Along with a trowel and spade, a good garden fork is one of the basic gardening tools that no shed or garage should be without. Whether you only have access to a small allotment, or tend to a larger green space in the countryside, you'll need a reliable fork to make the most of time spent maintaining your garden or growing plants and vegetables.
In this article, we'll show you how to pick the best garden fork for your space or upcoming project. We'll go over the key terminology used, as well as ranking the top 10 pitchforks, digging and border forks available online in the UK on Amazon, eBay, and Argos. That way you'll be able to turn that patch of weeds into a beautiful herb or vegetable garden in no time!
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While maintaining a garden or allotment requires a good garden fork, you may not be aware of which would be best suited to the type of work or projects you have in mind. Our buying guide will take you through the different varieties of garden fork, with tips on how to stay comfortable and injury free while working in the garden.
You may not be aware of the fact that there are actually a large number of different types of garden fork available on the market today, designed specifically for different jobs. In this section, we'll take a look at some of the most common types of fork for use in an average garden setting.
The most commonly used garden fork is the digging fork which is designed for, you guessed it, digging and aerating soil. These usually come with four tines, which are the pointed spikes at the end of the head. Commonly, these also have an insulated handle to ensure you stay protected in case you come across any buried wiring.
Digging forks are durable, strong, and sturdy, making them a great all-round work fork. If you need to move a lot of soil to create a vegetable garden, are planting bushes and trees, or getting a lawn ready to seed, then a good digging fork will be your best friend!
The border fork is a smaller and more lightweight version of a digging fork that's designed for tighter spaces and more delicate jobs. Think of a border fork as a subtle tool that's useful for jobs that require a bit more finesse.
If you have a small area with not much space to move around in, then a border fork is a great option. They're especially good for moving smaller plants around, as well as harvesting any vegetables you've grown. They also make a good choice for those who may struggle to work with a heavier tool for extended periods of time.
Pitchforks tend to some of the largest in the fork family, often having longer shafts. They're designed to move bulky materials around, such as hay and other crop-related materials, and are a great choice if you're looking to do some major outdoor remodelling and need to clear large quantities of garden waste.
You can often tell pitchforks apart, as they typically have between two and four tines. They also have a curved head rather than straight tines, as they're not designed for digging compacted soil, and most won't have a handle at the end of their shaft
One of the less common, but extremely useful garden forks is the potato fork. These are instantly recognisable due to the fact that they have an extremely wide head and up to ten tines. If you couldn't guess from the name, these are made to dig up potatoes and other root vegetables, without damaging them.
While their usefulness outside of their primary function is limited, the potato fork is a great addition to anyone serious about growing food in their vegetable garden or allotment. As a niche, specialist, tool, they're often a little more expensive than other forks, but are well worth the investment if you spend a lot of time growing root vegetables.
Finally, whether you're planning on spending long hours in the garden or just popping over to your allotment every so often, you'll want to make sure your fork has a comfortable handle to avoid painful blisters on your hands or strains and injuries from developing in your wrists.
There are many different shapes of handles, from the classic closed loop or T-shape, to some more unique options. Unfortunately, you won't find much in the way of padding, so we always recommend wearing some comfortable gardening gloves while working.
Now that we've talked about the shaft, it's only right that we pay attention to the head of the fork. We've spoken briefly about tines before, and while it's worth thinking about how many you'd prefer, the majority of garden forks will have three or four tines outside of the specialist options.
Nearly all forks are made of steel, usually stainless steel or carbon. Stainless steel is a good choice if you want to ensure that moisture from the soil or greenery doesn't damage the head over time, whereas carbon steel is more hard wearing. That said, it can be prone to rust if left in a damp environment.
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Spear & Jackson
Traditional Digging Fork
The Overall Best Fork for Gardening
Spear & Jackson
An Incredibly Comfortable Ergonomic Design
Best Fork for Newbie Gardeners
Extra Long Garden Fork
If You’re Over 6 Feet Tall, This Is the Border Fork for You
A Weatherproof Fork for Delicate Tasks
Classic Digging Fork
A Great Investment for Large Gardens and Outdoor Spaces
Spear & Jackson
Agricultural Manure Fork
The Best Pitchfork for Farming and Garden Waste
Spear & Jackson
Long Handled Weed Fork
A Lightweight Fork for Easy Lifting
A Good Budget Option that's Surprisingly Sturdy
Classic Potato Fork
One for Vegetable Gardens and Allotments
Our number one pick is this strong and sturdy fork from Spear & Jackson. It features a mirrored stainless steel head that's easy to clean and fully protected against the elements.
It may be a tad shorter than most, but if losing 10 cm is the price to pay for a top quality fork under £20, we think it's well worth it! Unless you're well over 6 feet tall, this is the best value fork that money will buy.
If you're looking to garden comfortably, this ergonomic border fork is an award winning choice. The tilted ergonomic handle is the real star of the show, meaning you'll be able to spend as much time in your garden or allotment as you wish, without feeling the strain in your arms or wrists.
The polypropylene shaft and stainless steel head result in a fork that's completely weatherproof. You'll be able to work in any conditions and won't have to worry about storing it in a damp shed or garage.
This offering from Rolson is easily the most wallet friendly fork on our list. It's often a worry when opting for cheaper tools as they're often less durable and sturdy than premium versions, but the ash wood shaft on this fork is incredibly hard and strong.
It's also one of the lightest, comfortably coming in at under a kilogram in weight. If you're not used to using a garden fork, or are looking to pick up your first one, then this is a great choice when taking those first steps into the gardening world.
This extra long offering from Draper is the perfect choice for taller people and those with back or mobility issues that may have difficulty bending over. Aside from the length, this fork also features a solid steel shaft that's coated in a protective layer of plastic.
The soft grip handle is a nice touch to help with your overall comfort while working. And, even though it's branded as a border fork, it's more than capable when it comes to heavier duty tasks.
Not many people are aware that Draper is a family run company, producing high quality gardening tools, without the price tag. The epoxy coated carbon steel makes this border fork completely weatherproof, and surprisingly durable too!
The savings come from the fact that it's slightly shorter than the average, coming in at 92 cm. While this means it may not be suitable for those who are very tall, we think the low price justifies shaving off a few cms.
This offering from Fiskars is a little longer than your usual digging fork, making it great for taller people, or those with large green spaces that need tending to. It's a high quality fork that's extremely durable, due to the fact that ash is a relatively hard wood.
It's potentially going to be a bit unwieldy for the average man or woman, especially in a smaller garden. Plus, it comes with a slightly higher price tag! That said, it's well worth the investment if you're a keen gardener with a large outdoor space.
If you're after a great pitchfork for farming, then this is the best available on the market. Its coated tines mean that it can handle all types of garden waste and agricultural materials without rusting or breaking.
The reason it sits so low on our list is no fault of the fork itself, but simply because it's much less versatile than a digging or border fork. Most gardens in the UK won't have a need for one, but for those who do, you won't regret this purchase!
This unique weeding fork from Spear & Jackson is a great choice for those with mobility issues, or those lacking the strength to wield a traditional garden fork. The lighter weight makes it easier to handle so you won't have to sacrifice time in the garden.
Obviously, this fork's small head means that it's not going to be suitable for more heavy duty jobs, but when it comes to removing weeds, tidying up rough edges, and getting soil ready to plant, it works a treat!
It may not be the biggest feature, but the fact that this fork is orange definitely wins it some brownie points as it'll stick out among other tools or in an overgrown garden. But more importantly, as budget options go, this is a solid choice.
The carbon steel head is surprisingly sturdy for the cost, but the tines themselves aren't the sharpest in the world, meaning that cutting through hard soil will be difficult. This shouldn't be an issue for flowerbeds, but could prove unsuitable for compacted ground.
We can't not mention the Classic Potato Fork from Fiskars as it's simply the best potato fork out there. It's the highest quality option around and it's well worth the investment if you're growing potatoes and other root veggies.
Obviously, spending £70 on a fork that's only designed to dig out potatoes if you don't grow vegetables is not something we'd recommend doing! The low placing is only due to the incredibly niche nature of the fork and not at all indicative of its quality.
Unless you're cultivating a patch of nettles and dandelions, gardening takes a lot of hard work! Whether it's root vegetables or summer perennials, to get you on the road to success, we've ranked some more of the best tools for gardeners in the UK.
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