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What are the parts of a fork?

What are the parts of a fork?

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The different parts of a fork
A fork is made up of two main parts - the head and the shaft
A fork has two main parts – the head and the shaft. Both vary in terms of size, material and configuration.


This fork has ten tines
The head of a fork consists of the tines and a socket.


The tines are the projecting spikes or prongs used to spear, hook, move and generally cut through soils and other organic material. These tines also hold the material being moved, while the socket fits over the shaft, the part you hold.

The socket is where the shaft meets the tines.


The tines meet the shaft through a tube of metal called a socket. There are different socket connections, which can affect the quality of the fork.

For more information, please read our page: How are the tines attached to the shaft?

This fork has three long tines Depending on the job a fork is designed for, the head will differ in the following ways:

  • Its size
  • The number and shape of the tines
  • The material the tines are made from
  • How the tines are attached to the shaft


At the end of the shaft is the handle, which you use to grip and control the fork.

The shaft also has important features to consider when selecting a fork. These are:

  • The material it is made from
  • Its length
  • The type of handle grip
T-grip and D-grip handles

Types of handle grip

There are two types of handle grip:

  • The T-grip (or crutch)
  • The D-grip (or YD-grip)

In addition, some forks have been designed with ergonomic handles, such as the O-grip, which minimises fatigue on the hands and wrist.

Please see: What are the different types of handle grip? for more details.

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