The use of a best case trimmer can truly and highly reduce ammunition costs, especially for the enthusiasts of reusing cases. Did you know that you can reuse your fired bullets? There are a number of target shooters who walks to the spot, picks the bullets and trim them for another round of target shooting. This is such a good practice but can only be practical and realistic if you get the perfect case trimmer that can enhance the trimming process.
Before choosing a case trimmer, it would be prudent for you to get the answers to the questions below. If only you can get the answers for each question, rest assured that you will end up with the better case trimmer that the market can offer for your specific needs. The questions are:
- How accurate would the case trimmer trim each of my bullet’s cases to their pre-set lengths
- What is the speed or rather the cutting aggression of the trimmer?
- What additional functions would the case trimmer offer me?
- How square would the cut be made in reference to the case mouth and with respect to the case’s axis
- Is the case loading and offloading process easy?
- How much clean would the cut be when this case trimmer is used?
- What are the caliber pilots offered by the trimmer manufacturer and what are the acceptable cartridges (case head sizes)?
- Is this the good case trimmer for me at its range?
Types of Trimmers
There are several case trimmer types available for you in the market. These include:
- The Default: Lather-Type - This is the most common type carrying the likes of RCBS and Lyman among others
- The fixed-adjustment type: It is the most simple as well as the lowest in cost
- On-Press Trimming: A raw speed trimmer type
- Shoulder-Indexing: For high-volume precision
- Low-Volume precision type
The Default: Lathe-type Systems
The systems have been designed to clamp the bullet in some type of holder before trimming it using a cutter that would be extending from the trims opposite side. It comes with the possibility of making from crude to fine adjustments, as well as from slow to fast. This type has some of the best case trimmers just by the simple fact that they are capable of trimming literally any type and size of caliber there is in the market.
The Fixed-Adjustment: Simplicity and Low Cost
Each of these units have been designed for a single caliber size hence would only be a great choice if you are sure you will never want to change a gun and caliber. Its greatest advantages are its low price together with its simple design thus making it easy to load, trim and unload.
On-Press Trimmer: Raw Speed
This is an unbeatable type as far as raw speed is concerned. Unlike other trimmers that will take a few seconds to trim, chamfer and deburr the bullets, the on-press types take no time at all. Its trimming die also works as the sizing die hence upon sizing, you will also have trimmed. Killing two birds at ago!
Maybe the term low volume has been overstated since the system can be as fast as or even faster than some of the Lathe-types. The system is slow to set up thus a great choice for someone who infrequently changes their calibers. This type of case trimmer comes with a convenient clamp/stand mechanism for ease of use. Each caliber is reset using a new case holder and deburring tools aren’t included in the design. It is not the best choice of a case trimmer.
Shoulder-Indexing: High-Volume Precision
This is a type that would be used to trim large volumes of bullets per unit time. It is the good case trimmer for those who don’t mind some case-length variance. Insertion of cases is easy, chip management great and adjustment quite easy in deed.
As you go shopping for a case trimmer, there are a number of factors worth great consideration. Such include the numbers of cases to be regularly trimmed and your budget among other factors that we are going to look it below.
Factors of Consideration When Searching for the Best Case Trimmer
Amongst the very first things of consideration when shopping for the perfect case trimmer is the simplicity of design & construction and its ease to use. Look for a case trimmer that will work maybe by just chucking up its case on a drill or so, followed by simply running the trimmer.
1. Chamfering and Deburring
This is the process followed to smooth a case after the trimming has been done. After you trim your case, sharp edges around its mouth are always noticeable. With the use of Deburring tools, you can be able to cut such edges thus smoothing the case. Though Deburring tools can always be separately bought, it would be great if you consider a case trimmer that has this feature in its design or package.
2. Shell Holders
Just as the name suggests, shell holders are used to hold the shell as the trimming & reloading process continues. Its purpose is to hold the case securely to the press. Since every type of caliber needs a different shell holder size, a wide range of holder sizes are available in the market. It is worth noting that there are some cheaper case trimmers that don’t need the shell holders for them to work. However, the good case trimmer for you would be the one that comes with shell holders having a high degree of adjustability.
3. Tumblers and Polishers
Though not very necessary, some gun owners would really want their cartridge to have a shiny and good looking bullet thus the use of tumblers & polishers is introduced after trimming. Besides polishing the bullets, the tumblers and polishers can also be used in polishing the rifle thus lengthening its life. Some of the good case trimmers will come with this feature as an addition in the package.
Reviews of the 5 Best Case Trimmers on the Market
Frankford Arsenal Case Trim and Prep System
The Frankford Arsenal is probably the good case trimmer for many target shooters. It is capable of handling everything save for the whistle Dixie, which can be added on the unit. The trimmer has been designed to trim and chamber any caliber with shoulder range of .17 Remington all through to .460 Weatherby. In other words, it does any of your jobs.
- Works with any caliber in the market
- 3 output shaft for a wide range of caliber trimming
- Ultra-Hard HSS cutters for extended sharpness
- Heavy duty case trimmer
- Exceedingly strong and long lasting motor
- Easy case holder adjustments
- Hi-speed cutter for collecting and aligning the case squarely
- Included chamfer tools, 6 case shoulder bushings of different sizes, 2 primer pocket cleaners of different sizes, 3 case body collects of different sizes and deburr tool.
- Improved speed and great accuracy
- No need of case holders
- Easy and fast to use
- Quiet performance
- It is quite pricy
- It doesn’t come with a Whistle Dixie
- Trimming may need some improvement
This is just the best product that will save your effort, time and money alike
Lyman Universal Trimmer
In case trimming, most of the times the best case trimmer is one that is very basic in design and functionality. This is where the Lyman Universal Trimmer is categorized. It is capable of trimming any case from the smallest to the .458 calibers. With the use of some standard shell holders together with a single pilot of the available pilots, almost any rifle case can be handled. The fine and coarse adjustments allows the shooter to quickly set the trimming length.
- Universal chuck head capable of handling cases ranging between .17 and .458 caliber
- Optional power adapter
- Repeatable and adjustable
- Comes with fine and coarse adjustments
- Features 9 popular pilots
- Four mounting holes
- Heavy duty construction
- Fine grain and very sharp cutter head
- Speedy, being capable of trimming up to 250 cases in an hour
- Easy to set up and to use
- Quality product and performance
- High accuracy levels
- The cutting head doesn’t last as such
- Manual trimming quite tiresome
- Difficulty in getting the exact size.
This is one of the most versatile and most reliable trimmers the market has to offer hence its popularity.
RCBS Trim Pro-2 Kit with Spring Loaded Shell Holder
This is a product that has been crafted with great precision in mind. Once it has been set up, efficiency and accuracy of performance follows. It was engineered to last the usual wear associated with case trimming hence its improved longevity. In a nutshell, the RCBS Trim Pro has been designed to ensure that your case remains damage free.
- Easy and precise spring-fed cutter
- 9 different sized pilot calibers .22 to .45
- 2,3,4 & 10 shell holders
- Leaves your hands free for deburring
- Low RPM motor for plenty of torque
- Integral power switch
- Automatic switch down motor
- Great case length guarantee
- Simplicity of use
- Comes with everything
- Sturdy hence durable
- Better design of the adjustment collects would be great
- Small crank/handle that feels quite awkward in some people
For precision and efficiency, the RCBS Trim Pro is your answer.
World’s Finest Trimmer
Rarely would you come a across a product having a rating of 4.8 out of 5-stars in a number of trusted sites such as Amazon and after numerous reviews. In the World’s Finest Trimmer, you find such a reputation. This product comes in different sizes, all of which can affordably be acquired at less than $100. The trimmer also has the capability of working with the electric or cordless drill.
- Trims around 10 cases every minute
- Can work well with the electric and cordless drills
- Doesn’t use pilots as the case is supported by the case body and the shoulder
- Aluminum trimmer body with stainless steel trimmer chamber and commercial grade sealed bearings
- Easy to use
- Great pricing
- Different inserts have to be bought for different calibers
- Hard to adjust in the event that you need to trim more
This is the best case trimmer for those who want to trim many cases within a short time as it is capable of trimming up to 10 cases per minute.
Hornady 50140 Camlock Case Trimmer
This is arguably the good case trimmer for anyone looking for a manual trimmer. The trimmer has been designed to be bolted on a bench and is easy to use, precise and a very reliable trimmer indeed. It uses standard pilots and shell holders to trim almost any pistol and rifle round in the market. Its advanced design ensures comfort accompanies the case trimming process even if you are doing a thousand trims per sitting.
- Micro-adjustable cutting head 1/1000”
- Pilots between .22 and .45
- Power chamfer/deburr accessory
- Vertical power trimming design
- Trims cases ranging between ¾” and 3¼”
- Features small and large primer pockets
- Comes with 5 sizes of popular neck brushes
- Uses standard shell holders
- Taller frame and great ergonomics on the handle
- Easy case discharge
- Easy set up
- Comes with no less than seven units
- Replaceable cutter
- Can be faster
- No crimp remover in the design
- A not very clean trimmer
If you want a perfect high quality product, then the Hornady 50140 Camlock is the best case trimmer for your needs.
As usual, after passing through the test of quality, what is good for me may not necessarily be good for you. As a result, you need to know what exactly you really want to do with a best case trimmer. Do you want high volume blasting ammo or the low-volume hunting ammo is the one you want to trim? Are you interested in high volume or low volume precision? And of course, what’s your budget?
What matters the most in trimming is the length consistency as well as the square case mouth. The case length should certainly be kept shorter than its maximum lest the case mouth jams against the gun chamber thus increasing the pressures of the bullet. As a result, the length consistency together with square mouths increases the accuracy of the shots. A good case trimmer is that which will help you to achieve these.