If you’re always working outdoors, you’re definitely no stranger to carting heavy loads. Whether it’s moving compost to your garden or transporting bags of cement to a construction site, there’s no shortage of tasks that require hauling.
Trugs, buckets and other containers may be fine for carrying smaller loads, but why break your back when you could easily wheel everything? At the top of this pile lies the simple, versatile wheelbarrow suitable for both small and large loads. But even with barrows, there’s no such thing as one size fits all. You have to take a few factors into consideration if you want the best one for the job.
Key Features and Considerations When Buying a Wheelbarrow
i. Size and Weight
Although everyone ideally wants a wheelbarrow with a large capacity for big loads, you need to consider its intended purpose. For instance, people with smaller gardens and lighter tasks will feel more at home with a small, lightweight barrow. But if you do go for a heavier and bigger wheelbarrow, make sure you can use it comfortably.
Wheelbarrows come in two main types when it comes to construction material – plastic and metal. Plastic barrows are obviously cheaper and lighter, but they are also less durable than their steel counterparts. Metal wheelbarrows are stronger and sturdier than plastic which makes them more durable. However, they are heavier and could rust if left out in the elements.
Your choice of material should be influenced by the intended purpose as well. For example, gardeners that just need something to haul compost and organic waste will be well suited by a large capacity plastic wheelbarrow. But for heavier tasks such as carting stones and building materials, you’ll want a rigid steel chassis for that.
Pneumatic tyres are air filled allowing them to act as shock absorbents on your wheelbarrow. However, this added comfort comes with the risk of getting a flat. Non pneumatic tyres on the other hand are made of solid rubber. This means that although they are more durable, you won’t have such a smooth ride.
The Best Wheelbarrow Reviews
1. County Cruiser Big Brother Wheelbarrow
Combining style with additional space and total reliability, the County Cruiser Wheelbarrow is the big brother to the award winning Clipper barrow. If you’re looking for a reliable garden workhorse, the cruiser is more than ideal for landscaping and equestrian jobs. The Cruiser keeps all the great aspects of its smaller Clipper version with even more outstanding features.
This particular model is made from lightweight easy to clean injection moulded polypropene that’s been UV stabilised. This means it won’t go brittle, corrode, fade or distort as time goes by. The Cruiser has a substantially deeper tray with a capacity of 120 litres. However, the frame is well balanced for easy rolling of heavy loads. The larger wheel is rugged thanks to a 4 ply block pattern which tackles gravel and steps with ease.
What I like about it:
- Deep tray 120l capacity
- UV stabilized frame
- Integrated tipping bar for full offloading control
2. Marco Tools Large Hopper Wheelbarrow
Designed for residential use, the large hopper wheelbarrow is the ideal model if you’ve got hours of yardwork ahead of you. It’s highly lightweight nature and additional support have made it a favourite among DIYers. Thanks to the two wheels attached, this model is easier to lift than its one wheeled counterpart.
The wheelbarrow from Marco includes a rust resistant hopper with capacity of 80L and a weight limit of 150KG. But while the tray may be strong and durable enough, we’d recommend sticking to lighter loads such as compost or mulch. Heavier loads such as rocks, tile and large logs are not advisable. The pneumatic tyres do however offer a lot of comfort and reduced vibration while rolling.
What I like about it:
- Uniformly distributed 150Kg capacity
- Cushioning on handles to prevent blisters
- Two pneumatic inflatable tyres
3. Oypla Heavy Duty Plastic Wheelbarrow
Tired of having to do a task three times because your standard wheelbarrow keeps tipping over? Well, it’s time to get something virtually tip-proof. The heavy duty, two wheeled barrow from Oypla is incredibly stable courtesy of the heavy duty steel frames which extend from the two wheels all the way to the handlebar.
Much like the previous model from Marco, this one also comes with a 70l hopper that can carry a weight of upto 150Kg. To help cart these loads, Oypla incorporated two pneumatic wheels which are not only safer to use, but also easier to move on uneven ground. The support bars join upwards into a handle bar with a soft, padded grip for more working comfort.
What I like about it:
- Stable tip proof design
- Strong plastic hopper with 70L capacity
- Two inflatable tyres offer a smooth ride
4. VonHaus 75L Garden Tipping Cart
Looking for a wheelbarrow with a difference? If you’re looking for a safer, more convenient alternative to the standard barrow, you’ll love the VonHaus 75L Garden Tipping Cart. This handy, 4 wheeled assistant comes with a 75L capacity and is engineered to carry 250Kg. However, the tipping mechanism only works for loads less than 180Kg. All you need to do is pull the handle outwards to release the tub.
And speaking of the tub, it’s got to be incredibly tough to hold all that weight. VonHaus incorporated a strong, plastic tub supported by a sturdy steel frame. It’s powder coated to give it extra strength and prevent rust. What makes this tipping cart unique is the pull/push handle bar that allows for front steering. This translates into effortless pulling and manoeuvring through corners. At the bottom are four large 10 inch pneumatic wheels that spread the weight evenly.
What I like about it:
- Smooth action quick release tipping mechanism
- Soft touch pull handle with directional steering
- Four 10” pneumatic wheels
5. WheelBarrow Direct 200L Wheelbarrow
If you need to haul almost 300Kg of something, that can definitely be a problem. Not only do you need the physical strength to carry it, you also need a wheelbarrow built for the job. The 200l monster from WheelBarrow Direct is an extremely durable, well designed model sturdy enough for any outdoor task.
The robust 200L tub is supported by a tough, tubular frame with nylon locking nuts. This allows it to carry upto 265 Kg. The deep tray is more than adept for bulky garden loads such as hay, mulch or compost. This model has overly large wheels complete with puncture proof tyres. Overall, the frame design delivers a very well balanced and easy to roll barrow.
What I like about it:
- High quality construction with balanced engineering
- Robust reinforced 200l tub
- Massive puncture proof tyres
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can you replace wheelbarrow wheel?
Are wheelbarrow wheels universal? Wheelbarrow wheels are NOT all created equal, so you can’t just put any new wheel onto your existing wheelbarrow, but they can be easily replaced. Any manufacturer’s website should stock replacement wheels for your particular wheelbarrow model.
Q: What can wheelbarrow be used for?
Wheelbarrows are incredibly useful for transporting heavy loads, or things that are hard to carry in your arms, like hedge cuttings.
You can use a wheelbarrow as way of carting weeds, twigs and stones that you turn out of the soil after winter; as a rolling garden bench for planting young seedlings; and they are great and carrying your full grown vegetables during the harvest.
Wheelbarrows are very useful for compost, transporting tools, or general garden debris, and they will really save your back as they are easy to manoeuvre.
Also if you have children, they usually love being wheeled about in a wheelbarrow (but be warned, once you start doing this it will be hard to get them to stop!)
Q: Can you leave wheelbarrow outside?
A plastic wheelbarrow is a better bet for leaving outside, whereas a metal one will eventually rust. However, unless you have no choice, it is always best to store your wheelbarrows inside a shed or garage to keep the worst of the weather off them.
The sun can fade a plastic wheelbarrow, and you may find that the metal components of the wheel may rust. Store them inside wherever you can, and if there is no option to do this then you can cover them wit a tarpaulin or other waterproof cover.
Q: How many wheelbarrow loads in a cubic meter?
Wheelbarrows vary in size, so the number of loads in a cubic meter will vary from barrow to barrow. An average wheelbarrow has a tray which is around 80 litres or 100 litres; for the smaller 80 litre barrow there would be 12.5 full loads, and for the 100 litres it would be 10 full loads. This assumes that the barrows are level loaded, not over or under.