Find the right material for your project and keep your property secure by learning all about the different types of wire fencing and everything you need to know about this type of fencing.
Whether you’re a homesteader, a rancher, or a suburban dweller, good fences make good neighbors, and there are as many types of fencing available as there are reasons to install them. But for the sake of this article, we’re concentrating on wire fencing — the type of fence that is almost always used to contain something, such as:
- Pets in your backyard
- Livestock on your ranch
- Poultry on your farm
- Inmates at the local prison
- Animals at the local zoo
Wire fencing is also used to keep unwanted elements out, including:
- Deer and rabbits from your garden
- Intruders from your property
- Thieves from the local salvage or lumber yard
Essentially, wire fencing plays huge roles in modern life, both rural and urban. It has purposes that are agricultural and industrial, aesthetic and necessary. Wire fencing can help keep unattended children safe from the community pool, or it can safely outline off-limits areas used for testing or for the containment of hazardous waste. If you’re in need of wire fencing for your home improvement project, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of everything that’s available to help you choose. Here’s what you need to know before deciding which type of wire fencing is right for you.
Wire Fence Construction
When it comes to how to wire fencing is constructed, there are several types available: welded wire, woven wire, barbed wire, and electric fencing. Each has its own benefits and disadvantages. Each is also better for certain uses than the other. Wire fence construction is an important consideration in choosing the right type of fencing for your project.
Welded Wire Fencing
Welded wire fence is formed by placing wires in horizontal and vertical configurations that form squares or rectangles. The wires are then attached to one another through a technique called spot-welding to form strong sheets of fencing that featureless give and less flexibility than traditional woven versions.
Welded wire fencing tends to have more decorative applications than woven wire, but it can also be constructed of industrial-strength material. This makes it a prime material for many rural and urban uses, both residential and commercial, such as:
- Perimeter Fence Around Residential and Commercial Properties
- Fencing Around Residential and Community Pools
- Fencing along Walkways in Parks and Nature Reserves
- Fencing Around Prisons and Military Installations
- Fencing for Dog Runs and Kennels
- Fencing Around Gardens
- Farm and Ranch Gates
Woven Wire Fencing
Woven fencing, alternatively, is produced by weaving pieces of wire into various configurations. Chain-link is a popular example of woven wire fencing. Woven fencing features a loose structure that stretches and bends with great flexibility. Because the strands are all interwoven, however, if one strand is cut, the entire fence may begin to unravel.
Barbed Wire Fencing
Barbed wire is made of steel and is mostly used for keeping cattle and livestock contained. It’s a type of twisted wire that’s different from a traditional woven wire in that the strands are twined together instead of inter-joined with one another. At regular intervals along a length of barbed wire, barbs are formed. Hence the name. Animals that attempt to break through the barbed wire are discouraged by the pointy barbs that cause pain.
A barbed-wire fence may consist of a single or multiple strands of wire. It may also be combined with other types of fencing, such as wood rails or chain link to help fortify the strength of the fence and to help discourage climbing over, under, or through. Razor wire, a variant of barbed wire, is often placed along the tops of wire fencing in prisons and in military installations to prevent humans from climbing over. This type of wire causes cuts and injuries not unlike a razor when it contacts skin.
An electrified fence is usually made from thin steel or aluminum. It’s designed to give trespassers a shock when encountered. Electrified fences used for agricultural purposes deliver just enough voltage to be uncomfortable. Electrified fence used in other applications, such as for commercial or industrial, may be designed to stun the offender. Military- or security-grade electrified fence may be set to deliver a lethal dose of energy, meaning a person or animal who comes into contact with it could die as a result.
Lethal electrified fencing is not typically used today outside of some prisons or military installations. When it is used, it’s usually barricaded from accidental exposure by placing it behind another type of fencing that’s non-lethal or by stringing it high atop walls or barricades where it can only be reached by intentional means.
Wire Fence Composition
Wire fencing is made from different materials, which makes each one suitable for different purposes.