Top 5 Best Case Prep Centers and Buying Guide

Firing a gun is fun. The same cannot be said about preparing your rifle brass. Prepping, sizing, cleaning, and trimming your rifle brass can take time and effort. Thankfully, the Best Case Prep Centers exist to make work easier. A good prep center speeds up your case preparation process, allowing you to get back to more exciting things.

With this in mind, it might be time to break open your piggy bank to buy a case prep center. And this guide will help you sort out the various prep center options available. In addition, in this guide, I have compiled a list of 5 of the best prep centers, as well as a comparison chart.

Quick Comparison Of Best Case Prep Centers

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Lyman Case Prep Xpress 115V 7810220, Gray
Weight
7.45 pounds
Type
Electric
Image
Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System...
Weight
8.2 pounds
Type
Electric
Image
Hornady Cam-Lock Trimmer 050140 - Reloading Case Trimmer...
Weight
3 pounds
Type
Manual
Image
RCBS 90375 Trim Mate Case Prep Center 110V AC
Weight
6.25 pounds
Type
Electric
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Hornady 050012 Lock-N-Load Case Prep Center, 110 Volt
Weight
20 pounds
Type
Electric


Last update on 2024-06-15 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How To Find The Best Case Prep Centers

Quality is costly. This is especially true when shopping for a prep center. Therefore, there are several things to consider before spending your hard-earned cash on a prep center. Below are the main things to consider.

Attachments and Tools

Prep centers come with all kinds of attachments and tools, from chamfer tools to neck brushes and pocket cleaners. Needless to say, the more the tools and attachments, the better the center. However, just because a prep center has numerous tools does not mean it’s ideal for you. Spending money on a center with additional tools that you will never use makes zero sense.

Manual vs. Electric Case Prep Centers

There are two main types of prep centers: manual and electric prep centers. Manual prep centers are operated by hand and make use of a hand-held crank. Electric centers are motorized machines that use electricity.

Best-Case-Prep-Centers---manual-Vs.-Electric

Ideally, if you prep a few cases once in a while, a manual prep center is a good choice. However, if you want to produce a huge number of cases, then an electric prep center will be a better choice.

Power

How powerful a prep center is determines how efficient it is. If your prep center needs more power to produce the number of cases you need, then it is of no help. These machines are operated by a motor. A motor with a high torque is preferred.

Size

Case prep centers are not the lightest or most compact appliances out there. Nevertheless, size does matter when shopping for one. It is true that the more powerful a prep center is, the larger and heavier it is. All the same, it is important to strike a balance between power and size. For domestic use, a medium-sized center is ideal.

Best Case Prep Centers

Price

Spending thousands of dollars on something you do not need is unwise. When shopping for a prep center, it is important to consider your budget. This will help you know what kind of center is available to you. The most expensive prep centers are usually the heaviest and most powerful. However, only some people need a heavy-reloading prep center. In a nutshell, the best-case prep center for the money is the one you can afford and meets your needs. You may need the best progressive reloading press or the best reloading scale for complementing the prep case centers. So, Always stick to what you can afford and what can serve your reloading needs.

The Best Case Prep Centers: Our Top Picks

Lyman 6702203 Case Prep Xpress

Lyman Case Prep Xpress 115V 7810220, Gray
  • Used by serious shooters and reloaders
  • Tools and accessories for any shooter
  • Innovative and easy to use


Last update on 2024-06-15 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Weight: 7.45 pounds
  • Type: Electric

Overview

Unassuming is the word I would use to describe the Lyman 6702203 case prep Xpress. On the outside, it does not look like it has a lot going on. It is until you use it that you begin to appreciate just how valuable this Lyman case prep center can be.

Deburr tool

Simplicity is what this prep center is built on. However, this is not to say that its performance is simplistic. It comes with a deburr and chamfer tool, which I absolutely love. With this tool, I am able to remove excess brass from trimmed cases. The best thing about it is that it is built for virtually all cases from .17 to .45 caliber cases.

Primer pocket cleaner

Another awesome feature of this case prep is the primer pocket cleaner. The latter comes in handy when you need to get rid of fouling from the primer pocket. This, combined with the reamer tools, also helps remove military crimps and rough metal edges.

Primer Pocket Uniformer

Uniform primer depth is essential for achieving accuracy and consistent ignition. It is for this reason that Lyman throws in a Primer Pocket uniformer. This precision tool allows you to set the depth of your primer, whether for large rifle brass or for small rifle brass.

5 operations

The great thing about this prep center is that it can be used to perform five separate functions simultaneously. This saves time and helps you do more.

Pros

  • Very well built
  • Is capable of performing multiple functions at once
  • Comes with a variety of useful tools included
  • It is an easy-to-clean prep center
  • It is great for chamfering

Cons

  • It can be noisy when being used
  • It might have too many features for the casual user

Verdict

If you like and reload groups of 50 rounds per session, then this Lyman case prep center is one you will find useful. It is moderately priced but comes with all the tools you would expect from a premium quality prep center. In a nutshell, it is the best case prep center for reloading more than 50 cases at a go.

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System

Sale
Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Case Trim and Prep System...
  • EASE OF USE: Trimmer indexes cases on the shoulder for speed and precision
  • VERSATILE: Adjustable Collet System works with all shouldered cases from .17 Remington to .460 Weatherby
  • DURABLE: The HSS cutters stay sharp for thousands of rounds to make trimming quick and easy and the heavy-duty motor and drivetrain are optimized for durability and performance


Last update on 2024-06-15 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Weight: 8.2 pounds
  • Type: Electric

Short Overview

At first glance, the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series case trim and prep system is noticeably bulkier than the Lyman. However, it is still a fantastic piece of machinery.

Durable construction

One of the main reasons the Frankford Arsenal is heavier than most prep centers is the materials used to build it. Unlike its Layman counterpart, which is built from plastic, this one is built from a combination of aluminum and steel. Thus, you can expect it to last longer than most of its competitors.

Adjustable collet and bushing system

To prep your casing, all you have to do is insert it into the main collet. The latter securely holds the case without damaging it. The inside HSS cutters make trimming the case to your desired length easy.

Storage box

On top of the prep center is a storage box where several components are stored. Inside this storage case, you will find spare collets and bushings. Also, there are other tools that you might find useful.

Primer pocket cleaners

There are two different-sized primer pocket cleaners, a large and a small. This means you can reload a variety of cases, from a .17 Remington to a .460 Weatherby.

Pros

  • Can be used in multiple positions
  • It can be used to reload a wide variety of cases
  • It is very well-made and durable
  • Comes with a number of useful accessories
  • It can perform four functions at a go

Cons

  • It is quite loud
  • Does not come with primer pocket uniformer

Verdict

Compared to other prep centers, this machine from Frank Arsenal is more of a trimmer than a prep center. Nonetheless, it has a lot of features that you will find useful. Overall, this trimmer is built for long-term usage and will not break down easily. The cutters are also of very good quality.

Hornady 050140 Cam-Lock Case Trimmer

Hornady Cam-Lock Trimmer 050140 - Reloading Case Trimmer...
  • Accurate, Consistent Case Lengths - this Hornady Cam Lock Case Trimmer 050140 is a unique instrument that use standard Hornady removable shell holder heads and accurately restores fired cases to the...
  • Micro Adjust Cutter - the lever locks the case in place and allows .001-inch changes without moving the case. Plus, its large diameter, replaceable cutting head is made of ultra-hard tool steel and...
  • High Precision & Tough Durability - this Hornady case trimmer shell holder system features a lever that you turn to lock the case securely in the shell holder so you can feed the case cleanly onto the...


Last update on 2024-06-15 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Type: Manual

Unlike its other two previous counterparts on this list, the Hornady 050140 is a manual case trimmer. Now, this is not a bad thing as there are a lot of benefits to using manual trimmers. In this regard, this case trimmer can be a valuable purchase, and here is why.

Hornady holders and pilots

Being a product from Hornady, the 050140 cam lock case trimmer uses the manufacturer’s standard shell holders and pilots. As such, you can use this trimmer on a variety of rounds, including both rifle and handgun rounds.

Adjustable micro-cutting heads

The adjustable micro-cutting head is an improvement from the 050140’s predecessor. This cutting head allows for precision cutting of cases. With it, you can adjust the length of your cut for different cases, from the .22 caliber case to the .7mm caliber case.

Ease of use

For a manual trimmer, this Hornady trimmer is easy to use. Turning the cam lock locks your case securely in place. To release the case, all you need to do is to release it.

Compact and lightweight

It is a light and compact trimmer that you can even mount on a desk. Moreover, weighing 3 pounds, you can move it around when you need to. And best of all, it does not produce any noise.

Pros

  • It is an easy-to-use manual trimmer
  • Can be used to trim cases of varying calibers
  • Can be mounted onto a bench for improved ease of use
  • It is offered at a pocket-friendly price tag
  • The handle has been re-designed from the previous model to avoid wrist injuries

Cons

  • Works only with Hornady tools and accessories
  • Being a manual trimmer, it might not be ideal for large-scale trimming

Verdict

A cost-effective alternative to the pricier electric trimmers and prep centers, this trimmer is an easy-to-use tool. Furthermore, it has a lot of useful features that you will appreciate. It is arguably the best-case prep machine for those looking for a manual trimmer.

RCBS 90375 Trim Mate Case Prep Center

Sale
RCBS 90375 Trim Mate Case Prep Center 110V AC
  • Made of The highest quality materials
  • Includes large and small primer pocket brushes, inside chamfering and outside deburring tools, medium and small case neck brushes and a packet of dry case neck lub
  • Five gear-driven rotating heads


Last update on 2024-06-15 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Weight: 6.25 pounds
  • Type: Electric

When talking about the Best Case Prep Centers, the RCBS 90375 Trim Mate Prep Center can never go unmentioned. This little green box-like prep center can do more than it looks. It is one of those prep centers that just oozes quality.

Primer pocket brushes

This prep center can be used both for trimming and prepping your cases. The trimming is done by the small and medium-sized case neck brushes. These brushes are versatile enough for trimming different cases.

Deburring and chamfer tools

The best-case prep machine comes with both deburring and chamfer tools, and the 90375 is no exception. These tools allow for easy cleaning of your cases and refining.

Accessory extension

Another feature that characterizes the best case prep machine is the ability to accommodate more accessories. This RCBS case prep center has this and can be used to prep .50 Beowulf cases.

Convenient and easy to use

This prep center has five rotating heads, meaning you can do five things at once with it. In addition to the five heads, there are two stationary heads. You can use it to add case brushes.

Pros

  • Can be used for both prepping and trimming your cases
  • Has a compact and lightweight design
  • Can perform five different functions simultaneously
  • Has the provision of adding more accessories
  • Can be used to prep a wide variety of cases

Cons

  • Does not have a clipping tool included
  • The package it comes in needs improving

Verdict

For a prep center of its size, this RCBS tool does quite a lot. It can chamfer, trim, and clean your rifle brass. Also, it is made from high-quality materials, which is why, despite its size, it is relatively heavier than some of its competitors. This is the perfect option for anyone looking for a compact do-it-all-all prep center.

Hornady 050012 Lock-N-Load Case Prep Center, 110 Volt

Hornady 050012 Lock-N-Load Case Prep Center, 110 Volt
  • Removable trays are easy to Detach and provide ample collection space for shavings
  • Innovative design keeps shavings in the catch trays and out of cases
  • Rugged housing and a powerful motor will give years of dependable service


Last update on 2024-06-15 / Please note that Prices and Availability Are Subject To Change /Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Type: Electric

The larger-than-life Hornady 050012 combines a prep center with a powerful trimmer. As its name suggests, this reloading case prep station will have you ready to lock-n-load in no time. Larger than most of its competitors, this Hornady case prep center is a great piece of machinery.

Micro-adjustable trimmer

For a prep center of its size, you would be forgiven for thinking that it lacks a micro-adjustable trimmer. However, this trimmer/prep center has a trimmer that you can adjust up to .001 inches. This allows for accurate and more consistent trimming.

Powerful motor

This is not your everyday case prep center, thanks to its powerful motor. The lock-n-load prep center can do a lot of heavy-duty work. On top of that, the motor is housed in a durable casing made from high-quality materials.

Ease of use

While it is a motorized case prep center, it does feature a grip handle. This handle makes it easy to hold the prep center. You will not experience any fatigue when using it, thanks to this grip handle.

Removable trays

This prep center excels at removing shavings and diverting them into its removable trays. Therefore, the shavings are kept outside the case. Better yet, the trays are removable and can accommodate a decent amount of shavings.

Pros

  • It is the ideal prep center for heavy-duty reloading
  • It comes packed with a variety of tools
  • Can be used to trim a wide variety of cases from a .22 caliber to a 7mm caliber
  • It is very well made
  • Offers a grip handle for ease of use and comfort

Cons

  • The primer pocket tool is sold separately
  • There is no flash hole deburring tool included

Verdict

When it comes to the best-case prep center for reloading, it does not come any better than the Hornady Lock-n-Load. This heavy-duty prep center is built for heavy-duty work. However, this is not at the expense of its ease of use or comfort, as it is easy to use and offers a grip handle for comfortable usage.

Conclusion

There is so much time you can save in your brass prepping process by having the Best Case Prep Centers. However, not every case prep center out there will be good for you. Finding the right prep center for your needs is crucial. Otherwise, you will end up with a prep center that does not do what you want it to do. Alternatively, you can end up with a prep center that does more than you need. Overall, it is wise to invest in a prep center that fits your specific needs. The prep centers on my list fit the needs of different people.

1 thought on “Top 5 Best Case Prep Centers and Buying Guide”

  1. Hello,
    I am looking for a electric brass unit that uses a primer pocket blade cleaner, then a hard brush cleaner to prepare the primer pocket.
    Currently, use a hand pocket tool with a small rectangular blade reamer….followed by an hard metal brush hand tool to clean out the rectangular reamer debris…
    So what brass center gives me that capability?
    Thank you.
    Eastpoint

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