Last updated: August 7, 2021

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Welcome to our big digging fork test 2021. Here we present all the digging forks we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best digging fork for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a digging fork.




Summary

  • The digging fork is an elongated garden tool with three or four pointed tines. It is ideal for loosening the soil, digging around or digging up plants, such as the potato plant.
  • The digging fork can be divided into two product types: the normal digging fork and the hand digging fork. While the normal digging fork is very large and must be operated with the help of both hands, the hand digging fork, as its name suggests, can be used with only one hand.
  • When buying, make sure that high-quality material such as stainless steel is used. In addition, the length of the digging fork should be adapted to your body size and, if necessary, have an ergonomic shape.

The Best Digging Fork: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a digging fork

What is a digging fork?

The digging fork is a useful garden tool. Among other things, the digging fork is also called a spading fork, garden fork or digging fork.

The components of the digging fork are a handle and the fork-shaped end piece. The handle is available in various lengths. There are also very small digging forks that can be used with only one hand.

The end piece resembles a fork. It is usually made of steel or metal and has several prongs.

The digging fork is a garden tool that no garden should be without. Its narrow, pointed tines allow the digging fork to easily penetrate any soil. (Source: pixabay.com / congerdesign)

In the following, we will show you the different areas of application of a spading fork and also answer other interesting questions on the subject of digging forks.

What is the function of a digging fork?

Due to its shape, the function of a digging fork is obvious. It is mainly used for digging and loosening the soil (aerification) in the home garden or flower bed.

But the spading fork is also used for digging up plants, weeds or similar, as well as for harvesting potatoes.

We will go into more detail about the uses of aerating and harvesting potatoes in our question section at the end of this guide.

How much does a digging fork cost?

The price range for digging forks is between 8 and 120 euros. The price varies depending on the size, material and manufacturer.

A basic rule is: the bigger the spading fork, the more it costs. Thus, normal digging forks are logically more expensive than the very small hand digging forks.

Nevertheless, smaller but higher quality digging forks can of course be more expensive than larger models.

In addition, the higher the quality of the material used, the higher the price of the end product. Stainless steel digging forks are accordingly more expensive than those made of aluminium, as they are also more durable.

The shape of the handle is also crucial. Ergonomically shaped handles are more expensive to produce than simple handles without a real shape.

Type Price range
Normal digging fork 12-120 €
Hand digging fork 8-30 €

What are the alternatives to a digging fork?

There are basically a few alternatives for the function of a digging fork. For example, a shovel is also suitable, if not better, for digging up the soil or digging up plants.

All alternatives at a glance! A spade, a digging fork, a shovel and two more spades. With all three alternatives together, you are guaranteed to have everything you need in your garden. (Source: unsplash.com / dylan nolte)

On the other hand, the lawn cannot be aerified with the help of a shovel. When harvesting potatoes, you should also use a digging fork. The most similar to the digging fork is the standard spade. The only difference is the shape.

While the spade has a smooth, continuous surface with a sharp-edged end, the digging fork has several elongated, pointed tines.

This difference also reveals the advantages of a digging fork over the spade. Although both have identical uses and functions, the digging fork is much gentler on the ground.

The individual tines do not damage roots when digging. In addition, it is less likely that animals in the soil will be injured during gardening.

Decision: What types of digging forks are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy a digging fork, there are two alternatives you can choose between:

  • Normal digging fork
  • Hand digging fork

Depending on the features you need for the use of your digging fork, you should choose either one or the other.

Below we try to make this decision easier for you by comparing the advantages and disadvantages of the two types of digging forks.

What are the characteristics of a normal digging fork and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The normal digging fork is relatively large and has an average length of between 80 and 120 centimetres.

Due to its size, it has to be gripped and used with both hands, but this means that large areas of soil can be worked more quickly.

Nevertheless, the normal spading fork can also be used for smaller beds, but the hand digging fork is more useful for this. It is one of the most suitable garden tools for effectively digging up or loosening your soil

Advantages
  • Suitable for large areas
  • Can also be used for smaller areas
  • Effective work
Disadvantages
  • Heavy weight
  • Requires a lot of force to use

One disadvantage of the normal digging fork is its heavy weight and the high effort you have to exert when using it. Working for a long time with a normal digging fork puts a lot of strain on your muscles and joints.

What are the characteristics of a hand digging fork and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The hand digging fork is much smaller than a normal digging fork, with a length of between 30 and 40 centimetres. Due to its small size and low weight, it can be optimally used with only one hand, which promises a comfortable and pleasant use.

In addition, the effort required for work is less than with the normal spading fork. Due to its size, this type of digging fork is mainly used in smaller beds. It can be optimally used there.

Advantages
  • Suitable for smaller areas
  • Light weight
  • Can be operated with one hand
Disadvantages
  • Totally unsuitable for large areas
  • Limited range in online shops

On the other hand, it is completely unsuitable for larger areas. You would spend too much time and effort working through a large area of soil with the hand digging fork. For this, the normal digging fork is definitely the better choice.

During our online research, we also noticed that online shops offer a much larger range of normal digging forks. Hand digging forks, on the other hand, are less frequently offered for sale. You should be more likely to find them in specialist shops for garden accessories.

Purchase criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate digging forks

In the following we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible digging forks.

The criteria you can use to compare the digging forks with each other include:

  • Material
  • Processing
  • Number of tines
  • Length
  • Ergonomics
  • Handle

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important in the individual criteria.

Material

A central criterion when choosing your digging fork should be the material. Only high-quality material guarantees long-term use.

Usually the end pieces of spading forks are made of steel or stainless steel. Steel is very stable and robust, which means that even hard soils can be penetrated without any problems.

Stainless steel is even better. This is additionally protected against corrosion, i.e. it is rust-free, and therefore even more durable than steel already is.

If possible, choose a stainless steel model when buying a digging fork. This way, nothing can stand in the way of long-term use.

In rare cases, aluminium can also be used. However, we strongly advise against such products. They are only convincing because of their low price, but they are completely unsuitable for long-term use.

Stainless steel is an important quality feature of a digging fork, as this material is extraordinarily stable and durable. (Source: pixabay.com / analogicus)

The handle of a digging fork is either made of wood or plastic. Plastic can be shaped better than wood, which is why a plastic handle can also be ergonomically shaped. Wooden handles, on the other hand, tend to be flat and rarely have a specific shape.

Which handle material is best for you, however, also depends on your personal preferences. Wood is a natural material that may be a little heavier. Plastic is lighter, cheaper and can have unusual shapes.

Processing

By the term workmanship we mean above all the transition between the end piece and the handle of the digging fork. This transition should be very carefully finished. During work, a lot of force is exerted on the spading fork and the transition would be the first place to break under pressure.

It is therefore extremely important that this area is particularly stable. However, it is difficult to check whether this is the case.

As a customer, you usually have no choice but to trust the manufacturer's specifications and also take a look at the customer reviews. There, other buyers can tell you about their experiences.

Number of tines

The number of tines of digging forks varies between 3 and 4. Hand digging forks usually have three tines, as they are already shorter and three tines are quite sufficient for the small width.

Normal spading forks can have either three or four tines, with four tines being the norm. How many tines your normal digging fork should have is, in a way, a matter of taste.

Length

The length of the digging fork is also an important purchase criterion. While the length is not really decisive for hand digging forks, it plays an even greater role for normal digging forks.

You should always choose your spading fork in relation to your height! For shorter people shorter digging forks are recommended and for taller people logically longer ones. This way you can work in a way that is easy on your joints and back!

For children, the smallest models, in the 80 to 90 cm range, are recommended. People with a height of up to 1.65 m should be able to manage well with a digging fork in the 100 to 115 cm length range.

For tall people, from 1.80 m tall, the largest models are recommended, with a length of 115 to 120 cm.

Of course, you don't have to stick to our guidelines. If you are a tall person and find it more comfortable to work with a shorter spade fork, buy a smaller model.

Ergonomics

Many spade forks are ergonomically shaped. This offers the advantage of better power transfer to the digging fork. This should be easy on your joints and generally make it easier for you to work.

The ergonomics are usually specified by the manufacturer and are especially recommended for people who have problems with their joints or back.

Of course, you can also buy an ergonomically shaped digging fork without any physical problems.

Handle

There are two different types of handles for digging forks:

  • D-handle
  • T-handle

Below we have compiled a table with all handle types and their descriptions.

Handle Description
T-handle The T-handle is the standard handle. The handle ends only with a cross connection, which is why the handle resembles the big T.
D-handle The handle ends in a semicircular shape with a cross connection. This then looks like a capital D, which is why this handle is also called a D-handle.

Which handle is best for you depends solely on your preferences. Both will help you to work more comfortably and ensure better power transmission.

Facts worth knowing about the topic of digging forks

How do I change the handle on a digging fork?

Everyone who has been working with their digging fork in the garden for a long time knows the problem: after a certain time, the wooden handle can no longer withstand the pressure and breaks.

Of course, you are not forced to throw away your still functional end piece of the digging fork. Normally, the handle is replaceable.

We have selected a suitable video for you. In the video, the handle of a shovel is changed, but this principle can easily be transferred to a digging fork with a wooden handle.

For digging forks with plastic handles, however, this question is not so easy to answer. Some manufacturers have developed a system where the handle of the digging fork can be replaced. Others, however, cannot be replaced at all.

However, plastic is usually much more stable, which is why the probability of such a digging fork breaking is very low. If in doubt, ask your local garden supply store for advice.

How do I aerate my lawn with a digging fork?

To keep your lawn healthy and growing well, it is important to maintain it at all times. This includes aerating the lawn.

Aerification ensures that your lawn is better aerated, water can drain away better and, in turn, the grass grows better.

Especially for lawns with a high weed density, it is necessary to aerate the lawn regularly.

You can use a digging fork for this purpose. Use the fork to poke small holes throughout the lawn. Make sure that the holes are as close together as possible, no more than 10 to 15 cm apart.

As with scarifying, the best time to aerify is in spring or late summer. This is when the soil temperature is optimal, so that your lawn can continue to grow and is not damaged by the holes.

As a rule, you should aerate your lawn at least every 3-5 years. More often, of course, if there is a heavy infestation of moss or weeds!

How do I harvest potatoes with a digging fork?

If you plan to grow your own potatoes, the digging fork is the most useful tool to harvest the ripe potatoes afterwards. The digging fork leaves the potatoes largely undamaged when penetrating the soil due to its widely spaced tines.

When harvesting with the digging fork, make sure that you insert the spading fork into the soil at an angle about 30 centimetres away from the potato plant. Otherwise you may damage several potatoes.

More useful tips and information on harvesting potatoes

  • The variety of potato determines when it is harvested. Early varieties are harvested in June, while late varieties do not find their way out of the ground until October.
  • Harvesting begins about 3 months after planting.
  • You can recognise the optimal time for harvesting when the plant wilts and turns yellow. Then the plants take their natural resting period and you can start harvesting.
  • Harvest your potatoes several times in portions rather than all at once. That way you can always prepare and taste them freshly harvested.
  • Attention! Sort out tubers with green spots immediately when harvesting. These contain toxic solanine. Likewise, potatoes with wet, brown spots, which indicate bacteria.

Image source: pixabay.com / EugenesDIYDen

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