Skip to main content

AR Tool Kits for At-Home Maintenance

Here are three AR armorer kits that will be ready to serve when you need them.

AR Tool Kits for At-Home Maintenance
Photos by Jeff Jones

Along with ARs, boots and bullets, one can never have enough tools. However, when it comes to working on firearms, having the right tools on hand makes gun care and improvements that much easier.

But what tools should AR owners have on hand? To get you pointed in the right direction, here are three armorer’s kits that each offer unique advantages when working on your AR-15 at home.

Real Avid

AR Tools
It’s hard to misplace a tool in the Real Avid kit. Everything neatly snaps into place and is held securely for transport.

Real Avid offers many fine products for firearms maintenance, cleaning and armoring. Their flagship offering is the AR15 Armorer’s Master Kit. Except for a bench vise, this kit has everything you need to upgrade or assemble an AR-15.

To secure your AR in place, the kit includes the Lug-Lok Upper Vise Block and a Smart-Fit AR-15 Lower Vise Block. The lower vise block is inserted into the magwell and can expand or contract for a snug fit. This is ideal for upgrading a trigger, installing a lower parts kit, adjusting your buffer or installing a scope on your completed AR.


The Lug-Lok Upper Vise Block can slide inside Mil-Spec upper receivers, preventing the inward pressure of traditional clamp-style upper blocks. It is ideal for swapping out a barrel or handguard, installing a muzzle device or anything else you’d need to work on an upper receiver.


The kit’s Armorer’s Master Wrench is a wonder-­tool. It is an ergonomically designed tool that makes it a breeze to install barrels, tighten castle nuts, swap muzzle devices or torque down anything else you need. It provides excellent leverage and doesn’t slip on stubborn parts.

The Master Wrench is designed to work with the kit’s torque wrench, and it can even function as a hammer. A brass, plastic and rubber hammer head are fastened inside the grip until needed and additional heads are also included in the kit. If you could only pick one tool from the Real Avid AR15 Armorer’s Master Kit, make it the Armorer’s Master Wrench.

Many have suggested the definition of the word frustration should show installing a pivot pin. However, with the kit’s AR-15 Pivot Pin Tool, pivot pins only take one attempt. This tool is a close second to the Master Wrench for those who understand this painful process.

Another useful tool in this kit is the Master Bench Block. This tool is designed to work on five key AR components and can position them in eight different orientations. It is clearly labeled to keep track of the smaller parts in an AR, and internal magnets prevent their many attempted escapes. The labels also note which punch sizes are needed for the pins, and it has a storage area to accommodate small parts.




This kit also includes an 11-piece punch pin set, ACCU-Grip Picks, Easy-Grip Handguard Tool, a safety flag and a front sight adjustment tool. All of the tools fit inside the Professional Tool Case, which is compact and easy to carry. The entire kit can go everywhere with you, and there won’t be any digging for tools at the range. Lastly, the kit includes a guide on the top 18 mods performed on an AR-15. The guide has excellent pictures, and it is very easy to follow.

The Real Avid AR-15 Armorer’s Master Kit would make a fine addition to any toolset, and it comes at a price that gives everyone the chance to become a shade-tree armorer.

MSRP: $250


realavid.com


Wheeler

AR Tools
Stow and go with the Wheeler kit. It’s like taking a workbench everywhere the shooting is happening.

Wheeler’s Delta Series AR Armorer’s Ultra Kit is the most extensive of the assembled kits, and it offers basic tools that have been given a unique twist. Most unique is the AR Armorer’s Vise. It features an integrated MagWell Vise Block, which offers a bolt service station built into the side of the block, and it also features a built-in hammer stop to prevent damage to your trigger when dry-fire testing.

The MagWell Vise Block also rotates, giving you access to the lower from multiple positions. The AR Armorer’s Vise front support is also adjustable, and the base is made from steel with nonslip rubber feet. If you could only pick one tool from this kit, go with the AR Armorer’s Vise.

This kit also includes the Wheeler Combo Tool and a strap wrench. The Combo Tool is for working on barrels, castle nuts and muzzle devices, and it works with the kit’s torque wrench. Instead of a hammer, this tool includes six common bits secured to the handle.

The strap wrench is an interesting tool not found in the other kits in this review, and it is ideal for attaching and removing smooth handguards. Also unique to this kit is the Trigger Guard Install Tool, which is specifically designed for installing a triggerguard.

This kit utilizes a clamshell-style upper vise block with a gas-tube alignment tool, another tool that’s unique to the Wheeler kit. The kit also includes a bench block, delta ring tool, AR-15 adjustable receiver link, front sight tool, pivot pin and roll pin tool and an AR-15 bore guide.

In addition to all the tools necessary for working on ARs, the Wheeler kit includes numerous brushes, cleaning picks and a maintenance mat with an exploded view of the AR-15. Everything in the kit fits inside of a custom-fitted carrying case.

MSRP: $303

wheelertools.com


Brownells

AR Tools
Simple yet essential is the forte of the Brownells’ kit that’s designed to supplement tools a shooter may already have on their workbench.

Understandably, many gun owners already own some of the tools needed to work on an AR-15, so a large kit like Real Avid’s Master Kit or the Wheeler AR Armorer’s Ultra kit could be redundant. Also, there are many shotgun and bolt-action rifle owners that have tools for those guns, so they only need tools specifically needed for the AR-15. That’s where the Brownells AR-15/M16 Critical Tools Kit comes in handy. This kit has the tools that are critical to building or upgrading an AR, hence the name.

The Brownells Armorer’s Wrench will install barrels, tighten castle nuts and swap muzzle devices. The lower vise block snaps into the magwell for working on your lower and is made of a dense plastic that won’t crack during operation. The kit’s upper vise block is a heavy-duty clamshell design that fits flattop and carry-handle upper receivers. This upper vise block is very durable, so you can clamp your bench vise down as tight as you need. The Brownells kit also includes two pivot pin tools and a bolt catch pin punch.

While it may not seem as extensive as the other kits, it does have the essential parts for gun owners that already own some gunsmithing tools and need the basics for ARs. It is also the least expensive of the assembled kits.

MSRP: $140

brownells.com

Each of these kits offers certain advantages, but it is up to you to decide what best fits your needs. The Real Avid kit offers the best upper receiver vise tool and barrel wrench, but the Wheeler kit has the best lower vise tool and offers a greater number of tools. The Brownells kit may not offer as much, but it is ideal for those who already have an extensive tool collection and is the least expensive of the three. It’s a tough choice, but whatever you choose, you’ll be ready to work on your AR.


AR-15

To read more articles like this, click here to purchase a print or digital copy of AR-15.

Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Umarex Air Ruger 10/22 Rifle Review

Umarex Air Ruger 10/22 Rifle Review

In this segment of "Guns & Ammo TV," Gun Tech Editor Richard Nance and Pro-Shooter Jim Tarr head to the range to wring out the Umarex Air Ruger 10/22.

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don't Lie: 9mm vs .45 ACP

The age-old question, 9mm vs .45 ACP. For some, this has been asked and answered already. For others, the debate goes on. In this segment of “Cameras Don't Lie,” competitive shooters Patrick Sweeney and Jim Tarr head to the range to put the vaunted loads on record, and then consider the footage.

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

In this segment of “At The Range,” Handgunning Editor Jeremy Stafford and contributor Patrick Sweeney compare the visibility of red and green lasers in outdoor, sunny conditions.

Trijicon

Trijicon's New Specialized Reflex Optics (SRO)

The Trijicon SRO is specifically designed for pistol use. The wide field of view and clean, crisp dot makes it easy for users to find and track the dot in both target and competitive shooting applications.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Springfield Armory's SAINT Edge Pistol may be the best AR pistol on the market.Springfield Armory SAINT Edge Pistol Review Handguns

Springfield Armory SAINT Edge Pistol Review

James Tarr - April 17, 2019

Springfield Armory's SAINT Edge Pistol may be the best AR pistol on the market.

Some guns are easier to work with than others, but the Ruger American Rifle doesn't require an engineering degree to tinker with; here's a look at some upgrade options to take your Ruger American to the next level, and make it something a bit different.Top Ruger American Rifle Upgrades Accessories

Top Ruger American Rifle Upgrades

Philip Massaro - March 15, 2018

Some guns are easier to work with than others, but the Ruger American Rifle doesn't require an...

Trijicon has dominated the Carry Optic landscape on hard-use handguns for years. With the new RMRcc, they plan on dominating the concealed carry market as well.Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight Review – Perfect for Concealed Carry Optics

Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight Review – Perfect for Concealed Carry

Jeremy Stafford - October 01, 2020

Trijicon has dominated the Carry Optic landscape on hard-use handguns for years. With the new...

The Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan is arguably the best production-grade precision hunting rifle available.Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan Review Rifles

Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan Review

Joseph von Benedikt - March 25, 2019

The Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan is arguably the best...

See More Trending Articles

More Accessories

Garmin has upgraded two of its popular watches with solar augmentation to last longer between charges.Notable Upgrade: Garmin Solar Smart Watches Tactical

Notable Upgrade: Garmin Solar Smart Watches

Jeremy Stafford - November 12, 2020

Garmin has upgraded two of its popular watches with solar augmentation to last longer between...

Feature rich, the Fobus APN offers adjustable configurability and pas-sive retention in a comfortable and concealable package. The removable concealment wing draws the grip of the pistol closer to your body to avoid printing. The APN series also includes a detachable and breathable sweat guard and a rotating belt clip, both of which can be removed and reversed for ambidextrous use.Fobus APN Holster Review Accessories

Fobus APN Holster Review

Eric R. Poole - September 03, 2020

Feature rich, the Fobus APN offers adjustable configurability and pas-sive retention in a...

The new Wheeler FAT Stix Preset Torque Wrench Set includes all the most popular bit sizes in a convenient soft carry case.New for 2021: Wheeler FAT Stix Preset Torque Wrench Set SHOT Show

New for 2021: Wheeler FAT Stix Preset Torque Wrench Set

Guns & Ammo Staff - January 27, 2021

The new Wheeler FAT Stix Preset Torque Wrench Set includes all the most popular bit sizes in a...

Three new products from Caldwell - E-MAX PRO Shadows, BT Link and BT Comms – for shooting range hearing production and communication.New for 2021: Caldwell E-MAX PRO Shadows, BT Link and BT Comms SHOT Show

New for 2021: Caldwell E-MAX PRO Shadows, BT Link and BT Comms

Guns & Ammo Staff - January 27, 2021

Three new products from Caldwell - E-MAX PRO Shadows, BT Link and BT Comms – for shooting...

See More Accessories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now