Feather edge fencing has been a staple in British gardens for centuries, providing a traditional and attractive boundary. Over the years, fence panels have become an increasingly popular choice, thanks to their convenience and aesthetic appeal. The question remains, however, is traditional feather edge fencing stronger than panels? In this article, we will explore the differences between the two fencing options, the strengths and weaknesses of each type, and which may be the better solution for your garden.

Understanding Feather Edge Fencing and Panels

Feather edge fencing is a form of closeboard fencing, constructed by overlapping tapered, vertical wooden boards that create a solid and robust barrier. The boards, often referred to as ‘feather edge boards’ or ‘pales’, are affixed to horizontal rails and vertical posts, giving the fence its inherent strength.

Fence panels, on the other hand, are pre-constructed sections of fencing that are slotted into place between fence posts. They come in various styles, such as lap, closeboard, and decorative, and are often made from pre-treated timber. These panels can be easily replaced if damaged, making them a popular choice for many property owners.

Strength of Traditional Feather Edge Fencing

Feather edge fencing is renowned for its durability and strength. The continuous vertical boards with overlapped joints create a fence that is not only resistant to wind and weather but also sturdy enough to provide security and privacy. Furthermore, the construction of a feather edge fence allows it to follow the contours of the ground, making it an ideal choice for sloping or uneven terrain.

The strength of feather edge fencing comes from two main factors; the quality of the timber used and the skilled installation process. The feather edge boards need to be made from good-quality, pressure-treated timber to ensure longevity and protection against rot. Proper installation is essential to maximize the fencing's structural integrity, as any weak points in the construction could lead to problems in the long run.

Strength of Fence Panels

While fence panels can also be sturdy and robust, their strength often depends on the quality of the panel itself. For instance, a low-quality, thin lap panel is not going to offer the same durability as a well-constructed, high-quality closeboard panel. However, it can still be a suitable option for a garden or property barrier.

One disadvantage of fence panels is their vulnerability in high-wind areas. As they come in pre-constructed sections, they often cannot conform to sloping or uneven ground and can be more likely to catch the wind or suffer from damage as a result.

Comparing Strength and Durability

While both fencing methods can offer strength and durability, traditional feather edge fencing generally comes out on top when it comes to robustness and resistance against harsh weather conditions. With proper installation and quality materials, a feather edge fence can last for decades, providing a secure and reliable garden boundary for years to come.

Fence panels, although often easier and quicker to install, can be more prone to damage or wear, depending on the quality of the panel. Nevertheless, they may still be a suitable choice if aesthetics or ease of installation are your primary concerns.


In summary, traditional feather edge fencing is often regarded as just as strong and durable as fence panels. However, the choice between the two styles will ultimately come down to personal preferences, practical considerations, and of course, your budget.