Garden carts are essential for moving plants, soil, and landscaping supplies around your garden. This is a versatile and indispensable part of any gardener’s toolkit. It increases your efficiency and saves your back and time. There are tons of garden carts in the market, it may be hard to choose the right one. Here are some of our favorites to show the variety in performance and budgets. The following garden cart buying guide discusses all the important considerations and concerns you have. We’ve compared the features of a wide range of gardening carts in order to assist you in making your choice.
Best Garden Carts
- Easy to unload
- Durable and rust-proof poly tub
- Pneumatic tires for all terrain
- Large loading capacity
- Convertible handle
- Assembly is not easy for some people. But most people find it easy.
- Versatile for outdoor use and yard work
- Foldable for compact storage and transport
- Easy to use without need to assemble
- Adjustable handle with soft grip
- Unpleasant smell reports. It’s better to leave it outdoor for several days.
- It’s for lightweight use.
- Easy to hauling items with the convertible cart
- Removable sides for utility or flat bed
- Rotatable and removable handle
- Increased balance on rough garden terrain with the pneumatic rubber tire
- It’s suitable for long-term heavy load even though it can bear large capacity up to 800 pounds.
- Easy to move gardening stuff and groceries
- Lightweight but well-built construction
- Great for small projects
- The wheels could be larger for better shock absorption.
- Multi-purpose and easy to convert from wheelbarrow to dolly
- Well built structure with flat-free tires
- Easy storage
- A bit small for large garden work.
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- Stable movement with low center
- Simple push or pull design
- Foldable handle for space-saving storage
- It takes some effort to assemble the cart.
- Removable sides allow for easy loading and unloading larger loads
- Easy to convert the utility cart into a flatbed
- Handle can be pulled by hand or towed.
- The capacity is less than the advertised 1000 pounds. But it’s still a strong cart.
What to Consider When Buying Garden Carts?
Garden cart types
There are many types of garden carts, each one suited for a specific type of work. Below are the features of some common garden carts and the tasks they are best suited for. Most carts serve one or two purposes. But there are also some multifunctional models, they can serve as a utility cart, flatbed cart, and dump cart at the same time.
Also referred utility wagons. They typically have four wheels, a steel flatbed, and four verticle sides. Their sides tend to be flexible and removable for easy loading and unloading piles, such as rocks, soil, fertilizer, plants, and wood, without falling off. When you are trying to use the cart to move large-sized loads, like boxes, or bags, you can take the sides down. Utility wagons are strong enough to transport heavy loads in the yard. They can be operated manually or attached to a riding mower.
A dump cart has four wheels and a hinged flatbed or tub that can tilt independently from the frame. The tub can be made of plastic or metal. It is similar to a dump truck. They allow for easy loading of large amounts of bulk materials such as soil, rocks, fertilizer, and weeds. These carts are also ideal for dumping yard waste and sand. The smooth plastic dump beds are easy to empty and do not clog with branches or other fine materials. If you want to use it for larger items such as rocks and firewood, it’s best to choose a heavy-duty metal mesh dump wagon.
Foldable carts are easy to store in small spaces, hence, they are great for people who need them occasionally, want to take them as a portable tool in the car, or have limited storage space. The best folding carts are made from lightweight, durable materials. Their frames are usually made of metal pipes, the sides are made of durable fabric, and the tires are just like other high-quality garden carts. The majority of foldable carts fall under the light-duty category.
Flatbed carts are flat platforms on wheels. However, some utility carts with side panels may be converted to flatbeds. You can easily move bags of soil or sands or plant trays from flatbeds. Flatbeds can also be used to transport larger items such as lumber and fence posts. However, they require straps to keep the load from falling off, especially when rolling over rough terrain.
Electric carts are self-propelled walk-behind carts. They have power, forward/reverse and speed controls on the handgrip. These carts have extra power to lift heavier loads and can be equipped with either powered or manually operated dump beds. They have rechargeable batteries to power the electric motor. They last for between 45 minutes to 3 hours.
Hand trolleys, also known as hand trucks, are upright, two-wheeled carts for transporting heavy loads or precise placement. A few have a second set of wheels, or casters, on the back to help with bulky items being moved across paved surfaces. Gardeners use a hand cart to move large trees and boulders. Hand trolleys are suitable for transporting large appliances and crates in the workshop or garage.
Garden carts with seats
Some garden carts come with seats so you can sit down and move around the yard with tools. Some models have a handle while others have no handle. These carts are ideal for people who have poor backs or require extra support while working in the garden.
Garden carts may have a steel frame, steel handle, and/or steel mesh sides. The steel is usually galvanized or powder-coated to resist weather conditions. Because garden carts are used outdoors. Garden carts made from coated steel are durable but may get scratches in use. This turns out to rust easily once the cart gets wet. Therefore, a steel cart needs to be maintained to prevent rust.
Some carts come with removable mesh sides on the base. You can remove the sides to create a flat load bed. This is useful for long or large items. You can cover them with plastic sheeting to prevent liquids or loose material fall through the holes. Some models come with a fabric lining.
Four-wheeled folding gardening carts are made from steel and fabric. And some utility wagons have a fabric interior layer for carrying loose materials. These carts are compact and easy to store but they lose the ability to carry heavy loads. Although the fabric is usually very resilient, it can be punctured or torn like its smaller counterparts. Fabric thickness is measured in denier (D), so we recommend 600D or higher for garden use. Also, the fabric should resist UV damage and mold. Fabric parts must avoid sharp objects, direct sun exposure, and rain.
Polyethylene carts (often called poly tubs) are extremely durable. Deeper models can hold sand, muddy or wet items and not spill the contents. You can also clean them with a hose. Look out for UV resistance, just like the fabric models. While the color may fade over time, polyethylene will not disintegrate like unprotected plastics.
Two wheels garden carts usually consist of a plastic resin bucket, a long handle, and a pair of wheels. These carts are lightweight, durable, and easy to clean. They are suitable for lightweight use for smaller yards. Since the buckets are waterproof, they can hold loose and wet garden materials.
The two-wheeled cart can tip over uneven garden terrain if not properly filled. Some models have two wheels and two standing legs, look more like a wheelbarrow but have a low center of gravity, so they are not easy to tip over.
You can find three wheels on electric carts, two wheels for powered drive axles, and one swivel wheel for steering. They offer the same stability and steering abilities as four-wheeled garden carts.
Most people looking for a garden cart will want the extra capacity of a four-wheeled model. Compared to two-wheeled and three-wheeled models, these carts are easy to maneuver heavy loads with the best stability over the rough garden ground.
They come in two versions: a folding model with fabric sides and a solid-steel frame supporting either a steel mesh side or ethylene tub.
There are pneumatic tires, flat-free tires, or plastic tires for garden carts.
Pneumatic tires, also known as inflatable tires, provide a smooth ride on rough garden rocky terrain. Because they can absorb some shock in movement. It is easier to pull or push heavy loads through the terrain because of its smooth ride and large diameter. However, you need to inflate the tires regularly.
Although flat-free tires look similar to pneumatic tires, they are made from solid rubber. They are not punctured or softenable, but they offer a smoother and quieter sliding. They are suitable for terrain and situations similar to pneumatic tires.
Plastic wheels on garden carts can withstand ligh use. They work well on smooth lawns and paved surfaces. They are similar to flat-free tires but they can be difficult to maintain and are easy to use. However, plastic can crack and warp in extreme temperatures.
The size of smaller, bucket-type gardening wagons is often given in gallons. However, larger models are rated in pounds. The capacity of the steel-framed garden carts can range from 300 to 1000 pounds. They can move heavier loads like rocks, soil, fertilizer, and sand.
However, the 1,000-pound weight of these carts is too heavy for most people. Heavy-duty models are designed to be pulled behind a lawn tractor. Top models come with convertible handles that allow you to either haul it by hand or attach it to a vehicle.
Folding gardening carts may not be as strong as the solid steel frame models, but they can handle around 100 pounds, such as sports gear, leaves, plants, and gardening tools.
This is the absolute maximum. It’s best to carry much less weight than the maximum capacity. Because long-term heavy loads can lead the cart to bend or break.
You should consider reducing the weight of the cart if you are dragging it over rocks. This puts additional stress on the frame as well as the wheels.
Whether you need to transport heavy or light items, it is important to verify the dimensions of the garden cart you are considering.
How to Use Garden Carts Safely and Properly?
- Bend your knees, not your back when loading and unloading any heavy items with your arms.
- Never try to load up to the maximum capacity. Otherwise, your garden cart will be broken.
- Do not overload your lawn cart. If you have too many items to transport, go on one more trip.
- Load with balance. Place items as even as possible. Heavier items at the bottom, and lighter ones at the top.
- Pay attention to an incline. If you have to transport items up and down a slope, reduce the weight of each load. Bricks, logs, or chocks are helpful in stopping on an inclined road.
- Fasten the loads. No matter what you are transporting, make sure the loads will not fall off.
- Read the user manual or consult the manufacturer about how to connect your garden cart to your lawn tractor or other machines.
- Clean the grit and dirt build-up in wheel bearings and other joints. Maintain all the steel parts with a multipurpose oil. These can extend your garden cart’s service life.
- Verify the size of your tires if you want to replace the tires of your garden carts. Usually, you can purchase tires and other parts from the same retailer that sold the cart.