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garden fork

The right garden fork can make a lot of difference in how easy it is to do various tasks, such as turning compost, mixing soil and mulch or digging. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing the best one for you, such as what type of work you’ll be doing, your height and the weight of the tool. You should also look at the tines and shaft material — stainless steel or aluminum are both good choices.

A garden fork is an excellent tool to use if you have a lot of shallow-rooted weeds that need to be pulled out. It can also be used to loosen up compacted dirt to allow for easier water and air penetration. The main difference between a garden fork and a pitchfork is that the former has narrower spikes that are more effective in breaking up tougher soils, especially clay. A garden fork’s cousin is the border fork, which has smaller tines and is typically used for gardens and beds with a more limited amount of space.

If you need a fork that is great at digging, loosening and turning soil, this top-rated model from Fiskars is our pick. It has a long, sturdy handle that fits comfortably in your hand and is durable enough to withstand some abuse. It also features interchangeable foot pads, so you can choose whether you want to drive it with your left or right foot.

Another great option is this fork from DeWit. Its boron-steel tines are very sharp, so you can easily pry up root veggies without worrying about damage. Its handle is made from FSC-certified ash and is designed to fit perfectly into your hands so you can easily maneuver it. The fork itself strikes well into the ground with little resistance, and it was able to break up some pretty hard clumps of soil during testing.

A third choice is this fork from Truper. It’s not as versatile as the others, but it does a great job of digging and turning compost. Its wide tines are perfect for aerating compost and for pulling up root vegetables. It can even be used to turn a standard compost pile, so you can get all of that black gold ready for use.

While the weight of a garden fork won’t necessarily impact how much power it generates, it does have an effect on how comfortable and easy it is to use. Forks with wooden handles tend to be lighter, while those with metal shafts and tines are usually the heaviest. In most cases, the weight of a fork will be less important than how it’s designed and what types of tasks you plan to use it for. Our list of recommended forks includes options that cover a variety of purposes and budgets, so you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.