Telescoping handle extends up to 36 inches, allowing for users of all sizes to move items comfortably. 300-pound capacity handles the items of the average user. Folds into a thin unit in spite of large platform and telescoping handle. Compact enough to store in virtually any utility closet.
Cart works best on flat surfaces, and wheels may wear out quickly if used often on rough terrain.
The 29 by 19 inch platform compares favorably to similar hand trucks, and the no-slip rubber surface is a great feature. Wheels make smooth turns, even on surfaces that aren't perfectly flat or smooth. The inclusion of a center backing piece on the handle is helpful with taller loads.
While the wheels are maneuverable, users report they require frequent tightening and are difficult to reach when unit is assembled.
Steel frame is tough enough to handle frequent use, yet lightweight so users don't strain. Platform can handle up to 330 pounds and has a rubberized surface to prevent items from slipping when stacked. The handle folds flat to the 29 by 18 inch platform when not in use for easy storage.
Due to the placement of the wheels, this model has a tendency to tip if heavy items are not centered on the platform.
300-pound capacity. Easily swaps between 2 and 4 wheel positions without tools. Durable. Folds flat for convenient storage and fits in most car trunks. Affordable. Available in pink, orange, and green. Lightweight and easy to maneuver.
Larger wheels would’ve been a plus.
700-pound capacity for very heavy loads. Large cart base. Easy to turn into a dolly and back into a cart. Ultra-durable rubber tires. Solidly built. Highly maneuverable, thanks to its telescoping handle which helps you turn it even in narrow spaces.
Only available in green, and a bit pricey.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
A small milk crate of books can get pretty heavy when you have to carry it down the block. If you have to move a whole house full of furniture, carrying everything just isn’t practical. If you’re transporting equipment and the parking lot is a long way from the job site, you need a way to move everything quickly and easily — and a 4-wheel hand truck is the perfect tool for the job.
The size, weight capacity, and maneuverability of 4-wheel hand trucks can vary greatly. Some 4-wheel hand trucks can be converted into 2-wheel dollies and back to a “platform” mode within seconds, giving you tremendous flexibility. In addition, some models fold for convenient storage. All of these factors mean it’s important to choose a model that is easy to store and suits your needs.
With the wide variety of 4-wheel hand trucks on the market, choosing the right model can be intimidating. Continue reading our buying guide to learn more about these useful tools and to find the right one for your home or business.
Before buying a 4-wheel hand truck, you need to ask yourself what it is you’re moving. The answers will determine what kind of hand truck you need and how much you’ll have to pay.
As a general rule, if you have to strain to pick something up or it is too heavy for you to carry in your arms for more than a few steps, you need a hand truck. Some of the heaviest items you may need a 4-wheel hand truck for include boxes of books, water jugs, and tools or equipment.
Big boxes of quilts or bedding may not be exceptionally heavy, but their sheer size can make it difficult for you to pick them up. Ottomans and recliners are in the same category. It’s hard to get a good grasp on them and carry them, especially if you don’t have an extra pair of hands. A 4-wheel hand truck is convenient not only for heavy objects but also for items that are large or cumbersome.
The wheels of 4-wheel hand trucks vary from a couple of inches to 8 inches or larger in diameter. In general, larger wheels can support more weight and work best with heavy loads. Additionally, large tires work better on stairs than small ones or castors.
Small castors are more maneuverable than wheels. If you need to get in and out of tight spots, castors, or at least smaller tires, are your best option.
Castors don’t function very well on rough surfaces or when you have to cross a lawn or other soft areas. Wheels work better on uneven surfaces. Consider what surfaces you use your hand truck on and look for a model with wheels that will work well.
Many 4-wheel hand trucks have larger wheels in the front and small castors in the back for the best of both worlds. A 4-wheel hand truck with four castors is highly maneuverable no matter which direction you’re moving — though you should rarely move backward or sideways.
Some 4-wheel hand trucks convert from dolly to platform and back again. Take a look at the physical dimensions of what you’re going to be moving and decide before you buy if you want a platform truck only or one that converts. Having the option of both modes greatly increases the number of items you can carry with your 4-wheel hand truck and where you can carry them.
Aluminum is a popular material for its strong yet lightweight quality. Tubular steel-framed hand trucks are also popular. When properly made, steel frames can be almost as light as aluminum but are significantly stronger.
Recent advances have made it possible to create hand trucks with glass-filled nylon plastic frames. These hand trucks can be as much as 30% lighter than conventional frames due to their synthetic material.
If you like your tools to match (or at least complement each other), you should consider a hand truck in a color you like. Popular options include black, green, red, orange, blue, industrial silver (aluminum), and various shades of gray.
Check the stated load capacity of each hand truck before you decide which one you want. Plus, if it’s a convertible hand truck, make sure you know what the load capacity is in each configuration.
Most 4-wheel hand trucks can support anywhere from 300 to 1,000 pounds, and you can expect to pay more for a model that can support a higher weight. A 300-pound model should be all you need for moving small furniture, boxes of books, or water jugs, but if you need to move heavy equipment, you should consider a mode that supports 600 pounds or more.
Models that convert into 2-wheel dollies can usually support about 100 pounds less in dolly mode since the weight is supported by only two wheels. So, if a hand truck handles 300 pounds in the platform mode, when it converts to dolly mode, it will only carry 200 pounds.
The dimensions of the platform will determine the size of the objects your hand truck can carry. Most platforms range from 20 to 30 inches in length and 16 to 20 inches in width. A larger platform is better for moving large objects, but it can be more difficult to maneuver and store.
In addition, some hand trucks have extendable platforms to accommodate differently sized objects.
How flat does a hand truck fold down for storage and transportation? Some models do not fold down, but many 4-wheel hand trucks are foldable to be as compact as possible. In some cases, the manufacturer may list the folded dimensions so you know whether it will fit in your shed or vehicle.
Ergonomics is one of those words that sounds out of place when you’re talking about hand trucks, but it is important. The handle should be designed so it is comfortable and easy to grip. Rubberized or soft plastic on the handles means your hand won’t be throbbing from using it for long periods.
Replacement tires: Cosco 10-Inch Replacement Tires
Many hand trucks have large 10-inch tires that occasionally need replacing. These solid replacement tires from Cosco will fit most hand trucks. They come in five different colors: black, blue, red, yellow, and gray.
Replacement castors: AAGUT Swivel Threaded 5-Inch Stem Castor Wheels
Some hand trucks use stem castors instead of plate castors. When you need to replace them, this package of four from AAGUT will fill the bill. Each castor will support up to 300 pounds, 1,200 for all four. Each castor has a brake as well.
Tie down straps: AUGO Ratchet Tie Down Straps
When you need to strap a heavy load in place, these ratchet tie-down straps from AUGO will hold it place without slipping off the hand truck.
Inexpensive: Inexpensive 4-wheel hand trucks start around $40 and reach up to $80. For this price, you can find basic 4-wheel platform trucks or smaller hand trucks that may double as a dolly or platform. The weight capacity of these trucks is usually less than 350 pounds.
Mid-range: The medium price range for 4-wheel hand trucks is from $80 up to $200. Many of these hand trucks have at least two modes and can carry around 800 pounds or more.
Expensive: The upper price range is from about $200 to around $475 or more. This is where professional hand trucks made for rugged daily use will be found. Many of them have an assisted dolly mode where the back castors come down at an angle so you don’t have to support all the weight yourself. Several hand trucks in this price range have a 1,000-pound capacity.
If you didn’t find what you were looking for in our top picks, we have a few more models for you to consider.
We recommend the Harper Trucks Lightweight 400-pound Capacity Convertible Hand Truck, which supports 300 pounds as a dolly and up to 400 pounds as a 4-wheel hand truck. The large tires are 8-inch solid tires with solid rubber tread and 3-inch swiveling castors on the other end. This U.S.-made truck features an I-Beam glass-filled nylon plastic frame that is rugged and durable yet 30% lighter than comparable steel-framed hand trucks. The low price makes this hand truck a great value purchase.
We also like the Magliner Gemini Sr Convertible Hand Truck. It has a 500-pound capacity as a dolly but can support a whopping 1,000 pounds as a 4-wheel platform truck. The pneumatic 10-inch tires have a solid tread for maximum grip and the 360° swiveling castors are 5 inches in diameter. This hand truck is made from aluminum to reduce the overall weight, yet it still retains a rugged strength for years to come. Unfortunately, the price is as professional as the unit.
Q. Do I need to tighten all loads or just some?
A. Technically, you should strap all loads in place but it’s not always practical. When you’re rolling the hand truck across bumpy surfaces, every load should be strapped down.
Q. Can I use a 4-wheel hand truck on the stairs?
A. Only when it is in dolly mode — never when it is in platform mode. The only time you should pull a dolly is when you are going up stairs, but you should act with extreme caution to avoid tripping and dropping the dolly.
Q. Which tires are best for stairs?
A. Inflatable tires have more flexibility for going over curbs, stairs, and other obstacles than solid ones.
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