The 7 Best Case Trimmers in 2019

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
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

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.

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.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Trimmer cutters are hard and stay sharp for long
  • Can trim and chamfer without shell holders
  • Can operate three extra tools
  • Prevents bullet damage and eases the loading process

CONS

  • May take time to learn how the trimmer works

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.

PROS

  • Does not require shell holders or costly case collectors
  • Easy to operate
  • Can be equipped with power adapter to boost its power
  • Fast trimming speed
  • Comes with nine popular pilots

CONS

  • Needs proper practice when adjusting the setting

3. Redding Reloading - Case Trimming Lathe

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.

PROS

  • Easy loading and offloading
  • Trims cases with precision
  • Allows for small adjustments
  • Has a micrometer for accurate length measurement

CONS

  • We did not find any

4. RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit with Spring Loaded Shell Holder

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.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Can adjust to the finest settings
  • Improved spring-loaded shell holder for holding the cutter and lock case in place
  • Works with standard pilots

CONS

  • It may sometimes be challenging to center the case for the trim pilot making it move closer to the trim head resulting in a too short case

5. LEE 90437 DELUXE QK TRIM CASE

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.

PROS

  • Trims cases at faster and accurately
  • Easy to operate
  • Does not require calipers or any adjustments

CONS

  • We did not find any

6. Lyman 7862210 Accutrimmer with 9 Pilot Multi-Pack

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.

PROS

  • Trims cases perfectly well when the settings are adjusted correctly
  • Comes with nine most popular pilots and a standard cutter head
  • Easy to use

CONS

  • Stop may walk at times making your cases longer
  • accepts only Lyman shell-holders

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.

PROS

  • Trims cases accurately
  • Has a micro-adjustable cutting head
  • Has a redesigned handle and a taller frame
  • Comes with cam-lock case trimmer
  • Comes with the most popular pilots

CONS

  • Shell-holder are sold separately

Benefits of using Case Trimmers

  • Case trimmers allow you to reuse your cases reducing your ammunition costs
  • Reliable
  • 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

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.

Cutter

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.

Additional features

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.

Precision

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.

Trimming needs

Every trimming lathe has trimming size length. Your case caliber should fuel the type of trimmer to choose.

Warranty

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.

Accessories

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.

Cost

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.

Power upgradability

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

Final Verdict

You can never go wrong with a high-quality case trimming lathe. The convenience and efficiency these machine offers are incomparable to none. You can now trim your cases and save money that would have been used to buy new ammunition.
However, each trimming lathe is designed to perform differently. Though these machines may differ regarding size, design, weight, speed, and performance the best case trimmer should be easy to operate, accept various cutting heads, easy to adjust, fast, and above all deliver clean cuts.

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