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Everything You Need to Know About Fence Posts


October 29, 2021

Electric fences require many different components working together. When it comes to posts, however, they are the backbone of the fencing system. Fence posts support the fence itself and therefore must be durable and installed properly to do their job. By knowing what types of fence posts there are and what they are used for, it can help you understand what your fence system needs to work properly.

electric fencing with wood posts

Different Kinds of Fence Posts

Different types of posts vary in use to help support your fence. The following are the different fence posts, and what they are used for:

  • Corner Posts – These posts are usually made from wood and must be set deeper than in-line posts to withstand the strain of supporting the fence line. This type requires deep installation.
  • In-Line Posts – These posts are needed between corner posts to support the fence wire and keep it from sagging. Set these posts firmly in the ground.
  • Temporary and Portable Posts – These are smaller and lighter posts that might be used to section off a pasture into smaller areas for short periods. They are easy to install.

Fencing systems might require more than one type of post, so it’s important to do your research and plan ahead of time so that by the time installation time comes, you’ve got the supplies you need.

Varieties of Fence Post Materials

There are many different types of materials that compose fence posts. The exact kind of posts that you need should fit your purpose of fencing and should be planned out beforehand. All posts have certain characteristics and unique features.

Wood posts are a common type of post that is used in electric fencing. Remember, wood posts will decay over time. This is especially true when dealing with untreated wood. It will only take a few years for the weather and the wear-and-tear to catch up to the post. Using wood that has been pressure treated with CCA slows decay and can extend the life of a fence post for a few more years.

Another consideration you should take into account when selecting wood posts is the type of tree that the wood is derived from. Longer-lasting types are Pine, Redwood, Juniper and Sweetgum. Occasionally, special species of trees, like Black Locust and Osage Orange, don’t need to be treated and can last up to 25 years. Whether treated or not, avoid using landscape timber which is often unlabeled and not cut to support the fence.

5" Treated Blunt Wood Post 10 ft.

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4-Inch x 4-Inch Pressured Treated Wood Post 8-Foot

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5″ Dowelled Treated Wood Post – 12 ft.

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6 x 6-Inch Juniper Square Wood Post 8 ft.

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Metal Fence Posts & T- Posts are another commonly used post. Metal posts last the longest by far, but they are also a lot more expensive to get comparable sizes/strengths as wood counterparts. They are most commonly used as support posts but not anchor posts because it would cost a considerable amount to purchase metal posts large enough with enough strength to be an anchor post. If you’re installing a fence for large livestock, animals can push metal posts and bend them – which will require you to replace them. T-Posts can be used with permanent or semi-permanent fences. Not all T-posts are the same, some our designed for heavy duty job like rocky ground or you might need a 10ft T-post for a game fence. Note: These posts require a special handheld post pounder to drive them into the ground.

7-ft. Medium-Weight T-Post

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5 in. Snap-on Extended T-Post Insulators

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T Post Wrap Around Insulator

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Fiberglass Rod Posts are ideal for temporary and portable fencing needs like rotational grazing or temporary corrals. Fiberglass rods tend to be more flexible but require gloves for handling. Both of these posts can be used as in-line posts or spacers.

1/2-Inch Fiberglass Rod Fence Post 5-Foot

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Step-In Posts or Pigtail Posts are usually made with fiberglass or plastic which makes it an inexpensive option for temporary fencing. They are lightweight and small, making them ideal for rotational grazing systems, but also not much strength so best used with electric fencing where animals will not pressure it. They also work well as in-line posts, requiring no clips or insulators.

48-Inch Poly Step-In Fence Post

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horses standing behind wire fence

Installing Your Posts

After you picked out the kinds of posts you need and what material best suits your fencing need, it’s time to get started with the installation part. First, determine the number of posts that you need for your fencing project. This depends on post-placement, and how long your fence is going to be. Standard post-placement recommends that you set posts 6-8 feet apart.

The height of your posts will mostly depend on the purpose of the fence. If you’re containing livestock, it should reach a certain height so that they cannot jump over it. If looking for security, your fence can be up to 7 feet high.

Remember that different kinds of fence posts may require different set-ups. It’s always good to have your post plan put together before you start installing your fence.

Ready to build your next farm fence? Trust the farm store professionals at Wilco to help you get your project off the ground. We have helped our customers identify the best design and build for their fencing needs. Shop high quality fencing supplies at Wilco Farm Stores.


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