Tools for Building Fences on the Farm

Father and son building farm fence

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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 discussed here.

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    Heavy Leather Gloves

    Leather work gloves

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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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    Claw hammer

    xxmmxx/Getty Images

    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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    Shovels leaning against a fence

    Seymore Imagery/Getty Images

    Just your basic shovel will do, but again, spending money on the quality of your most basic and most-used tools is never a bad idea.

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    Post Hole Digger

    Pole hole digger

    West Point Implement/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

    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 fencinglike 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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  • 05 of 14

    Wire Cutters

    Basic wire cutters

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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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    Crimping Tool

    Crimping tools

    Simon A. Eugster/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

    A crimping tool is useful for fence repair and for splicing fence wire together with swage sleeves.

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    Fence Tensioner

    Fence tensioner

     Karsten Seiferlin/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    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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    One-ton come-along


    A come-along will also help you tension the fence properly. One ton is usually enough.

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  • 09 of 14

    Post Pounder

    Post pounder with 2 steel posts

    Montanabw/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

    Use a post pounder to bang T-bar posts (usually used with woven wire fencing) into the ground. It's an excellent workout! Make sure that you prepare the hole for the T-bar using the tamping tool first.

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    Tamping Tool

    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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    Fence Pliers

    Fencing pliers

    Tool Warehouse

    Multipurpose fence pliers are a very handy tool for working with wire fencing. 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 the 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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  • 13 of 14

    Small Chain Saw

    Small chainsaw

    Alan Levine/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    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 the fence.