Tools for Building Fences on the Farm

man in jeans works on metal fence outside

Treehugger / Christian Yonkers

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.

Heavy Leather Gloves

weathered leather gloves on dirt floor

 Treehugger / Christian Yonkers

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.


metal claw hammer rests on dirt ground

Treehugger / Christian Yonkers

A good claw hammer can’t be underestimated in tool importance. Invest in a good hammer. You will use it a lot.


rusted metal shovel on dirt ground

Treehugger / Christian Yonkers

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.

Post Hole Digger

hole digger with wooden handles on ground

Treehugger / Christian Yonkers

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.

Wire Cutters

blue rusted 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.

Crimping Tool

crimping tool and electrical connectors

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

Fence Tensioner

hand uses fence tensioner on fence outside

 Treehugger / Christian Yonkers

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.


ond-ton come along on dirt ground

 Treehugger / Christian Yonkers

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

Post Pounder

metal post pounder on dirt

Treehugger / Christian Yonkers

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.

Tamping Tool

farm fencing tools pigs in background

Treehugger / Christian Yonkers

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.

Fence Pliers

blue fence pliers dirt ground

Treehugger / Christian Yonkers

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.

Electric Fence Tester

electric fence tester on dirt

Treehugger / Christian Yonkers

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.

Small Chain Saw

above shot of orange chainsaw on dirt ground

Treehugger / Christian Yonkers

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.

Plastic Step-In Fence Posts

plastic step in fence posts

Treehugger / Christian Yonkers

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.