English Forged Spades and Forks There are only three surviving forges that we know of where forks and shovels are still hand forged for toughness and durability: Clarington Forge (formerly Bulldog) in England, Spear & Jackson in China, and (new to us at Bountiful Gardens) Joseph Bentley also originally of England but now forging in China (but early on made this move). The Bentley tools are all stainless steel and we are happy to offer this option. The Bentley spades are not hand forged, but all Bentley tools are tested to the highest specifications.
These beautiful tools are made to be used for a lifetime and passed on to the next generation. A joy to work with, these are the tools we use for bed preparation in our research gardens and pictured in many of the photos in this catalog. The heads measure somewhat more than 11" X 7", and are solid forged from a single piece of steel. They have a one piece hardwood shaft that is split to form a wishbone handle. All shovels have a tread except one of our 39" offerings (G30-1250 ). NOTE: Stain color on handles may vary.
Clarington Forge and Spear & Jackson are high-carbon steel and thus can rust. Joseph Bentley tools are stainless. All heads are roughly 11" X 7", with the tines on the S&J fork bigger than the others.
CF tools come in two sizes: 39" long, and the standard 43" long. S&J tools are 43" long. Bentley tools are 42" long. We recommend 39" tools for those who are under 5'5".
The handgrips on CF tools are cylindrical in cross section, while S&J and Bentley tools are slightly barrel shaped. The Bentley hand grips are slightly wider.
CF and S&J tools weigh slightly over 5 pounds. Bentley tools weigh in slightly over 4.5 pounds.
We offer replacement handles made by CF that generally fit all the tools.
Hand forged tools can only be produced so fast. The shipping strike also put all imports months behind in getting into port and clearing customs. Our supplier has had an order in to Clarington Forge since December - they have hopes that both 43" shovels and 43" forks will be coming in late April, but there is no guarantee that they will actually show up then and they are currently backordered.