6 Best Case Trimmers For Reloading 2022 [Reviews + Images]

by Tom Moore

August 30, 2022

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The Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System is the best case trimmer for reloading. Of course, each case trimmer on this list has its own upsides.

Read below and decide for yourself which case trimmer is best for you.

Best Case Trimmers

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim & Prep System
  • Motorized high-speed steel cutter
  • Adjustable collet system
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Hornady Cam Lock Case Trimmer
  • Handy cam lock mechanism
  • Replaceable cutter
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RCBS Trim Pro-2 Kit with Spring Loaded Shell Holder
  • Spring-loaded shell holder
  • Heavy-duty die-cast metal construction
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Lyman Case Trim Xpress
  • Variable speed motor
  • Bushings fit popular bottleneck rifle cases
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Lee Precision Cutter & Lock Stud
  • Inexpensive option
  • Requires purchase of case length gauge and shell holder
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Lyman Universal Trimmer
  • Standard and carbide cutting heads
  • Precise and adjustable case lengths
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Best Case Trimmers

  1. Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System
  2. Hornady Cam Lock Case Trimmer
  3. RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit with Spring Loaded Shell Holder
  4. Lyman Case Trim Xpress
  5. Lee Precision Cutter & Lock Stud
  6. Lyman Universal Trimmer

Best Case Trimmer Reviews

Now we’ve had an overview look at our list, let us take the time to individually review each Case Trimmer. In this section, we’ll be looking at the trimmer, including pros and cons.

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Prep System Review

The Frankford Arsenal Case Trim and Prep System give you a high-speed motorized steel cutter. This trimmer features 3 output shafts that meet your deburring, primer pocket cleaning, and chamfering needs.

You can trim your cases with more accuracy using the adjustable collet system, eliminating the need for a case holder.

Gun enthusiasts looking for greater speed and efficiency will love the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System, which some claim is the world’s finest trimmer.

But the motor that powers the cutter can be noisy when compared to other hand-powered models.

The Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series has the versatility that lets you chamfer, clean, deburr, and trim primer sockets in seconds.

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Prep System Pros and Cons

  • Accessories available
  • Ease of use
  • Motorized
  • Trimming straight wall cases can be difficult
  • More expensive than other options

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Prep System Deals

Hornady Cam Lock Case Trimmer Review

The Hornady Cam Lock Case Trimmer offers a cam lock mechanism that securely holds shells. It’s a durable and reliable case trimmer with an adjustable cutter head for accuracy.

You need to use different Hornady shell holders when using different calibers during the trimming process. This can be a downside for some users.

The Hornady Cam Lock is a less expensive option and is a good choice if you’re getting started with case trimming. You can attach it to your workbench, and its cam lock system gives you consistent results.

Hornady Cam Lock Case Trimmer Pros and Cons

  • Heavy-duty and reliable
  • Greater accuracy
  • Lower cost compared to other models
  • Slower than other models
  • Case holder is necessary for operation
  • Bench-mounted operation

Hornady Cam Lock Case Trimmer Deals

RCBS Trim Pro-2 Kit Review

RCBS has a reputation for producing some of the best equipment for gun users. It typically costs more, but you get what you pay for.

RCBS’s 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit features a spring-loaded shell holder you can use for different cases. This eliminates the need for multiple case holders.

It has an ergonomic design, die-cast metal construction, and quality materials.

Its spring-loaded shell holder keeps your cases secure, and you can use the RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit with different standard pilots. You can adjust the micrometer to an exact measurement when trimming cases.

The features, quality materials, and reliability of the RCBS Trim Pro-2 come at a higher price. But you’ll have one of the best tools to meet your trimming process needs.

RCBS Trim Pro-2 Kit Pros and Cons

  • Durability
  • Spring-loaded shell holder
  • Ergonomic design
  • Bench-mounted operation
  • More expensive than other options
  • Universal shell holder can take time to learn

RCBS Trim Pro-2 Kit Deals

Lyman Case Trim Xpress Review

The Lyman Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress case trimmer delivers speed and accuracy for trimming and reloading ammunition. This case trimmer has a motor and power adapter that eliminate the need for manual arm strength, separate motors, or power drills.

This case trimmer replaces standard pilots with spring-loaded bushings that work with most bottleneck rifle cases. These bushings index on the case’s shoulder and push it against the machine’s carbide cutter head.

The Lyman Case Trim Xpress has an adjustment wheel that lets you specify the length of the case. It includes a variable-speed motor that is less noisy than other models. It’s a space-saving case trimmer with the durability you need.

Lyman Case Trim Xpress Pros and Cons

  • Consistent trim length
  • Easy length adjustment
  • Quieter than other models
  • Bench-mounted operation only
  • Bushings must be changed for different calibers

Lyman Case Trim Xpress Deals

Lee Precision Cutter & Lock Stud Review

The Lee Precision Cutter & Lock Stud is a budget option for trimming your cases. You’ll still need to buy a shell holder and case length gauge, though. These devices are caliber-specific but will give you everything you need.

It may take some time to get used to the Lee Precision Cutter & Lock Stud, but it gives you one of the most cost-effective case-trimming solutions.

You can either use it manually or attach the lock stud on a power drill, install the shell holder, and trim the case using the cutter and gauge.

The ability to use a power drill is one way the Lee Precision Cutter & Lock Stud makes case trimming more budget-friendly.

Lee Precision Cutter & Lock Stud Pros and Cons

  • Power drill operation
  • Inexpensive
  • Can be tricky to get started for beginner reloaders
  • Requires additional purchase of shell holder and case length gauge

Lee Precision Cutter & Lock Stud Deals

Lyman Universal Trimmer Review

Gun enthusiasts looking for easy, fast, and versatile case trimming should try the Lyman Universal Trimmer. Lyman has a reputation for high-quality equipment that gives shooters the accuracy they desire — even if at a higher price than some brands.

This universal case trimmer features a chuckhead so you can trim calibers ranging from .17 to .458. Best of all, you don’t need shell holders or collets, and you can make both coarse and fine adjustments.

The Lyman Universal Trimmer boasts high-quality construction and quality-of-life features that justify the higher price. This trimmer can trim cases for rifles and pistols. Lyman’s trimmer works as either a manual trimmer or an electric operation.

Lyman Universal Trimmer Pros and Cons

  • Fine and coarse adjustments
  • Universal chuck head
  • No shell holders required
  • Higher price point compared to other models
  • Bench mounting required for optimal performance

Lyman Universal Trimmer Deals

Best Case Trimmers – Buyers Guide

Brass cartridges get larger every time you fire them. This expansion can prevent it from fitting in the chamber after reloading your ammunition for reuse.

Case trimming lets you reload your ammunition multiple times without this problem. However, case trimming is one of those activities gun enthusiasts don’t always enjoy doing.

A case trimmer — along with a great reloading scale, die, caliper, tumbler, and press — is necessary for the consistency and accuracy of your hand loaded ammunition.

In this buying guide, you’ll learn what a case trimmer is, as well as the 6 best case trimmers on the market.

What is a case trimmer?

A case trimmer is a device that adjusts the length of your cases and makes it easier to chamber and extract ammunition.

Using a case trimmer makes the size of your rounds more consistent, improves accuracy, and prevents malfunctions. The right case trimmer increases the reliability of your ammo and keeps cases from jamming in the chamber.

Do I need a case trimmer for reloading? Yes, you need a case trimmer to reload your ammunition. Having the right trimmer lets you resize your cartridges for reloading. You also need a scale, die, caliper, tumbler, and reloading press.

Without a case trimmer, your cartridges may not fit into your reloading presses or even chamber correctly in your firearm. Cutting them down to the right size makes the reloading process more efficient.

Reloading spent ammunition is more cost-effective, and trimming cases is essential to getting the best results from all styles of presses: turret, single-stage, or progressive reloading press.

Are case trimmers caliber specific? Yes, many case trimmers are caliber specific. Some models, however, such as the Lyman Universal Trimmer, feature a universal chuckhead, which lets you trim caliber sizes between .17 and .458.

Other models like a fixed-adjustment case trimmer often support one size. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to trim different calibers.

You could find a case trimmer that lets you change the size of the shell holder, which makes it possible to work with different caliber sizes.

When should you trim your cases? You should trim your cases before reloading your ammunition. Trimming your cases removes excess length that results from expansion. This allows your ammunition to properly fit into the chamber when you reuse it.

Case Trimmer vs. Case Prep Center

What is the difference between a case trimmer and a case prep center? A case prep center is like a case trimmer deluxe. It lets you trim, chamfer, deburr, ream, and clean. Think of it as an all-in-one option for gun enthusiasts.

You can attach different tools to a case prep station, many of which speed up the reloading process.

Case trimmers change the length of your casings before reloading your ammunition. A lather-type case trimmer lets you make adjustments and trim cases quickly.

A fixed-adjustment case trimmer is ideal for working with a single-size casing. However, this is a limitation for shooters who want to reload different caliber sizes.

On-press case trimmers trim and deburr ammunition in seconds. Unfortunately, this requires a full-length sizing reloading die, and many users find some models difficult to work with.

Low-volume precision case trimmers offer speed, but they can be challenging to set up.

Shoulder-indexing case trimmers make it easy to trim more ammunition in a shorter amount of time. However, it may not be ideal for someone trimming a variety of case lengths.

What is the best case prep center? The best case prep center is the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System. Frankford made this all-inclusive case prep center using high-quality materials and with durability in mind.

The RCBS 90375 Trim Mate is another standout choice for the case prep center.

Go out and buy the best case trimmer for you!

You should now have a better idea about what kind of case trimmer best suits your individual needs.

Chamfering and deburring smooth out the case mouth after trimming. This lets you achieve the right shape. Choosing a case trimmer with deburring and chamfering functions makes trimming cases more efficient.

What is the best case trimming machine? The best case trimming machine is the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System. It features a steel cutter, a high-speed motor, and an adjustable collet system for chamfering, cleaning, deburring, and trimming cases.

Choose a case trimmer with shell holders that match your caliber size or allow you to adjust to a variety of sizes.

What is the best case trimmer for trimming cases? The best case trimmer for trimming cases is easy to use and has all the features that match your shooting needs. You want a trimmer that’s fast, consistent, and accurate. I recommend the Frankford Arsenal or RCBS trimmers.

Slower models may not be suitable for you if you plan on reloading a high volume of ammunition.

Look for polishers, tumblers, and a storage box when buying a case trimmer. Choose a case trimmer with a deburring tool and other features that enhance the reloading process.

These 6 best case trimmers offer features that make reloading easy, efficient, and more affordable. You can find these case trimmers on Amazon and through other retail websites.

If you want to learn more about case trimming, reloading, and firearm basics, start with Gun 101.

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About Tom Moore

Tom is one of our content writers at Gun University. When Tom isn't behind the keyboard, he participates regularly in NRL22 and IPSC. You'll often find him out hunting with his mates or camping with his family.

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