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    All the Tools and Supplies Needed for a DIY Fence

    Authored by Carol J. Alexander

    If you plan to DIY your fence installation, don’t get caught in the back forty without the right tools. Whether you need a come-along for wire fencing or a stretcher for field fencing, having the tool specific to the type of fence is essential. Here's the must-haves and nice-to-haves for every kind of fencing you’ll encounter Out Here.

    Tools for fence planning

    The first step to erecting a fence is to measure and mark off the location. You’ll use these measurements to list all the needed parts and materials. Sticking to the list helps you stay within budget by avoiding spending money on unnecessary items. It also prevents you from coming up short when you’re in the middle of things, delaying your progress. Here are the first two items on your list of tools.

    • Measuring tape or wheel–A measuring wheel is easier to use for long distances than a tape.
    • Marking string or wire–Stretching string or wire from one corner of your proposed fence to the next creates a path to follow.
    • Wooden stakes–Use these to mark the place for each fence post.

    Necessary common tools

    Most homeowners have the following popular hand tools in their toolboxes. Make sure you know where they are and keep them handy because you’ll be using them on the fence, too.

    • Screwdrivers
    • Claw hammer
    • Wire cutters
    • Pliers
    • Level
    • Good pair of leather work gloves
    • Shovel

    Tools for any kind of fence

    Some tools you’ll use no matter what type or style of fence you plan to install. Here are a few you may already have in the garage or barn.

    • Post-hole digger–Also called a clam-shell digger, you use this tool to dig the holes for the fence posts. It pulls dirt up and out of the hole in a scissor-like fashion. Find one with rubber grips on the handles.
    • Tamper bar–A tamper is a long bar with two jobs. You use its chiseled end to break up hard soil or cut roots. Then, once the post is in the ground, you use the flat end to tamp the dirt back into the hole and around the post.
    • Saw–Even a wire fence with T-posts requires wooden posts and braces at the corners. To trim them to length, you’ll want a saw. Preferably a small chainsaw. 

    Tools for field or wire fencing

    • Post Driver for T-posts–While you can staple field fencing to wooden fence posts, it also attaches easily to T-posts. A T-post is a heavy metal post formed in a T shape to give it strength. An  anchor at the bottom holds it in the ground. A post driver pounds the posts into the soil without digging. 
    • Come-along–Also called a wire stretcher or wire tensioner, a come-along helps you to get your fence wires good and tight, preventing sagging.
    • Wire gripper–Ready to grab hold of a barbed wire and pull? Save your hands. A wire gripper will do that for you. 
    • Fence stretcher bar–A fence stretcher helps you to keep a good grip on the end of a roll of welded or woven wire fencing in order to pull it. It’s also called a stretcher-bar.
    • Fencing pliers–A pair of fence pliers is a versatile tool that can start or pull staples, hammer staples, and pull or cut wire.  
    • Electric fence tester–If you’re installing electric fencing for your livestock, you’ll definitely want to make sure it’s working. Not just after you install it but periodically throughout the year. 

    Tools for vinyl fencing

    Many homeowners choose vinyl fencing because it withstands moisture and requires little maintenance. However, you'll need just a few tools specifically for installing this type of fence. 

    • Vinyl notching tool–A vinyl fence rail notching tool creates deep tabs in the ends of vinyl fence pickets or rails. The tabs hold the pieces from easily pulling out of the joint. 
    • Vinyl rail remover tool–A rail remover tool easily separates fence components without damaging the rail or post when you need to make repairs. 

    Tools for wood or composite fences

    Since composite fencing material is a mixture of wood fiber and recycled plastic, formed to look like wood, you’ll use the same tools on both. In addition to the tools listed for field or wire fencing, you’ll need the following to build a board, rail or panel style fence.

    • Cordless drill/driver–You’ll use the drill to screw the boards together. Having an extra, charged battery on hand is a good idea, too.
    • Chop saw–Also called a miter saw, you’ll use this type of saw to cut the fence boards to length.
    • Stepladder–A stepladder may come in handy when installing a panel fence.

    Nice-to-have fence tools

    While not essential to the job, the following tools will make the work easier.

    • Power auger–Operating a handheld post-hole digger takes a lot of upper body strength. A power auger will do most of that heavy lifting for you. The motor end of the auger comes separately, so you can purchase different size augers for fence posts, planting trees, and more.
    • Crimping tool–Used with crimping sleeves, this tool secures two ends of high-tensile fence wire together.
    • T-post puller–You’ve pounded the post all the way into the ground, only to realize it needs to be one foot over. Or, perhaps you’re moving a fence line entirely. Nothing is harder to get out of the ground than a secure T-post. A puller makes the job much easier.

    Find everything fencing supplies and tools for fencing your garden, yard or acreage Out Here. 

    Get more fencing knowledge

    Planning a fence can seem daunting. Follow these steps to get your fence project planned and on the way.
    Follow our guide to learn the best ways to set fence posts in concrete vs gravel.