The Japanese Digging Fork or Bear Claw is the best heavy duty hand tool for breaking up soil and really doing a job on areas with dense root systems. Whatever frustrations you had going into your gardening day are quickly forgotten after attacking the soil with this tool. It's heavy but has perfect balance so it doesn't tire you out. It has a sturdy oak handle and three slightly curved tines that are next to impossible to bend or break. Mine is going on year 10.