How to remove metal fence posts

Written by dave p. fisher
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How to remove metal fence posts
Metal T posts cannot be removed by hand. (barbed wire fence image by pixelcarpenter from

Removing a wire fence, or moving its location, takes several stages. First the wire is unclipped, taken down, and rolled. This leaves the metal T posts that have been driven solidly into the ground. Metal T posts also become damaged or bent and require pulling out. Pulling the posts cannot be done by hand, but using a bumper or handyman jack and a loop of chain simplifies the process.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Bumper or handyman jack
  • Chain, 20 inches long
  • Bolt, nut, and 2 washers--1 inch long, 1/2 inch diameter

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  1. 1

    Lock the two end links of the chain together by running the bolt through the links, with a washer on each end of the bolt, thread on the nut and tighten it down hard.

  2. 2

    Position the jack against the metal post with the bumper hook touching the post. Slide the bumper hook down to 12 inches above the ground.

  3. 3

    Wrap the chain completely around the post, starting at the side facing the jack. Bring the two looped ends of the chain back around and drop them over the bumper hook.

  4. 4

    Ratchet the jack handle, bringing the bumper hook up and pulling the chain tight around the post. Pull the upper end of the post toward you while continuing to jack the hook up.

  5. 5

    Ratchet the jack until the post is pulled completely out of the ground. Remove the chain from the post.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure the base of the jack is set level and solidly planted on the ground before jacking.
  • Keep the chain wrapped tight to the hook; too much slack in the chain will require the bumper hook to rise too high before the chain tightens and begins to pull the post out of the ground.
  • Pulling the post toward you keeps it pulling straight up out of the ground and not tipping the jack over as it pulls out at an angle. Two people can make the job easier, as one can jack while the other handles the post.
  • Use a thick-link tempered chain as opposed to a lightweight thin metal chain. Occasionally, a post will be too tightly driven into the ground to come up; a thin chain will stretch until it breaks, throwing pieces of chain back at you.

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