Home & Garden Garden Tools for Building Fences on the Farm With a well-equipped toolbox, building a fence becomes a much easier job. By Lauren Arcuri Lauren Arcuri Writer Swarthmore College Lauren Arcuri is a freelance writer and an experienced small farmer based in rural Vermont. Learn about our editorial process Updated February 3, 2022 Treehugger / Christian Yonkers Share Twitter Pinterest Email Garden Urban Farms Planting Guides Indoor Gardening Insects 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. 1 of 14 Heavy Leather Gloves 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. For vegans, there are plenty of great synthetic glove options that have the added benefit of being machine-washable and less prone to shrinking. 2 of 14 Hammer 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. A steel handle is strongest, but tends to be heavier than a wood or fiberglass handle. 3 of 14 Shovel 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. A good shovel can easily last a lifetime. 4 of 14 Post Hole Digger 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 fencing—like perimeter fencing your entire acreage. Otherwise, a strong back and a heavy duty hand post hole digger will serve you well. 5 of 14 Wire Cutters PaulaConnelly / iStock / Getty Images Plus 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. 6 of 14 Crimping Tool Robert Lowdon / Getty Images A crimping tool is useful for fence repair and for splicing fence wires together with swage sleeves (also called cable ferrules). 7 of 14 Fence Tensioner 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. 8 of 14 Come-Along Treehugger / Christian Yonkers A come-along will also help you tension the fence properly. This is important because, if not tightened sufficiently, wires can expand in summer and begin to sag, making the fence less secure. One ton is usually enough. 9 of 14 Post Pounder Treehugger / Christian Yonkers Use a post pounder to bang T-bar posts (usually used with woven wire fencing) into the ground. These heavy steel pipes have a closed end and handles on the side to allow you to bang the post downward. It's an excellent workout! Make sure that you prepare the hole for the T-bar using the tamping tool first. 10 of 14 Tamping Tool 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. 11 of 14 Fence Pliers 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. 12 of 14 Electric Fence Tester 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. 13 of 14 Small Chain Saw 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. 14 of 14 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.