LAST UPDATED: November 12, 2020
The Best Hand Trucks (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Move your items with ease with these sturdy hand trucks.
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PUBLISHED ON November 12, 2020
It’s safe to say that most people don’t like moving things around, especially if they are big and heavy. So why not work smarter instead of harder? That's why everyone needs a hand truck or dolly, as some people call them.
If you want one but are under the impression that they are too big and difficult to store, there are many newer designs that are collapsible, portable, storage-friendly—even if “storage” is just behind a cabinet or in a coat closet. For large jobs, there are hand trucks that can hold as much as 1,000 pounds of load and are constructed with dense aluminum or composite materials.
What you buy depends on your intended use—and where you intend to store it. Check out some of the best hand trucks available.
It can be used in eight different configurations. It comes in four colors: black, blue, green, and red. An optional deck can be added if a carpeted flat base is needed.
- Wheelbase can be adjusted between 26 and 39 inches
- High maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds
- Decent quality for transporting small objects or light loads
- Not as stable as comparable products when used for large bulky items
Features an aluminum toe plate that opens and closes the wheels as you flip it down or up. This is the key feature that makes it incredibly easy to use as well as store.
- 5-inch non-marking rubber wheels with ball bearings
- Handle contracts with the push of a button
- Weighs only 7 pounds
Lightweight design means it can be difficult to truck more than 100 pounds
Product is 30 percent lighter than comparable steel hand trucks. Made from a composite material that makes it chemical, corrosion, and rust-resistant.
- Can be used as a four-wheeled hand truck or a two-wheeled dolly
- 2 wheel options are available
- Reviewers complain of missing parts or broken upon arrival
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Benefits of Hand Trucks
- Allows you to move heavy objects. Perhaps the most obvious benefit of hand trucks is that they allow you to transport large objects or lift heavy loads while moving with ease.
- Reduces risk of injury. Hand trucks reduce your risk of injury by limiting the strain on your back, legs, and arms. People who use hand trucks have fewer muscle and joint problems, and also they do not get as tired while transporting heavy objects.
- Built to last. Hand trucks are made from durable, heavy-duty material that rarely needs any repairs or maintenance. Hand trucks are a quality, reliable investment that will help you to transport heavy objects for a long period of time.
Types of Hand Trucks
Traditional hand trucks are of the upright variety and can carry a variety of large objects and heavy loads. They typically can hold up to 500 pounds, although some upright hand trucks can hold more weight than 500 pounds. These types of hand trucks generally have two wheels and a strap to secure and hold your items in place.
Specialty hand trucks, also known as dollies, are specifically designed to carry heavy loads, such as crates, furniture, or machinery. This type of hand truck typically has four wheels. Your heavy items can be placed directly onto the horizontal platform and wheeled for convenient transportation. This type of hand truck does not have the benefit of security straps of being able to be easily carried up a flight of stairs.
Convertible hand trucks typically have four wheels and are built to carry heavy loads, even as much as 1500 pounds. These types of hand trucks can be used in the vertical, upright position, as well as a traditional dolly, specialty position. They can easily switch between a two-wheeled position and four-wheeled position for an extremely versatile option.
Rock-N-Roller has become a leading innovator and manufacturer of utility carts. This company's products are designed for efficiency and reduce the time and effort taken to move your objects. In addition to hand trucks, Rock-N-Roller also produces shelves, accessories, and more.
Founded in 2004, Harper is a branch of WebstaurantStore, based in Lancaster, Penn. The company manufactures restaurant equipment, shipping, and receiving supplies all over the country. In addition to hand trucks, Harper also produces cooking equipment, commercial refrigeration, dinnerware, and more.
Cosco is a reliable company, specializing in moving, painting, redecorating, and indoor/outdoor furniture. This reputable company ships products throughout the United States. In addition to hand trucks, Cosco produces folding chairs, ladders, outdoor furniture, and more.
Hand Truck Pricing
- Under $50: Hand trucks in this price range provide the best value. They are often of the traditional, upright design, featuring two wheels, but are still very stable and can carry heavy objects with ease.
- $50-$100: Hand trucks in this price range are usually very reliable and high quality. They are typically of the upright design, featuring two wheels, or the specialty design, featuring four horizontal wheels.
- $100 and up: Although these hand trucks may be priced at a premium, they typically are of the highest quality and made from the best material. Hand trucks in this price range are often of the convertible variety, with the ability to easily switch between a two-wheeled and four-wheeled option.
Weight capacity is one of the most important features of hand trucks. The best hand trucks available on the market are able to carry large objects and heavy loads with ease. Upright hand trucks can typically hold up to 500 pounds, while specialty hand trucks are designed for large furniture and objects up to 1500 pounds. Depending on what you are looking to move with your hand truck will depend on what type of hand truck and weight capacity you will need.
The number of wheels and the type of wheels are important features of hand trucks. Convertible and specialty hand trucks typically have four wheels, while upright hand trucks have two wheels. Some hand trucks have tires specifically designed for outdoors with specialty treads, while others feature flat free polyurethane tires. These tires are more expensive but do not have to be patched or refilled with air.
The type of frame and material that the hand truck is constructed from is another key feature. Most hand trucks are constructed from some type of heavy-duty, durable material. It is common for many hand trucks to be made from high-quality aluminum or plastic coated material. The highest quality hand trucks are sometimes made from heavy-duty steel, which provides rust and corrosion resistance.
- Versatility. Purchasing a hand truck that is extremely versatile is an important consideration. Hand trucks should be able to carry a large variety of heavy objects of all shapes and sizes. Convertible hand trucks are the most versatile option, with the ability to be used as a four-wheeled specialty hand truck, as well as a two-wheeled upright hand truck.
- Weight. The weight of your hand truck is another factor to consider when shopping for your new moving tool. If you will be traveling with your hand truck, owning a lightweight option that is partially or fully collapsible can be important. If you do purchase a lightweight option, make sure it is built from heavy-duty material and able to withstand enough weight capacity for your items.
- Warranty. The type of warranty is an essential consideration for your hand truck. Purchasing a hand truck from a trusted, reliable company will typically ensure that your hand truck is of high quality. Many of these trusted companies will offer some type of limited warranty so that your hand truck can be returned if there are any defects or issues with your order.
Best Hand Truck Reviews & Recommendations 2021
This Rock-N-Roller R2G 8-in-1 Folding Hand Truck is by far one of the most versatile and durable of all the hand trucks in this list. Every homeowner needs this as it can be used in eight different configurations. An optional deck can be added if a carpeted flat base is needed, while an optional carpeted shelf can be added at the top to make it a two-tiered cart. With a maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds, it should be more than adequate for most users. When completely closed, the hand truck measures 26 x 14 x 6.5 inches. Rock-N-Roller claims that it is small enough fit in a plane overhead compartment but most airline companies will consider it your carry-on, which means one fewer piece of personal luggage allowed on.
One downside of the Rock-N-Roller R2G 8-in-1 Folding Hand Truck is that even though it is a decent quality for transporting small objects or light loads, it is not as stable as comparable products.
The Magna Cart MCX Personal Hand Truck features an aluminum toe plate that opens and closes the wheels as you flip it down or up. This is the key feature that makes it incredibly easy to use as well as store. To make rolling around more efficient, the five-inch non-marking rubber wheels are equipped with ball bearings. The handle shrinks from 39 to 25 inches with the push of a button. Weighing only seven pounds makes it the ideal traveling companion and allows it to be stored out of sight.
One issue with the lightweight design of the Magna Cart MCX Personal Hand Truck is that it makes it difficult to carry more than 100 pounds, even though the product is rated up to 150 pounds.
The Cosco 4-in-1 Folding Hand Truck features a foldable toe plate, making it easier to store and for people to not trip on it. This can be used in four configurations: An upright dolly, a 45-degree angled dolly (great for moving tires and wheels), a four-wheeled cart stopped on the other end with the toe plate, or for wider items, used with the toe plate folded down. When used as a two-wheeled dolly, it will support up to 800 pounds and 1000 pounds when used as a four-wheeled cart. Other features include one-handed conversion and flat-free tires.
One downside of this hand truck is its stability. If you will be using this hand truck consistently to carry heavy loads, you may want to consider another option. The aluminum frame and plastic handles have been known to bend or break after extensive use.
The strength in this hand truck comes from a proprietary I-beam design using glass-filled nylon plastic. The composite material makes it chemical, corrosion, and rust-resistant. It can be used in two configurations: a four-wheeled hand truck or a two-wheeled dolly. When used as a two-wheeled dolly, it will hold up to 600 pounds but will hold up to 700 pounds when used as a four-wheeled hand truck. There are two-wheel options available: flat-free or pneumatic wheels. Conversion between the layouts is done by removing a clip and pin, sliding the handle out, and replacing the clip and pin. This unit is made in the U.S.
One issue to consider with the Harper Trucks Composite Hand Truck is to inspect the item thoroughly upon delivery. Certain models have been delivered with missing parts or have been broken upon arrival.
This Haul Master 18” x 12” Mover’s Dolly features four 3-inch hard rubber casters, which swivel to make maneuvering loads much more agile. The ends that are designated to support items are wrapped in the carpet so it does not ding or scratch your valuable furniture. With its small size and footprint, hiding this dolly can easily be done by sliding it under the opening of a bed or chest, or just resting it up against a wall in a corner or closet. Lastly, it can hold up to 1000 pounds, making it the best option for heavy furniture that you'll find.
One downside of the Haul Master Mover’s Dolly is that it is not meant for use indoors. It has been known to leave scratches, scuffs, and tracks on hardwood floors. This dolly should only be used indoors on concrete or non-hardwood surfaces.
Magliner GMK81UA4 Gemini Sr Convertible Hand Truck is a high-quality product, ideal for use by professional movers, business, or even homeowners looking for a reliable product. This hand truck is fully convertible from a two-wheel hand truck to a four-wheel cart. It features a heavy-duty aluminum frame, which is extremely stable and is built to withstand the test of time. Even though this product is rather expensive, all parts are fully replaceable so you should not need to ever replace the entire hand truck. The Magliner hand truck has a maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds as a hand truck, and 1000 pounds as a four-wheel cart.
One downside of the Magliner Gemini Sr Convertible Hand Truck is that it is extremely heavy. If you will be using your hand truck for home use and traveling with it, this may not be the best option for your needs.
The Milwaukee 30087 Hand Truck is another high-quality hand truck available at an excellent value. This hand truck is able to help you move heavy objects, including furniture and large appliances up to 800 pounds. This product easily converts from a two-wheel vertical hand truck to a four-wheel platform position. There is a solid steel deck that prevents your objects from falling through the frame of this hand truck. It features 10-inch pneumatic tires, specifically designed with treads for outdoor use and rough terrain. There are wheel guards in place, which are meant to protect the load from the tires. This hand truck is constructed from heavy-duty steel with a powder-coated finish to prevent rust and corrosion.
One downside of the Milwaukee 30087 Hand Truck is that it may not hold as much weight as advertised if you are using the two-wheel vertical option. Make sure to use the four-wheel platform position for your largest and heaviest objects.
The Orange Tech Folding Hand Truck is a lightweight, foldable option that is ideal for home use and traveling. This hand truck can be folded up to a size of 18 inches by 12 inches and has a weight of just over 6 pounds, making it a great compact option for storage. It even comes with a convenient storage bag to keep your hand truck in when not in use. This product can hold a capacity of up to 155 pounds maximum. It features an extendable base to hold larger-sized objects. A set of bungee cords with hooks are included to secure your belongings when using this hand truck.
One downside of this hand truck is with its wheels. While it does feature four wheels, the hand truck is not very maneuverable, particularly if it is loaded close to capacity. The wheels often get stuck and will not turn if carrying heavy objects.
- Make sure to follow proper lifting techniques when placing your objects or heavy load on the hand truck. Use your legs, and keep your back straight. If necessary, use two people to properly load the hand truck.
- In order to increase the stability of your hand truck, always load the heaviest items or largest items on the bottom of the hand truck.
- Make sure the load is secured with straps or bungees, and test it before wheeling to ensure the load will not slip, shift or fall.
- Always keep up with proper maintenance of your hand truck, including maintaining tire pressure. Hand trucks with uneven or under pressurized tires can increase your physical stress and fatigue while using.
- Make sure to always use the proper type of hand truck for your needs. If moving large items or heavy furniture, use a specialty hand truck or four-wheel cart option.
Q: Why do they call a hand truck a dolly?
The origin of a hand truck being referred to as a dolly is unknown. One popular theory is that it was a slang term, which meant a smaller version of a trolley, and how it resembles a doll in railroad hand carts due to having arms and legs.
Q: How much is a hand truck?
The cost of hand trucks can vary greatly, depending on a variety of factors. The best value hand trucks can be found for under $50, while some professional hand trucks can be priced well over $100.
Q: What is the best hand truck?
Our best overall hand truck is the Rock-N-Roller R2G 8-in-1 Folding Hand Truck. In general, convertible hand trucks are the most versatile. But an upright hand truck or specialty hand truck may be the best for your specific needs.
For a high-quality hand truck, consider the Rock-N-Roller R2G 8-in-1 Folding Hand Truck, which can be used in eight different configurations, or the Magna Cart MCX Personal Hand Truck, featuring an aluminum toe plate.