SHW Pitch Forks Review
Old world quality and a pattern for every job.
These pitch forks are made in Germany at a forge that has been active since the 1200s (!). The heads are forged from high carbon steel and the handles are solid ash.
The three, four and nine tine forks have a pronounced scoop shape and sharp tines.
Their defining feature is the tapered socket handle fitting, which is an elaborate way of saying the handle simply slides into the tool head and is fasted with one or two screws.
Most hardware store garden forks have a tang and ferrule style connection which is difficult to fix.
Handle replacement is a breeze with these German forks.
Note: The five-tine compost fork has a tang and ferrule style connection.
Which Fork When
Three Tine Pitch Fork
Sometimes called a hay fork, a three tine fork is perfect for moving hay and straw. I’ve also found it useful for moving loose brush around. The tines are too far apart for moving much else, but it’s a light-weight tool and worth owning if you move loose material regularly.
Four Tine Pitch Fork
A 4 tine pitch fork straddles the line between a multi-purpose pitch fork and a dedicated, 3 tine hay/straw fork.
While a 3 tine fork is lighter, adding another tine allows you to move a greater variety of things.
Course compost, manure, and brush can be moved with this fork, but it is light enough to still make sense for straw and hay.
Five Tine “Compost” Fork
Five tines gives you the ability to move finer materials such as finished compost or wood chips. This version has a beautiful 3/4 length handle with a t-grip.
Nine Tine Pitch Fork
This beast of a fork reminds me of stout gravel forks I’ve seen, and it would work well for that purpose. I imagine it would work well for moving wet manure around as well, or in any circumstance where you need closely-spaced tines. Beware, this tool is heavy. Available in a straight 67″ handle and a t-grip 52″ handle.
You can find decent pitch forks at most garden centers. However, if you want to step up in quality and have the ability to replace a handle easily; or you require something less common like a three or nine tine fork, these SHW forks are worth a look.
As far as I know, Earth Tools BCS is the only place to purchase these heirloom-quality tools.
Where to Buy
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