* Prices may differ from that shown
I was given the Spear & Jackson border fork along with a border spade for my birthday two years ago*. I have other S&J garden tools and I consider them to be a trusty brand who make tools which are built to last, and this fork is no exception.
The overall length of the fork is about 950mm, with the fork area being 150 x 230mm approx, which is considerably smaller than the more "heavy duty" gardening forks you get. The fork consists of four prongs, each one approximately 7-8mm square which are slightly curved (top to tip), I guess ergonomically designed for their work. The fork area is highly polished stainless steel, which is still very shiny and still looks great - good as new, despite getting a regular workout every time the weather allows a bit of gardening. The main shaft is a greyish dark wood, with the handle integrated into the shaft, which itself is about 40mm diameter. The opening for the handle is generous enough to make it easy to hold and the diameter of the actual handle is a comfortable size, around 30mm. The handle has a design feature where the shape of the opening is sort of elongated down into the shaft, and the handle and shaft being one piece gives a very classic - and classy - look to the fork.
The fork is light to lift and to work with, moreso than you would expect - looking at the fork it looks so solid, particularly the wooden shaft and handle, and the materials are obviously high quality. The spec of the fork states that it weighs 1.5kg. This fork is also a slightly shorter height than other garden tools, which makes it ideal for me, being fairly short myself! With the face of the actual fork being so small, it is really suited to digging borders (unsurprisingly!) and it means that for initial "turning over" of my borders I can get easily in between most plants to loosen out the weeds without getting on my hands and knees with a hand fork.
As with the border spade in the same range the obvious follow-on observation from the petite-design is that the "shoulders" of the fork - where you place your foot to dig into the ground - are only around 50mm wide. This is a possible issue if you have large feet, but has never been a problem for either my partner or myself. It's worth noting, however, that the uses of this fork are such that there's rarely any need for a serious push into the ground, it's more for turning soil over and loosening weeds. Added to that, the polished stainless steel finishes usually means that it slides really easily into the ground with minimal effort.
I wouldn't advise using this for bigger jobs such as digging out tree roots out or even digging substantial shrubs out, a bigger and more sturdy fork is more suited to that type of work, and that isn't what this fork is designed for. In it's category, however, I really believe that you would be hard-pushed to find better - in fact, checking on line I'm amazed to see this fork retailing for just £18 on Tesco's website - that represents superb value in my opinion and I definitely recommend.
On the handle is emblazoned "10 year guarantee", and I have no doubt that this will have no trouble in far outlasting that claim.
(*Apologies for some repetition if you've read my spade review too, there are obvious design similarities. Thanks for reading both.)
The Spear & Jackson Traditional Border Fork has a mirror polished stainless steel head for rust resistance and minimal soil adhesion. The one piece hardwood shaft is weatherproofed for greater durability and splits to form a wishbone handle.