When a bullet is fired, the shell mouth gets rough and prolonged due to the explosion which occurs inside the case making shooting at a range a challenge. A quality case trimmer is one of the greatest investments for those who love shooting at the range. You can save lots of money by trimming and polishing any caliber to your preferred length.
Recently, new case trimmers with advanced features have rapidly increased in the market compared to the past. This has made shopping for these devices a bit challenging. To make the process easier, we have carefully reviewed some of the quality trimmers to help you select the best case trimmer that perfectly matches your needs.
Our Best Pick
Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System has ultra-hard HSS cutters which stay sharp for long and can trim cases without shell-holders making it Our Best Pick.
Our Budget Pick
Lyman Universal Trimmer with 9 Pilot Multi-Pack Trims .17 Cal to .458 Cal is affordable, fast and when equipped with power adapter it can trip up to 250 cases within an hour making it Our Budget Pick.
Table of Contents
Quick Comparison: Top 7 Best Case Trimmers
1. Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System
The Frankford Arsenal trimmer can trim brass with precision in seconds. The trimmer is constructed using high-quality steel and aluminum which makes it withstand the test of time. One thing we love about this product is its ability to allow users to trim and chamfer without using shell holders.
To make the process simpler, the trimmer has ultra-hard HSS cutters which stay sharp for long even after a thousand trimming rounds. The entire station can operate other three extra tools which make it stand out from other trimmers.
Frankford Arsenal trimmer has a VLD inside the chamfering tool which prevents bullets from damage and makes loading easier. Another welcoming feature about this trimmer is that its three output shafts accept all trimming case accessories within the 8 to 32 thread range. That’s not all; the package includes inside and outside primer pocket cleaners, and chamfer tools for preparing cases for loading.
2. Lyman Universal Trimmer with 9 Pilot Multi-Pack Trims
With Lyman Universal trimmer, you don’t need shell holders or costly case collectors. From coarse to fine adjustments, you can quickly adjust your settings for up to a thousandths of an inch. This gives you the freedom to trim your cases into your desired sizes.
In case of repeatability, you do not have to worry because the trimmer adjusting ring allows you to dial into an estimate setting easing the process. The trimmer is fitted with a special universal chuck- head which accepts any case within the .17 to .458 caliber.
One thing we love about this product is its design which allows users to grow their passion. The trimmer is fast, and when equipped with power adapter it can trip up to 250 cases within an hour.
The package includes nine popular pilots for pistol and rifle calibers.
Redding case trimming machine has been designed using a prolonged casted iron frame which helps maintain accurate alignments. The trimmer has a push button lock which helps simplify the loading and offloading while easing the case and pilot alignments at the same time.
Redding trimmer boasts of a micrometer which increases precision and case length adjustment repeatability which makes it stand out from other trimmers. That’s not all; you can also adjust to the finest settings as little as .001 giving you the freedom to customize your cases.
This RCBS trimmer is designed to work with standard pilots. The trimmer is sturdily constructed using high-quality materials which are long lasting. The 0.64-ounce trimmer has a spring-loaded universal shell holder which has been improved to lock the cutter and the lock case securely.
Users who gave this trimmer a try loved the speed and the ability to adjust the settings to even the fine tune using the micrometer adjuster. This gives you the freedom to trim your cases to suit your preferences.
However, you may experience challenges adjusting the trimmer for the first time if you have never used one before but once you set, you good to go. We would recommend this trimmer to anyone in need of a quality trimmer which can trim cases with high precision.
When it comes to trimming brass, this LEE Precision trimmer is one of its kinds. The 90437 model allows you to accurately trim your brass while chamfering the outside and inside of the case mouth simultaneously.
With this trimmer, you do not have to waste time measuring or making any adjustments. All you need is to install the right quick trim die, and you are good to go. The trimmer also has a click adjustable stop which allows you to adjust the trim length in .001 of an inch increase.
This enables you to shorten your case to a consistent shorter length than the standard minimizing trimming frequency. One thing we love about this trimmer is its ease of operation and its ability to trim cases with accuracy.
Lyman has designed yet another fantastic trimmer which comes with nine most popular pilots. Though you will be required to buy a set of shell holders for you to get universal trim-ability, the trimmer does not compromise when it comes to quality.
To position cartridge, Lyman Accutrimmer uses standard shell holders and can trim cases with a range of .17 to .458 win mag. The package includes a standard cutter head from Lyman which helps cut your cases according to your preferences.
7. Hornady 50140 Cam Lock Case Trimmer
Hornady is another quality brand trimmer which trims cases with high precision. Compared to other competitor products, there is no other trimmer which possesses unique features like the Hornady. Being one of the case trimmers with a micro-adjustable cutting head the Hornady trimmer allows you to adjust your trimming length effortlessly.
Other welcoming feature for this trimmer is its tall frame and its handle which has been redesigned for extra comfort. If precise and coherent case length is what you are aiming at getting, then this may be the right pick for your trimming needs.
Benefits of using Case Trimmers
Case trimmers allow you to reuse your cases reducing your ammunition costs
Easy to use
Trims brass with high precision
Facilitates safe loading by trimming your elongated brass
Modern case trimmers allow you to power them reducing the manual workload
Things to consider when buying case trimmers
Reloading is a hobby to many. However, with a poor quality trimmer, the experience can be ruined. A quality trimming machine will not only ensure you trim your cases with high precision but also save your money in the long run.
Here are important factors to be on the lookout each time you are shopping for a case trimmer. Just take a look!
Speed is one of the critical features that should be given much weight when it comes to selecting a trimming machine. A low case trimmer will consume much of your time and spoil the fun. A trimming lathe should speed things up.
Trimming lathe cutters need to be sharp to be able to trim your cases faster. Steel cutters will call for replacements occasionally unlike carbide cutters which last a lifetime.
Ease of use
Trimming cases should not be a complicated process. A trimming lathe with simple design will be easy to operate and save your time.
Chamfering and deburring are required after trimming your cases to make them smoother. Using your trimming lathe along with polishers helps remove any debris at the cartridge mouth down to its internal chamber hence extending your cartridge lifespan.
A perfectly cleaned shell helps improve the accuracy.
Not every trimmer in the market will trim your cases with precision. A good trimming lathe should allow you to adjust your settings and trim cases with accuracy. Try to check out how the machine has been reviewed by customers who gave it a try before purchasing.
Every trimming lathe has trimming size length. Your case caliber should fuel the type of trimmer to choose.
Almost every trimmer manufacturer has backed their machines with warranty periods. A more extended warranty period keeps you covered for longer should the device fail. Read all the term and conditions and understand what the warranty cover and for how long.
Case trimmers may require you to use some accessories. While some come equipped with all the accessories needed during the trimming process, others are not.
This means that you will spend extra money on purchasing the accessories. To save the cost, always consider selecting machines which have accessories included in the package. However, if the trimmer possesses special features, then it may not be a good idea to go for another trimmer that does not match your needs.
Reloading is economical, and price should not be so important since you will save money in the long run. Trimmer may vary in price depending on their quality and features. However, it’s always a good idea to stick to your budget.
Manual cranking can be irritating and tiresome especially when trimming a large number of cases. Powering your trimming lathe can increase the speed and allow you to handle a large volume of rifle cases.
Care and maintenance of case trimmers
Every machine requires proper maintenance and trimming lathes are not an exception. Though there is no much required to keep your trimmer in good physical shape, you will be required to carry out simple maintenance to minimize wear and tear levels.
If you have no idea how you can extend your trimmer lifespan, here is how to achieve it much faster.
Replace your cutters or sharpen them occasionally to ensure you get clean cuts
Oil your crank handle and the cutter shaft
Keep your cutter clean by removing any shavings or chips to facilitate clean cuts
What makes a good case trimmer?
A good case trimmer should be easy to operate and maintain
A good case trimmer should trim cases with precision
A great case trimmer should trim cases quickly