Poly vs Steel Wheelbarrow – The Differences

Sharing is caring!

Last Updated on February 3, 2023 by Griselda M.

If you have done your research, you will notice there are two common types – poly vs steel wheelbarrows, which style is perfect for you?

A wheelbarrow helps you ferry things back and forth with ease.  This large tub is equipped with a wheel and handles that save you multiple trips and an aching back.

Choosing a suitable wheelbarrow with modest weight capability for everyday tasks or commercial work requires knowledge.  Some people even opt for an electric wheelbarrow that does all the heavy lifting for you.

Best Steel Wheelbarrow

The best steel wheelbarrow is a beneficial garden and landscape tool to have on hand. These barrows are often used to move industrial equipment, which includes heavy-duty materials and building supplies, amongst others. For superior quality, performance, and value for your money, Jackson Wheelbarrows are the best when it comes to making a professional choice.

This is because it possesses professional-grade steel undercarriage, strong hardwood handles, and heavy-duty steel trays that are efficient in getting the job done without any hassle. If you’re in search of the most dependable and toughest wheelbarrow for your job site, then the Jackson Wheelbarrow is the one. Also, keep in mind that the steel gauge rating is determined by numbers. This is because smaller numbers indicate a thicker steel structure. 

What Are Wheelbarrows Made Of?

If you’re wondering what are wheelbarrows made of, then you would find the following information insightful. The raw materials used to make these tools include plastic, wood, and steel. Usually, the bed or tray is made of steel which is attached to the structure by a steel brace. Depending on the one you choose, these wheelbarrows can either have plastic or steel wheels that are encased with rubber tires.

On the other hand, barrows with two or more wheels have tires with inner tubes that are similar to those found on bicycles. Other barrows may also have a durable plastic tray with metal wheels or air-pocketed tires. Additionally, the two handles on the wheelbarrows are a bit like stroller handles which helps you move them around easily. When it comes to a poly vs. steel wheelbarrow, both are able tools that have their advantages and disadvantages.

Best Wheelbarrow for Landscaping

When choosing the best wheelbarrow for landscaping, there are a few things that you should look for. This is because landscaping jobs usually require heavy loading and tipping, which can be difficult if your barrow is not up to the task. The first thing to consider is the construction of the barrow and whether it is sturdy enough to handle the job. In this case, when it comes to a poly vs. steel wheelbarrow, the strong build of the steel-structured ones would be favored.

However, that doesn’t mean that poly wheelbarrows cannot be used for smaller loads. Next, you should take the wheelbarrow handles into consideration. What you need for heavy lifting is comfortable to grip handles that would prevent the barrow from easily slipping off your hands, giving you better control. Another important aspect when choosing the best wheelbarrow for landscaping is to look at the amount of space in the tray.

A spacious tray, in this instance, would be the best choice as a capacity of 6 cubic feet is recommended for landscaping work. But it all boils down to your budget and preferences. Budget-friendly options for this endeavor include the Garden Star 70019 Garden Barrow, which is a dual-wheel wheelbarrow. This is perfect for pushing around heavy loads.

Here are a few more options to consider:

  1. The Rocket Square Tray Heavy-Duty Wheelbarrow
  2. The Premier Heavy Duty Moss Wheelbarrow
  3. The Boss Heavy Duty Easy Mix Wheelbarrow

Which One is the Best? – Poly vs Steel Wheelbarrow

If you have taken time to research, you have noticed there are many different types of wheelbarrows.  But have you settled on a style that best suits you?  Which type is better –Poly or Steel?

Steel wheelbarrows are better for moving industrial equipment like heavy-duty materials, and building supplies.  While poly wheelbarrows are loved for being durable and do not rust even when exposed to the elements.

If you are having trouble choosing one out of these two types, read on to find out which one suits you best.

Which One is the Best – Poly vs. Steel Wheelbarrow

Check out How to Store a Wheelbarrow – Simple Guide

Differences Between Poly vs Steel Wheelbarrows

Poly Wheelbarrows Steel Wheelbarrows
 Easy to maneuver where you are going Does not fold or buckle underweight
 Made of lightweight materials Made of sturdier materials
Cannot carry too much weight Easy to haul heavier materials
Becomes brittle over time Does not brittle from changing weather elements

All About Poly Wheelbarrow

Poly wheelbarrows come from poly material more specifically polyethylene.  Polyethylene is popular in the world and used to make many containers and tools. They are mostly used in the garden for carrying lighter materials like gardening tools or soil.  Although the steel wheelbarrow is older and more traditional than poly, it presented a lighter model than the original one.  The poly wheelbarrow is easier to lift and push around even when loaded making them more favorable.

Poly wheelbarrows are commonly used at home for hauling gardening items and seedlings.  Although light and less expensive, poly wheelbarrows are more susceptible to wear and tear.  Poly wheelbarrows are affordable and you can buy one for a very reasonable price.  This site can be used for smaller jobs like ferrying grass clippings, leaves, and small branches.  A pricier model is a small investment for heavier tasks.

The popular sizes include 5, 6, and 8 cubic feet.  The wider space, the more stuff you can fit in it.


Pros of Poly Wheelbarrows

  • They come in different shapes, sizes, and colors
  • You can choose from a variety with the best specifications and price
  • It is lightweight, and easier to lift than a steel wheelbarrow even when full
  • They are not susceptible to rust like steel
  • Can be easily repaired when damaged

Cons of Poly Wheelbarrows

  • It can buckle under too much weight
  • You need to be careful what materials you put in – sharp objects can easily damage it
  • They are brittle and crack from cold and sun exposure

All about Steel Wheelbarrows

Steel wheelbarrows are more traditional than a modern poly wheelbarrows. They can handle heavy-duty stuff like cement and logs.  It is more common to see steel wheelbarrows around homes than poly ones.

This wheelbarrow is extremely durable and can hold much weight compared to the poly one without folding or buckling.  Since it’s made of steel, it is heavier and more so when you fill it with goods to carry. It is great if you need to haul building materials like gravel, paint cans, and bricks.  The steel reinforcement makes the wheelbarrow impenetrable.  It will not buckle under heavyweight but it can be too heavy for your back to push if you are not careful.

WORX Aerocart 8-in-1 Wheelbarrow

613Uoz1tBGL. AC SL1000

Pros of Steel Wheelbarrows

  • They are best for construction sizes or heavy work
  • Ideal for hauling heavy materials
  • Do not need much care since they are not delicate
  • They can be used and abused for many years without wear and tear
  • Extremely versatile and dynamic

Cons of Steel Wheelbarrows

  • They’re heavy to push around
  • They are susceptible to rust which weakens the basin of the wheelbarrow
  • Maneuvering with a full wheelbarrow is difficult and tricky


Now that you know the pros and cons of each model, we hope it helps you decide what wheelbarrow suits your needs.  Overall, both tools are beneficial and can help you with a multitude of projects.

Steel is the common choice because they are traditional and manages more tasks than poly ones.  But who are we to choose for you what you want?  It depends on what you plan on doing with your wheelbarrow and what would be comfortable for you.


Which is better poly or steel wheelbarrow?

I am looking to get a wheelbarrow and I have narrowed it down to either a poly or steel wheelbarrow. The wheelbarrows seem to vary in price between $200 - $400. I have heard that poly wheelbarrows are much more durable than steel. However, steel wheelbarrows are better for heavy loads and the poly wheelbarrows are better for light loads. A few things to keep in mind as you make your decision: Poly wheelbarrows are more expensive and harder to repair than steel. If you can buy a new steel wheelbarrow, do it.

How do I choose a wheelbarrow?

Selecting a wheelbarrow is an important decision because you want to make sure that it meets your needs. The most important thing to think about when choosing a wheelbarrow is what you plan on using it for. The wheelbarrow should be sturdy enough to hold whatever you need to move, easy to load and unload, and safe enough to protect you and your family from injury. What features should I look for in a wheelbarrow?

What kind of plastic are wheelbarrows made of?

The most common material used for wheelbarrows is polypropylene. The plastic is not brittle like glass or wood, and it's much lighter than both of those. It's also flexible and will mold to the shape of the load.

Sharing is caring!