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BBC Gardeners' World - Sophie Conran for Burgon and Ball Border Fork

Sophie Conran for Burgon and Ball Digging Fork review

A small tined fork, great for small spaces and small gardeners.

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

In a nutshell

Awarded a BBC Gardeners' World Magazine Best Buy, this T-handled border fork punches above its weight. Following the classic design with an ash handle and shaft, it has small but effective tines that easily tackle clay and a lengthy 10-year warranty.
Handling
3.0 out of 5 rating 3.0
Tines
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Strength
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Value for money
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Pros: Very small - great for tight spots

T -shaped handle easy to use with
two hands

Breaks up soil easily
Cons: Short tines mean it's tricky to get leverage
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What is the Sophie Conran for Burgon and Ball Fork like?

This traditional ash border fork has a T-shaped handle and a double riveted socket a quarter of the way up its shaft. At 94cm, this was one of the smallest forks on test and its stainless steel tines, at just 19cm, were also the shortest. 

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What’s it like to use the Sophie Conran for Burgon and Ball Fork?

The short tines and light weight of this fork mean it’s a dream to use in tight spots and in areas that need more delicate attention. The T-shaped handle is easy to use with two hands, but while the short tines make this fork well balanced and manoeuvrable, they also make it a little difficult to get leverage when turning over and transplanting. Taller gardeners will also find this short and unkind on their back.

Is the Sophie Conran for Burgon and Ball Fork strong?

Despite its size, this is a strong fork – its socket is double riveted with attractive countersunk rivets, and comes a quarter of the way up the shaft.  Its FSC-certified ash shaft is 3.5cm (11.3”) thick. The shortness of the tines means they’re almost immovable. 

How does the Sophie Conran for Burgon and Ball Fork perform?

Because it’s easy to use with two hands, you can generate a lot of force with this fork, with great results. When striking in, it’s very effective, even in clay soil. The mirrored steel stops soil from sticking, and it strikes in very well with little resistance and soil doesn’t stick. The short tines mean it’s great for transplanting, as it’s quite nimble for manoeuvering plants from soil. It’s also good for turning over, but the small surface area of the tines mean it’s a little inefficient. 

Is the Sophie Conran for Burgon and Ball Fork good value?

This is a good investment – a great fork at a good price that excels at all tasks. It has a good  warranty of ten years. However, taller gardeners should look elsewhere.

Product Specifications

Product

Brand Sophie Conran
Name Sophie Conran for Burgon and Ball Digging Fork
Model Sophie Conran for Burgon and Ball Digging Fork
Price £39.99

Features

Digging
Material Type Stainless steel
Shaft FSC certified Ash
Handle Type T shape
Weight 1.3kg
Length 94cm
Warranty 10YEAR