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Shearers

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Shearers Starter KitsFind an alpaca shearer
Everything you need to get started shearing your own herd! And maybe others.
Enough to shear a herd of 20 alpacas

SHEARERKIT A
with Ropes

Contains:
1 – ANDIS
1 – OIL8
2 – 76MB13
2 – AA45
1 – RsOPES
1 – MAT510
1 – FLEECEBAG
1 – SHEARGREASES

$1,299.00Add to cart

SHEARERKIT B
with Table

Contains:
1 – ANDIS
1 – OIL8
2 – 76MB13
2 – AA45
1 – SHEAR Table
1 – FLEECEBAG
1 – SHEARGREASES

$2,249.00Add to cart

Premier Shearing Kits

Andis Shearer

FEATURES:
• High cutter speed under load
• 2600 spm blade speed
• Compact body size; and a high torque motor–enables rapid, smooth wool, fiber and hair removal
• Often “wows” those familiar with other motor-in-the-handpiece machines
• The 4000s is lighter, quieter, smaller AND as powerful as other leading handpieces
• Premier 4000s sold in 13T Shearing Package w/case, 4 oz oil, Spitfire 4 point cutter, Spirit 13 tooth comb and screwdriver.

Andis Shearing Kit

Andis sheep and alpaca shearer

FEATURES:
• Innovative connection between the clipper head and housing reduces noise and vibration for the user and animal.
• Quick tension adjustment knob and interchangeable blades provide a vast array of grooming options.
• Patented floating fork system extends comb and cutter life. Provides 2,500 strokes per minute.
• Includes single-speed shearer, 1 combs and 1 cutters, blade brush, screwdriver, blade oil, and durable hard case.

Jeremiah Squier, Open Division Champion at the 2nd Annual Alpaca Shearing Contest, won the top prize with an Andis hand piece and a Beiyuan BB cutter and 94MB 9 tooth comb. He used same cutter on all 3 animals


alpaca care dvdAlpaca Care DVD – includes shearing! This DVD covers many different subjects and was filmed for over 2 years to get the best possible footage. The shearing and birth portions are particularly comprehensive.

These DVDs also make great gifts for your new customers!

NEW from Premier!
  • Internal roller bearings instead of bushings (less heat, less wear and greater longevity).
  • Sleek, low profile head design (sharp visual look that catches your eye and impresses observers).
  • Suspended fork system (reduces risk of stripping the gear drive or breaking comb teeth).
  • No cutter retainer or retaining spring (both caused hassles and broke too readily).
  • Improved tensioning concept (spring clip is more effective at retaining tension than cupped washers).
  • No more black plastic sides (these were prone to falling off and frustrating users).
  • Tension column far superior in design, less small/individual parts to wear out.
    Requires just 2 screws, 3 minutes & a screwdriver to switch from a Premier clipper head to a shear head (will drive any 4 point cutter and 3 in. comb).

Andis Shear Head

Shear Head

Andis Clipper Head

Clipper Head


Tips From The Pro

How do I minimize shearing cuts? (click to see answer)

While a nick or two is normal and acceptable over the course of a day’s work, responsible shearers should strive to minimize skin cuts. There are several ways to accomplish this. I’ll speak in general at first then get specific on species.

    • Shear to a pattern. When we memorize a specific shearing pattern, danger areas and the sequence in which we cover them are recognized sooner and more likely gone over without incident. Simply being aware one is about to shear a potential “cut” area is often enough to succeed. When not shearing to a pattern or more likely “going back” to clean up a missed lock of fiber increases chances of cutting. Not only are we covering an area more than once, often when we go back, clipper approach to a given area is different than when it was shorn in the pattern. This is particularly true when shearing sheep or goats. The shearing pattern for sheep provides tight skin on a certain place on the sheep’s body. Shearing outside of the pattern covers body area that has not been “stretched tight”.
    • Learn the obvious danger areas. Neck folds on certain sheep breeds, wattles on Angora goats, stifle regions, navels on cria, etc. As a shearer gains more experience, he should learn to equate differing breeds with their own problem areas. An alpaca for example has a fairly tight skin. When stretched and restrained for shearing, however, there are a few wrinkles “created” by the position of the stretched legs. Being cognizant of these potential cut areas gives one an edge to shear without incident.
    • Gear experting. Using sharp combs and cutters, combs designed for the purpose, and correct alignment of blades on the shearing hand piece will eliminate probably 75% of potential problems. Too much “lead” on the comb for example can cause excessive “pushing” of comb through the fiber which can result in skin rolling up in front of the shears. Dull blades tend to chew rather than cut fiber and tend to pull skin upwards.
    • Confident use of the left hand. Particularly in sheep shearing if we’ve got the pattern down pat, 90% of the time we use our legs to hold the sheep in position. This frees left hand to smooth wrinkles ahead of the shears. Alpaca shearers have the advantage of a restrained animal; and can utilize the left hand to clear fiber and stretch skin.
    • Slow down, shear with confidence. If we’re constantly worried about skin cuts, our concentration will be off and not concentrating on area to be shorn. Wild flashing blows while spectacular to watch are never better than slow smooth movements of the right hand.
      Potential problem areas on alpaca:
    • Skin wrinkles above the stifle region particularly on older or thinner animals
    • Skin wrinkles above the stifle region particularly on older or thinner animals
    • Cria navels
    • In between front legs of stretched alpaca
    • Wrinkles at base of neck particularly on very dense animals
    • Knee and brisket pads ( a calloused area caused by cushing)
    • And of course ears, tails and anything else that sticks up

Matt

How often should I oil my shears?(click to see answer)

The goal is to provide adequate lubricant to keep things moving along (literally) but not so much as to be wasteful or incur fiber contamination. One should always obey manufacturer’s recommendations in literature provided with purchase of shearing equipment. Generally for most brands of hand-held electric hand pieces, this involves lubricating bearing surfaces in the shearing head of the machine. Oil ports vary in number and location but as a rule require several drops of lube every half hour or so of operation. If we’re shearing 4 alpaca an hour, a couple of squirts after every two.

Oiling the blades themselves should be done at least at every cutter change. While oiling the combs and cutters does provide a cooling effect, blade heating is not a symptom of inadequate lubrication. The comb and cutter should be thought of as multiple sets of scissors and oil is not necessary for proper cutting. Too much tension, running while holding them out in the air, and contamination (dirt) in the fleece are the real culprits of heat build up. Excessive oiling of the blades result in fiber stains and a real mess on the shearing floor. Learning shearers will experience gear heating more than professionals and be tempted to oil more often. Alternating hand pieces, frequent blade changes, keeping the shears busy cutting off fiber and keeping air inlet screens clean are better options than continued oiling. Beginner shearers should strive to oil less frequently as experience is gained and speed of shearing increases. If hand piece heating is a problem, better to cool the comb by resting it on a damp towel or sponge.

Most shearing equipment manufacturers also provide oils suited to their machines. While a quart of “Wal-mart 10W30” can be used, a lighter clipping oil is better. Spray lubricants should be avoided.

  • -Oster electrics have 3 oil holes on left side of shearing head
  • -Premier electrics have one oil hole in back of tension nut
  • -Heiniger/Andis electrics have one oil hole in front of tension nut
  • -Most shafting plant handpieces require oiling the crankshaft ball, tension pin and cup and center posts

Matt

How can I reduce second cuts?(click to see answer)

Good shearing can be broken down into about four principles.

1- Know the equipment
2- Know the pattern
3- Know the contour of the animal
4- Repetition

Shearing with a minimum of second cuts involves all four, but particularly number 2 & 3. In order to shear clean we must keep the comb teeth on the skin. Supple wrist action is a must. A shearer needs to twist the shears sideways to keep the bottom (right most tooth) on the skin as we follow the curves of the animal while also bending the wrist to begin and end each blow on the skin. Second cuts occur then we allow the comb to come up off the skin, then go back and clean the area up OR overlap on the next blow. Filling the comb (using all the width) prevents this overlap. This is particularly important when using today’s wider concave flared combs.

Having the shape or contour of whatever animal we’re shearing memorized as well as knowing the order in which we’re going to approach those contours (pattern) gives us a great advantage in keeping those comb teeth on the skin. For example: When I shear an alpaca, I know, without a doubt that on the fifth stroke from the start in position one, I’m going to cross over the alpacas spine and shear on the far side of the backbone. When I put this blow in, I have to twist my wrist to keep the bottom tooth down. Because I’m able to anticipate this, I can prevent a second cut in the middle of a clients show fleece.

Keeping a sharp comb and cutter on the handpieces also prevents furring (small fiber pieces similar to second cuts.

Matt

Have a question? Ask Matt!


Videos OnYouTubeLogo

 Proper Start up Tension

Proper Start up Tension

 Proper Tensioning of handpiece.

Proper Tensioning of handpiece.


Just a few weeks ago I took a course on sheep shearing to be able to do my own small flock of eight Shetland sheep. While I was successful during the course, when I went to actually shear yesterday it was very frustrating (to say the very least) and I ended up stopping after two sheep. The shears were not doing what I knew they were supposed to do. I was very upset and frustrated and considered basically saying, never mind, I’ll have someone come do it.

After calming down and doing some research I came across your YouTube video on tension. There is NO doubt in my mind now that that was the problem. I even noticed the balled up wool under the blade when I took them off to clean them yesterday and thought to myself, huh, I don’t think that’s supposed to be there.

I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but you have completely given me my confidence back and I know that when I go to shear again this weekend, it will be a completely different ballgame. I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you.

I will always be grateful and (while I don’t have alpaca personally), I will be sending everyone I possible to your website.

Seriously…. you have no idea. Thank you so much.
~Erika


Premier’s Shears vs. Others


While developing our machines, we conducted evaluations of the machines available. We noted “hard” data like length; weight; grip; blade/cutter cycle speed under varying resistances; and cost. We also paid attention to subjective points—balance; feel; sound; heating of head and motor; ease of installation of blades/combs/cutters. And we compared how they actually cut wool and hair. Remember that no unit (including our own) is perfect. All have strengths and weaknesses. Regarding the speed results: The normal “load” while actually clipping hair, wool or mohair will besomewhere between the middle & high. Our “zero load” setting was at less than normal blade or cutter tension. Expect your results to vary from these in response to: voltage differences (from 105v – 125v); variations between individual units; measuring instrument variations. Differences of less than 5% are not significant. Our lab results were similar to our in-field observations. We were better able to compare Lister and Premier clippers because a common set of blades, spring and tension system could be used—enabling a common test protocol.


Shearing Machines Lgth.
In.
Wgt.
Lb.
Grip
(Circ.)
Cutter speed
Load: zero >> medium
Wattage
Relative Size Comparison
Andis Premier 4000s 11.7 2.5 6.4 2700          2600 220 Watts ComparisonChart
Lister Laser Shear 12.3 3.1 7.9 3000          2500 220 Watts
Oster Shearmaster 13.3 3.1 6.4 2900          2500 220 Watts
Andis 68000 Shear 13.3 3.2 6.9 2600          2400 220 Watts

Some valuable tips on Shearers:

  • Heiniger makes the Andis handpiece as a “private label” product and the specs are the same.
  • The differences between the Heiniger/Andis and the Premier are pretty significant.
  • Both have pros and cons:
Heiniger / Andis
More power
Easier to set proper tension
Premier
Lighter
Quieter
Smaller circumference on the hand grip
More convenient on/off switch location
More difficult to set proper tension
  • I use both machines in my shearing practice
  • I like the Premier better for the above reasons
  • However the Heiniger/Andis will power through comb tensioning that isn’t quite right and debris under the cutter that requires an extra crank on the tension nut (not recommended)
  • Therefore I find that new shearers struggle a bit more with the Premier because it is less forgiving when the set up isn’t just right.
  • When the comb and cutter are tensioned properly the Premier can keep up with a very fast pace of shearing.
  • The Beiyuan Handpiece is a pro product for use w/ a hanging power plant.
  • The Beiyuan line is pro tested and used by many shearers in big sheep markets like Australia and New Zealand.
  • Figure 12-15 sharpenings per comb or cutter.

Some tips for cria shearing:

  • Cria fleece is fine as you know, therefore fresh, sharp gear and a bit of extra tension is in order • Also because of the fineness, the fleece needs to be as dry as possible to prevent it from “mushing” between the comb and cutter • I shoot for a 9-11am window after any morning dampness has dried and before they get sweaty from the summer heat • Any chasing of the cria may cause just enough sweating to make the cria fleeces harder to shear

A couple of tips for reducing the chance of the dam rejecting the cria:

  • I like to let mom watch right over my shoulder or very close by • I use limited amounts of oil to reduce the chance of the cria smelling really differently • I don’t shear much of the tail to again reduce the impact on the mom’s perception of the baby’s smell

Please call us with any questions or for advice. 866-999-AVA1 (2821)

Jay-Signature-Short