Wheelbarrows: A Short Introduction

Although the wheelbarrow is one of humankind’s oldest inventions, believe it or not, it has continued to develop as the years have gone by. Sure, we’re talking refinements these days, but the advent of flat-free tires and rust-proof trays have been helpful improvements. And every now and then, major leaps in the design are taken, as is true in the case of the Worx Aerocart.

In this review, we’ll take a lot at our top picks of wheelbarrows on the market right now. We’ve taken care to find something for every type of buyer – as my grandma’s gardening needs are not the same as a construction worker’s. We’ll break things down and discuss which features you should be looking for in any barrow you buy.

Enough discussion – let’s get right into it.

What To Consider When Buying A Wheelbarrow

Wheelbarrows are designed for many different types of buyers. If you’re a construction worker, your needs are likely to be quite different from those of a residential gardener. In this section, we’ll take a deep dive into the main features you should consider when looking to purchase the right wheelbarrow for your needs.


The “standard” capacity of a wheelbarrow is around 6 cubic feet – which is a great size for most applications. Bigger isn’t necessarily better, as larger wheelbarrows will be hard to maneuver in small spaces, and can be much heavier to lift.

Generally, we recommend the high capacity wheelbarrows for moving large volume things like weeds or dead leaves. If you’re looking to move large and heavy things, then you need to look for a heavy gauge wheelbarrow with high capacity as well.

For older, younger, or generally less strong people, we recommend you look to use a lower capacity wheelbarrow so you don’t give yourself back problems.

Handle Height

Handle height is hugely important to how comfortable a wheelbarrow will be to use. If the handle is too high, you won’t be able to walk around with straight arms. This will mean you have to keep your arms bent, which will hurt your muscles and prevent you from carrying heavier loads.

If the wheelbarrow handle is too low, you’ll have to bend down a long way to reach it. That means you could hurt your back, particularly if you’re carrying heavy loads.

We recommend using a tape measure to check how a wheelbarrow sizes up to your body. Check where the handle will fall when you have your arms straight by your sides, by measuring up from the ground. Choosing a comfortable size will make life much better in the long run.


Believe it or not, there are actually quite a few types of wheelbarrows around these days. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular, as well as the pros and cons of each.

Obviously, you have the standard single-wheeled design. This approach is very maneuverable, and you can tip it accurately when you want to unload it. A nice variation on this design is the E-Z pour from Temper Tree. This features a funnel on the end of the tray for extra-accurate unloading.

Two-wheeled designs are becoming increasingly popular too. This approach works well with larger loads, and they are much less prone to tipping over on the unstable ground. That makes them much more popular for transporting awkward and unbalanced loads which would tip over a regular wheelbarrow. This design also allows for a larger capacity tray too.

The final approach you’ll commonly see is the four-wheeled cart design. These work exceptionally well for heavy loads, as the weight of the cargo is fully supported by the wheels. That makes them very popular with older folks and people with back issues, as it significantly reduces the strain on their bodies.

Materials & Durability

There are quite a few parts that go into a wheelbarrow, so let’s take a look at some of the common things to consider.

Generally, powder-coated steel will offer a reasonable level or rust protection for the chassis, so you should always look for a good quality finish. Some brands will use a power-coated tray too, which works well when a high-quality treatment is used.

If you transport a lot of damp or wet materials, such as loose autumn leaves, we suggest looking at a polymer tray that has no chance of corroding. These work particularly well with concrete, sand, and even water.


There are two main types of tires, pneumatic and solid flat-resistant tires. Both work well, but they are aimed at slightly different use cases.

Flat-resistant tires are obviously low maintenance and are made from a solid hard-wearing rubber compound. You can roll happily over sharp stones, rocks, and even nails without the fear of damage. This makes them very well suited to construction sites.

Although convenient, flat-free tires don’t offer as much cushioning as a traditional pneumatic tire. This means the contents of the wheelbarrow can bounce out of it as you roll over bumps. In addition, solid tires can mark wet lawns, leaving grooves that take a long time to repair. In a gardening setting, we highly recommend inflatable tires, and ideally high-volume varieties.

Best Overall

1. True Temper 6 Cu. Ft. Wheelbarrow

Stand Out Features

⤍ 6 cu. Ft. Capacity

⤍ Flat Free Tire

⤍ Sturdy Steel Handles & Bin

⤍ Heavy Duty Chassis

⤍ Great Value

Our Rating

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Our Take

When it comes to a great quality sturdy wheelbarrow at a reasonable price, then the True Temper 6 cubic footer is an excellent choice. This size category is what we would call a “standard” sized wheelbarrow.

This model comes equipped with all the quality features we like to see on a good wheelbarrow, at a reasonable price. It’s not the cheapest out there, but you’re getting a barrow that should stand the test of time. Equipped with durable steel handles and a steel powder-coated bin, this barrow can cope with heavy loads.

It comes fitted with a flat free tire, which is a favorite with the Workshopedia team. These might not be to everyone’s taste – as they can mark lawns – but work very well on construction sites and hard-packed surfaces.

All in all, this is a solid, dependable wheelbarrow at a very reasonable price. At that kind of value, you really can’t go too far wrong.

Best Performance

2. Worx Aerocart

Stand Out Features

⤍ Stable Two Wheel Design

⤍ Moveable Pivot Lightens Loads

⤍ Converts into Dolly

⤍ Durable Steel Construction

⤍ Flat-free Tyres

Our Rating

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Our Take

You might think innovation hasn’t hit the wheelbarrow in a few hundred years, but when it comes to the Worx Aerocart, you’d be wrong. Worx set out to completely reimagine what a wheelbarrow could be, and in the process dealt with many of the inherent issues.

First up is the stability, which Worx have addressed with the two-wheel configuration. That’s actually not uncommon as you’ll see, but the real innovation comes in the pivots around the wheel axle. These pivots work to move the lever point of the barrow, and make heavier loads lighter for the end user.

Furthermore, the Aerocart transitions into an incredibly useful dolly mode, allowing you to maneuver heavy solid loads like fridges and beer kegs. And because of the dolly configuration, you don’t have to bend over to pick them up.

All in all, if you’re looking for a real step up from a regular wheelbarrow, the Aerocart is for you. Particularly for older people, we think this clever device can make it much easier to move heavy loads unaided. Buyers seem to agree, with thousands of glowing reviews online.

Best Value

3. Westward 6 Cu. Ft. Steel Wheelbarrow

Stand Out Features

⤍ 6 cu. Ft. Capacity

⤍ Pneumatic Tyre Smooths Ride

⤍ Durable and well-rated

⤍ Steel tray

⤍ Versatile 

Our Rating

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Our Take

Westward are an Amazon best-seller. They have recently expanded their garden offering, including this standard sized 6 cu. Ft. wheelbarrow.

This barrow comes equipped with a pneumatic tire, which we tend to prefer for lawn and gardening applications where punctures are less common. The added benefit of the pneumatic tire is they are less prone to marking your lawn and grooving he grass in damp conditions.

Construction is standard alloy steel throughout, with a steel tray. This barrow is dependable and durable. Priced at the lower end of barrows in this review, we have picked it as our best value option. It might not have the swagger of a heritage brand, but it’ll get the job done without breaking the bank.

4. Jackson 6 Cu. Ft. Heavy Gauge Seamless Steel Wheelbarrow

Stand Out Features

⤍ Highly Respected Brand

⤍ Hardwood Handles

⤍ Flat Free Tyre

⤍ Durable, Long Lasting Construction

⤍ 6 cu. Ft. Capacity

Our Rating

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Our Take

With 140 years of experience under their belts, Jackson can truly claim to know what they are doing when it comes to wheelbarrows. Although it’s not dripping in innovative features, Jackson go for a level of simple durability that has made them the choice of industry professionals.

This 6 cubic foot wheelbarrow features a heavy gauge steel tray, which makes it ideal for heavy loads. Jackson have also made the tray entirely seamless, which makes for easier cleaning and emptying. If you’ve ever caught a spade or shovel on the seam of a barrow, you’ll know what we mean!

A durable a solid chassis is paired with Jacksons classic hardwood handles, which give the wheelbarrow a classy look. Don’t be fooled though, these handles help to absorb bumps and smooth out the ride. Finally, it comes equipped with a flat-free tire for low maintenance.

If you’re looking for a barrow that could outlast you, then the Jackson should be your #1 choice.

5. True Temper 6 Cu. Ft. Total Control Wheelbarrow

Stand Out Features

⤍ Total control design

⤍ Steel handles

⤍ Strong steel bin 

⤍ Single wheel

⤍ Pneumatic tire

Our Rating

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Our Take

Another innovative design, the True Temper True Control 6 cubic feet is a clever solid choice for many different uses.

Primarily aimed at those who frequently pour out the contents of their barrow, this design is actually very well suited to normal use. The total control design makes pouring easy and mess-free. With a good quality reinforced undercarriage and a pneumatic tire, this wheelbarrow is actually very well suited to garden use.

That said, where it really comes into its own is in loading and unloading jobs. Whether you are moving sand, mulch, or soil, this wheelbarrow offers new levels of pouring accuracy. That might sound like an overstatement – but when it comes to the cleanup time you save, it’s a real benefit.

True Temper really went all-in with the specifications of this wheelbarrow. It has steel handles and tray, making it strong and durable. The total control grips provide great maneuverability. 

All in all, this is a great quality barrow. While it might not be suitable for all buyers, we think it’s a very strong option in a large number of scenarios.

6. Marathon Dual-Wheel Residential Yard Rover

Stand Out Features

⤍ Stable Two Wheel Design

⤍ Exceptionally Lightweight For Its Size

⤍ 300 lb. Load Capacity

⤍ 5 cu. Ft. Volume Capacity

⤍ Rust-resistant Tray

Our Rating

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Our Take

When it comes to mulch moving, we’re huge fans of two-wheeled high capacity wheelbarrows. There are lots of them around, but Marathon’s offering is a clear stand out in the category.

The Residential Yard Rover has an extremely high load capacity for a barrow of this type, and yet it’s the lightest, by a long way. That means that when you load up that 5 cubic foot tray, you can be sure you’re carrying more of what you’re moving and less barrow with you.

As you’d expect on a modern wheelbarrow design like this, Marathon has equipped the Yard Rover with a rust-resistant polymer tray, which makes it well suited to damp (or even liquid) loads. The water in leaves and other garden material doesn’t seem like an issue at the time, but in the long run, it can cause rusting in your wheelbarrow.

The stable two-wheeled design is also worth a brief mention, as it adds considerably to the overall stability of the wheelbarrow. In addition, because the load is spread out over two wheels, you are less likely to mark your lawn.

All things considered, this is a great choice for older any younger folks who will appreciate the lightweight design. While that might not bring the durability of a heavier product, it’ll mean they can get on with the job in hand.

7. Kobalt 6-Cu Ft Steel Wheelbarrow

Stand Out Features

⤍ Designed For Professionals

⤍ Flat Free Tire

⤍ 6 cu. Capacity

⤍ Heavy Gauge Tray

⤍ Heavy Duty Undercarriage

Our Rating

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Our Take

When it comes to heavyweight moving, this is another dependable performer, at a lower pricepoint than the Jackson. Sure, it might not have the same level of heritage and durability, but it comes in at quite a saving.

Kobalt equipped this barrow with a heavy-gauge steel tray, and heavy-duty undercarriage for moving big loads. All that means it’s not the lightest barrow out there, but for construction professionals it’s a great choice for moving blocks and other material around the site.

Kobalt kept that in mind when fitting a flat-free tire, which means you can run over nails and sharp rocks without a problem. All in all, this is a solid quality barrow at a reasonable price. For those looking for a sturdy performer at a reasonable price – this is a good selection.

8. Kobalt 7-Cu Ft Steel Wheelbarrow

Stand Out Features

⤍ Great For Mulch

⤍ Stable Design

⤍ Flat Free Tires

⤍ Heavy Duty Tray

⤍ Great For Large Loads

Our Rating

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Our Take

Another offering from Kobalt, but this time in a two-wheeled variety. Unlike most wheelbarrows aimed at the mulching buyer, this machine is designed to carry a load. Paired with the high-capacity 7 cubic foot tray, this wheelbarrow has one of the biggest load-bearing capacities on the test.

Fitting with flat-free tires like it’s single-wheeled counterpart, this barrow fits in nicely with the heavy moving crew rather than the gardeners. They will appreciate the high load volume and capacity, sturdy construction, and stable design.

9. Gorilla Karts GOR4PS

Stand Out Features

⤍ Huge 600lbs Capacity

⤍ 4 Wheel Design

⤍ Easier to Pull Than Traditional Barrow

⤍ Pneumatic Tires

⤍ Rust-proof Bed

Our Rating

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Our Take

We’ve included something a little different with the Gorilla Karts GOR4PS – mostly because it’s so popular. This is more of a four wheeled cart – a design which brings better stability and less strain on the uses back.

For older or less physically capable owners, this design is a gamechanger. Whether it’s moving things around the yard or even going to the local store, this machine can make life much easier. We won’t lie, the kids also love to play in it too!

From a technical perspective, the Gorilla Karts GOR4PS is well thought out – featuring a sturdy polymer bed and pneumatic tires for a smooth ride. The 4 wheeled setup also permits much heavier loads – up to 600lbs – which is the heaviest in the review.

While this design might not be for everyone, buyers are increasingly flocking to it for the ease of use and added carrying capacity.

10. True Temper 8-Cu Ft Poly Wheelbarrow

Stand Out Features

⤍ Rust-free Bin

⤍ Large 8 cu. Ft. Capacity For Mulching

⤍ Twin Pneumatic Tires

⤍ Stable 2 Wheel Design

Our Rating

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Our Take

Another option from True Temper – this time in the form of their 8 cubic foot polymer design. This wheelbarrow is very much a mulching and weeding specialist in our view – equipped with a very high capacity rust free tray.

Twin pneumatic tires will be a huge plus for garden owners who are concerned about grooves in their lawn. Those are hooked up to a stable and durable two wheeled chassis, which lends itself very well to bulky and unstable loads. The polymer tray on this design is extremely durable and will take any abuse you can throw at it.

All things considered, this will be a great selection for gardeners, and particularly those who like to have a bit of extra capacity compared to a regular barrow. The two wheeled design also makes it very easy to manoeuvre and less susceptible to falling over. While it might not be the tight choice for construction sites, for yard work you can’t go far wrong.

Wheelbarrow Buyer’s Guide FAQs

Why is it called wheelbarrow?

Wheelbarrow is a combination of two words – “wheel” and “barrow”. “Barrow” is itself a modern version of an Old English word “bearwe” – which means carrying device. So literally wheelbarrow means – wheel carrying device – which makes sense. Wheelbarrows are ancient inventions and could have dated back to ancient Greece. Interestingly, they were also developed in ancient China too – which is unusual. It’s amazing that such an old device is still in use today – so many years later.

What is the best wheelbarrow?

The best wheelbarrow really depends on what you’re going to be using it for. That said, let’s take a look at some of our top picks in more detail.

For the gardener, we recommend the Marathon Yard Rover. This wheelbarrow is lightweight and has two inflatable tires to spread the load and reduce marking your lawn. Equipped with a durable rust-resistant polymer tray, this wheelbarrow can carry up to 300lbs.

If you’re looking for a more general-purpose or construction wheelbarrow, then the True Temper 6 Cu. Ft. wheelbarrow is a better choice. This features slightly more volume capacity and a traditional one-wheeled design and can also be used to carry tools such as a spade or garden hose. The chassis and handles are steel, and buyers have reported that it’s remained durable over the years. This design features a flat-free tire that offers low maintenance but has the potential to mark your lawn in damp conditions. 

Are plastic wheelbarrows any good?

Yes, they are good – but it depends on what you are looking for from your wheelbarrow. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons in more detail.

The main advantage of plastic wheelbarrows is they are more rust-resistant. This is great if you frequently carry wet or liquid loads, which can cause the wheelbarrow tray to rust out. It’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean you can leave your wheelbarrow outside though, as sunlight will eventually cause them to become brittle.

Plastic wheelbarrows are also often lighter and cheaper than their plastic counterparts. If you’re looking for a lightweight wheelbarrow, choosing plastic does offer a solid weight saving. And if you’re shopping on a budget, this is probably the best way to go.

Metal wheelbarrows are generally more durable overall however and are likely to outlast plastic versions. Top-quality brands such as Jackson mostly make metal wheelbarrows for good reason – they are stronger and much more durable. They are great for carrying your firewood after using a log splitter. The downside of the metal wheelbarrow is that it can be more expensive – but with options like the True Temper 6 Cu Ft. in our review, you do have options.

How do I choose a wheelbarrow?

Firstly, you need to ask yourself what type of wheelbarrow you are looking for. Is this for all-round yard work? Construction? Gardening? These will all lead you in different directions. Secondly, how able-bodied are you? Some wheelbarrows are better at bearing the load than others. And finally, what is your budget? Let’s take a look at some of these questions in more detail.

For all-round yard work, you should probably consider a wheelbarrow with a pneumatic tire, and ideally a metal tray. You could potentially save some money with a polymer version, but generally plastic trays are more durable. For all-round use, we recommend going for a traditional design, with a single wheel.

For construction work, you’ll be looking for durability – and since you’re investing in a tool – it’s worth going for quality. We’d recommend looking to a respected brand like Jackson since you’ll work your wheelbarrow much harder than homeowners. A flat-free tire is a must for construction site work, as it’s easy to puncture traditional tires on debris.

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