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Razor Wire vs Barbed Wire (The Most Detailed Comparison)

razor wire vs barbed wire - dongfu

Razor wire and barbed wire are two kinds of security devices commonly used in the world. Whether they are used to prevent humans and animals from passing through protective boundaries, or installed on wall or fences to prevent climbing, they are very economical and practical effective fences.

Dongfu is a leading manufacturer of razor wire and barbed wire in China. We have rich experience in the production and application of these two products. Over the past 10 years, we have provided a variety of project solutions for customers around the world.

This article will help you understand the difference between razor wire and barbed wire in detail so that you can choose more appropriately.

What is razor wire?

Razor wire is made up of high tensile core wire and a punched steel tape with sharp barbs at close intervals uniformly. The razor tape is cold crimped tightly onto the spring steel core, and finally into rolls for easy transport and deployment. And there are many styles of coils and blades that can be used in different environments. The wire is exceedingly hard to cut utilizing hand devices. While the barbs have a penetrating and grasping activity, reinforced steel makes it difficult to twist.

Military protection concertina wire

What is barbed wire?

Barbed wire is fencing wire with pointed barbs at regular intervals along the central wire. It uses a fully automatic barbed wire machine to wrap the barb wire around the main line, which looks like a rope. And barbed wire has three kinds of commonly used twisting methods. Its sharp edge can frighten intruders and thieves, and it is available to combine with other fences for security barriers.

Material comparison

Our razor wire and barbed wire are made of high-quality low carbon steel and stainless steel raw materials. Among them, zinc plating and PVC coating are two kinds of surface treatment methods for low carbon steel. And stainless steel raw materials do not need a surface treatment, it is almost impossible to rust, ss304, SS316, and other models can be available.

The difference is that because razor wire consists of two parts, different combinations of raw materials can be chosen. We recommend several combinations of materials for you. You can refer to this article: What are the choices of raw materials for razor wire manufacturing?

Protection ability and application

Undoubtedly, razor wire is much more defensive than barbed wire. Closely connected coils, not enough space for people to pass through. Sharp edges and blades can easily cut through people’s clothes or skin. It’s impossible to cross the barrier of razor wire without enough tools. Compared with barbed wire, razor wire is more dangerous. It’s better suited to fences or barriers that prevent people from passing through. For example, it can be used in residential walls, factory fences, military barriers, border walls and so on. Don’t use it to protect your livestock, it will hurt them easily.

Barbed wire is often used to build inexpensive fences. Although its protective performance and deterrent power are not as good as razor wire, its manufacturing cost is very low due to its simple manufacturing process and no waste of raw materials. It is a more economical protective fence than razor wire. It’s not as dangerous as razor wire, but don’t ignore its sharp barb wire. Don’t try to cross it unless you want to get hurt. Barbed wire is often used for grassland boundaries, garden protection, livestock protection and so on. Barbed wire is the first fencing technique that can restrain cattle.

If you want to prevent people from passing to protect your safety or property, razor wire is a good choice. If you want to restrain cattle or other livestock and protect them from harm, barbed wire fencing is the best choice.

These two products can be used independently to create effective barriers to fencing, but more often they are combined with various fencing products, such as chain link fence, welded wire mesh fence or palisade fence for high-level security barrier. Razor wire and barbed wire on top of the chain link fence are the most commonly used combinations.


Razor wire is commonly used individually as a fence or wall topping for the site and border security. There are several ways of the razor wire installation.
1. It can be installed onto the existing fence systems – fixed to the top or bottom of the fence with tie wire or barb arms. Such as welded mesh fence, chain link fence, palisade, and ornamental fencing.
2. Installed on top of the brick/concrete wall – barb arm with flange fasten the razor wire on the brick or concrete wall.
3. To meet the needs of some applications, it can also be installed on the ground along the perimeter. Spread it out directly on the ground to form barrier and separation line.
4. Wed onto frames or attach onto posts as security fencing. Such as welded wire mesh fence.
According to the different operating environment, specially designed brackets should be used to support the razor wire fence

The barbed wire can be used in many places and ways.
Used independently as a fence, barbed wires need to be fixed to fence posts with nails and tie wires. This creates a barbed wire fence. And it can also be fixed to the top of other fences through barb arm and tie wire, like chain link fence, welded wire mesh fencing, diamond mesh fence and so on. After putting the barbed wire on it, the security will be much higher.

Barbed wire fencing is very easy to installation and the speed of installation is very fast. Indeed, even a worker of medium skill can without much of a stretch install such a fencing system. It’s important to note that no matter where you install it, you must tighten and straighten the barbed wire.

Cost and post-maintenance

Barbed wire has fewer raw materials than other fencing products, and its fabrication process is simple. So the cost of barbed wire fence is relatively economical. If you want to surround a large site and don’t require too much security, I have to say it is a great idea to use the barbed wire fencing. It will save you a lot of money.

Razor wire is slightly more expensive than barbed wire because of its complex manufacturing process and the waste of raw materials in the manufacturing process. But the wire material and blade material cost less than other kinds of fences if covering same length area. And when you need a big quantity of high-security products, and maybe you have a limited budget for your project, then the razor wire fence is a quite good choice for you.

Maintenance of both products is simple as the fencing doesn’t wear out easily if installed properly. And the use of high-quality materials and surface treatment methods can be used for a long time without being corroded. So these two products hardly need to be maintained, just pay attention to repairing areas that may be artificially damaged.


Razor wire:

  • Modern and economical way as perimeter barriers against illegal invasion to restricted areas.
  • The attractive design in harmony with natural beauty.
  • Fabricated from hot-dipped galvanized steel or stainless steel, high resistance to corrosion.
  • A sharp blade with multiple profiles has piercing and gripping action, which performs psychological deterrent to intruders.
  • Abrasion resistance for long service life.
  • Enclosed high tensile core wire makes it difficult to cut with standard tools.
  • Provides much better security compared with traditional barbed wire.
  • Easy installation and low maintenance.

Barbed wire:

  • Sharp edge frightens intruders and thieves.
  • High stability, rigidity, and tensile strength to prevent cutting or destroying.
  • Anti-acid and alkali.
  • Harsh environment resistance.
  • Corrosion and rust resistance.
  • Can be combined with other fences for advanced security barriers.
  • Convenient installation and uninstallation.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Durable and long service life.

That’s the difference between razor wire and barbed wire that we’ve summarized, hoping to help you. If you have more questions about the product or want to know more about our company, you can comment below or contact our customer service staff.

12 Responses

  1. It’s interesting that barbed wire is cheaper since the fabrication process is simple. My uncle is looking for some kind of wire mesh to put for his construction site. I’ll be sure to share this with him so he can find an economical choice to put around the site.

  2. My brother is currently incarcerated in a medium-security county jail facility that has razor wire along the top of the fence-line around the recreation yard.

    He is not happy in jail, so he has asked me to engineer a method of escape. What is the best way to defeat the razor wire coils on top of the fence? Or would it be more practical to tunnel UNDER the perimeter fence to facilitate his escape?

    1. The most practical and economicL solution for your brother to escape the current conditions he finds himself restrained to would not be to cut the razor or to tunnel under it, but rather a simple prison suicide. This can be accomplished by tying 2 or more bedsheets together to construct a rope with which to hang one’s self, or by joint head first from the tallest platform he has access to. Good luck!

      1. XD
        This comment section and the razorwire being “The attractive design in harmony with natural beauty.” has made my day.

  3. This article is very comprehensive and detailed. It did a great job of discussing the different materials, features, applications, and installation methods of razor wire and barbed wire. Notably, I really liked the way it mentioned the importance of properly tensioning the barbed wire. Additionally, I recommend adding a cost comparison between razor wire and barbed wire to the article since the cost is a major factor in selecting a fencing material. Furthermore, depending on the geographic location, climates can have an impact on the type of fencing materials and installation methods that should be used.

  4. The comparison between razor wire and barbed wire is quite enlightening. I didn’t realize razor wire had so many variations and options. The fact that it’s harder to cut and offers higher security is a major point to consider. On the other hand, barbed wire seems like a more budget-friendly choice for less intense security needs. The article provides valuable insights into the features, applications, and installation methods. I’m eager to learn more about the installation details from your upcoming posts!

  5. My brother is also incarcerated at a medium security maximum security prison protected by razor wire. He has asked me to plan his escape, but I feel bad cutting the attractive design that is in harmony with the natural surrounding beauty.

  6. I have a neighbor who has 2 border collies . She with no regard for the dogs , leave them stopped up all day (sometimes 8 hrs) in her house.
    She returns home and immediately opens the door and out they come to become free at last . The neighborhood lots are 3 acres ea.and now become 24 acres total. I have had heated conversations with her to no avail . Our mutual property line for the back 2 acres is wooded and is easily accessible for the dogs to run wild on my property. I am tempted to have installed razor wire along the ground on my side of the property
    ( which would be totally obscure to the eye) but impenetrable . What are your thoughts for a solution ?

    1. Why in the world would you punish and severely injure the dogs for their owner’s wrong doing?? This is something you battle out with the neighbor, not the dogs. It’s honestly sickening that you’d consider slicing up those poor dogs.

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