How to Cut a Chain Link Fence

C.L. Rease

Installing a chain-link fence is a difficult process. Of all the steps involved in installing a chain-link fence, cutting the fence to length is one of the easiest. You can cut the chain-link fence without physically cutting the woven "fabric" that makes up the majority of the fence.

Untwisting the interconnected weave will shorten your chain-link fence.

The secret to cutting your chain-link fence lies in the way the fence fabric is created. The fabric is made from a series of interwoven wires called weaves and each weave is locked into place by twisting two weaves together.


If the weave becomes lodged in the chain-link fence, you can cut the weave with the wire cutters located in the jaws of the lineman's pliers.


Make sure you do not release the weave that is holding the tension bar in place, as this will cause the chain-link fence to spring away from the fence post and you will need to restretch the fence.

  1. Remove the fence stretcher from the chain-link fence after the tension bar is installed to allow easy access to the end of the chain-link fence that you need to cut.

  2. Place the lineman's pliers on the top twist on the weave next to the tension bar weave and turn the lineman's pliers counterclockwise until the weaves split apart. Repeat the process with the twist located on the bottom of the same weave.

  3. Grab the top of the released weave with the lineman's pliers, turn the lineman's pliers counterclockwise to work the freed weave from the chain-link fence and set the weave aside. The removed weave can be reused if you ever need to extend your chain-link fence.

  4. Work the other side of the weave free from the chain-link fence.