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Old 06-19-2022, 02:47 PM
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Default Case Trimmer Blades

Iíll preface this thread with S&W being more of a handgun forum
I realize thereís likely a majority of straight wall loaders that ainít near as likely to put as much wear and tear on a case trimmer that bottleneck loader will. That out there, here we go.

Iíve been using a powered RCBS trimmer for a couple of decades now. Nerve damage and arthritis set in early for me. I bought into powered stuff out of necessity. Before moving to our current home my equipment was kept and used in a non climate controlled garage for more than 15 years. Environment and heavy use took a toll on it and a trim-mate prep center. The motor was weak and switch unreliable. The trim-mate motor was very weak and bushing/bearings at each station were shot. I replaced original trimmer with an identical new old stock one found at a local shop. New in box never assembled sealed accessory bags for $150 otd. I was thrilled to get it! The trim-mate was replaced with a Lyman unit I bought on sale at Cabelas for about the same cost. Itís a true hand saver.

Now that Iíve told those of you still with me all this, my question is about the cutting blades. RCBS standard cutters are short lived. Iíve not found a carbide blade in stock in a long time. I did buy a compatible 17-20 Redding titanium blade to test. Itís full size but instead of using the standard Redding pilot shaft diameter it uses RCBS diameter. Besides being available theyíre 30 to 40% lower in price than the carbide RCBS.

Since installing Iíve only trimmed a few hundred .223 and .308 totaling around 1000 pieces. It cuts clean and quick, but most new blades do.

Do any of you have any real world comparison with titanium vs carbide trimmer cutter heads?

If they compare well Iím thinking of buying an extra.

Thanks CD
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Old 06-19-2022, 03:07 PM
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There are some cutter blade videos on youTube.
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Old 06-19-2022, 05:15 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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If you have a system that you love, buy a spare cutter head and keep it in the box you store the accessories in.

I had an early RCBS Power Case Trimmer and got rid of it due to inconsistency (.003-.006 variance) That was in the way it held cases.

I now use a Standard and a Classic Forrester Case Trimmer with a power adapter for electric screw driver. (.001-.0015 variance). These case trimmers can do neck turning and case reaming. along with bullet hollow pointing!

On precision long range cartridges (for 600 yard and beyond) I use a L.E.Wilson case trimmer with a similar power adapter. Mine is mounted on a Sinclare International (now part of Brownell's) stand and the micrometer adjuster (.000-.0005 variance) I have 13 of the case holders that cover about 65 different cartridges.

Ivan
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Old 06-19-2022, 05:48 PM
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Not sure about RCBS, but Forster, will sharpen your cutter for $10, and that includes return postage. I did mine about 2 years ago. They did a nice job for me.
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Old 06-19-2022, 08:12 PM
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My first trimmer was a Forster. The RCBS trimmer is consistent with a sharp cutter. Iíve got a dulled RCBS carbide cutter that held up a long time.

There hasnít been an RCBS carbide cutter available anywhere I shop for a long time, a couple of years maybe. The Redding titanium cutter works great. Theyíre also only $28 at midsouth shooter supply. Out of stock RCBS carbide is $48. If these titanium hold up near as well as carbide Iím going to get another.
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Old 06-19-2022, 09:33 PM
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Good luck in your search.

I am old fashioned and do it the old way, by hand.

After all these years of trimming all my rifle cases, I am still working on my
original trimming blade.

Needless to say, I remove the minimum amount of brass, that I can get away with.
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Old 06-20-2022, 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
Good luck in your search.

I am old fashioned and do it the old way, by hand.

After all these years of trimming all my rifle cases, I am still working on my
original trimming blade.

Needless to say, I remove the minimum amount of brass, that I can get away with.
I guess I'm old fashioned too. The more mechanized the more there is to break.

Lack of dexterity and pain pushed me to the more automated processes.

I still have manual backup. I can't stand to be totally dependent on one tool. Yesterday I used a traditional Wilson chamfer and deburring tool on a small batch of length uniformed .223 brass used in a Wylde chambered target/varmint AR platform.

My original RCBS trimmer was converted to manual drive. The shaft wasn't roller handle ready. I got a little creative with what I had on hand. It ain't pretty but it works fine.

Many would say, myself included at times that I've taken redundancy to extremes. I've sat at a loading bench a long time and accumulated a lot of "stuff."
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Old 06-23-2022, 06:21 AM
Greenjoytj Greenjoytj is offline
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I use a L.E.Wilson trimmer, the steel cutter has been working perfectly for 20 years. When I bought this trimmer I immediately retrofitted it with a Sinclair micrometer adjustment head. About 4 years ago I purchased a titanium coated steel cutter just to have it on hand just in case it was needed but havenít installed it yet as the original cutter is still working great.
This tool cutter is turned by hand via a small attached crank handle.
The down side of this Wilson trimmer system is each cartridge to be trimmed requires itís own unique case holder. I only required 7 holders purchased over time as a new cartridge was acquired.
The system works great doesnít require electricity to operate. There is an attachment to adapt it to a power screw driver, but weíre the fun in that.
I trim all my straight wall pistol cases after their first firing resizing cycle.

SINCLAIR/L.E. WILSON L.E. WILSON STAINLESS MICRO TRIMMER & PLATFORM KIT | Sinclair Intl

A good steel cutter on soft brass will out last you.

Last edited by Greenjoytj; 06-24-2022 at 07:02 AM. Reason: Added link to trimmer
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Old 06-23-2022, 09:45 AM
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I had used the older style RCBS with the collets to enclose the case head for quite a time, but had difficulty getting consistent length trims. I switched to the new "plate" to hold the case head and lever to load and unload the case. It is very consistent. I removed the handle, and put in a long bolt and turned the head off. I chuck my cordless drill over it and it makes quick work of trimming.
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Old 06-23-2022, 10:43 AM
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I believe tungsten carbide tools are used to cut titanium, so I would guess the carbide cutter should last longer.

Even a hardened steel cutter should last a very long time versus brass. I suspect the blade wear comes not from the brass but from contaminants left on the surface from dirt and carbon fouling. Nickle plated cases are probably hard on the cutting tool as well.
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Old 06-23-2022, 11:28 AM
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As a note;

I generally don't inside ream pistol cases, however,
with my last purchase of coated 9mm bullets, do to the thin coating
I now ream the 100 cases used in this box, for this brand of bullet.

Good luck.
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Old 06-23-2022, 12:26 PM
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After several thousand trims blades dull. The cut requires more pressure and revolutions, and in my experience the case will require more cleanup(chamfered etc) when the cutter dulls. About nickeled brass, I keep a few nickel rounds for my cowboy belts. I donít like nickel brass for use, only show. I likely have but honestly I donít recall trimming straight wall handgun cartridges. Autoloaders slam into the steel chamber for headspace. Many come up short of spec on their own.

About 30 years ago I scratched the inside of a full length sizing die while sizing nickel .243 Winchester cases. I was able to get the damaged die buffed out, but Iíve steered away from nickel ever since. Iíve also had a batch of Starline nickel .45 Colt split after only a couple of loads. Maybe a fluke, but nickeled stuff seems to be less malleable.

Iím not going to worry about it anymore for the time being. I found another carbide cutter in my trimmer accessory drawers. Itís used but it still cuts great.

Thanks for all the input!
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