Many gun enthusiasts prefer to make there own ammunition, as it ensures accuracy in your cartridges and can save you quite a bit of money. However, making your own ammunition can be tedious and time consuming, which is why it’s important to have the best powder trickler out there.
A powder trickler is a device that helps you measure your gun powder (along with your weight balance) to maximum accuracy, ensuring you achieve the exact weight you desire. They typically use an internally-threaded tube to move specific amounts of powder from the entrance to the tray scale where you can weight out your desired amount of powder.
It is an amazing device that will help your precision when measuring out the amount of powder for the prime. Over multiple uses, you will have far less waste, saving you quite a bit of money, especially if you’re an avid gun user. A powder trickler is also produces much more accurate rounds in an efficient manner than making ammunition without. It’s definitely a tool you’ll want in your shop!
What to look for in a great powder trickler?
Not all tricklers are made the same, which you’ll see in our reviews, so you’ll want to keep in mind a few things when making your choice:
- Accuracy – Arguably the most important aspect, as you’re buying a trickler for its accuracy. You’ll want one that can handle the most precise measurements, preferably down to 2 grains.
- Capacity – This will vary from person to person. If you want to reload a high volume of cartridges at the same time, you’ll want a device with the largest capacity possible.
- Stability – Obviously you’ll want a device that’s as stable as possible, as you don’t want your materials to tip and spill out or move around during use.
- Ease of cleaning – Not something everyone thinks of, but very important nonetheless, especially if you’re prone to using different types of powders. If a trickler isn’t easy to clean, you’ll find yourself hating it over time.
- Durability – The material of the device is important in a sense that you’ll want something that will last over time so you don’t waste your money on something that will need to be replaced in just a few years.
Manual vs. Electric Powder Tricklers
There are two main types of powder tricklers on the market; manual (hand operated) or electric. The manual models require you to do a lot of the work, but gives you complete control over the material volume and sorting. Electric powder tricklers on the other hand, do all the work with just the press of the button. Definitely convenient but you’re giving up a bit of control.
As with anything, there’s no “best” option between the two, you’ll just have to decided what makes the most sense for you. You’ll want to keep in mind whether you like complete control over the reloading process and don’t mind doing some of the work – then a manual would probably be your best bet. The electric models are best for those that aren’t as concerned with specific amounts of powder and would rather the machine do most of the work.
If you’re not sure, don’t worry that’s why we’ve written this guide for you to use that details all different types of powder tricklers, as well as their pros and cons.
1. Hornady Lock-n-Load Trickler
This Hornady powder trickler is one of the best powder tricklers by this brand. Especially for anyone looking for any extremely accurate and efficient tool. It’s a manual model, so rest assured you will in complete control over the entire process.
The manual model allows you to choose what speed you’d like to operate at, with a 3 to 1 gear ratio. It’s a very smooth machine, with a double-sided feature and is compatible with either a reloading bench or other work stations.
The best part of this trickler however, is that it allows you to perform at a much quicker pace than other devices on the market, definitely a huge benefit to! It’s also easy to take apart, ensuring ease of cleaning and it’s very durable and stable.
- Easy to clean
2. RCBS Powder Trickler
This is one of the best RCBS powder trickler you could buy, at a great price as well! It is an amazing piece of machinery, especially for the affordable price. The durable metal material ensures it’s a product that will last for years to come.
It’s also one of the most precise tools when measuring powder, allowing the smallest amounts to trickle down with the turn of the knob (note it’s a manual model). You can truly take it a grain at a time if you prefer, not exactly the quickest choice, but you’ll definitely have an accurate measure!
The best feature however, is the adjustable height, convenient if you have multiple people working on your ammunition, but also allows you to work with multiple pan scales. The base is very wide on this trickler, ensuring stability and won’t move around during use. The aluminum material protects against rust or degradation, ensuring durability.
- More advanced to use
3. Frankford Arsenal Powder Trickler
This manual model from Frankford Arsenal is quite popular with gun enthusiasts who prefer to make their own ammunition, and for a good reason. It’s very precise as it allows you dispense tiny amounts of powder at a time, to get the exact weight you desire with minimum wasted material.
Made up of very strong steel and a synthetic cover for the base, you can be rest assured this trickler will last a longtime and remain still throughout use. It’s definitely one of the most stable and durable devices on the market.
This Frankford Arsenal powder trickler is great because it’s designed to work with many different types of powder and handle large capacities, making it a great all-around tool. It’s very possible to finish a whole load in one session.
- Large capacity
- Compatible with multiple powder types
- Harder to clean
4. Lyman Brass Smith Powder Trickler
This powder trickler from Lyman is a great choice for those looking for something durable and strong. Made up of high-quality aluminum and steel, you won’t have to worry about corrosion or rusting throughout its’ long life.
It’s a great size, not too big so that it takes up an entire work bench, but not so small that it can’t get the job done. The knob on the side has a very large diameter, allowing for enhanced precision and control on your part.
It’s also fairly easy to take apart and clean, important when purchasing any piece of equipment, especially a trickler for reloading. This is the perfect sturdy, long lasting, easy to use and quick powder trickler for any gun enthusiast!
- Heavy duty
- Quality material
- Easy to clean
- Less precise than others
- Can trickle a bit fast
5. Redding Powder Trickler
This powder trickler by Redding is a great choice for all types of gun enthusiasts. It’s definitely one of the most stable and steady choices you can make coming in at just over a pound of steel, with a low center of gravity, it’s definitely not going anywhere in use.
It’s also a very careful measuring instrument, allowing you to measure one grain at a time, should you prefer that level of precision. It also quickly brings underweight measures up to an accurate reading.
It’s a solid choice for anyone that wants a trickler that’s easy to add to their bench and wants a high quality choice. This device is also fairly easy to use, even with just one hand, ensuring peace of mind on your part!
- Auto-corrects underweights
- Not as long lasting as others
- Slower than others
6. Hornady Electric Powder Trickler
This electric powder trickler is perfect for gun enthusiasts that want a precise measurement but don’t want to spend the time manually measuring out powder. This is a great option for an efficient and accurate head, with very little effort on the users part.
It can handle all different types of powder and a high capacity – very useful! The best part about this device is that as it’s completely digitized and electronic, you can get the same load with each use, something that can be quite difficult with manual models.
This model is very easy to clean, powered by standard AAA batteries and backlit by LED lights, making it very user-friendly. It’s also a great price compared to many electronic powder tricklers on the market, making it a no-brainer purchase.
- Electronic (little user involvement)
- Easy to clean
- Requires batteries
- Not as durable as other models
7. Lee Precision Powder Measurer
This powder measurer from Lee is a bit different than a standard powder trickler, meaning it’s easier to use but not as accurate as the best powder trickler you could buy.
It’s very steady and stable and a great size so that it won’t take up much room on your bench or workshop. It comes with the stand as pictured, definitely a great value. It’s not for extreme precision, but gets the job done for those of you who want a bit of help and something easy to use. The cap can be a bit loose, so keep that in mind.
If you don’t want a traditional powder trickler, this is certainly an intriguing option, just keep in mind it’s not for those of you that want maximum control over your reloads or something with extreme precision.
- Easy to use
- Good price
- Not as precise
Is a powder trickler worth using?
Yes, in our opinion, a powder trickler is very much worth using because it allows you to be as accurate as possible when measuring your powder during the reloading process. As opposed to just using a powder measure, a trickler allows you to little, by little determine how much powder you want in a batch. Many mentioned above allow precision down to a single grain, definitely worth considering!
Not to mention it makes the entire reloading process much more efficient and accurate. It will also save you time, without sacrificing accuracy and ensures no powder goes to waste, saving you money at the end of the day.
Is it necessary to clean a powder trickler?
Yes, we believe it is quite necessary to clean your powder trickler, preferably after each use. The process is actually quite simple, ensure you’re finished using it and most of the powder has been weighed out and emptied. Then cover the tubes with your thumb or a soft cloth, then dump what little remains back into your powder can. Repeat this until the tube and bowl are empty, you may need to give the tube a quick puff to get it totally clean.
The one thing you absolutely do NOT want to do is leave powder or residue inside for an extended period of time. This will promote build up, making your trickler less effective. It will eventually also cause rust and corrosion, a sure way to reduce the life of your powder trickler.
Where should I keep my powder trickler?
Most powder tricklers won’t come with any sort of case or place to store and protect them. So you’ll either want to find a safe, secure and dry place in your garage or workshop, or store them in a large tool box. The most important thing is to keep your trickler safe from damage, the elements and away from pets or children.
Looking for more ammo gear? Check out our reviews for best brass tumblers here!