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A good dolly cart helps you move loads weighing hundreds of pounds without back spasms or excessive swearing.
The Milwaukee 47109 Flow Back Dolly Cart is the best one you can buy thanks to the classic simplicity of its form and function and its lifetime durability of construction.
Just a few days ago, I fulfilled what, for some reason, had become a lifelong dream of mine: I bought a deep freezer. Soon, my garage will boast 5.2 cubic feet of ice cold storage in a handsome white cube, and the freezer under our fridge will be free of clutter, stocked only with choice items like ice cream, waffles, and additional ice cream. And ice.
Singlehandedly getting the freezer off the Home Depot flatbed and into my car wasn’t much fun, but it only took about a minute all told. Moving this cumbersome appliance up the driveway and into the garage, however? That was going to require some help. With my wife watching the kids and no neighbors in sight, I turned to my trusty hand truck.
Thanks to the a few simple machines (namely the wheel and the lever, not to mention the inclined plane if we’re factoring in the slope of the property, I guess), the deep freezer’s journey from my vehicle to its garage resting place was pleasantly easy. Organizing the garage to accommodate the new appliance? That was less pleasant.
Call them hand trucks, dolly carts, box carts, or any other name, these plucky contraptions are minor miracle workers. A hand truck lets an individual transport many times more weight than he or she would otherwise be able, and with certain specialized options, a load can even be moved upstairs, over rough terrain, or over long distances. I use a hand truck around my home at least once or twice a month, and in previous periods of life, I used them weekly in offices or daily when working on TV sets.
Whether your job calls for moving hundreds of boxes a week or your move calls for moving all your furniture, appliances, and stuff in one weekend, a good hand truck is a great thing to have on hand. Save yourself from the backache and get the work done faster with the latest versions of this centuries-old type of hardware.
Here are the best dolly carts you can buy:
- Best dolly cart overall: Milwaukee 47109 Flow Back Hand Truck
- Best collapsible dolly cart: Magna Cart Personal Hand Truck
- Best high capacity dolly cart: Harper Trucks 800 Pound Appliance Truck
- Best convertible dolly cart: Cosco Shifter Hand Truck and Cart
- Best stair climbing dolly cart: Mecete Stair Climbing Cart
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best dolly cart overall
Why you’ll love it: Milwaukee 47109 Flow Back Hand Truck arrives fully assembled and ready to roll, and thanks to its simple, sturdy design, it will remain in service for decades, if not for life.
There’s nothing fancy about the Milwaukee 47109 Flow Back Hand Truck. But guess what? Hand trucks are not supposed to be fancy, they’re supposed to be functional. And this hearty hand truck is certainly that.
It’s rated for a 600-pound load with a safe stacking height up to 42 inches, so you can load a number of boxes or a larger, heavier appliance onto this tubular steel beast and start to roll.
The Flow Back’s 14 inches by 8 inches toe plate is ample enough for easy balancing but not so large as to take up extra space while you’re storing or transporting the hand truck, while its 8-inch tires are made of a solid rubber that never needs air and can easily handle the rough terrain of parking lots, sidewalks, and even a bit of off road hauling.
With dozens of reviews posted on Amazon, the Milwaukee 47109 Flow Back Hand Truck has an excellent 4.6-star average rating. One shopper notes its “American made excellent craftsmanship,” while another calls it “perfect for heavy duty hauling.” The product testers from Ezvid appreciated the fact that a Milwaukee hand truck “arrives fully assembled” and ready for work.
And I can tell you from personal experience that this type of tall, sturdy hand truck is hard to beat for all basic load bearing needs and is exceptional for stacked boxes.
Pros: Built to last, large weight capacity, corrosion-resistant finish
Cons: Emits chemical odor when new
The best collapsible dolly cart
Why you’ll love it: The Magna Cart Personal Hand Truck folds down small enough to fit in the trunk of any car or into a small closet, but it can move 150 pounds around with ease.
When fully opened and extended, the Magna Cart Personal Hand Truck features a 39-inch handle and a wide 15-inch base. It allows you to easily transport loads weighing up to 15 pounds.
It’s ideal for the person moving into an apartment or dorm room or for use in smaller offices, but not so much because of its size and capacity when deployed for use, but rather thanks to its dimensions when collapsed. With the base plate folded up and the wheels tucked in, the Magna Cart Personal Hand Truck is only 2.5 inches deep can easily tuck away under a bed, on a shelf, in a closet, or in the trunk of your car.
Another thing that’s compact about this hand truck is the price. At less than $40, it’s a highly affordable piece of equipment and a justifiable expense even if you’ll only use it for one move or for setting up a new office. However, do note that its 150-pound weight capacity is also pretty small, especially compared to other units on our list, so don’t try to move a fridge with this thing.
The Magna Cart Personal Hand Truck has 3,000-plus reviews posted on Amazon and enjoys a solid 4.5-star rating. A plethora of customers love its abilities as a “car seat carrier for traveling,” with many more praising it for being “light and collapsible” yet “handy and tough,” as one buyer said in a review that speaks for many.
A write up from IdeaHacks said it “stores easily at home when not in use” and fits in most “vehicle’s trunks.” Finally, let’s not overlook the clever wordplay of the name, surely inspired by the charter signed by King John back in 1215.
Pros: Compact when folded, low price point, easy to use
Cons: Modest weight capacity
The best high-capacity dolly cart
- Harper Trucks
Why you’ll love it: If you need to move a fridge, washing machine, or a safe, then the Harper Trucks 800 Pound Appliance Truck is ready to serve.
Any way you look at it, this is one serious hand truck. And yes, that starts with the hefty $200 price tag, but if you’re moving appliances or furniture that weighs many hundreds of pounds (and may cost thousands of dollars) it’s worth the investment.
The Harper Trucks 800 Pound Appliance Truck stands 60 inches tall, allowing for plenty of contact area with the load being moved and making best use of the physics of the fulcrum and lever. Its extra wide 24-inch base plate helps spread the weight as you roll, while a pair of ingenious belt stair crawlers – picture tank tracks, basically – set above the wheels help you ease up or down stairs or curbs.
But, of course, the ultimate metric with hand trucks is the weight capacity, and here the Harper Trucks 800 Pound Appliance Truck shines. It can handle loads as heavy as 800 pounds, so few appliances, pieces of furniture, or other items you’ll ever have cause to move are beyond its capabilities.
Just make sure you make use of the built-in belt and belt tightener to secure the load to the hand truck, because even the best hand truck in the world can’t help you if its cargo falls off of it.
Amazon shoppers have given this beast of a piece of hardware a commendable 4.5-star overall rating. A reviewer called Jonathan said the Harper Trucks 800 Pound Appliance Truck “can be used with just about anything that’s heavy or big,” while another gentleman said he “would recommend to anyone looking for quality that lasts.”
A few buyers did complain about the shallow base plate, saying that the hand truck was only suitable to the “specialized use” of moving oversized, solid objects, but when it comes to those, it excels.
Pros: Amazing weight capacity, built-in securing belt, stair crawlers help on stairs or curbs
Cons: Quite expensive
The best convertible dolly cart
Why you’ll love it: In a matter of seconds, the Cosco Shifter Hand Truck and Cart converts from a two-wheeled hand truck to a four-wheeled cart or packs down for easy storage.
There are times when a hand truck wheeled along at an angle just isn’t the right burden-bearing assistant for the job. Sometimes, a flat cart is a better choice. Whether you’ll be leaving the load stacked on the cart for an extended period of time or perhaps you have some strength or mobility issues, a four-wheeled cart can help you transport weight without the effort of carefully balancing your cargo on an angle.
On the other hand, sometimes the leverage of a hand truck is just what you need to move a single larger item. With the Cosco Shifter Hand Truck and Cart, you don’t have to choose. This device can be oriented as a twin-wheeled hand truck ideal for moving heavy boxes or other items using the leverage that comes with angled transport or it can be set up as a four-wheeled cart on which you can pile up to 300 pounds of goods.
Converting from hand truck to cart mode requires no tools and takes mere seconds, as does folding the whole thing flat for storage when the job is done for the day. Just don’t try to go off road in the four wheel cart position, because two of the wheels are rather small and only suitable for use on hard surfaces.
The Cosco Shifter Hand Truck and Cart has a solid 4.5-star rating among Amazon shoppers across more than 2,450 reviews. A reviewer named Nicole called it an “amazing buy” that has helped her singlehandedly carry everything from “a queen mattress” to “a 65 inch TV,” to name just a few of the items she handled.
Note that while overall happy with the hand truck, a number of customers did point out the chance of injury cause by the Cosco Shifter Hand Truck and Cart’s wheels snapping shut during the fold up process.
Pros: Multiple position options, folds down for storage, lightweight but capable
Cons: Wheels can snap shut on fingers
The best stair climbing dolly cart
Why you’ll love it: The Mecete Stair Climbing Cart helps with one of the hardest tasks of moving: getting loads up or down stairs.
On flat ground, the Mecete Stair Climbing Cart hardly stands out among hand trucks. Sure, it helps you trundle along with a load weighing as much as 330 pounds, but that capacity is dwarfed by some of the other dollies on our list. Ah, but when you come to the stairs, that’s when this unique piece of hardware starts to shine.
Its pair of trio of wheels (admittedly, that sounds confusing at first) rotate a each step, ensuring constant contact with the stairs (or a curb) and continuous, smooth motion. If the load is too heavy for you to move up or down alone, a handy handle built underneath the base plate makes it easy for a helper to offer assistance.
For anyone who moves lots of stuff up and down lots of steps, this is cart is a clever buy. For moving large loads around on flat surfaces and on any sort of uneven terrain, you probably want to stick with a more basic design though. And maybe one that’s a bit cheaper, too.
One Amazon customer called the Mecete Stair Climbing Cart “awesome” and great “down the stairs,” while another marveled that it “really does climb stairs.” Many complained about a rather annoying assembly process, though, I must mention.
And again, if you’re not dealing with stairs, stick with a simpler design – you’ll get more years out of a classic hand cart.
Pros: Helps on stairs or curbs, handle for second person to help, rust-resistant finish
Cons: Annoying assembly
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