Item # GH033
Note: HERSpadingfork™ ships via FedEx SmartPost or FedEx Home Delivery, so please be sure to give us your street address. For shipping outside the continental U.S., please call us at 610 844 5232 for a shipping quote prior to ordering.
Multiple sizes or adjustable
Handle fits most women's hands &/or incorporates ergonomic features
Ergonomic - Scientifically designed to increase comfort & ease of use, reduce injury or pain
Superior function - a universally great tool
Made in USA: Self-Certified
HERSpadingfork™ is the world’s only hergonomic® digging fork – a spading fork scientifically designed to be ergonomic for women. Spading forks are used similarly to spades, but tines allow for easier insertion into the ground. They are great for loosening, lifting & turning soil, as well as for breaking up clods. Here in eastern Pennsylvania, where shale rules, we often use a spading fork (& sometimes a crowbar or pickaxe!) to start a hole and then switch to HERShovel™, our shovel-spade hybrid, to finish it. Some people also use forks like this one for digging potatoes or other root crops. In short, a good spading fork is a great addition to your tool shed, and HERSpadingfork™ is one of the best!
Key features that make HERS™ a standout in its field include:
- enlarged, non-slip step for comfortable & effective digging – the only one like it among commercially available digging forks. This feature is helpful for diggers of both genders, but it's especially important to women because our digging power is in our lower bodies
- forged, diamond-back tines for easier insertion into the ground
- patented ergonomic grip that allows for multiple hand placements and two-handed digging
- three shaft lengths to match user height.
Our fork is assembled in eastern Pennsylvania, and all parts are U.S.-made except the tines, which are forged in Austria. HERSpadingfork™ is based on the same USDA-supported scientific research as HERShovel™, our popular shovel-spade hybrid introduced in 2011, and carries a 10-year warranty against defects in manufacture and breakage from normal use.
Can a man use HERSpadingfork™?
Only if you let him!
Seriously though . . . yes. Despite HERSpadingfork™’s name and woman-centric design, it is a great alternative for men, too. That’s because “ergonomic for women” does not necessarily mean “non-ergonomic for men.” To be more specific, some features that are essential for a truly hergonomic® tool are good for men, too – they’re just less critical for them than they are for us. Take the enlarged non-slip step, for example. We women rely on the power in our lower bodies, so a step that enables us to fully harness that power is a must-have for a truly ergonomic tool. Most men, on the other hand, have plenty of upper-body strength that enables them to effectively use conventional tools. So for men, an enlarged step fits into the “nice-to-have” but not necessarily the “need-to-have” category of features.
As to sizing: Our three shaft lengths are based on statistical analyses of anthropometric data for U.S. women. A fork designed specifically for men would have longer shafts in all three sizes. That said, our large fork is slightly taller than many one-size forks, so while not long enough for really tall users, the height of our large HERSpadingfork™ will be just as good as what’s already on the market for most men.
So if you’re shopping for or are a “real man” (real = not afraid of owning a tool that says HERS™), rest assured that this fork will make digging easier on a body of any gender.
Contrary to the popular term, one size does NOT fit all. Our engineering team looked at anthropometric (body measurement) data for women and then used statistical methods to create three sets of women, grouped by height, for purposes of sizing HERS™. Next, they utilized principles of ergonomics & body mechanics (proper body movement to complete tasks safely & efficiently, without undue stress or strain) to determine optimal handle heights for each of the three groups.
Weight = under 5 pounds, all sizes
Ergonomic grip = no-break polypropylene, 9 ½” wide
Shaft = ash
Tines = one-piece forged steel, diamond-back tines; length = 11 ½ ”; width = 7 ½”
Non-slip step = galvanized steel
Ferrule & ferrule cap = chrome-plated steel
Country of origin = U.S., with exception of tines, which are forged in Austria
Warranty = 10-year limited warranty
To calculate the best size for you based on your height (in shoes, ideally, since digging barefoot is not recommended), please use the chart below:
|If your height is...||HERSpadingfork™ Size||Length|
|Under 5’2"||Small||39 1/4" or 99cm|
|Between 5’2" & 5’7"||Medium||41 3/4" or 106cm|
|Over 5’7"||Large||44 1/2" or 113cm|
Purchasing high-quality tools is the first step in making your farming or gardening life easier; maintaining them is the second. To keep HERSpadingfork™ in top shape & ensure maximum performance, please store indoors, out of rain & sun. Here’s why – and what to do if your fork needs some TLC:
- All steel will rust! The Austrian-forged tines on HERSpadingfork™ and the enlarged non-slip steps welded onto them are both coated / painted, so they will resist rust until the coating wears off. The cap and ferrule – the shiny steel sleeve covering the lower part of the wooden shaft – also may rust if exposed to water or high humidity.
- To take care of the tines:
- Use a stiff brush to clean off the worst of the dirt. If you must use water – e.g., to remove caked clay -- dry the tines thoroughly afterwards or plunge into an oil dip (see below).
- Coat with a light oil – something you can do for all your digging tools, as well as hoes and metal rakes. We prefer these non-toxic alternatives, as recommended by Cornell Cooperative Extension:
- Rub the tines with an "oil sock." (Stuff a sock with sand or wrapped cloth. Tie a knot and dip the sock in vegetable oil. Squeeze out the excess oil, and store the sock in a zip-lock plastic bag.)
- Prepare an "oil dip" by saturating a bucket or tub of sand with vegetable oil. Plunge the tines in the bucket several times after use. Any dirt will be rubbed off, and the tool will be oiled. An oil dip like this can last indefinitely. Note: Don’t overdo it with the oil! The Louisiana State University AgCenter suggests adding "a little" oil to a bucket filled 2/3 of the way with sand – up to a few quarts, depending on the size of the bucket. "The point is to have a little oil in the sand, not a little sand in the oil. If you can see liquid oil on top of the sand, you have way too much oil."
- Any rust that forms typically comes off when you use the fork, thanks to the friction of digging. You can also scrape it off with steel wool or, if necessary, use a fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand it off. Then follow the tips above to prevent further rusting.
- To take care of the ferrule and cap:
- Remove any surface rust by rubbing with a cloth or paper towel soaked in white vinegar.
- Then, to prevent further rusting, rub with the "oil sock" described above or with a rag or paper towel dipped in (or sprayed with) vegetable oil. You can also use WD-40, tool oil or similar petroleum-based products, though we prefer the non-toxicity of vegetable oil.
- To take care of the ash handle:
- Storing HERSpadingfork™ inside should be enough to protect the handle from deterioration. If your tool is exposed to the elements, however, consider this once-a-year treatment:
- Remove any dirt or debris and lightly sand any rough spots.
- Rub handle with pure tung oil* to create a waterproof finish & help prevent drying and cracking. To do this, soak a rag in the oil and slowly rub onto the handle, allowing the wood to absorb the oil. Let sit and repeat this procedure several times. Tung oil is slow-drying, so please be patient!
1) Some products sold as tung (chinawood) oil contain toxic additives, including solvents that make the material flammable & combustible. We recommend using only pure (100%) tung oil, which is non-toxic (FDA-approved for surfaces that come in contact with food, in fact!).
2) Store tung oil in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place. If there is a film on the surface or gummy deposits around the edge of the container, discard it and replace with new. The oil will no longer be able to cure properly in this condition, according to the website Woodwork Details.
HERSpadingfork™ carries a 10-year limited warranty, meaning that if the fork is defective or breaks from normal, non-commercial use during that time, we will repair or replace it. Should you need to request service under this warranty, please call our customer service line at 610-844-5232 and tell us what happened. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Depending on the circumstances, we’ll ask you either to send the fork back – in which case we will supply a return label – or to email us photographs. We will also need your original receipt or packing slip & a brief description of the circumstances under which the fork broke.
Read reviews of HERSpadingfork™
"Now that I have used both my spading fork and shovel as I moved my horse manure compost from its bin to my trees, I am sold on your technology. I think centering my body on the two-handed handle helped me not trigger shoulder pain that I usually get after such tasks." -- Tina Barney, Myrrh Meadow Farm, Hartland, VT, via email. Dec. 6, 2016
"I really like it -- it's easy to use and really comfortable." -- Janice McClure, Petersburg, PA, in person at PA Assn. for Sustainable Agriculture conference. Feb. 5, 2016
"I love this fork. The tapered design of the tines is fantastic -- the fork cuts right through the soil -- and of course those little foot rests are incredible. I like the size, the weight and the handle size, too." -- Sandra Whaley, Petersham, MA, via email. Oct. 19, 2015
"I think it's wonderful that you are working to help women farmers. I have your shovel and spading fork and they work great." -- Richelle, PA, on an online survey for women livestock farmers, Aug. 28, 2015
"I have your shovel and garden fork, and love them both. Pretty sure I'd want whatever you come up with!" -- Elizabeth Saxon Erikson, PA, on an online survey for women livestock farmers, July 26, 2015
"I love my fork! The HERS fork and shovel are great tools. I recommend them to all my friends." -- Barbara Baker, Elizabethtown, PA, in person at the PA Master Gardener Summer Garden Experience. July 25, 2015
SPEC FAB (Specialty Fabrication), a manufacturing and prototype job shop in Honey Brook, PA, assembles all of our forks. There are lots of reasons why SPEC FAB is an ideal manufacturing partner, but we’ll start with the two people who are our main contacts and collaborators there: Ryan Bloom, co-owner and Shop Manager, and Jeanne Frantz, who personally assembles our forks and shovels. Jeanne is also the first line in our quality-assurance system, examining each tool “with a customer’s critical eye” and thereby ensuring that each HERS™ released for distribution has the quality, appearance and performance of a true premium tool. And it’s no exaggeration to say that anytime we need them, Ryan and Jeanne (and sometimes their co-workers) are there for us.
Port Erie Plastics
Our unique, patented D grips are made by Port Erie Plastics, a family-owned company located just east of Erie, PA. In business since 1953, Port Erie is one of the leaders in a region that has become an epicenter of the plastics industry. One of the distinguishing features of Port Erie is that it has its own in-house tool room, where molds for individual plastic parts are made. Many companies outsource mold-making to China; we were very happy that Port Erie was able not only to manufacture our grips but also to make the mold for them right here in Pennsylvania.
Ames True Temper
Ames True Temper, the Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of our unique HERShovel™ blade, is also the source of our fork heads. In this case, though, the heads come from a manufacturing partner of Ames’ – a plant in Austria where the fork tines are forged.
Keystone Wood Turning
Ephrata, PA-based Keystone Wood Turning produces the ash handles for our fork and our shovel. This small company has specialized in custom wood turning since 1987. Based on customer specifications, Keystone uses computer software to designs parts and then employs high-tech CNC lathes to machine them to precision. Thanks to Keystone’s patience and technical expertise, we have an optimum fit between wooden handle and green D grip – and that, believe it or not, was no small feat!
After Keystone “turns” or produces our wooden shafts, Lanchester Woodworking in Narvon, about a mile down the road from SPEC FAB, dips them in a protective, water-based finish. Lanchester is a very small, family-owned business in the heart of Amish country, dedicated to quality and fast and responsive customer service.
Woodsage Industries, in Holland, OH, manufactures the chrome-plated steel ferrules integral to the strong connection between fork head and shaft
Winzeler Stamping Co
Located in Montpelier, OH; manufactures the ferrule caps.