It has become increasingly popular for small holders to own a few sheep. They can make great pets and are relatively easy to keep. But, we all dread the shearing season. Many want to give it a go themselves, but are faced with the daunting task of selecting all the right equipment, which doesn’t always comes cheap! There are also horror stories about people using cheap shears from overseas and not only wasting their money, but more importantly injuring the sheep.
With this in mind, here is a quick guide to shear selection for those with a small flock of sheep(between 1 – 50).
Lister Shearing Sheep Shears: holder of the Royal Warrant, made in the UK and the best price point for the quality.
Lister Laser 2 Sheep Shear: This is a great price machine and relatively light to hold in comparison to other machines. If you also own horses, you can change the head on this machine and use it for both horses and sheep. You have a choice of a mains version, or a version that runs from a 12 volt battery. It comes with 2 sets of standard farmer blades, perfect for the beginner and for most shearing. This is the shear I would pick if I also needed a horse clipper or if my shear budget was tight but I still wanted an efficient shear of excellent quality. £284.99
Lister Wizard blade – for Lister horse clippers: If you own a Lister Liberty, Laser horse clipper or even a Legend, you can attach these blades to your horse clipper. They aren’t quite as good as a full sheep shear, but if you’re only doing a handful of sheep, they’ll get the job done and you won’t need another machine. This is what I would do if I had a Lister clipper and only 1 or 2 sheep, or if I was experimenting with shearing before I fully invested. £52.99
LS201: This was a new model in 2016. It replaces the old Lister Tally Grip hand piece, and has a twin bearing making it far smoother to use. This is a hard wearing shear that is easy to maintain – ideal for small flocks. This is a fantastic traditional shear, with the advantages of modern design. £325.00
Heiniger Sheep Shears: perhaps the best known brand for sheep shears, but slightly more expensive than Lister. Made in Switzerland and amazing quality.
Heiniger Xtra: This is a powerful shear for dagging with a 320 watt motor. It can also be used on dirty cattle if you change the clipper head. £384.99
Heiniger 12 volt Sheep Shearer: You can buy a cattle and a horse head to go with this shear, making it the most flexible of all the shears – especially as it runs of a 12 volt battery/ A 65aH battery will run this shear for between 4 and 5 hours. It has a 12 volt motor (equivalent to a 220 watt mains motor) and makes 2300 drouble strokes per minute. £359.99
Heiniger Xpert Sheep Shear: This is one the newest sheers with a permanent magnet motor and the most advanced technology. This type of motor means the shear has less moving parts, does not create as much heat and needs a much less powerful motor to give a really powerful output. In theory, this type of motor should make the shear last much longer. This is the shear I would pick if I was going for a Heiniger shear for a small flock. £384.99
A note on Shear blades: Lister and Heiniger sheep shear blades are interchangeable, meaning you can use a Lister blade on a Heiniger Shear and a Heiniger blade on a Lister Shear (excluding the Lister Wizard blade which is used for Lister horse clippers).
Please see our next blog post for a guide to selecting the right sheep shear blade. There is a large variety, but some definite winners for beginners!
If you have any questions about sheep shears, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We are always happy to help.
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