John & Susan Merrell
41390 Hwy 226
Scio, OR 97374
503-551-7219 (cell)
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Fence Building Tools

Fencing tools need not be expensive or state of the art. We have installed many fences with nothing but hand tools. A tractor mounted auger or post pounder can make the job much easier, but much of the work will need to be done by hand in the end. It is important to buy good quality tools and properly maintain them. Cheap tools will only make for more work. We have found to a a good source of tools.

A fence can be built with basic hand tools. It is important to obtain high quality tools. Purchasing discount tools is usually an exercise in frustration. Not only do they not last as long, they seldom work as well.

Keep your tools clean, and in good repair and they will last for a very long time.

In these pages we will be installing a fence with nothing but hand tools. Always buy the best tools that you can find. Building fences is a demanding job. Quality tools will last much longer, and will make the job easier to complete. We have found to be a good source of tools.


A tamping bar is essential for setting a corner post tight. It serves double purpose in helping to break up hard or rocky soil.

  • Heavy Leather Gloves - The cut ends of fence wire are very sharp. Even with good gloves you are likely to get a few scratches.
  • Hammer - Get a good claw hammer. I happen to like Estwing hammers, which I have used for over 30 years. The brand is not particularly important, but quality does make a difference even in something as simple as a hammer.
  • Wire Cutters - Good quality wire cutters are essential. Bigger is not necessarily better. It is the quality of the cutting edges that counts. Our wire cutters (made specifically to cut high-tensile wire and wire braid) are one of the more expensive tools in our tool box. Don't skimp on this item.
  • Shovel - ANy decent round point shovel will do.
  • Post Hole Digger - The old fashioned clam-shell diggers. Don't settle for a lightweight homeowner style. It is well worth the extra expense to purchase a heavy duty commercial set, both in terms of durability and efficiency
  • Crimping Tool - We have found that the best method of stringing a fence involves splicing the wires with a swage sleeve. These require a crimping tool. The crimping tool and sleeves will also find use in fence repair.
  • "Come Along" - A one ton come-along will be sufficient. This tool will be used to help tension the fence.
  • Fence Tensioner - There are several types of tensioners. The general principal is the same. The ends clamp on the wire, and the clamp pressure increases as the tension increases. These are indispensable for attaining a good tight fence.
  • Post Pounder - These are readily available, and inexpensive. They are used for driving T-bar posts into the ground. Great exercise, bet best used with the optional tools listed below.
  • Tamping Tool - These are not much more than a heavy iron bar. One end has a chisel point that you can use to break up hard or rocky soil. The other end is flattened and is used to tamp the soil back in around the posts. The soil must be firmly tamped around all corner posts or the tension of the wire will literally pull the post out of the ground.
  • Fence Pliers - Not absolutely essential, but they sure come in handy. Even a good pair is relatively inexpensive.

A good crimping tool is essential for both building a strong fence and for making fence repairs.

Optional tools include:

  • One or two buffed-out teenage boys - Best used with clam-shell diggers, post pounders and tampers.
  • Chain Saw - It is more than likely that there will be trimming and cutting of posts and braces. A small chain saw provides mobility. You will appreciate this when you are a quarter mile from the nearest electricity.


Alpaca Sales

"I am always telling you that it is all rubbish," she continued, turning a broad expanse of alpaca-covered back upon her audience. "I am always telling you that you are no more a count than Fischelowitz is a grand duke, that the whole thing is a foolish imagination which you have stuck into your head, as one sticks tobacco into a paper shell..."

- F. Marion Crawford
A Cigarette-Maker's Romance
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