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You know how important to fill the chamber ideally have spent time reloading used cartridges. If you have no experience with that process, you will find out soon. When you fire a cartridge, the brass slightly expands to perfectly fill the chamber.
You can use your sizing die to resize the brass, but the expansion translates to the extra length. With time, the cartridges will not fit the chamber. This is where the best case trimmer comes in.
- My Top Case Trimmers Review
- Best Overall Case Trimmer: Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System
- Best Case Trimmer for the Money: RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit With Spring Loaded Shell Holder
- Best Cheap Case Trimmer: Lee Precision Cutter and Lock Stud
- Best Case Trimmer With Drill Attachments: Little Crow Gunworks Worlds Finest Trimmer
- Best Fast Case Trimmer: Lyman, Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress Case Trimmer
- Features to Consider for Choosing a Case Trimmer
- Frequently Asked Questions
My Top Case Trimmers Review
Finding an appropriate case trimmer can be difficult, especially if new to this. In this article, you will discover five case trimmers that are among the best on the market. You will get detailed information on all of them to help you choose the best one for you.
Best Overall Case Trimmer: Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System
The Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System is one of the best trimmers available on the market. It comes with a heavy-duty motor to handle thousands of rounds. This increases accuracy by making sure each round receives equal treatment.
When using this tool, you do not need to have a shell holder meaning the trimming and chamfering process will happen quickly, accurately, and effectively. Unlike the Lee Precision Cutter and Lock Stud, you must purchase the shell holder separately.
It is also motorized, so you do not have to spend your time doing anything manually. You must note that this trimmer has an adjustable collet system which requires cartridges with shoulders to index properly. This means it cannot trim cartridges that are straight-walled like those used in pistols.
One of the best things about this product is the in-built storage space to store other accessories you may need. It comes with other tools, such as primer pocket cleaning tools (small and large), deburring tools, and chamfer tools. You do not have to spend more money on buying these tools.
- It comes with everything you need to trim shoulder cases.
- Its design is versatile, and you can use it in different positions to suit any type of reloader.
- It has an adjustable metal stand housed in a rigid metal housing which enables it to last for a long time.
- It is noisy because of the motor. Other models, such as Lyman, Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress Case Trimmer, are not loud.
- Relatively bulky.
- It has no carbide cutters.
Best Case Trimmer for the Money: RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit With Spring Loaded Shell Holder
The RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit With Spring Loaded Shell Holder is made from the highest quality steel that makes it last for a long time. It is unique because you do not have to lock every case in. All you have to do is slide the trimming case in when you need to use it and slide it out when you finish using it.
The trimmer also comes with the following:
- Nine common pilots are .22, .24, .25, .27, .28, .30, .35, .44, and .45. This makes it ideal for all forms of standard pilots.
- An easy-to-extend cutting handle.
- Accuracy of 0.001 inches.
Suppose you are new to the trimming process. In that case, this trimmer is excellent for you. It comes with a training manual that makes it easy to use, unlike the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System, which is not easy for new users.
The reloading speed, however, is not impressive; the Lyman, Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress Case Trimmer is the best when it comes to that. It makes up for this with precisely trimmed cases with clean case mouths.
- It has a good design that makes it mountable and prevents wobbling when trimming.
- It has incredible precision, making it reliable for high quality reloads.
- It comes with all the necessary equipment.
- You may need additional pilots to trim specialty cases.
- To chamfer your cases, you need another step.
- It needs to be mounted, making it less workable for people with less space to work with.
Best Cheap Case Trimmer: Lee Precision Cutter and Lock Stud
This is one of the cheapest trimmers on the market. Do not mistake this for unreliable or inaccurate because that is not the case. The Lee Precision Cutter and Lock Stud come with a lock stud and a cutter that offer a quick and straightforward solution for trimming small batches.
You will need to purchase a shell holder and case length gauge separately, unlike in other trimmers like RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit that comes with a spring-loaded shell holder. The two items are not expensive, but if you are looking to trim more than one cartridge size, you will have to purchase more than one case length gauge.
This trimmer will work well for you if you are trimming a small batch of cartridges. All you have to do is buy the rest of the tools you need, attach the lock stud to a power drill, get the shell holder in place, and you are good to go. You have to make sure that the brass has a diameter of less than .475.
This trimmer, however, does not win when it comes to speed, especially if you compare it to the Lyman Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress Case Trimmer, which is the fastest on the market today. Most people like it because it is made in the USA.
- It is very cheap to purchase, and you can use it for a very long time.
- You can mount it on a power drill or use it as a manual trimmer.
- It is lightweight and small.
- It does not contain or capture the brass shavings, and you have to spend money buying this.
- It is difficult to use.
Best Case Trimmer With Drill Attachments: Little Crow Gunworks Worlds Finest Trimmer
This trimmer is a hybrid of an electric case trimmer and a manual trimmer. It is cartridge-specific, and it measures the cartridge length using its shoulder; this means you have to do case resizing before you trim.
One of the benefits of acquiring the Little Crow Gunworks Worlds Finest Trimmer is it is fast. It is even faster than the Lee Precision Cutter and Lock Stud as it can trim a minimum of 10 cases in under a minute.
Every crow unit has a specific caliber. If you have different calibers, you have to purchase different devices for each. To use this trimmer, attach it to a handheld drill, lock it, and switch it on. You can then insert your cases, one at a time.
It is more efficient than the Lee Precision Cutter and Lock Stud, and it has no overhead cost that comes with purchasing a Lee Precision Cutter. This makes it more expensive. If you are a beginner and do not have much space to mount your trimmer, it is perfect. It is also easy to set up, use and store.
- It comes as a complete set. You do not have to buy anything else.
- You are guaranteed to use it for a long time because of the quality.
- It is easy to use and store.
- It is messy to operate as it does not have a compartment to store the fillings.
- It is noisy because of the drill.
Best Fast Case Trimmer: Lyman, Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress Case Trimmer
If you have a lot of rifle brass to trim, the Lyman Brass Case Trim Xpress Case Trimmer is perfect for that. This trimmer has its power source, making it different from the rest of the trimmers on the list. This prevents you from spending more money getting on a separate motor or a compatible power drill. It also comes with an adjustment dial that allows you to make changes of 0.001 inches.
What makes this the fastest trimmer on the market is it trims approximately 15 cases in a minute. This is five more than the Little Crow Gunworks World’s Finest Trimmer. The fact that it is simple to use makes it a favorite of many beginners and those doing this for some time.
Its carbide cutters ensure precision cuts and long life on your casings. It does not take up much space on your workbench. It also comes with a set of 10 bushings that are designed for standard rifle cases.
- It is one of the quietest trimmers on the market, even when trimming.
- It is self-powered with an inbuilt motor, which cannot be said for the other products on this guide.
- It is easy to adjust the cutting depth.
- It has a place to store the trimmings, but it somehow dumps them on the workbench. You can solve this by putting something where they fall.
- It only works well when it is mounted.
- If you are left-handed, it will be slightly challenging to use this trimmer.
Features to Consider for Choosing a Case Trimmer
When looking for a case trimmer for your cartridges, you may become overwhelmed by the many choices you will have to choose from. It is good to know what you should look for to pick the best one for yourself.
|Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System
|RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit with Spring Loaded Shell Holder
|Lee Precision Cutter and Lock Stud
|Does it need to be mounted?
|Does it come with a shell holder?
|Is it electric/manual?
|Can be either
Knowing the power source of the trimmer is crucial as it helps you see if you will need to turn the handle yourself, as is the case with manual trimmers. Others need an electric drill or a reloading press. If you already have these accessories, you may want to purchase a trimmer that puts them to use.
Electric trimmers tend to be more expensive than manual ones. This, however, does not mean that you are going to get better results from them. You will have to consider how many rounds you will be working on. It is tedious to work on many rounds using a manual trimmer.
However, some special case trimmers, such as the Lyman, Brass Case Trim Xpress Case Trimmer, come with their power sources. Such case trimmers lessen your workload as you do not have to worry about looking for compatible power drills.
Lifetime of Blade
The trimmer blade requires regular changing and maintenance when it is no longer as sharp as it used to be. If you trim brass often and aggressively, the blade will become blunt. It also depends on the brand and the model. Most models will have you using one blade for approximately 900 trims before sharpening.
When changing the blade, you may be faced with some complications. Some trimmers require blades from a specific manufacturer, while others can work with different blades. Find out the type of blade your trimmer requires, how often you need to replace it, and where you can find a replacement.
Just because your trimmer can use a different blade does not mean you go for a cheaper option. Choose one that is made from high-quality materials to increase its lifetime.
If you work with different cartridge calibers, you will need a case trimmer compatible with all or almost all of them. Look for a machine that comes with different pilots or bushings.
You can also look for a trimmer that comes with the bushings or the pilots as part of the purchase. If this does not seem viable, make sure you can get them as a separate purchase, as with the Little Crow Gunworks Worlds Finest Trimmer. However, if you will only be working with one caliber, get a case trimmer for that caliber. It will save you money.
Material of the Cutter
Some trimmers come with essential steel cutters. While they get the job done, they are not the best. Getting a high-speed cutter made from steel would be a good compromise, as brass is not difficult to cut. As seen in the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Case Case Trim and Prep System, the high-speed cutter will last for a long time.
If you have a high volume of brass to trim during a single sitting, a carbide cutter will work best for you. It is made of a much more rigid material that stays sharp for a more extended period, even longer than a high-speed steel cutter.
Like other equipment, you will discover that the more expensive a brand is, the higher its quality, such as the RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit With Spring Loaded Shell Holder made of high-quality steel. This does not mean that if you do not have a lot of money to spend, you will end up with a low-quality trimmer. There are brands that produce good case trimmers on a budget.
Accuracy of the Trim
The reason you are looking to purchase a trimmer is to increase accuracy. This is why you need to consider how accurate a trimmer is before buying it. If you find yourself with cases that are longer than the tolerance level, chances are your gun will jam when you are firing. If the length of the cases is short, they are likely to cause the firing chamber to deform.
All case trimmers have a tolerance level that they can accumulate. Tolerance comes from the blade and human error, bushing, and setting the collet. After practice and trying to get a perfect fit, the length of the trim can still be found to vary slightly. Your hand also gets tired from all the pressure it is applying. This is what causes decreasing round precision.
The Frankford Arsenal P Case Trim and Prep System maintain its sense of accuracy by running automatically through a motorized system.
No matter how enticing some models and brands may be, it is vital that you choose something well within your standard. This will have you choose between a manual case trimmer and a motorized one. The cheapest option, the Lee Precision Cutter and Lock Stud, will provide you with basic functionalities while being gentle on your pocket.
Although this factor is minor compared to the rest, it is still essential. Look at the workspace you have to work with. Where will you be trimming your cases? Is the space enough? Will it affect other items on the workbench?
Trimmers like the Lee Precision Cutter and Lock Stud occupy little space; hence might be perfect for a small workshop. Knowing this information will help you decide on the best case trimmer for yourself.
Setting up the Trimmer
While case trimmers will take you a few minutes to set up, others are more complicated and require a lot of time to set up, especially if everything is still new to you.
If you are new, consider getting something easy to use, for example, the Little Crow Gunworks Worlds Finest Trimmer, as some trimmers may be challenging to use, and they will end up discouraging you.
Some people may have different cases that they need to trim and only one case trimmer. This means you have to figure out how to change the pilots every time you work on casings of different calibers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Case Trimming Necessary?
Trimming is necessary because the case is made longer as the brass flows forward. If you do not trim it, the case will be too long to fit in the chamber. The case is trimmed to a specific length to fit in the chamber. Trimming can also be done to the shortest case in the batch.
Does the Case Trim Length Affect Accuracy?
Typically, the length does not affect the accuracy of the cases as long as they are all the same length. This is why it is vital that you make sure all your cases are trimmed to the same length. Use the shortest case and measure the rest up to that one.
Does Pistol Brass Need Trimming?
Generally, pistol brass does not need to be trimmed. You are looking for accuracy to trim the brass of your revolver for a uniform crimp. In that case, you may look into trimming your pistol brass.
There are several things to consider before choosing the best case trimmer. This does not make the process an easy task. You will discover different prices, materials, characteristics, and manufacturers for you to choose from.
This guide will help you choose the best case trimmer to suit your needs. Once you have picked and purchased one that is perfect for you, you will notice that you will have more minor problems with your rifle; and your marksmanship will improve.