Best AR15 Cleaning Kit – 2021 Buyer’s Guide

So, you’ve just purchased your dream home defense rifle: an AR15. However, your next task is to keep it clean and in working order if you ever need to use it (or maintain it when you come home from the range). 

Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best AR15 cleaning kits you can get today. In the sections below, we’ll also walk you through things like why having an AR15 cleaning kit is necessary, what makes a good kit stand out, and more. 

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best overall
  • Everything packs away into an incredibly small (11 oz) package
  • Includes virtually everything you need to clean your rifle
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  • Hard-shell case protects all of the items inside from jostling or crushing
  • Nearly complete cleaning kit - comes with tons of different tools
  • Keeps all of your cleaning supplies organized
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  • Best value for the money
  • Comes with instructions to help you navigate the kit
  • Organized plastic trays hold everything in place
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  • Pocket-friendly flat soft shell case fits virtually anywhere
  • MultiCam pattern is aesthetically pleasing and great for hunting trips
  • Comes with an all-in-one solvent-cleaner-lubricant solution
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  • Lightweight and very easy to carry
  • Available in two colors - choose whichever suits your needs best
  • Comes with an ALICE clip for when space is at a premium
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When Would an AR15 Cleaning Kit Come in Handy?

There are many reasons you’d need an AR15 cleaning kit – maintaining your gun, which we mentioned above, is just one of them. We’ll look into a few more potential reasons below.

Convenience

One of the best perks of an AR15 cleaning kit is convenience. If you wanted to, you could create your own set of AR15 cleaning supplies from separate, full-sized pieces, but not only would this be expensive, it would be more challenging to store, too. A kit is designed to be a self-contained unit that you can store just about anywhere, such as in your car or vacation home.

Longevity

All guns require maintenance to last a long time. While some guns stand up to rough treatment better than others, if you clean and oil your firearm with your AR15 cleaning kit regularly, it will function better for much longer.

Function

If you don’t clean your gun as much as it should, it’s much more likely to experience malfunctions. If you’re not careful, jams and malfunctions can result in misfires that could harm you, someone else, or essential property. 

How Do I Choose an AR15 Cleaning Kit?

The AR15 is one of the most famous American rifles today, so as you might expect, there are quite a few AR15 cleaning kits available on the market. What makes an AR15 cleaning kit stand out from the rest?

Full Kits

When you’re looking for any cleaning kit, you have an important decision to make: do you want to save some money and buy a partial kit, or would you rather have a kit with everything included? We think full kits are better, but partial kits can be especially handy if you already have some gun cleaning supplies, such as oil or brushes.

Flexibility

If you own an AR15, the chances are that you own more than one gun are very high. As such, a universal gun cleaning kit might be even better for you than a straightforward AR15 cleaning kit. However, keep in mind that universal gun cleaning kits come with more parts and, as such, are more expensive. The kits on this list are all rifle-only kits, but many are compatible with several different rifle models, not just the AR15.

Portability

Any good AR15 cleaning kit should come with a reusable carrying case to keep everything together. Not only does this make it easy to bring your cleaning kit with you when you travel, but it keeps everything together in one place when your cleaning kit is stored, too.

Review of the Best AR15 Cleaning Kits

We’ve finally made it to the meat of this article: the best AR15 cleaning kits we’ve found to date. To help you make a well-informed decision, we’ll be scrutinizing each one’s strengths and weaknesses in the paragraphs below.

Top Pick

Otis Technology M-16 Soft Pack Cleaning System

 
 

PROS

CONS

 

The Otis Technology M-16 Soft Pack Cleaning system is our number one pick because it’s small, portable, and virtually complete as an AR15 cleaning kit.

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers say that the best part about this carrying case is how rugged and portable it is. It’s a great competition kit if that’s your type of thing, but it’s just as useful if you need a cleaning kit to stash away in your hunting cabin or trailer. The flexible cleaning rod can take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it works incredibly well.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This cleaning kit sticks out to us most because it’s the best possible AR15 cleaning kit out there if you want to maximize space while still carrying around all of your supplies. Unfortunately, the only thing that the kit doesn’t come with is a lubricant, but we wouldn’t expect Otis Technology to fit any into this tiny kit anyway! As long as you already have some (as any gun owner should), this kit is a no-brainer.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line for this kit is, if you want the best AR15 cleaning kit and don’t mind spending a bit when getting it, this kit will get the job done and then some. As long as you have some preexisting rifle cleaning supplies, such as gun lubrication, you’re good to go. 

Runner Up

Real Avid Gun Boss Pro AR15 Cleaning Kit

 

PROS

CONS

 

This cleaning kit from Real Avid is nearly as good as the previous kit, with a few concessions – it comes in a larger hard-shelled case, and it has no solvent. 

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report that this kit is an excellent all-around container. Its shape makes it easy to pack or slide into compartments, and the set comes with a few extra tools that go above and beyond the standard.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This gun cleaning kit doesn’t come with any solvent or lubrication, which are both incredibly important when maintaining your gun. Still, we get the impression that it assumes you already have them. This AR15 cleaning kit comes with any other tool you could possibly want! While it has several additional tools that the previous kit does not keep in mind that they are all optional tools. 

The Bottom Line

The bottom line for this kit is this: are you a stickler for cleaning out every corner of your gun after a competition, and you want to show off your ultra-cool gear while doing so? If this is you, then this kit was made for you.

Best Budget Option

DAC Technologies 17 Piece .223/5.56 AR Rifle Cleaning Kit

 
 

PROS

CONS

 

This cleaning kit is similar to the last in that it’s a hard-shell kit, but with slightly fewer tools. 

What Recent Buyers Report 

Recent buyers report that this cleaning kit is a great all-around option, mainly due to its inexpensiveness. While it doesn’t really stand out, it gets the job done.

Why It Stands Out to Us

While this hard-shell portable cleaning kit doesn’t have the same cool factor as the Real Avid kit above, it has nearly all of the same tools for significantly less. With this case, there’s no excuse not to have one in your truck, your car, your spouse’s car, your vacation home, and even a secret stash at your favorite range.

The Bottom Line

In short, this kit is that “spare” that you keep stashed somewhere in case you forget your usual. While the most significant thing going for it is its price, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it as your primary kit if necessary. 

Pro-Shot AR-15/M4/M16 Cleaning Kit

 
 

PROS

CONS

 

This fully-equipped soft shell kit from Pro-Shot has everything you could possibly need in an AR15 cleaning kit, but it comes at a price.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers rave about the clear quality that you get with this kit. They also note that while the price is high, it’s worth every penny for what you get.

Why It Stands Out to Us

There’s nothing better than a rugged, ready-for-anything Molle kit that you can attach to any outdoors back or rucksack. The fact that this kit comes with everything you need – including lubricant and solvent, unlike every other kit on this list – is a very nice bonus, too.

However, this kit has a few significant downsides that help balance out those upsides, too. As with any kit, especially soft shells, you’ll need to take care to keep it away from water. The high price might put it out of the range of some consumers, too, especially if you planned to buy a spare or two.

The Bottom Line

In the end, this is an excellent “main kit” to have, especially if you’re an avid hunter that needs camouflage. However, it’s not really appropriate if you want to buy multiples.

Sport Ridge AR15/M16 GI-Field Cleaning Kit

 

PROS

CONS

 

This bare-bones cleaning kit from Sport Ridge is a great emergency kit, but it’s not as good as your primary option.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love the basic, rugged appeal of this kit. The low price makes it especially appealing, and while it doesn’t include any bells and whistles, that’s part of the appeal.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This inexpensive kit is hands-down the best AR15 cleaning kit to buy if you’re looking to stash one in multiple places. While it doesn’t come with any extras, it has everything you need, including an oil bottle (though you have to fill it yourself). The two available colors are a nice touch, too, since you can match it to your bag or jacket. 

The Bottom Line

While this kit is great as an emergency kit, it just barely passes as a full-time option. It does have everything you need to get the job done, including an oil bottle, but the tools are slightly lower quality, and the organization of the pouch leaves much to be desired.

Advantages of Investing in a Quality AR15 Kit

There are more benefits to investing in a good-quality gun cleaning kit, such as those we’ve looked at on this list, than we can possibly list here. We’ve touched on some of them in this article already, too. However, if you haven’t been won over already, there are also the following reasons:

  • A quality kit will last longer than a cheap, inexpensive one
  • These kits are made specifically for your AR15, which keeps the cleaning process easy and quick
  • If you keep a cleaning kit nearby, there’s never an excuse to put maintenance off (and possibly hurt the integrity and function of your rifle)

While it might cost you a bit more to invest in one or more quality AR15 cleaning kits upfront, the value will pay for itself several times over the lifetime of the kits and your gun itself. After all, an extra bill or two is a small price to pay if it prevents damage and neglect to your expensive rifle. 

Conclusion

While guns can be pricey at the best of times, even the best AR15 cleaning kits are inexpensive in comparison. Rifles and handguns alike are full of small moving parts, and maintaining those parts is just one aspect of being a responsible gun owner. Keeping an AR15 cleaning kit handy, whether you’re the type to have only one or several, is part of that responsibility.

People Also Ask

Do you have any questions that we didn’t answer in the main article up above? If so, we may be able to address them for you below.

What Do I Need in My Gun Cleaning Kit?

All of the kits included on this list are fully-featured as far as portable kits go. However, you may want to add a few things for an at-home kit, such as a gun cleaning mat and some luster cloth. 

How Do I Clean My Rifle?

Cleaning an AR15 rifle is much too complicated for us to list the whole process here, and it can vary slightly depending on the model, also. However, the basic process involves three steps: disassembly, cleaning, and finishing. Taking your gun apart enough to access the crucial bits comes first. Next, you clean all of the important (and dirty) parts of your rifle. And finally, to finish, you lubricate everything and put it back together.

Joseph Fox

Joseph Fox

Joseph Fox writes on a variety of topics ranging from reloading ammunition to gun cleaning. He has been featured on various publications like thetruthaboutguns, Sofrep & many more. Joseph is also the founder of Gunloading, where he reviews different types of reloading & firearm products available on the market.