Garden forks How to buyIdeally, wear your gardening shoes or boots while making your choice.
Hold the fork as you would if about to push it into the ground. You should be leaning forward slightly if the handle height suits you.
Now try holding the fork as you would if lifting soil. Ensure the handle feels comfortable and you can reach the base of the shaft easily.
Check this feels comfortable and isn’t so high that you have difficulty using your body weight to push down on it firmly.
Should I opt for stainless steel or carbon steel?
The price of stainless steel tools has plummeted during the last 20 years or so. Nowadays a decent stainless steel fork can be bought for under £30.
In our trials, when we’ve asked gardeners to compare stainless steel spades and forks with carbon steel ones, they’ve usually preferred stainless ones. They push into the soil more easily, are easier to clean, and don’t rust. And – let’s face it – if nothing else, stainless steel tools usually look more classy.