How to Remove a Chain Link Fence on Your Own

Don't let that old chain link fence hold back the potential of your outdoor space any longer. Take control today with our How to Remove a Chain Link Fence guide.
Veda Yalamanchili
Veda Yalamanchili
Last Update:
October 2, 2023

Are you looking to give your yard a fresh makeover? Perhaps you've decided to replace your old chain link fence with something more stylish and modern. While hiring professionals might seem like the safest bet, what if we told you that removing a chain link fence on your own can be possible with the right know-how? In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the entire process, from gathering the necessary tools to disassembling each section of the fence. Get ready to unleash your inner DIY enthusiast as we empower you to transform your outdoor space!

Preparing for Fence Removal

Sooner or later, many homeowners eventually find themselves in the position of needing to repair or remove their chain link fence. Perhaps it's old and falling apart, or maybe you simply want to upgrade to a new fence style. But before saying goodbye to your old fence, it's essential to take the time to prepare properly to avoid accidents and injuries. Here are some important key steps to ensure a safe and efficient preparation procedure to remove a chain link fence.

Clear the Area

Firstly, before you begin removing your fence, be sure to clear the surrounding area of any obstacles such as rocks, branches, or other debris. Having a clean workspace not only makes the task easier but also minimizes the risk of accidents or injuries. You should also clear any plants or shrubs that are growing near the fence. You can quickly gather these items into a wheelbarrow or pile them up for easy disposal once you're finished. Make sure you keep a clear path to move the dismantled parts and tools in and out without any hindrance.

Take Safety Precautions with Clothing and Eyewear

Safety should always be a top priority during any DIY project. When removing a fence, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect your skin from scratches or splinters. Put on sturdy gloves to protect your hands from splinters, sharp edges, and any other potential injuries that might happen due to contact with insects or debris. In addition, don't forget about eye protection - flying debris can cause serious eye injuries. Invest in a pair of sturdy goggles that fit securely around your head. If you're using power tools, don’t forget the importance of wearing a hard hat.

Ask for Help

Never hesitate to ask for help when it comes to removing your fence. Fence fabric and metal posts along with some fencing materials can be heavy and awkward to handle on your own. Enlist the assistance of friends or family members who can lend an extra set of hands during this process. Having an extra pair of hands not only makes the task easier but also enhances safety. Collaborating with others can also speed up the process and reduce the risk of strain or overexertion.

What You’ll Need

Safety gear:



Chain Link Fence Removal

Once the area around the chain link fence has been thoroughly cleared and prepared, the next phase involves a series of essential steps to complete the removal process. By methodically following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and efficient dismantling of the chain link fence, making way for any future modifications or installations in the cleared space.

Step 1. Remove Clamps

In the initial stage of dismantling a chain link fence, the focus is on removing the clamps that secure the chain link fabric to the posts and top rail. These clamps are usually located at the top and bottom of each section of fencing. This step requires the use of adjustable wrenches or fence pliers to carefully release the clamping pressure. Begin by loosening the nuts on the clamps, turning them counterclockwise. Once the nuts are sufficiently loosened, slide the clamps off the chain link fabric, allowing it to detach from the posts and top rail. Take care to maintain control over the chain link fabric as you proceed. These loosened clamps can be set aside for potential reuse or replacement. Once all the clamps have been removed, carefully lift off the sections of fencing fabric and set them aside.

Step 2. Cut Fence Ties

After removing the sections of fencing, you'll need to cut the fence ties that hold them in place on the posts. These fence ties are small metal wire pieces that fasten the fabric to the posts, top rail, and tension wire, through holes in the fabric to secure it in place. To remove these ties, use wire cutters or bolt cutters. Carefully identify and snip the fence ties along the chain link fabric. Begin systematically to release the fence fabric from its attachments, maintaining controlled tension to prevent any sudden movements. Progress along the fence, diligently cutting ties at regular intervals until the fabric is entirely free. As you work, gather the cut fence ties, setting them aside for disposal.

Step 3. Remove the Top Rail and Post Caps

Once you have removed the clamps and ties from your chain link fence, it's time to move on to the next step in the removal process. Start by inspecting each post cap, usually located at the top of each fence post. Use a screwdriver or a pry bar to remove them carefully, as they may be attached tightly. Begin by gently dislodging and unscrewing the post caps, possibly using a rubber mallet for stubborn ones. Once you've successfully removed all the post caps, move on to removing the top rails. These are horizontal bars that run across the tops of your fence posts, helping provide stability and structure to your chain link fence. To remove them, simply lift each rail out from between the posts. If any rails are stuck or don't come off quickly, use a rubber mallet or apply some penetrating oil to loosen them up before trying again.

Step 4. Remove Fence Posts

This is most likely your last step in chain link fence removal and is crucial in ensuring a clean removal of your chain link fence and preparing for any future fencing projects. Fence posts are vertically positioned along the fence line and are usually installed in different ways. Depending on how they were installed, some posts may be driven into the ground with concrete, while others may be held in place with gravel or dirt. Follow the following steps once you gather essential tools including a shovel, post hole digger (if applicable), jackhammer, and crowbar.

Dig Out the Posts

If the metal posts are in concrete, start by loosening the soil around the post by digging and creating a trench. insert the shovel or post-hole digger beneath the post and gently lift it to loosen it from the compacted earth. Employ a rhythmic rocking and pulling motion, alternating between levering and rocking, gradually freeing the post. Pre-soaking the area with water and enlisting a partner for assistance are just a few handy tricks to make the process smoother

Remove the Posts Using a Post Puller

When removing chain link fence posts, employing a post puller can significantly expedite the process. To ensure successful removal, it's important to have a solid foundation and firm footing when using the pole puller. Adjust the position of your feet accordingly to maximize stability and leverage. Next, use your body weight to gradually apply pressure on the lever of the pole puller until you feel resistance against the ground. Slowly increase this pressure until you notice movement in the post.

Cut the Post

When the above two methods fail, cutting the posts becomes a practical recourse when tackling the removal of a chain link fence. A reciprocating saw with a metal-cutting blade or an angle grinder is ideal for cutting through the steel posts, as they allow for quick and precise cuts. Before starting, it's also helpful to mark each post that needs to be cut, as this will ensure an even removal process. Additionally, spraying some lubricant onto the blades of your tool can help reduce friction and make the cutting process smoother. If you encounter rusted or stubborn posts, applying penetrating oil beforehand can help loosen them up.

How to Dispose of Chain Link Fence

When it comes time to dispose of a chain link fence, there are a few options to consider. Chain link fences are typically made from steel, which is highly recyclable. Start by dismantling the fence according to the removal steps outlined above. As you take apart the fence, separate all the fence components into distinct piles. This organization will not only prevent these materials from ending up in landfills, but it also allows for their reuse in new products.

When it comes to recycling, focus on the metal components of the fence, such as posts, top rails, and fittings. These materials are often accepted at local recycling centers or scrap yards. Reach out to these facilities to inquire about their metal recycling services, including any specific preparation or sorting requirements. Some recycling centers might even offer pick-up services for larger metal items, streamlining the disposal process.

Another option for disposing of a chain link fence is repurposing it. If your fence is still in good condition and you no longer need it around your property, consider finding someone who could use it instead. Websites like Freecycle or Craigslist often have people looking for free or low-cost fencing materials. This not only keeps the fence out of the waste stream but also provides an opportunity for someone else to benefit from its functionality.

For materials that can't be recycled or repurposed, adhere to your area's waste disposal guidelines. Contact your local waste management company as they will likely have specific guidelines for disposing of large metal items like fences and can provide information on whether they accept these types of materials at their facilities.

Advanced Tips

Here are some additional tips and things for you to consider before starting a chain link fence removal project

If your chain link fence doesn't need a complete overhaul, you may consider simple steps to decorate it or to fill a gap in the mesh.


How hard is it to remove a chain link fence?

Removing a chain link fence is not particularly difficult, but it is some work and takes some elbow grease. The difficulty of the job will depend on a few factors, including the length of the fence, the condition of the fence, and the type of soil the fence is in. The easiest part of removing a chain link fence is removing the chain link fabric itself. This can be done by cutting the fence with a wire cutter or a pair of bolt cutters. Once the chain link is removed, you will need to remove the fence posts. The fence posts are usually embedded in concrete, so they can be difficult to remove. But following the removal methods mentioned above, you can do it effortlessly.

What's the easiest way to cut a chain link fence?

The easiest way to cut a chain link fence is by using a pair of heavy-duty wire cutters. These cutters are designed to slice through the metal wires of the chain link fabric with relative ease. Simply locate the wire you want to cut, place the jaws of the wire cutters around it, and squeeze the handles together to cut through the wire. Make sure to wear gloves and safety goggles while cutting to protect your hands and eyes from sharp wire ends. Wire cutters provide a straightforward and efficient method for cutting a chain link fence, especially if you're dealing with a few wires or a small section of the fence.

Can chain link fences be reused?

While chain link fences are typically seen as a permanent fixture, they have the potential for reuse in various ways. Instead of discarding them after their initial use, consider repurposing them to minimize waste and maximize resourcefulness. One option is to dismantle the fence panels and rearrange them to create a new enclosure. This could be useful for creating separate sections within a larger space, such as a garden or backyard. With some creativity and DIY skills, you can transform an old chain link fence into a unique and functional addition to your outdoor area. Additionally, you can utilize the individual components in other projects.

Want Your Fence Installed by a Pro?
Let us take care of your fence installation project with no hassle and zero hidden fees. Start with a free quote in just a few clicks: it’s easy and takes just a few minutes
Get a Free Quote