Whether you’ve got a handful of sheep or a flock of thousands, shearing is a vital part of the season. If you shear your own flock, rather than getting a professional shearer in, you need to ensure you get efficient, effective, and safe shears. While dog clippers might eventually get the job done on a single sheep, they aren’t reliable to shear wool because they lack the power and the blades are not designed to cut through fleece.
Below, we have listed ten of the sheep shears and clippers available, covering all budgets and to meet the needs of any farmer, regardless of the size of their flock. You will also find a guide to some of the most important features so that you can choose the sheep clippers that best suit your requirements.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Anbull 550W Electric Sheep Shears Professional 6-Speed Clippers||
|Best Value||Dragro 2021 Upgraded Sheep Clippers 500W||
|Premium Choice||Oster Clipmaster Variable Speed Clipping Machine||
|Premier 4000c Clipper Package||
|TakeKit Sheep Shears Professional Electric Animal Grooming Clippers||
The 10 Best Sheep Shears And Clippers
1. Anbull 550W Electric Sheep Shears Professional 6-Speed Clippers – Best Overall
|Dimensions:||13.7” x 3.7” x 1.7”|
The Anbull 550W Electric Sheep Shears Professional 6-Speed Clippers are mid-priced electric clippers with a 550W copper motor. The shears have a variable speed up to 2,600RPM, enabling you to alternate according to whether you’re doing a complete shear or just tidying up. The included blade is a vanadium steel blade that Anbull says is good for shearing up to 2,000 sheep. Air vents prevent overheating, and as well as a carrying case, you also get a selection of accessories that include a spare blade, brushes to clean the blade and motors, and lubricating oil.
Although there are cheaper electric shears available, the Anbull 550W is still reasonably priced and offers decent power and a good variable speed function making it one of the best overall sheep shears and clippers available. However, it is a heavy machine so it can cause fatigue after moderate use. It also takes some practice to get a clean and clear cut, so they are better suited to professional or experienced shearers.
2. Dragro 2021 Upgraded Sheep Clippers 500W – Best Value
|Dimensions:||13” x 32”|
Dragro has upgraded their 500W sheep clippers range to bring the Dragro 2021 Upgraded Sheep Clippers 500W. They have a 500-watt motor and variable speed settings up to 2,400 RPM. Six speed settings enable you to use a high speed and power through the bulk of the shearing before switching to a lower speed for precision cuts and for shearing around sensitive areas. These are very well-priced dedicated sheep clippers, and they do a reasonable job of shearing one or two sheep at a time. This is another set of clippers that also includes a carry case and accessories; you get a spare blade, cleaning brush, and a bottle of lubricating oil as well as carbon brushes, and a wrench.
The lower power of the 500W motor means that the Dragro Upgraded Sheep Clippers do get hot quite quickly. If you’re cutting more than one or two sheep, you will have to break often to lubricate the blade and to prevent overheating the motor.
The low price and decent accessory kit make these the best sheep shears and clippers for the money, as long as you aren’t shearing dozens of sheep in a single day. They do lack a bit of power and get hot quickly if they are used for long periods.
3. Oster Clipmaster Variable Speed Clipping Machine – Premium Choice
|Dimensions:||20.25” x 9.87” x 9.25”|
The Oster Climpaster Variable Speed Clipping Machine is a heavy-duty clipper that offers variable speed settings between 700 and 3,000 RPM. Oster has improved the strength of the clipper body in its latest release and claims that the new durable housing is shatterproof while being lighter than their earlier versions. An extra 400 to 500 RPM makes a huge difference when powering through multiple sheep in a day, and when you do need to concentrate on tidying up, they offer the convenience of being able to reduce the speed and take your time.
The extra power and durability of the new Clipmaster clipping machine do come at a cost and this is the most expensive product on our list, but if you’re shearing dozens of sheep at a time, the extra money does make the job go a lot quicker. You will need to lubricate often, but you can take this opportunity to give your arms a rest because the Oster clippers are a heavy set. You get a carry case, although it is quite flimsy considering the price you’re paying for the clippers. You also get a brush, lubricating grease, and an intake screen.
4. Premier 4000c Clipper Package
The Premier 4000c Clipper Package includes the 4000c slick shearing clippers. Slick shearing enables you to show off muscling and because this style of shearing is most often used for shows, you need a set of shears that are precise and effective and that don’t leave a mess behind. The Premier 4000c clipper package is not really designed for mass shearing.
It doesn’t have variable speed settings and it does need lubricating every three minutes. The motor is quite loud for a set of slick shears, but it rarely slows down when put under heavy load, which means that you can get a uniform cut right across the body. The clippers are expensive, but they do include a carry case which is attractive enough to carry around to shows and exhibitions with you. It also includes a good bottle of lubricating oil, which is going to be used often.
5. TakeKit Sheep Shears Professional Electric Animal Grooming Clippers
|Dimensions:||13” x 3”|
TakeKit Sheep Shears Professional Electric Animal Grooming Clippers are low-priced clippers, with a relatively low-powered motor, that makes a decent job of one-off shearing jobs but is not suited to shearing multiple sheep. The high-grade steel blade is of decent quality and there are six-speed settings, up to 2,400 RPM, so you can choose according to your expertise level or whether you are tackling a heavy fleece or tidying up around sensitive areas. 2,400 RPM is a bit lower than the top speed of most other clippers, which means it will take longer and more work to get through a really thick fleece. In terms of accessories, you get a carry kit, screwdriver, and cleaning brush. You also get an oil bottle, although there is no oil in the bottle so you will need to source this yourself.
The clippers can get hot if you try and take on too many sheep in one session and the lower power of the motor means that you should expect some heavy vibrations while you’re cutting, but their low price and reasonable quality means that they are suitable for shearing a single sheep.
6. Apelila 6 Speed Sheep Shears Electric Clippers
|Dimensions:||13.78” x 2.76” x 2.36”|
The Apelila 6 Speed Sheep Shears Electric Clippers have a 320-watt motor and six-speed variable speed settings up to 2,400 RPM. They are very affordably priced and Apelila claims that they can cut up to 10 sheep in one hour, although they also caution that you should slow down to avoid overheating the motor.
The 320-watt motor is low-powered compared to professional models. This means that it is likely to get hot quickly and suffer from greater vibrations than the higher-powered motors. It is also the reason that the shears’ maximum speed is 2,400 RPM, which is a little lower than others on the list. You do get a decent carry case with your purchase, as well as a cleaning brush, empty oil bottle, and a screwdriver for maintenance.
Although these are inexpensive shears, they do get hot quickly, which means that you have to take frequent breaks if you’re shearing more than one or two sheep, and the lack of power also means that they struggle with especially thick wool.
7. Beetro 550W Electric Professional Sheep Shears
|Dimensions:||13.59” x 3.9” x 3.25”|
Beetro makes several different models of electric sheep shears, including one with a 500W motor and these, the slightly more powerful Beetro 550W Electric Professional Sheep Shears. The little bit of extra power means that the professional sheep shears offer a maximum speed of 2,600 RPM and the shears don’t get as hot as lower-powered shears.
The speed is variable with six settings. Higher power settings are best for cutting through the majority of the wool, while lower settings offer greater precision and detail. You get a hard carrying case, a spare steel cutting blade, replacement copper brushes, a screwdriver, and lubricating oil. The Beetro is reasonably priced, although not quite the cheapest on our list, and it runs quieter than a lot of models.
Although the extra power is good, the lower speed settings are a bit weak and will struggle to cut anything but the thinnest covering, and the extra power doesn’t completely prevent these shears from overheating, so if you’re cutting several sheep you will need to take a regular break and give the cutters time to cool.
8. Sheep Shears Pro 110V 500W Professional Heavy Duty Electric Shearing Clippers
The Sheep Shears Pro 110V 500W Professional Heavy Duty Electric Sharing Clippers have a 500-watt motor that delivers cutting at speeds of up to 2,400 RPM at six variable settings. It is designed specifically for use on farm animals and, by swapping the blade it can also be used to shear alpacas, llamas, and goats. The blade that is included is suitable for shearing sheep, and you do get a spare blade, as well as a carry case, a bottle to put lubricating oil in (no oil included), and a set of carbon brushes.
These shears are more expensive than a lot of similarly featured clippers with the same power and speed range. And, while the shears themselves are sturdily built, the blades that are included are prone to breaking easily. If you’re cutting a lot of sheep, you will need to take regular breaks to give the motor a chance to cool down, and you should be prepared for regular blade oiling sessions to continue to get a good-looking cut.
9. Pet & Livestock HQ 380W Sheep Shears
The Pet & Livestock HQ 380W Sheep Shears are a medium to high priced set of electric shears with a 380W copper motor operating at 2,500 RPM. There is no variable speed setting, which means that first-time shearers might struggle with the speed initially.
Pet & Livestock claims that while these have a much lower power motor than other shears of a lower price, they are not prone to overheating and make a quick job of full shearing. You get a carry case, spare skin-safe blade, and the shears do have a slightly longer power cable than a lot of other models, measuring just over 18 feet in length. The extra cord length allows you to shear comfortably and without having to keep moving yourself and your sheep around. Also, the skin-safe blades do a good job of preventing nicks and cuts on your livestock.
These are expensive shears and lack the variable speed settings of others. Also, whilst they don’t overheat, some parts of the shears are prone to breaking. They are also heavy, so they might take some getting used to if you’re accustomed to more lightweight clippers.
10. HONGNAL Pro Pet Clippers Grooming Kit
The HONGNAL Pro Pet Clippers Grooming Kit is really cheap: the cheapest on our list, in fact. They are also sold as being suitable for use on sheep. These rechargeable battery powered clippers do use a 5,000mAH Li-ion battery which HONGNAL claims will run for up to 8 hours before it needs recharging. It operates at speeds of up to 7,000 RPM and is quieter than other clippers because it uses a battery rather than a louder and more powerful motor. When you buy the grooming kit, you get the clippers, battery, charging wire, and 5 combs so that you can cut to an appropriate length.
Although the clippers are advertised as suitable for sheep, they aren’t powerful enough to cut through wool efficiently unless you cut very regularly or are looking to just neaten up and clip away a few wild hairs. When used on sheep, the motor does struggle with the thick hair which means that it is likely to get very hot, requiring regular breaks and potentially causing uneven and untidy cuts.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Sheep Shearers
Shearing sheep not only enables you to sell or process the fleece, but it is essential to the good care and continued health of your flock. Typically done once a year, sheep shearing is a somewhat time-consuming and tricky task, especially if you have a flock of dozens or hundreds of sheep. Farmers with massive flocks tend to get professional shearers to at least help with the task but may still need electric shearers to clean up any matted fur or to cut those sheep that missed shearing day.
How Often Do Sheep Need Shearing?
Shearing is the process of removing thick wool from the sheep. It is typically done once a year before the warm summer months. Shearing should not be done until after the cold winter months have finished, in any case.
If you show your sheep or keep club lambs, you may need to shear more often. These cuts need to be precise, not for the quality of the removed fleece, but to enable you to show the sheep off properly, and it is typical for a show sheep to be cut frequently, requiring shears that offer greater precision but do not necessarily need to handle such thick wool.
What Happens If A Sheep Doesn’t Get Sheared?
So shearing is important and if you’re going to undertake the job yourself, you will need a decent set of shearers because they make the job go quicker and more smoothly. They can prevent injury and stress to the sheep, and they will work efficiently without you having to take regular breaks to let the motor cool down. The following are some of the most important features to look for when buying electric sheep clippers.
Most good-quality shearers are powered by an electric motor. This does mean that they have a power cable you need to work with, but it also means a more efficient motor than is offered with cordless, battery devices.
Motor power varies a little but ranges from the very low-powered 300-watt motor to powerful 600 watt or even bigger motors. Generally speaking, a more powerful motor will run at lower temperatures, therefore reducing the risk of overheating. It will also operate at higher speeds, and it will make it easier to cut through thick wool without facing any cutting issues or difficulties.
Speed is another important factor and is measured in revolutions per minute. A high speed would be considered to be 2,600 RPM while low-power settings can be much lower at 1,000RPM.
High power is best used when cutting an entire fleece but is also best used by experienced shearers because mistakes are easier to make and more difficult to rectify at these speeds.
Lower speeds are good for precision cutting, to minimize the load on the motor if you’re suffering overheating issues, and to cut around sensitive areas. Novice shearers are advised to start at a lower speed before moving up to increased rotations.
A small number of modern shears are fixed speed, which means that, for example, they will operate at a constant 2,600RPM speed. The whole shearer has been designed and set up for this speed, which means it should deliver consistent power and efficient results at speed. It is suitable for working through dozens of sheep and is ideal in the hands of an experienced shearer. It may not be suitable for precision work.
Other shearers have a variable speed setting allowing you to choose between up to six different speed settings: ideal for those starting out because it enables them to practice at lower speeds before making the step up. These adjustable shears are also beneficial because they can be used at high speed to cut most of the fleece and then turned down to finish sensitive spots.
Choosing A Shearer
When choosing the right electric shearer for your cutting needs, consider the following factors to ensure you get the best device for you.
How Many Sheep Are You Shearing?
If you’re shearing a small handful of sheep, you can take an hour or so per sheep. A lower power motor might be suitable because there is less danger of overheating. If you have dozens or hundreds of sheep to shear, you will want to minimize the time on each sheep while still ensuring a good job on every one. A higher power motor offers consistent performance and shouldn’t struggle under load. You should also consider the quality of the blades that come with the shearer because poor-quality blades will dull quickly.
Are You An Experienced Shearer?
Experienced shearers are not only quicker but they are more precise and less prone to nicking the skin. The most experienced and skilled shearers can cut an entire sheep, including the difficult areas, using a high-speed setting. First-time shearers should start with less power and move up to a more powerful motor as they gain experience and become more efficient at shearing.
What Type Of Cut Do You Need?
A general cut means shearing a sheep for its comfort while also getting as much of the fleece off in a single pass, as possible. This maximizes the resale value and useful purpose of the fleece while also reducing the overall shear time. It requires high-speed cutting and sharp blades. Club lambs are sheared more often and the wool is kept shorter. They are also cut much shorter and the wool should be cut to a uniform length, requiring a more precise electric clipper.
Can You Shear A Sheep With Horse Clippers?
Horse clippers are designed for use on horses. You might be able to buy a dedicated sheep blade for horse clippers, but the motor won’t be up to cutting more than one or two sheep and they might still struggle with thick wool.
Do Shears Cut Sheep?
Shepherds and shearers aim to minimize any cuts or nicks to the sheep because flock welfare and shearing results matter. However, some small nicks do occur. These tend to heal quickly without causing any problems.
Can I Use Sheep Shears On A Dog?
One of the major differences between sheep shears and dog clippers is that dog clippers have more safety features that prevent you from causing any injury to your pup. As such, while it would be possible to cut the hair, it is usually better to get dedicated dog clippers for the task.
Sheep shearing is a vital part of flock management and flock maintenance. It keeps sheep healthy, looking good, and if the fleece is being sold or processed, it also helps keep the wool intact and in good condition. Getting the right shears is important but there is a huge selection of electric clippers that are suitable, as well as some that aren’t.
Hopefully, our reviews have helped you find the set that best suits your requirements. The Anbull 550W Electric Sheep Shears Professional 6-Speed Clippers include a good blade and have a good variety of speed settings and are worth the little extra money if you can afford it, but for those on a tight budget and with a relatively small number of sheep to shear, the Dragro 2021 Upgraded Sheep Clippers 500W are inexpensive, include some decent accessories, and have a good range of speeds.
Featured Image Credit: Myriams-Fotos, Pixabay