The Best Case Trimmer for Reloading Ammo

For shooters who are into reloading their own ammunition, it’s essential to do proper research before deciding on the best case trimmer for you.

Handloading a rifle is an important job for shooters who intend to get the very best out of their rifles. Reloading your own ammo begins with reusing already spent bullet cases. It is not uncommon for these bullet cases to get damaged over time with repeated use.

Cases can get dented, roughened, and damaged over time. Sometimes they might even get longer. Once these cases start to stretch, you will need to purchase the best case trimmer to cut them back to their normal length.

There are several case trimmer brands offering trimming devices that are easier to use alongside other features. That makes picking one out quite a chore.

This article is a guide for the best case trimmers currently available on the market and features to look out for.

The Best Case Trimmer for Rifles

1. Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim 

Frankford Arsenal is one of the best brands when it comes to gun accessories and reloading. The Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series case trim is a perfect blend of power and design.

This case trimmer kit is more than just a case trimmer, it is also a deburring tool and primer pocket cleaner. It comes with extra features such as a chamfering kit, case length trimming cutters, a primer pocket reamer, and a deburring bit. This will work effectively on cases ranging from the .17 Remington up to the .460 Weatherby.

You also get extra storage space for other tools with this pack. Coupled with an adjustable collet, high-speed and high-quality steel cutters for precise cuts, and a shoulder indexed trimming that guarantees speed and accuracy.

The Frankford Arsenal Platinum Case was built for multi-use. You can combine trimming, manual deburring, chamfering, and primer pocket prep all into a single process. You can also complete these steps with just one machine.

What We Like

  • Strong metal housing
  • Adjustable metal stand
  • Multi-use workstation
  • Extra Features such as Deburr, Chamfer, and Primer Pocket

What We Don’t Like

  • Quite heavy
  • No carbide cutters
  • Quite pricey
  • Not beginner-friendly

Buy On Amazon.com

2. Hornady Cam-Lock Trimmer

The Hornady cam-lock trimmer is one trimmer that gets the job done. This is just a trimmer and doesn’t come with extra features. If you already own a case prep station and are on the lookout for just a trimmer then this is perfect for you.

Regardless of the thickness of the cartridge rim, this strong trimmer design will get the job done. There are screw holes to attach the trimmer securely to a bench. Another lever to secure the case and a spindle lock for various case sizes.

This case trimmer is a good option for pistol brass and can hold several caliber sizes such as the 6mm, 7mm, 22 cal, 270 cal, 30 cal, 38 cal, and 45 cal. The cutting head is also made from high-quality steel and is replaceable.

The adjustable lockouts on this case trimmer will let you make adjustments in increments of 0.001 of an inch without having to move the case. Its exclusive cam-lock also allows you to easily make adjustments on the shell holders.

What We Like

  • Replaceable cutting head
  • Case length up to 50 cal
  • Strong cutting head
  • Quiet
  • Super length consistency
  • Adjustable length

What We Don’t Like

  • Requires a base to work effectively
  • Manual trimming process
  • Slow process
  • You have to purchase Hornady shell holders

Buy On Amazon.com

3. Lyman, Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress Case Trimmer

The Lyman brass smith case trimmer is easily on the best case trimmers available on the market. With this design, you won’t need pilots. Instead, it comes with 10 bushings that will fit most bottleneck rifle cases. You can also purchase other bushings if the one sold with the kit does not fit your caliber.

These bushings are spring-loaded to make the case trimming process easy and seamless. With this trimmer, you can trim as many as 14 cases per minute. There is an adjustment wheel for case length adjustment that can go as much as 0.001 of an inch. The consistency of the length is also pretty reliable.

This case trimmer design is not only quiet but also very dependable. The cutter is made from tough carbide, is extremely durable, and will last even longer than steel cutters. The cutter is also easily replaceable. Its compact design ensures that you can go about your business with minimal space on your reloading bench.

What We Like

  • Compact design
  • Consistent length
  • Quiet
  • Fast
  • Length dial is easy

What We Don’t Like

  • Needs to be mounted on the reloading bench
  • Can cause thumb fatigue

Buy On Amazon.com

4. Frankford Arsenal Universal Precision Case Trimmer 

The Frankford Arsenal Universal Precision Case Trimmer is made for both beginners and experienced reloaders. This case trimmer comes equipped with all the reloading tools that you will need from deprimers to tumblers.

With this trimmer, you can create consistent ammunition sizes without much effort. You don’t have to purchase shell holders or caliber-specific pilots for this precision case trimmer.

It comes equipped with a collets index that is off the case shoulder allowing it to trim shouldered cases from 17 Rem to 460 Weatherby Magnum. All you have to do is correctly install the collet, adjust the trimmer to your preferred length and then secure the trimmer into the drill press.

This case trimmer can easily be attached to a drill press or a ½ hand drill. This trimmer also comes equipped with a brass shaving ejection port that guarantees you a neat work area and a tight fit. It also has its own storage case for easy access and quick trimmings. The cutter is made from durable material and is long-lasting.

What We Like

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Long-lasting cutter
  • Storage case
  • Brass shaving ejection port
  • Fast
  • Accurate

What We Don’t Like

  • Not so easy to assemble

Buy On Amazon.com

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

The RCBS Pro-2 trimmer kit was primarily designed for precision. This case trimmer comes with a spring-loaded shell holder that simplifies the reloading process. This shell holder can securely hold any case. This kit also comes with standard pilots including 9 of the most common types.

The RCBS case trimmer has a cutting handle with an extended lever to make operating easy. Once the case is aligned with the cutter and pilot, this device locks it in place. To get the best output from this trimmer, it needs to be mounted on a workbench.

With the correct settings, you will get the same case length with every trim. The bushings are also adjustable at .00 micrometer markings. This case trimmer is made from long-lasting quality materials to give you the best experience.

What We Like

  • High-quality
  • Universal shell holder
  • Easy to use
  • Precise trimmer
  • Spring-loaded shell holder secure feature

What We Don’t Like

  • Quite pricey
  • Needs to be mounted on a workbench

Buy On Amazon.com

Features To Look For When Buying A Case Trimmer

Once you decide to purchase a case trimmer, there are a few things to look out for. These features all contribute to the value and user experience of the tools. Such features include:

Cutter Material

The cutter material is always a big factor in determining what case trimmer you should choose. A few case trimmers will come with a basic steel cutter, which can sometimes get the job done but won’t work the best. Getting a high-speed steel cutter is a good compromise.

For a high volume reloader, who plans to trim a high volume of cases in one sitting, then it is recommended to purchase a carbide cutter. Carbide cutters are made from carbide which is a stronger material and can stay sharp for a longer period than high-speed steel.

On the other hand, if you don’t handle a large load and you need this for occasional or little workload then the high-steel cutter head is recommended for you. High-speed steel would serve you for a while and will cut easily too.

Asides from the material used in the production of the cutter, it is also important to consider how easy it is to replace the cutter. Several case trimmer brands allow for easy replacement of their cutters. It is more budget-friendly to replace a cutter than it is to replace an entire trimmer.

Powered or Manual

The second feature to consider before purchasing a trimmer is how the trimmer cutter is powered. Some trimmers come with an electric motor to power it, while others have a manual hand crank to turn the cutter. Cutters with electric motors can be quite pricey but they are so much easier to use. Keep in mind, they can also be louder than the manual case trimmer.

An electric-powered cutter is not necessarily better quality than a manual trimmer. In fact, in most cases, they are only recommended for high-volume prep. Manual cutters are much cheaper and tend to be of higher quality.

Speed and Quantity

High-volume users who have more ammo to trim would prefer to go for faster case trimmers. You should also look out for case trimmer models that can be attached to an electric drill or electric screwdriver. This is most recommended for shooters with weak hands or those who cannot withstand long manual trimming sessions.

Extra Features

Extra features should be considered before picking out a case trimmer. While every case trimmer does the base job of trimming cases, some case trimmers offer way more than that. There are some case trimmers that can handle other case prep actions.

Another extra feature to look out for is a replaceable cutter. Especially when choosing a high-quality, pricey case trimmer. Make sure you can easily swap out a blunt cutter for a new one.

Versatility

Several case trimmer models are dedicated to trimming a single caliber of cartridge only. While others are more versatile. With these types, you can buy add ons for shells with different gauges. There are also some brands that come with several pilots suitable for the different gauges included during purchase.

Price Range

The final thing to consider before purchasing a case trimmer is the price. You’ve probably drawn up a budget before looking for one, and you should be able to stick to it. There are several types of case trimmers from different brands that can get the job done at varying prices.

Expensive does not necessarily guarantee high-quality or durability. Make proper market research and go for the best brand offering your specific trimming needs at an affordable price.

Benefits of Using a Case Trimmer

Better Accuracy

Using a case trimmer not only increases your efficiency but guarantees better accuracy. Expert shootings understand that when it comes to reloading ammunition you need consistency.

For precise shooting and quality reloading, it is best to use a case trimmer. While the process might be a little boring or tiring, it guarantees you consistency and accuracy.

Simplifies Reloading Process

Purchasing a case trimmer drastically simplifies the reloading process for shooters. Once you can trim the brass to a consistent length, then you can keep the jam to a minimum. Consistency in the round’s size also makes chamfering and the pulling out process even more accessible.

High-Quality Finishing

Another advantage to using a case trimmer is that you are guaranteed to get high-quality finishing. You are going to have a more consistent and accurate round than you would when the case was not trimmed.

Final Thoughts

Owning a case trimmer makes multiple reloading easy and fast. Every single trimmer in this guide is high-quality, and we’ve summed up their pros and cons to help make the buying process easier.

The best case trimmer of them all is the Frankford Arsenal Universal Precision Case Trimmer which is a multi-usage case trimmer. It is super-efficient and simplifies the entire reloading process.

With this guide on the best products and features to look out for, picking out the best case trimmer most suitable for your shooting needs should not be too difficult.

Browse through our website if you’re interested in other gun accessory reviews, or general knowledge on guns and how to take care of them.

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