Best Hand Priming Tool for Reloading | Top Reviews from experts

If you are using shell casings which you bought a few years ago, then you may know that it is the time prime & reload them. Yes, you can purchase pre-primed shells from the market, but they can be costly. So, I recommend you to do this process by yourself. And a good-quality hand priming tool can help you to finish the reloading job quite comfortably. Today, I am going to provide the reviews of the best priming tools to make your selection task easier. But before that, let’s check what exactly is a hand primer.

How does a hand priming tool work?

If you are a gunsmithing hero, then you most probably know about the hand primer tool. So, I will not go into the deep of it. Basically, a hand priming tool eases the reloading setup. It helps to get decent primer pockets after you clean the cases. Depending on the casing of the caliber, this handy equipment helps to prime the shell casing and makes it ready for firing. For this preparation, a little bit of gunpowder is placed on the projectile base. A hand primer is favorite these days mostly because of its flexibility and portability.

List of Best Hand Priming Tool for Reloading

1. LEE PRECISION New Auto Prime

LEE PRECISIONI placed this tool at the top of the list because it has the best combination of top features and affordable price. The ‘New Auto Prime XR’ from LEE PRECISION is a budget priming tool which makes your reloading job easy and quick.

  • Made in the USA, so there is no compromise with the build quality
  • Cheaper price & top-quality work compared to other models
  • Safer, reliable, and faster operation of the shell casing
  • Compatible with all brands of primers
  • Minimal chance of primer detonation and chain reactions
  • The least ergonomic model which needs only a thumb for priming
  • Plastic parts make it fussy

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2. RCBS Universal 90201 Hand Priming Tool

RCBS 90201This RCBS universal priming product is one of the most renowned tools among the gun smithers. This equipment will save your money if you are a professional or planning to use it for years. It is has combined features of two separate hand priming tools from the company.

  • Universal adaptability allows you to use any caliber shell
  • No need of shell holders
  • Virtually eliminates the tray detonation possibility
  • Removable primer tray which fits any primer packaging
  • Accessories for using small & large gun primers
  • Accepts cases from .32 ACP to .45-70 Government
  • Expensive compared to other products in the same category
  • Less ergonomic design can make it a little bit difficult for new users

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3. Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Hand Deprimer Tool

Frankford Arsenal PlatinumThe new innovative design from the Frankford Arsenal leads this hand deprimer tool to the third place on the list. It has easily removable parts which help to make your reloading task convenient.

  • A versatile tool which can work with pistol/rifle brass & all other military crimped primers
  • Ability to deprime anytime, anywhere by avoiding the hand fatigue
  • The spring loaded handle automatically backs to the start position
  • The full length ergonomic designed grip makes it durable & sturdy
  • Range from .20 caliber to .338 caliber
  • It works only with the boxer primers
  • You may need to use crimped brass for de-priming

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4. LEE PRECISION Auto Bench Prime

Lee Precision Auto Bench PrimeThis product is the best bench mount hand primer available in the market today. If you are not a professional or do not want to feel exhausted after priming a few shell cases only, then I recommend you to go with this auto bench prime tool from  LEE PRECISION.

  • One of the most ergonomic tools for priming
  • Due to the plastic parts, you can easily view the A to Z process
  • Quickly prime hundreds of shells without any discomfort
  • Top-rated features and still available at an affordable price
  • Easier and convenient operation
  • Not portable
  • Must be bench mounted for use

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5. RCBS 9460 Auto Priming Tool

RCBS 9460RCBS introduced this auto priming tool which works efficiently with a plethora of casing varieties. The 9460 priming tool has a lightweight design so you can carry it anywhere you want. This package includes two feed tubes as well as a couple of rod assemblies for priming.

  • Made in the US, so quality guaranteed
  • A single-stage lever system makes it unique, fast, and precise
  • The portable design is user-friendly
  • Flawless feed for all shell types
  • The primer tube can hold up to 100 primers
  • The high price may lead some users not to make it their first choice
  • During the test, the primer failed to transfer the shells for reloading. But that was only on a few occasions

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6. Lyman E-ZEE Universal Priming Tool

Lyman Products

The E-ZEE universal prime tool from Lyman works with all types of standard shell casings. It has two primer trays to hold small & large primer assemblies. You can have an instant change-over for the size of shell holders which makes it more flexible compared to other products in the market.

  • Ergonomic design makes it comfortable for both professionals as well as occasional users
  • No any small part of creating the fuss
  • Reduces hand fatigue, mainly when you work with thousands of primers
  • The inbuilt shut-off gate on the tray makes the primer sustained during the change-over
  • Sturdy yet simple design for the ease of operation
  • Expensive compared to LEE products
  • Not ergonomically designed

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Buying Guide for Hand Priming Tool for Reloading

Below are the most important buying guides for you all to make sure and look into your chosen product before getting them.

Safety First

Safety is first and foremost, a concern when we talk about hand priming tools. Obviously, you don’t want any tool that hurts you, and you may never use the tool again. (I am not Laughing) On that serious note, the priming process itself is very dangerous, and you must take necessary precautions while performing it. Luckily the products for hand priming have extensive safety measures. Make sure you search for such products/tills that separates the operation from the primer tray. So this way, the chances of your getting hurt lessens, and it won’t flashback too.

Durable is always affordable.

Obviously, you are not in search of such a product that does not work after a month or so, right? So go for the more durable ones, ones with the sturdy body and high built structure. This will keep your hand priming tool working for a longer run. You must be satisfied with the usage, and the tool must overcome the price value/ worth of it. So always choose the hand priming tool that is made of cast-iron or such heavy-duty steel.

Shell holders are the real OG.

There are such Hand primers that very conveniently neglect the use of shell holders, but these are really important, and later you have to buy them separately too. Go through such products that have shell holders included. It will be more beneficial if you get that deal. Apart from that, also check on the tool, whether it is a universal tool or not, so that any size of the shell can be used with it.

Design that makes your work easier

Here looks don’t matter, but the build-up and design matter. You must check the handle of the primer. This one is the most important aspect. It would help if you opted for a hand primer that is ergonomically designed. This handle does not need extra pressure, and that is something that makes your work much easier. Also check on the grip if it is properly contoured or not. It should fit your hand perfectly. Always mark to avoid/skip those products that require your thumb to press on the lever; this causes hand fatigue. 

Portability at its best

Choose the lightweight priming tool if you want it to be portable. Heavy hand primers will be difficult to carry. So choose a product that needs a workbench and can be mounted.

Final words

A hand priming tool for reloading is the best way of saving few bucks and getting the job done conveniently. Once you deprime the casings, the ammo priming & reloading processes can be quickly done using such equipment. All the products in this list are standard & efficient, but I recommend to use loading blocks too for your casings as well as protective gears for your eyes, ears, and hands.

All of the tools listed here are great and worth the money. But, which is your favorite? Let me and other users know through the comment section below.

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