Sheep Shearing Machines

Once you have decided upon shearing your own sheep, the first important step is choosing what method you prefer. To a large degree this will come down to how many sheep you own or plan on raising. For a small number you might choose hand shears, which is popular with native shearers and some old-timers. We have never actually used this method though we have hired Navajo shearers that have and I can tell you that unless you have a strong back and a lot of endurance (young) this is probably not a practical option. Mostly this methods only advantage is it is inexpensive and doesn’t rely upon power.

The second method is probably the most commonly encountered, the electric handheld shearer like the Oster Variable Speed Showmaster. There are several other professional grade machines available which are suitable for small herds (our average is about 30 ewes and a few rams) and relatively inexpensive at about $400. The third method is a professional shearing machine which most professional shearers use, these cost twice as much but offer many advantages, but starting out it is probably best to stick with a handheld shearing machine like the Oster Showmaster.

Starting out you will want to keep it simple, you do not want to buy every gizmo and gadget you come across because you will quickly discover that there is no real shortcut that you can buy to become Paddy Carmody. You will quickly learn that you need to save your money for a good quality reliable clipper, lots of combs and cutters and lubricating oil. Our greatest burden during shearing season is keeping enough combs and cutters on hand, which are expensive and require special sharpening.

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