Different Types of Wheels and Their Uses

Wheels are all around us. We see them on bikes, vehicles, carts, wagons, chairs, and tricycles. Google estimates that there are around 37 million wheels in the world. Though there are many different types of wheels, we are going to focus on three main categories: 

And the best ways they are used.

Hard Rubber Wheels

types of wheels hard rubber

While most vehicle tires are air-filled, hard rubber tires are what they sound like; tires made completely out of rubber that require no need for inflation. These types of wheels are used on tractors and farm equipment, as well as smaller things like wagons and utility carts.

Solid rubber tires are constructed with layers of rubber wrapped around a metal hub frame and unlike pneumatic tires, (air-filled tires), they won’t risk punctures.

Air Filled Wheels

types of wheels air filled tires 02

Air-filled wheels are simple to understand. Unlike hard rubber tires, these types of wheels are of course, air filled. Air filled tires, (also commonly referred to as pneumatic tires), are known for their ability to absorb the unevenness of terrain, making them a common choice for bikes and most vehicles.

Air filled tires are also lightweight, and not nearly as heavy-duty as hard rubber tires, making them a bit more manageable sometimes.

Flat Free Wheels

types of wheels flat free foam

These tires are similar to hard rubber tires in the aspect that they are not filled with air, and won’t run the risk of going flat. But unlike hard rubber tires, flat free tires are usually filled with some type of material like polyurethane or foam. These tires are generally low maintenance and tend to have more cushion than hard rubber tires, though not as much as air filled ones.


Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of wheels, let’s take a look at what kind of wheels you may want to invest in. This may vary depending on what kind of “vehicle” these wheels are used on. We’re going to take a look at some popular wheeled objects like carts, wagons, and wheelbarrows, and see for ourselves what kind of wheels work best for them.


For more information on flat free and air-filled tires, check out our blog.

Different Types of Wheels: Utility Cart Wheels

types of wheels for utility carts in manheim pa


One of the most versatile and useful items a warehouse or store may utilize is a utility cart. A utility cart is very useful for moving supplies easily and efficiently. These carts are used in greenhouses to move plants and potting supplies, and used in grocery stores to stock shelves. There really is no end to the usefulness of a good utility cart. But a utility cart is only as good as the wheels it rides on, which is why it is a good idea to know what types of wheels work best for your handy little cart.

Best Wheels for Utility Carts

types of wheels hard rubber wheel

There are various types of wheels that may work well on your cart, so it might be helpful to think about how you are using your utlity cart. Most utility carts are used in buildings on smooth surfaces like pavement, and carry items, (not usually people). For this reason, hard rubber tires work well on these carts. There is not a lot of need for good suspension, like air filled tires would provide. Hard rubber tires also tend to carry more weight than air filled tires as well, which may be an important factor to keep in mind.

The truth is, there can be various different types of wheels that will work great on your utiltiy cart, but due to the low maintenance nature, durability, ( and the fact that you never have to worry about putting air in the tires), we recommend using solid rubber tires for most utility carts.
At Lapp Wagons, we sell several kinds of solid rubber wheels to fit your needs. Our hard rubber tires come in three different diameters:

These tires come with a ribbed tread pattern to provide great traction in wet and dry ground, and can withstand heavy weights, making them perfect for various uses.

Different Types of Wheels: Hand Cart Wheels

types of wheels for hand trucks in willow street pa

Similar to utility carts, hand carts are often used in warehouses. These nifty little carts ride on two wheels and are used to haul boxes and other large, bulky items that may take up too much space on a utility cart. These hand carts can also be stacked high with various boxes and crates, meaning they should be able to carry substantial weight. Hand carts are also easy to stash, and generally can stay tucked in a corner in tight work spaces.

Best Wheels for Hand Carts

types of wheels hard rubber

Hand carts are usually loaded high with bags and boxes, and are expected to carry large amounts of weight. For that reason, hand carts pretty much only use hard rubber tires. These tires are low maintenance and usually used on smooth concrete surfaces. They also tend to be more narrow than air filled tires, allowing your cart to fit in smaller spaces. The biggest factor here though is that hard rubber tires are durable, and your hand cart tires won’t get “flat” with the extra weight they may be expected to carry.

Different Types of Wheels: Tricycle Wheels

types of wheels blue trike

Tricycles are three wheeled vehicles generally used on the driveway by small children, (though some may be big enough for adults!) Unlike the previously mentioned utility carts, trikes are designed to be ridden. They will most likely be ridden on various kinds of terrain as well. With these two factors in mind, the types of wheels you may want to buy may be a bit more obvious.

Best Wheels for Tricycles

types of wheels trike wheels

Air filled tires are easily the best choice of tire when it comes to tricycles. Solid tires, and even flat free tires don’t provide nearly as much cushion or suspension as air filled tires, and would result in a very uncomfortable ride. Along with that, solid tires don’t have the traction or adaptability that air filled tires do, especially on grass or wet pavement. This could result in more accidents, especially in rainy and damp weather. For the safety and comfort of your child, stick with air filled tires on this one.

The air filled wheel options you can purchase are endless. We offer air filled tires in different sizes, with different tread patterns, and wheels with spokes as well.

Different Types of Wheels: Wheelbarrow Wheels

types of wheels for wheelbarrows in pottstown pa

Have you ever tried mulching without a wheelbarrow to transport the mulch? It’s hard work! Used a lot in gardening and outdoor work, wheelbarrows have become a very popular item in landscaping work. Whether you’re pulling weeds, gathering leaves, or mulching, a wheelbarrow may be your right hand tool. Wheelbarrows are one of the only wheel-using devices that using a singular wheel. For this reason, it’s good to invest in a high quality wheel that will last a long time and can withstand heavy weight and lots of use.

Best Wheels for Wheelbarrows

quality types of wheels for sale in gap pa

Wheelbarrows require both good suspension and durability when it comes to wheels. It is uncomfortable to push a wheelbarrow with a hard rubber tire, as it may jarr your arms and wear you out. Hard rubber tires may not work well on uneven ground or in the soft soil of the garden either.

On the other hand, a wheelbarrow is expected to carry a lot of weight, and air filled tires may go flat too quickly. This is where the flat free tires come in. Because they are not made of solid rubber, and also don’t run the risk of always going flat on you, these tires may be the most ideal fit for a wheelbarrow.

We offer a selection of Flat Free Wheels for your wheelbarrow at Lapp Wagons. Our wheelbarrow wheels are sturdy and durable and come in multiple sizes to fit your wheelbarrow. We offer wheels that can hold up to 500 lbs, making them excellent for your outdoor work.

Different Types of Wheels: Wagon Wheels

types of wheels red wagon

When discussing wagons, it is valuable to know the many different types of wagons available. Let’s discuss the main types of wagons: 

Kids Wagons

types of wheels kids wagons

Have you ever had a picnic with your family and loaded all the supplies up in your favorite red wagon? Kids wagons are fun and recreational, and what child doesn’t want a wagon ride? Kids Wagons are comfortable and designed with the safety of your children in mind.

At Lapp Wagons, we sell a large variety of wagons in many sizes, so you can find just the kind you want.

Work Wagon

types of wheels work wagon

Need to get your firewood from the shed to the house? A work wagon is your best friend when it comes to transporting things from place to place efficiently, and the uses for a work wagon are endless.

Our work wagons are durable and designed to withstand heavy loads. At Lapp Wagons, we offer work wagons for farm work, commercial work, garden work, and the list goes on. To learn more about our heavy duty work wagons, check out our blog.

Pony Wagons

types of wheels pony wagon

If you own a miniature horse, a pony wagon is an investment you almost can’t pass up. Pony wagons are wagons that can be attached behind a miniature pony and pulled from place to place. Pony wagons are great for younger children, and will provide them with hours of entertainment and even a sense of responsibility as they learn how to maneuver the wagon with the pony.

Our pony wagons are perfect for your little pony and come in two options, a one seater, and a two seater.

Want to know more about miniature pony carts? Check out our blog, Everything You Need to Know About Miniature Pony Carts.

Best Wheels for Wagons

types of wheels wagon wheels

Wagons come in all shapes and sizes, as do their wheels. Most wagons work best however, with air filled tires, though some commercial wagons may benefit from hard rubber tires. Because wagons like kids wagons and pony wagons carry children, air filled tires may be the best choice to provide them with a comfortable ride.

We offer a large selection of wheels that work great with any type of wagon. Find just the size wheels you want, and get your wagon back up on it’s feet, (or it’s wheels).

At the end of the day, there aren’t always right and wrong options, even when it comes to wheels. Deciding what types of wheels to buy may seem complicated. To make your decision easier, we created a little chart to help you understand the best uses of each wheel.

Air Filled Wheels

  • Best pick for rough terrain
  • Best choice for carrying people
  • Great suspension


Flat Free Wheels

  • Works well on smoother terrain, though it can be used on rougher
  • Works with heavy weight, but not as recommended for carrying passengers
  • Moderate suspension


Solid Rubber Wheels

  • Works best on smooth solid terrain
  • Best choice for very heavy weights
  • Relatively poor suspension



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