Plastic vs Steel Lawn Cart

Lawn carts offer a lot of convenience in the garden for a varying number of applications, from clearing away clippings to carrying mulch. There are two main materials which are used in lawn carts: plastic and steel. We’re going to compare the two to see which one fares better.

Plastic Lawn Cart

To settle the plastic vs steel lawn cart debate, let’s look at the pros and cons of the plastic lawn cart first:


When it comes to the price of the equipment, plastic definitely wins. Plastic lawn carts are much cheaper than steel lawn carts. The polymer plastic material makes them convenient for more reasons than just the price.

The plastic material is also a lot lighter than steel lawn carts. This is the reason why plastic lawn carts retain stability without compromising on the ease with which you can use them. Their lightweight makes them easier to maneuver across the garden.

Plastic also doesn't rust, unlike steel. This may be an issue for you, especially if you intend to store your cart outside, or live in an area with a rainy or coastal climate.


When it comes to the matter of durability in the plastic vs steel lawn cart debate, plastic lawn carts do not fare as well as their steel counterparts. This is obviously because of the difference in the material. While the polymer material is lighter, it is also not as strong as steel. It can fare well for most applications but it’s not so well suited to more rugged gardening applications.

Another point of concern is the fact that plastic lawn carts are usually shallower than their steel counterparts. They do not generally offer the same volume as steel lawn carts.

Steel Lawn Cart

Here are the pros and cons of steel lawn carts:


Steel lawn carts are rugged. They are also resilient and offer a lot of stability in most conditions. The simple fact of the matter is that when you consider the strength in construction for the plastic vs steel lawn cart debate, steel wins.

It's also worth noting that, compared to plastic lawn carts, steel lawn are generally both larger and heavier. The weight adds to the stability of the lawn cart made of steel.


Steel lawn carts are not as easy to maneuver as the lighter-weight plastic alternatives. The heavier material does offer resilience in heavy-duty applications, but can compromise your ability to pull and turn the cart.

It also doesn’t help that the steel material is more expensive compared to plastic lawn carts.​

While steel is stronger, in the long run it will become rusty, eventually needing to be repainted or re-coated.

If you only expect to use your lawn cart for occasional light duties, it may not be worth the extra investment required for a steel lawn cart.

Final Thoughts

Which is best?

When you consider the plastic vs steel cart debate and try to decide which one will work better for you, it honestly depends on your application. If you have a lot of material you need to carry around in your gardening excursions, or if you need to move anything heavy, it is better to have a steel lawn cart, for the extra strength and durability.

If you do not need to move around a lot of material and you have a small garden, or if you need to store it outside, the lower volume plastic lawn carts will be a better tool for you to use. It also helps that they are not very expensive, but you cannot expect them to be as robust as a steel lawn cart.

Once you've decided whether plastic or steel is best for you, check out our review of the best lawn cart.

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