Barbed Wire

Barbed wire is both inexpensive and durable, but it’s security value is often overrated. Traditional barbed wire may be cut with small wire cutters, or breached by throwing a carpet or board over the wire. More determined attackers may place a ladder or truck next to the fence and jump over — or may simply drive a truck through the fence. Nevertheless, barbed wire and related products can play a useful role in a complete security strategy.

Improving Barbed Wire

Barbed Tape is a steel tape punched into a barbed shape.  It is more difficult to cut through than regular barbed wire.

Razor Wire is similar to barbed tape, but the tape is roll formed to a strand of high-tensile strength wire for additional strength.

Concertina Wire is barbed wire, barbed tape, or razor wire that has been formed into a large coil. It looks like a big unfriendly Slinky. Concertina wire is excellent for quick deployment because it does not require fence posts. It is also more difficult to breach, because it does not support the weight of a carpet or board laid over top of it — it tends to collapse and dump the breachers onto other portions of the concertina wire. Concertina wire comes in either a single helical design or an improved double helix where two pieces of wire are bound together by clips. The double helix design unfurls into a much nicer and more stable accordion shaped roll.

Electric Barbed Wire is barbed wire which carries an electric current to deter attackers.  Electricity will aid in deterring casual criminals, but determined attackers will carry insulated wire cutters.

Double Fence is where to place two barbed wire fences, with a space of land between them.  This means that the attacked must breach both obstacles to reach you.  This makes it more difficult for the attackers to deploy carpets, boards, or ladders.  It also gives you more time to shoot them while they work.

Stronger Fence Posts help, as does deploying fence posts closer together.  A standard animal-control fence post will bend under a truck, but a decent 4×4 buried deeply enough won’t.

These improvements stack — a double fence of electrified razor wire posted on 4×4’s spaced closely together with concertina wire spread in between the two fences is a truly impressive barrier — though it may not meet your wife’s standards for attractiveness.

Barbed Wire Materials

Barbed wire is usually galvanized to protect against rust. Barbed tape is usually made of stainless steel. Razor wire is sometimes made of stainless steel tape attached to a galvanized wire core. In general, galvanized wire is better than plain wire and stainless steel is the best (and most expensive) of all. Galvanized wire is class rated. Class III is the best class and will last the longest — around twice as long as Class I wire. The wire may also be coated with zinc, aluminum, or PVC.

Barbed wire typically varies from 18 gauge to 12 gauge. The barbs are commonly spaced 3-6 inches apart and contain 2 or 4 points.


Some property owners have been hassled by their governments for using barbed wire or electric wire, due to worries that these could cause injury to burglars and home invaders. Be sure the check local ordinances in your area.

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