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How to Use Fencing Pliers: 5 Tips & Tricks

man repairing fence

Fencing pliers are a must-have tool for everyday use. They’re perfect for many DIY projects around the home. You can use them when working on cabinets, appliances, fences, and much more.

They are versatile, but do you know how to use them? In this article, we’ll give a detailed guide on how to use fencing pliers. Also, we’ll tell you how they can come in handy to you as a DIYer. After reading, choose your fencing pliers and get to work. Let’s get started!

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What Are Fencing Pliers?

Fencing pliers are a type of pliers with long, narrow jaws. You can use them to cut wires and other materials. The jaws are lined with teeth that grab onto the wire when cutting.

Some fencing pliers have a curved end on one or both ends of the jaw, which makes loops in wires. Fencing pliers come in many sizes and shapes, but they all work similarly.

coloful fencing pliers
Image Credit: speedshutter Photography, Shutterstock

Parts of Fencing Pliers and their Uses

Before using fencing pliers, it’s crucial to know the different parts and their uses.

Here’s a table summarizing these parts:

Fencing Pliers’ Part Uses
Staple puller Pulling out nail staples
Primary gripping jaws Grasping fencing staples
Wire cutters Cutting wires
Spike or claws Removing fencing staples
Crimping claws or wire-pulling jaws Pulling wires
Handles Holding the tool
Hammerhead Hitting fencing staples

Crucial Fencing Pliers Features

Fencing pliers are essential when installing a fence or repairing an existing one. You can find them in home improvement stores or your local hardware store.

When choosing fencing pliers, there are a few features you need to keep in mind. These features make the pliers usable for their various applications. Here are some of them:

  • Combined Grips and Cutting: Combined cutting edges and grips on the fencing pliers allow you to grip objects tightly while cutting through them. The two features make it easier to get the job done without stopping and switching tools. You don’t need to buy two separate tools (one for cutting and another for gripping). The ability to do both jobs using one tool makes it more convenient and saves money.
  • Parallel Jaws: The jaws should be parallel so that they don’t cause any problems when trying to grip onto the wire or bend it. It’ll also allow you to make smooth cuts without damaging the wire or rod you’re cutting. If they aren’t parallel, they can slip off and damage your fence or even cause injuries.
  • Serrated Jaws: Another feature you should look out for when buying fencing pliers is serrated jaws. They make it easier to grip the fence and hold it firmly without slipping off.
  • Cutting Capabilities: Cutting capability is a crucial feature when buying fencing pliers. This feature indicates how much pressure the fencing pliers can withstand before breaking. It’ll determine whether your fencing pliers can cut through thick wires. Buy high-quality fencing pliers with excellent cutting capabilities because they can withstand heavy pressure without breaking.
  • V-Slot in the Jaw: The V-shaped slot in the jaws of fencing pliers holds wire when you’re cutting or stripping it. You don’t have to worry about losing hold due to slippery surfaces or small gaps between wires.
  • Hardened Cutters: The cutters should be made of hardened steel. The purpose is to make the wire cuts more precise and clean. You don’t have to spend time tidying up the cut ends with a file or another tool. Also, you don’t have to sharpen the cutters often.
man using fencing pliers
Image Credit: RaGS2, Shutterstock

When Do You Use Fencing Pliers?

You can use fencing pliers to do almost anything you would use regular pliers for. They’re helpful if you need to cut something thick or hard. They give you more leverage than regular pliers do.

Here are several instances when you can use fencing pliers:

  • Hammering: Fencing pliers make it easier to hammer nails into place. They help you grip the nail while keeping your hands away from the hammer’s head, so you won’t accidentally hurt yourself. Hold the handle firmly so that it won’t slip out of your hand when you swing at the fencing staples or nails.
  • Wire Fastening, Gripping, and Tension: You can use fencing pliers to fasten wire, especially when building fences because you must hold the wires tightly. Fencing pliers are also designed for gripping metal wires so they won’t slip out of your hands when bending or cutting them. You can also use them to loosen or tighten wires.
  • Pulling Staples: When pulling staples out of fence posts, the best tool to use is fencing pliers. They have flat jaws designed to grip onto the staple head so that it doesn’t slip while you pull on it.
  • Cutting: If you’ve ever tried to cut wire with ordinary scissors, you know how frustrating it can be. Wires are tough and need extra power to cut them. That’s where fencing pliers come into play. With these tools, you can get through thick strands of wire with little effort.
  • Driving in Staples: Fencing pliers are ideal for driving staples into posts when fencing. Their design makes them ideal for this task.

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Step-By-Step Guide for Using Fencing Pliers

1. Drive Your Fence Staples In

The first step is driving your fence staples into the wooden poles at least 1 inch deep. If you drive them too far into the posts, they can split it and cause problems later down the road. The fence staples have a sharp point, so it’s easy to drive them into the wood.

When doing this, hold the pliers firmly and ensure the fencing staples are in position. You will use the fencing pliers’ hammer-like head when driving the staples in.

2. Cut the Barbed Wire Well

Barbed wire is a common fencing material used to secure areas and protect boundaries. It can be dangerous and challenging to cut using ordinary hand tools.

However, fencing pliers are designed to make this job easy. The sharp jaws of these pliers allow you to cut through the barbed wire without getting hurt or damaging the tool.

3. Fasten the Wire Ties

Fencing pliers have grooves that make it easy to slip your wire through and make an attractive twist at the end of your fence. Fasten the wire ties using your fencing pliers. Wrap around the post and begin putting every wire tie around the fence you want to create.

At this stage, fencing wire jaws are helpful. Squeeze the barbed wire tightly and wrap it in a circular movement around the fence. This way, you ensure stability.

4. Stretch the Barbed Wire

Use the fencing pliers to pull the barbed wire on both sides until you have a straight line going from post to post with no kinks or bends. Hold the wire tightly and rotate it in a twisting motion as you stretch it.

Doing this will pull the barbed wire into a loop. Turn it in one direction. This way, you’ll tighten it with every turn. Fences damaged by falling trees or old fences may become loose and sag. You can use fencing pliers to tighten them.

5. Hit the Fencing Staples

The last step is hitting the fencing staples into place to make them strong. You can also use the fencing pliers to fit them into position. Use the hammer part of the pliers for this task.

It’s crucial to do a neat job. So, check if all the fencing staples are in position. After you have finished fencing, ensure there are no bulging nail tips that can cause injuries. The sharp tips of fencing staples are risky.

6. Clean Up

Make sure that your fencing pliers are clean and free from rust. You can wipe them using a dry cloth after every use. This way, they don’t get damaged or rusty due to moisture or dirt accumulating on them over time. Rusted metal parts may cause damage later when you try using them again.

The 5 Tips and Tricks when Using Fencing Pliers

There are several tips and tricks you should follow when using fencing pliers. They include:

  • Never use fencing pliers when hammering thicker metals or any material stronger than them.
  • Don’t be aggressive when hammering fencing staples. Hammer gently and carefully to avoid damaging your pliers.
  • Always wear protective gloves when using fencing pliers to prevent any injuries from occurring during use.
  • Ensure your fence is level before attaching fencing staples with fencing pliers. It’ll ensure everything is straight and even once completed.
  • Make sure you have the correct size for the job. Using the wrong tool can cause damage to your fence and tool.

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As you can see, fencing pliers are excellent multi-tool additions to your toolbox. Whether you use them for small, detailed work or quick fixes, they always come in handy.

This post has explained how to use fencing pliers and what the pliers are used for. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur, you’ll find these tips helpful and informative.

Just remember that a crucial part of using any tool is doing it safely. So, never take shortcuts or try to do anything that can compromise your safety.

Featured Image Credit: bela art, Shutterstock


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