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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 6 January 2012
"Dear sirs,

I recently bought a house in the Savoie in France. It has an overgrown garden and I decided to buy myself some lovely new Spear & Jackson tools to help me to sort it out.

I bought one of your large stainless steel garden forks and one of your stainless steel border forks from a French mail order company called Outils et Nature in Saint Chamond 42400. In total I paid the princely sum of 112 euros for both, so I was expecting the Rolls Royce of tools.

My forks duly arrived, and one fine and sunny morning I went out to dig up and pot up a small variegated Euonymous from a weed-infested bank so that I could dig over the plot.

I pushed the fork into the ground at the edge of the root ball, pulled back, and crack! The fork shaft parted company from the tines. It snapped clean off, leaving the end of the shaft looking like one of those pink wafer biscuits. It is fortunate I had not been leaning hard on the handle at the time, or I would probably have gone base over apex all the way down the bank. I believe I may have shouted something in surprise. It might have been "fork", or then again, perhaps it wasn't. I was obliged to remove the shrub with a hand fork, which was a task more akin to Time Team than to Gardeners' World.

Outils et Nature promised to replace the fork under your 10 year warranty, so I duly parcelled it up and posted it back, which cost me another 12 or 13 euros by recorded delivery.

Imagine then my surprise to learn that Outils et Nature were not going to replace my fork after all because I must have used it "for a purpose for which it was not intended". I have owned gardens for about 30 years, all told. Now, call me old-fashioned, but I had always thought that digging up small Euonymous bushes from garden borders was exactly the purpose for which a large stainless steel Spear & Jackson garden fork was intended. If this is not the case, I would be obliged if you would tell me what I am supposed to use it for. I really do need to know this, because I still have a virginal border fork which I now dare not use until I get a full Spear & Jackson user manual!

I have asked Outils et Nature to return the broken fork to me, so that at the very least they will be put to the same amount of inconvenience as I have been so far. Perhaps I can make an attractive garden sculpture out of the pieces. I always used to think that British garden tools were the best money could buy, but after my recent experience I am not so sure. Like my garden fork, I am feeling rather badly shafted."

In reply, Spear & Jackson simply referred me back to the same people in France who had called me a liar in the first place. So now I have paid them, paid the return postage, and been called a liar twice. THAT is the Spear & Jackson 10 year guarantee. I will NEVER BUY A SPEAR AND JACKSON PRODUCT EVER EVER AGAIN.
22 comments| 86 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 July 2011
This fork was used for general gardening, nothing too onerous, and it sat alongside another, older garden fork used for the same kind of jobs in our garage, which is still fine. After two weeks, however, the tines had bent to such an extent that it was impossible to use. It stould up without having to lean on anything or being embedded in the ground!

These things happen, I thought, and using a vice we bent it back into shape. It then continued to be used for another couple of weeks until the handle snapped in two whilst digging up a phormium. It seems that not only is the metal not strong enough, but neither is the wood. I've contacted the company twice now and still they have not responded, making their 10 year guarantee worthless. A shame; I would not recommend it.
0Comment| 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 31 January 2011
This was a reasonable price for the item, although afterwards found it cheaper from Tesco Direct!... The fork only lasted one day, one outing and one attempt to dig before one of the tines snapped clean off!... Not what you would expect for a brand new fork from the higher end of the market. Returned to Amazon via their DHL collection service free of charge and a replacement sent very promptly. Hopefully this one will last a bit longer, maybe even matching the 50 years the one it replaces has lasted but due for retirement soon...
22 comments| 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 May 2016
This s a nicely balanced fork and looks the part! Mine had to be replaced, very quickly by Amazon as one of the outer spikes snapped when it caught a tree root. Although only moderate pressure applied it literally snapped! Surprised it did this as stailess steel. However Amazon had replaced it in 24 hours and made return totally trouble free!
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on 8 June 2013
The rivets on the shaft actually catch your hands, even though the wood is beautiful, but my main disappointment is that a PRONG SNAPPED OFF the second time I used it.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 May 2010
After the Ash handle started to crack and degrade on my old (25yrs) 'Bulldog' digging fork, I accepted that it was time for a replacement. We looked at all the discount sources and settled on Amazon, purchased the 'Spear & Jackson Trad Digging Fork' which, was despatched and delivered with Amazons' usual efficiency,and was shrunk wrapped in a very strong clear plastic. There is very little one can review about an item like this, it either digs well and feels good, or it does not. I have no complaints apart from a slight mis-alignment or twist of the wooden shaft and handle. But hey! it is a garden fork for under twenty pounds, delivered!
11 comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 June 2013
I would not recommend buying this item - mine broke within 6 months of light use and I would not buy another Spear and Jackson product ever again. Judging by the other comments on here I am not the only person this has happened to. If you already have one - beware when using!!
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 May 2012
These stainless steel Spear & Jackson forks break way too easily. I just broke on this evening trying to aerate the soil under a small shrub, with very light loading.
Never again.
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on 3 September 2014
Really dig this fork especially on special offer and free delivery. Much easier to maintain just some oil on the handle/shaft now and then. I have broken tines on a few S&J forks in the past but mostly stainless steel ones. It is a brittle material even when hot forged. Today most are welded together shaft socket to fork which works fine as it keeps the prices low. A lot of products do come from the other side of the globe but to be fair the two s/s forks(v expensive) I had breakages were made in Sheffield. I was lifting and loosening roots to some old fuschias and rose bushes at the time and the tine(always second left) snapped like a carrot. I couldn't believe it the first time. I now use carbon tools for heavier work as they bend
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on 1 January 2015
Very sturdy traditional type fork, but still light in weight making it easy to use. Have already added further tools from this range, nice, robust feeling tools. Have just turned over my allotment, but still looks as new!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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