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|Company Barrow in a Box||85 Litre|
|Walsall Wheelbarrows Galvanised||90 Litre|
|DJM Heavy Duty Garden Wheelbarrow||90 Litre|
|Deuba 100l Wheelbarrow||100 Litre|
|Walsall Wheelbarrows Galvanised||85 Litre|
The British are very fond of their gardens, and there is evidence all around us to prove it. If you are a keen gardener, you will enjoy the spring and summer months, pottering around the garden, keeping the potting shed in trim, and making sure everything in the greenhouse is growing as it should. You’ll also have a good set of tools, and you will know that quality is vital if you want to get the best life out of your garden equipment. That’s why we decided to take a look at the top 10 best wheelbarrows available right now, and it’s no coincidence that we did so as spring, the season where gardeners emerge from hibernation, approaches.
Now, you might have thought that there’s not a lot of difference between one wheelbarrow and another, so how much can we possibly write about them? We thought the same, but we like a challenge, so we decided to have a go! In fact, what we found was that there are many differences between the various models, and while the basic concept is the same throughout, there have been developments in design that are innovative and interesting – as well as helpful to the gardener. So, before we go on to tell you about the best wheelbarrows, let’s have a look at how they work, and what they are about.
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Best Wheelbarrows For Garden Use
If you don’t mind assembling it yourself, our first choice is a very good one. It’s as traditional a wheelbarrow as you will ever see – it’s even finished in green – with one wheel and the usual supports for when you set it down. Assembly is very simple, and it offers the same sturdy results as a ready-made model, and it comes with a pneumatic wheel for ease of use. It’s made from heavy duty materials so is aimed at builders rather than gardeners, but is suitable for both.
The capacity of this wheelbarrow is 85litre, or a weight of 120kg, and it has been finished using paint that allows it for outdoor storage. After all, nobody takes a wheelbarrow indoors – you just turn it upside down and leave it where it is! A rather sad fact is that this wheelbarrow is made by the last remaining wheelbarrow manufacturer in the UK, The Walsall Wheelbarrow Company, so if domestic origin is important to you, then this could be your best choice. It’s also good value at around £40, which is something of an average price for one of these.
Our second choice is also from The Walsall Wheelbarrow Company, so is a second British made model. It’s the same size as the above model, and comes with some self-assembly required. Rest assured it is very easy to put together, and is very sturdy when correctly assembled. It is a unique patented design that is used throughout the range, and provides strength and integrity to the frame and the bucket, so you are guaranteed a quality product.
This one is a 90litre model, so is a little larger than the one above, and it is fully galvanised for long life and for storage outdoors. It’s ideal for gardeners or for builders or industrial use and is easy to push thanks to the quality of the design. Finished in traditional unpainted form, this is a nice wheelbarrow that will give you years of use, and we like the fact it is a home-grown product. At £30 it is great value, and if the assembly part puts you off, all you need is a spanner and a screwdriver and it will take a few minutes.
If you like a bug, chunky, meaty wheelbarrow – and who doesn’t – then we might just have the one for you! It’s from well-known garden tool manufacturer DJM, and it does what it says on the tin. Like all those so far, this one needs to be assembled, and it can be done with an adjustable spanner if you wish. It’s made from tough, sturdy steel and is very durable, and it feels like the well-made item it is. Although billed as a garden wheelbarrow, it’s also suitable for builders.
The 90-litre capacity makes it suitable for any large loads, and it can take as much as 180kg in weight, too. The pneumatic tyre has a 30psi pressure for smooth, easy moving – you will need to top it up before you use it for the first time – and it is a quality item in every way. It is a big model, so will take some handling, but it is worth the effort as it is very capable indeed. Is there anything we don’t like? Well, perhaps the price, as it is £45, but we feel that reflects the quality.
Now we’re entering the realm of the big boys (and also finding it difficult to think of things to say about wheelbarrows). This model, from Deuba, is a chunky one that would be suitable for heavy duty use on a building site, or for general garden use. It is made from fully galvanised steel, so will give you a long life and can be left outside in all weathers (again, remember to turn it upside down, because that’s what you do with wheelbarrows) and is a very sturdy and traditional design.
Make no mistake, this is a very big barrow: it has a deep bucket that can handle 100litres, and can take up to 200kg in weight at any time. Yet, it remains easy to push thanks to the neat and standard design and pneumatic wheel, so it remains usable by your average gardener. There is some self-assembly required – again, it’s a spanner and screwdriver job, and is simple yet best done with two people – but you get a professional standard wheelbarrow, and for less than £30. Well worth a look.
We must say it’s good to get back to our old friends, the lovely people at The Walsall Wheelbarrow Company, who are bravely producing quality, British-made wheelbarrows to fend off those foreign imports! This is the sort of attitude we like, so thumbs up to them! What we have here is a clever innovation: it’s a traditional wheelbarrow, a very well-made one in top quality galvanised steel, yet it has a puncture-proof wheel. This is a clever touch, as buying a new wheel, or fixing a puncture, can be a pain!
It’s a standard-sized wheelbarrow – that’s 85litres and 120kg – that is perfect for garden or commercial use – and is in unpainted state so is as you would expect from one of these. It is easy to move around, although perhaps not as comfortable to push as one with a standard tyre, and while assembly is needed, it is – as usual – very simple. All in all, a sturdy, quality, British-made wheelbarrow, with a clever touch. However, at £45 you are paying for the privilege of a British product.
This begs the question: how many different wheelbarrows can the quite wonderful Walsall Wheelbarrow Company make? The answer is quite a lot, and we applaud them for carrying on where others have decided to leave the field. This one is quite different, although interesting at the same time. Unlike most wheelbarrows, it has a poly bucket, a type of plastic material that is surprisingly sturdy and strong. However, is it as strong and long-lasting as a galvanised steel model? We can’t see how it can be, which is a worry.
The frame is strong and galvanised, and the bucket comes in many colours, but we see that more as a gimmick than anything else. After all, a wheelbarrow is a practical item not one bought for style. Nevertheless, it does have some plus points: for a start, it is very light compared to a fully steel version, so is great for gardeners who are not so strong. It will push easily over bumps, and it has a handy 90litre capacity. As with all of these so far, it needs to be assembled. Would we buy it? At £40, no, especially when there are comparable steel models from the same company.
We’re back to the traditional design with this handy and affordable wheelbarrow. It is a typical galvanised steel model, so will give you a long life whether used in the garden or on a construction site, and it is suitable for leaving outside. The 12-inch pneumatic-tyred wheel means it will handle any surface easily, and it is surprisingly light for a metal model, at 9kg when empty. It’s a typical 85kg model, so will be perfectly suited to garden work, and we found it easy to use and practical.
What else can we say about this one, that hasn’t already been said before? Not a lot to be honest, as it is exactly as a wheelbarrow has looked for the last 100 years and more. It comes in a flat pack so will need self-assembly, but most – if not all – of these do, so it’s not at a disadvantage. There is, however, one major plus point that makes this one attractive: it’s only £20, and at that price we believe it deserves to be here.
To break up the monotony, here’s something very different! For a start, it’s from the renowned tool and equipment manufacturer Draper, one of the leading names in the world, and more to the point, it’s not a wheelbarrow as such! It does, however, perform many of the jobs that a traditional wheelbarrow would be employed to do, and it is a very impressive piece of equipment overall. So, what is it? It is a four-wheeled cart with a steel frame and pneumatic tyres, plus a large, rectangular bucket that carries large loads of up to 200kg.
Why should you be interested? If you have a large garden, this could be the truck you need, or if you are a professional gardener, we think one of these would be invaluable. Its party trick is that the bucket itself is hinged, so it can be tipped forwards, emptying the contents exactly where you want them. The handle is a long one with a swivel attachment, and it is easy to pull around the garden to wherever you want to be. It really is a great item, but do you really need it? At a shade less than £80 you would really have to need one to buy it, but it’s worth looking at.
This is another one that is a little different, and it comes from the well-known Garden Gear brand, who have a wide range of items for gardeners. It differs in the first instance in that it has two wheels – one either side of the frame – which in some ways goes against the basic idea of the single wheel on a traditional wheelbarrow, which is ease of movement. However, it has its advantages in that it is easy to push when fully loaded, and stays upright, and that it is light with its plastic-formed body.
The 70litre capacity means it can carry up to 150kg, so it is good for quite heavy-duty garden use, and its galvanised, sturdy and strong frame is there to provide stiffness and long life. It needs assembling, and full instructions are provided, and comes with a welcome two-year warranty. Would we buy one? It’s hard to see why, at £50, anyone would choose this one over a traditional, steel-bodied single wheel wheelbarrow, at potentially half the price. Overall this is a great heavy duty wheelbarrow.
We were hoping that our final choice would be another from the very wonderful Walsall Wheelbarrow Company, who are proudly – if sadly – the sole remaining wheelbarrow manufacturer in the UK. Sadly, we decided that we had given you all the variations on a theme that they offer, so our final choice is this. It’s a huge – 200litre – barrow, of the two wheeled variety, with a metal body, twin handles and air-filled tyres. It has a plastic-formed body that is very deep and spacious, and is very capable.
However, we are not fans of two-wheeled barrows, for while they do offer stability, they don’t have the overall agility of a single-wheel model.
So, that’s our list of top 10 best garden wheelbarrows as available now, most of which are traditional, others not so, and a good selection for the commendable Walsall Wheelbarrow Company, who produce the UK’s finest – indeed only – range of home-built wheelbarrows. Before we go on to provide you with a summary, let’s remind ourselves of the many fine attributes and features you need to look out for.
How It Works
How does a wheelbarrow work? Are we serious? You push it to where you need to go, put whatever you want to carry in it, wheel it to where the stuff is needed, and tip it out! That’s it, surely? Well, of course it is, but in fact the wheelbarrow has an interesting history (and that’s not a phrase we ever considered before). Did you know, for example, that there is pictorial proof of wheelbarrows being in use in 2nd century China, during the Han Dynasty? There are perfectly dated reliefs on tomb walls depicting them, very much as they are today! They are an open cart, with one wheel, being pushed by a man.
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Wheelbarrows were also widely in use in Ancient Greece, while medieval Europe saw the first ones in around the year 1200. Thus, it is an item that has a long-established timeline, and one that remains pretty much the same in concept today. While wheelbarrows primarily remain hand-pushed, there are powered wheelbarrows in existence, but they are mainly for commercial use. So, that’s your history lesson for today, now we shall take a look at the top ten wheelbarrows you can buy today.
Important Features to Consider When Buying The Best Wheelbarrow
Wheelbarrows are great, aren’t they? They carry stuff around, and you push them, and it’s a lot of fun! Every garden, and every building site, needs a wheelbarrow – it’s almost the law to have one! Here are some important features to look out for when choosing a wheelbarrow:
- One Wheel or More – the answer is most definitely one, unless you really need the four wheeled Draper tip-up truck, which is not a wheelbarrow at all. The reason the basic design of a wheelbarrow hasn’t changed for decades – perhaps centuries – is because it works, so why try and improve what is already doing the job.
- Capacity – how big a wheelbarrow you choose depends on the size and scope of jobs you are using it for. On a construction site, the answer will be the bigger the better, but for the average garden, a standard 85-litre wheelbarrow will be more than adequate, so choose one of these for ease of use.
- Plastic or Metal – we recommend you don’t choose anything other than a galvanised steel wheelbarrow of the traditional design; they will give you a longer life, can be left outside, and are most durable. And, you can leave them upside down for added decoration.
- Price – the prices here range from around £20 to much more, so go for the best that your budget can afford.
British or Otherwise – if you are set on buying British, you have only one choice of manufacturer: The Walsall Wheelbarrow Company, who we have become rather fond of during the writing of this review. They keep up the plucky, typical British attitude of ‘yes we can’ while remaining the only provider of these essential items in the country, so if you can, give them your custom!
That’s our list of things to look out for and, to be honest, when you look at traditional wheelbarrows side by side, there is very little to choose between them. All that remains is to say we hope we have helped you make the right choice, and it’s time to wrap it up!
Let’s Wrap It Up!
Don’t you just love wheelbarrows? We’ve come to love them while we researched the best wheelbarrows, and we understand why the basic design has lasted since almost 2000 years ago. There can’t be many regular items with such a long life, that have remained basically unchanged?
So, which, out of the above, would we choose? Well, we think you know what we’re going to say, as it has to be one from The Walsall Wheelbarrow Company, the last remaining maker in the UK, who undoubtedly make the finest wheelbarrows in the world. These are no-frills, practical and usable models that stick to the tried and tested ideals, and they do the job they are required to do. They are well-made, sturdy and easy to move around, and they are affordable too. At £30, we think the galvanised model – number two on the list – is great value, and will provide you with many years of use, so off you go and buy one before the season begins!