Invented in 1867 and originally used to keep livestock from roaming around from field to field, barbed wire has provided an inexpensive method to control the movement of cattle and has revolutionised the way we section off areas in today’s modernised society. Sometimes referred to as ‘razor wire’ and commonly nicknamed ‘the devil’s rope’, barbed wire is a type of steel wire constructed with sharp edges arranged at intervals along the strands. Nowadays, it is used to determine property lines, containment, protection and acts as a deterrent in areas such as:

  • Prisons
  • Explosive factories
  • Airfields/airports
  • High-voltage equipment     
  • Industrial plants where dangerous machinery is present 
  • Military areas
  • Construction sites
  • Zoos
  • Farms 

Now that we know a little more about barbed wire, have you ever thought about what clothing you should wear when you are tasked to install some? If so, you have certainly come to the right place. Below we have listed the recommended apparel you should wear so that you can operate in full confidence when you are dealing with barbed wire. 

Protective Gloves/Gauntlets

If you are planning on installing a barbed wire fence for example, then a solid pair of 

barbed wire gloves are simply a must. Obviously, when handling razor wire, there are many sharp edges that can quite easily catch and slash your skin, leading to incredibly painful and sometimes even fatal injuries. As such, the pair of gloves you need have to be cut resistant, hard wearing, and durable to withstand the scruffs and scratches that can occur when dealing wiring. Even greater emphasis should be placed on puncture resistance which is the most likely method of injury to a person handling razor wire. Because installers often have to reach inside the razor wire coils when fitting or removing razor wire, the wrist, inner arm and armpit are often exposed. Because of this, it is important that these areas are protected from the sharp barbs encountered with razor wiring. This is where gauntlet gloves and sleeve gloves excel and can provide users protection all the way up to their forearm.  

Additionally, snagging of clothing can create problems particularly when installing the wiring in difficult and hard to access areas, so a snag resistant material is also highly recommended. 

Body Protector 

A body protector is an absolute must when dealing with barbed wiring. This is because users are likely to be situated inside the coiling of the wire and therefore, will be exposing all parts of their body to sharp objects. As such, a body protector is essential. It must, however, offer lightweight and comfortability properties while also not compromising any puncture or cut resistance. If you imagine a body protector that is slightly too heavy for an individual to wear and  carry, then if they are situated inside the coil of barbed wire and fall, it could lead to incredibly fatal injuries – something which is clearly undesired. 

Further properties of the body protector should come with an extra wide chest area (for even further protection) and special features such as quick release neck strap, waist belt and tool holder.

Leg Protector 

Along with body protectors, leg protectors are highly advised. Again, because razor wire installers are likely to be encapsulated within the coiling on barbed wire, there is every possibility that their limbs could catch a sharp object. As such, a lightweight and comfortable set of leg protectors is recommended without compromising any puncture or cut resistant properties. 

Barbed Wire Clothing

Reinforced Face Visor

A face visor is an absolute must when installing barbed wiring. Like with any task that involves sharp and pointed objects, keeping your face and head protected at all times will prevent any serious long term damage such as blindness or slashing across one’s face. The beauty about reinforced face visors is that they cushion anything that suddenly comes into contact with the user’s head by providing a layer of soft cushion inside and a strong, reinforced shell like material on the outside.

The neck is an area that also needs to be protected when installing razor wire too. The possibility of a coil springing back needs to be considered and we strongly recommend a full length face visor that extends past the neck so that it will deflect the razor wire from the face and neck area. As a side note,  a simple set of safety goggles is not sufficient enough protection when dealing with this type of job. 

Final Point 

While we have discussed the most suitable clothing you should wear when working with barbed wiring, it is ultimately down to you to make sure you are fully aware of the dangers and possible accidents that can occur. If you are an individual looking to install razor wire for private use, then we highly recommend that you purchase the previously started PPE to protect yourself. Alternatively, you can always leave it to the professional and contact an established barned wirie business to install the wiring for you.