Best Garden Fork in Australia

Published On:
January 27, 2024

Wondering which garden fork can withstand the rigours of Australian soil? Look no further! This comprehensive review delves into the world of the best garden forks, a must-have for any gardening enthusiast.

From ergonomic designs to robust materials, we explore how these tools transform gardening into a more efficient and enjoyable experience. Stay tuned for insights on features, benefits, and personal experiences with these indispensable garden allies.

Garden fork drawing cover
Spear & Jackson Garden Fork SJ-4550DF
Editor’s choice
  • Length: 90.5 cm
  • Weight: 1.95 kg
  • Head material: Mirror Polished Stainless Steel
  • Handle type: One-Piece Hardwood Shaft, Split to Form a Wishbone Handle
Draper 88789 Garden Fork
Best budget garden fork
  • Length: 100 cm
  • Weight: 998 g
  • Head material: Epoxy coated carbon steel 
  • Handle type: Plastic Y-dee handle
Spear & Jackson Garden Hand Weed Fork
Best small garden fork
  • Length: 46 cm
  • Weight: 260 g
  • Head material: Mirror polished stainless steel
  • Handle type: Tanged with leather wrist strap

What is a garden fork used for?

Frequently misunderstood as merely an oversized dinner utensil, you’ll be surprised how much versatility a garden fork holds within its simple design. Its primary purpose lies within digging – breaking up hard soil efficiently without damaging roots, excavating dirt far easier than your traditional shovel. 

It doesn’t stop there, though! Feel free to detangle roots with it or help harvest root crops like potatoes and carrots. Even composting gets easy-peasy when you have this little tool handy; it makes mixing organic matter into an even spread such simple work.

Importance and benefits of using a garden fork

The real beauty of a garden fork shines through its multifaceted usefulness. It promotes healthier roots and improves soil moisture retention; happy roots mean thriving plants!. This is in addition to making transplanting easier due to less root disturbance — moving plants around becomes a less risky business.

There’s also the sheer ergonomic advantage of using one—less strain on your back from heavy lifting (thank heavens!). These compelling reasons highlight why owning not just any old garden fork but the best you can afford is the smart path to follow. And no worries, I’ve got you covered with some top picks in Australia.

Using a garden fork in garden

Types of garden forks for Australian gardens

When it comes to garden tools, the variety can be overwhelming. Let’s focus specifically on four types of forks typically used in Australian gardens: digging forks, border forks, pitchforks, and compost forks. 

Digging forks: Features, uses, and benefits

When tending to an average-sized home garden, a digging fork is my tool of choice. Its long handle and four sturdy tines make it ideal for turning soil and breaking up hard chunks.

The key features of a digging fork include elongated tines designed for penetrating deep into the soil and a well-balanced weight distribution that allows easy manoeuvrability. D-handle designs are also common as they offer superior grip comfort.

As for usage? The name implies its purpose – ‘digging’. The list goes on, from embedding plants to aerating lawns or harvesting root vegetables like potatoes. The benefits boil down to versatility paired with efficiency—it’s no wonder this is my go-to gardening device!

Border forks: Features, uses, and benefits

Next on our lineup is the border fork—a nifty companion for working around tight corners or where space may be limited—such as along fences or flower beds.

Border forks are often characterised by their smaller size; however, they pack quite a punch! They’re lightweight yet robust enough to handle tasks such as weeding between tightly packed shrubs or dividing bulky perennials.

Their benefits cannot be overstated—they provide precision planting capability and ease of use due to their compact design. It’s particularly beneficial if your greenhouses or container gardening projects require meticulous care.

Pitchforks: Features, uses and benefits

Yes, folks, you heard right: pitchforks aren’t just for hay bales anymore! These multi-pronged tools come in handy across various farming needs beyond stereotypical imagery.

What makes pitchforks stand out are the typically three long, sharp tines that allow the tool to pierce easily through dense materials. This design feature suits them best for tasks such as moving mulch or compost, spreading straw and tackling heftier things like livestock feed.

But why pitchforks? Aside from their versatility, using a pitchfork can significantly reduce physical strain due to its function of lifting and moving heaped material effortlessly. 

Compost forks: Features, uses and benefits

Last but not least is the compost fork. If you’re an avid composter or wish to be one soon, this gardening companion is essential!

With its signature broad, flat tines (often more than the other forks), compost forks excel in turning over and aerating compost heaps—a key activity in organic waste conversion processes.

Here’s a little pro tip: Regular use of a compost fork not only aids efficient decomposition but also attracts more worms (the good kind) into your pile—adding another layer of benefit! Transitioning toward a healthier garden with less reliance on harmful chemicals is thus made easier with compost forks—an eco-friendly advantage worth considering!

Best garden forks in Australia

As garden enthusiasts, we understand that finding the best tools can significantly influence our gardening experiences. 

With this in mind, I’ve dedicated time to investigating and crafting a list of some of the best garden forks available for Australian customers. The following selections are categorised according to typical needs, such as robust, heavy-duty performance, small-scale tasks, and preference for stainless steel materials.

Editor’s choice
Spear & Jackson Garden Fork SJ-4550DF

Spear & Jackson Garden Fork SJ-4550DF

  • Length: 90.5 cm
  • Weight: 1.95 kg
  • Head material: Mirror Polished Stainless Steel
  • Handle type: One-Piece Hardwood Shaft, Split to Form a Wishbone Handle

As a gardening enthusiast, I've had the pleasure of using the Spear & Jackson Garden Fork SJ-4550DF, and it's a game-changer in the world of garden tools. The first thing that strikes you is its elegant design, with a mirror-polished stainless steel head that looks sleek and offers practical benefits. The rust resistance and minimal soil adhesion mean less time cleaning and more time gardening.

The weatherproofed hardwood shaft adds to its durability, making it a reliable companion for various gardening tasks. Its one-piece hardwood shaft, split to form a wishbone handle, provides a comfortable grip, reducing hand fatigue during prolonged use. The head size of 300mm x 180mm is perfectly balanced, making it ideal for lighter work like weeding, digging, and removing stones.

The polypropylene shaft with an integral ergonomic forward tilting extra wide handle ensures the ideal digging angle, enhancing efficiency. This fork is not just a tool; it's a testament to thoughtful craftsmanship, blending traditional aesthetics with modern functionality.

Whether turning over soil or integrating compost into your garden beds, this fork feels effortless. Its lightweight yet sturdy build makes it suitable for gardeners of all statures, and its aesthetic appeal is a bonus, adding a touch of class to your gardening toolkit.

  • Rust-Resistant Design: Ensures longevity and low maintenance.
  • Lightweight: Easy to handle, suitable for gardeners of all strengths.
  • Durable Construction: The weatherproofed hardwood shaft offers greater durability.
  • Price: Slightly higher priced compared to some other models.
  • Size: It may be short for taller individuals like myself, requiring more bending.
  • Handle Roughness: Some people may find the handle rough, requiring additional sanding.
Best small garden fork
Spear & Jackson Garden Hand Weed Fork

Spear & Jackson Garden Hand Weed Fork

  • Length: 46 cm
  • Weight: 260 g
  • Head material: Mirror polished stainless steel
  • Handle type: Tanged with leather wrist strap

The Spear & Jackson Garden Hand Weed Fork is a gem in gardening tools, especially for those who cherish precision and ease in their tasks. The first thing you notice is its mirror-polished stainless steel head, which gives it a sleek look and offers practical benefits like rust resistance and minimal soil adhesion. This means less time cleaning and more time enjoying gardening.

The weatherproofed hardwood shaft adds to its durability, making it a reliable tool for the long haul. The tanged design for knuckle clearance is thoughtful, ensuring that your hands stay safe and comfortable while working. Adding a leather wrist strap is not just about aesthetics; it's about practicality, allowing you to hang the fork easily when not in use.

Using this fork feels like a natural extension of your hand. It's perfect for delicate tasks like weeding around prized flowers or vegetables. The extra-long handle is a game-changer, reducing unnecessary bending or stretching, which is a blessing for those with back issues or limited mobility.

  • Rust-Resistant Head: Ensures longevity and ease of maintenance.
  • Ergonomic Design: Tanged for knuckle clearance and comfortable use.
  • Durable Construction: Weatherproofed hardwood shaft enhances durability.
  • Size: May be small for larger, more demanding garden tasks.
  • Weight Balance: The long handle might affect the balance for some users.
  • Limited Functionality: Primarily designed for weeding and small tasks.
Best heavy duty garden fork
MUJO 4-Tine Spading Digging Fork

MUJO 4-Tine Spading Digging Fork

  • Length: 101.6 cm
  • Weight: 454 g
  • Head material: Steel with rust-resistant powder coated paint
  • Handle type: D-Grip

The MUJO 4-Tine Spading Digging Fork is a powerhouse in garden tools, a true testament to what a heavy-duty fork should be. From the moment you hold it, the premium quality construction is evident. The hardened straight tines, crafted for strength and durability, make penetrating even the toughest soil feel like slicing through butter. The metal handle, a departure from traditional wooden handles, adds to its robustness, ensuring this fork can withstand the test of time and rigorous use.

The D Handle Grip is a standout feature, offering a firm, comfortable hold for two-handed control. This design detail transforms digging from a chore into an almost effortless task. The tempered 4-diamond point steel tines are not just durable; they're designed with a forward-turned step for secure foot placement, giving you increased pushing power without extra strain.

Using this fork feels like having an extra set of strong hands in the garden. Whether breaking up lumpy soil, digging up sunflower roots, or tackling clam digging, the MUJO fork proves its versatility and strength. It's a tool that doesn't just meet expectations; it exceeds them, making it an invaluable asset for any serious gardener.

  • Reinforced Tines: Offers exceptional strength for heavy-duty tasks.
  • Durable Construction: Metal handles and tempered tines increase longevity.
  • Efficient Design: Diamond-pointed tines make digging easier and quicker.
  • Weight: It may be heavier than traditional forks and challenging for some users.
  • Handle Comfort: Some users may find the metal handle-less comfortable than cushioned options.
  • Tine Flexibility: While strong, the tines may bend under extreme pressure.
Best budget garden fork
Draper 88789 Garden Fork

Draper 88789 Garden Fork

  • Length: 100 cm
  • Weight: 998 g
  • Head material: Epoxy coated carbon steel 
  • Handle type: Plastic Y-dee handle

The Draper 88789 Garden Fork is a testament to gardening tools' perfect blend of functionality and affordability. Its epoxy-coated carbon steel head, measuring a practical 280 x 180 mm, is not just about aesthetics but resilience. The coating ensures that the fork is hardy enough to withstand the rigours of garden work, from turning over the soil to harvesting root vegetables like potatoes, as many satisfied users attest.

The plastic-coated steel cored shaft and Y-dee handle are where comfort meets durability. The handle design is a standout feature, offering a firm grip and reducing fatigue during prolonged use. This fork feels like an extension of your arm, making tasks like penetrating hard ground or aerating soil almost effortless.

One of the most striking aspects of the Draper 88789 is its balance between sturdiness and ease of use. It's solid enough to handle demanding garden tasks but light enough not to wear you out. The fork's design understands the gardener's needs, offering a tool that is both reliable and comfortable to use.

  • Epoxy-Coated Carbon Steel Head: Offers durability and rust resistance.
  • Ergonomic Handle: Ensures comfort and reduces strain during use.
  • Affordable: Excellent value for money, making it accessible to all gardeners.
  • Not for Heavy-Duty Use: You may need another tool with tough soil or heavy-duty tasks.
  • Durability Concerns: May not withstand extreme conditions as well as higher-end models.
  • Limited Features: Lacks some advanced features found in more expensive models.
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Remember that the ‘best’ garden fork vastly depends on individual requirements for your yard work endeavours. My suggestions should help guide you towards making an informed decision.

Factors to consider when choosing a garden fork in Australia

While shopping for a long-handled garden fork, you’ll have numerous options. To make an informed purchase, some aspects should guide your choice. These include the length and weight of the garden fork, the material used in its construction, the types of handles available, and ergonomic features that add to its comfort during use.

Length and weight considerations

When performing yard work, your gardening companion’s size can significantly impact your productivity and energy levels. For instance, long-handled garden forks can save you much back-bending trouble during digging jobs. They often range from 40 to 60 inches long, providing ample reach.

Regarding weight, it’s advisable to balance sturdiness and ease of use. A heavier tool may offer better penetration into hard soil but could lead to quicker fatigue. Bear these factors in mind while browsing through available options.

Material options 

The robustness of a garden fork boils down to the material quality used in manufacturing it. Typically, they’re made using two main materials: steel or aluminium.

Steel forks are favoured for their durability and capability to handle rigorous chores like turning compact soil without bending or breaking. However, this strength brings along added weight.

On the other end are aluminium counterparts. While they might not match up when faced with heavy-duty tasks compared to steel ones, their lightweight nature makes them suitable for less strenuous tasks such as weeding.

Handle types

Another very welcome feature would be a comfortable handle grip on your garden fork, which ultimately decides how tiresome (or easy-going) your task will get.

Straight handles give a symmetrical feel that is useful for twisting motions while digging holes. To further facilitate good posture during work – especially when dealing with long-handled forks – D-shaped handles come in handy by providing a comfortable grip that lessens hand strain. If you plan on prolonged digging, this could be your best option.

Ergonomic features for comfort during use

Nothing beats working with tools designed with your comfort in mind! Many garden forks now incorporate ergonomic features to help gardeners work more efficiently.

Look out for those with cushioned handles as they offer softer grips, reducing the chances of blister formation during vigorous use. Also, models where the design heat-treats the tines enhance durability and penetrating ability into dense soil without unnecessary effort.

In all these considerations, strike the balance that suits your individual demands in garden maintenance perfectly. When appropriately equipped, yard work can offer a relaxing retreat instead of becoming an aching detriment!

How to properly maintain and store your garden fork

Properly maintaining and storing your garden fork can considerably expand its lifespan, improve its performance, and save you money in the long run. 

With just a few simple steps and precautions, this vital tool will remain dependable for years. Let’s delve into the key elements of proper gardening fork maintenance.

Cleaning tips for garden forks

One must not overlook the significance of cleaning when maintaining a gardening fork. Indeed, diligent cleaning is your first defence against rust and damage.

  1. Clean after each use: Remove soil from your garden fork by gently knocking off larger pieces against a hard surface or using a brush for stubborn dirt.
  2. Wash thoroughly: Once in a while (or if used with solutions or chemicals), wash it well with soapy water to remove any unseen contaminants that may cause corrosion over time. 
  3. Dry well: Ensure you dry the tool completely before storage because residual moisture can encourage rusting.
  4. Apply protective oil layer: Lubricate with an oil-based product after cleaning the metal forks. This will form a protective barrier against oxygen and prevent rusting.

Consistency is key; make these practices part of your routine when you finish gardening tasks.

Proper Storage Techniques to Prolong Lifespan

The way you store your garden fork greatly affects its longevity too – improper methods can lead to gradual degradation of materials and reduce functionality over time:

  • Store indoors: Storing your tools indoors or undercover preserves them from harsh weather, which could cause extensive damage even for high-quality tools.
  • Keep forks off the ground: Hanging hooks or wall-mounted racks are excellent options; they keep the fork elevated from damp conditions on floors or walls/
  • Avoid stacking tools together: Keep your garden fork separate from other tools. This reduces potential scratches and nicks, which could expose the metal, making it susceptible to rust.
  • Regular maintenance checks: While storing, periodically inspect for any issues, such as loose handles or developing rust. 

By following these storage tips and cleaning recommendations, you can ensure your gardening fork remains a reliable companion for your backyard endeavours for years.

Every gardener knows that their tools are just as important as their hard work – so taking good care of them is essential!

Garden fork in grass

Final thoughts 

In conclusion, selecting the right garden fork is crucial for any Australian gardener’s toolkit. Our exploration of the best garden forks offers insights into making an informed choice tailored to your gardening needs. 

From durability to comfort, these tools are designed to enhance your gardening experience. Remember, a quality garden fork not only eases your work but also ensures longevity and efficiency, making it a wise investment for your garden’s future.


What is the strongest material for a garden fork?

The strongest material for a garden fork is typically stainless steel. It offers durability, rust resistance, and strength, making it ideal for heavy-duty gardening and working in different soil types.

Is a garden fork good for weeding?

Yes, a garden fork can be effective for weeding, especially deep-rooted weeds. Its tines allow you to loosen the soil and remove the entire root system, reducing the chance of weeds regrowing.

What is the difference between a garden fork and a digging fork?

A garden fork, often with flat, square tines, is designed for lighter tasks like turning soil and aerating. With its sturdy, sharp tines, a digging fork is more suited for penetrating hard soil, breaking up clumps, and heavy digging.

What is the difference between a garden fork and a pitchfork?

A garden fork with shorter, thicker tines is designed for digging and turning soil. With its long, thin tines, a pitchfork is primarily used for moving loose materials like hay, compost, or mulch.

What is the best fork for digging potatoes?

A potato fork or a broad fork is best for digging potatoes. These forks have flat, broad tines that help lift potatoes from the soil without damaging them, making the harvest easier and more efficient.