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What are the Different Types of Hand Carts?

By Nychole Price
Updated May 23, 2024
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Hand carts, also known as hand trucks, are used for moving heavy objects, without placing any unnecessary strain on your back. They are most frequently used when a person moves to a new house, purchases new furniture or appliances, or loads, and unloads, warehouse, or stockroom, items. There are several types of hand trucks, to include folding hand trucks, platform carts, convertible hand trucks, appliance hand trucks, furniture dollies, and service carts.

The folding hand cart is one of the most popular type of dollies, as it is easily stored in a closet, garage or stockroom, leaving it conveniently accessible. There are four different weight capacities for the folding hand cart. They are 130 pounds (58.9 kg), 200 pounds (90.7 kg), 275 pounds (124.7 kg) and 440 pounds (199.6 kg). Due to the folding ability of the cart, it can't handle more weight without the wheels collapsing. This style of hand cart costs between $60 and $200 US Dollars (USD), depending upon its weight capacity.

Platform carts are found at many warehouse stores, such as Costco and Sam's Club. They are used to move heavy boxes, furniture and appliance. One style of the platform cart, known as a modular platform cart, has removable sides, for carrying smaller items with the larger ones, or for protecting fragile items from falling off. These hand carts range in price, from $100 to $250 USD.

Convertible hand trucks are used for carrying very large or heavy items. They can be converted to carry items on two wheels, four wheels and in the 45 degree tilt position. This style hand cart can handle up to 1,000 pounds (453.6 kg). It varies in cost from $130 to $300 USD.

Appliance hand trucks are used for moving heavy appliances, such as washers, ovens and refrigerators. The appliance dolly has a solid aluminum or steel frame, and pneumatic wheels, making it capable of handling up to 800 pounds (362.9 kg) on two wheels. This variety of hand cart also features two belts to secure the appliance in place and prevent tipping.

Furniture dollies are flat, four-wheeled dollies. They are often carpeted to prevent damaging precious wood finishes. Due to the solid frame and locking casters, the furniture dolly can handle up to 900 lbs (408.2 kg). These dollies cost between $50 to $100 USD.

Service hand carts, also known as tiered carts, are used in the automotive business for storing frequently used tools. Its solid metal frame allows it to hold numerous tools without collapsing. This style hand cart also has drawers, or sides, for storing small items. These hand carts range in price for $100 to $200 USD.

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Discussion Comments

By LisaLou — On Sep 21, 2011

When my daughter lived in downtown Chicago she didn't have a car for transportation. She totally relied on public transportation for everywhere she needed to go.

Since she was several blocks from a grocery store, she bought a foldable hand cart to use for her trip back from the grocery store.

There wasn't a lot of extra room in her apartment either, so this folding cart was very useful for her. I don't know how she would have been able to buy very many groceries at a time without some kind of cart to bring them back in.

By andee — On Sep 20, 2011

We have a heavy duty hand cart that is stored in our garage. I usually call it an appliance cart but it has been used for many things.

Any time we need to move a heavy piece of furniture this cart comes in handy. Not only have we moved appliances, but file cabinets, bookshelves, desks and just about anything that is too heavy to pick and move by hand.

There are straps attached to the cart that you can wrap around the object so it doesn't fall off the cart. It is amazing how much you can move when you can apply a little leverage like this.

All of our kids also know we have this cart and like to borrow it from time to time. The only bad thing about this is if they forget to bring it back. Then we have to remember who used it last and hunt it down.

By popcorn — On Sep 19, 2011

When I moved out on my own I actually invested in one of the collapsible hand carts available at the supermarket. They can easily carry a box big enough for all your groceries, and are ideal if you don't have access to a vehicle, or prefer walking home.

What I like about the collapsible hand carts is that they are really portable and easy to carry. The one I have comes with a small carrying bag, so I can just sling it over my shoulder when I walk to the store. Despite being collapsible, my hand cart is solid metal with tough rubber wheels, so I don't have to worry about loading it down with too much weight and breaking it.

By lonelygod — On Sep 19, 2011

One of the best investments you can make if you are a traveler are luggage hand carts. These are basically miniature hand carts that can turn any piece of luggage into pull-luggage on wheels.

I have a huge duffel bag that I love to travel with, but I always found it a pain to carry it around. I ended up purchasing one of the lightweight hand carts and it solved my problem.

You can find these luggage hand carts at most stores that sell luggage, though you may have to ask if they carry them. I think stores prefer if you just buy the vastly more expensive pull-luggage.

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