Most useful farm tool No.1 is a pair of Fencing Pliers. These little beauties cost me about $13 and represent the best value for money of any of my tools. In one device it is a wire cutter, a staple puller, a hammer and a great source of leverage on any object unlucky enough to be in it’s grasp or impaled on it’s horn.
While most multi-function tools tend to be a jack of all trades and master of none, the fencing pliers hardly compromise at all. They will cut high tensile fencing wire (including our famous New Zealand#8 wire) that would simply blunt most plier-design wire cutters. When it comes to removing staples, they don’t only excel at pulling staples that are proud of the post. The flat hammering face can be hit with another hammer to drive the horn into a staple that has been driven too far into the wood. Once you have hooked the staple, levering it out is pretty simple. Try that with a hammer or nipper-design staple puller. The jaws can also be locked over the head of a nail for the same leverage effect. As a hammer, they work pretty well and have a nice weight balance. The only negative is the smaller striking surface, but you can’t have everything!
My pair is about 5 years old and despite a few signs of wear and tear, they still function perfectly well. They rate #1 in my farm tool arsenal. When you factor in the relatively low cost, they are an absolute essential in any tool kit.