Last updated on November 8th, 2022
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I’ve been using wheelbarrows for over 20 years, and one thing that is clear as day is that not all wheelbarrows are created equally. In fact, some of them are bordering on not much better than my youngest daughter’s toy barrow. I remember when I first started using wheelbarrows in my family’s horticultural nursery, my dad would be looking for a couple of new barrows for on-site, and I’d be thinking, just get those ones, not knowing any better.
I obviously now know that the wheelbarrow is the best for you really depends on your circumstances and what you will be using it for. As for me, we have a few different types of wheelbarrows in the nursery but the best wheelbarrow, without a doubt, is probably this Haemmerlin Original 90L Wheelbarrow. These things are bulletproof, I actually think we have had a couple of them now for over 10 years, maybe even 15 years.
I’m also a big fan of the Wheelbarrows Direct 200L Puncture-Proof wheelbarrow, this thing has been around for years and can hold large and bulky loads whilst also being stable. Even the local teenagers who help out in the livery yard can use them. They really are good quality wheelbarrows if you need a twin-wheeled model with a large pan. They do sell other colours other than pink, if thats not your colour of choice.
Best wheelbarrows in the UK – my top picks from personal experience
- Haemmerlin 1041G 90 L Wheelbarrow – Best wheelbarrow overall – ideal for concrete, soil, gravel and compost – professional grade. If you want the best, get this.
- Samuel ALEXANDER 90 Litre Wheelbarrow – Best general wheelbarrow – perfect for garden use and occasional heavy-duty work such as moving bricks, logs, concrete etc.
- Wheelbarrows Direct 200L Puncture-Proof wheelbarrow – Best barrow for moving very large loads as long as they aren’t too heavy.
- Worx Aerocart WG050 Multi-Carrier – This is a great multi-functional track/barrow with lots of innovative accessories.
- Greenworks Cordless 40V Heavy Duty 3 Wheel Trolley Barrow – A great truck for moving large loads of material without stress.
To give some context, we used these wheelbarrows at the nursery for every job you can think of. Moving loads of soil, sand, grit and gravel before using the Wacker plate to compact it down. We have also used them a fair bit for moving and laying cement when we built concrete pads, and gravel paths, as well as using them for throwing breeze blocks, bricks and paving into.
They really are used daily and take a real beating, with the exception of plenty of dints as you would expect; they’ve proved very robust and durable. Now the Haemmerlin Original 90L Wheelbarrow is expensive. However, I think a more affordable alternative is the Samuel ALEXANDER 90 Litre Wheelbarrow. These are great too, the durability isn’t quite as good but they are a still a great barrow with similar dimensions and plenty of room in them.
Both the barrows I have just mentioned have steel trays, the Haemmerlin Original 90L Wheelbarrow is also epoxy powder coated with hardwearing polyester paint. As an alternative, you can get it with a galvanized steel tray. The Samuel ALEXANDER wheelbarrow above has a galvanized steel tray.
You can these days, however, get wheelbarrows with very durable heavy-duty plastic trays. We also use these Walsall Wheelbarrows 90Ltr Shire Plastic Green Wheelbarrow in the nursery for moving compost and other lighter materials. We also have a couple at my family’s smallholding, as shown in the picture below. These are the ones my eldest daughter uses daily when she is mucking out the horses.
They also have them on our local equestrian farm where our girls ride, and as you can see in the picture below, it is always the bottom of the wheelbarrow legs that go first as they receive plenty of use on a daily basis. The thing is, these are being pushed around by teenagers all day long, and they have a tendency to drag them across the ground when pushing them, especially when they are full.
Want some tips on using a wheelbarrow properly? Check out the video below by one of my favourite channels, this old house
My Buyer’s Guide For Wheelbarrows
What I look for when choosing a wheelbarrow
Is assembly needed?
Firstly, does it come fully built already? Most wheelbarrows actually come as a kit. This is one of the reasons I like this Haemmerlin Original 90L Wheelbarrow because it comes already assembled and ready to use. Most are easy to assemble and often you will only need to attach the wheel and tray, usually around 8 bolts in total.
Is the frame one piece or made up of 2 or more sections?
Now, this next point is often overlooked but is usually one of the first places they fail, this consideration is more important if you use a wheelbarrow for heavy loads.
Is the frame made from just one piece of steel? Some more affordable wheelbarrows, including the Samuel ALEXANDER 90 Litre Wheelbarrow (Actually my Runner-up); the frame is made from 2 pieces and slots together. I prefer wheelbarrows with a single-piece frame like my best pick the Haemmerlin 1041G Original Green 90L Wheelbarrow. They have proved much more durable and stronger.
Is the pan galvanised, steel powder coated or plastic?
I always look for galvanised steel pans, steel with powder coating or durable plastic pans. Now it’s important to realise the quality and durability of pans, even if stated that they are made from galvanised steel, can be poor. This is because the thickness can be more like tin than steel. The price is usually the big giveaway. If it’s under £60, it’s probably a wheelbarrow that won’t last, even if it’s advertised as galvanised.
Now often overlooked are the actual handle grips. From experience, I can tell you that plastic handles will probably slip off and even split. I prefer something made from a combination of rubber and plastic. Polypropylene and thermoplastic elastomer it’s sometimes called. These are much more comfortable and robust.
Does the frame go around the wheels to make tipping easy?
Again, this is often overlooked but can make a wheelbarrow very difficult to tip and empty. Basically, you want the frame to go around the outside of the front wheel so that when you go to tip the contents out, you lift the wheelbarrow against the steel bar and not the wheel. Tipping a wheelbarrow is much more difficult to do with that front bar.
Type of tyres
I’ll get straight to the point and say I prefer pneumatic tyres. These are tyres with air inside. I find they absorb bumps more effectively and are great for travelling across uneven ground, as well as soft ground such as soil or grass. The only downside is punctured tyres, but then these are easily fixed with a simple puncture repair kit if needed.
You also need to make sure you have plenty of air in them, ideally to the correct psi. If they’re low, it will be much more difficult to push. The other option is hard tyres, which are ideal for smooth flat ground. They are popular at my local equestrian centre where the ground is mostly concrete. No punctures to worry about and less maintenance. Now, you can also get tyres that have foam pumped into them instead of air, and we use these at the nursery with the customer’s trollies, and it has worked well.
What’s it mainly being used for?
If you are using it for everything from moving bricks to mixing concrete, and moving logs to just general lighter gardening tasks, a heavy-duty wheelbarrow with a metal pan is the way to go. What size you get really depends on what you can actually move once filled. An older person might not be able to move a 90-litre wheelbarrow filled with gravel if you get what I mean. For general gardening, weeding, and moving small a few bags of compost a lighter model would be just fine. It’s worth noting that if you need a barrow to just move bags of compost, a garden cart with 4 wheels might be a better idea. Some even have a tipping function too.
If you are going to store your wheelbarrow in a shed or maybe a greenhouse with a narrow door, make sure it’s not so wide that it can’t fit through your door. If you’re going to keep it outside, make sure it’s totally weatherproof, which means galvanised steel or steel with a powder coating. We have always kept our wheelbarrows outside because they are used daily.
How many wheels?
Some wheelbarrows have 2 wheels instead of just one. These are usually much bigger but are perfect for moving large amounts of material. We have a couple of these ASOVR Wheelbarrows Direct 200L Puncture-Proof Wheelbarrow to use in the nursery when we are moving large amounts of compost or even potting up plants. They’re super stable too and won’t tip over, even on uneven ground, which we have a lot of in my family’s nursery. You can also get motorised wheelbarrows. This Greenworks Garden Cart Cordless 40V Heavy Duty 3 Wheel Trolley looks like it could be useful although I have not personally owned it myself.
Most Innovative Wheelbarrow
Top 5 Wheelbarrow Reviews
1. Haemmerlin 1041G Original 90 L Wheelbarrow
- Heavy duty but a surprisingly lightweight wheelbarrow, if you are after the best, this is probably it.
- Ideal for heavy duty professional use as well as gardeners looking for a good quality barrow.
- One complete rigid frame piece, with no joins, means it’s much more durable.
- Steel build including pan with double shifted tray edges for added reliability and safety.
- Ergonomically designed handles made from bi-material to reduce vibration.
- Metal wheels for added strength with pneumatic tyres for a smooth ride, even over uneven and soft ground.
- Tray – 90 Ltr Epoxy Powder Coated Frame Integral.
- Weight 13 kg.
- Length 150cm x Width 67cm x Height 58cm.
The Haemmerlin 1041G Original 90 L Wheelbarrow is a good size barrow for most jobs and it’s the barrow we have used on the nursery for over 15 years (along with a few other barrows we also have). I personally like that it’s not too small or too big, if there was ever the perfect size for most jobs, this is it.
What separates this from most other barrows is the construction, materials used, and design. The steel frame is surprisingly lightweight and is made up of one piece of a steel frame. With most other barrows, the frame is usually made up of two pieces, however, this gives the frame a weak spot. What you end up with by having a single piece frame is a much more rigid and stronger frame.
The frame and pan are made of epoxy-coated steel for durability and resisting rust, which basically means it’s weather resistant. It is worth noting you can also get the same wheelbarrow made from galvanised steel too. When it comes to the single wheel, it also has upgraded steel wheels (rims) that are stronger than the plastic wheels found on most other models, and finally, the models I have, have pneumatic tyres.
I find them better for uneven or soft surfaces where solid tyres would otherwise sink into the ground and make it difficult to push. This is why I personally always choose pneumatic tyres over hard solid tyres. I just have to watch out for punctures but they are easy enough to fix with a simple puncture repair kit, however, we don’t get that many anyway.
Something else worth noting is this wheelbarrow is 150cm long. What this really means is the handles are slightly longer so you don’t kick the barrow with your feet when you are moving along. This is something I often find myself doing with some of the cheaper models I have used in the past.
I really do think that Haemmerlin makes some of the best wheelbarrows and I think this model is one of the best they do. It is great for professional gardeners as well as the home gardener looking for a good quality wheelbarrow they will have for literally 10-20 years. The only real downside is they are a little on the expensive side, that being said, when you consider how long they last, they easily pay for themselves.
2. Samuel ALEXANDER Heavy Duty 90 Litre Wheelbarrow
- A good durable wheelbarrow for the home gardener.
- Steel 2 section powder coated frame with a galvanised steel pan.
- A large 16″ pneumatic tyre makes it ideal for uneven and soft ground.
- Large 90 litre capacity with a maximum load of 150kg (if you can lift it, although this is not recommended).
- It is ideal for general use but can also handle occasional heavy use, for example, mixing cement or moving hardcore and bricks etc.
This is a decent barrow we have used in the past, but I wouldn’t want to use it for heavy use permanently. It isn’t really a builder’s barrow is what I’m trying to say. It will do it, but it won’t last long if you do. We use them for general gardening work or even for mucking out the stables, and for this sort of work it is great.
What I like about this wheelbarrow in comparison to the Haemmerlin 1041G Original is basically the price. It’s more affordable, and for the money its a decent wheelbarrow. It is, however, not as good as the Haemmerlin 1041G when you compare both build quality and durability. For starters, the frame is made up of two pieces so is not as strong, it is also slightly shorter at 135cm so the handles are shorter. That being said, in the past we have tried cheaper barrows, maybe only £10 cheaper and there’s a big difference between this and the slightly cheaper models. This is much better quality than cheaper barrows, but then the Haemmerlin 1041G Original Green 90 L Wheelbarrow is better than this model.
So where does this leave this barrow? I think it’s a great choice for lighter use, still daily use but not overloaded with heavy materials daily. It is a great choice for the home gardener looking for a nice affordable wheelbarrow that will last.
The only thing left to mention is assembly, it’s fairly easy to assemble, and no more complicated than assembling a lawnmower. I find it is easier to attach the wheel last and not to tighten up the bolts until the very end. This makes the process much easier as you can align all the bolts.
3. Greenworks Garden Cart Cordless 40V Heavy Duty 3 Wheel Trolley
- An amazing powered cart to make moving heavy loads much easier and effortless.
- Powered by a 40V Lithium-ion battery, I recommend getting at least a 4Ah or 5Ah to increase the run time considerably.
- The run time is easily 2-3 minutes on a 4Ah fully charged battery.
- Nice brisk walking speed of around 3mph in forward, slightly slower in reverse.
- Stable and level, great for carrying water in buckets or watering cans.
- Spring-loaded lift handle tipping device.
- Maximum load capacity is 100kg.
I know a standard wheelbarrow does the job. However, if manually pushing a full wheelbarrow seems a little bit too heavy for you or you’re not as fit as you once were, the Greenworks Cordless Garden Tipping Cart is well worth considering. As an example of why you might invest in this, my mum has issues with her back and can’t walk long distances very well, especially with a heavy wheelbarrow, so this is where the cordless powered borrow is worth its weight in gold and why I’m investing in one.
This is, basically, a self-propelled wheelbarrow that runs on a powerful 40V Lithium-ion battery (you can get a 2Ah to 5Ah battery capacity but buy at least a 4 or 5Ah battery for a longer run time). It fits into the Greenworks series of power tools that can share the same battery so if you already have compatible batteries, buying just the bare tool will save you some money. Charge time is quick too at only 60 minutes.
Now, it has three wheels on this wheelbarrow, two at the front and one at the back giving the ultimate stability. This system works great, but it does have one downside. If you use it in wet mud, the rear wheel quickly clogs up and needs to be cleared with a pressure washer. You can consider getting a portable pressure washer which is great for situations like this.
Overall, if you’re looking to move large, heavy loads, this is a great tool to consider; it’s expensive but probably a worthy investment for some people.
4. ASOVR Wheelbarrows Direct 200L Puncture-Proof Wheelbarrow
- Amazing wheelbarrow for moving large bulky loads such as bales of hay, straw, soil, logs, leaves, manure, collecting hedge clippings.
- A great wheelbarrow for livery stables and general garden work.
- Very large 200L capacity with a maximum load capacity is 265kg
- Strong but lightweight steel tube frame.
- Well-balanced and easy to push with puncture-proof tires for all terrains.
- Comes with a year’s warranty.
The ASOVR Wheelbarrows Direct 200L Puncture-Proof Wheelbarrow is the largest wheelbarrow in this review, and we actually have one in the nursery and the stables my daughters go to also have a couple too.
Design-wise, it looks heavy but it’s actually fairly lightweight for its size, it weighs around 20kg, but it can hold a very impressive 200 Litres with a maximum load weight of up to 265kg.
The frame is made from steel tubing, and it also has puncture-proof tyres. Something worth noting is that it comes fully assembled just like my best pick. When it comes to large wheelbarrows, this is the real deal and well worth considering.
So what do we use them for? In the plant nursery, we use them to hold compost and pot up plants from the wheelbarrow. I also use them to carry logs from outside to inside the shed for cutting with my chainsaw before being stored to season. We also use them to clear up leaves from paths, collect hedge trimmings, carry grit for spreading on paths, and transport bare root plants. The list is literally endless.
Now on the farm where my daughters go riding, they have a couple they use for poo picking in the paddocks, cleaning stables, and moving bales of hay. I know they also use it for carrying mot-1 which they use for filling in potholes on the lane too. Overall, they are great strong wheelbarrows.
5. Worx Aerocart WG050 Multi-Carrier
- Unique design although I noticed a few brands have ripped off the design such as Vonhaus. This is the original though.
- More of a utility truck – 8 well thought out functions in 1: Wheelbarrow that converts to a sack truck, extended sack truck, bag holder, cylinder holder, rock carrier for moving large rocks, plant carrier and trailer.
- Soft grips on the two handles for extra comfort.
- Two wheels with puncture-proof tyres at the front of the barrow.
- The patented design adjusts the centre of gravity as needed.
- Flower-pot strap, rock holder strap, and bag included.
- The maximum load capacity is 90kg.
The Worx Aerocart WG050 Multi-Carrier has a life as a wheelbarrow and another one as a trolley. This really is a well-thought-out piece of kit, but it’s expensive. Switching between the two is easy. It’s a great multi-use tool that’s ideal for gardens as it just has many different uses. You can literally move anything with it, including soil, fridges, large rocks, leaves, gas cylinders from your heater or BBQ, literally any heavy items or light for that matter. There’s even an attachment for putting bin bags on the front for autumn leaf cleanup although I recommend making leaf mould from them.
It’s also amazingly well-balanced thanks to a patented design that adjusts the centre of gravity of the wheelbarrow/trolley as needed to provide the correct balance for whatever you’re moving. This distributes the weight evenly and makes it easier to push the barrow/trolley.
Soft grips on the handles act ergonomically to make your task more comfortable. However, the solid tyres of the two wheels at the front of the barrow mean that they don’t ‘give’ as you go over bumps – you’ll feel it when you hit rough terrain. This, however, I have noticed is an issue with most solid tyres on barrows and trucks.
The Worx Aerocart WG050 Multi-Carrier is a good choice if you need to carry different things in a variety of shapes and sizes.
How to use a wheelbarrow
Lift with your legs and back, NOT your arms
When using a wheelbarrow, you should be lifting with your back and legs, NOT your arms. If you bend your legs slightly, lift the barrow it’s much easier than trying to lift a wheelbarrow by bending your arms.
Check the tyre pressure before use
Always make sure the tyre is at the correct psi and fully pumped up. If it’s slightly low on air, it will be much more difficult to push a loaded wheelbarrow. It’s worth checking before loading the wheelbarrow as it can look fully pumped up when it hasn’t got any weight in it.
Always face the wheelbarrow the way you intend to walk
When pushing a wheelbarrow, always face the way you’re going to walk; it’s much easier to turn an empty wheelbarrow than when it’s full.
Never load a wheelbarrow on a hill unless it is pointing upwards or downwards
On a hill, always point the front of the wheelbarrow up the hill or down the hill, NEVER sideways or it will tip up easily spilling its load.
Wheelbarrows can make your gardening life so much easier when it comes to lifting and moving items, as long as they are comfortable and well-designed. Certain features, like high-quality materials and exceptional tyres, can really make a product stand out and make your life easier. The models in my review are mostly based on my own experiences and a little research to give you the choice of materials and sizes of wheelbarrows so you can select the one that’s best for your needs.
My Best Pick is the Haemmerlin 1041G Original Green 90 L Wheelbarrow which comes with the pneumatic tyre, although it can also be purchased with a solid puncture-proof tyre too. Personally, I prefer wheelbarrows with pneumatic tyres despite the risk of punctures. They are much better on all surfaces than solid tyres and absorb the bumps much better. They are also better on soft ground (such as soil and grass) as I find that wheelbarrows with solid tyres tend to dig into soft ground and become much more difficult to push.
If you want the best wheelbarrow, whether it’s for general garden use or moving concrete, bricks or any other material for that matter, the Haemmerlin 1041G Original Green 90 L Wheelbarrow is what you need.
The Samuel ALEXANDER 90 Litre Wheelbarrow is my Runner-up. We use these too. This is similar in size to the Haemmerlin 1041G but at a more affordable price. Also, a great galvanised barrow if you don’t push it too far. A great choice for the home gardener.
If you are looking for somewhere to store your wheelbarrow and other garden tools, consider one of the best garden storage boxes, I have reviewed these here.
To store your wheelbarrow away safely, you can also take a look at the best plastic sheds for all your garden storage needs here.
Last update on 2023-11-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API