Thanks for taking the time to read my article on the best lightweight garden forks. If you have been gardening for any length of time, then you will appreciate that there are a number of different types of gardening forks.
Over time though our needs can change. When I started gardening many years ago, I gave very little thought to buying a garden fork. I simply bought a general purpose digging fork of good quality.
I wanted one that could be used for general digging of gardens, beds and borders. Most importantly I wanted one that would last, so I did spend a little extra on a good quality fork.
However as I started to get a little older, handling a garden fork for any length of time started to tire me out a lot more than it used to. Likewise my better half had always told me that, my garden fork was always too heavy.
That's when we started to look around for a lighter fork that we both could use.
As you can imagine, there are many brands of forks available on the UK market, and they do come in slightly different shapes and sizes. Below we hope to guide you through the choices available.
That way you can decide which is the best type for your own specific needs.
So on this article, we are going to focus on the best lightweight garden forks, and which types of lightweight forks are the best to use.
What is the Lightest Garden Fork?
In almost all cases, if you want a light fork, you will be better going with the smaller border fork. Although the head is smaller than a standard garden fork, it is big enough to do pretty much the same work. It won't be that good for heavier digging, but a border fork is great to use around a flower bed or a vegetable garden.
Garden Fork Weight Comparison Table
Garden Fork Name
Spear and Jackson 1684NB Neverbend Carbon Border Fork
1.72 Kg (3.79 lbs)
Kent and Stowe VBPHUKA1091 70100216 Carbon Steel Border Fork
1.82 Kg (4.01 Lbs)
Draper 88791 Carbon Steel Border Fork
1.88 Kg (4.14 lbs)
Spear & Jackson 4550DF Traditional Stainless Steel Digging Fork
1.95 Kg (4.30 lbs)
Gardena Ergoline Digging Fork
2.20 Kg (4.85 lbs)
So as you can see from the weight comparison table above, the lightest garden fork is the Spear and Jackson 1684NB Neverbend Carbon Border Fork.
Just below we have done a review of each of the garden forks above. The weight varies slightly between the forks shown above, and there are other features you may want to consider, as well as the actual weight. These include what other buyers had to say about these, the price of the fork, and also if you have a preferred brand.
1. Spear and Jackson 1684NB Neverbend Carbon Border Fork- Lightest Garden Fork
As you can see from our comparison table above, this is the lightest garden fork that we could find during our research
It forms part of the popular Spear & Jackson Neverbend range
This fork has a forged carbon steel head and socket that gives this fork good strength and the head has also been hammer finished and epoxy coated which helps stop it from rusting and getting scratched in rougher soil types
It has a hard wood shaft that has been waterproof treated, and the shaft head has a slight tilt to help improve the actual digging angle.
88% buyer satisfaction based on 150+ online buyer reviews
This is a small lightweight fork, and is really only suitable for light digging. This is not the fork for working on heavy ground or for digging up roots. any complaints that we have read about this fork is that the tines bend when it is over worked in heavier ground.
For working around mature flower beds or vegetable gardens, this one does work very well, and its weight and design make it very easy to handle. As long as it is not forced to do something it is not designed to do, it is an excellent choice.
2. Kent and Stowe VBPHUKA1091 70100216 Carbon Steel Border Fork - Our Recommendation
We prefer and would recommend this garden fork. It is the second lightest on the UK market and from the excellent Kent and Stowe brand.
As you can see, this fork gets a very high 94% buyer satisfaction from many satisfied UK buyers.
It has been designed for use on garden borders and on garden beds
It has a carbon steel head and tines, with a good long crank that gives it added strength
What we really like about this fork is that not only is it light in weight, it is also beautifully balanced when you are using it.
94% buyer satisfaction based on 200+ online buyer reviews
The price is also excellent and it comes with a 10 year guarantee. We think that is a great combination. Buyers agree and the majority of them said this fork is light and strong, and also works very well on heavy, damp clay type soils.
Many senior people left reviews and said that this fork is the best that they have used.
3. Draper 88791 Carbon Steel Border Fork
Many people opt for this Draper fork, and mainly that is down to the lower price point of this fork.
It is certainly one of the cheapest on the UK market, and again it is classed as a lightweight fork.
The head and tines are made from carbon steel which have an epoxy coating to prevent rust and scratches.
The shaft is also made of tubular steel which has been coated with plastic, and the Y shaped handle is made of hard plastic.
86% buyer satisfaction based on 300+ online buyer reviews
If you want a fork to do some light digging every now and again, this one will do the job. It is light and it is easy to handle around beds and borders. The fork is small in size so easy to use, but not really suitable for taller people. We would also not recommend this one for any type of heavy digging.
For lighter digging work, this is a good enough fork, at a lower price point than many others.
4. Spear & Jackson 4550DF Traditional Stainless Steel Digging Fork
There are over 1,000 buyer reviews for this fork, and it is one of the biggest sellers on the UK market, from the very popular Spear & Jackson brand
It also has a high and solid 90% buyer satisfaction, so from those two pieces of information we know this fork sells well, and it also is highly rated by the vast majority of buyers.
This is a traditional style digging fork that has a stainless steel head. The head has been mirror polished to stop the soil from sticking to the tines
It has a one piece hard wood shaft that splits into the classic style wishbone handle, and the wooden handle has been fully weatherproofed.
90% buyer satisfaction based on 1,000+ online buyer reviews
This is an excellent lightweight fork, however it comes with a high price point, and that price can deter some buyers. The old saying that you get what you pay for is certainly true with this particular choice.
For general garden use this is a very good choice. However, like any of the garden forks on this list, it is not designed for heavier digging. For heavy digging it is much better to buy a heavy duty fork.
Lighter forks are no designed for dealing with roots, or newer housing gardens where there may be a lot of builder's rubble left after construction has been completed.
5. Gardena Ergoline Digging Fork
This fork also sells really well on the UK market and as you can see it also gets very high buyer reviews.
We would also like to point out that this fork does come with an excellent 25 year warranty
The tines are made of a very high quality hardened steel with a non-stick coating
The handles is also made of steel coated with plastic and it is oval in shape, which helps give it added strength, and does make it more comfortable to use in your hands.
This fork has a D-shaped handle which many buyers prefer.
92% buyer satisfaction based on 800+ online buyer reviews
As you can see, the price point on this fork is at the higher end, and no doubt that will deter many buyers. This fork is suitable for light digging, but is also strong enough to take on what we would call tougher digging. We wouldn't want to use it on a building site, but it does work well where there may be roots or heavier clay type soils.
Tips for Buying a Lightweight Fork
Who Should Buy?
The average length of any small or lightweight fork is around 120 cm (around 4 feet or 48") from the top of the handle to the bottom of the tines. For anyone under 5' 8" (173cm) in height a small fork will be fine and comfortable to use.
However, if you are taller than that, then this smaller lighter size is not really going to be that suitable. It would require some bending over to use the fork, and that of course can place stress on the lower back, and also on the knees.
Taller people are much better off using a long handled fork. Unfortunately, simply because of their larger size, they will be heavier than those described on our list above.
What Type of Digging can it Achieve?
This is the biggest issue for many buyers when it comes to buying a lightweight fork. They are really only suitable for what is classed as lightweight digging. We would like to fully explain what we mean by that, because it is such an important consideration.
If you have existing borders and flower or vegetable beds, that have been dug and worked on over the years, then a lightweight digging fork, is ideal for using on these.
They are absolutely useless for working on any type of ground such as rough stony ground, typically what you find on many new builds. They will also struggle with ground that has deep hedge, shrub or tree roots, even small roots are an issue.
Some of these will work well on clay type soils, as long as they are used slowly and carefully. Any type of excess force will bend tines, and render your fork useless.
Who are Lightweight Forks Suitable For?
As some people approach their senior years, they still want to be able to garden, but want to avoid the use of heavier forks, spades etc. This is especially true, if there is going to be prolonged use. By owning a lighter fork, they can still get some work done, and the lighter fork is much easier on the hands and arms.
Many ladies, especially ladies who are smaller simply prefer to use a lightweight garden fork. It is more suited to their height and their physique. My wife for example likes using a border fork for any type of digging work as she simply finds it more manageable. On the other hand, I am happy to use that fork for border work, but prefer a heavier digging fork for my allotment.
It really is a horses for courses situation, and mainly comes down to personal preference.