5 Best Case Trimmers for Reloading [2021 Review]

Our Top Picks

Best Universal Case Trimmer

Lyman Universal Case Trimmer

This versatile case trimmer can handle all kinds of cases – from .17 caliber to .458. 

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Best Automatic Case Trimmer

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep Center

This case trimmer guarantees fast and accurate brass trimming.

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Best Budget Case Trimmer

LEE PRECISION 90670, Deluxe Power Quick Trim Case Trimmer

This case trimmer accurately cuts down brass casings at an affordable price.

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We know how cost-effective it is to reuse cartridges, but restoring their original length can be a lot of work. Worry not, because we’ll help you find the best case trimmer out there, then you’ll be producing consistent rounds in no time!

A Comparison of the 5 Best Case Trimmers for Reloading

Lyman Universal Trimmer with 9 Pilot Multi-Pack Trims .17 Cal to .458...
Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System with...
LEE PRECISION 90670, Deluxe Power Quick Trim Case Trimmer
Hornady Cam-Lock Trimmer 050140 - Reloading Case Trimmer Accurately...
RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit with Spring Loaded Shell Holder
Model
Lyman Universal Trimmer
Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System
LEE PRECISION 90670, Deluxe Power Quick Trim Case Trimmer
Hornady Cam Lock Trimmer
RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit with Spring Loaded Shell Holder
Our Score
9.4
9.3
9.1
8.9
9.1
MSRP
$100.87
$189.95
$23.91
$116.02
$149.49
Dimensions
5.87 x 4.88 x 1.57 inches
11 x 8 x 8 inches
5 x 4 x 1 inches
11 x 6 x 4 inches
11 x 5 x 4 inches
Weight
14.11 Ounces
2.2 Pounds
0.64 Ounces
3 Pounds
0.71 Ounces
Lyman Universal Trimmer with 9 Pilot Multi-Pack Trims .17 Cal to .458...
Model
Lyman Universal Trimmer
Our Score
9.4
MSRP
$100.87
Dimensions
5.87 x 4.88 x 1.57 inches
Weight
14.11 Ounces
More Information
Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System with...
Model
Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System
Our Score
9.3
MSRP
$189.95
Dimensions
11 x 8 x 8 inches
Weight
2.2 Pounds
More Information
LEE PRECISION 90670, Deluxe Power Quick Trim Case Trimmer
Model
LEE PRECISION 90670, Deluxe Power Quick Trim Case Trimmer
Our Score
9.1
MSRP
$23.91
Dimensions
5 x 4 x 1 inches
Weight
0.64 Ounces
More Information
Hornady Cam-Lock Trimmer 050140 - Reloading Case Trimmer Accurately...
Model
Hornady Cam Lock Trimmer
Our Score
8.9
MSRP
$116.02
Dimensions
11 x 6 x 4 inches
Weight
3 Pounds
More Information
RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit with Spring Loaded Shell Holder
Model
RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit with Spring Loaded Shell Holder
Our Score
9.1
MSRP
$149.49
Dimensions
11 x 5 x 4 inches
Weight
0.71 Ounces
More Information

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

How We Choose + Our Must-Have Features

Here are the features that you should take into consideration when shopping for a case trimmer.

Cutter Material

Think of how much you’ll be reloading. If you won’t be using your case trimmer often, a steel cutter will be more than enough. But for high-volume reloading, we suggest you get a cutter constructed from carbide or something more durable.

Caliber Compatibility

If you plan on reloading different calibers, you should get a case trimmer that’s compatible with all your cases. It would be best to purchase a universal case trimmer so you can use them in the future in case you want to add more calibers.

Price

Investing in something that you can use for a very long time is a wise decision. But it’s also wise to spend within your budget if you have one. Besides, there are plenty of affordable but reliable case trimmer brands out there.

Electric or Manual

This actually depends on your preference. But if you want your reloading done quickly, we suggest that you get an electrically-powered case trimmer.

Durability

This goes without saying, but we all want to buy something that’ll last for a long time. And we can never guarantee a product’s durability unless we use it. To save you time, we’ve gathered and summarized all the customer reviews for these case trimmer brands so you can compare and decide for yourself.

Ease of Use

Let’s admit it, trimming brass cases is a tedious task. But you can make it less exhausting by getting a machine that’s user-friendly.

Size

Not all of us have a workshop or dedicated space for reloading. If you have one, you won’t have to worry about your case trimmer’s size. But if you don’t, make sure to get a portable case trimmer or one that fits in your reloading area.

5 Best Case Trimmers for Reloading

Best Universal Case Trimmer: Lyman Universal Case Trimmer

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

Lyman Universal Case Trimmer is highly recommended by most reloading enthusiasts. That’s mainly because it can accommodate all kinds of cases. What’s great about it is that you won’t have to buy expensive shell holders or case collets!

Lyman also takes pride in its pinpoint accuracy, thanks to its coarse and fine trimming adjustments. These features can be adjusted up to one-thousandth of an inch. 

The Lyman Universal Case Trimmer is also equipped with an adjustable ring that you can set up for a faster process. You can also choose to buy a power adapter to increase your production rate to up to 250 cases per hour.

The product also includes 9 trimming pilots for rifle and pistol calibers.

Pros

Cons

What Customers Say

"This little thing is one of the easiest case trimmers to set up and use."

"Great for trimming brass casings, especially if you get the drill attachment arbor to go with it. I did have to loosen the chuck retaining nut and rotate the chuck a little to adjust it to get the jaws to clamp correctly and turn the arbor depth setting nut around so it was facing the correct direction. After that, it works as advertised."

Best Automatic Case Trimmer: Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep Center

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

What we love most about the Frankford Arsenal Case Trim and Prep Center are its ultra-hard HSS cutters. These babies remain consistently razor-sharp even after multiple uses.

Not only that, but Frankford Arsenal also guarantees relentless performance and durability from its superior-quality motor and drivetrain.

This heavy-duty trimmer also allows you to set your desired case length and it will cut brass for you within seconds! Imagine how much time you’d be saving.

It’s also equipped with a built-in storage box where you can keep your tools, spare collets, and bushings.

However, it would have been better if the machine was a little easier to set-up, according to some customer reviews.

Pros

Cons

What Customers Say

"A must-have if reloading a large amount of rifle brass."

"Works great! Don't be anxious because of a few folks who are bagging on the debur tools. Go ahead and buy it if you are sick of holding a drill and switching off to hand tools for every case."

Best Budget Case Trimmer: LEE PRECISION 90670, Deluxe Power Quick Trim Case Trimmer

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

As one of the leading manufacturers for high-quality reloading equipment, Lee Precision swears by this case trimmer’s reliability.

The Deluxe Power Quick Case Trimmer allows you to chamfer, deburr, and trim your brass casings simultaneously, and at an affordable price!

You just have to set the machine to your desired setting and you can trim away endlessly.

However, some customers complained about how the adjustment ring is not sturdy enough.

Pros

Cons

What Customers Say

"Used this in combination w the Lee .223 Quick Trim Die using my Wireless Drill. This combination is a Total GAME CHANGER. Not only that I was able to save a lot of money compared to RT1500. Was able to save time and effort by utilizing on my Progressive Press. Plus, I dont have to deburr afterwards coz this thing cuts em clean."

"Simple and easy to use, very good value for money, I used an electric screwdriver to make it easier."

Hornady Cam Lock Trimmer

Last update on 2021-09-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

There are two things that we love about the Hornady Cam Lock Trimmer. 

One is its Micro Adjust cutter that allows up to an incredible .001” adjustment without having to move the brass casing. This feature costs extra with other brands, so it’s a great bonus.

Another neat feature is its locking mechanism that holds the case in the shell holder. With it, you can trim cases accurately no matter how thick the cartridge rim is.

The Hornady Case Trimmer is also equipped with a replaceable ultra-hard steel cutting head for more effective trimming. It also has a power adapter where you can plug a battery-operated screwdriver for a quicker operation.

Some customers mentioned that it would have been better if rust didn’t form easily on the machine’s surface.

Pros

Cons

What Customers Say

"It’s a lifesaver, trimming cases was a long drawn out process and this trimmer makes super short work of it."

"I'm very happy with this trimmer and find that it suits my needs and has made this part of reloading more enjoyable for me."

RCBS Trim Pro-2 Kit with Spring Loaded Shell Holder

Last update on 2021-09-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The RCBS Trim Pro-2 Kit has a spring-loaded shell holder that holds the cartridge case securely so it remains aligned with the cutter throughout the trimming process.

This case trimmer’s design also keeps a case from wobbling while its length is being restored.

Customers also mentioned how easy it was to assemble the machine and how consistent the RCBS was once it’s set up. 

One thing that some customers complained about was that loading the shells into the universal chuck takes longer than most brands.

Pros

Cons

What Customers Say

"I trimmed over 300 5.56 cases and it worked flawlessly. Once I got it set up I began trimming cases to specs per the Hornady manual, the first and the last case were EXACTLY the same length with no deviation or deterioration in cutting quality. The universal shell holder seemed a little wonky at first, but once you get the hang of it you'll love it."

"I like the universal shell holder, my hand loader has the same style, they are quick and eliminate the need to replace the shell holder for every caliber. Plus the kit comes with all the necessary pilots."

Advanced Case Prep for Reloading

This short video is a great summary of the steps to full prepare your brass for reloading.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the best case trimmer for reloading?

This depends on your preference. But if you want the best universal case trimmer, we recommend the Lyman Universal Case Trimmer. We’ve listed four other leading case trimmer brands above for you to choose from.

Who makes the best case prep center?

For the best case prep centers on the market, we recommend these brands – Lyman, Frank Arsenal, Lee Precision, Hornady, and RCBS. For more details and information on these prep centers, check our list above.

Is case trimming necessary?

If you want to increase your accuracy by producing consistent rounds and reduce the chance of dangerous pressure build-up from stretched cases, then yes, case trimming is necessary.

Do I need to trim every case?

There is no official rule on how often cases should be trimmed. But you don’t need to trim yours every time you reload. This depends on the caliber you’re using, as some calibers need more frequent trimming than others.

How does a case trimmer work?

Old brass cases stretch as you fire and reload them. A case trimmer restores your cartridge’s original length by cutting the excess brass. The trimming process depends on the manufacturer. Some models use a hand crank to cut brass, while others use caliber-specific length gauges. There are also brands that use electrically-powered cutters for quicker and more accurate trimming.

Conclusion

Trimming cartridge cases is no walk in the park. But we’re sure it’ll be more fun now that you’ve chosen your case trimmer. In no time, your brass casings will be good as new!