By: Jarrod Sousa
Reloading takes time. The holy grail almost every reloader seeks is the ability to crank out large quantities of ammo in as short a period of time, rivaling that of even the largest ammo factories. For a lot of reloaders, my self absolutely included, a very large time is spent on case prep. When I 1st started reloading I went cheap and bought caliber specific Lee Precision handheld tools. While they definitely work and get the job done, I had to use a different tool for trimming, and chamfering/deburring. There was also no way to adjust the trim length if needed using this tool. Not to mention I had to manually take each case in and out of the holder. All that adds up to a really slow and tedious process that definitely took up way too much time.
So I set out to see how I could improve efficiency. What I was looking for was a trimmer that would fit into a drill (handheld preferably) that would allow me to insert the case by hand and then trim/chamfer/debur all at the same time. This way I could prep my case mouths as fast as I could feed them into the trimmer. I also wanted something that would allow me to adjust trim length as needed to help find the most accurate and/or consistent load. Finally I wanted something that at a minimum would support all my bottle neck cartridges (this includes .357 Sig pistol cartridge). So after googling, searching youtube, and reading multiple forums I narrowed down the selection to the 3 most popular cast trimmers:
- Worlds Finest Trimmer 2
- Giraud Tri-Way Trimmer
- Ez-Trimit 2 Trimmer
- World’s Finest Trimmer 2:
- Perhaps the most popular option of the 3
- Requires you to buy trim chambers for a family of calibers (~$25 each)
- Case trimmer is separate cost (~$75)
- depth adjustment is done by manually moving the cutter farther in or out of the cutter body
- DOES NOT work for pistol (except 5.7x28mm) and/or straight walled rifle cartridges
- Requires you to use a wood dowel and hammer to knock out the trim chamber
- DOES NOT chamfer and debur while trimming
- Maximum caliber size is .45 inch
Bottom line: I reload for 8 different calibers (4 pistol, 4 rifle). I am not too concerned about trimming the 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP cases because they are pretty low maintenance. But of the other 5 calibers I reload, the WFT doesn’t support 1 of them (357 Sig). I guess it’s not game over pre se, but that does hurt it’s chances. It does not however trim while chamfering and deburring at the same time. That plus the manual depth adjustment, plus the fact I have to “pound” the chamber out of the trimmer, plus I can’t trim every caliber I reload for makes me not really like this option.
- Giraud Tri-Way Trimmer:
- Very limited caliber selection
- Purchase a complete trimmer for each caliber family (~$98 each)
- No pistol caliber options
- Trims, chamfers, and deburs all at the same time
- Can adjust depth of trim by screwing the cutting shaft in or out of the trimmer
Bottom line: Again the pistol cartridges are left out. Even if they weren’t, I would need to purchase 4 different trimmers for just my rifle cartridges. While this trimmer seems to have all the features I need/want it’s a little too expensive for me to justify.
- Trim-it 2 Trimmer:
- Most expensive trimmer (~$130)
- Requires you buy caliber specific dies (~$20 each)
- Has the widest support of calibers (supports all 8 of the calibers I reload)
- Trims, chamfers, and deburs at the same time
- Has easy to read/use micrometer adjustment for depth of trim
- Requires you to manually adjust the trimmer to line up with the case mouth, but that is to be expected since they support
- Supports up to .500 inch
- Offers option for custom made die so will support virtually any caliber past/present/future
Bottom line: This is the the best option I found. It will perform all 3 cuts at the same time, it requires the minimal amount of equipment to purchase, and it will support every caliber I reload for. It’s definitely more expensive than the hand held trimmer but the increase in efficiency will more than make up for it.
So just for grins, lets do a cost comparison. I will only do the lowest common denominator to keep it fair which means since the Giraud only supports my 4 rifle cartridges, I will only price the 3 options that way.
Giraud: $98 x 4 = $392.00
WFT2: $75 + ($25 * 4) = $175
Trim-it 2: $130 + ($20 * 4) = $210
So there you have it.
The WFT doesn’t chamfer/debur while trimming (This was the one feature I wanted the most). It also doesn’t support pistol cartridges. I have to beat the trim chamber out with force, and I have no real way to measure depth adjustment. All of those are deal breakers to me.
The Giraud will do all 3 cuts at the same time, and has a more precise depth adjustment than the WFT2, but it’s not as easy/precise as the Trim-It 2. That plus the cost, plus it doesn’t support pistol cartridges. Again too many features lacking for me.
Finally there’s the Trim-it 2. It has a 3 way cutter, it supports pistol calibers, it has a micrometer depth adjustment that is super easy to use, that doesn’t break the bank. I think we found our winner.