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Whilst digging up brambles my 20yr old fork snapped......it was so light weight and easy to use...rather than it go to the tool graveyard in the sky ......it has become two very useful tools, the handle is now a dibber for parsnips and the like...and the fork has become an extra large hand fork...
To cut to the chase, I then purchased a cheap garden fork and one of the pronges has bent on first use. Now I didn't expect it to last 20yrs but did expect it to dig up bramble crowns and stop when it came to a stone.
Q is would you take it back or should I just bite the bullet and get a better fork....
Take it back and then get a better fork.
It wasn't suitable for purpose...take it back.
Zoomer, always take things back they will be happy if you are upgrading to a better fork. My fork is my old dads and all of sixty years old if not more, it is shorter than it was but the tines still straight and sharp. I do oil the steel and the wood after cleaning which is why I got so annoyed when Toby from the old GW threw his tools on the ground, they need respect.
Boiling day over here today the tomato's and strawberries are loving it.
Above all else, I find that forks just don't last like they used to. I have had a lady's sized fork for 50years and it is still going stRong. Larger, modern ones just don't have the quality.
I would do both. Take back the bent one with the receipt. And invest in one with a guarantee. And be prepared to take that one back too!
I know cheap is a comparative term but I've learnt that lesson with petrol mowers. I had a Flymo petrol mower for years but when that died I bought a Mountfield which lasted about 4 years and then a Qualcast which was rubbish from the day I got it. Grass cutting was uneven, it was the noisiest mower I've ever owned and even on a highish cut setting it managed to scalp parts on the lawn at random.
I've just invested in a Honda at twice the price and already the difference in cut quality is obvious. When buying it I got into conversation with a customer who had had one for over 20 years so hopefully this will give similar service.
It was less than £8, so very cheap, the next grade up is double, I'm happy to pay extra if it does the job. Will take it back...Zoomer goes off to see if she can find the receipt...
Well thankfully my digging days are over. Many of my garden tools were inherited from my father 1896-1968 The tools are still good. I have, due to the fact that my garden is small, purchased the odd new tool.
I think that to be honest. We are now living in a 'throw away world'. This seems evident when something goes wrong, then you find you can't get it repaired. I don't particularly like buying second hand, however at times, it pays. Country markets and auctions are good places to pick up good used tools.
Regarding mowers. Thankfully I have no grass areas. Had I a lawn, then I think I'd search the market for a good used quality mower. Ransomes or Dennis. With so many moving part machines nowadays, including automobiles. There is far too much of combining plastic/nylon parts with metal. As with chalk and cheese. The two don't mix.
I used to manage a hand tool shop in the 1970s and 80s and we sold thousands of gardening tools. For me the best makes for forks and spades were Spear & Jackson and Wilkinson Sword - 'Stainless Steel'
I have has S&J all steel handled garden fork and a S/Steel garden spade for over 30 years and both are still in very good order (spade had a wooden handle which I snapped trying to dig the root out of an old apple tree so I bought a new hickory handle and fitted it and it's been fine ever since). About 10 years ago I then bought my wife a 'ladies' fork & spade in stainless steel and that is still 'as new' condition.
Stainless steel I'd a lot more expensive but they will give a lifetime of good service and they are so much easier to use as soil (especially heavy clay) doesn't stick anywhere near as much as it does to carbon steel. Definitely a worthwhile investment if you can afford it. My philosophy is to ask myself what I will think of my purchase in a years time. There is an old American saying 'quality is remembered long after price is forgotten'
This the only spade & fork I've ever had......made by Elwell in the Black Country and bought by me in the late 50s.
They're never put away dirty (the way I was trained) and about once a month the shafts are oiled with linseed oil.