In this guide we’ll take a look at the best garden forks.
I’ve compared digging ability, strength, comfort and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Garden Fork?
More Detailed Garden Fork Reviews
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Spear & Jackson Traditional Stainless Steel Digging Fork Review
This Spear & Jackson Traditional Stainless Steel Digging Fork is an elegant and timeless garden tool. The head is made from mirror polished stainless steel and the hardwood shaft is weather proofed for increased durability. The shaft is made from one piece of hardwood split to form a wishbone handle in the traditional way. The stainless steel tines shrug off even heavy clay soils and make this tool easy to clean and maintain.
This garden fork is well balanced and comfortable to use. It is not quite as comfortable to use as some of the more ergonomic styles, however, if you prefer a traditional wooden tool at a great price, you can’t go wrong with this one.
This timeless tool makes a pleasing addition to the traditional gardener’s toolkit. If you are looking for a traditional wooden tool this is the best garden fork for you!
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Rolson Ash Handle Digging Fork Review
This Rolson Ash Handle Digging Fork has a carbon steel head with a heat-treated hammer tone finish. The handle is ash. This is quite short for a digging fork and would not be suitable if you are tall.
This is a practical garden fork that offers excellent value for money. It’s ideal for occasional or light use though I would go for one of the other products if you have a lot of digging to do. If you are looking for a high quality tool on a budget, this is the best garden fork to suit your needs.
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Spear & Jackson Select Stainless Border Fork Review
This Spear & Jackson Select Stainless Border Fork has a stainless steel head and a polypropylene shaft. The handle is 72 cm (28”) and the head is 23 cm x 14 cm (9 x 51/2 inches). The stainless steel tines mean that soil does not stick to them making it less arduous to use and easier to clean. In my opinion this is the best value garden fork for the UK market.
This is a light garden fork that is comfortable to use. It has an ergonomic handle that really does make it very comfortable to use and avoids pain in the palms and blisters.
This garden fork is ideal for general digging, especially in more confined spaces, however, it is also suitable for digging over large areas. If you have really heavy ground or a lot of roots and stones, then a digging fork may suit you better. If you are very tall and have quite big feet it could be hard to get your foot onto the head to push it into the ground.
This fork is a great all-round workhorse that is light, comfortable to use and affordable. It’s the best garden fork for the money!
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Fiskars Garden Light Digging Fork Review
This Fiskars Garden Light Digging Fork is an incredibly well made, rugged and stylish modern digging fork for the garden.
The shaft and handle are made from lightweight, plastic coated aluminium making it light and comfortable to use. The hardened Boron steel head is durable, strong and rust resistant. The D handle is ergonomically designed and is plastic coated for comfort.
The tines are sharp, making for easy penetration of the hardest soil. Its ergonomic design and light materials make is feel sturdy yet comfortable to use over long periods. I like the fact that the plastic coating on the handle goes almost down to the head. This means that when you are lifting material you don’t have to grip cold, slippery metal.
This is a more expensive garden fork; however, it is made to the high standards I expect of Fiskars tools. It is also really comfortable to use and a stylish addition to the tool shed. If you want a gardening fork that will offer you a lifetime of reliable use, this is the best garden fork to invest in.
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Kent and Stowe Carbon Steel Border Fork Review
This Kent and Stowe Carbon Steel Border Fork has carbon steel head and tines which gives it good strength and durability. The wooden handle has a traditional split wood wishbone design.
The design of Kent and Stowe tools is based on drawings and designs of tools from the 1800’s paired with modern manufacturing processes. This garden fork is well balanced and comfortable to use. It is ideal for working in borders and raised beds and is perfect for those of a smaller build, however, I would not choose this tool if I had very heavy clay.
This is a traditional tool that offers excellent value for money. It’s the best garden fork for borders and raised beds.
Garden Fork Buying Guide
A garden fork is an essential tool if you have flower beds or a vegetable garden. However, all garden forks are not the same. There are many types to choose from, but for most people, either a digging fork or a border fork is all you need.
A garden fork is the larger of the two. It is ideal if you need to dig over a vegetable bed or dig undisturbed soil. It is also perfect if you have heavy soil such as clay. These forks have four, strong tines and a good one will be able to cope with most gardening jobs with ease.
A border fork is slightly smaller than a garden fork. They are ideal for working in tighter spaces such as raised beds and border. They are lighter to use and may be more suitable for those who are of a light build and not very tall.
Garden forks are usually made of carbon steel or stainless steel. The handles can be made of polypropylene, aluminium or wood. Some have a D handle, and some have a T handle. Most people find a D handle most comfortable to use, though if you have very large hands you may prefer a T handle.
For most people, a 72 cm shaft will be ideal. However, if you are very tall, go for a longer handle. Using a garden fork that is too short for you can hurt your back.
Stainless steel garden forks are good if you have clay soil as the soil does not stick to them as easily. In addition, stainless steel tools are very durable and usually last the longest as they do not rust or corrode as easily as those made from other metals. However, with a little care, your garden fork will last for years no matter what type of steel it is made from.
The garden fork you choose depends on your needs and the style you prefer. If you have a lot of digging to do, then choose an ergonomic design that is the right length for you. However, if you prefer a more traditional tool, then a wooden handled fork will suit you perfectly.
In general, a digging fork is suitable if you have large areas to dig and you are of medium to large build. Those of a smaller build may find a border fork easier to use. If you have borders and raised beds to work in you may find a border spade more convenient.
Soil does not stick as easily to stainless steel heads so if you have clay soil this may be a consideration for you. On light or sandy soils this does not matter so much.
How do keep the head and tines of my garden fork in good condition?
To keep your garden fork in tip top condition and ensure it gives you years of use it is wise to clean it regularly. Soil left on the shaft and head may encourage the metal parts to rust and any wooden parts to rot, so clean all dirt from the tool after use. You can do this with a wire brush, however really caked on mud may require the use of hot soapy water as well. Leave the fork to dry after cleaning.
Some people keep a bucket of sand mixed with a little linseed oil in their shed. They then push each of their tools into this bucket after use and this protects the metal from rust.
You should also be careful to only use your fork for work that is suitable. Garden forks are not designed to dig up rubble or large tree roots and you may damage your tool if you attempt such heavy jobs.
How do I take care of the wooden handle on my garden fork?
If your garden fork has a beautiful wooden handle you will want to take care of it so that it retains its beauty as well as lasting for many years.
Twice a year, in spring and autumn, sand the handle with a medium grit sandpaper and then rub a generous amount of linseed oil into the wood to create a protective, waterproof barrier. Make sure you store wooden handled tools in a cool, dry place.
If your wooden handle breaks, you can usually buy a replacement part. These can be simply fitted, usually with just a couple of screws.