Lister Shearing logo The Royal Warrant as presented to Lister Shearing, Manufacturer of Shearing and Clipping Equipment
Sheep shearing using handpowered machines

A Brief History

At the beginning of 1909, shearing legend, Godfrey Bowen hadn’t even been born. Tractor pioneer, Harry Ferguson was just 25 years old, and his Ferguson tractor was some 30 years away.


1909 was a time when sheep were painstakingly shorn with hand blades, and the luxury of mains electricity supply was decades away. It was in this year however that R. A. Lister and Company turned its 42 years of expertise in manufacturing agricultural equipment to sheep shears.


Working with Australian shearer, Jim Davidson, Lister designed and developed the No 3 shear - a product superior to any other shearing tool available. This shear, which was renowned for its ability to cut closer to the skin than hand blades, was just the beginning of a revolution which would change the way sheep were shorn forever.


This success through engineering innovation is as much a hallmark of the company then, as it is today. It is this ethos that led to Lister Shearing rapidly developing into an internationally known and trusted brand and enables the company to continue leading the industry.


Today, Lister products are still designed and manufactured in the UK with exports to over 60 countries. The range includes equipment for all levels of user and types of animal making it the first choice for both amateurs and professionals alike.

1909: The Beginning

RA Lister and Company make their first shearing machine. Lister Shearing is born.

1914 - 1918: The War Effort

As other manufacturing is paused whilst attentions are turned towards the war effort, the production of sheep shearing equipment continues by special order.

1947: Built To Last!

One of the first batch of 500 machines made by Lister is returned from Australia for repair after nearly 40 years of service.

1950: The Royal Warrant

Lister Shearing is awarded a Royal Warrant by HM King George VI. This award has been continually held over the years and is now awarded by HM Queen Elizabeth II

1958: Shearing School

In co-operation with the British Wool Marketing Board, Lister opens its School of Shearing. Travelling the UK passing on expert knowledge to young shearers. We continue to work with the BWMB to this day.

1964: Golden Shears

The first Golden Shears UK and Eire Championships is held. This has gone on to become the Golden Shears World Championships and is proudley still sponsored by Lister.

1998: Securing The Future

A management led buyout secures the future of Lister Shearing when it is put up for sale by its (then) parent company Lister Petter.

2003: An Excellent Parent

Wahl Clipper Corporation - at the time Lister's biggest customer - buys the company and begins an investment program.

2009: A Cut Above

Lister Shearing celebrate 100 Years of manufacturing shearing and clipping equipment.