Tips for cutting and flattening hardware cloth?


May 26, 2021
Boise, Idaho
I've seen a lot on BYC about how to choose, use and attach hardware cloth. I wondered if any of you experienced coop builders could share tips on tools for making it easier to cut, and on ways to flatten it, especially the end of the roll?


Free Ranging
7 Years
May 22, 2015
North of Phoenix
I manually unroll it onto the ground and bend it flat as I go. I start with the end of the roll down, so the sharp points are into the ground and not springing up at me.
I have a few heavy rocks or pavers handy as I go. Once it's flat I measure it.
If I'm running it along an already standing fence, I unroll it this same way, and have bungee cords as I go. I rough in the start with two zip ties, then use a combination of as few zip ties fairly loose, and the bungee cords. Once it's roughly in place I stretch it as best as I can, make sure it's level and fasten it. I use tin snips to cut it.


Jun 17, 2018
Upstate NY
Tin snips come in right, left or straight cut.
Get straight cut, and pre bend the HC with a 2x4. If that's not possible, mark the cut with a marker. Once you start the cut with straight snips, you'll know if you strated from the wrong end as it will curl up into your hand. I've cut over a 1000 feet of this stuff. First few feet I've bled. Nothing since.


13 Years
Jul 10, 2009
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
These electric metal shears are well worth the price in hand cramps saved if you're making more than a few cuts.


The advantage of these over the ones with the more ergonomic handle is that they don't take a kerf out so that you won't be seeding your lawn with tiny bits of metal that the chickens will pick up and swallow.

Mow a work area down as tight to the ground as you feel comfortable with your lawn, rake it well, and enlist a couple extra people to stand on the wire as you work. If no people are available, use bricks, boards, logs, etc. as weights.

Laying it out with the curve up and walking on it helps.

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