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Wheelbarrows...what and where?

Anna33Anna33 Posts: 300
edited January 2021 in Tools and techniques
I'm looking at buying my first wheelbarrow since I've moved to somewhere with a bigger garden, and I was wondering whether most wheelbarrows are much-for-much, or if there are definite brands/types of wheelbarrows that are better than others? Having had a look online it seems that there are loads of features etc about wheelbarrows I never thought of - I just thought one was as good as another. 

In the next few months I will be using it primarily for hoiking soil/compost/organic matter from one place to another whilst I dig in loads of stuff to new borders I'm creating (the soil in those areas is very poor so this will be a lengthy job.....).

As time goes on I'll be using it for moving small trees and shrubs around, and then finally just the normal use of everyday gardening.

What should I be looking for, and does anyone have any recommendations? Or are they all pretty similar and it won't matter which one I pick?

And where is the best place to buy wheelbarrows from?


  • B3B3 Posts: 24,484
    In my experience, a bog standard old fashioned wheelbarrow without the bells and whistles is the best. I'd go for aluminium if you're going to leave it outside.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,841
    Bog standard works fine for us but I'd go looking in a builders' supply store rather than a garden centre as they'll probably be cheaper.

    Go for one with a solid wheel, not a ball or inflatable tyre and feel how heavy it is empty before you buy.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • AstroAstro Posts: 387
    My main experience of wheelbarrows is from using them at the allotment. 

    There are  heavy duty ones that are more suited for the likes of paving slabs and then lighter ones for such as compost. I've used both for such as moving manure from one end of the allotment to the other and the heavy ones make it much more tiring.  

    Tyres that are inflatable are imo nicer to push over obstacles but they need inflating and are prone to punctures.

    I've seen people used the four wheel carts which are better for larger weights with less effort, but aren't as manuverable. 

    I'm sorry but I know little about specific brands or models.

  • Anna33Anna33 Posts: 300
    Thank you all, this is exactly what I was looking for! I have a tendency to over-research anything, so I'll dial it back and stick with the bog standard, un-heavy duty ones.
  • SueAtooSueAtoo Posts: 290
    I've been happy for several years with my plastic one from Wilco except the handle grips have cracked/perished off and I'll have to find a way to replace them. It does have a pneumatic tyre which I've had to pump up only once.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,383
    SueAtoo said:
    I've been happy for several years with my plastic one from Wilco except the handle grips have cracked/perished off and I'll have to find a way to replace them. It does have a pneumatic tyre which I've had to pump up only once.
    Same here Sue, my OH was a stone mason, he would carry heavy chunks of granite and slate, mix large batches of cement, had it for years, bought one new inner tube. Apart from the grips it’s still good, he can pick it up with one hand and sling it on the back of the truck.
    Ive got one in purple,  carry’s heavy logs, bags of compost,  we wouldn’t have anything else.   They cost about £50.00 from local hardware shop, well worth it. 
    Just to ad... ours are made of a strong polycarbonate material.  

    Whats even better,  it’s the same as Monty uses 😀
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • I'd second what has been said about the weight of metal versus plastic but also find the one with a tipping bar much easier to use than the one without. It just stops the barrow running away from you as you tip and saves straining your arms, especially if you are fairly short, like me. :)
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,291
    Anna33  I'm a bit surprised that no-one has offered you the choice of a double wheeled one.  We bought a Haemerlin (French) model from Tooled-Up of Enfield 14 years ago and it's done us proud.  First, the wheels are set further back than in the orthodox type which transfers the weight on to the wheels, rather than the handles.  There's no balancing problem, and you can push/pull it with one hand, i.e. useful when moving a mower and wheelbarrow at the same time.  Assuming from your 'handle' you're female, I'd definitely give one a try before deciding.  My OH would endorse that view.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,291
    PS -  Ours says 'Made in France' but I see they're now in Walsall, see
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,757
    We have a Von Haus four-wheel garden cart.  As mentioned above, it's less manoeuvrable than a wheelbarrow, but good for moving heavy loads around without putting any strain on your back. We only use that at our allotment.

    We have single Ihard) wheel, aluminium wheelbarrow (from B&Q).  Our previous inflatable wheelbarrow got a puncture, so we decided to go down the hard wheel route as a result.  As mentioned above, it is a bit more uncomfortable to use, as you feel more of the vibrations as it bumps along, but at least we know we won't get a puncture.  Ours are left outdoors all year, so aluminium is best for that.
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