Instructions for Fence Pliers

Updated November 21, 2016

Fencing pliers are a multipurpose tool designed to pull or pound staples and nails, cut or twist wire, hold staples for nailing, grip and bend wire and attach wire fencing to T-posts with clips. They are a rugged tool built to last. The average length of the tool is 10 to 12 inches long. It has a hammer head on one side and a claw hook on the other. The pliers are made of hardened steel and often come with rubber-grip handles.

Place the hook or claw-end of the pliers directly above the U-nail so the tip of the claw is touching the bottom of the U and the fence post. The hammer-end of the pliers should be facing you.

Strike the hammer-end of the pliers with a hammer so the hook-end is driven inside the U. It will penetrate the wood post to accomplish this.

Lift the handles of the pliers skyward to allow the hook-end of the pliers to eject the U-nail from the post.

Close the jaws of the pliers. When the pliers are closed, you will see the jaws form two holes in line with each other.

Lay the closed pliers up against the fence broadside where you want to pound in a U-nail.

Insert the two tips of a U-nail through these holes until the tips bottom out. You may have to bend the tips closer together to get them to fit in the holes. Use the jaws of the pliers to do this or hold the nail on a flat surface and strike the tips with a hammer to bend them closer together.

Strike the U-nail with a hammer until the nail is set, then release the jaws of the pliers and remove them from the nail. Hammer the nail the rest of the way in.

Open the jaws of the pliers until the notches on each side align. This alignment creates a channel where a fence wire will fit.

Lay the piece of wire to cut into the open channel so it lays flat.

Grip the plier handles and squeeze them together to allow the channel to close and cut the wire.

Open the jaws of the pliers by opening the handles.

Make a loop in the piece of wire you desire to bend. The loop has to be small enough to fit inside the plier jaws. It can also be bent inside the "V" of the plier handles.

Insert the looped wire and squeeze the plier handles tight until the wire is bent as tight as you want it.

Open the plier handles so the jaws open.

Insert the fence wire into the jaws and squeeze the handles to close the jaws down on the wire. The wire should be in the first hole, not the second hole, of the jaws.

Grip the plier handles tight and twist the pliers clockwise until a loop is created in the fence wire. Twist as many times as it takes for the wire to tighten.

Hold a nail on the surface with its tip on the surface and the head pointed upward.

Grip the handles of the pliers together with the hammer-end of the pliers facing the head of the nail.

Strike downward until the hammerhead of the pliers strikes the nail head. Strike as many times as necessary until the nail is sunk.

Hold two wires together.

Place a crimping clamp over the wires.

Open the jaws of the pliers.

Insert the crimping clamp holding the wires inside the plier jaws.

Squeeze the jaws tight to crimp the clamp tightly over the wires.


Occasionally squirt a drop of gear oil on the swivelling part of the pliers to keep them from corroding or rusting.


Always wear gloves when using fencing pliers to avoid pinching your skin or fingers in the jaws. Failing to wear gloves may result in blood blisters.

Things You'll Need

  • U-nails
  • Hammer
  • Wire
  • Crimping clamps
  • Gear oil
  • Leather gloves
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author