile. The soft padded handlebar makes for comfort while cycling, and it also doubles as a stand when not in use. The small, squat design makes for simple loading and dumping.
The traditional wheelbarrow-shaped bed would also be simple to mix up a batch of concrete or home-made potting soil. The foam-cushioned grip made working more pleasant and less hazardous. Overall this cart is more versatile and capable than it might appear at first glance or by checking the price tag.
#5. Makita XUC01PTX1 Brushless Power-Assisted Wheelbarrow
- Up to 100 minutes of run time with two 18V LXT 5.0Ah batteries
- Powered by (1) 18V LXT battery with the option to insert (1) additional battery for extended run time
- Makita-built BL Brushless Motor for optimal performance
The Makita XUC01PTX1 Brushless Power-Assisted Wheelbarrow is perhaps the most technologically advanced wheelbarrow on this list, and the only electric-powered model.
It can go anywhere you need it to go and do anything you need it to do. On dry and slightly sloping ground, the electric motor pulled full loads of mulch and concrete blocks at a steady walk speed without hesitation. Sand, gravel, and branches were no obstacles, and you may travel up to 2.5 miles per hour on a hill with it.
It has up to 45 minutes of power-assisted movement on a full charge and is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The brushed motor, on the other hand, gives superior performance and fuel efficiency. It also has a water-resistant finish that can handle any bad weather or gardening mishaps.
#6. Rubbermaid Commercial Products FG564200BLA Plastic Yard Cart
- Smooth, high-density polyethylene construction is easy to dump
- Pneumatic flat-free wheels for maneuverability, 5-spoke 20-inch wheels
- Ergonomic handles reduce strain
Next on our list is the Rubbermaid Commercial Products FG564200BLA Plastic Yard Cart. It can hold up to 7.5 cubic feet of capacity, and it has flat-free pneumatic wheels with 5-spoke, 20-inch tires that allow for great maneuverability. The ergonomic handles reduce strain on your wrists and back, and it can carry up to 300 pounds.
The high, sloped tub shape of the Rubbermaid is perfect for dumping. This would make a fantastic option for anybody who carries lots of loose materials, such as compost, mulch, weeds, or twigs. It’d also be fantastic for combining a batch of potting soil or concrete due to the smooth tub base and sloping ends.
#7. Gorilla Carts GCR-4 Poly Yard Cart
- 30 in. x 24 in. impact-resistant poly bed is built to handle the toughest jobs and working conditions
- 10 in. pneumatic tires to easily roll over any terrain
- Unique push or pull design for easy movement and maneuverability with a low center of gravity for great stability
The Gorilla Carts GCR-4 Poly Yard Cart is a highly-rated and reviewed two-wheel yard cart that has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and a storage capacity of 30 inches by 24 inches. Made of a sturdy poly bed with an impact-resistant design and a low center of gravity for superior balance and maneuverability, this cart is ideal for both amateur and professional gardeners.
The 10 in. pneumatic tires allow for easy movement over uneven or tricky terrain, and the unique push or pull design allows for simple transportation even when carrying a heavy load of materials. The handle folds right down for easier storage and assembly, and setup takes only minutes – so you can get right to work on your next project.
#8. Allsop Home and Garden WheelEasy Folding Wheelbarrow
- Folding yard cart ideal for yard work ranging from collecting weeds to spreading bark, moving gravel or rocks, or even pruning
- Collapses for easy, ground-level loading; allows the user to rake, shovel, or slide material into the canvas barrel
- Fabric canvas surface is made from vinyl-coated denier nylon
The Allsop Home and Garden WheelEasy Folding Wheelbarrow is probably the most convenient and easy to store and transport wheelbarrow on this list. This foldable garden cart-wheelbarrow combination can handle a whopping 350 pounds of weight.
It’s exceptionally lightweight yet sturdy enough for substantial usage thanks to its vinyl-coated nylon carriage, powder-coated steel frame, and dependable rubber wheel. It also has a collapse-able design that means this is the lightest model on our list at less than 15 pounds, and makes storage and transportation a breeze.
It collapses to the ground for easy loading directly from ground level; simply rake, shovel, or slide any material you need directly onto the vinyl bed.
A wheelbarrow is a great tool to have around the house and garden. It’s versatile, easy to use, and can make yard work much easier. We’ve looked at eight of the best models to use in your yard and garden in 2022, as well as highlighted some of the things you need to pay attention to when making your purchase.
So, which wheelbarrow is the best fit for you? It really depends on your needs. If you have a large yard and do a lot of gardening work, then you’ll want one with a high weight capacity and big wheels. If you’re looking for something lightweight that can be easily transported, then a collapsible model would be perfect. And while our #1 favorite classic wheelbarrow is the True Temper R6STSP25 Steel Wheelbarrow, any and all of these wheelbarrows are of the highest quality and would be useful for your lawn work.
No matter what type of wheelbarrow you choose, make sure to pay attention to the details – especially the wheels, tub material, and handles – so that you can get the most out of your purchase. Thanks for reading, and good luck with your yard work!