Pitchforks started out as a tool designed to pitch hay and typically consisted of two or three metal tines connected to a long wooden shaft. Farmers would use these forks to pitch hay into wagons or other carriages. The famous painting American Gothic showcases the classic design of the pitchfork. But over time, different types and formats of forks were designed to accomplish various other tasks on the farm and in the garden.
Additional tines were added, and different point designs were implemented. The shaft length elongated, or shortened, depending on the task at hand. Now, there are several different pitchfork designs on the market, and it can be a bit confusing to find the right fork for your needs.