Those who are serious about reloading and consistent shooting must appreciate the importance of correct case trimming.
The advantages of owning a case trimmer include convenience and cost-saving. Over time and with regularity of use, you will certainly recoup your initial investment. With this in mind, let’s see what advantages are gained through case trimming and also look at eight of the very best case trimmer reviews.
This should help you decide on exactly what you are looking for and which case trimmer accessory best suits your needs (and pocket!).
A very necessary step in your reloading process
One thing is for sure. Trimming cases should be viewed as essential if you are to achieve consistency.
The trimmer you choose should meet your needs in terms of completing the trimming process in a consistent manner, achieving trimming volumes in a reasonable timescale. And be purchased for a cost that you see as reasonable for the task at hand.
Reusing that brass!
It makes real sense to reuse your spent cartridges, and this is why you need an effective trimmer.
Due to the high pressure placed on a cartridge when fired from a weapon, the brass element is pushed forward. This extends its length. In order to reuse the cartridge to its fullest advantage, you need to trim the case down. Doing so will ensure it meets your specifications. This is where the best case trimmers on the market prove their worth.
You will achieve two things…
By carrying out proper case trimming, you will ensure that the cartridge correctly chambers into your weapon. And through this repeated process you are trimming cases down to achieve an exact length which gives finished cartridge consistency.
Towards the end of the article, we will look at some important considerations to take into account. Assessing these against your needs will ensure you chose the perfect trimmer.
But first, let’s take a look at eight of the very best case trimmer reviews…
Top 8 Best Case Trimmer Reviews
Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System with Hardened High Speed Steel Chamfer Debur Tool and Primer Pocket Scrapers with Trimmer
First up is a totally dedicated, fully motorized unit. With this trimmer, you insert each case by hand as opposed to locking it in.
An all-in kit…
While the unit will take a little setting up to meet your specs., once achieved, speed is most certainly yours. This makes it one of the best bulk case trimmers available.
Features include a chamfer tool, deburring tool, and two primer pocket cleaner tools (small and large sizes). You also get a trimmer that gives three collets and six shoulder bushings. On top of this, there is a handy, built-in storage box to hold any additional tools necessary.
It is suitable for .17 Remington caliber cases right up to the .460 Weatherby making it an all-in kit for your trimming needs.
Comfortable and steady…
Reduced vibration and effective noise dampening are achieved thanks to the rubber feet. There is also a very flexible angling feature which allows you to work at the height which is most comfortable for you.
Once set-up and practiced on, you will have to go a long way to find a better model for speed and bulk trimming. Yes, it is more expensive than other models on the market. But it should definitely be considered for those with frequent case trimming work to complete!
- Super quick trimmer.
- Ideal for bulk trimming.
- All-in-one kit. It includes everything you need.
- Takes a while to set up.
- Takes time to change settings and calibers.
Lyman Universal Trimmer with 9 Pilot Multi-Pack Trims .17 Cal to .458 Cal
The Lyman Universal Trimmer is fitted with the company’s patented universal Chuckhead. With a design style along the more traditional lines, the shape and operation will appear familiar to many.
Manual or automatic – The choice is yours…
This benchtop trimmer is of a sturdy make and turns smoothly. It should be noted that in best traditional case trimmer reviews you will find this unit is manual in operation. However, for those with bigger jobs in mind, it is possible to purchase a power adaptor.
While you can use it unmounted without a problem, many will find a permanent bench mounting more convenient.
Here’s why consistency and variety are yours…
It gives consistent, square cuts time after time and features coarse as well as fine adjustments. In terms of pilots, 9 of the most popular are included: .22/.24/.27/.30/9mm/.28/7mm/.35/.44 /.45.
Therefore, unless you are reloading 6mm/6.5mm, you are just about covered.
One thing you need to be aware of is to make sure you tighten the set screw sufficiently to ensure it remains in place.
- Nine pilots included.
- Sturdy, traditional, quality design.
- Option to convert to power (additional power adapter purchase required).
- Set screw liable to slipping.
- Additional cost involved if you wish to go ‘automatic.’
Lyman 7862210 Accutrimmer with 9 Pilot Multi Pack
Our 2nd Lyman trimmer review. This one is a more basic model but is still highly accurate when it comes to trimming.
Once you have mastered the settings, you will receive accuracy of +/- .002”. This trimmer needs experimentation time in order to get the hang of it. But, once that is achieved, you will certainly profit from the finished results.
Once again the package includes the Lyman standard cutter head and nine popular pilots. If you are looking at universal trim, it is necessary to buy a shell holder set.
Something to be aware of…
If you do purchase a shell holder set you will need to do this from Lyman. This is because although this is one of the best manual case trimmers available, it only accepts the Lyman shell holders.
Mounting of this trimmer is recommended. By doing so, you will achieve stability plus the added convenience of flexible use.
- Precise trimming when correctly adjusted.
- Arbor quite difficult to remove after trimming.
- The ‘stop’ will walk unless fastened down hard.
RCBS Trim Pro-2 .338 Lapua Mag 90366 Case Trimmer Kit Spring-Loaded Shellholder
RCBS get good press in many of the best quality case trimmer reviews. This is little wonder as the company is renowned for high-quality trimmers. This particular model’s traditional design and cutting handle are sleek. Allowing you to enjoy a smooth trimming process.
This is another of our best flexible case trimmer reviews where we recommend you bench mount the unit.
No need to lock it in…
What appeals to many is the spring-loaded shell holder. This means you do not have to lock-in every case as you need to do with some other trimmers. You simply slide in the case to be trimmed, cut down to your required size, slide it out. That is it. And an added advantage is that no shell holders are necessary.
The process does take practice, so be patient. Once you have it mastered trimming is easy.
No metric pilots…
Be aware that while a standard nine pilots are included with the trimmer, you do not get any metric pilots. If these are required (i.e., 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm) then you will have to invest in additional pilots.
This rates very highly in our best manual case trimmer reviews. Once you get the hang of the operation, it affords speed and ease of adjustment. Some may view it on the expensive side. Others will accept this thanks to its solid build, accuracy, and ease of use once settings and operation are mastered. Quality-made it certainly is!
- Once purchased you won’t be buying another any time soon.
- Universal shell holder is spring-loaded.
- Good, ergonomic design.
- Metric pilots not included.
Hornady Cam Lock Case Trimmer #050140
Those scanning the best tried and trusted case trimmer reviews will regularly come across Hornady products. This is because they are regularly classed as one of the best quality manufacturers in the case trimmer marketplace.
This high-quality trimmer is a fine example and is solid and very useable. To get the most from it, we recommend you anchor to your workbench. There are seven pilots included, so it comes ready to use for those with cartridge sizes of .22, .270, .30, .38, .45, 6mm and 7mm.
Accuracy is yours – here’s why…
Once you have locked a case into the cam and made any fine-tune adjustments, you will find this one of the most accurate case trimmers available. Indeed, the micro-adjust cutter will allow .001-inch changes without having to move the case. This is undoubtedly one of the most precise, consistent trimmers in terms of producing the case length you require.
- Micro-adjustable cutting head.
- Very accurate trimming.
- Only seven pilots.
- Shell-holders need purchasing separately.
- Needs to be bench mounted.
Little Crow Gunworks Worlds Finest Trimmer
A very brave statement, indeed! Our best case trimmer reviews find it a stretch to call this the ‘World’s Finest’ trimmer. However, in terms of design, it certainly does look unique.
A different approach – Drill required!
To use this trimmer you attach it either to a drill or drill press, insert your case and complete your trimming. The operation of this unit really is very straightforward.
Are you looking for speed?
Another advantage of this trimmer is if you have lots of brass to get through. The fast operation makes short work of your pile and does so consistently and accurately. Mind you; the time saved trimming may be taken up in tidying up afterward. This trimmer throws a fair amount of shaved brass around.
If you are a one cartridge size user, this trimmer could well suit you down to the ground.
Why is this?
Because each unit purchased is caliber specific. Therefore lots of calibers will mean a lot of separate trimmer purchases.
- Fast, efficient.
- Several ‘drill’ use styles available.
- Each unit is caliber specific.
- Potentially expensive if multiple caliber use is required.
Lyman Power Adapter Trimmers
Back to Lyman with our best power adapter case trimmer. We touched on the addition of this in our review of the Lyman Universal Trimmer above. It is not for everyone.
This unit is not in itself a complete trimmer. It works in conjunction with the company’s Universal Trimmer and converts this unit from manual to motorized. You simply place the trimmer shaft with this power adapter shaft then attach to a drill.
Ready to use in no time at all and the ability to rapidly trim around 250 cases in just one hour.
This adapter shaft has its own stop collars and cutter, meaning you can swap back and forth between powered and manual operation.
A word of caution…
Just to reconfirm, this adapter will only fit the Lyman Universal Trimmer.
- A useful addition for those who already own the Lyman Universal Trimmer.
- Allows switching between manual and motorized trimming.
- Only for those who have or intend to purchase the manual Universal Trimmer.
Lyman Products E-ZEE Trim Hand Case Trimmer Rifle Set
Our final accessory in the best case trimmer reviews is a model that will suit those on a budget.
Two ways to trim…
You can choose to trim cases either by hand or with the included power attachment. Both methods of operation allow you to achieve your desired preset length.
The power adapter connects this hand trimmer to an electric drill. This ‘motorized’ mode is recommended for larger sessions of trimming. The unit has a cutter, cutter head, trim-to-required-length pilot, and case locking device. It works with any standard shell holder, assembles very quickly and is offered in 3 practical variants.
A note regarding shell holders – standard shell holders for the case locking devices, are needed. These are sold separately.
It comes with a set of 5 popular pilots: .223 Rem/.243 Win/.270 Win/.30-06/.308 Win. Once your required pilot is selected no adjustment is required.
- Low cost.
- Pilot is not held firmly.
- Set screw and allen wrench not matching – Possible slippage after applying torque.
Best Case Trimmer Reviews Buyer’s Guide
Before investing in a case trimmer, you should take the following into account. By doing so, it will really help you decide on which of the best, fit-for-your purpose case trimmers need investigating further.
Gun enthusiasts who reload lots of brass need speed. This requirement is far more relevant to heavier users than those whose cartridge use occurs on a less regular basis.
The speed and ease of a case trimmer will certainly affect usability, quick turnover, and cost.
Do your needs justify the cost?
It is hard to justify spending long periods on trimming. On the other hand, it follows that occasional users have no need to initially invest in a high-turnover trimmer.
- Ease of use
Is it that important?
This is certainly a subjective consideration, but worth looking at. It is a fact that some of us take to trimming work far quicker than others. On the other hand, given time and trimmer familiarity your chosen trimmer is sure to get easier to use.
Having said that, the best, easy to use case trimmers clearly show that some of the available trimmers make life far easier from the off. But you also need to balance ease of set-up against ease of continual use.
- Caliber range
This is certainly not subjective. Those who have lots of different calibers to reload should invest in a trimmer that will handle them all. As can be seen from our reviews above, some of these units handle nine calibers.
If you do not have a wide variety of calibers to reload, then it makes sense to look at lower cost trimmers that suffice for your caliber needs.
The price you are willing to pay for any shooting accessory should always be a factor. It makes complete sense to seek the best value for money against meeting your needs. This is certainly no different when it comes to the best-priced case trimmers.
Taking the three previous points into consideration will give the answer to your question:
Is the price right?
You will quickly understand what price-tag you are prepared to accept. These considerations will tell you whether you need to invest in a top-end trimmer at a significantly higher price for high-turnover users. Or a lower-cost model that will more than suffice for an occasional shooter.