6 Of the Best Case Trimmer (Reviewed 2021)

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Last update on 2021-09-21 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re a gun lover and you just love spending time on the shooting range perfecting your shooting skills, you’re probably familiar with the concept of reloading used cartridges. Even if you’re not familiar with this concept, it won’t take too long until you get accustomed to or even addicted to it.

You should probably know that for this reloading operation to work, the key is to get the best case trimmer for your cartridges.

Luckily, we here at safenow.com have researched the market and have come up with Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim & Prep System. It is one of the best case trimmer choices that you can find on the market today, so if you’re interested in getting the best case trimmer for your needs, stay tuned.

In this article, you’ll also see:

  • Quick Summary of the best case trimmers
  • Detailed reviews of all the case trimmers mentioned above
  • Benefits of using a case trimmer
  • A comprehensive buying guide to help you choose the best case trimmer

Best Overall

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System with Hardened...

Last update on 2021-09-21 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim & Prep System

The Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System has got to be one of the best case trimmers you can find on the market today. The Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trimmer will handle anything from .17 up to .460 with great ease while providing constant power efficiency on each individual round.

We thought it was important to mention that this case trimmer is electric, so you’ll be sure to get equal treatment on each round that you need to trim with this device. The Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series features a heavy-duty motor that will handle thousands of rounds and will increase their accuracy by providing equal treatment to each round. Also, there is absolutely no need for a shell holder, so the chamfering and trimming process is done quickly and effectively with great accuracy.

It is also worthy to note that this case trimmer does not work with straight-walled cases, such as pistol rounds or certain specific cartridges, but other than that, it’ll do the job just fine.

The device also features a small storage space built into it, so it can hold various additional tools inside. When buying the Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trimmer, you’ll also get a load of additional tools, including a chamfer, deburr, pocket cleaning tool, and other useful tools for your trimming operations.

All in all, The Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series will probably prove as one of the best case trimmers in the market today. If you’re willing to spend just a little more on a case trimmer, we think this is the perfect choice for you.

  • Brand: Frankford Arsenal
  • Multi-Caliber: Yes
  • Dimensions: 11″ x 8″ x 8″
  • Electric or Manual: Electric
  • Several handy tools and a drawer to store them all
  • Motorized, no manual work
  • Can be used for all standard cartridges
  • No manual
  • Expensive
  • Bit noisy because of the motor

If you have enough buck to spend and you call trimming your ardent hobby, then this case trimmer is the best one for you. Even though a little expensive, it is motorized so, it could very well be worth the cost.

Best Electric

Lyman Universal Trimmer with 9 Pilot Multi-Pack Trims .17 Cal to .458 Cal

Last update on 2021-09-21 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Lyman Universal Case Trimmer

The Lyman Universal Case Trimmer trims a wide range of calibers, starting from .17 up to .458, which is pretty impressive. This universal case trimmer features a universal chuck head, thus eliminating the need for shell holders, which will save you time and money. The handle is easy-to-use and is designed to be comfortable for prolonged use.

The brilliance in this case trimmer is that you are able to connect it to a power source, thus allowing you to perform the trimming either manually or through the use of power. This device can trim up to 250 rounds an hour while using the power outlet, which is a pretty impressive statistic.

The only issue, if we can even call it that, is that you’d have to fix the trimmer to a bench if you want to maximize it’s potential.

Another great selling point is the ability to set the cutter to both fine or coarse adjustment mode, which will be precise up to one-one-thousandth of an inch, making sure your rounds will get the finest and best treatment as possible. Lyman also features the ring dial adjuster, which is pretty easy-to-use, and you’ll also get nine pilots, which will assist you with caliber weapons as 9mm, .357, .45, or other calibers.

  • Brand: Lyman
  • Multi-Caliber: 9 pilots
  • Dimensions: 5.9″ x 4.9″ x 1.6″
  • Weight: 14.11 Ounces
  • Easy to use
  • Durable and efficient
  • Can buy a power adapter to avoid manual work
  • Best works when mounted to a bench
  • Can be tedious if you are doing many rounds

This case trimmer works manually, but when used with a power adapter, you can also make it work electrically. The adapter will have to be bought separately, but it is worth the effort since it increases the speed manifold.

Best Quality

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

Last update on 2021-09-21 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit

RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit is, without doubt, the kind of product that you will have for years. The premium quality steel with which it is built gives it a sleek design and smooth operation. The heft will provide you with an intuitive feeling of its quality.

The unique thing about this trimmer is that you don’t have to lock every case in. All you need to do is slide in the case for trimming and out when the process is complete. This happens because of the spring-loaded universal shell holder, which securely locks the case in alignment with the cutter, making the process quick.

The cutter head is pretty sharp, and its fine caliber ensures it stays in that shape for a long time. The trimmer pilots have been tapered, which guides the pilot straight into the case mouth. And the well-thought design prevents the case from wobbling while it is being trimmed. Without a doubt, you will be amazed by the speed and enjoy yourself adjusting its settings with efficient and flexible micrometers.

Another plus point is that the trimmer is bench mountable. We recommend that you directly mount it to the bench or a larger square piece of heavy wood. The kit comes with the nine most common pilots, which are .22, .24, .25, .27, .28, .30, .35, .44 and .45. This makes it ideal for those who are using all forms of standard pilots.

The case trimmer offers a 0.001-inch case trim accuracy, which is sufficient enough. It comes with a product manual to guide you through the whole process. It features a cutting handle that is easy to extend, making it easier for you to be able to turn.

One considerable drawback is that this product is more expensive than other models on this list. However, its excellent quality makes up for it. On a positive note, it is designed to work perfectly with either a left or a right hand.

  • Brand: RCBS
  • Dimensions: 11” x 5” x 4”
  • Multi-Caliber: 9 pilots
  • Accuracy: 0.001 inch
  • Premium quality build makes it long-lasting
  • Comes with the necessary equipment
  • Can handle any caliber shell
  • Spring accommodated shell holder
  • Needs to be mounted
  • Expensive

Known for its optimum state products, RCBS has designed yet another item that surpasses the quality standards. Built with high-quality material, it ensures smooth operation and accuracy.

Best Budget

Lee Precision Cutter and Lock Stud

Last update on 2021-09-21 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Lee Precision Cutter and Lock Stud

If you are tight on budget, and cannot spare more than a few bucks on a trimmer, then we have the right product for you. Lee Precision Cutter and Lock Stud is a product that makes your cases shorter while spending the least amount of money possible.

The pack has a cutter and lock stud, but there’s an overhead cost of case length gauge and shell holder. While they are also cheaply priced, the case length gauges are caliber specific. So, if you need more than one sized cartridge, you’ll have to buy more than one.

This far-from-perfect system can be either used by hand or with an electric drill. So, this feature also makes it the cheapest power case trimmer! When you have everything, you can put the lock stud into a power drill, screw on the shell holder, and then use this product to trim the case to the required length.

Lee Precision Cutter and Lock Stud is definitely an excellent product for the value. It also works on all brass that has a lesser base diameter than .475. However, it takes a long time to complete the process and can be a bit fussy. The best part about this product is that it is made in the USA.

  • Dimensions: 8.98 x 11.69 x 1.57 inches
  • Multi-Caliber: Yes, but requires specific case length gauge
  • Brand: Lee
  • Weight: 1.6 Ounces
  • Cheapest case trimmer
  • Can work with a power drill
  • Effective
  • Made in the USA
  • Has added on costs of case length gauge and shell holder
  • No length adjustments
  • Hard to use

If you have only a few bucks to spare, this is the perfect product for you. It works effectively with a power drill and can be used by hand too.

Best Drill Attachment

Little Crow Gunworks Worlds Finest Trimmer 223 Rem

Last update on 2021-09-21 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Little Crow Gunworks World’s Finest Trimmer

Little Crow Gunworks World’s Finest Trimmer is another case trimmer that can be attached to a drill. Unlike Lee Precision Cutter and Stud, this one is quite efficient in its work and doesn’t have any overhead cost. However, it is a lot pricier than the Precision Cutter and Stud. But don’t let the price bother you! Every penny of it is worth it. We’ll tell you why.

This device needs to be attached to a cordless or electric drill, then you have to insert your case, and the job is done! Its biggest asset is its speed. This nifty little device can trim at least 10 cases per minute, which is more than you can ask for. And the bonus is that the speed doesn’t compromise its accuracy and consistency at all!

You can use this case trimmer in a few different ways. The first way is to attach the device to a handheld drill, lock the drill, and switch it on. Then you can proceed to insert your cases one by one. If you own a drill press, then you can just hold the drill. This might get tiring after some time, but it is a little steadier.

One of the cons of this trimmer is that using it will create a brassy mess. As it trims the cases, it leaves behind quite some dust for you to clean. You can get creative and cover up the drill with some container to prevent it from getting messy, or you can always depend on your vacuum.

Each Little Crow unit is caliber specific. You will have to buy a separate device for every caliber that you own. The device can easily handle all of the 17 sizes with great ease. So, if you only have a couple of different cartridge sizes in this range to reload, this is where your pursuit for a case trimmer ends.

  • Dimensions: 4.7” x 2.4” x 2.3”
  • Weight: 5.6 Ounces
  • Brand: Little Crow Gunworks
  • Multi-Caliber: No
  • Cheaper than other products if you have a single cartridge
  • Fast and effective
  • Easy to use
  • Messy
  • Caliber specific. You might have to buy more than one.
  • Noisy because of the drill

The ideal tool if you only have a few different cartridges to trim since it is caliber specific. Quick and efficient, it is easy to use and gives accurate results.

Fastest Case Trimmer

Lyman, Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress Case Trimmer

Last update on 2021-09-21 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6. Lyman, Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress Case Trimmer

Lyman, Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress Case Trimmer is the tool for you if you have many rifle brass to trim. It has excellent speed, allowing the user to trim approximately 15 cases per minute!

Unlike other case trimmers on this list, this one has its own power source and a solid variable speed motor. This saves you from spending extra bucks on getting a compatible power drill or a separate motor. In addition to the motor, the trimmer is also equipped with an adjustment dial, which allows you to change the length by .001” increments.

The compact size of this tool maintains a low profile on the bench and doesn’t eat up any space. It works best when it is mounted on the bench. Also, if you are a left-handed person, you might face some difficulties while using this product.

The trimmer comes with a set of 10 bushings that are specially designed to fit the standard rifle cases. Using these bushings on the shoulder of the bottleneck type cases supports and centers the case with the cutter. It ensures to provide a smooth, effortless cut while making sure that pilots are not needed.

This little tool is a lifesaver if you have loads of brass to trim. It is easy to use and setup, and has definitely revolutionized the case trimmer world. Get this handy little unit if you don’t mind it being a bit imprecise length.

  • Brand: Lyman
  • Dimensions: 1” x 1” x 1”
  • Multi-Caliber: Yes
  • Electric: Yes
  • Quick to setup
  • Fast and efficient
  • Compact
  • Self-powered and has an in-built motor
  • Not perfectly accurate
  • Works best when mounted

With an in-built power source and a solid speed motor, this compact trimmer ensures that you trim 15 cases per minute!

Buying Guide

Why Use A Case Trimmer?

It’s Better for your Rifle

This is a great way to keep your rifle malfunctions to a minimum. The use of case trimmers ensures that all the ammo you load into the rifle is exactly the same size, so if you throw it around that is just a bit longer than the rest of your rounds, the probability of a malfunction is going to get higher, if not definitive.

Increased Accuracy 

One of the main benefits of the use of case trimmers is the increase of accuracy you get. The case trimmer provides consistency in the rounds, their length, and characteristics, so you’ll be left with identical and consistent rounds after each trimming you do, thus guaranteeing better accuracy on the shooting range. Although the process might be a bit tedious and time-consuming, if you’re set on getting better shooting scores, this is a great way to improve those scores.

How To Choose Your Case Trimmer

There are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing your own case trimmer. In general, case trimmers feature different characteristics, starting from the way they work, manual or powered, different cutter materials, build quality, pricing, etc. Only after analyzing these factors, you’d be able to make a good call and get a case trimmer that will prove most useful to you.

Speed

If you are an avid shooting range visitor, you’ll have loads of brass to trim. That calls for speed and efficiency. And there’s no point in spending money if the product doesn’t do the job in less time. (1)

Not all case trimmers work with the same efficiency. Buy the one that saves you from the frustration that comes with reloading a big bunch of cases.

Ease of Use and Installation

While installation a one-time effort, ease of use is a factor that cannot be ignored. Some units are hard to install but ensure you experience a comfortable utilization. Ensure that the adjustments are easy to make, and you will be able to get to trimming faster. If you want a portable trimmer, make sure that the device isn’t too heavy to carry around.

Powered or Manual

One of the more essential characteristics when choosing a case trimmer is that some work manually, while others require a power outlet and feature an electric motor. Powered case trimmers tend to be more expensive, but that’s not a guarantee that you’ll get better results. When faced with a choice, the most important question you need to consider is the number of rounds you intend to trim because trimming a large number of cases manually can be a tedious and hard process.

Materials

When considering the materials the case trimmers feature, again, it’d be wise to consider the number and intensity of cutting you intend to do. If you plan on using the trimmer rarely, you can go with a basic steel cutter or high-speed steel cutter. However, if your intention is to use the case trimmer more intensely, you’d be better off with a carbide cutter. Carbide cutters tend to last longer than steel cutters, so that’s one thing to consider. Also, it would be best if you look for parts that are easy to replace. It’s much cheaper to replace the cutter instead of getting a whole new case trimmer. (2)

Build Quality and Pricing

This is a characteristic that generally depends on the manufacturer and the pricing of the item. When looking for the right choice, consider the manufacturer’s image and manufacturing history, as well as good price comparison between case trimmers.

The general thought is that you won’t go wrong with a well-known manufacturer that is well-known for building high-quality products.

Conclusion

Choosing the best case trimmer for you is not an easy task because there are a number of things to consider. When looking upon different case trimmers, you’ll stumble upon different prices, manufacturers, materials, and characteristics. While we are inclined towards Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim & Prep System, we have also covered various other case trimmers, and provided guidance, so you’ll be sure to make the best choice for you.

Be sure that when you finally decide on your case trimmer, you will personally see the benefits of trimming and reloading your cases. You’ll surely notice your marksmanship getting better, as well as the significant decrease in malfunctions on your rifle.

You may like to check our other gun product guides such as Best Gun Safe Under 500,  Best Gun Safe Dehumidifier among others. If you may also like to read our articles by clicking here.

References

(1) brass – https://www.thoughtco.com/brass-composition-and-properties-603729
(2) carbide cutters – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awip1REd-ow