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What Are the Different Types of Sheep Clippers?

By Cindy Quarters
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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Sheep clippers are clippers used to remove the wool from sheep, either for the purpose of harvesting the wool or to prepare the animal for showing. Clippers come in different types, including plug-in, rechargeable and non-powered. They typically have interchangeable blades. Sheep clippers are generally rugged and are selected based on the flock owner’s preferences as well as the number of sheep to be clipped.

The oldest type of sheep clippers still in use are hand powered. These are available in two main types, those that work like scissors and those that require a squeezing motion to power a clipper head. Hand-powered clippers have long been used to shear the wool from sheep and are still used in places where there is no power to operate other types of clippers. As a general rule these do not have blades that can be interchanged and they must be sharpened periodically in order to remain functional.

Rechargeable sheep clippers work well for small jobs, such as clipping the dirty wool from under the sheep’s tail. Compared to shearing the entire sheep this is a small job and the convenience of cord-free clippers makes it easier to manage. These clippers usually have interchangeable blades. They are also relatively small and easy to handle, though tend to be comparatively heavy since the unit also houses batteries.

A step up in power from rechargeable clippers are those that plug directly into electrical power. The cord on these can sometimes get in the way, but the fact that they don’t lose their charge in the middle of a job more than compensates for the inconvenience. The motor for these is in the body of the clipper. This can lead to overheating if a lot of sheep are clipped, but such clippers can usually handle a fair amount of use before heat becomes a problem and are good for flocks of about 50 sheep.

Farmers who have a lot of sheep, or people who shear sheep professionally, often choose sheep clippers that have the motor mounted in a separate unit. The clippers are connected to the motor unit by a drive cord. These usually have two or more speeds available. In virtually all cases the clippers also have interchangeable blades. This type of setup can often accommodate more than one set of clippers at a time, allowing more than one person to work from the same motorized unit.

Power for the separate motor used to run sheep clippers is typically provided by a standard electrical outlet, but in some cases sheep need to be sheared remotely and no power is available. For these situations there are motorized units that run from DC power. This allows them to be operated using a car battery or generator power.

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