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Case Trimmer Review

LAST UPDATED: July 25th, 2020

Are you a hand loader or a reloading enthusiast? If you are, then you know how expensive it is to regularly purchase cartridge cases from the store. Whenever you hit the range, there’s money coming out of your firearm every time you fire a bullet.

That said, more and more reloading enthusiasts are using case trimmers, and no wonder why they are singing its praises. They allow you to reuse your cases and save a whole lot of money.

But first, you need to get your hands on the best case trimmer, and we are here to help!
In this article, we will review the 5 best models that you can invest in. A buyer’s guide is also included in this review to further help you in your shopping.

Best Case Trimmer Comparison 2020

Last update on 2020-08-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top 5 Case Trimmer Reviews 2020

Best Case Trimmer

Here are the top models you can purchase and what we think of them. We also listed each product’s pros and cons to help you decide.

Hornady Cam Lock Trimmer 050140

Hornady Cam Lock Trimmer 050140

If you have been in the reloading game for some time, you know that Hornady is one of the top brands that offer great reloading equipment, just like this Cam Lock Trimmer. It is one of the staple products everyone should have in their workstation.

It offers a lot of features that reloaders will like. You will love how easy it is to attach in any workbench. Plus, it features a cam lock system for more stability. With this, you can securely attach the case into its holder for better, more accurate trimming.

For better grip and easier use, it’s designed ergonomically. The frame has a nice height to it, which makes it more comfortable to work with. It is very easy to install and operate at the same time.

In terms of construction, this model will impress you. Heavy-duty steel is used for the cutting head. It can trim cases up to 50 cal!
If you found the perfect spot to use it, you can easily fix it through the four holes. The Micro Adjust head cutter and the adjustable lock nuts will help you achieve the ideal case length. Plus, the trimmer even allows .001-inch trim length changes without needing to move the case, so you can adjust it to the perfect length you need.

Moreover, the package includes seven of the most commonly used pilot sizes. This model easily helps you to restore your cases and make them look like new no matter how thick its cartridge rim is.

PROS

  • Heavy-duty
  • Very sturdy, and you can fix it in your workspace bench
  • Replaceable cutter
  • Equipped with a lot of pilots

CONS

  • Can be a bit slow when working
  • Does not come with a deburring tool

Related Guide: 34mm Scope Rings

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trimmer

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series

What is the best case trimmer? For me, it should be an all in one tool, just like this product. If you find yourself case trimming on a regular basis, then you should invest in this powerful case trimmer from Frankford Arsenal to make your used cases good as new.

This product is what reloading enthusiasts dream of. Only the best materials were used to create it, like the HSS cutter. You can be confident that it will stay sharp after using it for a thousand rounds! It also comes equipped with a heavy-duty motor that ensures you can use this for the years to come.

What will amaze you is that this product can do four functions to complete a cartridge case restoration. It will trim, chamfer, deburr and lastly, pocket clean your cases. You won’t even recognize your used case!

With this model, you can easily set the prep system to accurately trim your cases to your desired length. This product’s system is made from aluminum and steel, so you know it will last long.

In terms of ease of use, this one will impress you. You do not even need any shell holders to make it work! The three-output shaft in the trimmer portion will fit any trimming accessories with 8 to 32 threads. How cool is that?

What’s more, the chamfering tool will prevent any damages to the bullet once you load it. On top of that, you can deburr your newly trimmed case to smoothen it out, and the pocket clean option will make it look fresh and brand new.

PROS

  • Aside from trimming it can also chamfer, deburr, and pocket clean
  • Made from durable materials
  • Comes with a heavy-duty motor
  • No shell holders needed
  • Extremely sharp cutter

CONS

  • It can be too noisy for some

Lyman Universal Trimmer with 9 Pilot Multi-Pack Trims

Lyman Universal Trimmer

Serious shooters and reloaders love using this tool, and I am sure you will feel the same.
The price of ammunition equipment is on the rise, and nobody wants to spend a lot, especially if you can still reuse it. This is the case with bullet cases, and with a standard trimmer like this one from Lyman, you can bring your used cases back to life.

As the name suggests, it is a universal trimmer. It is compatible and can be used with any case from .17 to .458 caliber. Truly, it is one of the most versatile trimmers in the market and is the best case trimmer for the money!

Another highlight of this product is that it can be used manually. So, if you are out hunting in the wood with the boys, you can use this product in your spare time—no need to use any electricity.

Of course, as versatile as it is, you can also operate it electrically. But note that the optional power adapter is sold separately. If you are a serious reloader who always trims his/her cases, we recommend investing in it as it claims to trim up to 250 cases per hour.

Moreover, this model features an adjustable ring dial and is equipped with 9 pilots and shell holders. You can just dial your desired length, and you are good to go! With this model, you can trim your cases from smooth to coarse up to one thousand of an inch!

PROS

  • Universal trimmer; can be used with any case from .17 to .458 caliber
  • Easy to operate
  • Adjustable ring helps in quick repeatability
  • Comes with 9 mostly used pilots
  • Does not need electricity to work

CONS

  • Does not offer much in terms of stability

Related Review: Bench Priming Tools

LEE PRECISION 90670, Deluxe Power Quick Trim Case Trimmer

LEE PRECISION 90670

For over 50 years, Lee Precision has been producing top of the line and innovative reloading equipment, just like this Deluxe Power case trimmer. It is specifically designed for reloaders in need of accurate and quick case trimming.

This model will amaze you by how it can trim the brass case to the correct length in a matter of seconds. On top of that, this small tool can also act as a chamfering and deburring tool.

The product will work best if you have a reloading press available. You just need to install the trim die, then attach the chip catcher onto the shell holder. After so, insert the case trimmer to the power screwdriver or a cordless drill, and you are good to go.

It features an adjustable ring or, as others call it, a click-adjustable stop. With this part of the trimmer, you can adjust the trim length in 0.001 inch increments. If you wish to trim the case shorter than standard, just rotate the adjusting ring counterclockwise.

In terms of the materials used, the case trimmer body is made from steel, while the adjustable ring is made from plastic.
Reloading enthusiasts love how quick and easy it is to use. In just a matter of minutes, you have a set of cases ready to be used again. You just need to have the right equipment to make it perform at its best. The best part is the affordable price.

PROS

  • Can trim, chamfer and deburr the case mouth
  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Works very quickly; trims in a matter of seconds
  • Can adjust the trim length in 0.001 inch increments

CONS

  • Needs other equipment to make it work
  • Quick trim die is sold separately

Forster Products Original Case Trimmer

Forster Products Original Case Trimmer

This original case trimmer is one of the three case trimmers offered by Forster, the rest being the Classic and the Tri-Trim Gen 2. This product does not only trim the case to the desired length but is also compatible with a wide range of conditioning tools.

The case trimmer works with most commonly used calibers from 17 caliber (.171″) to 460 caliber (.459″), such as 223 Rem, 308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 30-06. For sure, most reloading enthusiasts and hand loaders can make the most out of this tool.

It comes with a superior shell holder that will keep your case in place when trimming. On top of that, the product’s cutter shaft also comes with four tooth cutting edges. More so, it is made from high-quality alloy steel to ensure durability.

This will provide smooth and efficient cutting that will produce cases that are good as new. It also comes with a fine adjustment screw if you wish to do fine-tuning of case lengths.

Another important consideration when it comes to case trimmers like this is stability. This product will not fail you in terms of that. The base is made from extruded aluminum and has an I-beam style that resists the force. This will also ensure that the case trimmer will last long in spite of how often you use it.

Being a mechanical case trimmer, it does not need any power to work. That said, do not expect it to work extremely fast. However, you can purchase the power adapter for more ease, speed, and efficiency.

All in all, we really like this case trimmer. It is compact and lightweight. Plus, the tool looks very sophisticated, thanks to the gold color on the base.

PROS

  • Works with most standard calibers
  • Easy to use
  • Superior shell holder
  • Very durable

CONS

  • Could be too slow

Features to Look for Before Buying

A good case trimmer will help you save a lot of money, while a bad one will cost you more. That said, it is important to know the factors that make a good case trimmer. We listed these points below, so make sure you consider them before you make your purchase.

Types of Case Trimmer

Types of Case Trimmer

There are various kinds of case trimmers in the market, and it is important to know which one will work for you the best.

Fixed-Adjustment Type

If you are only using one type of caliber, this is the type you should get. It is simple, affordable, and does the job well. However, if you plan to reload different kinds of calibers, then you might not like this one.

Lathe-Type

This is the most common type you will see in the market. You will find a caliber holder on one side to keep it in place, and a cutter or trimmer on the opposite side. With lathe type trimmers, you can work quickly if you want.

On-Press Trimmer

If you are already equipped with a heavy-duty reloading die, you will love using on-press trimmers. It offers impressive speed, and in just a few seconds, your cartridges are trimmed and deburred, ready to be used again!

Speed

Speed is another key factor to consider in choosing a case trimmer, especially if you plan to do this activity regularly. However, not all units offer the same speed and efficiency. It is such a waste of money and time if you make use of a slow trimmer, so find one that works quickly.

Now, you have to be careful because accuracy comes with just the right speed. You don’t want to sacrifice one over the other, right?

Chamfering and Deburring

A key to having a cartridge that is good as new is chamfering and deburring. It is where you smooth a case after you finish trimming it, giving the ‘mouth’ a very smooth edge and a perfect shape.

There are a lot of good deburring tools out in the market. However, some case trimmers come equipped with them. So, it’s better to spend a little bit more money on these trimmer models than buying a separate one, if ever you plan to regularly chamfer and deburr your cases.

Tumblers and Polishers

Like chamfering and deburring, tumblers and polishers give your used cartridge a brand-new look. Is this step essential? Well, it depends on you, but if you like to polish every cartridge you trim, look for a model that can do so.

Ease of Use

Cartridge trimmers should be easy and enjoyable to use. You do not want to spend too much time in preparation or follow complicated steps to make it work. Can you hold it without much trouble? Does it feel comfortable in your hands?


Choose a model that offers great stability, and this is the key to ensure your safety.

Shell Holders

Shell Holders

The part of a trimmer that stabilizes your cartridge is the shell holder. If you plan to use different types of bullet calibers, make sure your model’s shell holder is versatile.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a deformed case?


If you think that it is too deformed, then it is better not to use it. But if the case still fits the holder, you can trim it for future use.

How do I set up my trimmer if I am going to use it for the first time?


There actually is no definite answer for that, since there are different cartridge trimmers in the market, and they call for different setup procedures. Just be sure to follow the instructions carefully in the manual included in the package.

Do I need to trim every case after I use it?


If you want to, you can. Trimming should be done on a regular basis, for instance, every time after reloading or even every day.

My cartridge case is too big for my trimmer’s case holder. What should I do?


Try and check if your case trimmer can use a bigger case holder; if it can, you can buy a separate case holder on the market. If, on the other hand, it can’t, then it is time to get a new case trimmer.

Do I need to polish each case?


No, you don’t.

Final Words

Which of the models we reviewed is the best case trimmer for you? Get to save money and enhance your reloading skills. We hope this article helped you and we wish you good luck.

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