Home » Best AR-15 Cleaning Kit [2021 Review]

Best AR-15 Cleaning Kit [2021 Review]

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Cleaning a AR-15 can be a difficult task. You want to make sure you are doing the right things or risk having a damaged AR-15. Having the best AR-15 cleaning kit will help keep your AR-15 in good condition for a long time.

Our Top AR-15 Cleaning Kit Reviews

The top AR 15 cleaning kit needs a compact and easy to pack for field operations. It’s also important that the cleaning kit contains a method to clean the barrel efficiently. If you already have experience in cleaning AR-15s you might need less equipment to do the job. However, for inexperienced AR-15 owners, you may need more. 

Brand
Best Overall
Otis Technology The Otis Elite
Best for the Money
GLORYFIRE Universal Gun Cleaning Kit
Product
Otis Technologies FG-1000 Elite Cleaning System
GLORYFIRE Universal Gun Cleaning Kit Hunting...
Weight
3.6 pounds
3.2 pounds
Suitable For
.17 to .50 cal. rifles and pistols, .410 to 12/10 ga. shotguns
All types of shotguns, rifles and handguns
Best Overall
Brand
Otis Technology The Otis Elite
Product
Otis Technologies FG-1000 Elite Cleaning System
Weight
3.6 pounds
Suitable For
.17 to .50 cal. rifles and pistols, .410 to 12/10 ga. shotguns
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
GLORYFIRE Universal Gun Cleaning Kit
Product
GLORYFIRE Universal Gun Cleaning Kit Hunting...
Weight
3.2 pounds
Suitable For
All types of shotguns, rifles and handguns
Price

Best Overall AR-15 Cleaning Kit: Otis Technology The Otis Elite

Otis Elite Cleaning Kit

The Otis Elite is a versatile AR-15 cleaning kit great for both experienced and first-time gun cleaners. The kit comes with cleaning tools for cleaning and lubricating .17 to .50 cal. rifles and pistols so it has the capabilities for cleaning a AR-15. The kit contains some useful tools for cleaning AR-15 like:

  • Over 40 firearm-specific cleaning components placed in a nylon case
  • 6 Memory-Flex Cables of varying lengths for breech and muzzle cleaning
  • 23 bronze bore brushes for removing copper deposits and other types of dirt
  • Obstruction removal tools for jammed cases and blockages

The kit also comes with a black nylon dual-zipper carrying case. The case is very convenient as it sets up an outdoor cleaning station really quickly. This is a great feature for people who love setting up a table and clean their AR-15 outside. 

The cleaning kit also comes with some printed instructions and a DVD with short videos that teaches you how to clean specific gun types. Otis also has a Youtube channel where you can watch some tutorials and guide videos. 

The Otis Elite also uses a “360-degree” patch system instead of the traditional rod and patch method. This system requires you to poke the patch loop through the patch, then pinch to create a wad that will touch all parts of the barrel. While this method may feel weird at first, you’ll find it works better than the traditional method after a few tries.

It also has a wide selection of bronze bore brushes and really reliable Memory-Flex cables. The Memory-Flex cables are threaded on both ends which you can attach patch loops or bore brushes to either end. 

The Otis nylon brush isn’t something exceptional and yet it does its work as expected. It helps you get into those nooks and crannies on your weapons and thoroughly clean it. After the cleaning, there’s a silicone cloth along with the Otis Elite you can use to wipe your AR 15 so it won’t leave any lint behind. 

Overall, the Otis Elite is the best AR-15 cleaning kit you can have. It has many tools that are perfect for cleaning your AR-15 and it’s also good for both professionals and amateurs. It also comes along with plenty of instructionals to help you clean your AR.

Product Highlights

  • Simple and good for both beginners and experts
  • Comes with guides and instructions for cleaning firearms
  • The kit is easy to use and has a lot of tools  
Sale
Otis Technology The Otis Elite

  • Complete selection of high quality Brownells/Otis Bronze cleaning brushes for every caliber
  • Stored in a padded nylon case
  • Includes the Brownells/Otis 750 Tactical Kit

Best for the Money AR-15 Cleaning Kit: GLORYFIRE Universal Gun Cleaning Kit 

GLORYFIRE Universal Gun Cleaning Kit Hunting...

The Gloryfire universal cleaning kit is one of the best AR-15 cleaning kits you can get in the market. This gun cleaning kit has a number of tools that help in cleaning a wide variety of firearms such as handguns, rifles, shotguns, and the AR-15. 

This universal cleaning kit features 159 tools that will help with cleaning your AR-15. It comes in a sturdy plastic carry case that’s also great for portability so you won’t have trouble moving the tools around. The case is lightweight and it consists of high-quality materials. 

The kit also includes: 

  • 6 brass rods
  • 9 mops 
  • Black powder jag
  • 14 brushes
  • 12 jags
  • 3 muzzle guards
  • 4 slotted patch loops
  • Oil bottle
  • 4 polishing cloths
  • And more cleaning tools

What’s more, the cleaning kit has a reliable warranty that lasts for up to 3 years. The cleaning kit has a ton of adapters and cleaning tools that will clean your AR and even your whole arsenal of firearms. Yet, the kit is small and easy to carry around. 

The oil bottle is one of the finer points about this cleaning kit. It helps with cleaning out fouling. The lubrication is excellent and keeps your AR-15 in good condition. However, the oil bottle is small so you’ll probably refill it more often. 

It’s surprising that this cleaning kit isn’t made of cheap plastic. All the slotted tips and cleaning jags consist of high-quality brass and nylon plastic. These tools are reliable with solid construction so you can expect them to last long. 

The only downside we find is that the cleaning kit doesn’t come with a cleaning solvent which would make this a complete package. However, the Gloryfire universal cleaning kit is a solid pickup for your AR-15. What’s more, it has the tools required to clean your other firearms as well. 

Product Highlights

  • Contains a large number of tools and cleaning equipment
  • Portable and easy to carry case
  • Not made of cheap plastic
GLORYFIRE Universal Gun Cleaning Kit Hunting...
  • Universal Gun Cleaning Kit: This durable case can be used to clean all types of guns. All the...
  • Carrying Case Design: All the materials you need are in a lightweight durable plastic suitcase....
  • High Quality Deluxe Gun Cleaning Set: All our slotted loops and cleaning jags are made of high...

Best Budget AR-15 Cleaning Kit: Real Avid Gun Boss Cleaning Kit

Real Avid Gun Boss Cleaning Kit

Many people love the Real Avid Gun Boss Cleaning Kit because of its effectiveness and quality cleaning on AR-15s. This kit contains a number of different tools and cleaning rods that are well suited for cleaning AR-15. 

There are 7 threaded and coated steel rod sections. You can combine these rod sections to form a longer 33-inch rod with a t-handle for moving it around. You can also find a bronze cleaning brush and 5 precision-cut chamber-cleaning pads. 

The kit also contains phosphor bronze bore brush and chamber brush that you can use to clean off copper deposits and fouling. It contains a bolt carrier group scraper designed with 12 surfaces for easy carbon scraping and cleanup. 

There’s also a nylon slotted tip for the brush, 25 regular cleaning patches, several cleaning picks, and a 3-in-1 bore that acts as a safety flag, illuminator, and pin punch. This cleaning kit comes with enough tools to handle any maintenance problems. The cleaning kit also comes with a reference material that instructs you how to clean your rifle properly. 

All of the tools come packed in a compact, weather-resistant travel case with each tool having a designated slot for better organization. It’s also portable so you can carry it around with you when shooting at a gun range. Overall, the Avid Gun Boss is a great AR-15 cleaning kit that’s easily portable for firearm owners, hunters, and gun range goers. 

Product Highlights

  • Complete cleaning tools for AR-15
  • Tools are placed in a weatherproof case and are well-organized
  • Includes illuminator to spot fouling easily
REAL AVID GUN BOSS AR-15 CLEANING KIT

  • Straight and angled cleaning picks
  • 5 start chamber cleaning patches
  • No-rattle accessory tray

Best Portable AR 15 Cleaning Kit: Otis Technologies FG-750 Cleaning System

Otis Technology Tactical Cleaning System for Rifles, Pistols & Shotguns - 750

If we’re talking about portability then the Otis Technology Tactical Cleaning System for Rifles, Pistols & Shotguns takes the spot. This kit comes with several useful cleaning tools and a tube of cleaning liquid that helps eliminate fouling and marks on your AR-15. The cleaning fluid also acts as a lubricant to provide protection to your AR-15. 

The kit contains several memory-flex cables for a breech-to-muzzle cleaning. Additionally, it has a smaller memory-flex cable that you can use to clean other firearms that are .17 caliber. Both cables consist of aircraft-grade aluminum to last for many years. 

The brushes are of excellent quality as you would expect from Otis Technologies. They’re probably the best brushes in the gun cleaning market. However, the brush from this cleaning kit is a bit small so it may not suit your taste if you’re looking for bigger brush sizes. 

The cleaning kit also has a chamber flag and an instruction manual that will help beginners to follow the right steps for cleaning their AR-15. The carrying case is a small black nylon bag with a belt clip. It’s practically small that you can fit it inside a bag which makes this AR-15 cleaning kit the best in terms of portability. 

The downside is that the other components of this cleaning kit are not as effective as the ones highlighted above. Overall, this is a great cleaning kit to have when you’re on the move and need a AR-15 cleaning kit that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your luggage. 

Product Highlights

  • Portable and can easily fit inside another bag
  • Excellent brush quality
  • Includes cleaning fluid that also acts as a lubricant
Otis Technologies FG-750 Cleaning System

  • Compatible with .17 to .50 caliber handguns and rifles
  • 3x Memory-Flex cleaning rods
  • 6x bore brushes

What Does the Best AR-15 Cleaning Kit Contain?

The best AR-15 cleaning kit should contain components that are essential for cleaning a AR 15. These are the components every AR cleaning kit should have:

An elderly couple cleaning their rifles

Bore Cleaning Brush

This is the most important equipment that AR-15 cleaning kits should have. A bore cleaning brush is effective for cleaning the bore after a shooting session. The brush effectively removes any dirt residues inside the bore. 

Some of the most common types of bore brushes you can find are a bronze bore, nylon bore, and tornado bronze bore. 

Cleaning Rod

The cleaning rod consists of the rod and swivel handle to the rod. The rod will get you deep into the rifle bore without much effort. Cleaning out the residue and debris is made easy with the use of a cleaning rod.

Cleaning rods are a standard for most gun cleaning kit. They mostly vary in length so picking one with the right length for your AR-15 is essential. 

Patches

Most patches consist of soft materials like clothes or cork. Choosing the right shape for your AR-15 will help with cleaning it. Most gun owners use them to clean the internal sections of the bore. 

Cleaning Brushes

Likewise, many people use cleaning brushes to clean most of the exterior of the gun. You can get different types of cleaning brushes from different materials. While stainless steel brush and phosphor brush are great for cleaning non-blued metals, nylon brushes are often better for wood surfaces. 

Lubricating Oil

Lubricating oil isn’t a common component in gun cleaning kits that’s why having one inside is a great deal. Lubricating oil goes into your AR-15 especially in moving parts that will keep its function smoother. It also acts as a protection from fouling and rust.

Make sure to read our review on the best gun oil for AR-15s!

What Makes the Best AR-15 Cleaning Kit?

The best AR-15 cleaning kit is different for everyone. Each AR owners have different needs that they want in a cleaning kit.

Here are some of the most common ones.

Materials

Plastic components can be a sign that cleaning kits won’t last long. Most of the plastic in cleaning kits often consists of cheap plastic so it doesn’t have great durability. 

If you want long-lasting cleaning kits, you should avoid plastic components.

However, there are cleaning kits that use a combination of plastic and metal parts that can work for you. 

Accessories

Some gun cleaning kits provide extra accessories to market their products. Make sure you choose the right accessories that you need for cleaning AR-15.

Some of the best ones you can have are lubricants, brushes, and bore guides.

They are great accessories that will help with clean your AR-15. 

An ar 15 preparing to be cleaned

Portability

If you frequently go to the shooting range or you’re just constantly on the move, then portability might be something you need to look for in AR-15 cleaning kit. Most manufacturers use ballistic nylon bags for storage. Nylon bags are weather resistant and they’re also portable making them a viable choice. 

Some manufacturers use a toolbox for storing the cleaning kit.  They usually consist of aluminum and are really durable. However, they may not be as portable as nylon bags but they do give you the best protection. 

Price

Price can also matter as some really don’t need that much equipment for cleaning their AR-15. Some people also have a limited budget so choosing the best available cleaning kit at a price range is a factor most buyers consider. 

Why You Need an AR 15 Cleaning Kit?

AR 15 cleaning kits contain essential tools that you will surely need. AR 15 is a fairly large gun. There are some spots that are hard to reach so you will need some tools to be able to clean them. 

Regular cleaning kits won’t have the necessary tools to facilitate cleaning AR 15s. Therefore, you need an AR 15 cleaning kit that specifically addresses your AR 15 cleaning needs. 

It’s recommended to have a dedicated AR 15 cleaning kit when you use your AR 15 regularly at the gun range. This will ensure your AR 15 is consistently functional for a long time. 

Using an AR 15 cleaning kit ensures your AR 15 will be effective and at peak performance every time you take it out at the gun range. Sometimes, proper maintenance is the key difference between an effective AR 15 and an inaccurate one.

The Importance of Cleaning an AR 15

Every firearm needs frequent cleaning. Every time you use a gun, it leaves behind particles particularly inside the gun barrel. Most gun enthusiasts refer to this as carbon buildup. If this buildup continues to grow in your gun, after some time of shooting the gun, it affects your shooting experience. 

It explains why when two AR 15s shoot, the cleaner one shoots better and more accurately. Cleaning your AR 15 regularly saves you a lot of money. Your AR 15 will be in good condition and you won’t have to buy replacement parts frequently. 

Compact Cleaning Kit vs Regular Cleaning Kit

Cleaning kits can vary a lot in size and bulk. The bigger it is, the harder it is for you to carry around. Since it’s bigger, the more likely it has more tools than a smaller one. More tools mean more cleaning details for you. It’s great if you’re not out traveling much with your AR 15. 

Compact cleaning kits may not have more tools, however, they are extremely convenient to carry around. Compact cleaning kits generally only contain the essential cleaning tools. Choose a compact cleaning kit depending on how you clean your AR 15.

Therefore, between compact cleaning kits and regular cleaning kits, it depends on your routine. If you’re the type who prefers cleaning your AR 15 at home, then a regular cleaning kit is the best option. If you’re out traveling, and visiting between gun ranges, a compact cleaning kit is more comfortable to have. 

Universal Gun Cleaning Kits vs Dedicated Gun Cleaning Kits

If you solely own an AR 15, the better choice is definitely a dedicated AR 15 gun cleaning kit. It is tailored specifically for AR 15s and will have tools or features that are unique to cleaning AR 15. Dedicated gun cleaning kits aren’t suitable for detailed general cleaning. 

If you only own an AR 15, is when we would generally recommend getting one. If you have multiple types of firearms at home, better get a universal gun cleaning kit. You can also buy multiple dedicated gun cleaning kits if you don’t mind the cost. 

Make sure you choose a universal gun cleaning kit with adaptors. You don’t want to spend more on adaptors to clean different calibers. Some universal gun cleaning kits are made for specific calibers, so if you own guns only on a specific caliber, this might be the best one for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Fouling is Often Mentioned in Gun Maintenance, What Does it Mean?

Fouling occurs when bullets leave behind residue in the barrel after being fired from the gun. The residue is often made of carbon, lead, plastic, or copper. These can affect your gun’s accuracy over time. At times, it may even cause corrosion. 

When Should I Clean My AR 15?

The best way to clean AR 15 is to clean it after using it or firing it. This ensures that no residue will be left behind inside the barrel that can turn into a problem if left unchecked. 

If you haven’t cleaned your AR 15, you better clean it now. It would be better to have a professional check it if it’s been uncleaned for too long. 

How Long Do AR 15s Last?

AR 15s are extremely durable if given proper care and maintenance. They can last for decades without any significant decrease in performance. However, you will also have to do some minor parts replacements throughout those years. AR 15s don’t wear out easily. 

Generally, the barrel of the AR 15 is the part you usually need replacing. Other parts are almost functional for almost decades with proper maintenance. They can even be inherited by your children and grandchildren as a sort of relic. That’s how durable it is. 

It will only last for that long if you do regular and proper maintenance. The barrel doesn’t also easily wear out too. AR 15s are also have a modular design so replacing their parts is easy to do. 

If you want your AR 15 to last your lifetime, you will need an excellent AR 15 cleaning kit to help you with cleaning and maintenance. 

What Happens If I Don’t Clean My AR 15?

Your AR 15 will rust which shortens its lifespan. Once rust builds up, it will chip your rifle parts and some cracks will form at the edges. It may even become damaged if you shoot it. 

Once these problems appear, your AR 15 will decrease in performance. If you don’t act on it, your AR 15 will eventually stop functioning at some point. 

It will start with your AR 15 losing accuracy. Afterward, the gun will misfire because of all of the carbon buildup or fouling inside the gun barrel. This might cause some accidents that you don’t want to happen so it’s important to have your AR 15 well-maintained.  

Conclusion

These are the best AR-15 cleaning kits you can buy in the market right now. Each has its own strengths and really depends on the buyer what they think best suits them. Hopefully, after reading these reviews, you’ll be able to find a cleaning and maintenance kit that’s right for you.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created KeepGunsSafe.com with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.