Do you love shooting at the range? Having the best manual case trimmer is probably the best choice you can ever take. As you might already be aware, the cost of fresh ammo keeps going up which means for every shot made, you’ll need to dig deeper into your pockets. With manual case trimmers, though, you can enjoy a seamless trimming session on a small scale level so you can re-use some of your rounds.
Table of Contents
- Best Manual Case Trimmer - Comparisons
- 5 Best Manual Case Trimmer Reviews
- Buying Guide - Factors to Consider When Buying a Manual Case Trimmer
- Best Buy
- Caring for Your Trimmer
- Quick Tips for Picking the Best Trimmer
- Final Thoughts
Best Manual Case Trimmer - Comparisons
L.E. Wilson Case Trimmer CT-SSKIT
8 x 4 x 3 inches
050140 Hornady Cam Lock Case Trimmer
11 x 6 x 4 inches
RCBS Trim Pro-2 Kit with Spring Loaded Shell Holder 90366
Lyman Universal Trimmer with 9 Pilot Multi-Pack Trims
5.8 x 12 x 3.8 inches
Lyman 6720092 Universal Case Trimmer
5.8 x 12 x 3.8 inches
Though slightly noisier than their electric-powered counterparts, manual trimmers come in handy in ensuring that you trim with high precision. They also tend to be energy-efficient which also means they contribute further in helping you save more bucks in the long-run. Without further ado, let us now take you through our list of top manual case trimmer choices.
5 Best Manual Case Trimmer Reviews
1. L.E. Wilson CT-SSKIT Case Trimmer
Designed to deliver precise cuts on cases ranging from 17 caliber to 45-70, this trimmer uses special holders that are made to mimic a rifle chamber. On top of that, the system comes with a micrometer which supports the case body making trimming job much easier to handle and guaranteeing you of the best cutting quality, always. Indeed, you can always count on the CT-SSKIT trimmer to deliver award-winning square trimmed cases of the desired length.
The only thing you need to note, however, is that this trimmer needs to be mounted in a vise in order to deliver the best results. But that’s barely an issue given the fact that this manual trimmer comes loaded with positive stops that you can easily adjust on the go. Overall, the LE Wilson case trimmer is well built and durable and that’s because its core components are made from high-quality steel and aluminum alloy. Last but not least, the fact that this handy manual trimmer comes with a special, built-in micrometer means you can fine-tune your system to deliver crystal clear cuts with 0.001-inch increments.
- Built-in micrometer for precise, incremental cuts.
- Well built with steel and aluminum parts.
- Easy to operate.
- Long-spanning track record of delivering great results.
- Beautiful craftsmanship.
- Maybe a bit expensive for individuals on a super tight budget.
L.E. Wilson Case Trimmer: Overview, Setup, Trimming
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2. Hornady 050140 Cam Lock Case Trimmer
If you are looking for a solid case trimmer, then Cam Lock 050140 Hornady will meet your expectations. Compatible with standard Hornady pilots and shell plates, this trimmer is made from the highest quality steel.
Installing and operating the case trimmer is easy. It has four holes for mounting on a bench or alternatively you can clamp it in a vise. Operating the trimmer requires knowing how to operate the lock. A turn secures the lock and a touch releases the cam lock. The lock mechanism works by locking cases securely in the holder for trimming.
In addition to the lock, the trimmer has a micro-adjustable cutting head to ensure accurate case lengths. The adjustable cutter gives you room to change settings without moving the case. Most importantly, the cutter is removable therefore you can sharpen it if it is blunt or replace it if it is worn out. The package includes the trimmer and 7 pilots.
- High quality.
- Accurate lengths with managing the lock and unlock cam.
- 7 pilots included.
- Ergonomic handle.
- The cutter is replaceable.
- Manufactured by Hornady.
- It is manual and therefore a bit slow.
- You have to buy shell holders to suit different calibers.
3. RCBS 90366 Trim Pro-2 Kit with Spring Loaded Shell Holder
Are you looking for a hunting reloading kit? Consider the 90366 RCBS Trim Pro-2 Kit. Manufactured in the USA, this case trimmer is made from die-cast metal. It has hardened cutting blades that will last a long time. This trimmer is designed with an accuracy of .001-inch and therefore it provides accurate case lengths.
The main advantage of this trimmer is that the shell holder is fitted with a spring. This makes the shell holder work by holding cases securely without requiring specific shell holders.
In addition, operating this trimmer is easy. Installing it requires mounting it on a workbench and it is ready to be used. Operating the trimmer requires a turn of the handles and you have trimmed cases. The kit has an extended lever and the handle is ergonomic, making operating it easy.
Best of all, the kit works with all standard pilots. When you order this kit, you will receive the trimmer with various pilots.
- It is a durable product.
- Spring-loading shell holder.
- You can use standard pilots and the kit includes pilots.
- Ergonomic handle.
- Limited lifetime warranty provided.
- More expensive than other case trimmers.
- It is manual and therefore, not ideal for large volume work. Large volumes of work will leave you fatigued.
4. Lyman Universal Trimmer with 9 Pilot Multi-Pack Trims .17 Cal to .458 Cal
As the name suggests, this is a universal trimmer. The trimmer is both manual and electric because it is fitted with a power adaptor that allows for electrical powering. The trimmer can be used for trimming both rifle and pistol calibers. Installing the trimmer is simple. The trimmer requires to be mounted and then it is in a position to be used.
We liked this trimmer because, first and foremost, this trimmer is convenient because it is designed with a Universal Chuckhead which handles Universal trims. Therefore it can trim cases of any length from .17 to .458 caliber. Because of this feature, you will not need to use shell holders or case collets.
In addition, the trimmer has an adjusting ring. You simply dial the required setting and the machine will trim that length repeatedly. The trimmer, therefore, produces accurate case lengths. What’s more, the trimmer has an adjustment for fine or coarse cases.
The package includes 9 pilots popularly used. For a greater range of caliber, use additional pilots.
- Universal Chuckhead to handle many case lengths.
- Shell holders or collets are not required, therefore saving you money.
- It is adjustable and offers accurate case lengths.
- It has coarse and fine adjustments.
- It is both manual and electrical.
- Shipping is limited to the USA only.
5. Lyman Universal 6720092 Case Trimmer W/Carbide Cutter & 9 Pilots
Incorporating all the features needed in an efficient kit, you will love using this trimmer. Lyman Universal 6720092 is ideal for doing high volume trims because of its features.
It is durable because it is made from the highest quality material and features a premium quality carbide cutter. Carbide cuts metal better than anything else. The cutter is sharp with a fine-grain construction. The cutter will stay sharp for long, trimming loads of shells with accuracy, smoothness and speed. The brass, therefore, requires little chamfering after trimming.
The trimmer is designed with a Universal Chuckhead to handle cases of any lengths from .17 cal to .458 caliber. Therefore you don’t need shell holders or case collets when using this trimmer.
Installing and operating the unit is easy. The unit can be mounted on a board or workbench or clamped before being used. The trimmer has two holes for mounting. The trimmer includes 9 pilots. This is a case trimmer for both rifles and pistols because the nine pilots are for both pistols and rifles.
- No shell holders or collets required because of the universal Chuckhead design.
- 9 pilots popularly used included in the package.
- Ultra sharp carbide cutter.
- A manual is included.
- It is a bit expensive.
- The item is limited to shipping within the USA only.
Buying Guide - Factors to Consider When Buying a Manual Case Trimmer
Ammunition is expensive. Reusing fired ammo saves on the cost of purchase. Every time a cartridge is fired it stretches and after several uses, it is unable to fit into its chamber. Longer cases can cause a breakdown in your rifles especially automatic ones and they also decrease your shooting accuracy and consistency. Trim your brass to keep jams to a minimum. A trimmer works by resizing ammunition to its original shape so it fits into the chamber.
Important Features to Consider
The trimmer should be made from high-quality materials to ensure durability. The trimmer’s cutter should be made from carbide preferably. Steel will work as well but carbide is harder and stays sharp for much longer, and suitable for high volume cuts. Also, buy a trimmer whose cutter can be replaced easily when it gets worn out.
You also need a trimmer that does calibers of different sizes and does accurate lengths repeatedly. It should, therefore, have a feature for adjusting lengths. In addition, you need to decide whether you want a manual or electric trimmer. An electric trimmer may be noisy and more expensive but handles many loads.
What’s more, choosing a trimmer that can also do case prep tools will offer you convenience and affordability. The features in a case trimmer will determine its price and therefore affordability.
Three main factors are important when purchasing a case trimmer. These are pricing; product features and durability. Among the above four trimmers, we consider the Lyman Universal Trimmer with 9 Pilot Multi-Pack Trims .17 Cal to .458 Cal. to be the best trimmer money can buy. It is followed by Lyman Universal 6720092 Case Trimmer W/Carbide Cutter & 9 Pilots. It is then followed by L.E Wilson CT-SSKIT Case Trimmer which is then followed by Cam Lock 050140 Hornady Case Trimmer.
The Lyman Universal Trimmer with 9 Pilot Multi-Pack Trims .17 Cal to .458 Cal ranks at the very top because it is made from high-quality materials. In addition, it has a universal trimming system with its Universal Chuckhead making it ideal to trim cases of various calibers accurately. It is also adjustable and then it is both manual and electrical powered. It can, therefore, do high volume reloads.
Caring for Your Trimmer
Like any other machine in the world, it’s extremely important to take proper care of your manual case trimmer. Our experts recommend replacing or sharpening the cutters after every few years in order to deliver clean cuts. Also, as a basic care precaution, be sure to oil your crank handle in addition to removing any chips that might clog up your cutter.
Quick Tips for Picking the Best Trimmer
* Look for something that’s super easy and stress-free to operate (and maintain).
* Go for a trimmer that’s capable of trimming with undoubted precision.
* Speed is of the essence, so always go for a trimmer that does the job quickly and efficiently.
You stand to enjoy your shooting sprees provided you invest in a high-quality manual case trimmer. Without a doubt, the convenience that comes with these machines isn’t something you can underestimate. But as we have seen in this in-depth discussion, different machines perform differently. So, be sure to prioritize the best ahead of the rest.