How to choose Hand Tiller Broadfork for your needs

Broadfork Garden

Choosing a Hand Tiller Broadfork? We created this guide, so you can find the best Hand Tiller Broadforks on the market.

We’ve analyzed all of the Hand Tiller Broadforks on the market, looking at reviews, cost, ease of purchase, and many other factors.

Thus, we have compiled a ranking of the best Hand Tiller Broadfork.

Hand Tiller BroadforkHand Tiller Broadfork: In a nutshell

  • This tool can improve soil health, increase yields and reduce the amount of work in the garden.
  • Broadfork is used to manually aerate the garden.

What is a Broadfork?

A broadfork is a simple but powerful garden tool that is used to effectively loosen the soil without turning it upside down.

A broadfork is, simply put, an elongated digging fork with several long tines on the bottom, two long handles to hold on to, and a bar to stand on that connects it all. Standing on this bar, plunging the tines into the ground and pulling them back, you can either turn over or loosen the soil with relative ease.

Best Hand Tiller Broadfork

Bully Tools Broadfork

Bully Tools Broadfork

Features:

  • Extra thick 10 gauge steel.
  • High-strength fiberglass handles.
  • 2 handles made of heavy-duty fiberglass, 43.75-inches long; 20-inch by 11-inch head with 5 steel tines.
  • Perfect for loosening and aerating soil and improving drainage.
  • Breaks through densely-packed soil and hardpan.
  • Designed to reduce strain and increase leverage.

Ymachray Heavy Duty Pitch Fork

Ymachray Heavy Duty Pitch Fork

Features:

  • Durable: loosen, lift and turn garden materials with a durable garden fork featuring advanced ergonomics and a rugged build.
  • Stainless steel head for rust resistance and minimal soil adhesion, extra-long double riveted socket for strength and durability.
  • T-handle design eases stress on the hand and wrist.
  • Welded boron steel blade.

LAM Broadfork 6 Tine

LAM Broadfork 6 Tine

Features:

  • 20″ wide, 46″ handles, 6 5/8′ round tines13″ long.
  • Made from all steel for a lifetime of work.

VEVOR Broad Fork Tool

VEVOR Broad Fork Tool

Features:

  • The length is 12.8″, and the width between two tines is 3.9″.
  • Well-welded Structure: The broadfork garden tool is well-welded in one piece to ensure a solid and stable construction, not easy to loosen or break.
  • And the U-shape design makes the fork effortless to grip.

Use of Broadfork tool

Broadfork is commonly used for a wide range of tasks, including plowing, harvesting, aerating, and even tilling. It’s a great tool that’s always on hand, and it has many uses on a small farm.

A Broadfork For Plowing

If you plan to use your broadfork to plow new land, plant trees, and shrubs, or turn over hard soil or sod, you need a sturdy pitchfork. You should therefore stay away from broadforks with thin round tines.

Pay attention to the length of the tines. Shorter tines (that is, anything shorter than 10 inches) are good for turning over turf and soil, while longer tines (anything longer than 10 inches) can cut into your subsoil, acting more like a tiller – a common tractor implement designed to dig deep into the ground. That is, you need to consider the depth and type of your soil. For plowing, we recommend looking for a fork with tines going straight down from the bar, rather than coming out the back and then down. The tines should be deep and strong, but also sharp so they can easily sink into the soil.

Broadforks for soil aeration

Broadforks do have the ability to loosen the soil deeply without disturbing the soil structure too much. A lightweight fork with fine tinkering is best for this purpose. In this case, something with fairly long tines and wooden handles is recommended. Wooden handles can wear out over time, but the extra flexibility they provide will help make branching your farm more efficient and easy.

Broadforks for Harvesting

Broadforks can be used to harvest carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and sweet potatoes, for example. It’s slow and time-consuming if you plan to harvest a lot of crops this way, but it’s great to have a harvest fork handy on a small farm. You can use any type of fork for this – sturdy or lightweight – although good bed preparation will allow you to use a lighter aeration fork, as it will be easier to sink into the ground and move. However, if the fork is too heavy, you will have a hard time harvesting many crops. A medium to lightweight fork is best here.

Tips for choosing a Broadfork

If you have moderately dense soil and medium width beds, consider the following:

  • If you’re looking to dig deep, say 14 to 16 inches, I’d choose a four-tooth fork of the appropriate length.
  • If you are going to loosen shallowly, say 10 to 14 inches, you might opt for a tool with thin tines.
  • If you’re only loosening 6 to 10 inches, you can use a wider tool with more tines, such as a 30-inch wide fork with 8 tines of appropriate length.

Generally speaking, the wider the tool, the shorter the tines. The deeper you go, the fewer the tines.

When deciding, in addition to the soil type and width of the bed, consider:

  • The moisture and compaction of the soil.
  • Season and length of day (no need to work the soil much deeper than any plant’s roots can penetrate in a season).
  • Personal size and strength. A four-tine fork with 16-inch tines weighs 25 pounds. A 30-inch wide tool with 12-inch tines can weigh over 40 pounds.
  • Presence and size of field rocks and/or tree and shrub roots.

How to choose the right Broadfork

The following criteria represent the most important aspects to consider when deciding which broadfork is best for your needs.

Size

There are two considerations when it comes to the size of your Broadfork: your size and the size of the area you are airing. The Broadfork should be large enough to be an effective tool, but it shouldn’t be so large that you can’t use it comfortably.

Ergonomics

You will be using your broodfork for several hours and will be making repetitive movements. That’s why you need to be sure that you will be comfortable handling and stepping on it.

Curved or Straight

Your ground will dictate this choice. Curved forks are better for soft, wet soil. Straight forks are more effective in thick clay. Make sure you look at the soil of your homestead before choosing a curved or straight design.

Why you should use Broadfork

Maintaining the soil structure and the soil food chain it supports is an important component of successful vegetable growing. Untouched soil allows for easier movement of earthworms, fungi and bacteria that contribute to healthy plant life. This living structure develops at varying depths of soil that has suitable moisture and aeration conditions. Completely turning the soil over with a tiller or double digging disrupts this ecology, at least for a while, so you can’t rely on natural forces to get the job done.

That is, every time you dig the soil twice or use a power tiller and turn the soil over, you are destroying the soil’s inhabitants, which then compromises their ability to help increase the soil’s biological fertility to its full potential. Turning the soil upside down also has the deleterious effect of causing weed seeds that are buried in the lower layers of soil to rise.

With all that said, if you want to grow very good spacing crops, your soil needs to be as loose and well-aerated as possible. That’s why organic farmers use a variety of plows, such as chisels and deep loosers, to loosen the soil, introducing air into it and speeding up the mineralization of organic matter. This method increases the short-term availability of nitrogen but limits the conversion of organic matter to humus.

The only exception to this is the Broadfork method. Broadfork is not a complicated device. Working in soil that is already loose but not necessarily prepared, the gardener stands on the bar with all his weight and plunges the tines deep into the bed – about a foot.
Then, using the huge levers of the long handles, the soil is loosened by moving the handles back and forth in a rowing motion. Finally, the fork moves back about a foot and plunges back into the soil, creating a rhythmic, almost aerobic workout.
Compared to the impact of mechanical tillage or certain types of tools such as shovels, the fork can open the soil without disturbing it. This is beneficial for many reasons.

First, it means that dormant weeds are less likely to be brought to the surface.
Secondly, because it does not mix the soil layers, the soil structure and, in particular, the topsoil, which is rich in fertility, is preserved.

Thanks to its unique shape and technology, a pitchfork is an ideal tool for gently aerating the soil and can help crops develop a deeper root system. This is very important because good soil structure means good soil health and therefore good quality vegetables!

David West
Rate author
Rakeadvisor