How to Use Fencing Pliers

How to Use Fencing Pliers

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If you’re wondering how to use fencing pliers, you might be surprised to discover that there is more than one type of pliers that are frequently used in the fence world.

Different countries and regions also use slightly different types of fencing pliers in slightly different ways because they install their fences a little differently. So, to answer the question of how to use fencing pliers, let’s take a closer look at some of the more common types of pliers used in fencing and how they are used by fence installers.

Choose the Right Type of Fencing Pliers

The first thing you need to do to use fencing pliers properly is choose the right ones.

It’s worth noting that most fence installers will have several different types of pliers in their toolbox, so they can use the right one for the job as needed.

When you’re shopping for fencing pliers, and if you are going to be doing a lot of fencing-related work, buy the best quality you can afford. They will work better and last longer.

Fencing Pliers

When we’re talking about how to use fencing pliers, it makes sense to start with those with the word fencing in their name!

Fencing pliers are a multi-functional tool that is most commonly used for agricultural fence installation. It has a variety of tools and functions built-in, including:

  • wire shears for cutting wire
  • A staple claw for removing fence staples
  • A staple and nail puller for removing nails
  • A hammer area that you can use to hammer in nails or fencing staples
  • Two gripping areas that can be used to grab and twist wire

Fence Pliers or Lineman’s Pliers

Another type of pliers that is often called fence pliers is what some people might call lineman’s pliers.

These are much simpler than the fencing pliers mentioned above and usually only have one gripping area for grabbing and twisting wire.

They also have built-in wire shears, though, which makes them useful for cutting through thick, tough fence wire when you need to.


Cutting Pliers or Cutters

In some parts of the world, fence installers use rolls of wire for tying fences rather than pre-bent sections of wire.

Often, while those fence installers might have another type of pliers with them, most of the work is done using cutting pliers or cutters, as they are also known.

A skilled fence installer in those areas can use cutters to cut wire but also to twist and manipulate it without actually cutting it – and that’s the real trick!


Hog Ring Pliers

In some parts of the world, special pre-bent pieces of wire called hog rings are used to attach fence mesh to wire and for various other purposes.

Hog ring pliers are a special kind of fence pliers that have an indentation in the pliers' jaws, allowing you to place hog rings properly and squeeze them closed more easily and accurately.

Many hog ring pliers are also spring-loaded, which makes this repetitive job a little easier when installing a fence!


How to Protect Your Hands While Using Fencing Pliers

Using fencing pliers is fairly easy; most people get the hang of it quickly. However, when you’re installing or repairing a fence, you’re going to be doing repetitive tasks like cutting and twisting wire, attaching hog rings, and similar quite often.

That can result in some very sore hands!


If you are going to be using fencing pliers (or doing any kind of fence installation or repairs), you should always ensure you have a good pair of leather work gloves on so that you can avoid blisters, cuts, and other damage to your hands that is common when working with fences.

While you’re at it, make sure you also have eye protection. Small pieces of cut wire can shoot quite a distance when you’re cutting wire, and you don’t want them to get into your eye!

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