As one of the oldest tools in mankind's arsenal, one might think that the wheelbarrow would have hit the peak of its use long ago and become standardized and monoform, but that's just not the case. Wheelbarrows come in many varieties, and picking out the right one for your specific needs can mean the difference between an enjoyable day of home landscaping and a vicious, backbreaking torment. Here are a few things you should keep in mind.
If you're working with heavy, intense loads like rocks, cinderblock, bricks, or scrap metal, then you should get a wheelbarrow with a steel bin that will hold up under the strain. For lighter materials, like dirty, leaves, or wood, a polyethylene bin will do just fine, and its lighter weight will make the job a lot easier on you.
Not all wheelbarrows are of the same size, and you need one that fits you as a person. For big, strapping workers, a larger wheelbarrow means more efficiency. If you're smaller of frame or have low upper-body strength, though, a smaller wheelbarrow will be easier for you to manage.
If you plan on carting oversized loads of irregular objects, go for a wheelbarrow with a high-walled bin. If you're working with liquid materials, you can even find some wheelbarrows with a spouted lip for easy pouring.
Make sure the handles are cushioned to make work easier on your hands. If you're going to be moving up and down inclines a lot, consider a wheelbarrow with a breaking mechanism on the handle so that it doesn't run away from you going downhill. Most wheelbarrows are made with only one wheel for greater maneuverability, but you can find some with two wheels, if stability is a priority for you.