We recommend the steel wheel, as it should last longer. It does weigh 2.5 pounds more, bringing the total weight of the wheel hoe to about 16 pounds. The steel wheel is now 1.5" wide (early models had a 2" wide wheel and we still have a few on hand). The steel wheel has a stainless steel bolt for an axle and 2 oil-impregnated bronze bushings for bearings. At only $10 more, we think the steel wheel is preferable to the rubber tire wheel due to the sturdiness of the design and elimination of repairing punctured tires.