Do you want to buy a wheelbarrow and are not sure if you need a model for the garden or a version for construction? Find out in this article what are some of the differences you need to consider for the right choice.

The wheelbarrow is one of the most used and necessary tools in the household, essential in any type of project that involves the transport of materials or waste from one place to another. It consists of a large bucket, with high edges, one or two wheels, a support system that allows parking in a horizontal position and the handles by which it is held and pushed. Depending on the structure, technical characteristics and mode of use, these products are generally divided into household, garden and construction versions. The differences between the two categories have the role of allowing the adaptation of the one who uses them to the work requirements.

The material from which the tub is made

From this point of view, you will quickly realize that the offer is divided into two large groups: plastic wheelbarrows and metal wheelbarrows. The options designed for the garden are often made of plastic, for several reasons. First of all, it is assumed that you will have to transport weeds, branches, fertilizer, seedlings, etc. more frequently. and less often bricks, pieces of concrete or other hard and sharp elements that could scratch the plastic.

The second aspect is weight and mobility. The plastic tub is significantly lighter than the metal one, making the product much easier to use. For example, if you have to carry young branches cut from trees and shrubs and use a metal wheelbarrow, the wheelbarrow itself may weigh more than the load. The plastic profile, however, adds a few kilograms and helps you to solve household chores more easily, without stressing your back too much.

In addition, a lower weight also means better mobility and greater ease in guiding the wheelbarrow through the layers of vegetables and flowers.

On the other hand, if you started rebuilding the alleys, demolishing the annexes or repairing the roof and you know that for a few months you will keep moving tiles, bricks, boulders and pieces of wall, a metal tub will give you more security. In addition to the superior resistance to scratches, such a variant copes better with heavy loads such as cement, sand, gravel.

Tank format

Construction wheelbarrows are usually available in the classic format, with an elongated and slightly conical tank, a profile that facilitates steering and ensures easy unloading of the load.

In contrast, garden models are now available in a variety of shapes. In addition to the traditional ones, with a large loading surface and medium depth, you will also find container or barrel type options, oriented vertically. They usually have a rectangular base, almost square, and are provided with two handles or one, being just as comfortable to pull and push.

Because they are taller, the handle is more accessible, no need to bend, which makes them easier to use when it comes to activities with many interruptions along the way (cutting branches, gathering dead leaves, picking fruit, etc.).

They also have greater stability and take up less space when stored. On the other hand, both the two-wheel system and the design of the tank make them a little harder to drive through tight places or on surfaces with obstacles that must be avoided.


In the category of garden options you will find models with a classic format, which means a single wheel, in the front, or with two wheels, located towards the back. The models that fall into the first variant ensure very good maneuverability, being the most suitable for moving through narrower spaces, between layers, on paths, near the house, etc. However, they are less stable, requiring more force in the arms to maintain direction.

Also included in the list of wheelbarrows for the garden are the options with two wheels located towards the rear. These are usually container versions, which can be used comfortably by both pulling and pushing. They have a much better stability on the ground, however, they are harder to slip through areas limited in space, being preferable for gardens that involve open surfaces (orchard, lawn, etc.).

The models for constructions are also found in variants with one or two wheels, but, unlike those for the garden, in this case the wheels made of solid rubber are preferred, which are more resistant to heavy weights. For the garden, we recommend the pneumatic options, such as the bicycle ones, which offer you better cushioning on rough terrain.

Load capacity

As you might expect, what we call a garden wheelbarrow will give you less resistance to heavy loads. Designed mainly for frequent use, but with medium or light load, these versions are not designed for high demands and heavy use. The best garden wheelbarrow is usually an option of 50–80 liters, which offers you at the same time a roomy tub, in which you can easily carry fertilizers, soil, seedlings, etc., but also an easy to drive format.

By comparison, construction models are available in high-capacity variants, the tank being most often reinforced on the edges to better withstand wear and frequent loading and unloading. The most popular versions used on construction sites are in this case those of 80–100 liters or even larger, which also involve a force to be measured by the workers.

In terms of load capacity, the garden options usually reach a maximum of 100–150 kg, while the construction options can easily carry over 300 kg of materials.


If you take into account the plastic tank and the smaller dimensions, in the case of garden models, and respectively the metal structure, with high load volume, in the case of those designed for construction, you will realize quite easily that, in general, the options in the first category are more affordable.

You can of course orient yourself towards a variant of a garden with four wheels and a folding tub, which will cost significantly more due to the special features.

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