How to Remove a Wood Fence Post

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclaimer here.

Is that stubborn wood fence post causing you headaches every time you walk past it? We understand the frustration of dealing with a post that refuses to budge. But fear not, because we’re here to help you overcome this common homeowner’s dilemma. In this blog post, we will unveil the secrets to successfully removing a wood fence post, once and for all.

Say goodbye to the days of struggling with rusty nails, wobbly posts, and endless frustration. Whether you’re replacing a damaged post or reconfiguring your fence layout, we’ve got expert tips, tricks, and techniques to make the process a breeze. Get ready to regain control of your outdoor space and bid farewell to that stubborn wood fence post that’s been testing your patience!

Key Takeaways

  • Assess the post and prepare the right tools: Before removing a wood fence post, thoroughly inspect its condition and ensure you have the necessary tools, such as a shovel, pry bar, and hammer.
  • Apply leverage and controlled force: Use a pry bar or fence post puller to gradually lift the post out of the ground, applying upward force. If needed, wiggle and rock the post while maintaining pressure.
  • Explore different removal methods: Depending on the circumstances, consider digging around the post, using a jack for additional leverage, employing a chain and vehicle, or using specialized post-puller tools.

How To Remove A Wood Fence Post?

  • Assess the post and surrounding area:

Before you begin, inspect the post and its condition. Look for any signs of rot, damage, or deterioration that may affect the removal process. Clear the area around the post, removing any plants, debris, or obstacles that could hinder your work.

  • Gather the necessary tools and materials:

To effectively remove a wood fence post, you’ll need a few essential tools and materials. Prepare a pair of sturdy work gloves, a shovel or post-hole digger, a pry bar or fence post puller, a hammer, and a piece of scrap wood or wooden block.

  • Loosen the post:

Start by loosening the post from the ground. If the post is secured with concrete, use the shovel or post-hole digger to dig around the base of the post, exposing the concrete footing. Dig deep enough to reach below the frost line if applicable. For posts set in soil, dig around the post to loosen the dirt.

  • Apply leverage:

Once the post is exposed, use the pry bar or fence post puller to apply leverage and gradually lift the post out of the ground. Position the pry bar or puller against the side of the post and the wooden block or scrap wood against the ground for support. Apply controlled force to lift the post vertically.

  • Wiggle and rock the post:

If the post is stubborn and doesn’t come out easily, try wiggling and rocking it back and forth while continuing to apply upward force with the pry bar or puller. This motion can help loosen the post from the surrounding soil or concrete.

  • Break the post free:

If the post still won’t budge, you may need to break it free from its footing. Use a hammer to strike the wooden block or scrap wood placed against the ground, applying force directly to the post. This impact can help break the post loose from the soil or concrete.

  • Remove the post:

Once the post is free from the ground, carefully lift it out of the hole. If the post is too heavy or unwieldy, enlist the help of a friend or use a dolly to transport it to a designated area for disposal or recycling.

  • Fill the hole:

With the post removed, fill the hole left in the ground. If the post was set in concrete, remove any remaining concrete pieces or chunks. Fill the hole with soil and compact it firmly to ensure stability.

  • Repeat the process if necessary:

If you have multiple fence posts to remove, repeat the steps above for each one. Take breaks as needed and maintain caution throughout the process to avoid injury.

What Is the Best Way To Remove Fence Posts?

There are several methods available for removing fence posts, and the best one to use depends on the specific circumstances. Here are a few commonly used methods:

  1. Digging Method: This involves using a shovel or post-hole digger to excavate the soil around the post and remove it manually. It is suitable for posts set in soil or gravel and works best when the post is not deeply buried.
  2. Jacking Method: In this method, a hydraulic or mechanical jack is used to lift the post out of the ground. It provides leverage and makes it easier to remove stubborn or deeply set posts.
  3. Chain and Vehicle Method: This method involves attaching a chain or strap to the post and using a vehicle, such as a truck or tractor, to pull the post out of the ground. It is effective for removing sturdy posts but requires caution to prevent damage to the fence or surrounding structures.
  4. Post Puller Tool: Post puller tools, such as fence post pullers or extractors, are specifically designed to remove posts. These tools use leverage and gripping mechanisms to pull the post straight out of the ground. They are efficient and minimize physical strain.
  5. Cutting Method: If the post cannot be removed by pulling or lifting, cutting it off at ground level may be necessary. This involves using a reciprocating saw, hacksaw, or other cutting tools to sever the post, allowing for easy removal of the remaining portion.

Each method has its advantages and limitations, and the most suitable approach will depend on factors like the post’s condition, the type of footing, and the available tools and equipment. It’s important to choose the method that aligns with your specific needs and ensures safe and efficient removal of the fence post.

What Tools Do I Need To Remove Wooden Fence Posts?

Best Post Hole Digger

Best Reciprocating Saw

When it comes to removing wooden fence posts, having the right tools can make the job much easier and more efficient. Here are the basic tools you’ll need:

  1. Shovel: A sturdy shovel is essential for digging around the base of the post and loosening the soil. Choose a shovel with a sharp blade and a comfortable handle for better leverage.
  2. Post-Hole Digger: If the post is set in a hole, a post-hole digger can be useful for digging around the post and removing excess soil. It consists of two long handles and scooping blades designed to dig deep holes.
  3. Pry Bar or Crowbar: A pry bar or crowbar is handy for prying the most out of the ground once it has been loosened. It provides leverage and helps lift the post out of its footing.
  4. Hammer: A hammer is a versatile tool that can be used for various tasks during the post-removal process. It can help drive in wedges, loosen nails or fasteners, or provide additional force when using a pry bar.
  5. Post Puller or Extractor (Optional): A post puller or extractor is a specialized tool designed specifically for removing posts. It typically consists of a gripping mechanism that grabs onto the post, allowing you to pull it out with minimal effort.
  6. Reciprocating Saw or Hacksaw (Optional): If all else fails and the post cannot be removed by pulling or lifting, a reciprocating saw or hacksaw can be used to cut the post off at ground level. This will make it easier to remove the remaining portion of the post.

Get Matched with Local Fence Professionals

Answer a few questions and we’ll put you in touch with pros near you.


In conclusion, removing a stubborn wooden fence post may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach and tools, it can be accomplished efficiently. By assessing the post, gathering the necessary tools, and employing techniques such as applying leverage, wiggling and rocking, or breaking the post free, you can successfully remove the post from the ground. Various methods, including the digging method, jacking method, chain and vehicle method, post-puller tool, or cutting method, offer different advantages depending on the circumstances. Remember to prioritize safety throughout the process and take breaks as needed.

At FenceAdvise, we pride ourselves on being the most reliable and trustworthy source of fencing information. Our articles are based on only the highest quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to ensure that our readers always have access to accurate information. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines, About Us.

Similar Posts