Best Sheep Shears

5 Best Sheep Shears & Clippers

Choosing the best set of sheep shears for use around the farm or at the fair is important. After all, it will be one of the larger investments you make on sheep grooming equipment & supplies. To help you choose the best sheep shearing clippers to suit your needs we’ve assembled this list of what we consider the 5 best options for electric sheep shears on the market today. We take into account performance, price and durability.

Our Picks: The Best Sheep Shears

Favorite Alternatives

  • Andis Xpedition Single Speed Sheep Shears – Check Price
  • Premier 4000c Electric Sheep Shears – Check Price

These electric sheep shears are typically in stock and available for sale on Amazon (and that’s where the links take you).

3 Important Things to Consider When Purchasing Electric Sheep Shears

Sheep Shears
  1. What Will You Use Them For? It may sound like a no-brainer, but the best sheep shears for preparing slick-shorn southdowns or club lambs for the show ring are different than the electric shears you’ll want for blocking Hampshires, Suffolks or for shearing long wool breeds on the farm. The top shears on our list may not be the best sheep clippers for you.
  2. How Often Will You Use Them? If you use your shears regularly or are competitive in the show ring and attend numerous livestock shows and competitions it makes sense to invest in top-of-the-line electric shears. If not, consider a less-expensive option.
  3. How Old & How Strong is the Primary User? If you’re purchasing sheep shears for a child you may want a smaller, lightweight option that are comfortable to use.

Our Choice for the Best Over-All Sheep Shears

#1 Andis Heavy Duty Sheep Shears

Andis Heavy Duty Sheep Shears - the Best Sheep Shears I've Used

While these are the most expensive shears on the list, like many things in life you get what you pay for. The Andis Heavy Duty Sheep Shears are durable, high-powered (220w) and run cool. Their rugged plastic case is comfortable to grip whether you’re shearing sheep on your farm or you’re prepping a flock for the show ring.

Oster & Andis combs and cutters fit these shears and they come with a durable carrying case, wrench, Ovina comb and Cobra cutter, making this package a great value for newcomers or professionals.

Read Our In-Depth Review

[UPDATE] – The Andis Heavy Duty Sheep Shears listed above as our top choice are no longer manufactured, but remain our favorite shears. We encourage readers to consider either of the Oster models listed below as reliable alternatives.

Premier Sheep Shears

We’ve also tested the Premier 4000c Clippers (pictured) in 2017/2018, and have been very impressed with their performance and reliability. If you choose the Premier 4000c Clipper Package, consider purchasing the coarse blade set as well, which compliments the fine blades that come with the shears.

Lister blades are also compatible with the Premier Clippers and the sheep shearing blades detailed in our guide will work with the newly released Andis shears (which we have not tried, but our older Andis shears are still going strong and this has been our favorite brand of shears), or the Oster Shearmaster and Oster Showmaster clipper models recommended below.

Other Great Electric Sheep Shearing Clippers (ranked)

#2 Oster Shearmaster Single-Speed Electric Sheep Shears

Oster Shearmaster Electric Sheep Shears

As some of the most affordable electric shears on our list, this is a value pick both due to their affordable price-point and based on the quality of the machine that you’ll receive for the purchase price. Oster makes great shears that last a long time if well cared for, and their Shearmaster single-speed model comes with a durable toolbox carrying case and a bright orange/yellow case which is easy to see and comfortable to grip.

At 150w the Shearmaster single-speed clippers from Oster are less powerful than the Andis clippers but these are capable of getting the job done. You may notice that these are the clippers used in the Penn State Extension video featured in our How to Shear a Sheep blog.

Read Our In-Depth Review

#3 Oster Showmaster Variable Speed Sheep Clippers

Oster Showmaster Electric Sheep Shears

Similar in size, weight and quality to the Shearmaster Clippers mentioned above, the Oster Showmaster Variable-Speed Clippers offer shepherds additional control and precision. Depending upon your usage you can adjust the speed of the cutters from 700 to 3,000 cutting strokes per minute, allowing you to keep your shears running cooler longer and thus improving the comfort of your sheep.

I love that these shears include a rugged 15 foot cord (allowing you to often use them without relying on a tangled extension cord).

These are a great middle-of-the-road choice and are ideal if you primarily use your shears for blocking and trimming sheep for the show ring. I used a pair of showmaster shears for years on my farm preparing both Hampshires and Romney sheep for show, and for general farm use and shearing purposes. They work very well.

One note – please do not confuse the Showmaster shears with the Clipmaster shears from Oster. The clipmaster shears are a different product and aren’t something that I recommend for use with sheep.

#4 Lister STAR Grooming Sheep Clippers

Lister Star Sheep Shears

Offering you a steady, permanent speed and an affordable price point (well under $300), the Lister STAR Grooming Sheep Clippers are more compact, lightweight and user-friendly than many other sheep clippers on the market today (and certainly they are smaller than any of the other sheep shears on this list).

Our choice for kids and adults who are new to preparing sheep for show, these are good entry-level grooming shears but really aren’t for shearing sheep in their entirety (though they are excellent for finish-work and slick-shearing club lambs for show). Their “Permanent Magnet” motor is unique and helps these clippers to run cool and quiet, maintaining a steady number of cutting strokes per minute.

Blades for the Lister Star Shears for Sheep

These shears can be used with many different Lister Combs & Cutters to allow for flexibility, but if you’re looking for versatile shears which can be used to prepare sheep for show or for shearing heavy wool on the farm I recommend the Oster or Andis brands above. The Lister LEGEND shears (below) feel more substantial and to me seem to hold up to prolonged use better than these STAR clippers, but the low price of these sheep grooming clippers gave them the edge in the rankings in this list of the best sheep shears.

#5 Lister LEGEND Clippers With Sheep Blade

Lister Legend Electric Sheep Clippers

To be honest I’ve never been the biggest proponent of the Lister clippers because I’d prefer to invest in a multi-purpose set of electric shears which can be used on the show circuit or around the farm, but the Lister Legend clippers certainly have their place in the sheep industry and they do work well for show-ring preparation. What I like most about the Lister Legend Clippers is that they are light-weight (great for kids), quiet (great for sheep who have never been trimmed before) and stay nice and cool during use.

Thanks to the rubber-mounted motor, these are the quietest shears on our list, and the cutters run at 3100 strokes per minute. In my experience you shouldn’t expect a rubber-mounted motor to last quite as long as one that’s made with metal gears, but the Lister Legend sheep shears will certainly last for several years if properly cared for.

Lister Legend Sheep Clipper Blades

Replacement blades are affordable and are available in a variety of sizes. The fine-toothed combs make Lister an ideal choice for finish-work for the show ring and for children (it’s almost impossible to cut your sheep). I would recommend getting a 20+ tooth comb for a smooth finish on meat breeds and the included blade will work fine for rough blocking of sheep for show. At just over $300 these are a solid “budget” Lister clipper option for sheep.

Choosing the Best Sheep Shears for You

The perfect set of electric sheep shears for you and your flock will depend upon a number of factors.

Boy Using Electric Sheep Shears
Teenager prepares his Southdown ewe for show using a durable set of Lister Electric Clippers to slick-shear it (photo by Terry Gardener)

If you aren’t slick-shearing club lambs or Southdown sheep for show I’d suggest investing in one of the Andis or Oster models listed above as these are more versatile, allowing you to shear your brood ewes or to block and trim your sheep for the show ring. If you do raise club lambs, market lambs or Southdowns (or if you are helping your child learn to trim sheep for the show ring), investing in either set of the Lister clippers are an excellent choice. In my experience you can’t really go wrong with any of the sheep shearing clippers featured in this list, but I invite you to weigh in and share your experience with any of these electric clippers (or suggest a different brand) by leaving a comment below.

One final thought I have is that there are a number of cheap knock-offs on some of the electric sheep shears mentioned on this list. Generally if you buy a set of electric sheep shears for $60-70 you’ll find that they have plastic parts in the motor which will cause them to break after a few uses. My advice is to invest in a set of quality shears that will last for years with proper maintenance.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in August, 2015. We have updated it in July 2021 to be more accurate, comprehensive, and relevant to our readers.

You May Also Like: Our Guide to Selecting Sheep Shearing Blades for Electric Shears

61 thoughts on “5 Best Sheep Shears & Clippers”

  1. I want to buy multi purpose sheep shears to do all the needed jobs to get 4H lambs ready to show. I am interested in the Lister shears, but I am concerned that they will only slick shear. What do you recommend if I only want to buy one set of shears? Thanks

    1. Hi Steve, Thanks for visiting my site! I’d recommend one of the top 3 sets of shears on this list (Andis or Oster) – in my mind they’re the best multi-purpose shears … as good for slick-shearing as they are for blocking show lambs with wool. The Lister Clippers always seemed ideal for slick-shearing, but if you want something you can use in a couple of different ways the Oster Clippers are the best value choice. If you want to spend a little more, Andis is the way to go – they’ll last forever and the case/kit linked above is a great set.

      1. Hi Joe, thanks for these valuable reviews. I really enjoyed reading your blog. I’m raising sheep in my farm for trade. I do not participate in any competitions or shows. I’m actually looking for an ideal sheep shearing clipper for heavy jobs and one that lasts for long time. Could please recommend any clippers that meet my needs?

      2. Hi Bader,
        I’d recommend either the Andis or either set of the Oster shears listed above. For heavy jobs you’ll want a good 13 tooth comb and you can save a bit of money by having a couple of those combs and extra sets of cutters. That way if you’re shearing for an extended period of time and one set of cutters begins to get dull you can just swap on a new cutter and keep using the same set of 13-tooth combs. Hope this helps!

      1. Hi Tyler,
        I think in this context, rough cutting could either be used to describe blocking out a show lamb roughly before doing the fine finish trimming with hand shears, or to describe shearing which happens annually on the farm to harvest a sheep’s wool (as opposed to the slick-shearing you’d do to a club lamb or Southdown prior to showing it at a fair. Hope this helps!

    2. I also want to know the 2 best clippers for my hobby sheep farm. I dabble at shearing and want something that won’t cut into ears etc. I would like a length of 1/4 -3/8 inch left when finished.

  2. Hello I bought a 2 year old Hampshire as a pasture buddy to my 10 month old heifer. They are best friends always together. The sheep, Suzy needs to be sheared and I know there are lots of videos and books I can learn from. Just wondering why is wool sheared and not just pulled off? Her wool or fleece what ever its called comes out easy when I just run my fingers thru it. Is it painful? Thanks

    1. Hi Cynthia, Thanks for visiting my site! We have a great resource video (and a PDF download as a step-by-step guide to shear sheep) if you’re interested. You can see that here: … while hair sheep will typically “shed” their coat, wool breeds like Hampshires shouldn’t naturally lose their wool and do need to be sheared. If your ewe has wool that’s falling out on its own or that comes out easily when she rubs or when you run your hands over her that’s usually a sign of either stress or improper nutrition. I’d make sure she has been de-wormed recently and provide a nutritional supplement that she can lick to make sure she’s getting the minerals she needs … your heifer will probably like it too! I’d recommend getting one without copper as that’s not a great mineral for sheep (though it’s fine for cattle). Hope this helps!

  3. Looking for some advice. We have tried a sheep project for the first time (in a heavy beef 4-H area). Just had our 3 market lambs shorn and they look like they’ve been attacked by an angry lawnmower, nicks and all. I gather they need to be slick shorn so they don’t look so raggy. We have the Oster Showmaster variable speed (blades it came with cut fingers very easily) and the Oster Clipmaster variable speed(what the kids use on their cattle). Can you suggest a blade that would attach to one or the other that they could slick shear with? Haven’t washed the lambs yet, but experimented on the tufts left and nothing seems to want to cut it. Any advice you give would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Donna, thanks for visiting my site! It sounds like you’re using the standard 13-tooth comb, which has pretty big gaps between the teeth. These combs make it much easier to go through tough and dirty wool, but tend to not do a great job of giving a smooth finish (you’ll often be able to see the lines from the comb teeth in the sheared wool). I’d recommend purchasing a 20-tooth goat comb with a width designed to fit your shears. You can use the same cutters (top piece that glides across the comb and does the cutting), and swap out the comb depending upon your needs.
      It also sounds like your shears might not be adjusted quite right in terms of where the comb and cutters line up. At the end of your comb (bottom piece) there’s a small bevel. The cutter (top piece that glides across the comb) should sit so that the end of the cutter blades are traveling just along the top of the bevel. That allows the wool to be guided in to the cutter’s swath without the cutter contacting the skin of the animal. It’s also important to adjust the comb/cutter so that the cutter is centered and its teeth don’t glide beyond the right or left edge of the comb (bottom piece). If they are zipping across too far on one side, it’s very easy for the lamb’s skin (or a finger) to get grabbed there and for you to cut the sheep or yourself. When properly adjusted and tightened you should be able to run your fingers up and down the outside of the comb with the shears on without getting cut, although I’d recommend eyeballing it or wearing some gloves the first time or two that you try to adjust them.
      If I can answer any additional questions I’ll be happy to – my email address is in the site footer. Good luck!

  4. After lots of research and recommendations we ended up purchasing the Lister Legend with 13 tooth sheep blade for my daughters 4H lambs. We attempted to shear but the blade appears to be better suited for slick shearing. Is there a blade that will work with the lister legend that will work for the initial shear? This will be first shearing, lambs are about 6 months.

    1. Hi Barb, Thanks for visiting my site! The 13 tooth combs are actually usually the best for doing rough/initial shearing. Generally the lower the number of teeth in your comb the easier it will slide through the wool and allow the cutters to do the work. If you’re having a tough time my best guess is that the shears may not be adjusted quite right or the angle of the blade toward the lamb’s skin might not be ideal. You want to hold the blade at just under 45 degrees toward the skin so that the comb glides across the lamb’s skin and the fiber is forced through toward the cutter. Most combs have a small bevel toward the end and the cutter should be set right behind/on that bevel so that you don’t cut the sheep. If all of that is right and you’re still having a hard time, try increasing the tension (tightening) so the cutter presses down more firmly on the comb. This will increase the heat of the blades (more friction) but it will also make the shears perform better. Eventually you’ll get the hang of where that “sweet spot” is, allowing you to shear with ease without the shear blades getting so hot it’s uncomfortable for the sheep. Hope this helps!

      1. Thanks Joe! And sorry it took so long to reply. A friend ordered the clippers at the same time as us and recieved a different blade set and they were having much better luck so we replaced the blade set (35 tooth comb and 17 tooth blade, which was backwards from what everyone suggested but works really well). Our daughter sheared her lambs and her friend was able to use them to shear her’s as well. Thank you so much for the great review, the Lister Legend is perfect for my daughter.

  5. I recently purchased the Oster Shearmaster that you reviewed above. What blades should I buy to slick/surgical shear for showing?

    1. Hi Rhonda,
      I would buy 2-3 cutters and both a 13 tooth comb and a 22 tooth “Goat Comb” … the 13 tooth comb will be ideal for getting wool off a lamb roughly a few weeks before a show and then you’ll be able to easily give the lamb the smooth slicked finish with the goat comb just before you show it. Generally you can use the combs for a while without resharpening if you have a few extra pairs of sharp cutter blades handy, which is why I recommend you purchase one or two combs for different purposes and a few extra cutters so you always have a sharp one on hand if the one you’re using begins to dull. Good luck!

  6. Can you recommend electric sheep shears and the proper combs to use on Icelandic sheep? I have read that they are harder to shear due to their very long (up to 9″) fleece.

    1. Hi Susan,
      I’d recommend either of the Oster pairs (shearmaster or showmaster) listed above. The Andis shears would also work well. I’d recommend you purchase a 13 tooth flared comb and matching cutter which will make it easy to go through long, dense fleeces. Just be a little more careful while shearing to keep the skin tight … blades which cut the fleece more easily also make it easier to cut the sheep if you aren’t careful. Good luck!

  7. Great information, thank you!
    I have small flock of small sheep (skudde). Do you have a suggestion for lightweight shears that are possibly safest for the sheep? And what is called that thing that hods the sheep’s head?

    1. Hi Maja,
      Thanks for visiting my site. Glad you’ve found the information helpful! The Lister trimmers mentioned in the list above are a bit smaller and lighter weight than the others, though depending upon the size of your sheep and how dense their wool is you may find one of the Oster shears to be better suited to the task. I believe you’re referring to a blocking stand (a metal stand designed to hold the sheep still by holding its head in place).

  8. Good Morning,
    I’m selling products on EBay and I would like to know if you could send me a price list please. Im very interested to feature your merchandise!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for visiting my site! Most Heiniger shears will work well for slick-shearing and for blocking and trimming 4-H sheep at the fair. What model did you purchase?

      1. Great choice, Sarah! Those should last a long time. If you use a goat comb (20+ teeth) you should be able to achieve a nice smooth finish on slick-sheared club lambs. Most people who show Southdowns or club lambs professionally will go with a Lister model for finish work, but I think models like the Xpert from Heiniger work great too, you just need to have the shears adjusted properly and go with a comb with more teeth for finish work. I always found that if I did a rough slick-shear of my show lamb 3 weeks or so before the show, and then gave the lamb a bath a day or two before I did the fine-tooth slick-shearing then the shears went through the small amount of wool without issue and provided a nice smooth finish. Hope this is helpful!

  9. Joe
    Thank you so much for the advice I will look into a goat comb and do a ruff shearing 3 weeks before then try the slick shear. I really appreciate the help!

  10. Hi Joe, my son just got a hair sheep for a 4-H club lamb. We would also like a clipper that works well for cleaning up beef cattle’s udders. Not showing the cattle, just need a pre-calving cleanup. We do have the Oster Shearmaster, but only with the comb and blade that came on it. (We have had a few wool sheep in the past). Is there a comb and blade I can get for the Shearmaster, or do we need a whole new head for the clippers?

  11. Thanks for the great website! I’m hoping you can help me out with a quick question as I’ve looked all over with no good answer.
    Our first flock were Romney Columbia crosses and we have a Shearmaster that we used for them. We now have Babydoll Southdowns and on a few of them the wool is SO dense that NO comb will get through it. I have no idea how to shear these guys! We gave it a go last year and while there were almost no cuts, it was the worst shearing job we ever did. They looked awful and I don’t want to repeat that this year. Any suggestions for a tiny breed with densely packed wool?
    Thanks so much!

      1. Karyn Belknap

        Thanks for the quick reply!
        We were using a 13 tooth comb and it was the first time we’ve ever had to fight to get it through the wool. I’m think we need to revisit adjusting, but I thought we had it right. Seriously though, a few of the sheep have a fleece like a thick rug. We’ll look at the Listers and using fewer teeth. Do fewer teeth = more dangerous do you think? My silly sheep are tame so they attempt to thrash around. Thanks again!

      2. Well, fewer teeth do make it easier to cut the sheep, but it also makes it easier to cut the wool, so it’s a trade-off. If you’re careful and take your time around belly, armpits, neck and other areas with loose skin you should be ok. Southdowns usually have a tight hide in addition to dense wool, which makes it easier to avoid cutting the animal.
        I’d give it another shot with the 13 tooth comb — maybe buy a sharp set (or sharpen what you have), and try applying slightly more tension on your shears, and increase the angle of the shears to the sheep’s body (pointing the shears more steeply at the animal can sometimes help on densely packed, dry wool fibers).
        Good luck, Karyn! (auto-correct got me last time with spelling of your name – sorry about that)

  12. Hi there
    We are first time sheep owners and have a Southdown Baby doll and a Harlequin to sheer. Looking for the best priced sheers to sheer them both. We have them as pets and for fibre. What do you suggest? We would only be shearing three sheep a year.

    1. Hi, Sarah!
      Congratulations on joining the sheep farming community! I’d suggest either of the Lister clippers linked above in this article as a great place to start since you’re on a budget. They’re lightweight, and beginner-friendly. The Oster shears are probably a better long-term investment, but most folks I know with Southdowns love the Lister shears. You’ll also want to buy some oil … Oster makes a nice spray lubricant for shears. Hope this helps!

  13. Joe, we are just getting back into showing sheep with my kids. Things have changed a lot. We have black faced crossed sheep, mostly ham and suffolk influenced. I have been looking all over the Internet for answers. What is the difference between the oster Clipmaster and the Shearmasters? And for clipping two to three days before a show what would you recommend? We have a Andis set of clippers for finishing and trim out work, but need to “rough” out the lambs. Thanks.

    1. Hi, Danny
      Great question. The shearmasters and showmasters are virtually identical with one exception: the showmasters are variable speed, allowing you to adjust the cutting speed (RPMs) to suit your needs. I found I never really used this feature as much as I thought I would, so if money is a concern, I’d recommend the single speed. You can save a few bucks that way. Good luck!

      1. Thanks! So with a single speed in mind and just re-learning the newer trends in clipping for sheep, and getting younger kids involved, 13 and under, what would you recommend for clipping? Oster or One of the Lister?

      2. I’d say you can’t go wrong with the Oster single speed or the Listers linked above – especially for the breed (s) you mentioned. Really it comes down to who will be the primary user. Listers tend to be better for young kids, but as an investment that small kids can grow into I’d recommend Oster … Really reliable in my experience. Good luck!

  14. Hello Joe, thanks for this article but I still feel a bit overwhelmed with the choices.. We normally have our sheep sheared professionally but our 4-H kids plan to show a couple of lambs for our 4-H market auction. We actually have a cross breed of Lincoln Longwool /hog island so they are very wooly.. Since we are novices at shearing what would be a good option since the lambs have thick wool? I would think we will have to shear and then slick shear.. Also maybe trim our Lincoln Longwool ewe’s belly’s for fair and minor cleanup. We would like to have the kids help but would want to make sure we have the correct blades on to avoid cutting the lambs. And suggestions would be appreciated. I think the first item listed in your article is no li get available at Amazon.

    1. Hi, Trina — thanks for the message! It looks like the Andis shears aren’t sold on Amazon any longer, I’ll have to update the list. There are some look-alikes available, but I would avoid them … I’ve heard many are poorly constructed in China and don’t last, which is why they’re so cheap.
      In your case I would recommend the Oster shears, probably the single-speed (less to adjust for a beginner). They’re capable of safely doing rough shearing, slick-shearing, bellies, etc. I prefer them to Listers for longer wooled breeds. I have a guide to combs and cutters which goes over what to get for each application, how to adjust your shears, etc. You can read that here:
      I started with Oster shears when i was 11 years old. With proper instruction and using high-tooth combs for finish work the first few times, they’re good for kids to learn on.
      Hope this helps, good luck!

  15. hi, i am Mr Lets’olo from Maseru Lesotho. what kind of electrical shears to i need if i want to do business of marino sheep and goats cutting?

    1. Hi there! I would recommend either of the Oster shears linked above for Merino sheep. You can use a goat comb on them when using your shears for goats.

  16. Bonnie Goodrich-Wilcoxson

    Hello! Glad to have found this but still need some direction.
    I have a wool ewe, two years old. She’s a pet (if you don’t take her, she’ll die!) and I don’t intend to get into sheep for any other purpose. Emily is my one and only. There aren’t any shearers near me; I have to drive about two hours one way to get her sheared and her feet trimmed each spring. She gets sheared once a year and I’d like to learn do it myself. I can’t afford top of the line that professional shearers use but I don’t want to get something so cheap that they hurt her or fall apart after a few years. What would you recommend, please?
    Thank you

    1. Hi, Bonnie!
      I actually have a blog post (You can find the link in the sidebar) with a video guide on how to shear a sheep. I think you’ll find that, and our sheep shearing blades guide (also linked in the sidebar) to be helpful.
      I’d recommend purchasing the Oster Shearmasters linked in this article, and using a 13 tooth comb for your annual shearing. You can find $99 electric sheep shears on Amazon, but you tend to get what you pay for and can expect those to fall apart within a year or two. If you take care of a set of Oster shears they’ll last forever, and you can sell them used for a couple hundred bucks if you no longer need them. They hold their value well.
      Good luck!

  17. Lot’s of good info here. We only need to rough cut. No show animals. We have about 50 ewes this year and the guy that shears for us said we were just too big for him. With our plan to grow the heard we are thinking it’s time to invest in a solid shearer. I have been looking at the shearers that you hang on the wall and attach a shaft with a cutting head. Wonder if you have an recommendations for this style or a reason we would not want to go with that style.

    1. Joe @

      Hey, Drew! Thanks for the kind words. Glad you found the article useful.
      I like the Heiniger wall mounted unit. Premier1 sells them. They work great, but the complete setup is very expensive relative to the ones listed here. That’s why I didn’t include them here. It sounds like it could be the right investment for your size flock, just have to weigh the purchase vs. buying other farm equipment with the extra $.
      If you decide to go with traditional electric sheep shears, either of the Oster clippers mentioned above with a 13 tooth flared comb are what I would recommend for your application.
      Good luck!

  18. Hi, what do you think of the Lister Laser II shears with sheep head? I’ve read that the blades stay cool longer, and it’s great for getting through dirty fleeces-a big problem I have since I don’t coat my sheep. Thoughts?

    1. Joe @

      Hi Cat! Thanks for visiting my site.
      I think the Lister Laser shears are good (both standard and the Laser II models), and I recommend the sheep head which will be much more useful than the show clipper head for the work you describe.
      The roller bearings are what really helps the Lister shears run cooler, though I’ve found that regularly greasing the internal gears on the Oster and Andis products can provide similar results … most people just don’t take the time to take the shear head off and grease internally, and rely on oil, which is important but won’t keep them cool for a long time.
      The Laser shears can be more expensive than some of the other sheep shears on this list, but you won’t be disappointed with them. Wahl sells a good set of Laser II electric clippers with a sheep head on Amazon.

  19. Hi there!
    This is a great website you have! Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge. We are considering purchasing a pair of shears – this is our 2nd year in 4H raising market lambs. What do you recommend is the best for a 12 year old and 10 year old to handle? Our club uses the Lister and we were thinking of purchasing the Lister Star based on your write up above and some of your responses to others (Lister is not quite the multiuse shear). If we were to purchase the Lister Star – would it make sense to use the medium blades for the first run before using the surgical blades for the slick shearing? Thank you in advance for your response.

    1. Joe @

      Hi, Linh! Glad you like the site!
      The Lister Star clippers should be perfect for shearing market lambs. They’re lightweight (great for kids to learn on) and really durable. I would do a rough shearing about 10-14 days before you head to the fair with the coarser blades, then wash the lambs a few days before the show, and use the fine comb at the fair for a perfect finish. I find having a little regrowth before using surgical blades can help make the final shearing easier, and the clean wool for that final pass lets the clippers run really easily over the lambs for the final slick shearing.
      Good luck!

    1. Joe @

      Hi, Ibraheem
      I’m not sure. My advice would be to take it to a local, small motor repair shop and ask them what they think. They may tell you you need new shears, but if they do you can save some money by buying a new motor/clipper body and re-using your existing clipper head assembly. Good luck!

  20. I am thinking about purchasing the Lister Star. We only raise market lambs and I need to purchase a set so we are not dependent on others for clipping. My concern is I need numbers to order blades for clipping. I understand I will need a #20 for the fair but what is recommended for the first cut/rough cut as I have noticed you listed above?

    1. Joe @

      Hi, Missy!
      The Star is a great choice for what you need. I recommend getting a 17 tooth comb and a 13 tooth comb to go with the 20. This way you’re covered for any type of rough shearing and finish shearing with the Lister Star clippers. Good luck!

  21. Hi there,
    We have a hobby farm and have just rescued two sheep. Their wool has not been sheared for maybe two years. We have started cutting by hand to help reduce the weight on the poor souls. We are looking for an affordable set of shears to use once a year. We don’t need any bells or whistles and are on a budget. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Joe @

      Hi, Amanda!
      There are some knock-off models on Amazon that might work ok for a few years and save you a few bucks, but I’d recommend either of the Lister models above for you. They’re very user friendly for first-timers, run cool if adjusted properly, and hold their value if you decide to sell them locally in a few years (and take care of them while you have them). I’ve had the same set of both Lister and Oster clippers for over 25 years and they both still work great. Can’t go wrong with either brand in my view.
      Good luck!

  22. Hello, I raise Navajo Churro sheep and use an Oster Shearmaster for my shearing. Unfortunately, it always seems to leave nicks and cuts on the sheep no matter how careful I am. Part of that is probably the fact that sometimes my shearing schedule is seriously out of whack, and I’ll be shearing a 12 month fleece instead of a 6 month fleece. As I am doing so this fall due to the flooding and musical pens I had to play because of flooding and lambing (at the same time, yay…) this past spring. I wish I could shear in the summer, but I only did that once and almost lost a couple of ewes to overheating. I live in the high desert. Is there a better set of shears I could use or do I just need more practice? I use a shearing stand.

    1. Hey, Cody!

      The Oster shears are some of my favorites, so if you find that you’re cutting your sheep often you may want to:

      1) Double-check the alignment and positioning of the blades – if blades are slightly off-center, the cutter will travel beyond the comb to the side and that can result in consistent cuts – even if you’re doing everything right! There’s a good video at the bottom of this article which may be helpful to verify that you’ve got your blades set properly.
      2) Consider a finer-tooth comb – the more teeth your comb has, the more difficult it is for wool (and the sheep’s skin) to get to the cutter. It’s possible that your sheep may have looser skin which makes them more prone to cuts. If that’s the case, using a 17 tooth comb instead of a 13 tooth comb it’ll be easier to avoid cutting the sheep’s skin. You can read my guide on sheep combs and cutters to learn more.

      Hope this helps!

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