Best Cattle Clipper and Shear 2022

16 May 2022  |  Admin

Best Cattle Clipper and Shear 2022

Best Cattle Clipper and Shear 2022


Cattle clipping is an important job and you need the right kit to get it done quickly, safely and at a good price.  So what is the best cattle clipper on the market and how much should you spend?

First of all, you need to consider how many animals you're clipping, how regularly you are clipping them and how dirty they are.  If they are very dirty and you're doing them often, then you want a powerful shearing set up.  If, however, you have a smaller herd or cleaner animals (more for showing), then you'll find a clipper easier and more cost effective.


The best brands are Heiniger and Lister.  They've been known for their quality for many years and have had several innovations over the last few years.  They are the brands used by the pros.  Below is an overview of the clipping and shearing machines, to help you decide what might work for your needs.


Cordless options: It's always good to have a cordless option for safety and ease of use.  If you're clipping for shows and have relatively clean (or not too dirty!) animals this is a cost effective and user friendly route.

Heiniger Xplorer:  this clipper is ergonomically designed and easy to use.  If you have horses, it can also double up as a horse clipper.  It takes clipping blades - the Coarse or Dirty Cattle Blade is best (must be the Heiniger brand to fit on the clipper).  This clipper doesn't have as much power as full shears and is a good option for those clipping cleaner or small herds.  If you have a lot of dirty cattle, then this isn't the right option for you.


Heiniger S12:  This shear runs from a 12 volt battery and is a bit more powerful than the Xplorer.  It takes shearing blades (so these can be almost any shearing blade brand - Heiniger or Lister).  This is a great option for small herds of dirty cattle.  It can shear a small flock of sheep too, but it cannot clip horses.


Mains options: You get a bit more power from the mains and they don't cost as much as cordless options.  But, if you opt for mains operated clippers, please be aware of safety and ensure the cattle don't tread on the lead and that you don't leave it plugged in when not in use.  


Lister Fusion Shear:  This is a great 2 speed Shear.  It takes shearing combs and cutters (either Lister or Heiniger work).  It's a good option for a small herd of animals and can cope with dirty animals too.  It can also shear sheep.

Lister Fusion Clipper:  This takes Lister clipping blades (chose the Coarse blade).  It can also clip horses.  It's a good option for cleaner animals.  The Fusions Shear and Clipper have the same body, but a different head.

Heiniger Xpert Shear:  This is a great 2 speed Shear.  It takes shearing combs and cutters (either Lister or Heiniger work).  It's a good option for a small herd of animals and can cope with dirty animals too.  It can also shear sheep.

Heiniger Xperience Clipper:  This takes Heiniger clipping blades (chose the Coarse blade).  It can also clip horses.  It's a good option for cleaner animals.


Shearing Handpieces (run from shearing machines):  These are proper shearing set-ups, used for both sheep and cattle by the pros.  You can clip and shear larger herds and flocks with these machines.  They all take shearing combs and cutters.


Lister Outback: this is a lovely smooth handpiece with 2 bearings.  Great for all purpose clipping and shearing. A good option for small holders and those who are not as experienced as the pros.

Lister Skorpion: this has 3 bearings and is probably the best Lister handpiece.  A favourite with the pros and used by World Champions.

Heiniger Icon FX:  this is Heiniger's leading handpiece.  Very smooth and popular with the pros.


Shearing Machines:  If shearing a lot of animals, most use a shearing machine that is run from either the mains or a generator. 

There are Flexible or Solid drives.  The Pros use the solid drive because it takes weight away from the handpiece and acts like an elbow and helps when shearing a lot of sheep.  Most other people choose the flexi drive, which does not demand such precise technique and is also better for crutching/tailing. 

There are Spline/Worm or Pin drives.  Pin drives lock-up and can be dangerous for those who are not experienced shearers. The Spline is the safer option.  If you hit anything in the fleece it will disengage without the handpiece locking up. Imagine a handpiece, still moving, flying at your arm?  

Popular Shearing Machines:

Heiniger Evo:  A 3 speed machine with an electronic safety switch designed to avoid the handpiece dangerously locking up.

Lister Nova:  A good quality and great value machine and included in Lister's 'starter pack'.

Lister Nexus Sensor: With quick release option for extra speed and a 3 speed option - popular with pros.


Comb and Cutter selection:  You definitely want the Full Thickness Comb for cattle clipping.  The thinner combs are designed to slide into sheep's fleece quickly - but this isn't an issue for cattle.  Heiniger and Lister Combs and Cutters are interchangeable on the shearing handpieces.  The Farmer Packs are always a good option.


Blade selection:  for clipping machines you need to stick with Heiniger blades for Heiniger machines and Lister blades for Lister machines.  Select the Coarse blades for cattle - they will go through more easily and won't blunt quite so quickly.


Summary:  If you have a larger herd of dirty animals go with a more powerful shearing machine (that can work for sheep too).  If you have a smaller herd of cleaner animals, you can consider the easier to use and less expensive cordless clipping machines (that can work for horses too).  Both Heiniger and Lister are excellent, reliable brands with good warranties.  Lister is made here in the UK and holds the Royal Warrant.  Heiniger is made in Switzerland and is of excellent quality.  You can't go wrong with either brand!


If you have any questions about clipping cattle or sharing and clipping kit, please don't hesitate to get in contact.  We are a family run business and we are happy to help.  The best way to contact us is by email so we can send you a detailed repsonse.


To see our full line up of clipping and shearing equipment, all at very competitive prices, please visit: 




Farmcare UK logo