As seen in:
Vergo
Industrial Folding
Welcom
150-lb Capacity Aluminum Folding
Safco
Tuff Truck
Harper Trucks
Nylon 400-lb Capacity
Milwaukee
Nylon Convertible
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Good

High-quality, heavy-duty dolly. Folds for easy portability. Aluminum and plastic construction weighs just ten pounds, and it won't rust.

Lightweight and portable. Won't rust. Telescopic handle.

Rugged and scratch resistant. Can move 400 pounds.

Lightweight nylon frame. Can be used vertically or as a load platform. Hefty weight limit. Comes with stair climbers.

On the heavy side (23 pounds). Can carry 600 pounds. Pneumatic wheels. Has stair climbers.

Bad

Relatively more expensive, but you are paying for quality and durability.

Fragile handles. Rare incidents of folding mechanism breakage. Some wheel problems.

On the heavier side (20 pounds). Does not fold down for portability.

Assembly required. Occasional incidents of missing parts and castor breakages.

Edges are sharp. Toe plate is small in relation to weight capacity.

Bottom Line

Sturdy, easy to use, and portable. The best hand truck/dolly on the market today.

A "personal" (rather than "industrial") hand truck that performs well when not overloaded.

Traditional dolly with basic functionality.

A versatile, affordably priced dolly. The best value on the market.

A large-capacity, heavy-duty hand truck with a few operational drawbacks.

How we decide
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Products received from manufacturers
59
Models Considered
36
Hours Spent
2
Experts Interviewed
152
Consumers Consulted

Best Dollies

There are some cheap folding hand trucks on the market today, but the materials used can be questionable. While some modern composites deliver great strength, others are fragile and don't provide the durability you want. Caution is necessary.

That doesn't mean you must pay a fortune for a good hand truck. Far from it! We've found several inexpensive dollies that perform well and several that, though more expensive, are excellent offerings. Our final five are:

Products we Considered

Vergo
Industrial Folding
Welcom
150-lb Capacity Aluminum Folding
Safco
Tuff Truck
Harper Trucks
Nylon 400-lb Capacity
Milwaukee
Nylon Convertible

Considerations

Construction

Dollies endure a lot of abuse. As such, they have to be built tough. In this part of our ratings, we examine what each truck is made of and discern whether it's up to the job.

Capacity & Ergonomics

How much weight a dolly can carry will obviously impact your choice, but there's also the question of ergonomics -- what it feels like in use. For example, if the handles are uncomfortably low or the dolly is too heavy to move, you probably wouldn't want it. In this section of our ratings, we examine weight capacity and ergonomics.

Flexibility

Modern hand trucks offer a number of features, from fold-down portability to built in "stair climbers" that make steps and curbs easier to negotiate.

Price

In this part of the review, we look at just what you get for your money. Are the best deals on the lower end of the pricing spectrum, or should you invest a bit more?

Considerations

Construction

Magna Cart Personal 150 lb Capacity Aluminum Folding Hand Truck

The Magna Cart Folding Hand Truck is made from a combination of aluminum and plastic. It features solid rubber tires on five-inch wheels. These materials certainly keep it quite light (it weighs just seven pounds), so it's easy to carry around when not in use. The aluminum doesn't rust, which should help with the product's durability. This is a very popular light-duty dolly, but a few owners have complained that the handles are a bit fragile, and some have experienced breakages in the folding mechanism. Overall, however, it seems very capable as long as it's not overloaded.

Safco 4069 Tuff Truck Continuous Handle Truck

If you're looking for a traditional dolly -- the kind you've undoubtedly seen on delivery vehicles the world over -- the welded steel Safco 4069 Tuff Truck could be just the item you need. With eight-inch, rubber-shod wheels, it's built simply, but like is says in the title, it's tough. The Safco's rugged construction is further protected by a scratch-resistant, powder-coated finish. At 20 pounds, it's not the lightest of dollies, but on the plus side, we haven't found a single complaint about it being fragile!

Harper Trucks Nylon 400 lb Capacity

The main frame of the Harper Trucks Convertible Hand Truck and Dolly is actually a type of nylon. This material is increasingly popular among dolly manufacturers because of its light weight. Like aluminum, this material doesn't rust. Small dents don't normally present a problem, either, because there's no surface finish to scratch off. Wheels are a fairly standard eight inches with solid rubber tires, and three-inch plastic castors serve their purpose when the dolly is used as a flat truck. The handle is powder-coated, tubular steel. Some (easy) assembly is required, but unfortunately, several owners received theirs with parts missing. This problem isn't difficult to rectify, but it's definitely frustrating.

Vergo S300BT Industrial Folding Hand Truck Dolly

Like the Magna Cart, the Vergo S300BT Industrial Folding Hand Truck Dolly uses a combination of aluminum and tough modern plastic to keep its weight down to just 10 pounds. The seven-inch wheels sport solid rubber tires. It looks sturdy, but one or two owners have reported difficulties with the folding wheel mechanism. (This is something that ought to be fixed under warranty.) Overall, the Vergo is a high-quality, heavy-duty dolly that serves them well.

Milwaukee Hand Trucks 40611 Nylon Convertible Truck

Having the word "nylon" in the title is kind of a giveaway as to what the Milwaukee Hand Trucks 40611 Nylon Convertible Truck is (mostly) made of! To be accurate, this product consists of a fiberglass-reinforced nylon polymer that creates an extremely rigid frame. Other components are bolted onto it. (It ships fully assembled.) The main wheels are big, ten-inch pneumatic units. A smaller set of five-inch swivel castors is also included for when the dolly is used in the flat position. The toe plate is steel, as is the handle; both are powder-coated for longer life. Our research turned up no owner complaints about build quality, though several owners mentioned that the edges very sharp. There is also a bit of a weight penalty, as the Milwaukee weighs 23 pounds.

The Harper Trucks Hand Truck and Dolly is made of lightweight, rust-resistant nylon and weighs just 15 pounds.
Considerations

Capacity & Ergonomics

The maximum weight rating for the Magna Cart folding dolly is 150 pounds, which is not bad considering its portability. It may not be an industrial-strength option, but it's not flimsy, either. The telescopic handle pulls out to a height of 39 inches. Many owners are satisfied with this product, but some think the wheels are too small. In addition, the wheel positioning has been known to make leverage a bit difficult. Perhaps surprisingly, several owners have stated that they have the most trouble toting smaller items. Loading up the dolly with larger items, on the other hand, seems to change the center of gravity and make transportation easier.

Underlining the Safco Tuff Truck's sturdy construction is its weight rating: a healthy 400 pounds. The eight-inch wheels are ideally positioned to help raise items off the ground, although some owners say there's a certain "knack" to handling the Safco that must be developed. However, most say that once you've got it, you'll probably never think of using anything else.

Harper Trucks Nylon 400 lb Capacity

With the Harper Trucks dolly, you have two different weight ratings. This is because it can be used either vertically or as a load platform. In the upright position, it will take a maximum of 300 pounds. Horizontally, the limit increases to 400 pounds. Handle height, when upright, is a fixed 43 inches, and most users find that to be comfortable enough. The smaller castors on the Harper Trucks' platform position came in for some criticism, as a few owners experienced breakages. This was particularly disappointing for those who said they were nowhere near the weight limit when the breakage occurred.

Vergo S300BT Industrial Folding Hand Truck Dolly

Given that it looks quite similar to the Magna Cart and uses the same materials, you might expect the Vergo Industrial Folding Hand Truck to have a similar weight rating. In fact, it will carry almost twice as much, with a maximum of 275 pounds! This dolly's telescopic handle extends to 42.5 inches -- a clear benefit. Larger wheels also make it somewhat easier to move around; several owners were particularly complimentary about this aspect. Our research uncovered very few complaints about the way this dolly handles a load, although a couple of people mentioned that the width of the frame at the bottom would allow small, heavy boxes to slide off. This is a problem that could be effectively prevented by adding a couple of bungee cords.

Although the big Milwaukee dolly has two positions -- upright and platform cart -- the maximum weight rating for both is the same at a whopping 600 pounds. Many owners say they've pushed their Milwaukee close to its limit with no problems. However, a few have commented that the toe plate is a bit small in relation to the dolly's high weight limit. The frame is cleverly contoured to help support round loads as well as boxes, and the pneumatic tires are certainly a bonus over rough, uneven ground. At 50 inches tall, some might find the handle a little high, but we didn't find anyone who actually criticized its maneuverability.

The Vergo S300BT's telescopic handle extends to nearly 43 inches -- a clear benefit.
Richard
Expert Consultant
Richard
Hardware Store Owner, Do-It-Yourself Guru

Richard is a seasoned small business owner in the hardware industry. He also owns a pool maintenance business and serves as an advisor on groundskeeping committees for a number of prominent organizations. He’s a regionally renowned safe cracker/locksmith expert, and in his spare time, he renovates and repairs vaults, safes, appliances, and a number of other products.

Considerations

Flexibility

Magna Cart Personal 150 lb Capacity Aluminum Folding Hand Truck

With the Magna Cart Hand Truck, flexibility comes by way of the fact that it will fold down to just 25 inches tall, 15 inches wide, and two inches deep. At that size, it's going to fit in any car trunk. Indeed, several owners have said that they stow their Magna Cart behind the driver or passenger seat of their vehicle. It only weighs a few pounds, so lifting it in and out of the vehicle is a breeze. Clever as the folding mechanism is, it does suffer occasional faults. Sometimes it jams and refuses to open it properly; this could potentially lead to breakage. It's not a common problem, but it certainly has annoyed those few consumers who have experienced it.

Safco 4069 Tuff Truck Continuous Handle Truck

While the Safco dolly has its strengths, flexibility isn't one of them! It is what it is: a solid, old-style hand truck. Unlike some of its competitors, the Safco doesn't fold down for easy portability or storage. As such, there are no complicated mechanisms to go wrong. In short, it just lifts stuff!

Harper Trucks Nylon 400 lb Capacity

Thanks to its ability to easily transform from upright dolly to platform truck, the Harper Hand Truck/Dolly has many uses. To alter the dolly's configuration simply remove a couple of pins, change the position of the handle, and lay it down (or stand it up). It takes just moments, but a number of owners did say the "hair pin" clips were a bit fiddly and easily lost. (Replacements are readily available.) This model includes stair gliders that make life easier when running over curbs or steps. When flat, the load area is 29-by-12 inches, so it's not huge, but it's still a useful load bed. While it won't fold, it's easy to lift and will fit in most trunks.

Vergo S300BT Industrial Folding Hand Truck Dolly

At first glance, the Vergo Industrial Folding Hand Truck Dolly looks similar to the Magna Cart. Indeed, it shares the same advantage of folding down to a compact and easily portable unit. In this case, the folded size is a little larger at 31 inches tall, 19 inches wide, and 2.5 inches deep. However, the Vergo dolly does have considerably more weight capacity than the Magna Cart. The opening mechanism can be conveniently operated with your foot. Judging by owner comments, it seems more robust than its competitors.

Milwaukee Hand Trucks 40611 Nylon Convertible Truck

Quick conversion from upright dolly to platform truck is one of the Milwaukee Hand Truck's main attractions. While owners think swapping from one to the other is fairly simple, some were critical of the low-tech, inconvenient way of doing so. Like the Harper, the Milwaukee includes has stair climbers. Some thought these gave the Milwaukee a big advantage, but a few found them difficult to understand and use. At 39-by-21 inches, it has a considerably bigger flat bed area than the Harper, but the Milwaukee's size and weight do make lifting it in and out of vehicles a bit of a challenge for some.

The Harper Trucks Hand Truck and Dolly includes stair gliders that make life much easier when running over curbs or steps.
Considerations

Price

Magna Cart Personal 150 lb Capacity Aluminum Folding Hand Truck

At just $36, the Magna Cart Folding Hand Truck is something of a bargain. It only weighs a few pounds, and it folds up into a remarkably neat little package that you can stow just about anywhere. And yet, it can tote up to 150 pounds! It's made of components that don't rust, and while it's not the most robust of constructions, the number of owners with complaints is tiny when compared to the hundreds who are entirely satisfied with their purchase. There are a few problems with sticking handles; the same can be said of the folding wheel mechanism, too. However, Magna Cart refers to this product as a "personal" dolly and make no claims that it's an industrial model. One user hit the nail firmly on the head when he said it's an "excellent price for a light-duty hand cart."

Safco 4069 Tuff Truck Continuous Handle Truck

The Safco product on our shortlist is a "Tuff Truck" by name and a tough truck by nature. At just $58, the Safco 4069 is also a tough deal to beat. The design of this dolly has changed very little over the past century for one simple reason: it does the job it's designed to do, and it does it well. Some owners think it's a little heavy, but the Safco's welded steel (with its powder-coated finish) will still be around long after some of its competitors wear out. Big wheels make it easy to move, and a 400-pound load rating is competitive. A few people think the toe plate is a bit small, but there are few other criticisms.

Harper Trucks Nylon 400 lb Capacity

You might expect a two-in-one model like the Harper Trucks Convertible Hand Truck and Dolly to be expensive, yet this one is just $49 -- a terrific value. Although it's not a "folding" dolly in the true sense, the Harper Trucks' lightweight nylon still makes it quite portable. Notably, it will match the load capacity of the Safco in the platform position. Some owners have had problems with the smaller castors breaking (this seems to be a common problem with this type of dolly), and not everyone is convinced of this dolly's long-term durability. However, these detractors must be balanced against the majority who think it performs better than expected and is ideal for home use.

Vergo S300BT Industrial Folding Hand Truck Dolly

People are bound to compare the Vergo S300BT Industrial Folding Hand Truck Dolly with the visually similar Magna Cart. Given that the Vergo costs a fair bit more at $79, it's only sensible to ask what you're paying the extra for. The answer, in a word, is quality. It's not that there's much wrong with the Magna Cart. Rather, it's that the Vergo does everything just that much better. It's a little larger, yet almost as light. It's easily portable. It's got almost twice the weight rating, and it's incredibly easy to maneuver. Although there are rare reports of difficulties with the wheel mechanism, overall, negative comments of any kind are almost nonexistent. Praise for this product, on the other hand, is quite significant.

Milwaukee Hand Trucks 40611 Nylon Convertible Truck

The Milwaukee Hand Trucks 40611 Nylon Convertible Truck is quite a heavy-duty piece, and it sells for the fairly heavy-duty price of $143. That's well over twice the cost of the Vergo, but this is a very different kind of dolly. Like the Harper, it can be used in two positions, but thanks to its extremely strong and rigid build, it can carry 600 pounds both upright and lying down. You won't find many complaints about broken wheels, either (although the smaller ones do fracture on occasion). There are a number of other things that owners weren't entirely happy with, though. Several complained about the Milwaukee's sharp edges, the small toe plate, and the hand truck's overall weight (23 pounds). However, there's no doubting this tool's quality and durability, and many buyers find it well worth the money.

The sturdy, easy-to-use Vergo Industrial Folding Hand Truck Dolly is recognized by consumers for its top-notch quality.

Best of the Best

The competition was tough, but our pick for the Best of the Best dolly is the Vergo S300BT. The Milwaukee nearly took it, but it's just a bit too specialized, expensive, and heavy. The Vergo, with its all-around appeal, is likely to suit the majority of consumers.

If you're looking for a hand truck with flexibility, you undoubtedly want something that is lightweight and portable. Durability is likely to be another consideration. The Vergo answers all of these demands. The aluminum and plastic construction weighs just ten pounds, and it won't rust. Fully extended, the handle offers 43 inches of well-balanced leverage. When you want to throw it in the car or stow it in the garage, it folds down to a much more compact size.

Some folding dollies come across as a bit flimsy, but not this one. The mechanism is robust, and the toe plate is substantial. Weight rating is a maximum of 275 pounds, and while that's not as much as some competitors, it's as much as most people need. For just $79, this is quite an affordable dolly. Criticisms of the Vergo are few. The only complaint that cropped up during our research concerned the wheel mechanism not opening properly, but this was a rare occurrence. On the other hand, the Vergo receives plenty of compliments. Many owners call it a "high-quality dolly" with surprising strength -- especially considering its light weight. In essence, this is a solid product that does a great job in a wide variety of situations. For all of these reasons, it is the Best of the Best.
Best of the Best
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With a 275-pound weight rating and a 43-inch handle, the Vergo S300BT is solid, robust, and versatile.

Best Bang for your Buck

All of our finalists are terrific products, but the Best Bang for Your Buck dolly is the Harper Trucks Convertible Hand Truck.

If you just want an occasional helping hand, the Magna Cart and classic Safco would both be good choices. However, when you add up the benefits of the Harper Trucks dolly, it's plain to see that this product beats the others by a healthy margin.

It's got the same kind of tough, braced nylon frame as the heavy-duty Milwaukee, but it costs far less. Some assembly is required, and not everyone likes that fact. However, nobody we surveyed actually had any trouble putting it together. A few customers received their un-assembled dolly with pieces missing. This problem can be rectified, but it certainly is annoying. Once it's put together, this dolly can be used either as an upright dolly (with a load rating of 300 pounds) or a platform truck (with a maximum weight of 400 pounds). The Harper Trucks itself only weighs 15 pounds, so it's light enough to pick up and will fit in most vehicle trunks.

The Harper Trucks dolly does have one or two weaknesses. While the frame will take a lot of punishment, some owners found that the same was not true of the three-inch wheels used in the platform position. A few thought that component quality could be improved. And, while the stair gliders are generally thought of as a bonus, not everyone agrees with this sentiment. However, the majority of customer feedback is positive, and the fact that this product costs just $49 makes it an outstanding value.
Best Bang for your Buck
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The Harper Trucks Convertible Hand Truck can handle up to 300 pounds as an upright dolly and up to 400 pounds as a platform truck.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bob
    Bob
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Jasmin
    Jasmin
    Operations
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Ben
    Ben
    Operations