7 Tools You Need When Building a Wood Fence

7 Tools You Need When Building a Wood Fence

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Building a wood fence is not the hardest thing to do if you're reasonably handy. You can pick up a wood fence calculator and drawings on our download section, and as long as you have the time and someone to help, you should be able to get it done in a weekend or two.

However, building a wood fence does require some tools and equipment. Here's our list of must-have tools you need when building a wood fence.

1. Chalk Line and Spray Paint

Even before you start digging holes for your wood fence posts, you’re going to need to measure and mark. Assuming you already have a long tape measure or measuring wheel, be sure to have chalk lines and spray paint on hand so you can mark fence lines and hole positions.

You can even use different colors for different types of posts, so it’s easy to see where your ends, corners, and gate posts will go.

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2. A Post Hole Augur or Digging Equipment

Unless you are installing your wood posts with baseplates, screw piles or something else, you’re probably going to be putting them in concrete footings, and in order to pour the concrete footings around your posts, you’re going to need holes that are at least two or three times the size of your post.

That's a big hole since wood fence posts are often 6 x 6 inches! So, while you can dig your wood fence post holes with post hole diggers and shovels, we recommend renting or buying an augur to get the job done faster and a whole lot easier.

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3. A Wheelbarrow for concrete  

If you’re building a wood fence yourself, you will probably use bags of ready-mix concrete and mix it yourself, but you still need to be able to get it from one hole to the next.

We recommend using a wheelbarrow to mix your concrete so that it’s easy to get it from one fence post hole to another, and they’re easy to tip, so you can get the concrete in the holes without too much trouble.


4. A Chop Saw

If you’re building a wood fence that’s anything more than a few feet, you definitely want to use a chop saw to make all the cuts you will need to make.

Building a wood fence from scratch is not especially hard, but a lot of cutting will be done to make panels fit at the ends of fence lines, where you’ll be installing gates, and if your fence does happen to go up or down any sloped areas.

You can usually rent these if you prefer not to buy one, but they are useful and not too badly priced to purchase.

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5. A Nail Gun

Yes, you can use a hammer when you’re building a wood fence, but do you really want to manually nail thousands of nails?

Your hands and thumbs will thank you if you invest in a nail gun so you can get the job done without blistered hands and bruised thumbs. There are some great options on the market that aren’t too expensive, and they’re handy for all sorts of other carpentry projects.

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6. Levels and Squares

You know the old saying “measure twice, cut once?” Well, it was pretty much written for building wood fences.

When you’re building any fence, especially a stick-built wood fence constructed on-site, you need to be able to check that everything is level, square, and plumb as you go along.

If you prefer to go old school, invest in a plumb line, carpenter’s square, and spirit level, or buy a laser level to check everything quickly and easily.

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7. A Paint Sprayer

If you plan to stain your wood fence, you should know that you are committing to re-stain it every couple of years for the fence's lifespan. That’s a big step.

But if you’re ready for that and you really want a stained wood fence, we highly recommend investing in a paint sprayer. Not only will it make staining your fence easier when you build it, it (along with a power washer) will be your best friend when fence staining season rolls around.

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Worth the Investment

As you can see here, the tools you need to build a wood fence aren’t anything you will only use once and then lose in the back of the shed for the next twenty years.

They’re very useful for multitudes of other carpentry and DIY projects.

So if you’re thinking of building a wood fence and want to make things easier on yourself, consider adding these items to  your pre fence prep shopping list.

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