As a hobby, gardening doesn’t require much to succeed—seeds, soil, water, and, eventually, some nutrients for your hungry plants. While some gardeners love to hoard gadgets, you can achieve your goals with a basic set of tools. Among these, one of the most essential gardening implements is the trusty garden fork.
Whether you’re a new gardener or a master planter, a garden fork is a must-have tool. It can help you dig up weeds, loosen dirt, and remove old, diseased, or dead plants. A garden fork is also well suited for transplanting established plants from one area to another. A garden fork can also be used to turn a compost pile—just use a long-handled fork and gloves to avoid getting your hands dirty.
There are three main types of garden forks, which serve a variety of purposes:
- Standard garden forks usually have between four and eight tines. These garden forks are designed to root around in the soil and move dirt, compost, or mulch, as needed. They have a slight curve to make it easier to scoop dirt as you fork through it.
- Digging forks are meant for digging into the soil and are ideal for loosening compacted earth. These garden forks usually have between four and six tines with no curvature.
- Hand forks are compact tools suitable for loosening up small patches of dirt around small plants and seedlings, as well as digging up weeds. These garden forks typically have three tines.
In this guide, we’ll review some of the best garden fork options available to make gardening tasks more productive.
Our Top Picks
Read on for recommendations on reliable, top-performing gardening forks. To make your shopping experience easier, the following list features a mix of products suitable for different purposes and price points, in various shapes and sizes.
This American-made garden fork from True Temper is evidence that you don’t need to spend a lot of money for a reliable garden fork. It’s specially designed for breaking up tough, compacted soil that is heavy with clay.
The True Temper digging fork contains four rigid, diamond-pointed steel tines won’t break under pressure. A poly D-grip handle makes the fork easy to control and adds leverage. The 30-inch hardwood handle provides enough length for comfort. This fork is useful for a variety of gardening tasks like turning compost, aerating soil, and digging up dirt.
There’s a lot to do in a garden to keep it healthy and plentiful, making a versatile tool all the more useful. This extendable garden fork from Corona expands from 18 to 32 inches, allowing you to tackle multiple tasks without switching tools.
If you struggle to reach the far ends of your garden beds, a garden fork with an extendable handle can help you tend to your plot without having to step on and compact the soil. An extendable handle can help also gardeners with mobility issues tackle otherwise tricky tasks with ease.
The Corona fork is heat-treated and features a rust-resistant coating for durability. Despite its length when extended, it’s incredibly lightweight as well.
If your current go-to tool has seen better days, consider replacing it with this modern garden fork from Radius Garden. This 4-tine fork can help you move dead leaves, aerate and loosen soil, dig up potatoes and bulbs, as well as turn compost.
This gardening fork is incredibly durable, built with stainless steel tines and a resin-encased carbon steel shaft. Its unique circular handle is ergonomically designed for added comfort. The fork has an extra-wide forward, allowing you to cover more ground.
Tackle the same tasks as you would with a standard garden fork, but on a larger-scale with this broad digging fork from Bully Tools. You can complete the same garden chores with this broad garden fork as with a narrower tool, but in less time.
With heavy-duty fiberglass handles, 10-gauge steel tines, and commercial-grade construction, this tool is durable and will last for years. The 43.75-inch handles are detachable for convenient storage.
This handheld garden fork from Wolf-Garten is as classic as they come. The easy-to-clean, anti-rust tines are made of heavy-gauge steel. It features an ergonomic comfort-grip handle with a hole to add a hanging lanyard for simple storage.
This hand fork is ideal for small-scale gardening tasks like removing weeds, potting plants, or aerating plots in a square foot garden. If you have children who want to assist you with simple gardening tasks, consider this fork as a way to introduce them to gardening.