Serious forks & spades

About 20 years back, I ordered a border fork & spade from Smith & Hawken. Great tools, but alas, the ex-wife has them. Before I drop a hundred bucks to replace them, I'm wondering if anyone's found anything similar in stores (USA only, please). I need a D-handle at the top, and that cannot be plastic. Don't care about stainless steel.
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I have a set of Spear & Jackson (British mfg) that I got years ago from a local garden center that fit your requirements. But they weren't cheap - I think regardless of what brand name you select, for good quality, longlasting tools, you will be looking at the better part of $100 and up.
Check out A.M. Leonard or Lee Valley Tools - both carry British tools with steel blades and ash handles and can be ordered onlline.
pam - gardengal

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Hawken.
bucks
Thanks, Pam. That's what I was looking for - names. 20 yrs ago, Smith & Hawken was selling Bulldog tools. Now, I have no idea what their source is. And, I don't mind paying top dollar, especially when I'll be tearing out a lot of grass by hand and need tools with some heft to them.
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I just had to replace my absolute favorite fork, a Wilkinson, indestructible, but unfortunately completely lose-able :o( I bought this one from Johnny's Selected Seeds (it also comes with a lifetime warranty, just like my lamented Wilkinson):
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/catalog/resultdetails.html?edit_id 76&name=Root%20and%20Potato%20Fork&cat_id06&topcatid)2&subcatid05&subcatid206&subcatid3=0&search_keywords=fork&ct=hg&pagename=resultdetails.html&source It's $68.50, which sounds steep, but I paid $39.99 for the one I lost back in 1979. Well worth the money. There's a somewhat smaller version for $54.50 here:
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/catalog/resultdetails.html?edit_id 64&name=Digging%20Fork&cat_id06&topcatid)2&subcatid05&subcatid206&subcatid3=0&search_keywords=fork&ct=hg&pagename=resultdetails.html&source I am very happy with it. Good luck in your search.
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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It seems like US made tools you replace every couple of years, while the British pass theirs down to their great-grandchildren.
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Hawken.
bucks
True. And, what I saw at home centers yesterday looks and feels like complete crap. I haven't hit the real garden stores yet, so that may still provide the miracle I'm looking for. If I have a choice, I really prefer to handle the tool before buying, although that may end up being impossible.
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Not all of them :-) I have a slasher and pickaxe inherited from an old uncle who inherited them from his father, who was poor, so they can't have been expensive tools when they were new 90 years ago, but are as strong as ever. I still use a (cheap) rake and hoe I bought 35 years ago, and (expensive) hand tools I bought 20 years ago. A nice old rake and hoe which my son uses, cost almost nothing in a jumble sale; they are probably pre WW2 and after I'd treated the handles with linseed oil they were silky smooth from long use.
On the minus side, only one (expensive, forestry-professional) narrow-blade spade has lasted more than 15 years, and I've broken quite a few digging spades at the shaft..same with forks. Because of that I tend to buy one level up from the bottom price range (which is about 10). My current spades are, Wilkinson Sword, 20 UK pounds, D shock-absorber handle, stainless steel blade; and a Senator ash shaft, ash D handle, bronzed steel blade one which came with a supposed "lifetime guarantee" for 18 pounds. Don't think I quite believe that somehow :-)
Janet.(Scotland)
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Janet.(Scotland) wrote....
"My current spades are, Wilkinson Sword, 20 UK pounds, D shock-absorber handle, stainless steel blade; and a Senator ash shaft, ash D handle, bronzed steel blade one which came with a supposed "lifetime guarantee" for 18 pounds. Don't think I quite believe that somehow :-) "
But whose life time, yours or the spade ?
--
David Hill
Abacus nurseries
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or the soil's?
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Some lawyer you had! Can't you appeal for shared care-and-custody ?
Janet
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contains these words:

Hawken.
I got the boat. :-)
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Boat: n. A hole in the water that you throw money into.
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contains these words:

True history for 5 years' of ownership:
Boat: $1400.00 Motor: $1200.00 Routine maintenance: $300.00 or so. Accessories (over 5 years): $12,219,440.98 Replacing fishing lures lost to evil underwater obstructions: $27,803.47
Even so, it's one hell of a sedative.
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Wake up, Doug, wake up....
:~}
Janet
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Doug wrote..
".... Replacing fishing lures lost to evil underwater obstructions: $27,803.47 .........."
What are they ...solid gold with diamond eyes?
--
David Hill
Abacus nurseries
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No...just a shitload of lures! I can point out at least 3 fishing spots where, if terrorists wanted to wade to shore, they'd be entangled in hooks and probably dead before they got close. :-)
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Border Concepts has a line of super heavy duty garden tools.
http://www.borderconcepts.com/tools_frameset.html

stores
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I'll second Pam's suggestion on Lee Valley. Be it garden or woodworking tools, their quality & service can't be beat. [I think 'Veritas' is a 'house brand' -- but as far as woodworking tools go, anyway, it is as good as it gets.
http://www.leevalley.com/ [and their catalogs are absolute works of art]
Jim
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wrote:

http://www.leevalley.com/garden/index.asp?SID=&ccurrency=2&IndxStyl=long
http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&q=site:www % 2Eleevalley%2Ecom+fork
http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page.asp?pageE712&category=2%2C44813 &SID=&ccurrency=2 ss, low price. but shorthandled. only 120 lb load?
longhandled $30, but head construction looks like sh## http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page.asp?pageH024&SID=&ccurrency=2 &category=2%2C44813
i saw short handled forks at kmart :-)
http://www.kmart.com/category/index.jsp?categoryIdx8448
weird site. no garden tools in tools or in garden. also, mothra seems to have taken over kmart.
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