10 Tools You Need For Building Or Repairing An Electric Fence

Whether you’re installing, modifying or repairing an electric fence, you can probably imagine the long list of tools and supplies involved.

by J. Keeler Johnson
PHOTO: Daniel Johnson

Whether you’re installing, modifying or repairing an electric fence, you can probably imagine the long list of bulky tools and supplies involved. Post hole diggers, a level, shovels, a digging bar, buckets of spare dirt, posts, a post driver, rolls of wire.…

That’s a long list of large (but necessary) items. Throw in a tractor and wagon to haul them all, and you’ve practically assembled a toolshed on wheels.

But don’t overlook the little things—all the smaller tools and supplies that can be packed into a mere toolbox instead of a toolshed and carried around like a suitcase. Here are 10 small but significant items you’ll want to bring along.

Read more: Follow these simple steps to maintain your electric fences.

Spare Insulators

The insulators separating wires from posts are a critical component for any electric fence. You can’t have too many of them on hand.

Voltage Tester

Since touching an electric fence is a poor way to confirm that it’s working, a simple voltage tester is one of your must-have tools.

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Insert one end into the ground and touch the other end to a wire to get a reading on the strength of the current. If the measured voltage is weak (or nonexistent), you know there’s work to do somewhere along the line.


Unless you’re Hercules, you’ll need a ratchet to help tighten loose fence lines. Letting the ratchet hold the wires tightly in place enables the user to perform minor tightening tasks alone. And it sure beats throwing your weight against the end of a loose wire while a companion rushes to secure the tension you’ve accumulated.

Electrical Tape

You’re working with electricity, and whether you’re wrapping connections or simply securing the frayed ends of wires, electrical tape is a handy item to keep in stock.

Read more: Pack these tools in your toolbox when you’re headed out to fix a fence.

Electric Drill and Screws

A must-have tool for every toolbox. If you’re installing insulators on fence posts, try using a single type of screw to keep things consistent.

But if you’re replacing insulators, be sure to bring every screwdriver bit you can find, because you’re bound to come across several different types of screws. It’s just the inevitable result of making repairs over time with whatever supplies are handy.

Claw Hammer

Because even if you installed every insulator using screws, somehow the one that needs replacing will be nailed into place.


For loosening and tightening bolts, undoing stubborn knots and more, multiple pairs of pliers (in various sizes) are always a good investment. Their versatility is convenient if you’re dealing with nuts and bolts of many different dimensions.

Locking pliers are particularly helpful since they bite down with force and don’t require a constant squeezing pressure from your hands to operate.

Wire Cutters

Some pliers have wire cutters built right in, but a dedicated pair will earn their keep. You’re working with wires, after all!

Utility Knife

By definition, a utility knife is useful in many ways. Keep one on hand, and you might be able to save your wire cutters from doing double-duty as a clunky pair of scissors.

50- or 100-foot Tape Measure

Because eyeballing distances isn’t the best way to go about constructing or repairing an electric fence.

Good luck with your electric fence project!

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