The AR-15 is a tried and true rifle that will be used for decades to come. However, every great gun needs proper maintenance, repairs, and maybe even some modifications down the line. Whether you need to perform some basic cleaning, or you need to install new sights, you’ll need an AR-15 tool kit.
We’ve put together a review of the best AR-15 tool kits on the market, and we’ll let you know which we think is the best option for the average gunowner.
Your abilities will greatly determine which type of kit you should buy. There are essential tools that we think every gunowner should have, newbie or expert, but there are the occasions where more advanced equipment is required. Below, we have listed a handful of fantastic kits that each fit with a certain level of technical skill.
Real Avid Pro Pack Premium Cleaning Kit
Materials – The Real Avid Pro Pack Premium Cleaning Kit is an essential AR-15 tool kit that aids in performing regular cleaning and some basic maintenance. While you may have seen the basic Real Avid cleaning kit with black cleaning rods, this pro pack includes a compact, all-in-one kit, a MSR scraper, and a very handy MSR field guide. The compact kit is equipped with a 7 piece brass cleaning rod system; a set of phosphor bronze brushes, picks, and stuck round extractors; star chamber cleaning pads; and a bore illuminator / pin punch. These items are all safely secured in a zippered pouch that fits in the palm of your hand. The .223/5.56 MSR scraper cleans 12 major surfaces. The MSR field guide is a helpful guide to aid you in disassembling, scraping, cleaning, lubricating, and reassembling your AR-15.
Performance – Wow. The Real Avid Pro Pack Premium Cleaning Kit is a step above your average kit. Not only do we find this premium kit to be an essential to any new AR-15 owner, but we think this would make a great gift as well! While this kit won’t help you in installing your mounting systems or optics, this kit is great in helping you maintain the function of your rifle. It would be ever better if this kit had Allen keys or hex wrenches, but a tooling kit such as this one is incredibly necessary for any gunowner. We love the field guide, making this premium kit a deal you can’t pass up. Plus, this product was specifically designed for an AR-15.
What we say – The Real Avid Pro Pack Premium Cleaning Kit costs about $40 online. This is an amazing value for a complete cleaning system, a scraper, and a field guide. This is something everyone should own, really.
- Great price
- Designed for AR-15
- Complete cleaning kit with additional tools and field guide
- Brass pieces will last a long time
- Lacks tools for installing accessories
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Weaver Deluxe Gunsmith Tool Kit
Materials – The Weaver Deluxe Gunsmith Tool Kit is an 88 piece tooling set, which is composed of essentials for basic AR-15 maintenance. It’s great for general tasks, such as replacing triggers, uninstalling factory stocks, and installing accessories. Included are a set of punches in different sizes, a screwdriver with a multitude of bits, and a hammer. The hammer has both a brass and a plastic head for making the precise adjustments. The punches are made of all steel. All of the components are housed in a plastic casing, which closes with two, simple plastic clips. While not designed specifically for an AR-15, it is intended for universal use.
Performance – The Weaver Deluxe Gunsmith Tool Kit is another great essential. It would work well with both beginners and the seasoned AR-15 owner, although the kit is only equipped for general maintenance and installations. The fact that it is universal has some pros and cons to it. Obviously, the ability to be used with any gun your own is a great way to get the most value from this product. However, this usually means you’ll come across a gun that certain bits or punches just won’t quite work with. Coming from Weaver, we have high expectations from this kit. Our only other complaint is that we are thoroughly not fans of the carrying case. It’s plastic, and seems like it could easily fall open, get scratched up, or break. You could always purchase a better carrying case in the future.
What we say – The Weaver Deluxe Gunsmith Tool Kit costs just under $65 online. That price for 88 pieces is a really decent price, and you should get a lot of use out of a universal system.
- 88 pieces of punches, bit, screw driver, and hammer
- Universal function
- Hammer with brass and plastic ends
- Plastic case can fall apart
- Not designed specifically for AR-15
Ultimate Arms Gear Essential Complete Armorer’s Gunsmith Tool Kit
Materials – The Ultimate Arms Gear Essential Complete Armorer’s Gunsmith Tool Kit is a mouthful of a name, but the kit comes just as loaded with everything a gun owner should need. This option is actually a combination of both Ultimate Arms and NcStar tooling products. The Ultimate Arms Gear Schematics Bench Mat is a highly useful, 36 inch long, black mat, which has a full diagram of an AR-15 with all parts and components listed. It has a rubber backing so it stays put and withstands fluids and dirt. The NcStar tool kit includes a mallet with nylon and brass ends, a screw and hex driver, a plier, a wide variety of punches that come in both brass and polymer, as well as a multitude of hex and Philips head bits. All of the tools are stored in a soft, zippered case with a carrying handle.
Performance – The Ultimate Arms Gear Gunsmith Tool Kit is a step above the Weaver option in a few ways. While the Weaver set is a good deal for the money, this option includes a larger variety of screw bits, and the carrying case is far more functional and less likely to become a problem in the future. We also like the hammer in this one a little better because it uses nylon instead of plastic – it’s less likely to break. We also love the Ultimate Arms Gear schematic mat. Not only is it a useful reference, but it creates a portable work space. It also makes a great permanent feature for your work bench. To be honest, the NcStar kit could be a little more thought out for storage, but it’s still a functional case.
What we say – The Ultimate Arms Gear Essential Complete Armorer’s Gunsmith Tool Kit costs right around $90 online. While it’s a little on the pricier side, it has high quality materials and a very handy rubber mat work surface which might let it take the lead for the best AR-15 tool kit.
- Ultimate Arms AR-15 bench mat with diagram
- NcStar tooling kit with variety of basic tools
- Mallet with brass and nylon ends
- NcStar case not made of protective material and too bulky
Wheeler Ultra Gunsmithing Kit
Materials – The Wheeler Ultra Gunsmithing Kit was designed for the seasoned AR-15 owner who knows the ins and outs of their rifle. Not only can this kit perform general repairs and maintenance, but it can also help you in fully building a rifle. In fact, it advertises to perform over 50 operations and functions on an AR-15. The list of everything included in this kit is vast, but it mainly consists of an armorer’s vice, combo tool, torque wrench, bench block, multiple installation tools, front sight tool, Phillips and hex bits, mallet, and a variety of cleaning utensils. It also includes a rubber mat with an exploded view diagram.
Performance – The Wheeler Ultra Gunsmithing Kit is one of the only options on that market that combines both a set of tools and cleaning equipment. It also includes some more advanced tooling equipment, such as the front sight tool and a torque wrench. Wheeler has thought of things most people don’t consider until the moment they need them. At the same time, some of the more advanced tools for the price implies that some of the kit of cheaply made. This kit is also desgined only for AR-15s, so you’re not receiving as much of a comprehensive set of bits and drivers that you would in other kits. There is some give and take with this kit, and that’s why we think it’s best for more experienced gunowners.
What we say – The Wheeler Ultra Gunsmithing Kit costs over $250 online – ouch. If you frequently require advanced tools for your AR-15, then this kit will ultimately save you some money.
- Includes a set of advanced tooling equipment
- Work mat with helpful diagram
- Includes cleaning materials
- Some cheaply made parts
- High cost
Our Favorite AR-15 Tool Kit
Our top pick for the best AR-15 Tool Kit went unanimously to the Ultimate Arms Gear Essential Complete Armorer’s Gunsmith Tool Kit. Whether you know you’re AR-15 like the back of your hand, or you’re installing a scope for the very first time, this is a fantastic kit to aid you in the process. All of the essential tools are there, and they’re all made with a variety of materials that should last for many years down the road. We are also completely in love with Ultimate Arms Gear’s work mat. We love the size, the materials used, and the easy to read diagram. At less than $100, this is a great deal for a just the right amount of high quality tools.