Chain link vs. Wire fence: Which is Right for Me?

Ever wonder if there is a difference between a chain link and wire fence? There is and one is actually better than the other!

Both chain link and wire fences serve well for security purposes, but wire fences are the better option because they are more secure, stable, cost-effective, and low maintenance. However, chain link is still a popular and useful option.

If you are wondering if there is a difference between the two fences, there is! Keep reading to find out why one fence is better than the other.

Chain Link and Wire Fences: What are the Differences?

Chain link and wire fences are typically used for security purposes in schools, government, commercial and residential locations. But, they are built differently and have a different style to them.

While they are similar, each has its pros and cons as well.

Chain Link Fences

Chain link fences, also known as wire-mesh, chain wire, or diamond-mesh, are made out of steel wire. The wires are knitted together to create diamond shapes to keep things and people out while still having the ability to see through the fence.

The fencing typically comes in 20 ft and 50 ft rolls but the height can come in a variety of sizes. Any size you would ever need is possible.

Commonly used on tennis courts, chain link fences can be customized to any size, even the gauges.

In the video below, you will see how a machine twists together the steel wire to make the chain link fence.

Wire Fences

Wire fences, on the other hand, are welded together to create a mesh pattern that is about 1/2″ and 4″ apart. This fence is made of steel wires to make a strong mesh pattern that is almost impossible to breakthrough.

Used mainly in places of hire security, wire fences offer visibility and strength at the same time.

The video below shows how machines take the steel wire and weld the wires together to create wire fences.

So, you can see the difference between wire and chain links fences is in appearance and also the way they are made.


Chain link and wire fences are so similar in looks and purpose that they can easily be confused. Here are some of the reasons they are similar:

  • The look of the fence
  • Material used
  • Why the fence is needed
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Strength and longevity
  • Can be made to any sizing you need


Both fences are see-through, which can be ideal if you are wanting to be able to see through the fence or if you want sunlight to reach your property.

Made of the same materials, chain link and wire fences have similar looks. They are not similar enough if you are wanting to match your neighbors, but they do look fairly similar.

Steel Wire

Chain link and wire fences are made of the same material but are made differently.

If you are wanting a steel wire fence, both fencing materials are options for your fence.


Since both fences look so similar, they can be used for similar purposes.

If you are looking for a form of security while also having a see-through fence, wire and chain link fences are your options.


For both fences, the installation is fairly easy.

All you need to do is place posts (wooden or metal) around what you are wanting fenced in and secure the fencing material to the post. There is not much of a difference between the two fences installation.


When choosing a fence, it is important to think about how long you will need your fence to last.

Both wire and chain link fences have a long lifespan (about 20-40 years) but can last longer if taken care of properly.


Fencing materials are sold in different sizes, but both chain link and wire fencing can be made to any size you need.

Chain link and wire fences can be built to a significant size, protecting whatever you are needing to protect.

Being able to customize your fence to your needs is something both chain link and wire fences offer.

Going off of this idea of matching your neighbors, maybe you would choose to get a chain link fence installed because your neighbors have one.

It is usually more aesthetically pleasing to match their neighbor’s fencing and could make your neighbors happier as well.

Questions to Ask Before Choosing Your Fencing Material

Now that you know the difference between the two fences, it is important to decide which material is better suited for your fence. Here are some questions you should ask before choosing your fencing material:

1. What is the purpose of the fence?

It is important to note why you are wanting a fence in the first place. If you are needing more security, wire fencing might be your better option.

If you do not have much need besides fencing an area off, either fence would do.

It all depends on what your specific needs are.

2. Where are you putting the fence?

If you are in a neighborhood, you may need to check with the HOA to see which fencing material is allowed.

You may also want to match your neighbors, so you you should think about your fencing materials.

Why Wire Fences are Usually Better

When looking for a new fence, there are many reasons to choose a wire fence. These reasons include:

  • Security
  • Low maintenance
  • Cost-effective
  • Complex

All together these reasons make wire fences rather undeniably the better choice. Let’s take a deeper look.


Wire fences are more secure because of the way they are made. When a fence is welded together, it creates a strong force that is hard to break apart or through.

Zoos often use wire fences to enclose their larger wildlife such as elephants because these fences are so strong.

Wire fences come in different thicknesses, so you can choose whatever size you need to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Low Maintence

Since wire fences are made of weather-resistant materials, they can last a long time without getting replaced.

If part of the fence does get damaged, the section can easily be repaired, unlike chain link fences, which when damaged, need to have a lot of the fence replaced.


Wire is the cheapest material for fences at the low cost of $1-$7 per foot of fencing materials. Other fences can get up to $35 per foot of fencing materials.

Chain link fencing is cheap, but not as cheap as wire fencing.


Complexity is a good quality when it comes to a fence because it means the fence is difficult to break.

Wire fences are woven and welded together so it is almost impossible to break. The fence does not have much give to it, so it is rigid and will not unravel when it is cut.

Why People Use Chain Link Fences Anyway

Wire fences are the better option, but people are still choosing chain link fences! Why is that?

  • Keeping up with traditions
  • Choosing the same fencing material you already have
  • Getting whatever is most readily available


One reason people continue to choose chain linked fencing over wire fencing is because of tradition.

If their neighborhood has always done chain link fencing and everyone has matching fencing, it makes sense to keep the chain-link fence.

Years of doing something the same way makes it easy to continue with the same tradition of fencing.


If you already have a chain link fence, it is easy to stick with the same thing.

Instead of completely replacing the entire fence, you could stick with the same fencing material you already have.

Choosing the same fencing material also makes sense if you are busy and do not have time to research new fencing materials. It is easiest to stick with what you know.

Readily Available

If chain link fencing is already available at the local fencing shop, it makes sense to choose this material, especially if you need a fence as soon as possible.

Depending on where you live, chain link may be more accessible than wire fencing, so choosing that material is easier.

Comparing Fence Types

While both fencing materials are quite similar, there are still differences that make pros and cons.

To help you with your decision making, we have compiled a simple pros and cons list to help you make the right choices for yourself.

WireChain Link
-Easier to repair
-Can be different colors
-Cheaper than most fencing materials
-Doesn’t block sound
-Not completely weather-resistant
-No color customization
-Doesn’t block sound

Cost Comparison

If you still are still on the fence on which fencing material you should use, take a look at the cost comparison.

Wire fencing is only $1-7 per foot of fencing. Chain link on the other hand can be around $5-$20 per foot of fencing. It is easy to see that it is much cheaper to put in wire fencing, especially since it is stronger than chain link fencing.

Cost Per Foot
Chain Link$5 – $20
Wire Fencing$1 – $7

We hope that this information helps you pick which fence is best for you and your property.

Fence Frenzy

We at Fence Frenzy absolutely love taking on the challenge of building, or even restoring, a fence. Especially elaborate and exotic fence designs that really make us scratch our heads! We're happy to share everything we've learned with you.

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