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As much as I love composting, when it comes to transferring it all to my garden, my love quickly disappears.
Gardening is hard work!
Between kneeling on the ground and lifting bags of mulch, it’s easy to end a day in the garden with a sore back and aching joints.
The right tools can make these tasks just a little bit easier on the body. So if you’re interested in starting a compost bin (or are already years into creating your own fertilizer), one of the best investments you can make is a high-quality pitchfork.
Many gardeners will find everything they need from a composting pitchfork in the True Temper 4-Tine Forged Spading Fork. But this durable tool is just one contender for the best pitchfork for composting on the market!
Best Pitchfork for Compost in 2021
Best Overall — True Temper 4-Tine Forged Spading Fork
True Temper 4-Tine Forged Spading Fork
Never lose track of this all-around great composting pitchfork with a bright yellow finish.
The best pitchfork for compost is one that will hold up to everything you throw at it. The True Temper 4-Tine Forged Spading Fork is a perfect example.
This pitchfork combines diamond-point steel tines with a hardwood handle for durability without excessive weight. The D-grip end offers better leverage for tilling soil, spreading mulch, and — most importantly — turning compost.
The True Temper 4-Tine Forged Spading Fork has a 30-inch handle. Plus, the yellow finish makes it easier to keep track of the pitchfork when you’re working in the garden.
Best Premium Pitchfork — AMES 10-Tine Welded Bedding Fork
AMES 10-Tine Welded Bedding Fork
With a long handle and 10-tine blade, this pitchfork is perfect for heavy-duty composting.
Spreading dense manure or turning large piles of compost requires a heavy-duty tool. The AMES 10-Tine Welded Bedding Fork is the ideal pitchfork for covering plenty of ground in no time at all.
This compost pitchfork is built to move material quickly and efficiently. The welded tines offer a wide surface to carry mulch or compost to your garden.
Despite the 61-inch handle, this compost-turning pitchfork is designed to be as lightweight as physically possible. Each end of the hardwood handle is covered for greater grip and comfort.
Best Budget Option — Fiskars Ergo D-Handle Steel Garden Fork
Fiskars Ergo D-Handle Steel Garden Fork
Get the job done without breaking your budget with this steel garden pitchfork.
Budget garden tools don’t need to be flimsy. And few pitchforks that prove this quite like the Fiskars Ergo D-Handle Steel Garden Fork.
The steel tines and handle are built to last both in the garden and in storage. It won’t bend under heavy weight like fiberglass or deteriorate like hardwood. An insulated mid-grip and D-shaped handle also make this budget-friendly pitchfork comfortable to use.
The Fiskars Ergo D-Handle Steel Garden Fork features a 47-inch handle and pointed tines for turning even the bulkiest compost heaps. While affordable, this pitchfork is covered by a lifetime warranty.
Best All-Steel Construction — Forgecraft USA All-Steel 5-Tine Pitchfork
Forgecraft USA All-Steel 5-Tine Pitchfork
Invest in all-steel construction for a composting pitchfork that will hold up to years of wear and tear.
While there are many high-quality pitchforks to choose from, you can’t beat the longevity of solid steel. The Forgecraft USA All-Steel 5-Tine Pitchfork is the best compost and mulch fork made from forged steel.
The key difference between this and other all-steel pitchforks is that the tines are not welded. Instead, the entire head is forged from a single piece of steel. (However, the steel handle is welded to the head).
Note that this pitchfork is conductive and should never be used around active electrical cables! But turning your compost pile is perfectly safe.
Best Lightweight Design — Roamwild Multi-Digger Fork
Roamwild Multi-Digger Fork
Save your back while tending the garden with this lightweight fiberglass pitchfork designed for comfort.
Every ounce counts when spending hours turning and spreading heavy compost. So investing in lightweight tools, like the Roamwild Multi-Digger Fork, is extremely important.
This compost pitchfork weighs in at just 4.5 pounds (2.2 kilograms). It also features unique cutting blades — perfect for breaking up soil or dense compost.
The 40-inch ergonomic fiberglass handle is both sturdy and comfortable. There are multiple end- and mid-grips to make working in the garden easy and pain-free.
Best Aerator — Lotech Compost Crank Aerator
Lotech Compost Crank Aerator
Ditch the classic pitchfork for this unique gadget that makes aerating compost as easy as turning a crank.
What if the best pitchfork for compost was not a pitchfork at all? If you’re looking for the most efficient way to turn your compost heap rather than spread it, the Lotech Compost Crank Aerator might be the perfect tool.
Again, this is NOT a pitchfork. Instead, it is a unique crank that penetrates and aerates compost without minimal effort from the user. The Lotech Compost Crank Aerator makes turning compost significantly easier than a standard pitchfork!
This tool can reach into compost up to 29 inches and weighs just 2 pounds. The corkscrew and handle are made of solid stainless steel (the cushioned end offers traction and comfort during use).
Best Versatile Option — Radius Garden PRO Stainless Digging Fork
Radius Garden PRO Stainless Digging Fork
Get more done in the garden thanks to this ultra-versatile pitchfork that’s great for compost and much more.
Getting the best bang for your buck is important no matter the budget you’re working with. If you’re looking for a pitchfork that will be just as useful in the lawn and garden as it will the compost heap, take a look at the Radius Garden PRO Stainless Digging Fork.
The thin tines and lightweight design of this pitchfork make it ideal for small compost piles. However, where this tool really stands out is in the garden. It can be used for tilling, digging, and weeding. You can even use the tines to uproot bulbs and perennials.
The Radius Garden PRO Stainless Digging Fork features a stainless steel head and carbon steel shaft. The rounded handle is comfortable and easy to add leverage to during heavy-duty projects.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Pitchfork for Compost
Metal, wood, and fiberglass are the most common materials used to construct garden pitchforks. Each material comes with its own pros and cons.
Metal is, obviously, very sturdy. But low-quality metal can still bend under too much weight. It can also be uncomfortable to handle for long periods.
Fiberglass is ideal for creating a lightweight pitchfork. While surprisingly durable for their weight, few fiberglass pitchforks offer the same strength and longevity as those made of other materials.
Wooden pitchfork handles are much easier to replace than metal or fiberglass ones. If you’re looking for the best compost pitchfork for a lifetime of turning, one with a sturdy (but replaceable) wooden handle is likely your best bet.
You don’t need a 6-foot-long pitchfork to turn compost. But a pitchfork that is too short will make it much harder to thoroughly mix your compost heap.
On top of taking the size of your compost pile into consideration, you should also think about your own body’s size in relation to the pitchfork. For example, a 5-foot-tall gardener will probably feel more comfortable using a shorter pitchfork than someone who is 6 feet tall.
Turning and spreading compost is tough! You can make things a little easier on your back by investing in a lightweight pitchfork.
Of course, weight is very relative. What one person considers light or heavy may be completely different from another person’s definition. If multiple people will be using the pitchfork, opt for a weight that both users find comfortable.
Choosing the best compost pitchfork means paying close attention to little details like the tine construction.
Number of tines is not as important as you might think. The main benefit to more tines is a larger surface area to carry finished compost. If anything, more tines can make turning compost more difficult.
Pointed tines can make breaking up decomposing material a bit easier. However, most gardeners have no issue using rounded pitchfork tines for turning and spreading compost.
There’s a big difference between a pitchfork that gets the job done and one that is actually enjoyable to use. Handle design is a big contributing factor in differentiating one type from the other.
If you will be using your new pitchfork for extended periods, take the time to test different handle designs and materials to find which you prefer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should compost be turned?
There is no rule set in stone regarding how often to turn compost — trial and error is the best strategy. With that said, most hot compost should be turned at least once or twice per week.
Don’t turn your compost every day. Turning the material too frequently can prevent the pile from heating up and delay the decomposition process.
How heavy is finished compost?
The exact weight of finished compost can vary quite a bit, largely thanks to the material used to create the compost and how much moisture is inside. On average, though, one cubic foot of compost will weigh around 40 pounds.
Do you need a pitchfork if you own a compost tumbler?
A compost tumbler takes care of the turning for you, so there’ll be no need for a tool like a pitchfork or aerator. However, having a sturdy compost fork handy can still be helpful when it comes time to empty and spread your finished compost!
Last update on 2021-10-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API