Home » Best Gun Cleaning Rod [2021 Review]

Best Gun Cleaning Rod [2021 Review]

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Sometimes the gun cleaning rod that comes with your gun cleaning kit doesn’t work as you want it to when it comes to the cleaning and maintenance of your weapons. Some gun cleaning kits use cheap cleaning rods and materials as a compromise for adding extra features or equipment. The best gun cleaning rod can help you clean your weapon for a long time without needing a replacement.

Our Top Gun Cleaning Rod Reviews

A gun cleaning rod is one of the most essential parts of cleaning a gun. That’s why it’s important to have the best gun cleaning rods that are effective and long-lasting. Looking for the top gun cleaning rod can be hard that’s why we’ve made it easier for you by picking out the right cleaning rods for your weapons available on the market for you. 

Brand
Best Overall
Tipton 1-Piece Deluxe Cleaning Rods
Best for the Money
Hoppe’s Elite 1-Piece Cleaning Rod
Best Non-Carbon Fiber Cleaning Rod
Pro-Shot .22 – .45 Caliber Universal Pistol
Product
Weight
8.8 ounces
6.4 ounces
0.6 ounces
Size
27-45 caliber
22 caliber
. 22-. 45 Caliber
Best Overall
Brand
Tipton 1-Piece Deluxe Cleaning Rods
Product
Weight
8.8 ounces
Size
27-45 caliber
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Hoppe’s Elite 1-Piece Cleaning Rod
Product
Weight
6.4 ounces
Size
22 caliber
Price
Best Non-Carbon Fiber Cleaning Rod
Brand
Pro-Shot .22 – .45 Caliber Universal Pistol
Product
Weight
0.6 ounces
Size
. 22-. 45 Caliber
Price

Best Overall Gun Cleaning Rod: Tipton 1-Piece Deluxe Cleaning Rods 

Tipton Deluxe Cleaning Rods

Tipton makes some of the best gun cleaning equipment you can use. Their cleaning rods are among one of them. Their cleaning rods are easy to use and safe 

Tipton is part of Battenfeld Technologies which is popularly known as BTI brands. BTI brands have been known to make gun cleaning and maintenance equipment for a long time. 

The Tipton 1-Piece Deluxe Cleaning Rods consist of high-quality carbon fiber which is really effective for cleaning. This durable carbon fiber cleaning rod comes in a wide variety of sizes ranging from 12 inches to 50 inches. This model also uses brass ends so it shouldn’t affect the inside of the barrel as its properties are the same as that of a bullet. 

The rod takes a bit of force before you can even bend it. If you do bend it, it can bend to extreme degrees and still return to its original straightness. 

This cleaning rod has 2 ball bearings in the handle. Upon attaching the patch, you’ll feel the smoothness of the cleaning motion. These balls make sure your attachments stay firmly in place during cleaning. 

This cleaning rod rotates freely inside the barrel. It’s a one-piece rod so you are sure to have a strong rod that won’t flex or bend unlike threading multiple rods together. 

If you’re looking to use this Tipton Deluxe cleaning rod, then you should also invest in learning how to use the bore guide kit. The bore guide kit will help you avoid poking around the chamber of your gun and perfectly align the cleaning rod to the bore. Using a bore guide is the best learning experience you can have so you will avoid any damage to your firearms while maintaining and cleaning them in the future. 

Overall, the Tipton Deluxe 1-piece Cleaning Rods are the best cleaning rods you can get. They are really durable and don’t break easily making them longer lasting. They also clean the bore effectively.

Product Highlights

  • Ergonomically designed handle that spins on 2 sets of ball bearings
  • Carbon fiber shaft for effective maintenance that won’t embed particles that are harmful to the rifle bore
  • Carbon Fiber rods bend to extreme degrees and return to their original straightness
  • Multiple size options available
Tipton 1-Piece Deluxe Cleaning Rods

  • Ergonomically designed handle
  • Won't scratch your bore like stainless steel
  • Allows for reasonable hammer blows

Best Gun Cleaning Rod for the Money: Hoppe’s Elite 1-Piece Cleaning Rod

Hoppe’s 1-Piece Cleaning Rod

Another well-known brand in the gun maintenance industry is Hoppe’s. When it comes to experience in gun cleaning, Hoppe’s is among the top brands in the market at the moment.

Hoppe’s have been in the industry for over 100 years and have produced high quality cleaning tools like bore cleaning solvents and gun cleaning kits. Which explains why they’re one of the most sought-after brands when it comes to gun maintenance. 

One of their top products is the Hoppe’s Elite 1-Piece Cleaning Rod. The 1-piece design can assist with multi-piece cleaning rods. The design also makes it a much more sturdy cleaning rod, thanks to its carbon fiber materials.

The Hoppe’s Elite 1-Piece Cleaning Rod is fixed with a brass end that has 8 x 32 threads. It’s capable of almost every cleaning tool attachment.

The cable fiber rod is attached to Hoppe’s ergonomic handle and the premium double ball bearings handle design. This design allows you to rotate the gun cleaning rod as you clean your firearm bore.

The handle is in the form of a screwdriver. This handle provides a comfortable grip material and the design is soft to the touch. Most one piece carbon fiber cleaning rod models consist of only one piece, as the name implies, with no fiddling around screwing rods together. This is what makes Hoppe’s 1-piece cleaning rod you can assist with Hoppe’s multi-piece cleaning rods and a great addition to any gun cleaning kit.

The Hoppe’s 1-piece carbon fiber rod size options are 8 inches for .22 caliber and also comes in 36 inches for .22 – .284 / .17 – .20 / .270 caliber. 

What makes the Hoppe’s Elite 1-piece carbon fiber rod the best cleaning rod for your money is the quality of the double ball bearings and the smoothness of the rotating action. These features work really well even under the pressure of a tight patch and it can finish any gun cleaning kit effectively. 

Product Highlights

  • One-piece carbon fiber cleaning rod
  • Premium double ball bearings
  • Smooth rotation even under the pressure of a tight patch
  • Durable carbon fiber rod material
Hoppe’s Elite 1-Piece Cleaning Rod

  • Made from Carbon Fiber
  • Premium double ball bearings
  • Remains straight after each cleaning

Best Non-Carbon Fiber Gun Cleaning Rod: Pro-Shot .22 – .45 Caliber Universal Pistol

Pro-Shot .22 – .45 Caliber Universal Pistol

ProShot has been in operation in the gun cleaning market since 1984. ProShot is the only remaining family-owned, traditional cleaning accessories company. They make high-quality firearm maintenance equipment and some of the best gun cleaning rods and kit models in a wide variety of shooting fields.

The Pro-Shot .22 cal – .45 cal is a budget cleaning rod that does a great job for its intended purpose. While its design is simple, it’s really durable and can last you a long time. 

Most gun cleaning rod models consist of carbon fiber while the Pro Shotgun cleaning rod consists of stainless steel parts. These parts are often softer than your bore so you won’t have to worry about any damages while cleaning or doing any maintenance to your favorite weapons. The stainless steel is well polished and twists when you place it down the barrel. 

The cleaning rod also comes with a brass patch holder. The patch holder is suitable for .22 to .45 caliber pistols. This patch holder also features micro-polishing that allows the rod to easily slip into the barrel compared to that of carbon fiber. 

The outstanding feature this cleaning rod has is the T shape handle that comes with a brass tightening screw. This T Shape handle controls how much resistance you want during the rotation while you push it through.

Overall, this is a very solid gun cleaning rod that’s great for your gun cleaning kit and other accesories. This model is really durable and the coating doesn’t come off easily so you can use this to clean and maintain your weapons for a long time. Finally, this model is also really affordable despite all the great features it has. 

Product Highlights

  • Made from stainless steel
  • Made in the USA
  • Torque control rotation
  • Includes a brass patch holder
Pro-Shot Universal Pistol Cleaning Rod

  • Has a hard, dense, mirrorlike finish
  • Can last for years
  • Rod lengths do not include handle

Best Rifle Gun Cleaning Rod: Dewey 1-Piece Cleaning Rod 22 to 26 Caliber

Dewey Cleaning Rod

Dewey Rods has been making gun cleaning and maintenance equipment for a long time. Since 1975, they have been serving customers from organizations such as the US Navy SEALs and the US Olympic Shooting Team. They are versatile when it comes to gun maintenance equipment. 

Part of their quality gun cleaning equipment is the Dewey 1-Piece Cleaning Rod. This rod consists of aluminum with a high-quality Nylon coating. The handle is designed with a screwdriver type handle and it comes with a single ball bearing. 

The rifle rods are great for powered rifles like the AR 15 and other service rifles. The Dewey cleaning rod also has a variety of options for sizes. It’s best to use a bore guide so you can avoid unwanted flex action and avoid damages. 

The Dewey cleaning rod also includes a 22j brass jag and SMBA brush adapter. It uses an 8 x 36 mm male thread which you can use with any accessories of different brands. The tough nylon coating doesn’t scratch the delicate rifling of the finest match barrel and doesn’t peel off like many vinyl coatings. 

The newly designed ball bearings handle makes it easier to rotate the rod with the grooves of the barrel. 

Overall, the Dewey 1-Piece Cleaning Rod is a simple and effective cleaning rod that specializes in rifles. It’s a very solid pickup with no gimmicks and just straight up cleans the bore of your rifle. 

Product Highlights

  • Comes with a Jag and brush adaptor
  • Ball-bearing handle
  • Compatible with other manufacturer’s accessories
  • High-quality nylon wrap
Dewey 1-Piece Cleaning Rod

  • Won’t peel off like vinyl coatings do
  • Brush adapter not included
  • Smooth turning, ball bearing handle

Materials to Look for in a Gun Cleaning Rod

Different cleaning rod models for your gun can largely differ from each other based on their materials. The best gun cleaning rods are commonly made from brass, aluminum, steel, and carbon fiber. Each material has its own merits and things to look out for. 

Elderly couple sitting in a trailer both using a cleaning rod for their guns

Brass

Brass cleaning rod models are among the most commonly found in basic gun cleaning kits. Brass rods are usually packaged together as a 3-piece cleaning rod that easily screws together. Brass is a decent material for cleaning rod models and the best fit for a 3-piece rod. 

Brass is the weakest out of the materials brands use for cleaning rods. The good thing about being the weakest is that it has the lowest chance of damaging or scratching your bore. The bad thing about brass rods is that they can bend or break easily.

You need a brass cleaning rod to be close to the same size as your bore to avoid any damage to your weapons. 

Some premium gun cleaning kits come with brass cleaning rods in a variety of thicknesses. Brass is the most expensive among the materials so you’ll rarely find them in cheap multi-piece cleaning rods. 

Aluminum 

While aluminum is slightly better than brass, it’s softer than the steel of a barrel. Aluminum is better suited for thicker rods which is why it’s a popular option for shotgun and pistol cleaning rods. 

An aluminum rod much sturdier than brass and less flexible than it. You’ll rarely find an aluminum rod that is thin enough to clean small-bore rifles and other weapons.

That’s why if you own a pistol or a shotgun, then going for aluminum cleaning rods might be the right choice for you. 

Steel

Steel is the most avoided material when it comes to gun cleaning rods. While it’s more durable compared to the other four, steel rods have the highest risk of damaging the bore of your firearms among the other materials manufacturers use to make cleaning rods

If you’re a beginner in gun cleaning, then you should avoid using steel cleaning rods and stick to some of the other materials in this buying guide. 

Person holding a gun in their palm

While there are a few high-quality steel cleaning rods out there, they’re very rare. While steel rods also a lot more affordable than other options, the risk might be too much. You should only consider buying steel cleaning rods if you have experience or have confidence in using them.  

Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber is a popular material for gun cleaning rods and many gun owners consider it the “gold standard” for the job. The carbon fiber material is fairly rigid to allow good pushing and pulling power. A one piece carbon fiber cleaning rod is also soft enough that it won’t scratch or damage the bore of your firearm. 

Although they’re good materials for cleaning rods, they’re also fairly expensive. If you want to be on the safe side then going for one piece carbon fiber cleaning rods is your best option. The expensive cost of a carbon fiber cleaning rod will make up for its effectiveness. 

Why You Should Use a Bore Guide With a Cleaning Rod

Using a bore guide will greatly help minimize the chance of damaging the bore of your gun. This is especially useful for beginners at doing firearms maintenance. Using a bore guide lines the carbon fiber cleaning rod up in the center of the bore. 

Two semi automatic pistols

If you don’t use a bore guide, there’s a chance that you will force the cleaning rod in and out of the barrel which will cause damage to either the barrel or action. Although the cost of getting a bore guide may deter you, also remember that it’s more expensive to replace the barrel of your gun. 

Conclusion

These are the top cleaning rods you can buy in the market for 2020. Most of them consist of carbon fiber and are really good for firearm maintenance. Some use other materials that are on the cheaper side for those people who are looking for a budget-friendly gun cleaning rod.

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.