14 Types of Barbed Wire To Secure Your Area Effectively
Author: Omar Alonso | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
All types of barbed wire are the same: steel wire that has pointed edges attached to the wire at even intervals. But it's not that simple, only perhaps on the surface.
Installing a barbed wire fence works out cheaper than building a traditional fence. They require very low investment as you only need fence posts, wire, and staples to build a sturdy barbed wire fence.
14 Types of Barbed Wire
It was Joseph F. Glidden, that acquired U.S. Patent No. 157,124 in 1874, that invented barbed wire. He eventually sold his interest in his company the Barb Fence Company to Washburn & Moen Manufacturing Company for what seems like a measly amount these days... only $60,000.
You don’t require a lot of skill to install barbed wire fencing, any more than other types of wire fencing. They're a perfect combination of low cost and low effort. Here are the main different types of barbed wire that you can put to use in a variety of ways.
Single Strand Barbed Wire
Single strand barbed wire is a very simple type of barbed wire that consists of a single, straight strand of wire. This untwisted wire contains barbs that are spaced out evenly.
Since they only contain a single strand they are not well suited for bearing heavy loads. They can be used for marking off land boundaries as well as to fence in smaller livestock like sheep.
Double Strand Barbed Wire
Double strand barbed wire is more common than the single strand variety. They are also quite popular because they can bear more weight than single strand wires. These wires consist of two line wires twisted together and evenly spaced barbs.
They can be used to fence cattle. Since it consists of two strands they are more difficult to tamper with than the single strand variety.
Single Barb Wire
There are different types of barbed wire based on the number of points on each of the barbs along the wire.
A single barb wire consists of a single barb twisted on the strand wire in a way that forms two pointed ends. Because it has two edges or points these are also called two-point barbed wires.
Double Barb Wire
In a double barb wire, each of the barbs along the wire is made by twisting two barb wires together in a way that forms four-pointed ends.
Double barb wires are also known as four-point barbed wires because it has 4 pointed edges on each barb. Since it has more pointed edges, double barb wires offer extra protection and deter trespassers.
Conventional Twist Barbed Wire
These are also known as traditional twist barbed wire types. It consists of two strands twisted together in a single direction. These types of barb wire are the where the balance between cost, effectiveness, and maintenance lies.
The barb wires make up the pointed edges of the wire fence. In a conventional twist barbed wire, these barbs are twisted between the two strands of the main wire.
These traditional twists are commonly used to secure perimeters and create fencing in governmental and restricted areas. Galvanized wires are used to keep corrosion at bay.
Reverse Twist Barbed Wire
The reverse twist barbed wire is made of two-strand wires that are twisted together in the opposite direction. This makes the strands bind together more securely and prevents the strands from separating.
In a conventional twist, the barb wires are twisted between the two strand wires, however, in the reverse twist variant, the barbed wire is twisted on top of the twisted strand wires. This helps to further increase the hold of the twist.
PVC Coated Barbed Wire
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a synthetic plastic polymer that is used as a protective coating. Coating any types of barbed wire fencing with PVC makes them waterproof, resistant to dirt, chemicals, and UV rays.
This increases the durability of the wire. The coating is made on a galvanized or black iron wire. PVC coated barbed wires are commonly used in security fencing, ocean engineering and irrigation machines.
The PVC coating reduces the wear and tear between the strand wires. They are resistant to corrosion as well as fire.
Since they are tougher and last longer than other fence alternatives they are worth the investment. They also come in a variety of colors like green, blue and even yellow.
High Tensile Steel Barbed Wire
High tensile steel is a type of steel that has a higher carbon content. High tensile steel wire usually has a carbon content of 0.28%. Higher carbon content means higher wire strength.
The strength of the steel means that the overall diameter of the wire is thinner than other variants. These barbed wire types will be lighter than other variants making it easier to install.
A high tensile wire is much stronger and capable of bearing heavy loads or collisions. This also means that you only need lesser posts when creating fencing using high tensile steel barbed wire.
If high tensile steel wires are maintained properly they can even last up to 40 years.
Welded Razor Wire
Welded razor wire is a variant of barbed tape or razor wire. The barbed tape consists of a high tensile central strand onto which crimping of punched steel tape is attached.
The barbs on a razor wire, although not razor sharp, are much sharper than your usual barbed wire. They're sharp enough to rip and snag clothing and even flesh.
This property made them a popular choice when constructing fencing for places where people are kept within the boundaries, if you catch my drift.
A welded razor wire fence is created by welding barbed tape into panels that are connected using clips or tie wires. These are very serious types of barbed wire that shouldn't be used for livestock.
These fences are much more dangerous and can cause serious injuries so they are not used to regulate livestock. Some countries and locales even ban the use of razor wire fencing.
They are mainly used in high-security settings because, along with inflicting serious damage, they also act as a visual deterrent.
Stirred Barbed Wire
Stirred barbed wires are a variant of razor wires. They are capable of inflicting serious injuries on trespassers yet highly pliable, therefore they are a popular option when it comes to fencing for security purposes.
Since it is made of stainless steel it is also resistant to corrosion from rusting. This doesn't have to be boring or ugly, either. You can use our fence ideas to come up with more decorative features for your otherwise simple fence.
Concertina wire, also known as Dannert wire, is a variant of the razor wire. A concertina is a musical instrument that can expand and contract like bellows.
These barb wire types come in large coils that can be expanded and contracted, hence the name concertina wire. They are used to form wire obstacles for military training.
Like razor wires, these wires are commonly used in high-security settings as they can cause serious injuries. They are used to deter trespassers and people attempting to exit a facility without permission.
Concertina wire is made from high-grade steel and one of the salient features of this type of wire is that it doesn’t need to be supported with the help of posts. The coils can be expanded and held in place with staples.
Galvanized Barbed Wire
Galvanization is the process of applying a protective coating of zinc to iron or steel. Therefore, galvanized barbed wire is also known as zinc-coated steel wire.
This is one of the most commonly used types of barbed wire. They are popular because they combine low cost and durability. The strand wire as well as the barbs are galvanized to prevent corrosion.
Zinc Aluminum Alloy Coated Steel Wire
This variant is also known as galfan wire. They are a type of galvanized barbed wire. Instead of just zinc, these wires are coated in a zinc and aluminum alloy for added resilience. The alloy can contain 5% or 10% aluminum.
Stainless Steel Wire
Barbed wires can also be made of stainless steel. The steel variant is popular because of its high resilience. Stainless steel is extremely durable and corrosion resistant.
They can withstand rough weather and high temperatures. They are also resistant to corrosion caused by chemicals like brine and sulfur.
Types of Barbed Wire for Every Enclosure
Any of the types of barb wire fencing may not be the most attractive fencing option out there but they are the most effective, durable and adaptable fencing option.
Even after so many years, barbed wire fencing remains the most effective and low-cost option available to enclose and regulate livestock.
With changing technologies and innovations barbed wire also moved on from its humble agricultural origins. Razor wires and concertina wires are widely used for security purposes.
Any of the types of barbed wire fences are extremely affordable and accessible. Therefore, apart from all these high profile uses, barbed wire can also be used as low-budget fencing for your homes and cottages.