The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

De Wit garden fork and spade: a review


Photo: My De Wit fork and spade

Photo: My De Wit fork and spade

My De Wit ladies fork and spade arrived this week. Yes I went really wild and ordered a spade too. And I am thrilled with them. Having broken yet another fork I’d decided to invest in some deluxe tools.

As I generally like to handle tools before I invest I was a bit concerned that they might not suit me. I liked the look of the T handles but would they be difficult to use? As Crocus has a good returns policy and these tools are not available locally I took a chance.

I was so pleased that I blogged about the possibility of investing in a Mantis cultivator. As most responses gave them the thumbs down. Also in biodynamic gardening, unless you are making a border from scratch, only the top three inches of soil are cultivated.

Everything that I’d read about the De Wit tools gave them top marks. They are hand forged from carbon steel (which is stronger than stainless steel) and my fork and spade have oiled ash handles. Apparently ash withstands shock much better than beech and judging by my past history of breaking tools this appealed to me. They are light and the perfect tool for my height (5’3”). The design is ergonomic and they are just like an extension of my arms.

Digging the deep channel for the new asparagus bed was a doddle. Danny popped down to the kitchen garden and was amazed. I had my back him so didn’t see him approaching.

“I couldn’t believe the speed and rhythm of your digging.”
Nor could I. That morning I’d experimented using and ordinary spade but just could get the same results. The T shaped handle gives so much more freedom to twist and dive. The spade is superb – sturdy yet light and a joy to use. One of the jobs that I don’t like doing in the garden is shifting earth and compost. But with this tool it is fast and fun.

The spade blade is hand forged with a tapered edge so it self sharpens with use.

The fork is good too and makes light work of forking over soil. Again it’s all to do with ergonomics – a beautifully made and balanced tool.

Crocus offer the best value on DeWit tools in the UK  apart from the amazing *Spork™ tools that are made by De Wit and can be bought direct from the British designer here.

And what seemed like a rather extravagant buy turns out to be the reverse. I had no idea that these tools would increase my speed and performance. Saving me time, energy and money. For the first time in my life I am treating these tools to a wipe over with an oily rag at the end of each working day. These are definitely tools to cherish. A great investment.

*I will be reviewing some of the superb Spork™ range in a few days time.

  Leave a reply


  1. What about the deWit broadfork..any reviews there?

    • Fiona Nevile

      I’m sorry Mrs P I can only review De Wit tools that I have actually used. All I can say is that I would never swap my De Wit garden tools for anything else on the market. The De Wit tools are superb!

  2. I bought the De Wit ladies fork from Crocus after reading your article on this website. It is now the fork that I use the most often. I like its light weight which makes it handy for all kinds of jobs. I bought the fork from money I was given for Christmas 2010 and now I am going to buy the spade.

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Patrick

      I can’t fault the De Wit tools. Danny uses mine on the allotment and finds them superb – designed to make the work load easier. Perfect!

  3. Sietse de Wit

    Hello Gardeners,

    It is so nice to see that you like quality gardening tools. We make them since 1898 with the same high quality as 4 generations ago. Tools like the Spork are pretty new but once you’ve worked with them you will always use them. The blades of the Spork are made from spring steel which is keeping you away from broken handles. Also the patented cutting edge is much faster in digging, dividing and planting. If you can’t get your tools get in touch with us and we will help you to get them into your garden. DeWit tools are made in Holland and availble around the world.

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Gabrielle

    I don’t know whether you have seen my Spork review post™-a-review-6636. I’m delighted with my Sporks – particularly the Midi Spork. The T handle is great as it allows fluidity of movement so gets the job done very quickly indeed. If you need extra whoompf in the garden it’s a great tool!

  5. Gabrielle

    I will look forward to reading your thoughts on the Spork – I’ve been considering one but it’s a lot of money if you’re not sure! I’m about your height and would be curious to know how you find it (and whether you have a T-handle or D handle one).

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Paula

    I’ve been using an old long handled coal shovel to shift compost and it works like a dream as it is so sharp!

    Poor you battling with clay soil. I do hope that you can turn it around quickly.

    On the oil front we’ve found that the type of oil that we use makes a huge difference to the taste of the food.

    Hi Suz

    They are a joy to use. They are available in the USA too.

  7. Am glad to hear they worked out well. Good quality tools can make a huge difference in the enjoyment/productivity of work or hobbies.

  8. Very good info to know, although I have a shovel and fork already. I don’t think my clay soil would be ready for a spade for a while, although I would be seriously interested to try a shovel and a spade in it side by side to see which worked better.

    Kind of like the time I had the opportunity to fry crabcakes in canola oil and grapeseed oil in a cooking class last year. The grapeseed won, which made me happy because that’s what I had at home.

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