Case Trimmer Suggestions

Not open for further replies.
The Lee stuff is spiffy and very, very inexpensive. There are 3 pieces:

There's a lock stud that you can chuck into a drill. You can hold it by hand, too, but the drill is sure easy.

There's a cutter that takes a guide. I highly recommend getting the trimmer with the ball handle. If you don't want the fancy cutter with the ball handle, just use the one that comes with the luck stud.

And then there's a guide and shell holder for each caliber (for example, 22-250) that you screw into the trimmer.

Chuck a shell, start the drill, push the trimmer & guide into the shell, and press until the guide bottoms out and the cutter stops shaving brass. Now, turning the drill slowly, deburr and chamfer. A quick press of 000 or 0000 steel wool on the case mouth with the drill turning makes for real smooth bullet seating. And if you need to mark your cases to make them easier to find, this is the perfect time to spin the drill and touch a sharpie to the case to mark it.

The only drawback is that you only get the case length that the guide is set for, usually something close to the recommended "trim to" length in the load manuals. So far it hasn't been a problem for me and my milsurp rifles.
I got the Lee, with the shell holders for both 7.62x54R and 7.62x39mm, plus primer pocket cleaner, and chamfer tool, for about $28 including shipping. If you do low volume, this works very well. The ball handle one I what I SHOULD have gotten - the standard will hurt your hand after 10 or so. Chuck the shell older in the electric drill, put the case length guide in the cutter, insert and spin, baby, spin!
I've got a Hornady trimmer but out of curiosity bought the inexpensive Lee trimmer. I used it for the 1st time a couple weeks ago and I was very pleased with the results. It will probably be the one I use from now on. It is so simple to use with no chance of over trimming a case.
I have a Hornady and the best feature is the removeable handle. I simply take the handle off and use a cordless drill to run it. That makes it nice if you are trimming a bunch. I'm not sure if you can do that with any other brand, but I think it's the only way to fly.
another vote for lee. i got the 223 one, a chamfur and deburring tool, and a primer pocket cleaner all for 10 bucks or less i think from midway. they arent intended for marathon trimming sessions, but for batches they work wonderfully
Don't know about the Lee case trimmer or any of the other brands. I've been using a RCBS Case Trimmer II for years and have not had a chance to try anyother... :) Nor do I have any complaints about the RCBS...
I have a RCBS case trimmer and several Lee trimmers. The RCBS works fine but is a bench mounted unit and I use it for the cases that require a lot of trimming like cases I form from other cases. With the cartridges I shoot the most I use Lee's as I can sit in my Lazy-boy with a bowl in my lap watching TV while trimming them.
Ditto on using the Lee cutter with the wooden ball on it as it greatly reduces hand fatigue.
My problem with the RCBS case trimmer is that it doesn't trim evenly. One side is significantly higher than the other. The issues with the trimmer that contribute to this are the method in which the shell is held in the trimmer and the fact that the trimmer cutter does not turn concentrically. The shell holder allows for movement of the case.
Ocabj...Are you using the mandrels that are inserted into the cutting head? Now I will have to go back and test this idea. Easy enough to do. Will get back on this. :scrutiny:
Ocabj...Are you using the mandrels that are inserted into the cutting head? Now I will have to go back and test this idea. Easy enough to do. Will get back on this.

Yeah. I have the RCBS case trimmer pro that came with my Rock Chucker kit. It uses mandrels for the various calibers and uses those flat shell holders that grip the case by the rim/head. I think the shell holder design is flawed in that it doesn't keep the case held in tightly enough like the Wilson.
Aah...Ocabj. That might be the difference as I have the RCBS Case trimmer II. It uses collets to grip the case head. I am still curious and will do some measuring of trimmed cases... :scrutiny:
I've used the Lee. It works as advertised.

Buy the Wilson, or if you really want to spend the bucks, the Sinclair modified Wilson. It's probably about the same price, or maybe even cheaper, than the RCBS, etc., trimmers, but what's even better is that it is Dead Nuts Accurate. You don't need the Sinclair stand if you don't want it either.

It is also VERY fast to use after you figure out how to get the rhythm going.
Lee does it right

Another vote for the Lee here, but rather than the screw-shut cartridge-specific holder, get the universal holder if you do several cartridges.

Then get Lee's Zip Trim to spin it with--works GRRREAT! The Zip Trim works like a recoil starter for a 1-cyl. gas engine. No electricity, no batteries, just pull the string.

As the above poster said, with the Lee system, you get only one length, approx. the trim-to length, but that's fine; what you want is uniformity of case length.

Have had mine for a number of years, starting with a hand-held cartridge holder and an aluminum mandrel for the case-length gauge in .30-'06. Wore out the aluminum mandrel. Contacted Lee; they sent me a new steel one gratis. The other-cartridge mandrels I've bought since have all been steel.

Have been more than satisfied with Lee's customer service over the years.
I have the Forester. It gets a tepid "ok" from me. It will not trim 9mm unless you take it to a maching shop and get them to drill another hole to move the shell holder part closer to the handle end (or buy another base).

I wish I had applied the $ towards a Wilson micrometer trimmer. Will probably grit my teeth and do so at some point.

I do love my Forster Coax press. Glad I bought it first and didn't prejudge it by the trimmer.
Not open for further replies.