A spade and fork are essential in working on your garden and keeping it in good shape. As a basic point of difference, a spade is used for digging holes or to move dirt or transplant plants, while a fork is used to break up compacted dirt and to help pull out rocks or weeds without cutting plant roots.

As you may be using them for long periods of time, make sure the length of the handle is right for your height, and check that the weight of the spade or fork is not going to be too heavy for you. Investing in a quality tool with good rust-resistance will extend the life of your spade or fork.

A digging spade or fork is designed for general work and is suitable larger garden areas, while a border spade or fork is ideal for narrower, smaller areas, and also tend to be lighter.