What is the best manual case trimmer?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Boomer4570, Feb 26, 2013.

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  1. Boomer4570

    Boomer4570 Member

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    I am looking at the RCBS trim pro2, is this a good way to go?
    Or should I look elsewhere.
     
  2. HJ857

    HJ857 Member

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    The first question is how many cases do you expect to be trimming per session and how often will you be prepping that many cases?
     
  3. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    What do you mean by "best"? A lot of guys here use Lee with a cordless drill. Do a search here.. a good thread with many responses was on the front page for many days not long ago.
     
  4. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    You said "manual", so I think you'll find the L.E.Wilson to be very, very nice indeed.
     
  5. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    I like the rcbs with the three way head. It is a bear to set up the head but once it is set, it will trim, deburr, and chamfer in one step. It is easier and than measuring cases so I just run everything through the trimmer every time.

    Lee is OK for 20 rounds at a time or so. If you do 100 or so it will drive you batty, and you will still have to deburr and chamfer when you are done.

    J.
     
  6. Boomer4570

    Boomer4570 Member

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    I plan on running 50 to 100 at a time. For heavily used calibers (.223,.300blk,.30-06,.308) I will some day buy WFTs for each.
     
  7. cja245

    cja245 Member

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    I would highly recommend trying the lee lock stud trimmer before you spend a bunch of money on a lathe style trimmer. They are dirt cheap and they work great. Run it in a cordless drill clamped in a vice.
     
  8. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    The Lee system is the best bang for the buck. I also have an L.E.Wilson with a micrometer adjuster, Sinclair base and shark fin handle but those add ons make it a bit pricey. The Wilson gets used where Lee did not make a case gauge.

    I recently got several WFT trimmers and the WFT trimmer has replaced the Lee for those cartridges. So much better than the Lee but more expensive.

    I know the Giraud is expensive, but I started to look at it more closely after I bought the WFT trimmers. After the initial cost for the Giraud, the pre-adjusted cutter head assemblies for the Giraud are about the same price as a WFT trimmer. I find using a drill motor cumbersome so the Giraud drive might be more convenient for my tastes. I know, the Giraud is not manual.

    Any way, food for thought.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  9. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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  10. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    The RCBS unit is a good one as is my old Forster-Appelt.
     
  11. lightman

    lightman Member

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    There are lots of choices, but probably not any wrong ones. The Lyman has a universal chuck that holds the case head. Thats a nice feature. The collet type trimmers can change length a little, by how tight you tighten the collet. Its not too hard to learn to be consistent with them. The Wilson uses a case holder, and is very accurate. Its expensive, if you get all of the accessories with it. Some claim it is slow, but its about as fast as the others after you use it some. CH4D makes one about like the Wilson. A few companies offer a trimmer that works with a drill press. Some reloaders buy a small, bench top model to use for this. The Lee system that uses case length gauges and a cutter works ok. They can be used with an electric drill.
    A lot of us have more than one system. I use the Lee system for my hunting rifles, and the Wilson for my match rifle, and my custom rifles. I use a Giraud for the things that I load in volume. I started with the Lyman, and it still works, but I don't use it much anymore. I had an RCBS, but traded it, it did'nt do anything better or worse than the Lyman. I would think the same about the Redding and Forster. Most offer a carbide cutter option. I think its worth the cost. Most also offer other accessories like reamers, neck turners, primer crimp reamers, 3-way cutters, ect. A few companies offer a file type trim die. I really don't care much for that method, but its nice when forming cases if you have a lot of material to remove.
    Like I said, lots of choices, not many wrong ones. How much do you want to spend? Sorry for the long post, hope this helps. Lightman
     
  12. HJ857

    HJ857 Member

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    I'm the same as many others. For small batches up to 50 I use a Lee trimmer, with the brass chucked in a drill and with the ball cutter. I'd say that the Lee system has to be used in a drill to get good clean cutting. I also use a RCBS case prep center for chamfer/deburr and primer pocket uniforming.

    For volume reloading (.223 in my case), I use a Possum Hollow chucked in an electric drill, it seems to work best at higher rpm.

    I'd really rather have a trimmer that trims, chamfers and deburrs all at the same time like the Giraud or the RCBS 3-way. Someday.
     
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    IMO the Forster Original Case Trimmer Kit is the best on the market. This small precision lathe works great and it's not that expensive in comparison. Forster also has a TON of attachments that can be used with the trimmer including neck turning cutters, neck inside reamers and primer pocket cleaners. They even have bullet hollow pointer tools.

    The Kit will run you under $100 and comes with the most common pilots and collets.
    http://www.forsterproducts.com/store.asp?pid=37130
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/614276/forster-original-case-trimmer-kit
     
  14. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    I would describe the Forster as, as good or better. And you forgot their latest greatest attachment....carbide 3-way cutter....trims, chamfers and deburrs like RCBS's 3-WAY WITHOUT THE COMPLICATION of RCBS's. Slip in on the shaft...tighten the set screw.

    Pricy tho. $60 per caliber diameter.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I use a Hornady LNL. It's probably no better or worse than any other manual (i.e., crank) trimmer, just different. Trimming cases is fiddly, labor-intensive, and no fun in any sense; it's easily my least favorite aspect of reloading.
     
  16. James2

    James2 Member

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    I went for the Lyman Universal case trimmer. Best? Who knows? To decide that we would have to try them all. Not going to happen. I like the Lyman. It is definitely a nice machine.
     
  17. PJSprog

    PJSprog Member

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    I use the Lee Zip Trim with 3-Jaw Chuck. As stated by others, best bang for the buck.
    "Best?" That's really a personal preference thing.
     
  18. Boomer4570

    Boomer4570 Member

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    Thanks guys for all the info! Now I have a lot more research to do before making my decision.
     
  19. Bmac1949

    Bmac1949 Member

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    L.E.Wilson is what I use for rifle calibers and the lee trimmer for pistol when I have to trim them. The Wilson trimmer is accurate but takes a little care to setup unless you have the micrometer attachment.
     
  20. scottishkat

    scottishkat Member

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    I purchased the redding 2400 case trimmer and had to many problems with it. Plenty of bad reviews for it at all the major catalogs. I bought the wilson unit from sinclair and am very happy with it.
     
  21. Lethal Threat

    Lethal Threat Member

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  22. patriot53

    patriot53 Member

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    will Case Trimmer Pilots & Collets from Redding, RCBS & Forster work in this Trimmer?
     
  23. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I've been using the old Lee case gauge trimmer forever, and it works great on a cordless drill. They're very inexpensive, and they have been very consistent.

    GS
     
  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    No, it is totally different. It uses case holders.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/645381/le-wilson-trimmer-case-holder-9mm-luger?cm_vc=ProductFinding

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/966918/le-wilson-case-trimmer-stainless-steel?cm_vc=ProductFinding

    http://www.midwayusa.com/find?usersearchquery=case+trimmer&itemsperpage=24&dimensionids=4294846128&newcategorydimensionid=11889
     
  25. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    +1 for the forester, it is very versatile.

    I don't like doing large quantities with it, instead use it for smaller batches of just about anything.
     
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