Chain link fence parts are the components used to connect the posts, rails and wire mesh together. They are also referred to as “fittings” or “hardware”.
There are many types of chain link fittings. Furthermore, most fittings are manufactured using different materials in order to add to or reduce strength. This is referred to as the “grade” of chain link fence parts.
If that wasn’t confusing enough, each part is offered with coating options. Galvanized is the most common and gives the hardware a silver color.
What are the Parts of a Chain Link Fence Called?
No matter the height or grade of the fence, the parts are almost always the same. The framework is made from posts and rails. The wire mesh, also called “fabric” is then attached to the framework.
In this article, we will focus on all of the chain link fence parts that connect the post and rails together as well as the ones that attach the fabric to the framework.
Not every fence will contain every part from the following list. However, there are some parts that every fence will include. Those are, post caps, loop caps, rail ends, tension bars, tension bands, brace bands, fence ties and of course nuts and bolts.
Let’s take a closer look at the most popular fence parts and what they are used for.
Chain Link Fence Post Caps
Post caps install on top of the end and corner posts. They help to finish off the top of the post, covering any sharp edges of the pipe and at the same time prevent water from snow or rain from getting inside.
Dome caps, are post caps that have a rounded top, much like a half of a circle. Acorn post caps are slightly taller and come to a point, almost like an upside-down acorn. Both styles are popular and many times comes down to the preference.
Chain Link Fence Brace Bands
Brace bands are round clamps made from thin steel. They are designed to wrap around the post and secure tightly with a carriage bolt.
Brace bands are used to attach other chain link fence parts together. Such as rail ends, tension wire and truss rod tighteners.
Tension Bands for Chain Link Fences
Tension bands are similar to brace bands, however, the two tabs that stick out from the posts are slightly longer.
Used to hold the tension bar in place, the longer tabs of tension bands are required to provide room for the tension bar to fit between terminal posts and the carriage bolts.
Chain Link Fence Rail Ends
A rail end is a cup installs onto the end of the top rail. A brace band connects the rail end to terminal posts. Rail ends are specific to the size of the rail.
Different grades are available. Some commercial rail ends have holes manufactured into them allowing for a truss rod installation.
A tension bar is a flat piece of steel that weaves into the end of the fabric. Its job is to evenly provide tension to the wire mesh.
Tension bands wrapped around the tension bar secure it to the terminal post.
Fence Bolts for Chain Link Fencing
The most common fence bolt for chain link fences is a 5/16″ x 1-1/4″ carriage bolt and nut. Used for tightening tension bands and brace bands.
Other sizes are available in both length and diameter depending on the fitting it is used for.
Tension Wire for Chain Link Fence
Tension wire is a thin wire that gets stretched tightly from one terminal post to the next. This provides extra strength and rigidity to the wire fabric.
Sometimes a top tension wire is installed instead of top rail. However, it is mostly found at the bottom of the fabric. Often times referred to as bottom wire.
Tension wire gets attached to fabric with a special circular ring called a hog ring.
Hog rings are special wire type fasteners that come in the shape of a “C”. When clamped closed using hog ring pliers, the ends of the “C” overlap each other locking the ring into place.
Hog rings are uses to attach tension wire to chain link wire mesh. Aluminum and steel options are available.
Chain Link Fence Loop Caps
A loop cap is a special cap with a hoop design. They install onto line posts. Often referred to as an “eye top”. The job of the loop cap is to hold the top rail in place.
Barbed Wire Arms
A barb arm is a type of loop cap with an extended arm. The arm has grooves manufactured into it to hold strands of barbed wire.
Used for security fences, barb arms come in 3 strand configurations pointing inward or outward at a 45 degree angle.
Other variations are vertical barb arms and 6 strand “V” barbed wire arms.
Line Rail Clamps
Line rail clamps are special clamps used for installing middle rails and bottom rails. The clamps look like a plus sign.
The vertical part of a line rail clamp bolts to the line post. The horizontal part of the clamp receives the rails.
Line rail clamps are also referred to as boulevard clamps.
Chain Link Fence Truss Rods
A truss rod is a skinny metal rod with a threaded end on one side. Used to provide extra bracing on commercial chain link fences.
A truss rod gets installed either at the top or middle of a line post depending on the height of the horizontal bracing. Then runs diagonally down to the terminal post.
Truss rods provide extra strength and support to the framework required for commercial fencing.
Truss Rod Tighteners
A truss rod tightener attaches to the bottom of a terminal post using a brace band and carriage bolt. The threaded end of the truss rod installs into the tightener.
Tightening a nut against the truss rod tightener provides the tension to the bracing. As a result, helping support the weight of the stretch of the fabric.
Fence ties are small lengths of wire used to fasten fabric to line posts and top rails. Most are made from aluminum. However, steel ties are an option when security is a factor.
Fence ties come with one end pre bent in to a hook or pig tail from the manufacture allowing the tie to fasten to the wire mesh. The other end is wrapped around the pipe and tied back to the wire mesh using pliers.
Chain Link Top Rail Sleeve
A top rail sleeve is fitting designed to connect two pieces of top rail that do not have swedged ends. Normally used for commercial fencing projects with heavier grade top rail.
Gate Hardware and Parts
There are just as many chain link hinge and gate latch combinations as there is chain link fence parts. As a result, I have written separate articles for each component of the gate hardware.
Click HERE for more information on gate hinges.
Click HERE for more information on gate latches.