List of Chain Link Fence Parts

Written by jolee lautaret
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Chain link is the name given to any woven wire fencing. Used for a variety of purposes including playgrounds, residences, highways, construction sites, airports and animal enclosures, it is one of the most popular types of fencing because of its low cost and ease of installation. Installing chain link fence is a simple do-it-yourself project. The parts needed to build a chain link fence fall into three categories: mesh, framework and fittings.


Mesh is a generic term for the woven wire part of the fence. Wires are woven together in a diamond pattern, available in many sizes. A smaller pattern creates a stronger fence.

Chain link mesh is made of galvanised steel, plastic coated steel, aluminium and stainless steel. Some mesh is also available with PVC or vinyl coating. The gauge, or diameter, of the wire is an important consideration in the strength of the fence with a lower number gauge being a stronger wire.

Mesh can be purchased in nearly any height and is generally sold in 50' rolls.


The framework of a chain link fence consists of the posts and rails on which the mesh is hung. Terminal posts are the end and corner posts. Terminal posts are also used to frame gates. Line posts are intermediate posts set periodically in between the terminal posts at regular intervals. All posts must be set at the same height. Posts can be made of metal or wood and are usually set in the ground in concrete footings.

The top rail runs along the uppermost portion of the fence and provides the top of the frame. In some instances, a bottom rail may be used; however, this is not common. More often, bottom tension wire is stretched tightly between the posts and secured to the mesh along the bottom of the fence. As with mesh, gauge is an important consideration in choosing bottom tension wire.


Fittings refer to all parts used to hold the mesh to the frame. Tension bands secure the mesh to the posts and the number used is determined by the height of the post. Under some building codes, double the number of tension bands used for line posts are required for corner posts. Wire fabric ties secure the mesh to the posts, top rail and bottom tension wire.


Other parts that may be used but are not required are terminal post caps and line post tops. Terminal post caps provide a finished look. Line post tops have a loop design that allows the top rail to be passed through it giving the fence more strength. If line post tops are used rail ends must be attached to terminal posts. Rail ends brace the top rail at the corners.


Standards for materials used in building chain link fence are established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and local building codes may dictate other requirements for fencing parts.

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