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Just forked out for a new fork. Stanley and Neverbend.

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  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,678
    Think it depends on how tough and stony your soil is - what is robust for most folks is puny for me, I have so many forks, including top quality brands, with bent tines. One super-expensive allegedly impossible to break one I managed to bend in a day. Bought a Bulldog fork and border fork this year and so far haven’t managed to bend either, which is a miracle!
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,618
    I’ve not got one myself but Carters have been making gardening and workers’ tools for 275 years. Their products are still made in Yorkshire. Annoyingly their website does not have prices but these can be found on eBay and a standard fork will cost about £25.

    https://richardcarterltd.co.uk/product-ranges/garden-spades-forks/garden-fork/

    Going off at a tangent, I once read that one explanation of the pejorative term ‘left footer’ for a Catholic relates to the style of spades preferred in rural Ireland. The reinforced lip on spades made for the Irish market was on the left side.
  • sabeehasabeeha Posts: 292
    Pete8 said:
    sabeeha said:
    I saw this site linked on this forum http://www.fredshed.co.uk/homepage.htm which I am still working through! (reading, not buying!)


    I always check Fred's site before buying garden tools and usually buy his recommendation. I've never been disappointed.
    I emailed him once asking for a shredder recommendation - he offered to sell me one of his for a very reasonable price :) lovely chap

    I did buy Bulldog fork and spade (Fred's recommendation) about 5 years ago. Very strong and well made
    Sounds like a great guy!

    I most probably will go for that brand - although its probably above budget a little, it would definitely be far worse for my wallet if I was unhappy with my tools or if they broke! So would much rather prefer to pay once.


  • stewyfizzstewyfizz West BromwichPosts: 161
    I've got a Bulldog digging Spade, border Spade and a border Fork. Made of strong stuff and never had an issue with any of them.
    Gardening. The cause of, and solution to, all of my problems.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,007
    In an ideal world you should buy a forged steel fork or spade with an Ash handle. The reasons are that, stainless steel can be too brittle it does not flex the way steel does also steel is self sharpening during use. Similarly Pine is too soft and  oak too hard, brittle and heavy, Ash flexes but is strong. Stainless steel is fine for a hand trowel, or fork though as you do not put so much pressure on them (or you shouldn't be able to).
    I do have modern tools but the best fork I have is pictured below, it fulfils all the criteria above  & was handed down to me by my father. It was not new when he used it so it must be well over 100 years old. It does have a drawback not obvious from the picture, the tines are only just over half the the length of my modern fork so it is confined to the garden border now.

    AB Still learning

  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,618
    AB, I wonder if that is a potato fork possibly made by Griffin or Brades.
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,444
    I like pre-loved tools.  My best trowel and hand fork came from car boot sales, and my most reliable spade and fork were passed down by my Dad. 
    He taught me to avoid damage to my tools by choosing the right tool for the job - if the ground I was trying to dig with a fork was hard and full of rocks, go for the mattock instead;  if the branch was too thick for secateurs, get the loppers.  It means a bigger initial outlay (though my mattock and tree spit were also car boot bargains), but costs less in the long run - plus you're less likely to damage yourself if you're using the right tool.
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • UpNorthUpNorth South Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Posts: 376
    ZeroZero1 said:

    With spade a golden rule for me is to by one with a lip on the bit where you place your foot

    Strongly agree!   I bought some £40 'walking' boots for the garden. the sole is so much thinner than you'd hope for, or felt like in the shop. The spade lip, plus using both feet simultaneously seems to be the answer.  No, actually the answer is to use the mattock instead, so much easier for proper hard digging!
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,678
    Dirt Boot brand boots are great for digging, the bootie version has a reinforced sole in exactly the place where you put your foot on the spade. Mattocks are ideal for breaking hard new ground, though I still prefer a fork in the borders, so the Bulldog is fantastic.

    I got a really cheap but excellent, solid, well-balanced wood axe with a hickory shaft from Aldi many years ago at a knockdown price. My sister in law wanted one but they never got them in again, so think it’s a case of keeping your eye out, good tools go fast.
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