Shear FAQs

Got questions about how to use your Lister shearing handpiece? We've put answers together for some of our most frequently asked questions, including guidance on cleaning, oiling, tensioning and fitting blades.

How do I clean the blades?

When you have finished shearing, clean the blades using the brush provided to brush away loose hair any dirt. Ensure to add a line of oil along the teeth of the blades before putting into storage for protection.

How do I fit the blades?

Fit the bottom blade or “comb” to the shearing machine and tighten the comb screws.
Slacken the tension nut and fit the top blade or “cutter” between the comb and the prongs.
Locate the prong cone in the cutter holes.
Hold down the fork and screw down the tension nut until light resistance is felt.
Set the “lead” and the “throw” and then fully tighten the comb screws.
Set the tension.

How do I set the lead?

Slide the comb backwards or forwards to ensure that there is between 1.5mm and 2mm between the cutter tips and the comb face bevel.

How do I set the throw?

Slide the comb left or right to ensure that the cutter moves evenly across the comb and overlaps the outer teeth by an equal amount. Ensure to check that the lead is still correct before fully tightening the comb screws.

How do I set the tension?

Screw the tension nut down until light resistance is felt. Then screw the nut down by a further quarter-turn. Insufficient tension will allow wool to collect under the cutter and reduce performance while excessive tension will overheat the blades.

Do not reduce adjust the tension while the machine is in operation.

How often should I oil the blades?

We recommend oiling the blades every 5-10 minutes when in use, using R30 or good quality engine oil. Before oiling, brush the blades clean of grit and dirt. 
Ensure to oil the following: blades, prong swivel joints, crank roller and both ends of the tension pin via the front oil hole, fulcrum post via the top oil hole.
Frequent oiling will help keep the blades running smoothly by reducing friction and heat, while preventing strain on the motor.

For more information, support or repair, please contact the Service and Repairs team at Lister Shearing on

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