Tools for Fencing on the Farm

What You Need for Building and Maintaining Fences

If you're getting started with fencing your farm, you will need some basic supplies and tools to help you install and maintain your fence. Depending on the type of fence, you might need only some of these tools, and you can certainly substitute a tractor-mounted post hole digger or any other larger equipment for the hand tools here.

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    Gloves will protect your hands from sharp fence wire edges and cushion them as you handle rough wood and metal. Choose leather work gloves for durability and ease of movement.
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    A good claw hammer can’t be underestimated in tool importance. Invest in a good hammer. You will use it a lot.
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    Just your basic shovel will do, but again, spending money for the quality of your most basic and most-used tools is never a bad idea.
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    If you have a tractor and can buy or rent a post-hole auger attachment for it, this will save an incredible amount of time, especially if you’re putting in a lot of fencing - like perimeter fencing your entire acreage. Otherwise, a strong back and a heavy duty hand post hole digger will serve you well.
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    This is another item to spend money on for good quality. You want good cutting edges on your wire cutters so that they can slice easily through high-tensile wires.
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    A crimping tool is useful for fence repair and for splicing fence wire together with swage sleeves.
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    Choose from among several types of tensioners depending on your particular preference and needs, but the basic idea is that the tensioner clamps onto the wires, and as the pressure increases the tension on the fence increases. This is the tool you need to produce a nice, tight fence.
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    A come-along will also help you tension the fence properly. One ton is usually enough.
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    Use a post pounder to bang T-bar posts (usually used with woven wire fencing LINK) into the ground. An excellent workout! Make sure that you prepare the hole for the T-bar using the tamping tool, below.
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    Tamping Tool

    A tamping tool is a specially shaped bar that has a chisel point on one end to help break up hard soil, and a flat end on the other to tamp the soil down around the fence post. You must tamp the soil around the posts so that tensioning the fence doesn’t pull it out of the ground.
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    Multipurpose fence pliers are a very handy tool for working with wire fencing LINK. Even an inexpensive pair will serve you well when putting up or repairing fences. There are also various sizes and shapes of fence pliers: round nose, square nose, 8-inch and 10-inch are common variations. You will want to have a few different kinds so you can learn what works best for your needs.
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    Electric Fence Tester

    For testing electric fences, a good fence tester will help you pinpoint trouble spots and get your fence working properly again. You will need to measure voltage of your fence to make sure it is working. A digital voltmeter that reads up to 10,000 volts will serve you well.
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    If you’re working a long distance from electricity, a small gas chainsaw will help you trim posts and braces in the field and save a lot of time walking back and forth to your tools.
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    Plastic Step-In Fence Posts

    For electric net fencing you may use plastic step-in posts to reinforce parts of the fence or to make gates. Similarly, plastic step-in posts can be handy for other types of fencing, or for temporary holders of wire as you put up fence.