Posts Tagged ‘Spade’

Essential Tools – A Spade and Fork

A spade is a spade as the saying goes, but in this day and age that is not so true !.

These are the workhorses of any garden, and should last any gardener or allotmenteer a lifetime, so it’s wise to choose them well, and spend as much as you can afford.


Lots of spades these days are made from pressed steel, and have those small tabs on the top, which I find seem to trap a lot of soil and make the spade heavy and more difficult to clean, which is a consideration as they are mainly mild steel and will soon rust, if they are not cleaned and oiled after use.

My choice would be stainless steel blade, with a good strong hickory shaft, not the plastic or metal ones, look for a spade that is well balanced and has a good long throat where the wood enters the metal shaft, the blade should have a slight curve, and fairly sharp at the business end.

Look also for seamless welds, smooth join between wood and metal, make sure the handle is smooth and is firm, the shaft and handle should be all in one piece, avoid a spade with a plastic handle riveted to the wood at all costs.



There are various types of forks, the main one you will see is the digging fork, about the same size as the spade, the two will look like a pair, take the same things into consideration when buying a fork.

Try to find one with thick square tines, thin round tines will easily distort and bend in heavy soil.


Like everything else in life you get what you pay for, my medium priced Spade and Fork cost around £30 each, chances are they will last 4-5 times longer (if not more) than the pressed steel versions, and will pay for themselves.