Pulling metal fence posts out of the ground can be difficult, especially if the posts have been set for an extended period of time. However, utilizing the lever action of a fence post puller can cut your work in half and reduce the amount of stress on the worker. Fence post pullers often cost $20 to $50, depending on the brand and type. This cost, however, can be avoided by making your own fence post puller. There are several kinds of pullers to choose from, and each can be made by even a novice metal worker.

High angle view of a fence in a field, Los Angeles, California, USA
credit: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Pipe Puller

Build the easiest fence post puller by simply cutting a piece of two-inch-diameter steel pipe to a length of 24 inches. To use the puller, approach the fence post on the side of the metal notches. Place one end of the pipe on the ground a few inches from the bottom of the fence post and bend the post away from you slightly. Lean the pipe in toward the notches so that one of the notches catches on the edge of the pipe. Now pull the top of the fence post toward you, effectively lifting the post out of the ground slightly. Repeat this procedure until the post can be easily pulled from the ground by hand.

Lever Puller

Construct a lever puller with some lengths of steel tubing, a chain and a piece of square metal. Attach the end of a 30-inch tall piece of pipe (the stand) to the center of a 24-inch of pipe (the lever) with some machine bolts. Weld the end of the chain to the end of the lever you just bolted to the top of the stand. Cut the square piece of metal into a "C" shape and then weld a corner of it to the free end of the chain. To use the puller, place the end of the stand near the base of the fence post and then slide the "C" hook around the body of the fence post. Press down on the end of the lever to cause the hook to bind around the post and lift it up out of the ground.

Pipe and Tubing Puller

Build the last type of puller by laying a piece of three-inch-diameter metal pipe on the ground next to the base of a fence post. Slide a piece of steel tubing over the top of the pipe and hook one end under one of the notches on the side of the fence post. Stand on the opposite end of the tubing to raise the fence post up out of the ground slightly, then pull it the rest of the way out by hand.