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Tools of the Trade – My Favorite AR 15 Tools

I was recently organizing a toolbox just for the tools I use to work on guns. I have tools that help me with simple maintenance, parts swaps, upgrades, and tools to even help me use the weapon. This got me thinking about how many people out there have a similar toolbox and what they keep in it. I also know in the firearms industry I’m blessed to work with tons of companies and to see and hear about more guns, ear, and yes tools than most people have time to pay attention to. So with that in mind, I came up with a few tools I feel you fine folks should know about.

This isn’t a comprehensive list of firearms tools for the average firearm’s user. I just finished my own Glock 80 lower build and that requires tools that aren’t on this list. This is just a few cool AR 15 tools I love, enjoy and continue to use. These are just cool AR 15 tools.

1. Wheeler Delta Series Multitool

The Wheeler Delta Series Multitool is one of the neatest and newest devices in the gun tools realm. The Wheeler Delta Series Multitool packs a ton of different tools into a very handy package. This includes carbon scapers, an AR front sight tools, an AR wrench, and more. In fact, it packs the following tools:

AR Carbon Multi-Scraper Tool, 5/64″ Hex, 7/64″ Hex, 1/8″ Hex, Pivot and takedown punch, #2 Phillips, bolt waist scraper, interior BCG scraper, T10 Torx, T15 Torx, T20 Torx, A2 front sight tool, 3/16″ Flat, 3/4″ Wrench, 1/2″ Wrench and a castle nut wrench

Lots and lots of tools in a very small package that can fit in your pocket. It’s perfect for an AR owner.

2.The Warne  RT-1 Range Tool

The Warne RT-1 Range Tool is a multitool that is designed to provide you with tons of options for mounting and making adjustments to a scope. The Warne RT-1 Range Tool packs 12 different driver bits to make it easy to mount optics, adjust your optics, and more.

This is a simple, and very easy to use tool that is very well made and well designed. I’ve used it pretty heavily for the last two years and it has never let me down. The bits are made from chrome vandium and you get the following.

Allen head sizes: 0.05″, 1/16″, 5/64″, 3/32″, 1/8″, & 5/32″
Torx driver sizes: T10, T15, & T20
Pin remover size: 0.10″
Flat blade screwdriver
#2 Phillips head screwdriver

3. Swab Its Star Chamber Cleaners

By God, if I ever hated cleaning one part of my M16A4 in the Marines it was the chamber. To hell with that thing. I wish at the time I had the Swab Its Star Chambers Cleaners. These cleaning devices are like giant Q tips designed to allow you to reach in and clean that chamber like an absolute champ. They work like a dream and make that pain in the ass of a chamber easy to keep clean.

4. Magazine Loaders

If you shoot a lot you have to get a magazine loader. It’s an absolutely fantastic piece of gear that allows you to load magazines with very little effort. I use the models from Maglula for my AR in 5.56 and in 9mm. These make loading Colt SMG magazines much easier especially. These are cheap, available for a wide variety of magazines and they seem to last forever. There are fancier systems, like the Mag Pump, out there. These are typically more expensive and less compact, but faster overall.


Personally, I like the small size of these tools and keep them on hand and in my toolbox for loading well before I hit the range. You may not classify this as an AR 15 tool, but I surely do. It fulfills a purpose and makes my life easier.

5. Real Avid 223 Pivot Pin Tool

I remember the frustration of building my first AR and that front pivot pin. God, what a pain in the ass it was. Eventually, I figured it out and I did the same for my next couple of builds. I got better at installing it, and it became less likely to fly off in the distance followed by a stream of curses. However, once I bought the Real Avid pivot pin tool life became much simpler. It’s the best 9 bucks I ever spent.

AR Tools and The Tool Box

If you are a dedicated firearms enthusiast a lot of these tools are just naturals. If you build ARs, of Polymer 80 Pistols I highly suggest buying at least one tool box to keep things nice and organzied. You’d be amazed just how much time you save with a dedicated set of gun tools.

Featured Photo of TREAD rifle courtesy of SIG SAUER.



About the Author /

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. Today, Travis serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.


  • Nancy

    July 3, 2020

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. The right tools make all the difference.

  • Harland

    July 6, 2020

    Having the right tools makes working on the AR much more fun.

  • Darell Adon

    July 20, 2020

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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