Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of life.
Last updated: July 28, 2021
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There are some tools that every gardener simply needs to have, and the garden fork is one of them. Available in various sizes and styles, garden forks are so useful for digging holes, turning dirt, aerating the soil, and helping your garden grow.
We looked at 36 of the best garden fork options out there, finding that the Radius Garden 203 PRO is the best option for most people. With its comfortable O-shaped handle, thermoplastic grip, and strong stainless-steel tines, this fork can tackle any kind of dirt and last for years.
Our review team spent hours analyzing many different garden fork models in order to find the top items to recommend to our readers. We evaluated the quality of each fork based on various factors, including the materials used to make the tines and shaft, the comfort and grip of the handle, the design and shape of the head, and the dimensions of each fork too. We also looked at the weight of each model, choosing a range of options to suit all kinds of users, even those with back pain or other issues. We considered the warranty of each model as well, and you can see the results of our findings listed in the table below. Further down the page, you can read detailed reviews of each model, complete with pros and cons, followed by a garden fork buying guide and FAQ section with some common questions you might have about garden forks.
"This budget-friendly model comes with four diamond pointed steel tines that work super well at penetrating the soil and breaking through even the toughest patches of land, so it’s great for setting up new gardens."
The top rated garden fork on our list is the Radius Garden 203 PRO. It comes from one of the best brands in the business and immediately stands out from the crowd with its stylish and unique design.
The Radius Garden 203 PRO features an O-shaped handle. While this might seem strange at first, it’s very practical when in use, as the O-shape actually helps to give you more grip, more space for your fingers, and additional leverage too. It also reduces stress and strain on the wrists, ideal for those with back pain.
The Radius Garden 203 PRO is one of the most expensive garden forks on our list, but it deserves such a high price tag with its strong build quality and impressive construction, being made with stainless steel tines, a carbon steel shaft, and a non-latex thermoplastic grip.
Next up, we have the Spear & Jackson 4550DF. Anyone who has been gardening for a long time will enjoy the style and design of this particular garden fork. Made by one of the most experienced garden tool manufacturers in England, it features a one-piece wooden shaft and handle.
It’s a smooth and comfortable tool to hold in the hands, and the stainless steel tines shimmer in the sunlight and do a great job of busting through the ground, with minimal soil adhesion too, making the Spear & Jackson 4550DF really easy to clean and long-lasting too.
The Spear & Jackson 4550DF comes with an impressive 10 year warranty, so you’ll be covered for a very long time in case of any breakages or other issues, and it’s a very hardy and resistant tool overall. Some users have complained that the handle can be a little uncomfortable during very long digging sessions.
Next up on our list is the True Temper 2812200. This model really proves that you don’t need to spend big in order to get a great quality gardening tool you can rely on for years to come. It wins our Budget Pick award as one of the most affordable garden forks on the market today.
It comes with four diamond pointed steel tines that work super well at penetrating the soil and breaking through even the toughest patches of land, so it’s great for setting up new gardens. It comes with a forged spading fork head too and a 30-inch hardwood handle.
The grip of the True Temper 2812200 is another great feature. It’s formed in a D-shape for comfort and convenience, offering extra leverage and feeling great in the hands. Some users have reported that this fork develops rust quite easily if exposed to the elements too frequently, so you’ll need to find a nice dry place to store it in.
The Fiskars Ergo is another top quality garden fork you might choose to buy. It comes with a really clean and modern design, high quality materials, and one key advantage over most of the other models: a lifetime warranty.
The Fiskars Ergo weighs in at close to 5 lbs, making it one of the heaviest entries on our list, so it can be a little tricky to move around and store, but it works wonders at breaking through tough soil thanks to its strong steel tines. It also comes with a steel shaft and welded boron blade, along with a D-shaped handle.
The handle of the Fiskars Ergo has been angled slightly to provide more comfort to the user. It’s one of the best garden forks to use for those with back pain thanks to the angled handle, and the teardrop-shaped shaft fits snugly into the hand, coming with a mid-grip for additional comfort and precise control.
Last but not least, we have the Truper 30293. Made with sturdy North American ash and strong, clear-coated, gray-steel finished tines, this affordable garden fork is a great option for anyone in need of a top quality, high value gardening tool.
Produced to the highest standards, this garden fork feels light and comfortable in the hands, weighing in at less than 3.8 lbs and measuring up at just 2 x 6.8 x 40 inches. It’s one of the most compact and convenient garden tools around, easy to maneuver and simple to store away in any shed when not in use.
The Truper 30293 also comes with a lengthy warranty and a comfortable D-shaped handle, offering superior leverage when compared to many rival models. On the downside, some users have reported a bit of bending in the shaft with repeated use.
Why is it special?
Lightweight and compact
What are the flaws?
Can start to bend over time
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve seen some of the best quality garden fork options on the market and read through the details in the garden digging fork review for each of our favorite models, it’s time to take a closer look at how to shop for garden forks. If you want to choose the best possible model for your needs, it’s vital to consider several different factors, including the type of fork you need, the materials used to make it, the size and weight of the fork in question, and the design and shape of the handle too. Read on to learn more about the best garden forks.
One of the first things to know about gardening forks is that they come in various types. These different types have different designs and sizes, and it’s vital to find the right tool for the job you want to do.
The first type of garden fork is the standard fork. They’re the biggest variety of garden fork, making them very useful for large yards and garden spaces. They’re ideal for breaking up tough, rocky patches of soil or setting up a new garden, and they usually have four tines.
The next type is the digging fork, which is used for digging or turning over soil that is already quite loose and easy to dig through. These forks are sometimes a little smaller than standard garden forks, but still have four tines and are very popular due to their ease of use and effectiveness, with the Radius Garden 203 PRO being an example.
Then, there are border forks. These are also smaller than standard garden forks and may only have three tines. They’re useful in tight spaces, like the borders or edges of your garden.
How to pick the best garden fork
When shopping for a new garden fork, it’s vital to not simply buy the first model you find or choose the most expensive garden fork and expect to get the best experience. There are a lot of forks out there, and many people make the mistake of assuming that they’re all more or less the same. In reality, garden forks can function very differently to one another. There are different types, designs, materials, and more, all of which affect how the garden fork actually functions and how enjoyable or comfortable it is to use.
One of the first thing to consider when shopping for the best garden fork for you is the materials used to make it. You should consider the materials of the tines in the head of the fork, which will be used to penetrate the earth and actually dig down through the ground, but you should also consider the materials used to make up the shaft and handle as well, as these parts of the fork are also important in determining its overall quality.
For the tines, stainless steel is one of the best possible materials you can hope to find, as seen on the Spear & Jackson 4550DF, for example.
Stainless steels tines stay sharper for longer and break through tough ground more easily than lesser quality metals.
The carbon steel shaft of the Radius Garden 204 PRO is one of the best materials you can find for this part of your fork, and it also comes with a comfortable thermoplastic grip.
Shaft and handle
The head might seem like the most important part of your garden fork, but it’s vital not to overlook the shaft and handle either. The handle is a very important part of your fork, as you’re going to be holding it for a long time while gardening, and it helps a great deal when the handle is made in a comfortable way.
Some handles can put pressure on your wrists or even lead to back pain due to their design, as well as leading to irritation in your palms and fingers if they’re uncomfortable to hold. The handle of the Radius Garden 203 PRO is made from a soft thermoplastic that provides good grip and comfort. The handle on the Fiskars Ergo, meanwhile, is angled to reduce strain.
As well as the shaft and handle, you also need to think about the head of your garden fork. Some garden forks come with just three tines, while others feature four. All of the entries on our list come with four tines, as this is generally considered to be the best arrangement for effective digging and stronger aeration of the soil.
When shopping for garden forks, be sure to consider the material and shape of the tines. Sharper and longer tines are able to dig deeper and more easily into the soil, and it’s always helpful when the tines and head are made from top quality stainless steel, as seen on the Radius Garden 203 PRO.
Dimensions and weight
One more factor to consider when buying a garden fork is how big and heavy it is. This is especially important if you plan on doing a lot of gardening and want something that is going to be comfortable to use in the long term, particularly if you have any back pain or other issues that could be made worse by using a large and heavy gardening tool.
The Truper 30293 stands out as one of the most lightweight top rated garden forks on the market right now, making it easy and comfortable to carry around. Meanwhile, the True Temper 2812200 is one of the most compact garden forks on our list, making it a little easier to work with for shorter people or those with smaller gardens.
Don’t forget to consider the warranty when shopping for a good quality garden fork. Even though these tools may appear relatively simple, they get used a lot, withstand a lot of pressure, and can break in some situations.
If that happens, it’s always good to know that the manufacturer will cover the cost of repairs or provide a replacement without making you pay anything for the privilege. The Fiskars Ergo and Radius Garden 203 PRO both come with lifetime warranties.
One more factor you have to take into account when looking for the best heavy duty garden fork is the price. Garden forks can come with a huge range of price tags, with some models available for $30 or less and others costing closer to $100. The more expensive options are often stronger and better-made, but it’s still possible to find top quality garden forks at the lower end of the price range too.
Don’t assume that a more expensive garden fork is always going to be better than a cheaper model. Some of our favorite garden forks, like the Truper 30293 and the True Temper 2812200, for example, are available at very affordable prices, so you don’t always need to pay a high price tag in order to enjoy a great gardening tool.
If you suffer from any kind of back pain or discomfort while gardening, there’s no need to worry. You can still enjoy time in the garden by taking rests when necessary, maintaining a good posture when you can, and using forks that have been designed with comfort in mind. The Fiskars Ergo, for example, has an angled handle that puts less pressure on your body, reducing strain on the wrists and letting you keep your back straighter and more comfortable. It also helps to invest in a good quality garden fork that requires less effort to actually break into the ground and dig, like the Truper 30293.
When it comes to garden tools, forks and spades are two of the most common options found in most sheds and backyards, but many amateur gardeners aren’t quite sure when to use one or the other. In general, garden forks tend to be better at penetrating tough and rocky soil, due to the smaller surface area of their tines on the soil compared to the longer and larger shape of a spade. Basically, since forks have tines, rather than a long blade, they make it easier for the user to put pressure on the ground and break through the tough areas. This is a lot harder with a spade. So if you’re dealing with rough and rocky ground, it’s best to use a fork. However, if you have looser soil, a spade might suffice.
Like any tool, garden forks can start to become a little duller over time, suffering from wear and tear with repeated use. However, in general, sharpening the tines isn’t usually necessary, as the key to a fork’s effectiveness is in the pressure that the tines apply to the ground, rather than their sharpness. Put simply, even if the tines aren’t quite as sharp as they used to be, they’ll still be able to do more or less the same job with the same effectiveness without any issues. You can, however, choose to sharpen the tines if you like, and it’s always helpful to look after your gardening equipment to keep it in good condition.
Overall, the best garden fork we found is the Radius Garden 203 PRO. With its classic English design, comfortable O-shaped handle, strong stainless steel tines, and superior build quality, this heavy duty digging fork is ready for anything and can last for years and years.
Our second favorite garden fork is the Spear & Jackson 4550DF.This model was crafted by some of the best in the business and is perfect for breaking through tough soil and turning over new ground in preparation for planting flowers and veggies. It’s one of the best value garden forks on the market.
Our third best garden fork is the True Temper 2812200. Made in the USA, available at a super price, and designed to very high standards, there’s a lot to love about this design. It’s strong, well-made, highly durable, and comes with a really comfortable handle too.