Are you looking to improve your garden? Do you need to aerate the soil, dig up plants, or turn over mulch? If so, then a garden fork is the tool for you! A garden fork is an invaluable tool that can be used to prepare the soil so you can plant grass, flowers, or vegetables.
We’ve done the research on garden forks for you and picked the Digging Fork by Tabor Tools as our favorite garden fork. It's sturdy, well-constructed, and effective at turning soil. We’ve also put together a 10 best list for you to consider and created a handy buying guide reviewed by a master gardener and homestead blogger to help you make your choice!
Gardening and wildcrafting food for her family, Amy grows in a variety of gardens including hydroponic, raised beds, containers, and in the ground. As a master gardener, she has successfully gardened across the country.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
Table of Contents
Before buying a garden fork, there are a few points you should take into consideration, such as the purpose of the fork and the material. To help you with this, we’ve put together this handy buying guide!
"Garden fork" is an umbrella term that covers many forks that are designed for different jobs around the garden. The right one for you depends on whether you want a fork that can tackle several jobs or something more specific.
This is the simplest and most common type of garden fork you will find, and it's considered an all-around model. If you're looking for one fork that can handle many tasks, it's the best choice.
Garden forks have four long and sturdy tines that end in sharp points, allowing them to penetrate the soil easily. This style is best for clay, hard soil, or undisturbed soil. You can use them for digging, breaking up soil, and digging up vegetables or roots.
Digging and spading forks are a little lighter in weight and are designed to dig into sandy or loose soil. They have four triangular-shaped tines with a flat front. These fork styles aerate soil, mix in nutrients, and lift soil and vegetables.
Border forks are very similar to garden forks in their structure and use, but they’re smaller and more lightweight. They’re ideal for use in small, tight spaces or a small garden. They’re also great for anyone who might find a regular garden fork too heavy and tiring to use.
These have four or more long and slender tines that are designed for scooping and moving loose material. The tines are turned up slightly to help them turn a compost pile or move material such as mulch or hay. These forks are lightweight and aren’t suitable for heavier duties such as digging soil.
These are easy to identify as they look different from all of the other forks. They have two handles and need to be used with two hands. The tines are long, are attached to a horizontal steel bar, and usually number five to six.
Broadforks are best for heavy-duty use and are used to turn and rework ground that’s already been broken. If you have a large garden that you want to work over in a short period of time, a broadfork will get it done.
The material the fork and its tines are made from will dictate how solid and sturdy it is. The most common material is steel, and high-carbon forged steel is the strongest option. Stainless steel is also popular, and forks made from this will move through all types of soil and terrain.
You can also get garden forks made from lightweight materials such as carbon fiber, aluminum, or plastic. Since they are lightweight, they are easier to handle and will put less strain on your arms. However, they aren’t as durable and can bend or break.
Any tines that are made of metal are prone to rust. To prevent this, you should always clear the tines of any bits of dirt or vegetation that are stuck to them. You can use a garden hose to wash them off or a blunt knife to scrape off the mud.
You should immediately remove any rust with either a wire brush or oily sand. If they're going to be stored for a period of time, then a coating of a lubricant, like WD-40, can protect them.
The material of the handle is also important. Traditionally, the handles were made of wood, and you can still find many garden forks with wooden handles. However, wood can only take so much pressure and strain before it splinters. If you choose a wooden handle, make sure it’s a hard wood, such as ash.
Many modern garden forks have a steel handle. This is heavier than wood but is stronger and more durable. No matter how much pressure you put a steel handle under, if it’s made well, it won’t break.
You should also consider how long the handle is. When using a garden fork to dig and work soil, you don’t want to put additional strain on your back by having to bend down. The average handle length is 30 inches, which is adequate for most people. However, if you're tall, then look for forks that have longer handles.
We’ve discussed what materials and other features you should consider when looking at the forkhead and the handle. Another essential consideration is how the forkhead and handle are attached. If not attached solidly, it doesn’t matter how good the forkhead and handle are.
One of the best attachment methods is a riveted socket. In this case, the handle fits into the metal of the fork and is then secured in place with a metal rivet. This is an excellent attachment method that rarely breaks. Welding is another very secure attachment method.
However, other methods can weaken with use and time. We would advise avoiding garden forks where the head is strapped to the handle.
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A Heavy-Duty and Durable Digging Fork
10-Tine Welded Bedding Fork
Moves Large Amounts of Light Material Quickly
Stainless Steel Digging Fork｜203 PRO
Circular Handle That Enables Two-Handed Use
Forged Manure Fork｜CMXMLBA3000
A Durable Way to Move Mulch
4-Tine Digging Fork｜72103
Diamond-Shaped Tines Penetrate Hard Soil
D-handle Steel Garden Fork
Ergonomically Designed to Relieve Strain
Tru Tough Spading Fork｜30293
Coated Handle and Tines That Can Brave the Elements
Quickly Prepare Large Patches of Dirt
4-Tine Forged Spading Fork
A Lightweight Fork That's Comfortable to Grip
Spading and Digging Fork｜2812200
Sharp Tines Dig Into the Soil Easily
Weighing in at five and a half pounds, this digging fork has a welded steel shaft attached to carbon steel tines. The tines are painted with an anti-corrosive topcoat. The D-shaped handle is padded to make it comfortable to use.
A couple of reviewers note that the tines are flat instead of pointed, and they say this negatively affects how easily the tines glide through the soil. However, most reviewers say the fork is durable, praising the steel construction for being well-made and sturdy. They say the fork is heavy but very effective at digging up soil and roots.
This fork has 10 long and thin tines that are ideal for turning and transporting large amounts of lightweight material, like straw, hay, or mulch. It has a 48-inch long hardwood handle that is topped with a padded grip to make it more comfortable. The fork is welded to the handle, and it comes with a 15-year warranty.
There are a few reports of the tines breaking soon after purchase. However, more reviewers praise the fork for its functionality, saying they can move large amounts of mulch quickly. They also like that the tines are close together.
The shaft of this digging fork is made from resin-encased carbon steel and leads up to a large, circular handle. The four stainless steel tines are designed for cultivating soil and digging up plants. The fork comes with a lifetime warranty, and the green accents make it stand out amongst other tools.
Some reviewers report that the tines bent more easily than expected. However, many reviewers find the handle sturdy and say the tines are effective at digging through soil, including soil mixed with clay. They praise the circular handle, too, saying that they like the option of using two hands.
The five steel tines of this fork are widely spaced, making it ideal for moving and spreading manure and mulch. The tines are attached to a hardwood handle, and the end is cushioned to make it easier to grip as you work. It comes with a 15-year limited warranty and is 54 inches long.
Most reviewers say this pitchfork is sturdy and durable. They say it makes moving mulch and compost quick and easy, too.
Both the shaft and handle of this fork are made from American hardwood. The head has four steel tines with diamond-shaped points that can dig into soil without much effort from the user.
The attachment of the shaft to the handle is panned by some reviewers as they say their fork snapped here after a few uses. However, the majority of reviewers liked that this fork lets them dig deep into soil without any problems. Reviewers also say the tines are solid, and they like the weight of the fork.
This garden fork is ergonomically designed to be gentle on your wrists and reduce strain. The handle, shaft, and fork have a slight curve, and the handle itself is D-shaped and angled for better comfort and control. The shaft is made from steel, and the tines are made from durable boron steel.
A couple of reviewers report bent tines after a couple of uses. Despite this, most reviewers confirm that the fork is comfortable to use and that the design relieves strain. They also say that the fork is effective for digging and spreading mulch.
This digging fork is topped with a D-shaped handle and has a 30-inch shaft made from North American ash. The handle and the shaft are coated with a lacquer to preserve the wood, and the tines of the head are made with coated steel.
A few reviewers report broken tines, and some also say that their fork was misaligned. However, many reviewers like that it moves around material very well. Some users say they can use it in soil and clay without problems, too.
This broadfork has two fiberglass handles and allows you to quickly loosen and aerate soil. It has five 11-inch steel tines that easily penetrate dirt and help you to harvest root vegetables. The handles are detachable, and this broadfork comes with a lifetime warranty.
A few reviewers report that the detachable handles can wobble, or the fixtures holding them in place can break. However, the majority of reviewers praise this broadfork's ability to quickly prepare dirt, saying it's more effective than other forks. They also like that it can work large gardens quickly.
Designed for digging, turning, and aerating soil, this spading fork has a 30-inch hardwood handle and weighs just under four pounds. The handle is D-shaped and soft, making it easy to grip. The forkhead has four sharp tines to make digging into the soil easier.
The durability of the handle is lacking, according to some reviewers, as there are reports of the wooden handle splitting or coming loose from the forkhead. Overall, most reviewers praise this fork for being lightweight yet durable. They also say that it's efficient at turning soil. Some also praise the handle for being gentle on their hands.
The tines on this fork are shaped into sharp points to ease their progress into the soil. They're made from steel and are designed to break up soil and clay. The handle is hardwood and is topped by a D-shaped rubber grip that gives you control over the fork.
There are reports from a few reviewers that the tines bent or snapped under pressure. Some older reviews had similar issues with the handle shaft snapping, but that seems to have been resolved in more recent purchases. Generally, most reviewers praise this fork for being lightweight. They say it works well for preparing their garden.
If you're looking to improve the condition of your garden, then a garden fork is just one of the many things you will need. We have some more recommendations to help you make your garden beautiful!
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
No. 1: Tabor Tools｜Digging Fork｜J59A
No. 2: Ames｜10-Tine Welded Bedding Fork
No. 3: Radius Garden｜Stainless Steel Digging Fork｜203 PRO
No. 4: Craftsman｜Forged Manure Fork｜CMXMLBA3000
No. 5: Razor-Back｜4-Tine Digging Fork｜72103
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