These worth a darn???


January 25, 2008, 09:11 AM
Lee trimmer (

Wonder if anyone has used them and if they are a PITA or what...

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January 25, 2008, 09:21 AM
Lots of people use them.

All case trimming is a PITA.

The Lee tools works as well as any and better than some.

January 25, 2008, 09:30 AM
They work great, but some are tight in the case neck, and need sanding down a bit. Only really used it on my .357 cases:)

January 25, 2008, 09:40 AM
I use them in all of my rifle reloading...the are repeatable and very eas to use chucked up in a drill...just my .02

January 25, 2008, 09:44 AM
Case trimming sucks, but the Lee tool is faster than most, unless you want to spend hundreds on a Gracey or Giraud.

January 25, 2008, 09:58 AM
If you're trimming a case with a shoulder, the Possum Hollow Kwick Case Trimmers are darn nice hooked up to a drill. They're a more affordable alternative to the Gracie/Giraud trimmers and work as well. You do have to chamfer the case mouth in a separate step.

Possum Hollow Kwick Case Trimmer:

If you're trimming a case without a shoulder, the Lee you linked to works about as well as anything else out there speed and convenience wise.



January 25, 2008, 10:38 AM
Bein as how i have never seen em in person... I assume you chuck what he is holdin in his left hand (shell holder) and hold the cutter with your right... Is there much torque or finger fatigue here... I am tryin to do this on the cheap... I have about 1K rounds of brass that i have fired 4 or 5 times... They need trimmed baaaaaad.... Also i am gonna grab Cabelas case cleaner... I dont have 1 of those either...

January 25, 2008, 10:57 AM
Not a whole lotta fatigue, as you're done pretty quick. For a thousand rounds, it's not a big deal. If you're going well over a thousand rounds a sitting, start looking at a Giraud or Gracey.



January 25, 2008, 11:24 AM
I use the Lee case timmers sitting in my recliner watching TV. Due to the design you trim the cases by feel so you don't have to take your eyes off the TV.
I also chamfer the case mouth and remove the crimp from primer pockets from my recliner also.

January 25, 2008, 11:36 AM
If you use the Lee trimmer, get the ball handle. It's made a huge difference with regard to fatigue.

January 25, 2008, 11:58 AM
If you use the Lee trimmer, get the ball handle. It's made a huge difference with regard to fatigue.

a big +1

They are awful without the ball on the end of the cutter. I stole mine off of my lee challenger press.

The cutters work well and if you take the price into account, they are a bargain.
I only trim rifle brass, and only then when they need it after sizing. Which is nice because the primer needs to be out of the pocket before the lee trimmer can be used.

All in all they work great. My only complaint is that trimming with them takes some time, but I imagine trimming is slow no matter what you use.

January 25, 2008, 12:32 PM
I use them for all my rifle case triming, BUT I spin the cutter not the shell holder with a drill. I have a drill adapter for a champher tool that I got from Midway and a couple of wraps of tape on the outside of the cutter fits it snugly into the adapter. Then you can lock the drill on a medium speed and just keep locking cases into the shell holder. If some one was handy with a lathe you could turn down the end of the cutter, are you listening Mr. Lee?

January 25, 2008, 12:57 PM
I spin the shell holder in my little lathe, and use a hex-bit screw-driver handle on the cutter.
I can trim them faster then I can put them in and take them out.

The only problem I have seen so far is the length stop pin that screws in the end gets worn & loose in the threads.

Lock-Tight cures that permanently if you do it before the threads wear out too much.
I suggest doing it before you ever use a new one.

I have also been told by a friend that the Zip-Trim string pull thing works great, but I haven't seen it in action yet.

January 25, 2008, 01:04 PM
Remember that you trim AFTER full-length or neck sizing. Never before.

January 25, 2008, 01:06 PM
I have a Lee zip-trim, works very well. Pull the cord a few times to trim with the cutter. Easy enough. I do recommend getting the ball cutter, it is really nice.

January 25, 2008, 01:17 PM
I use em all the time for rifle cases. Try with a drill or even a ZIp Trim...All case prep sucks when talking about rifle cases...

January 25, 2008, 02:03 PM
The lee case trimmers work just as advertised. BUT they are NOT adjustable. Meaning they trim to recommended trim-to-length, not longer, not shorter. You CAN grind some off the end of the pilot to make it trim shorter, BUT it will forever trim shorter then.

I drive mine with a cordless drill. The spinner/case holder chucked in the drill, the cutter pilot held in the other hand. As stated above, trimming is best done AFTER sizing. Of course after trimming you must chamfer. This is easily done at the same time while the case is spinning in the drill. You can also use a flash hole uniformer at this time. Oh, also you can hold a pad of 0000 steel wool against the case mouth/case body to polish it. Primer pocket cleaning/uniforming has to be done separately.

One of the aspects of case trimming not mentioned often is SQUARING of the case mouth. As long as the flash hole is centered in relation to the case head, the lee cutter will trim the mouth square. The same cannot be said of the gracey of giraud, since they gauge from the shoulder. The lathe type trimmer, forster or RCBS use a collet to hold the case and a pilot to center the cutter. They're iffy on whether they trim square or not.

January 25, 2008, 05:49 PM
I use the Lee Case Length Trimmer on all my cartridges. They're inexpensive (notice I didn't say cheap) and I have one dedicated for each cartridge. I also got on eBay and bought wooden balls and outfitted each with the ball handle. That saves lots of hand fatigue and cramps in the palm. I chuck mine up in a cordless drill too.

January 25, 2008, 06:02 PM
IMO the fact that they aren't adjustable can be a plus. No overtrimmed cases.
Chuck it in a cordless drill and your good to go.

January 25, 2008, 06:50 PM
I recently gave away my Lyman trimmer and converted ovefr to the Lee system. I couldn't be happier.

It super fast, very consistent, and quite easy. Trimming is still a PITA, but much less so with the Lee and a cordless drill.

January 25, 2008, 07:45 PM
i use them in most of my calibers. wife bought me the "zip trim" for my birthday and it works pretty well. turns out my 6 yr old brother thinks is fun (for 20-25 mins or so), so i "let" him trim up some cases everytime i see him.

i think they would be darn hard to beat for the price

January 25, 2008, 08:57 PM
the lee system is cheap and works better than my Lyman trimer, i am going to try one guy on the help thread at the top , he used a drill press and put the cutter end in the chuck and used the bottom of the table to stop the pin instead of the twist on holder they give you.

January 25, 2008, 10:25 PM
+1 on the ball cutter, also works great with a cordless screwdriver.

January 26, 2008, 10:53 AM
Well thanks for all your information guys... I called my buddy/the guy who taught me reloading and has worked with me everystep.. We get together to load every now and then and hit the range too... He is gonna hook me up with the Lyman trimmer (its about 57 bucks at Cabelas) for FREE.... I called him to make sure i had everything i needed and when i was goin over the list he offered it to me and of course i jumped on it... Granted you have to measure the first case and lock it down when its at the proper length... But Free is free... I have been sooo lucky on getting my equipment and information from him and you guys on this site and on

Case in point.. When i first got into loading a couple years ago... A guy sold me a Pacific press (really heavy duty), RCBS 5-0-5 scale NIB, Pacific micrometer powder thrower, RCBS lube pad, funnel, RCBS 30-06 die set, case lube, loading block, RCBS slide caliper, Lyman manual, and somethign else i dont remember for 115 bucks... Pricing all this stuff against regular prices the 5-0-5 just about paid for all of it cause it was brand new never used....

Just want to say thanks to you guys for all your tips and info and knowledge and everyone else that has helped me along the way

January 26, 2008, 11:08 AM
for larger numbers I like to chuck the standard cutter handle (the thin all-metal one) into the drill press and the shell holder into a mountable vice. This makes pretty quick work of it all.

January 26, 2008, 01:16 PM

"Remember that you trim AFTER full-length or neck sizing. Never before."

Why is that? I usually trim before sizing, thinking I would get more uniform sizing. Is that not correct?

January 26, 2008, 05:26 PM
Its common practice to do it after sizing because the only stretching of the case after that is crimping them...

If you do it before sizing the metal can stretch and undo what you just did

January 27, 2008, 12:24 PM

January 28, 2008, 04:46 AM
Problem I'm having is, after sizing (neck usually) my 223 - the trimmer won't fit in the case. Thoughts?

I get around this by using a universal decap die, pop out primer, trim, then size.

Figure this is better than not trimming and getting excessive pressures.

January 28, 2008, 05:19 AM
dalv wrote:

Problem I'm having is, after sizing (neck usually) my 223 - the trimmer won't fit in the case. Thoughts?

I get around this by using a universal decap die, pop out primer, trim, then size.

Figure this is better than not trimming and getting excessive pressures.


Does this give you proper length and proper headspace off of the shoulder when the rounds are chambered?

As you are neck-sizing only, is this a bolt gun?

January 28, 2008, 07:05 AM
mine was tight also , I took a little sand paper and took a few thousands off the shank of the trimmer, seems to be a common problem with them.

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