Different Types of Wire Fences

Whether you have one city lot or 500 rural acres, at some point you will probably consider installing a fence.


Depending upon your purpose in building your fence, different types of wire fences provide a variety of popular, low-cost options. Required tools are simple: wire, corner posts, brace posts, line posts, leather gloves, a post hole digger, staples, fencing pliers and a wire stretcher. Using these tools, you can construct different types of wire fences that will last for years, protect your animals and increase your property's value.

Different kinds of wire fences have different strengths and weaknesses that must be considered when choosing the best fence. Think about what you are trying to contain or keep out with the fence; a horse needs a different fence than a goat or a garden. The amount of money you want to spend, as well as the length of time that you need the fence, also helps narrow down the most appropriate type of wire fence to install. For instance, although a woven wire fence costs more initially, it requires less daily maintenance than other types of wire fences.


Fence posts used to support fencing material come in a variety of types and styles. Wood and steel are the two most common post materials. When choosing wood posts, be sure to either choose a variety of wood that is naturally resistant to decay or one that is pressure treated to help preserve the wood. Pressure treating wood posts increases the lifespan of a post from 5 years to 30 years, giving you a longer-lasting fence. Lengths and diameters of wood posts vary, depending upon the burying depth and strength that you need for your fence. Steel posts, which come in lengths from 5 feet to 8 feet, typically cost more than wood posts. You can alternate wood and steel line posts, a popular practice that lowers fencing costs and maximizes the strength of your fence.

Woven Wire Fences

Woven wire fences consist of vertical and horizontal wires attached to one another in 6-inch or 12-inch increments. Usually 36 inches or 48 inches tall, woven wire fences provide a solid wire fence that contains most species of livestock and keeps out predators. With a higher initial investment cost, woven-wire fences last longer than other types of wire fences. You can run a single strand of barbed wire along the top and the bottom of your woven wire fence to discourage predators from trying to climb over or dig under your fence.

Barbed Wire

A barbed wire fence consists of strands of wire twisted together in a cord with barbs protruding at 4- or 5-inch intervals. These barbs discourage animals from trying to get through the fence. Barbed wire is available in a variety of sizes and patterns. You can construct a barbed wire fence by using five strands of barbed wire that you staple to the posts at regular intervals to form your fence.

High-tensile Wire

High-tensile wire is the least expensive wire fencing option. You can construct a high-tensile, non-electric fence using eight strands of 12.5-gauge smooth wire. Another option is to construct a high-tensile wire fence that uses electricity to keep animals in or out. An electrified, high-tensile wire fence typically uses five strands of smooth wire; three strands are energized and two are not. With an electrified, high-tensile wire fence, you have to purchase an energizer to provide electrical energy to charge your fence.