Top Testers for Electric Fence – Guide & Comparison
Whether you’re building a fence to keep your sheep, cows or chickens protected or prevent your dogs from escaping and getting injured in the process, you’ll need the best electric fence tester to make sure you don’t hurt them. After carefully searching the market for such products, we concluded that one item that is worthy of your interest is the Zareba Fence Doctor Digital Fault Finder FD1. It is lightweight and small enough to fit in your pocket and accurate to help you save time and frustration. It measures both short voltage and current and features a large digital display that is easy to read. The tester also points you to the location of the short voltage to help you easily alter the fence, according to your needs. It is delivered with a long-life 9V battery included. If this electric fence tester is not available for sale right away, a good alternative would be the Gallagher G50900 SmartFix Fence Tester.
Weighing under 7oz., this product is lightweight and portable so it can easily fit inside any pocket. It can measure voltage and amp levels on any wire, metal or poly fence line and is water-resistant so you can also use it when it’s raining outside. It is delivered with an included 9V battery. It works on linear sections too.
It doesn’t come with a protective case so we suggest you handle the item carefully.
Whenever in trouble, call the Fence Doctor to solve your problems and help you find everything that’s wrong with your electric fence. The large LCD display makes reading easy.
This fence tester will save you hours of checking fence lines for shorts. The large arrows point to the direction of short-circuits while the retractable voltage probe helps read voltage in hard-to-reach places. It activates automatically when the fence pulse is detected. The low battery indicator is a convenient feature.
The ground probe line comes with a coil that stretches and will tangle in your pocket.
Lightweight and easy to use, this product will automatically activate when it detects the fence pulse and will also warn you when its battery is low and needs recharging.
Also To Consider
Boasting an LCD screen that is easy to read in all lighting conditions, this fence tester provides maximum reading accuracy between 300 and 9900 pulse voltage. The Smart Power Technology will turn the device on when detecting a pulse and turn it off after 4 seconds of undetected activity. This will help you save battery power.
It is powered by a 9V battery that you’ll have to purchase separately.
Although it weighs more than other units, it will accurately indicate the voltage on your fence and help you make adjustments. The instructions are clear and easy to follow.
10 Best Electric Fence Testers (Updated Reviews) in 2020
Keeping your animals confined in their pens requires time, attention, and the use of special tools. If you want to make sure the fences always have the right voltage, you should look for an affordable electric fence tester. Showcased below you can find a list with some of the most popular items on the market right now so you pick the right one, according to your needs.
- 1. Zareba Fence Doctor Digital Fault Finder FD1
- 2. Gallagher G50900 SmartFix Fence Tester
- 3. Allosun Fence Tester Max 9KV EM555
- 4. SmartCheck Electric Fence Tester
- 5. Allosun GK503B Electric Fence Voltage Tester
- 6. Allsun Digital Electrical Fence Voltage Tester
- 7. Zareba Electric Fence Tester A1LVT-Z
- 8. Farmily Multi Light Electric Fence Tester
- 9. Dare Products 460 1865604 Electric Fence Tester
- 10. Allsun Electric Fence Voltage Tester GK503B
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Zareba Fence Doctor Digital Fault Finder FD1
If you’re looking for a gadget to accurately measure the current and short voltage on your fence to make sure your animals are always safe, this product from Zareba will save you time and frustration. Weighing little under 7 ounces, it is compact and will easily fit inside any pocket for increased portability and ease of transportation.
It features a large LCD display that is easy to read and will also point you in the direction of the short voltage so you can adjust the wires and restore the circuit’s full functionality. It will help you measure voltage and amp levels on any wire, metal or poly fence line, even those powered by solar energy.
We also appreciated the sturdy construction that is resistant to shocks and water, meaning you can also use the tester when it’s raining. In terms of documentation, the unit is self-explanatory so it won’t take you too much time to do your first reading.
The product is lightweight, compact, and portable, becoming a trustworthy ally whenever you want to check the amp or the voltage of any electric fence.
It boasts a large LCD display that makes reading easy and effortless in all lighting conditions.
It is easy to use and will indicate the direction of short voltage thanks to the arrows located on the left and the right part above the screen.
Unlike other items, this one features a robust and strong case, designed to withstand shocks and water. Therefore, you can accurately use it any time of the year, even when it’s raining or snowing outside without worrying about the water altering your readings.
Not all customers will be pleased with the documentation provided, especially if they are only using fence testers for a short time. For some, there won’t be enough information regarding the meaning of the reading, what the current values mean or what causes abnormal readings.Buy from Amazon.com
2. Gallagher G50900 SmartFix Fence Tester
Affordable and reliable, you can purchase this fence tester alone or in a set of two, three, four or five similar devices, depending on how many fences you wish to test at once.
It is compact and lightweight, meaning it is easy to transport and store whenever you are not using it. It comes with a large LCD display that makes reading easy in all lighting conditions, allowing you to easily test the voltage on any part of the fence, to prevent your animals from escaping.
The 3-in-1 device is a current meter, voltmeter, and short finder, helping you save hours of checking fence lines for shorts. The retractable voltage probe allows you to read voltage even in hard to reach places, while the large arrows located above the screen will point to the direction of the short.
We also liked that the device will automatically activate when a fence pulse is detected and will turn off after about 4 seconds of inactivity.
For convenience purposes, you can purchase the product alone or in a set of two, three, four or five identical testers to help you easily test the voltage of all your protective fences.
The 3-in-1 device counts for a current meter, a voltmeter, and a short finder, helping you save hours of checking fence lines for shorts and other flaws.
One feature that we find useful is the low battery indicator. Depending on how often and for how long you are using the product, the battery can last up to 3 years.
It is lightweight and portable, fitting in any pocket. Besides, the case is made of hard materials that are water and shock-resistant, allowing you to perform accurate tests in all weather conditions.
The snap on the ground probe won’t work reliably in the field. It has a coil to make it stretchable which, in theory, might be an asset but it can get easily tangled the first time you put the device in your pocket.Buy from Amazon.com
3. Allosun Fence Tester Max 9KV EM555
Although a bit heavier than other items within the same category, the new EM555 fence tester comes with a large LCD display that is easy to read in all lighting conditions. The length of the wire measures approximately 57 inches, which means it is long enough for convenient testing even in areas harder to reach.
It operates on a regular 9V battery that is not included and uses minimum power to deliver an accurate reading. Thanks to the Smart Power technology, the tester will turn on at the detection of a pulse and will automatically shut down after 4 seconds if it doesn’t detect any pulse.
This also helps you save battery power and ensures that the device is always turned off whenever not in use. It comes with a protective pouch and should be stored inside, in a cool and dry place, at temperatures that vary between 68 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
The compact design makes it easy to carry inside any pocket and deposit in small places whenever you’re not using it.
It features a large LCD display to help you accurately read the results of the volt tests so you always know whether or not your fences work perfectly.
The wire length measures approximately 57 inches, allowing you to test fence lines even in areas that are hard to reach.
The Smart Power technology helps you save battery life and make sure the item is always turned off whenever you’re not using it.
To prevent future malfunctions, we always suggest that you take the battery out whenever storing and not using the device.
According to the manufacturer, it would be best to only use the tester in temperatures between 68 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit and avoid contact with water or snow. So, if you’re looking for a fence tester to use all-year-round, this may not be the one for you.Buy from Amazon.com for ($26.99)
4. SmartCheck Electric Fence Tester
If you want to know why this product has won the hearts of thousands of customers worldwide, continue reading this electric fence tester review. Designed and manufactured in South Korea, the SmartCheck is an affordable and accurate peak voltage and current detector. Unlike other items in the category that require a ground lead, this product features a high sensitivity design.
It comes with a built-in user-friendly motion sensor that will help you detect most electric fence problems and will only turn on the device when it detects a pulse. The automatic brightness-controlled 3-digit LCD display ensures easy visibility in all lighting conditions, so you can also use the device at night or in dark environments.
It is equipped with a beeper and flashing LED to indicate a high voltage pulse, while the authentic high voltage probe helps you eliminate the risk of electric shocks. The fence tester is shipped with a carrying pouch to protect the item from dust and dirt.
It comes with a built-in motion sensor for a user-friendly interface and a low battery indicator that tells you when you should replace the battery.
It is lightweight and compact, shaped similar to a pen, meaning it can easily fit any pocket. The case is made of polycarbonate and aluminum alloy to withstand shocks and harsh weather conditions, delivering accurate results in temperatures between 14 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
The product features a 3-digit LCD display for easy reading in all environments, as well as a flashing LED, and a beeper to alert whenever it detects a high voltage pulse.
The automatic power on/off button ensures extended battery life. And, speaking of, the tester works with 3 regular AA batteries included.
Depending on how long it stayed on the shelf before being shipped, the batteries inside the tester may be dead so you’ll need spare ones to make the product work.Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.99)
5. Allosun GK503B Electric Fence Voltage Tester
Available in two sizes, the product can help you read voltages between 600 and 7000V or between 2000 and 9000V. We do suggest choosing the second option as the device won’t show any high voltage risks exceeding 7000V, especially if your electric fence can support a higher voltage.
The item is specifically designed to find faults in the fence lines and is compact and easy to use. It is lightweight, which makes it extremely portable and facile to keep in your pocket at all times. It doesn’t have an LCD screen but features LED neon lamps, indicating voltage levels from 0.6 kV to 7kv (600 volts to 7000 volts) or 2kv to 9kv, depending on the product’s specifications.
The case of the tester is made of ABS, meaning it is durable and resistant to shocks, as well as water, so you can accurately use the gadget even when it’s raining outside, as long as the temperatures don’t go under 32 degrees F or over 104 degrees F.
Weighing just 2 ounces, the product is small and lightweight, making it easy to transport and store in your pocket at all times.
The total length of the wire measures approximately 60 inches, enough to help you accurately test the fence line in areas that are hard to reach.
The ABS case is resistant to shocks, dirt, dust, and water, meaning you can use the tester in different environments and weather conditions, from early spring to late fall.
It is designed for a standard duty fence controller and low impedance.
The product uses neon lamps to indicate voltage which may be harder to read than a regular LCD display. Thus, you won’t get to see the exact voltage of your fence lines but only the interval, i.e. anywhere between 600V and 1000V or between 1000V and 2000V, and so on.
Although we appreciate the fact that the tester is lightweight, due to its small dimensions you might end up dropping it and losing it if you’re not being careful.Buy from Amazon.com for ($14)
6. Allsun Digital Electrical Fence Voltage Tester
This particular product helps you test the lines of any electric fence as long as the pulse voltage ranges between 300V and 9900V. The case is made of durable materials for impressive shock and water resistance, making the unit easy to use in various environments and weather conditions.
The large LCD display ensures accurate reading in all lighting conditions, even when it’s dark outside. It runs on a standard 9V battery and consumes little power for extended battery life. And, since it only weighs 8 ounces, including the battery, the tester is portable and easy to store whenever you’re not using it.
The product will detect one pulse every 0.5 seconds to 2 seconds, and it should take about three pulses to establish the accurate voltage on any fence line. If you notice any abnormal operation, do not use the fence tester for any measurement. You should also remove the test hook from the fence and any conductor before opening the battery cover or the case.
Lightweight and robust, this tester is easy to carry around and will fit in any pocket, ensuring convenient reading whenever you need it.
It boasts a large back-lit LCD display for accurate readings in all lighting conditions, including when it’s dark outside.
The tester will turn on when it detects a pulse and it takes approximately 3 pulses for accurately establishing the voltage. After removing the test hook from the fence, the last reading will remain on the display for 4 seconds.
The product is delivered in a protective case that absorbs shocks and prevents the tester from being damaged by prolonged sun exposure, rain, dust, dirt or debris.
The wire measures approximately 30 inches in length, enough for almost all jobs, even for those in hard-to-reach areas.
It runs on a 9V or similar battery that isn’t included so you have to purchase it separately to be able to use the tester.Buy from Amazon.com for ($27.8)
7. Zareba Electric Fence Tester A1LVT-Z
If you’re looking for an inexpensive product to test your electric fence lines and detect any abnormalities, high voltage or short, the new Zareba A1LVT-Z represents an appropriate choice. Featuring a slim design, the device is lightweight and easily fits in any pocket, so you can have permanent access to it whenever you need it.
The case is molded of high-quality ABS plastic that ensures increased resistance against shocks and impacts so that it will continue displaying accurate readings even if you drop it on the ground or hard surfaces.
Instead of an LCD display, the tester features a light that indicates the current flow through the fence wire. The probe placed into the ground is about two inches while the total length of the cord measures approximately 54 inches, more than enough to help you detect voltage even in hard-to-reach areas. Unfortunately, the LED light is small and hard to see when it’s dark outside.
It is lightweight and portable, making the perfect pocket accessory you can conveniently carry with you anywhere you go.
The total length of the wire is about 54 inches, providing increased flexibility and freedom of movement, even when you want to check fence lines that are harder to reach.
The case is made of high-quality ABS, designed to withstand impacts and absorb shocks without damaging the quality or the accuracy of the tester reading.
It can help test voltages of up to 10,000, meaning it should work on all kinds of fences.
The LED light that tells you there is power in the fence is small and difficult to see when there’s a lot of light outside, so you will have a hard time reading the instrument.
It doesn’t come with an LCD screen to display the exact voltage value, which makes it impossible to detect shorts, high voltages or any discrepancies between fence lines.Buy from Amazon.com for ($4.33)
8. Farmily Multi Light Electric Fence Tester
Compact and easy to use, this electric fence tester features several LED lights calibrated to glow from 1000 to 6000 volts, meaning the device is perfect for testing all kinds of fences for horses, sheep, chickens or cows. The lights are powerful and big enough for you to easily see them in all lighting conditions, even in broad daylight so you’ll get accurate testing.
The lightweight design makes it portable and convenient to carry with you anywhere you go, so you’ll always get to measure voltage inconsistencies in case your animals escaped or you have doubts about your electric fence lines.
You can use it to test the fence line at different locations and determine if it operates properly or if you need to troubleshoot. The product comes with a long wire that measures approximately 50 inches, convenient for testing even in areas that are harder to reach.
This electric fence tester is suitable for small farmers and those who are looking after animals and want to keep them safe inside their enclosures without hurting them.
It comes with various bright LED lights calibrated to glow from 1000 volts to 6000 volts so you can find inconsistencies and start troubleshooting your fence.
It is small, compact, and lightweight so you can conveniently carry it with you anywhere you go, even inside your jacket’s pocket.
The total length of the wire measures about 50 inches, enough to help you reach hard accessible areas and test the voltage of fence lines.
We would have preferred an LCD display that shows the exact voltage of every line instead of guessing each 1000-volt interval.
To some people, the lights may appear dim if you’re using the device on a sunny day so reading might be a bit difficult.Buy from Amazon.com for ($13.99)
9. Dare Products 460 1865604 Electric Fence Tester
Extremely affordable, this fence tester is great for those who don’t have too much experience with this kind of product and need to test a single electric fence. Featuring a sturdy plastic case, the item will resist impacts and will absorb shocks without causing damage to the lamp inside.
It works with a single lamp protected by a resistor, designed to locate faults such as partial grounds and open shorts. It is also lightweight and easy to carry with you in your pocket, so you always have access to a tester when needing one.
It can be used on a solar fence charger but will only indicate a charge and not its exact value. Therefore, if you need accurate testing, we suggest you should opt for an item that either has an LCD display or numerous LED lights that open at a certain voltage (usually, intervals of 1000 volts).
This inexpensive product represents a good alternative for those who just want to check if their electric fences work to keep the animals inside or protect their goods from trespassers.
It features a lamp protected by a resistor so it won’t burn quickly and will emit a powerful light, enough to see it even in broad daylight.
It is easy and convenient to use, even by those who have limited experience with electric fence testers.
The wire is long enough to help you easily perform measurements even in harder to reach areas.
If you’re looking for a basic tester to only tell you if your fence has power in it, this product will do the trick but you shouldn’t expect outstanding performances or accurate readings. The lack of an LCD screen to show the exact voltage makes this item less useful when dealing with multi-line electric fences.Buy from Amazon.com for ($6.56)
10. Allsun Electric Fence Voltage Tester GK503B
The product uses neon lamps to indicate voltage levels ranging from 600V to 7000V, making it a suitable and efficient item for testing most animal electric fences and keep them running smoothly to prevent chickens, cows, horses or other animals from escaping.
Lightweight and easy to use, you should keep this product on hand for regular fence line maintenance as it helps in finding faults, allowing you to correct them. The pocket-size and rectangular design makes it easy to carry with you at all times, while the long wire ensures you can do accurate testing even in areas that are harder to reach.
It works well in temperatures ranging from 32 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit and in open environments with a humidity of up to 80%, meaning you can use it on a rainy day as long as you do your job fast. It is delivered with step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow.
We liked the pocket size and the lightweight design of this tester which makes it portable and easy to carry around with you all day long for regular fence line maintenance.
It comes with bright neon lines that indicate voltage labels between 0.6kv (600 volts) and 7kv (7000 volts), suitable for most animal control situations.
The product is delivered with step-by-step instructions so you can easily start testing even if you’re not familiar with such devices.
The total length of the wire measures approximately 50 inches, meaning it is suitable for reaching all areas of your fence.
If you want to test your fence for high voltages or shorts, a more accurate method would be with the help of a product that features an LCD display to show you the exact voltage of each line in your fence.
We don’t recommend operating this tester in the wintertime or when it’s pouring outside, even though the case is somewhat water-resistant.Buy from Amazon.com for ($13.99)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Given that the health of your beloved animals may be at risk, we don’t suggest opting for a cheap electric fence tester to look for any shorts or voltage problems. There are plenty of good products available on the market able to perform accurate tests and make sure everything is in order. So, if you have doubts about which product to choose, here are some features that your fence tester should come with.
Accurate voltage measurement
Accurately measuring the voltage of an electric fence is the most important feature of such a product because it can detect shorts and tell you which fence lines need to be altered to keep your animals confined in their sheepfold or hen-run.
After all, you want to protect your animals and not hurt them or kill them while also keeping them off your garden or away from the road.
Keep in mind that the maximum voltage allowed by the international regulations is a 10,000-volt output so any tester claiming to measure higher than this point shouldn’t be trusted. However, even maxing out at the 10,000V power should raise a red flag as your fence might pose a risk to the surrounding environment, as well as any humans or animals trespassing.
Although there are many options to indicate the exact voltage of any fence line, an LCD screen represents the easiest and most accurate way.
Therefore, your fence tester should come with a large LCD screen, preferably backlit to ensure easy reading in all lighting conditions, even at night or in dark environments. The bigger the screen, the easier it will be for you to read it, even if you have glasses.
A durable design
No matter the product you’re opting for, make sure it is made of sturdy and reliable materials that resist shocks, various weather conditions, and temperatures. Keep in mind that fence testing may not always be done on a sunny, warm day, so you will need a waterproof device.
You should also bear in mind that some devices are designed to deliver accurate readings when the temperatures outside don’t exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit or don’t drop below 32 degrees. They are mainly suitable for people living in warm climates or for testing from late spring to late fall and may not be reliable when used during the wintertime.
Size and portability
Most products weigh between 6 and 10 ounces, which makes them portable and extremely easy to carry around. However, some devices are lighter or feature a compact design that also makes them easy to fit inside any pocket.
However, a tester that is too small, like the ones that resemble pens, may easily fall from your jacket’s pocket and you wouldn’t want to risk losing it before having a chance to test its performance.
So, before sticking to a certain gadget, we suggest that you go through some online electric fence tester reviews and even go to a physical store to hold some of them in your hand to see how they feel.
A perfect tool should also come with a long wire that will allow you to test even the fence lines located in hard-to-reach areas.
Flashing LEDs and beepers can alert you of any high voltage inconvenience, while the arrows on the interface on some testers will point toward the source of the short.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does an electric fence tester work?
An electric fence tester is a tool used mainly by farmers or fence owners to check for errors or to locate inconsistencies in the current passing through the lines of the fence. The principle behind it is the same one used for a regular voltage meter but this product won’t work on electric fences.
The first thing you have to do is stick the grounding terminal of the fence tester in the ground and touch the positive terminal of the tester to one of the lines of the electric fence with the charger turned on. Wait for a couple of seconds and then you can interpret the reading.
Most testers will show the voltage value on an LCD screen, while others will simply have a light that turns on if there is current. The intensity of the light changes depending on how much current goes through the wire.
Q: How do I use an electric fence tester?
All products are delivered with detailed, step-by-step instructions so that even people who have never used this type of device before can easily understand how it works.
As we previously mentioned, to accurately find the voltage of your electric fence, you first have to drive the probe into the soil. If the soil is too dry, you should add water in advance to make it moist and easy to penetrate.
Secondly, you have to connect the fence line to the test hook. Whenever a pulse is detected, your tester should turn on. If any further pulses will be detected, the device should show the voltage value on the screen, assuming it has one.
For accurate measurement results, we suggest you read the display after the tester has detected three consecutive pulses. When you remove the test hook from the fence, the last reading should remain on the display for a few more seconds. Depending on the type of product, it will either turn off automatically or you’ll have to switch it off manually.
Q: How do you troubleshoot an electric fence?
If you get a bad reading on your electric fence tester, you will have to troubleshoot the fence. The process should begin at the charger – start by removing the wires from both terminals, then use your tester to complete a circuit across the positive and negative terminals. This reading will help you determine whether your problem is in the charger or elsewhere.
If the charger gets no reading, make sure the batteries are charged or, if it’s run by solar power, it should have been in the sun for at least 48 hours. For further battery problems, you should contact the charger’s manufacturer.
If your charger gets a good reading, you will know the problem lies either with your fence or the grounding system. You can test the grounding system by creating a circuit directly into the ground.
Attach the negative terminal on the charger to the ground rod but leave the positive terminal open. Test the grounding by spanning the gap between the positive terminal and the soil. If the difference between the two readings is big, you have a grounding problem.