Choosing a Garden Wheelbarrow or Cart

Garden wheelbarrows and carts are indispensable garden tools. There will always be things to haul around the garden - soil, mulch, bricks, plants... -  and there is no substitute for a reliable wheelbarrow or garden cart.

Which wheelbarrow or garden cart will suit your needs? That all depends on the size of your garden, your strength, and what you need it to do. Here is a list of things to consider when selecting a wheelbarrow or garden cart. Take a quick look and make a decision on what would...MORE work best in your garden. Then come back here and look at all the choices available to you.

Wheelbarrows and carts are changing every year, as new materials become available and we learn more about ergonomics. If you like your current wheelbarrow or cart, there are still add-ons that you can look for that will do things such as make your handles more ergonomic, add hooks and bags for toting tools, and make them duel-purpose for screening compost. Keep an eye out in the hardware stores and especially garden tool catalogs.

  • 01 of 07
    Ames Contractor Wheelbarrow
    Photo: Courtesy of

    This high-quality heavy gauge 6 cu. ft. seamless steel wheelbarrow provides functionality at a reasonable price. Traditional wheelbarrow style with a single, front pneumatic wheel for stability, it also comes with heavy-duty steel tray braces, for added strength and support when pouring heavy loads. 6 cu. ft. is a good size for small to medium gardens and easy to handle and maneuver.

    Although pneumatic tires can puncture, they are great for carrying loads on uneven surfaces, where the give and bouncing action is really needed.

  • 02 of 07
    Ames 8 cu. Contractor Wheelbarrow
    Photo: Courtesy of

    The standout feature of this wheelbarrow is the duel-pneumatic front wheels. If you have uneven terrain or will be hauling over rocky ground, you'll appreciate the extra stability two front wheels provide. The tray is poly, not metal, so it's lighter in weight and won't rust. This is a great choice if you need your wheelbarrow to do double duty as a construction tool, as well as in the garden. It can handle those heavy bags of cement and keep rolling.

  • 03 of 07
    Big 4 Wheeler Heavy-Duty Wheelbarrow
    Photo: Courtesy of

    If stability is of paramount concern for you, a 4-wheel wheelbarrow is worth a look. These wheels are airless, so they won't blow-out on a heavy load or a trip across rocks, thorns, or even nails.. It has an 8 cu. ft. poly tub and because of the 4 wheels, you don't even have to lift it to get it to move. You'll still need your back to push it along, especially if you use it for heavy loads. But for things like piled leaves or liquids, you'll appreciate that the stability of a tray that sits firmly on all fours.

  • 04 of 07
    Allsop WheelEasy Collapsible Wheelbarrows
    Photo: Courtesy of

    Collapsible wheelbarrows don't have to sacrifice capacity. The WheelEasy weighs in at 15 lbs. and can haul up to 300 lbs. and can be easily replaced if you should eventually wear it out.

    As with other folding wheelbarrows, WheelEasy lies flat on the ground for ease of loading and unloading. Cargo is carried lower than in conventional wheelbarrows, providing a lower center of gravity and better stability. The frame is heavy-gauge powder-coated steel and the replaceable bucket is heavy-duty canvas. There is also a smaller model available. 12"x13"x69"

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    Photo: Courtesy of

    This isn't the largest cart, holding only a heaping 3.25 cu. ft. (200 lbs.), but it is easy to maneuver over rough terrain and slopes. And it's made by Rubbermaid, which usually means it is sturdy and will last for years. If you have difficulty lifting, this is an excellent option. It comes fully assembled, so you can use it out of the box. It even has a compartment for carrying your tools.

  • 06 of 07
    Gorilla Cart
    Photo: Courtesy of

    This inexpensive cart has some cushy features like a padded handle and a quick-release dump mechanism. It can haul up to 600 pounds, although the poly tray may give a little. However, the raised height of the bed makes it convenient to reach into and the four wheels make it easy to move over any terrain. Plus there's that dumping mechanism that is a definite perk.

  • 07 of 07
    Power Assist Wheelbarrow
    Photo: Courtesy of

    A cart that carts itself. This cart has a 24-volt battery (charger included) that operates off a push button. It has independent 2 wheel drive, for stability, and variable forward speeds, including a "power burst" for going uphill, although you'll need to help it along on a serious incline. Yes, it also goes in reverse.

    Other features include a 6.0 cu. ft. poly tub, a steel frame, and 13 in. pneumatic wheels. It's a bit pricey, but a real workhorse.