Are you planning on starting a backyard garden this year? Some wildflowers, fruits such as strawberries and blueberries, or some tomatoes sound nice, don’t you think? Maybe you’ve decided to tackle your own landscaping feat this spring instead of calling on a local company to do it for you. How hard can adding some fresh dirt or stones to the beds really be? Well, it’s not too hard if you have what you need to get the job done right. And a wheelbarrow is an absolute must, so if you don’t have one yet, it’s time to make the purchase.
Wheelbarrows are one of the most simplistic yet helpful outdoor tools. There’s a lot of toting to, and fro that goes into both setting up a veggie bed or re-mulching the front spaces. Basically, there’s absolutely nothing about a wheelbarrow that isn’t essential for your yard work needs. Durable, sturdy, and stable are just some of the traits you’ll want to look for in a design. In fact, there’s a bit more involvement than you may think that goes into shopping for the best of the best. No need to worry though, we’ve already done it for you. Check out 6 of the best wheelbarrows for gardening and making yard work at home so much more efficient.
What is a wheelbarrow?
You’re right. Before we dive into the best barrows to buy, let’s talk about what a wheelbarrow actually is first.
A wheelbarrow is a type of carting tool used to carry larger loads of materials used for gardening, landscaping, and construction purposes. Traditionally, designs include just one front wheel with handles for single-person guiding, but there are now different variations available depending on one’s needs, including those multiple wheels. It may be used to carry trash and debris, weeds, dirt, topsoil, mulch, stones, other tools; honestly, the possibilities here are endless, and having a wheelbarrow nearby during your outdoor work really makes your days much more efficient.
Why do I need a wheelbarrow?
As we mentioned above, having a wheelbarrow on hand throughout your backyard escapades makes your efforts much more efficient. It doesn’t matter if you’re working with a quarter acre of land within your neighborhood home or six acres in the rolling countryside, if you’re landscaping or planting your greens, this is one of the first purchases you’ll want to make to start yourself off on the right foot.
Having a wheelbarrow makes every action go quicker – with less pressure on your own body. They’re used to carry large loads of material that would put our back and knees to the test. With this pan and wheel combination, that stress goes to the wayside. Your trips to the shed and back to the flowerbed will go by without extra trips or a crick in the neck. More ways to utilize your wheelbarrow:
- Move loads of dirt, mulch, topsoil, stones, wood chips, etc.
- Turn it into an ice bucket for your outdoor BBQs
- Make feeding time for farm animals a bit easier to manage
- Barn clean-up and hay dispersal
- Fall leaf clean-up in the yard
- Waste/garbage removal from any site
- Wheelbarrow races with the neighbors
- An easy place to bathe the family dog
What is the best wheelbarrow?
We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. After analyzing dozens of wheelbarrows and the needs of consumers when buying one, we concluded these to be the best ones you could go with. Read on and make an informed decision.
The Aerocart may just be one of the chicest in all wheelbarrow designs. But, the real benefit is all its possible functions – which includes 8 possible configurations. This piece is your wheelbarrow, your dolly, your bag holder, and more! Being able to include so many functions within one design makes the purchase so much easier to make.
It includes a “turbo life” leverage helping to lift up to 300 lbs. of material (whether you’re moving or creating an entirely new landscape for your yard this spring) and non-pneumatic tires that won’t ever go flat. Furthermore, it easily and quickly transforms from a wheelbarrow to yard cart, to dolly, or any of the other modes that are available.View price on Amazon
- 8 possible configurations including Wheelbarrow, Hand Truck/Dolly, Extended Dolly, Bag Holder, Cylinder Holder, Rock and Plant Mover, and Trailer Mover.
- easy conversion between modes
- less than 5 minutes needed to assemble, and no tools
- lifts up to 300 lbs. while in wheelbarrow mode
- higher price point
- may be smaller than expected
Check out the Ames Companies’ Jackson Blue wheelbarrow, perfect for both homeowners and contractors. Known for its superior quality and function, this design features heavy-duty steel trays, undercarriage, and strong wood handles. The mainframe has a 6-cubic foot capacity and includes leg-stabilizers making journeys around the yard tip-resistant.
According to reviewers, assembly of the wheelbarrow is simple and easy, with only minimal use of hand tools needed to complete the task. What’s even better about this particular design is that you can buy replacement handles separately. Authentic wooden handles come with the knowledge that they may rot or wear over time, with that in mind, the ability to purchase and install new pieces is a nice addition.View price on Amazon
- heavy duty steel construction
- quick, no-hassle shipping
- simple,easy assembly
- wooden handles may show wear over time
The Ames Companies also offers the “True Temper” Wheelbarrow that features non-pneumatic tires and a 6-cubic foot capacity. Different from the Jackson design mentioned above, the True Temper provides users with steel handles that include comfort grips.
Similar to its sister designs, the wheelbarrow is easy to assemble with minimal need for hand tools to get the job done. Finally, pay attention to this wheelbarrow’s name. “True Temper” was created as a promise to its customers – the truth of this design comes in the form of long-lasting balance and durability over a lifetime of function. For those that want a more traditional design, but without the worry of weather wear, stick with an all-metal construction such as this.View price on Amazon
- non-pneumatic (never flat) tires
- simple, easy assembly
- long-lasting durability
- possible shipment issues (delay, missing hardware)
For those looking for simplicity and easy function, then the Marathon Dual-Wheel Wheelbarrow will fit your needs just right. This particular design comes in a variety of colors: pink, green, and red. It also features two pneumatic tires that provide stability and traction throughout all of your daily jobs.
Instead of a two-handle, traditional design, this wheelbarrow featured a loop making it a more comfortable push and an easier dump for any and all users. One of the most interesting qualities is the fact that this particular design weights approximately 25% less than other models but still holds the ability to hold up to 300 lbs. The tray is also rust-proof, so no worries about eyesores anytime soon.View price on Amazon
- comfortable, looped handle design
- lightweight and easy to maneuver
- variety of color options
- shorter design/lower to the ground
- not recommended for commercial projects
The Simplay3 Easy Haul Wheelbarrow is a heavy-duty, plastic wheelbarrow that is a gardener’s perfect accompaniment. It pivots and rolls easily with its treaded wheels and provides an extra-deep tray for easy transpiration of topsoil and plants/flowers loading and unloading. There’s even a bonus storage section to keep gardener tools and more on hand.
Even though this wheelbarrow is made of plastic, it’s constructed using a double-wall resin that is made to withstand the elements as not to break or dent over time. The design also features easy-grip handles and an easy-title design that makes it easy for maneuvering in and around the yard. Oh, and don’t worry about pumping the tires, as these are made from rotationally molded plastic and won’t ever go flat!View price on Amazon
- extra storage compartment for tools
- comfort-grip handles
- constructed of double-wall resin
- shorter design/lower to the ground
- not recommended for commercial projects
Getting the kiddos involved in the yard work isn’t only helpful to you, but it’s great for the kiddos. Some vitamin C and a bit of manual labor are good for the body! And with this John Deer Steel Wheelbarrow they’ll have no excuse but to lend a hand. This design was made for the kids, but it’s just as functional as a full-size wheelbarrow.
John Deere products have made a name for themselves throughout the years, including their durability, which this steel construction holds true. The handles feature comfort grips for easy handling from little hands as well as free-rolling wheels. Keep in mind that this design really is comparable to its full-size counterpart and will be a lifelong addition to your home tools.View price on Amazon
- built for ages 2-years and up
- budget-friendly price point
- vinyl, comfort grips included
- confusion between kid-size & full-size design
The Different Types of Wheelbarrows To Choose From
It may surprise you a bit, but there are several different types of wheelbarrows to choose from, as well as different types of wheels that you’ll want to consider. Let’s dive in:
Wooden wheelbarrows are really popular and one of the more traditional options. Usually, the bed is made of plastic or metal, but the handles are made of solid wood pieces. Although there is the possibility of these handles breaking (or splintering), users prefer wooden handles to metal because they don’t get hot in the sun! There are options for all wood wheelbarrows, which are usually only used as decor options on the patio or as a planter for some fresh florals.
A metal wheelbarrow is one of the more sturdy options, especially when it comes to the handles. If you know that you’ll be toting some heavier materials, think about going with a metal option that’s less liking to bed and break than a plastic option. Although metal will cost a bit more, it’s worth the durability in the long run — just keep in mind that these wheelbarrows are a bit heavier and harder to maneuver.
Peg Rest Wheelbarrow
Usually, these wheelbarrows will settle on two peg rests and a single wheel when not in use. They come in both wooden and stainless steel mixed-material designs as well as full metal designs. The pegs give an extra punch of durability and stability when you’re working in and around the yard.
Plastic wheelbarrows are easy to maneuver, lighter on the wallet, and versatile to your needs! This is your go-to purchase for those that need a wheelbarrow to complete everyday gardening or landscaping tasks. Larger jobs that include heavier (and more) materials will want something a bit more durable, and that won’t bend or crack.
Canvas or tarp wheelbarrows are great for travel! If you are moving or need to do a job at a friend’s house, these fold up like a stroller. These are also a great option for those that don’t have as much storage space — but they still get the job done. They’re most comparable to plastic wheelbarrows as they are just as light and easy to maneuver and handle your everyday needs nicely.
Pneumatic vs. Non-Pneumatic:
You can find wheelbarrows with either pneumatic (with air) or non-pneumatic (flat-free) tires. If you purchase a design with pneumatic tires, then you’ll have a lot more control over the direction your wheelbarrow goes. These tires are filled with air, so, similar to a bike or car, you’ll be able to navigate the ride a lot easier, especially if you’re gliding on uneven surfaces. For those that go with non-pneumatic tires, you won’t get the benefit of that same shock absorption, but you won’t have to worry about filling them with air or dealing with a flat.
One vs. Two:
Once you decide what type of tires you want, you’ll want to decide just how many you think you’ll need. Traditional barrows hold a spot for one front and center, but some designs will include two. Why? Two tires give a bit more stability and mobility for jobs that require heavier materials and longer treks.
In conclusion, just like with any other tool, you must know what your unique needs are before you buy. Depending on those needs and what you’ll be doing out in the garden makes the biggest difference in terms of shopping around for your best wheelbarrow fit (or garden cart!).