The fork's head minimises soil adhesion. The finish is mirror-polished to make the product smooth and elegant. The forward-tilted handle will let you plough with ease and confidence.
The paintwork starts chipping off with time.
Spear & Jackson 1994EL Select Stainless Border Fork will be able to handle to toughest soils. This fork will let you tend to the garden will comfort, ease, and efficiency. The construction will last.
Stainless steel head, Polypropylene shaft and handle
Blade size - 23 x 13.8 cm
Shaft length - 71 cm
The one-piece shaft is weatherproof enough to let you use the fork anytime without taking the elements into account. The wishbone handle is ergonomic and comfortable, split from the shaft provide the smoothest line from top to bottom.
Some users note that the handle makes squeaking noises during use.
Spear & Jackson 4552BF Traditional Border Fork is more lightweight than most forks. At the same time, it is just as good at light digging in prepared ground. The fork's construction reduces soil adhesion too.
Stainless steel head, Hardwood shaft and handle
Blade size - 14.5 x 9.5 cm
Shaft length - 71.12 cm
The head here is as rust-resistant as they get. It will be enabling the easiest digging. The handle and the shaft have been made from hardwood and treated to withstand the harshest weather conditions.
The fork is pretty heavy for domestic gardening.
Most gardens will be able to benefit from the Spear & Jackson 4550DF Traditional Stainless Steel Digging Fork. You'll have no issues lifting and loosening most roots. The sharp tines will be able to bite into any soil.
Stainless steel head, Hardwood shaft and handle
Blade size - 18.5 x 12.5 cm
Shaft length - 72 cm
The heat-treated carbon steel head will last and remain sharp through serious everyday abuse. The ashwood shaft is hard and tough yet not especially heavy. The increased shaft length means you have to bend less.
The plastic handle is relatively flimsy.
Rolson Tools R82652 Digging Fork is arguably the best product within this lineup for light gardening from the price-performance perspective. The fork will be able to easily aerate even highly compacted soil.
Carbon steel head, Ashwood shaft, Plastic handle
Blade size - 20 x 9 cm
Shaft length - 79.5 cm
The head has been coated with epoxy to prevent abrasions and protect this part against the elements. The shaft and the handle have been hardened to HRC 38/45, making them tough and durable.
The tines are not strong enough to handle tough soil.
Silverline 675067 will let you turn soils and do light digging without paying more than 10 quid. You'll be able to comfortably work in confined spaces. As long as you avoid heavy chalk soils, this tool will not disappoint.
Epoxy-coated hammer-finished head, Polypropylene-coated steel shaft, PYD handle
Blade size - 24 x 16 cm
Shaft length - 71 cm
30 days (lifetime guarantee by registering your product online)
Spear & Jackson 1994EL Select
Exceeding the Standards
Spear & Jackson 1994EL Select Stainless Border Fork is more than most garden forks.
First, the blade measures 23 x 13.8 centimetres, more width and length to provide more space for the foot. Second, the stainless steel head makes the fork resistant to rust, also minimising soil adhesion.
Meanwhile, its mirror-polished finish makes the tool elegant and stylish, something that you cannot usually say about garden tools. That being said, the paintwork might start chipping off sooner than you'd expect, so we would recommend treading with caution here.
On the bright side, you won't have to be especially cautious with the polypropylene shaft since this thing is tough yet comfortable enough, working together with the ergonomic, forward-tilting handle to make the fork able to dig more applying less pressure.
Sure, the tool's weight is somewhat elevated, measuring 1.76 kilograms but these extra ~200 grammes compared to most garden forks are not especially noticeable and will unlikely cause discomfort.
Bottom line, what we have here is an excellent fork that will prove especially effective when used in-between established plants. Plus, exceeding the BS3388 British Standard load tests, you know this thing will be able to last (aside from the aforementioned paintwork) even if you're not planning on being especially gentle with the tool.
Spear & Jackson 4552BF Traditional
Where Traditions Meet Modern Solutions
Spear & Jackson 4552BF Traditional Border Fork is as good at reducing soil adhesion as the company's previous entry.
The head here has also been constructed using high-quality stainless steel, making the fork rust-resistant and mirror-polished to make the fork attractive yet durable.
At the same time, the product has its discerning characteristics too. The one-piece hardwood shaft is strong and weatherproof, so you won't have to worry about the elements breaking this thing little by little. The handle has been made from hardwood too, but split to form the most comfortable wishbone grip and give you this smooth line from bottom to top.
We've basically no issues with this product except that the handle makes these squeaking noises during use, not something that necessarily breaks the product but enough to irritate sometimes (having said that, we presume this isn't a common issue).
On the upside, the fork weighs 1.43 kilograms, noticeably more lightweight than most garden forks, so you can wield this thing with confidence and ease.
Spear & Jackson 4550DF Traditional
All Weather Conditions Will Do
Spear & Jackson 4550DF Traditional Stainless Steel Digging Fork is pretty much everything that digging forks are supposed to be.
From where we're standing, the product's downsides begin and conclude with the somewhat elevated 1.95-kilogram weight. You'll be able to feel these extra ~300 grammes but usually not enough to produce noticeable excess fatigue.
Apart from that, we've no issues with the product. The wishbone handle has been split from the shaft to make the translation smooth and seamless. The fork decreases soil adhesion to enable relatively easy digging and cleaning. The head has been constructed from high-strength stainless steel that's good at resisting rust and making the fork look smooth and polished.
The hardwood shaft and handle has been treated to ensure that you can use this thing during all weather conditions. The blade measures 18.5 x 12.5 centimetres, not too large yet not too compact either. You'll be able to dig into more soil at a time without feeling especially uncomfortable.
In short, Spear & Jackson 4550DF Traditional Stainless Steel Digging Fork will prove an excellent addition to any garden. It will not bend even under the heaviest loads. You'll be able to easily dig into most soil types.
Rolson Tools R82652
Going with Carbon Steel
Rolson Tools R82652 Ash Handle Digging Fork costs much less than you'd expect considering the product's solid construction and comfortable build.
Sure, the plastic handle is relatively flimsy but, generally speaking, garden forks' handles are hard to damage unless you're really trying to do so. Plus, with plastic, you don't have to worry about the elements.
The carbon steel head, on the other hand, is anything but flimsy. You'll be able to constantly and consistently dig into the toughest soils without worrying about the tines. What's more, the head has been heat-treated, meaning you do not have to worry about the elements too.
The shaft's been made from ashwood, which is an excellent choice since there are not too many wood types that are as hard, tough, and durable as ashwood yet not many times more expensive. Also, the shaft measures 79.5 centimetres, much more than most garden forks usually measure length-wise, so you'll be able to bend less.
The company's logo on the shaft is also pretty unobtrusive, which is not something that we can always say about these companies' logos. Add to that the aforementioned affordable price and you can see why you might want to choose Rolson Tools R82652.
Silverline 675067 950 mm
Ditch the Wood
Silverline 675067 is the most affordable product on this list, meaning that there are inevitable downsides here compared to forks that cost 2-3 times more.
Though the epoxy-coated head with hammer-finished tines looks tough and sturdy, the tines are not strong enough to handle everyday digging into the toughest soils. On the bright side, the aforementioned epoxy coating prevents abrasions and makes the head rust- and corrosion-resistant. Plus, the coating adds scratch resistance to the mix, maintaining the head's smooth appearance and making sure the tool looks pristine even after years of abuse.
Meanwhile, the polypropylene-coated steel shaft and the PD handle has been hardened to the HRC 38/45 standards to make them highly durable without elevating the tool's weight. On that note, measuring 1.6 kilograms, the fork is pretty lightweight despite its all-metal construction. Last but not least, the blade measures 24 x 16 centimetres, more than most border forks' blades to let you comfortably dig into more ground.
In closing, Silverline 675067 is an easy decision to make since the price makes this hand fork basically unparalleled at turning soil and light digging within this price bracket.
What Is a Garden Fork?
There are various garden tools that you can utilise around the garden. These tools range from heavy-duty solutions (like grow lights and entire polycarbonate greenhouses) to compact implements (like expandable hoses) designed to tackle light/small tasks.
Garden forks are somewhere between these types. Generally speaking, these forks fall under two categories: border forks and digging forks. Border forks are designed to tackle borders (hence the name), raised beds, and various tight places where large forks do not fit. Digging forks are better at digging and turning over light soil types as well as harvesting root vegetables.
Sometimes, these forks will be able to aerate high-compact soils but they're not always strong enough to do so. Length-wise, the garden fork's shaft should measure at least 70 centimetres and the blades 15-20 centimetres to let you comfortably toss clippings and plant matter.
Apart from that, construction-wise, we would recommend looking into forks with stainless steel heads since these will not rust as quickly as orthodox forks.