A chain-link fence is an essential item in almost all houses. Useful as it is, but it is quite tricky to install these fences, especially for a newbie. Although the process is not so complicated, the main problem arises when you need to cut the fence. It is necessary to cut the fence according to the size you need for it to fit the area you are planning to use it.
But don’t worry, in this article, you will learn how to cut a chain link fence properly.
How To Cut A Chain Link Fence – Step By Step Guide
There is more than one way of cutting a chain-link fence. We are going to present some of the simple procedures here. Each has its own merits and is easy enough for anyone to master.
Total Time: 1 Hour
Step 1: Measurements
Before jump-starting the snipping and cutting, you need to take the measurements. Measuring the fence will let you understand how much of it do you need. It will also make you aware of the portion you need to cut. Just like you took when you were building a fence.
It is advisable to mark the appropriate spots with a marker. The marked spots will give you a fair idea while cutting. However, you do not need to be very precise while cutting the fence, but still, overall accuracy is required.
Step 2: Tension Bar And Fence Stretcher
Once you have taken the measurements, you need to move forward to the next step. In the next step, you will need a tension bar and a fence stretcher. The tension bar is required to make sure that the tension is evenly distributed throughout the fence. It helps in straightening the fence properly. You should make sure to use it before cutting the fence.
The end parts of the tension bar are called the fence stretchers. The reason behind using the tension bar and fence stretcher is to maintain the tension in the fence while cutting it. It helps in cutting the exact amount we require.
Step 3: Unweaving
Now let us move forward to the third step of the process: the unweaving. In this step, you will require lineman’s pliers. As the name suggests, you need to unweave the fence with the help of the pliers.
You need to twist the bottom and top weaves of the fence. You should continue this process till one of the chain links is broken. This will lead to the freeing of that chain link piece. It is important if your fence is made of pallets.
Now, if you are done with the unweaving, you should reinstall the fence stretcher. Put the fence on it and properly fix it in the required area.
Tip: You should not throw away the leftover part of the fence. This may prove to be useful in many ways, and you can also use it to repair the damaged fence area in the future.
Step 1: Bolt Cutting
The first process is quite helpful and useful, but that is not enough in some cases. So you need to be ready. In the second process, we are going to talk about the bolt cutting. As is clear from the name, you need to have a pair of bolt cutters for this purpose.
You need to take the measurements accurately. After measuring the fence, you need to determine the positions where you want the fence to be cut. Once you are sure about the measurements as well as positions, it is time to use the tension bar. Put the fence on the vise while stretching it correctly. This is important because it helps in correct and proper cutting.
Now you can start cutting. You can cut through the tension bars with the help of the bolt cutters. Although, in most cases, it is easier to cut through the links of the fence.
Step 2: Cutting The Links
It is now time to be attentive. Open the bolt cutters and place its jaws on the link that you want to cut. Put an appropriate amount of pressure on the handles of the bolt cutters. You need to be patient. Repeat the same technique with each link that you want to cut.
After cutting the links, you can easily remove them.
Step 3: Unweaving
Yes, it is the same step that we have already discussed in the first process. However, in this step, the focus is on unweaving the parts which have been cut. You should be careful while cutting. You should keep in mind that you need to cut the links precisely at the right spot. The cuts should be made where one chain is intertwined with the other chain. This helps in unweaving the chain link and separating it from the fence.
Step 1: Marking
By now, you must have understood that the marking is an essential step in cutting the chain-link fences. You need to measure the fence and mark it at the critical point. You should use a marker for the purpose.
Suppose you need to replace the damaged section of the fence. Now after measuring the damaged area, mark the damaged fence as well as the fresh one. The damaged part is marked to understand that you need to cut from there and remove that part. Similarly, the fresh part is marked so that you can get an idea from where it should be cut in order to be joined.
Step 2: Reciprocating Saw
After measuring, you need to cut the fence with a reciprocating saw. Be careful as it can be dangerous if you are new to the tool. You need to hold the machine properly and press the trigger. Put the saw at the marked area of the fence. Make sure to cut the area of the fence before powering it down. It is advisable to wear gloves while operating a reciprocating saw for a better grip.
Step 3: Cutting With The Saw
Now you need to put the blade of the reciprocating saw on the marked spot of the fence and apply firm and steady pressure on the trigger. Make sure that the blade should not waver from its place. It is important to keep cutting on the same spot until you are halfway through the metal. Once it is half-cut, it will be easy for you to do for the rest of the job.
Step 1: Measurement Of The Fence
There is nothing new in this process. You must know by now that it is the most essential and primary step of cutting the chain link fence. So, measure the fence and mark the spot from where you need to cut it.
Step 2: Clamping The Fence
Now you need to put the fence on the vise. You can use the clamps to hold the fence steady. If you do not have a heavy-duty vise, do not fret. We can use an alternate option. In case of unavailability of the vise, you can use any flat and slightly high surface like a table. However, if you do not have clamps, you will need help holding the fence firmly on the surface to avoid shaking while it is being cut.
Step 3: Cutting With Hacksaw
Now you are all set to start the actual cutting. Cut the fence with a hacksaw. You need to be very careful and patient while using a hacksaw. One thing that you should keep in mind is to use a proper blade according to the thickness of the chain link. Once you are done with the cutting, you can smooth the rough edges with the help of a file or power grinder.
It is highly advisable to use all safety measures while working with tools. You need to be very cautious and careful while cutting the fence. You should follow the following safety advice:
- You must wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from metal chips and sparks.
- Gloves are required to protect your hands.
- You should use earplugs to protect your ears from noise damage.
- Pay attention to the work and be extremely careful while working.
Things You Need To Cut A Chain Link Fence
- Bolt Cutter: It is used for cutting padlocks, chains, etc.
- You will need the bolt cutter of about 8 to 10 inches long for this purpose. The size has an advantage as it can easily cut the links of fences. This is easy to use as it is neither too big to handle nor too small to be ineffective.
- Reciprocating Saw: It is a machine that is used to cut metal. It uses the push & pulls mechanism in cutting.
- Hacksaw: It can be defined as a blade set in a frame. It helps cut metal.
- Tension Bar: Bars having spring mechanisms which are used to induce or reduce stress/tension. These are generally solid or tubular in shape.
- Fence Stretcher: These are used to keep the fence tight.
1. Which is the best tool to use for cutting the damaged area of my chain link fence?
You can use any of the tools mentioned above and processes to cut the chain-link fence. However, it is wise to go with a hacksaw or bolt cutters rather than a reciprocating saw if you are not experienced enough.
Cutting a chain link fence undoubtedly seems to be a herculean task at first, but with proper tools and knowledge, you can master this skill. Well, now you know everything there is about cutting a chain-link fence. Just follow the steps listed above in our guide about how to cut a chain link fence. Also, make sure that you take all safety precautions.