A well-designed manure fork should be lightweight, durable, and allow for easy pickup with minimal spillage.
Sounds easy, right?
Sadly not. Most manure forks are lacking in at least one of these areas. But here are 5 of the best that tick all the right boxes.
While they may differ in their construction, with some being made from polycarbonate and others steel, along with their capacity, and number of tines, rest assured that they will get the job done and withstand extensive, daily use.
5 Best Manure Forks
Little Giant DuraPitch 2
The Little Giant DuraPitch 2 is a favorite with people who clean several stalls every day. This is largely due to its carrying capacity which is 33% larger compared to its predecessor, the DuraPitch 1.
Firm but flexible the fork is well-designed to ensure no shavings are left behind. A common problem with some manure forks is material falling out the sides and back but there is no issue to be found here.
Made from 100% polycarbonate and with a nylon locknut handle, there is no need to worry about any part of the fork snapping or breaking.
Fortiflex Stall Fork
Made in the USA, the Fortiflex Stall Fork has a heavy-duty feel to it due to its polycarbonate construction. Yet it also manages to be lightweight, weighing just 2.5 lbs for easy handling.
You don’t have to worry about the tines breaking either, which can be a common occurrence with manure forks, as they are reinforced. The tines are slightly angled for easy pick up and less spilling.
Ames Forged Manure Fork
The Ames Forged Manure Fork is a good choice if you’re looking for a durable yet lightweight metal manure fork.
Due to the head and tines being made from forged steel the fork is slightly heavier than polycarbonate options. It is still lightweight though, with Ames managing to keep the weight down to 4 lbs, making it easy to handle. The benefit of its steel construction also means that it is more likely to last longer, even after extensive use.
The handle is made from North American hardwood for enhanced strength and durability, and features an oversized cushion grip for better comfort.
Truper 30323 Pro Manure Fork
One of the most unique things about the Truper 30323 Pro Manure Fork is its fiberglass handle.
The choice to use fiberglass over wood or any other material is something most will appreciate due to its lightweight yet highly durable properties. The handle also has a cushioned grip for enhanced comfort.
This fork is another good option if you prefer the head and tines to be made from steel. So strong is the Truper 30323, in fact, that it is able to provide up to 400 lbs. of handle strength. And Truper are so confident in its design that they offer a lifetime warranty.
The Future Fork has developed quite a following over the years due to its very lightweight yet durable design. It is one of the lightest manure forks on the market, weighing under 2.5 lbs.
You can buy a version that comes with a handle, though it’s also quite common to buy without (replacement heads), as the real strength of the Future Fork lies with its polycarbonate, rust-resistant, lightweight heads that fit standard shafts. The ideally angled tines and sides resulting in easy manure pickup and fewer spills have also added to the Future Fork’s popularity,
There is also the Future Fork Mini Picker which is the smaller version of the full-sized Future Fork. It is great for smaller frames and for getting kids involved.
Important Features to Consider
Metal: Many people feel more comfortable with forks that have tines made of metal. It’s no surprise because when you think of metal you think of something that is near indestructible. Metal manure forks tend to be the most expensive and most durable.
Plastic: You shouldn’t rule out a plastic manure fork. Not all are made equal. Manure forks made of polycarbonate can be as durable as just about any other fork, and can be depended on for years of service. They also have the benefit of being lighter with better flexibility.
Curvature of Tines
Some manure forks have tines that are gently curved to ensure that manure and other materials don’t roll when lifted. Others are flatter, while you can also see designs that are greatly angled to ensure no spillage.
Number of Tines
You can see forks that have as few as 4 tines all the way up to 24 and beyond. The more tines a fork has the less likely manure or other material can escape due to smaller spacings. They can also be easier to handle. However, you still want a fork that has enough distance between the tines, so you can sift through material.
A manure fork with a basket is perfect for keeping manure and other material in, while letting you shake the bedding out. These forks can also handle more material than regular designs.
Some manure forks are designed to accommodate replacement parts. Buying replacement parts instead of a brand-new fork could potentially save you some money. If you want this option to be available to you, make sure you buy from a reputable manufacturer that has a long history of designing manure forks. If you buy any of the recommendations on this page, you’ll be okay.
Keep in mind what the main purpose of the manure fork will be. If you’re dealing with animals with smaller droppings or for use with pellets, sawdust, cob or rice hull bedding. it’s a good idea to get a fork with smaller spacings.
Forks with more widely spaced tines can still be used with manure but are better suited to hold hay, straw, and other bulky materials.
There are also manure forks for skid steers and tractors which can run into the thousands and is beyond the scope of this article.
Handle Length & Material
Manure forks don’t necessarily take a one-size fits all approach. If you’re short you don’t want to be stuck with a fork that has an extra long handle that will be difficult to handle.
Also keep in mind the material the handle is made from. Fiberglass, plastic, and wood are all used. Fiberglass is generally considered the best because it is more durable than the others, and less likely to break as a result of impact. However, forks with fiberglass handles are more expensive and can be more difficult to replace.
What can a manure fork be used for?
While its name is a bit of a giveaway, it doesn’t tell the whole story. A manure fork can be used to loosen, aerate and transplant compost or manure, and turning over and moving other bulk organic material such as mulch.
How is a manure fork different to a pitchfork and other forks?
Besides its main purpose, a manure fork has tines that can vary in shape and number depending on the job you want to do.
A pitchfork, on the other hand, doesn’t usually have more than two or three tines. Its shaft is also very long, and doesn’t usually have a handle grip. A pitchfork is a better match for bulky material such as hay bales, barley and straw.
A digging fork is for, you guessed it, digging, especially in hard ground. A trenching fork is similar to a digging fork but better suited to heavy-duty work.
A border fork is for working in tight spaces, and is generally a better match for people with smaller frames. A potato fork is for lifting potato crops from the ground along with other root crops like carrots and beets.
There are also ergonomic forks that are specifically designed to reduce back strain. These may have a bend in the length of the shaft, have an additional handle halfway down, and generally have a more comfortable, ergonomic handle.