I’ve seen various barbed wire dispensers being used and have wondered what design works best. I started making a dispenser for our roundhouse workshop, but gave up when things weren’t quite working out. It seems easier to move the roll of barbed wire by hand to where it’s needed instead of using a dispenser. Also, this makes it easy to remove the twist, straightening a little at a time as you go, so the wire stays in place against the earthbags.

Barbed Wire Dispenser

Barbed Wire Dispenser

Uncoiling Barbed Wire by Hand

Uncoiling Barbed Wire by Hand

What do you think? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Safety warning: Working with barbed wire can be dangerous. Use thick leather gloves and stay alert. Be aware that barbed wire can spring loose and cause injury.

Photo credit: Patti Stouter


Dispensers Versus Uncoiling Barbed Wire by Hand — 5 Comments

  1. It is much more practical for me to handle the barbwire on top of each row.. it clings itself to the polypropylene and uncoils fast as you walk unrolling it over the rows. Yes, you do need gloves and is easy to just take a sharp curve when at any box forms and return for a second strand.

    Thanks for keeping up the blog and all the info.


  2. We built a dispenser similar to your own and quickly gave up on it. It was way more work than it was worth. We’re fortunate though in that the prairie is a great place to scavenge old barbed wire. The farmers just dispose of it in the ditches. The old barbed wire is much easier to work with having already been uncoiled. I do think that “barbed wire wrangling” should be a sport though, with the amount of skill involved to avoid injury. I think by the end of our project I may just be able to take the title… ;)

  3. I like to use a dispenser similar to the one pictured, and then reel off a pre-measured length to cut. Before placing it on the wall I like to straighten the wire so that it doesn’t want to recoil.

  4. I prefer un-rolling barbed wire by hand over a dispenser for any reason whether is if for a fence or putting up an earthbag shed.

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