With the variety of specialized power tools on the market, it can be difficult to know them all. One of these niche tools is a Fence Post Driver. It is used in installing fences, a Fence Post Driver helps ensure that the posts of the fence are uniformly and securely placed in the ground. Modern Fence Post Drivers come in three main kinds: Manual, Pneumatic, and Gas powered.
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How Does a Fence Post Driver Work?
A Fence Post Driver applies an even downward force over the entire top of the post. You can think of it as a powered sledgehammer.
Why use a Fence Post Driver?
Like most power tools, this job used to be done by hand. When doing it by hand, you need to smack the fence post with a sledgehammer, much like driving tent stakes into the ground. However, the modern power tool version is much better because it is tricky to get such a large post straight when hammering it.
If the post is not straight, it might fall over or lean to the side over time. This is a non-existent issue when using a Fence Post Driver. Additionally, it requires much less strength to drive in the post when using a Fence Post Driver.
Types of Fence Post Drivers:
There are many types of Fence Post Drivers with various advantages and disadvantages. I have grouped the most popular into three categories based on their usage.
The design of Manual Fence Post Drivers leverages human power with mechanical advantage, so it is much easier than using a sledgehammer. Because it is human powered, there is no fuel or cords to worry about, and tend to be smaller. Manual Fence Post Drivers are the most cost and space effective, though they require more manual labour than other types of Fence Post Drivers.
Pneumatic or Hydraulic
These types of Fence Post Drivers are powered by compressed water or air. They are usually used for industrial projects due to their unwieldiness and prohibitive cost. However, they are more environmentally friendly than Gas-powered models and easier to use than manual models.
Gas-Powered or Electric
Gas and Electric Fence Post Drivers are like Pneumatic and Hydraulic models because they require very little human labor to use. They are favored by those who do not want or are unable to use a manual model. They are moderately expensive, and not as small as a manual, but still well suited to private projects.
Choosing the Best Fence Post Driver
Considering the advantages and disadvantages of the common types of Fence Post Drivers, you might be wondering what the best choice for your project is. This will vary, but here are some of my favorite models.
JACKCHEN 1900W Gas Powered T Post Driver
This model is compact for a gas-powered Fence Post Driver, coming in at 8×28 inches. Due to being Gas powered, its easy to use and has no cords. It is about fifty pounds; however, this is very typical for this kind of tool.
If you are interested in a gas powered fence post driver you should read my article 10 Best Gas Powered Post Drivers here.
The MTB Fence Post Driver is your basic manual Fence Post Driver. The base model weighs 12 lbs. which is sufficient to drive in most residential fence posts. It can also be purchased in 18 lbs. and 34 lbs., but this seems excessive for most projects.
How to Use a Fence Post Driver:
Using a Fence Post Driver is very straight forward. Your model will have specific instructions, but here is the general idea for manual and powered varieties.
When using a manual model, the steps are quite simple.
- Place your fence post sharp side down where you want it.
- Position the Fence Post Driver over the post, making sure it is squarely on it and straight.
- Rest the Fence Post Driver on the post and use the handles to pull downward. If necessary, you can use your bodyweight.
- Once the post has reached the desired depth, remove the Fence Post Driver, and move onto the next post.
Powered Fence Post Drivers are a little more complicated and have more variation. If possible, keep the manual on hand and refer to it before starting a project.
1. Get your power tool ready by putting in gas, hooking up any cables, and changing any batteries.
2. Check the machine for faults to ensure it is in good working order.
3. Place the fence post in the desired location.
4. Hover the Fence Post Driver over the fence post until you are satisfied with the angle and position.
5. Rest the tool on the post.
6. Use the lever, button, or switch to activate the Fence Post Driver. Turn off again when desired depth is reached.
7. Repeat, as necessary. Remember to use caution when handling a power tool to prevent injury!
With all the different Fence Post Drivers on the market, there is no reason to resort to the backbreaking, old fashioned sledgehammer method. Most models are very straightforward to use – especially Manual ones. Simply choose the right one for your project and follow a handful of simple steps.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.