World’s Finest Trimmer (WFT) VS CTS Review
Brass Trimming…the scourge of rifle reloading. We are always looking for faster, easier, and more inexpensive ways of trimming our rifle brass. I mean, most of us really enjoy the *me* time of reloading, but the crank, crank, crank X 1000 of trimming brass down to size gets even the most monk like reloaders bored and frustrated.
Enter a new breed of “precision trimmers” – they are under $100, drill powered, *and* they measure off the case shoulder rather than the overall case length like most budget trimmers do. I picked up one of each, a World’s Finest Trimmer (as described by the makers Little Crow Gun Works), and the CTS trimmer (Jim of CTS Engineering) in .223 and .308 respectively. Let’s give them a (close-up) look!
Note: I started this article several months ago and got side tracked by other projects and work. I’ve since run several thousand pieces of brass through each, and have recently picked up the famed Giraud Trimmer. My feelings on these two trimmers still holds true today.
I like to talk with my photos, I’m a very visual person, so lets look at some macros as I describe some details of these trimmers.
Here we have the two trimmers side by side. They chuck up into a drill like any drill bit or other tool. They both have ports to allow the brass shavings to escape, and the WFT is clearly labeled with a warning about eye protection. Both trimmers use an allen key set screw to lock the trimming bit in place. Both devices are solid, well made, and the CTS just looks sexy with the machined sides and big windows showing off the Ti coated cutter.
Top view, you can easily see which is .223 and which is .308. Both trimmers size off the case shoulder, so the mouth of the trimmers are basically case holders precision cut to SAMMI specs. The trimmer is setup by loosening the set screw holding the bit in place, and popping a properly sized and trimmed case into the trimmer mouth, then sliding the bit up till it just barely kisses the case mouth, then locking down the set-screw again. You can fine tune it from there, which can be frustrating because there is no fine tuning adjustment, it’s all about the slight nudge, trim, and measure. No matter how many times I trim this brass, it’s still too short!
The WFT’s “case holder” is a precision bearing that allows the brass and holder to stand still while the rest of the trimmer spins under the power of the drill. The CTS uses a proprietary slick plastic (Quote from Jim “The insert material utilized within the CTS Case Trimmer is a propitiatory advanced composite. This material is stress relieved,(heat set),prior to fabrication.”) as a bearing surface, and spins around the brass leaving scuffs. I have mixed feelings about this, as the scuffs do mark *my* brass as mine, and it’s easier to pick out my previously prepped brass from all the stuff picked up at the range. But it’s still scuffing the brass. Nothing at all detrimental, just an aesthetic thing that the OCD might have issue with. Advantage, WFT.
Now on to the cutters. They are very similar, down to the same diameter and even manufacturer. But the Ti coated CTS trimmer is just a better blade. It cuts more easily, and smoothly than the WFT trimmer. Advantage CTS.
Those of you who are woodworkers probably already caught on that these are 4 flute router bits.
That’s some sexy metal right there!
Now on to the brass! Below you can see the rings the trimmers were leaving on my brass. Yeah, I said trimmers; because the first WFT I received from Little Crow, the bearing wasn’t spinning freely and it was scuffing up the brass just like the CTS was. Dale, owner of Little Crow was very responsive to this issue and swapped out the trimmer quickly and with no fuss. Note: I didn’t tell him I was writing an article, so I assume he treats everyone this well. On that same thread, Jim of CTS just talked my ear off when I reached out to him with some questions. He showed a lot of pride and passion in his work and was eager to tell me more.
Look at the smooth results these trimmers produce! These are freshly cut, done while I was taking photos for this article, and were *not* cherry picked. This is some quality cutting! Note how the case walls on the .223 look a little thick? That’s “burring” left over from the cutter on the WFT. Note how clean, smooth, and burr free the CTS cutter left the .308? That’s the quality of the Ti cutter they use right there. Now, granted, most precision rifle shooters will bevel the inside and de-burr the outside of their cases anyways, so this is probably a moot point to most.
To sum up, These are both fantastic cutters, especially for being under $100. I really feel they are neck in neck in quality and features. I like the bearing on the WFT, I like the cutter on the CTS. Build quality, and customer support are excellent for both. I really can’t say one is better than the other. If WFT got a better cutter to go along with the bearing, I would lean towards them. I love the look and feel of the CTS, so if he went with a rotating bearing, I would lean towards him (though Jim is very proud of the bearing material he designed, so I don’t see him changing it anytime soon). My hats off to both manufacturers for a great product that was needed to fill a hole in this price range. I look forward to seeing more from you both. In the long run though, the winner would be the one that comes up with a carbide cutter that would trim, bevel, and deburr all in one – all the while keeping under that $100 price point. For those with the cash, enter the Giraud Trimmer. (article to be posted soon)