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How to join barbed wire fencing

Updated November 21, 2016

Joining strands of barbed wire fencing is done when a fence wire has broken and needs to be reconnected. The splicing of the two wires requires the use of a specialised fencing tool called a fence stretcher. The stretcher is a long piece of metal with two locking hooks at opposite ends. After the wires are attached to the hooks a ratchet brings the broken wires together so that a looping splice can be made.

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  1. Put on a pair of leather work gloves, work trousers, a long-sleeve shirt and protective eye glasses.

  2. Hold one end of the fence stretcher in your left hand allowing the other end to hang downward.

  3. Open the stretcher hook and hold it open with the fingers of your left hand.

  4. Lift one of the broken strands of barbed wire off the ground and place it in the stretcher hook. Pull the strand as tight as you can and then release the hook by letting go of it with the fingers of your left hand. The broken end of the wire should be at least 6 inches past the stretcher hook. Repeat the same process for attaching the opposing piece of broken wire. Use your right hand to hold the stretcher hook up and your left hand to put the strand of wire in place.

  5. Pull the ratcheting handle back and forth until the two ends of fence wire have passed each other by a minimum of 6 inches.

  6. Create a loop in one of the ends by bending the end of the wire backwards and then fastening it back to itself. Wrap it as many times as its length permits. The loop needs to be big enough to allow the opposing wire to go through it.

  7. Thread the opposing wire through the loop and bend it backward toward itself. Wrap it as many times as possible. the two ends should now be looped together with a little bit of play, because the fence stretcher ratchet mechanism hasn't been released yet.

  8. Release the ratchet mechanism to allow the wires to pull against each other. The barbed wire fencing has been joined. Repeat this process for as much fence as needs joining.

  9. Tip

    Use a pair of pliers to assist with the creation of the loops.


    A fence stretcher ratchets wires tight and holds them under high tension. Extreme caution should be used when joining fence wires to avoid injury or death.

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Things You'll Need

  • Leather work gloves
  • Work trousers
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Protective eye glasses
  • Fence stretcher
  • Pliers

About the Author

Cody Sorensen
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