There are many different ways to save and conserve equipment for the next outing and in the long run that type of thinking can save you a lot of money. Even those that do look for ways to save money don’t always use the right equipment.
For example, a great way for a rifle hunter to save money is to use reloaded ammunition, but that doesn’t mean that everyone that does this is using the right type of equipment.
I remember going on a hunting trip a few years back and watching as a friend of mine continually struggled with his shot accuracy – a lot of that had to do with the fact that he was using reloaded ammunition, but he didn’t own a case trimmer. If you find yourself in the same boat it’s not too late to correct such an obvious oversight.
A case trimmer allows you to mould your brass back into shape so that it fits more snugly in the barrel of your gun. Any experienced hunter is aware of the fact that their ammunition will stretch out and bulge over time with repeated use.
If you’re going to reuse ammunition a case trimmer is ideal for trimming your brass back to the size that it’s supposed to be.
You can save a lot of money by reusing ammunition, but you need to make sure that you do it properly. In fact, reloaded ammunition can work just as well as newly purchased ammunition if properly prepared.
In this article were going to take a close look at some of the best case trimmers available for use with ammunition today. There are many fine options out there, but we believe that the five choices we include on this page are the best place to start.
No serious hunter should be without a case trimmer as an essential part of their bag of tricks. Before we get into reviewing our top five case trimmers we’re going to briefly explain what you should be looking for in a good trimmer so that you can understand why we chose these five.
Case Trimmers Reviews
- 1 Case Trimmers Reviews
- 1.1 Hornady 50140 Camlock
- 1.2 RCBS Trim Pro-2 Kit
- 1.3 World’s Finest Trimmer
- 1.4 Lyman Universal Trimmer
- 1.5 Platinum Series Case Trim
- 1.6 How Accurate is the Trimmer?
- 1.7 How Fast Does the Trimmer Cut?
- 1.8 Is the Trimmer Easy to Load and Unload?
- 1.9 Is the Cut Nice and Clean?
- 1.10 What Calibres Does It Work With?
- 2 Final Thoughts
Hornady 50140 Camlock
The Hornady 50140 is one of the best manual case trimmers around. This is a manually operated trimmer that can easily be attached to a workbench or any other type of table you want to attach it to.
It’s designed to be used with brass between .22 and .45 calibre and it comes with several different pilots to get you started. The shell holders are not included so you will have to purchase those separately, but they’re not very expensive.
What most people really like about this particular trimmer is its reputation for accuracy. It makes nice clean cuts and it’s very easy to use – it’s similar to any other type of vice or clamping equipment you’ve used in the past.
It also comes with a chamfering and deburring accessory so that you can make sure there are no rough edges on your reloaded ammunition once you’re finished.
The great advantage of a manual case trimmer like this is that you don’t have to worry about having a power supply nearby. That means you can take it with you on your next hunt and use it wherever you go.
The 50140 has to be considered one of the best manual case trimmers around.
Hornady 50140 Camlock Summary:
- No power supply needed
- Chamfering and deburring included
- Accurate operation
- Designed for .22 to .45 calibre
RCBS Trim Pro-2 Kit
This compact electric trimmer can be set just about anywhere and is ideal once firmly clamped on to a flat surface like the workbench in your garage. This trimmer works with brass for ammunition between .22 calibre and .45 calibre.
It’s probably not surprising to anyone that electric case trimmers can trim brass casings for your ammunition at a much quicker rate than manual trimmers.
Obviously the main drawback of this type of equipment is that you do have to have a power source thereby. For most of us that’s not really a major issue because we like to prepare our ammunition before we leave on a hunt.
The Pro-2 Kit comes equipped with multiple shell holders and has a spring-loaded design that simplifies the process.
The case lengths created with this machine are extremely accurate and it does a good job of deburring your brass as well so that there are no rough edges that might compromise your ammunition.
If you’re in the market for an electric case trimmer this is a good choice.
RCBS Trim Pro-2 Kit Summary:
- Compact design
- Spring-loaded design
- With multiple shell holders
- Extremely accurate
World’s Finest Trimmer
Some people prefer simplicity over complicated pieces of equipment and if that sounds like you then you may want to give strong consideration to the World’s Finest Trimmer.
That might seem like a bit of an arrogant description of a product, but the manufacturers of this little device aren’t far off the mark.
This trimmer really is a fine little device and the cool thing is that you can attach it to any existing drill – you get the benefit of an electric trimmer without the extra expense.
The World’s Finest Trimmer is designed to trim up to 10 cases in a minute. With that type of speed it won’t take long to reload all of your spent ammunition so you can get on with packing everything else you need for the hunt.
Where this particular trimmer can get a little expensive is if you have multiple different calibre weapons.
You have to buy inserts for each calibre of weapon you own separately and that can get quite expensive. If on the other hand you’ve been using the same rifle for years this isn’t going to be much of a deterrent for you.
This device creates extremely accurate and smooth cuts that only require some minor chamfering once you’re done.
World’s Finest Trimmer Summary:
- Trims 10 cases per minute
- Elegant and simple design
- Extremely accurate
- Create smooth cuts
Lyman Universal Trimmer
It’s called a universal case trimmer for a reason – this trimmer is compatible with all casings between .17 calibre and .458 calibre. That makes it one of the most adaptable and versatile case trimmers on the market.
While it is a manual trimmer which can get a little tiresome after a little bit of use, it does come with the option of upgrading into a powered unit by using the optional power adapter.
To get you started it comes equipped with nine different pilots so right out of the box it’s going to work with some of the most popular calibre casings out there.
Others are available for purchase separately. You can also make minor adjustments to the cutting process to varying degrees to make the cut courser or as finer as is required.
It’s made with a heavy duty steel body that has a fair bit of weight to it that will hold it in place while it’s being used.
It’s not easy to find a case trimmer on the market these days that doesn’t have a few critics, but the Lyman Universal Trimmer may be one of the few that can make that boast.
That has a lot to do with its universal shell holder which eliminates a lot of the messing around you have to do with other case trimmers.
Considering all the options that this trimmer comes with it may be the best value for money of any case trimmer on the market.
Lyman Universal Trimmer Summary:
- Universal compatibility
- Powered unit upgradable
- With 9 different pilots
- Heavy duty steel body
Platinum Series Case Trim
The Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System by Frankford Arsenal is one of the most complete case trimmer machines you’ll find anywhere.
This an extremely quick electric trimmer that also comes with an adjustable collet system which allows you to quickly switch from .17 calibre all the way up to .460 calibre casings.
What gives this an extra bit of cool factor is the fact that there are different tools built into the body for making fine adjustments to your casings. This trimmer is designed to stay sharp even after sharpening thousands of rounds of ammunition.
The end result is some very fine detailed work that results in ammunition that’s almost like brand-new.
It may cost you a little more than some other case trimmers on the market, but it’s probably worth every penny. This is our choice as best trimmer across all categories both manual and electric.
Platinum Series Case Trim Summary:
- Extremely quick
- Adjustable collet system
- Ultra sharp design
- Built-in chamfering/deburring tools
How Accurate is the Trimmer?
Just because you want to save a little money by using reloaded ammunition doesn’t mean that you’re willing to accept subpar ammunition. The first thing you’ll want to make sure of when purchasing a case trimmer is that it has a reputation for accuracy.
If a case trimmer can’t trim to the specifications needed the end result will be ammunition that doesn’t fit snugly in the barrel of your rifle and may end up being the reason for a frustrating hunting experience.
If you’re taking a serious look at a case trimmer and considering purchasing it, this is the first thing you should be looking at.
How Fast Does the Trimmer Cut?
The next thing you want to look at after you look at the accuracy of the trimmer is how fast it can cut. The process of reloading ammunition can save you a lot of money and a case trimmer can shave a lot of time from the procedure if it works well.
Ideally you’re looking for a trimmer that really streamlines the process and enables you to reloaded ammunition in a relatively short period of time.
If you find a case trimmer difficult to work with and extremely time-consuming you’ll quickly lose interest in the idea of reloading your own ammunition.
Is the Trimmer Easy to Load and Unload?
A second part to the question of how fast does a trimmer cut is how easy is it to load and unload. If you find yourself constantly fumbling with your cartridges just trying to load them into the trimmer again, it’s going to become an extremely time-consuming proposition.
In the end you’re likely to become bored of the procedure and look for alternatives. A good trimmer will save you a lot of time and will allow you to reloaded ammunition quickly – you just have to make sure you’re buying the right piece of equipment.
Is the Cut Nice and Clean?
Perhaps one of the most important questions you should be asking yourself when using a case trimmer you’ve just purchased is are the cuts nice and clean.
When it comes to hunting, accuracy is extremely important and that all starts with nice clean ammunition. A good case trimmer can restore ammunition back to its original shape and size.
This should be what you’re aiming for at a bare minimum and if there’s any question of your trimmers capability to live up to these expectations you should be looking elsewhere.
The good ones have attachments for chamfering and deburring as well so you’re ammunition is properly shaped and there are no rough edges.
What Calibres Does It Work With?
The last thing you’ll want to consider when purchasing a case trimmer is what type of calibre ammunition it’s designed to work with. These are great pieces of equipment, but they’re not all designed to work with every type of calibre ammunition.
You don’t want to make the mistake of getting a case trimmer and getting it home only to find out that it won’t work with your ammunition. A careful check of what you’re buying should eliminate this possibility.
If you don’t own a case trimmer and you spend a lot of time either firing on the range or out on a week-long hunt then that’s something you should reconsider.
A case trimmer is essential if you’re going to get in the habit of reloading ammunition and if you’re an avid hunter that’s something you absolutely should do.
It saves you a lot of money over time and you can use that extra money to put towards other equipment that you need.