Bailing wire is a multiple purpose tool used commonly used on ranches. The wire holds broken equipment together and builds wire fencing. The wire is too stiff for knots and twisting is the best method of connecting and securing two strands of wire. Twisting the wire is accomplished with several different tools, all of which are effective. A pair of pliers is sufficient in most cases but advanced twisting tools create a tight connection that is unlikely to break loose.
Wire cutters are used to cut and grab sections of wire. The wire cutters are indispensable when working with bailing wire and are used for twisting as well as cutting. The cutters are not built for twisting wire but a medium grip on two strands of wire does not cut through the material. The cutter handles are simply twisted to tie the wires together. Some cutters do have a combination cutting section and grabbing section.
Pliers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Bailing wire pliers have stubby, flat jaws for grabbing and maintaining pressure on the wires. Some pliers also have a hook on one end for separating sections of wire from posts. Removing wire that is tied tightly is difficult without a quality hook. The hook is set on the wire and the pliers are pushed against the post.
The sole purpose of the hook is twisting. The hook is a short, bent piece of metal on a long handle. The wire is wrapped around the hook and the handle is spun to twist the wire in a loop. The free end is pulled through the loop and wrapped around itself to tighten and hold the wire. Hooks are effective for quickly twisting sections of wire without the struggle of bulky pliers handles.
Tie tools are designed for specific gauge bailing wire. The tools are used for tight twists on bails of recycled paper and aluminium. The two sections of wire are inserted through an opening on the tool and a rotating handle is cranked to twist the sections into a tight knot. The tools are not necessary for many bailing wire applications but are handy when you require an secure connection. The tight twists are difficult to remove and the wire must be severed with a knife to release it.