Good Digging Fork

We need to replace a fork with bent teeth.
Home Depot sells a "Bronco" for $20.00, but I have always found that spending more money on a good tool is worthwhile.
Are there ways to tell about the quality of the steel?
Have you recommendations for good tools?
Thank you in advance.
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well, avoid anything pressed like the plague... look at the thickness/shape of the tines. you don't want thin & flat. welds are bad too. my personal preferance for a digging fork is a D handle, but some people like the long straight handles.

http://www.leevalley.com/home/Search.aspx?c=2&action=n
not affiliated, but have had good luck with thier tools. i also buy tools at a local Agway. big box stores tend to go for low prices, with resultant lower qualtity. Home Depot may be a step up from Wal-Mart, but i wouldn't bet on it. lee
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wrote:

I'm not familiar with Home Depot's products, but the better forks are forged, not stamped. The forged fork tines are usually flat on the front side and tapered back to a radius on the back side, are thicker where they join the head and become thinner toward the tip of the tine. The stamped and heat treated forks have more uniform sized tines from where it joins the head to the tip.
Regards,
Hal
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Here's on you will never bend
http://www.histandtools.com/Secure/eCommerce/Catalog.asp?prdc=5

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That's not a fork.
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Look for "forged steel head".

I prefer D-handled fiberglas for the body, forged steel head, with a metal strap high up onto the handle from the head. If you can find them, diamond back tines are useful for strength. Rolled steel forks are for light use only.
Kay
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Even the best fork can be bent if used incorrectly. You're not supposed to pull backward on the handle if an effort to pry with a fork. I guess we all do it occasionally, but these tools aren't designed for that purpose.
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And how, pray tell, do you use one then? Of course you can pull backwards on a fork to pry - buy one that's sturdy enough and you won't have a problem. I've used one for years in this rocky New England soil. I own the fork from the link below, it has a lifetime guarantee:
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/catalog/product.aspx?scommand=search&search=digging%2bfork&item 33
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expounded:

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/catalog/product.aspx?scommand=search&search=digging%2bfork&item 33
That's a nice fork. I've got a similar one from Smith & Hawken, from the era before the company lost its mind and became a boutique for Martha Stewart shopping clones.
Forks are made to loosen the soil by being moved side to side or in a circular motion. It's obvious just by looking at the tool that heavy prying can cause problems. However, you have to qualify that by saying that some people have a feel for how happy a tool is during use, while others haven't a clue. This explains why you see so many horribly damaged phillips screwdrivers in peoples' tool collections - know what I mean?
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I live in the Amish region of Pennsylvania and near the coal region. We have lots of auctions and garage/barn/lawn sales. I try to buy all my tools at these sales. It accomplishes two things. The sales are a lot of fun, and second, the tools have withstood the test of time. I got my digging fork at an auction 40 years ago and it probably had 40 years on it then. I think mine would break before it bent.
"They don't make things like they used to"
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I'll bet that fork did not come off an assembly line. Probably made slowly.

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LOL - yes, I know exactly what you mean!
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Fiskars doesn't say to use a circular motion. They claim to have the strength to get the job done. With the Ames Fork, I would be more careful. Here are a number of good digging forks:
Fiskars Power-Booster Digging Fork http://www.gardeners.com/D-Handle-Digging-Fork/default/35-724.prd
Structron Spading Fork http://www.hooverfence.com/tools/structron-spading-fork-sp30.htm
Rittenhouse Stainless Steel Garden Forks (Canadian) (note 22" fork is 40" long) http://www.rittenhouse.ca/asp/product.asp?PG 62
Kodiak Forged Spading Fork http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/diy_main/pg_diy.jsp?BV_Session ID=@@@@0976632176.1144248895@@@@&BV_EngineIDghaddhhfgdfklcgelceffdfgid gin.0&CNTTYPE=PROD_META&CNTKEY=misc/searchResults.jsp&MID76&N)84+552 1&pos=n18
Truper Spading Fork http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId 76881&cp54884 .1255108.1260256&parentPagemily&searchId60256
Ames 30" Spading Fork http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId630-302-1 8-940&lpage=none
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Here's yet another. From aging hippies Smith and Hawken ;))
Pricey but mine are like new after 35 years. I stick mine in a bucket of sand containing motor oil every winter. Sharpen some tools now.
Bill
http://smithandhawken.resultspage.com/search?w=fork&_D%3Aw=+&Submit.x=0&S ubmit.y=0&Submit=Submit&p=Q&ts=custom&_DARGS=%2Fjhtml%2Fnewsite%2Ftopnav. jhtml.8
Or
http://tinyurl.com/ld7x3
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I agree, but that company has gotten very strange. Two weeks ago, I suggested that a friend check out their forks. She was unable to find any on the site. I checked to be sure she wasn't just being absent-minded. No forks. She called the company and was told they were no longer selling them. Today....they're back.
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Perhaps a viable work around.
http://bulldogtools.co.uk/docs/home.php
Darn hippies!
Bill
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Those are nice tools. Matter of fact, there was a period of time when they were making tools for Smith & Hawken. I think mine are from that point in history.
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expounded:

to
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/catalog/product.aspx?scommand=search&search=digging%2bfork&item 33
era
also good for levering up bricks, roots or big lumps of concrete Doug.
rob
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