There are specific tools needed to be a gunsmith, these 4 must-have gunsmith tools will give you a great start at amateur-level gunsmithing for your collection. I’ve had great success with my Wheeler Engineering tool kits and all 4 of my items are based on what I use most for gunsmithing at my house.
Anytime you buy a gunsmithing tool from any company, you should look for 3 things before you buy from anywhere online; Price point, Versatility, and durability.
There are so many companies that sell gunsmithing tools that I couldn’t name them all in one blog. However, there are very few companies that have built their reputation on offering affordable prices on gunsmith tools that will last years if taken care of. One of the biggest reasons I started using Wheeler gunsmithing tools were the deals that I got from Amazon.
Prices vary greatly across the internet and many of the 3rd party dealers have deals going on at different times, so it’s important to shop around and find the best deals available.
One of the original mistakes I made when I started building my collection was buying very specific tools that only work for one scope, rifle, or pistol. Having versatility with your gunsmithing tools is important to avoid clutter, unused tools, and saving money. All 5 tools I mention below are versatile tools that can be almost universally across platforms and calibers.
If your gunsmithing tools are produced correctly, you won’t have to worry about them falling apart, breaking, or just not working. I’ve yet to have any durability issues with any of my Wheeler gunsmithing tools. I have broken a hex bit from trying to force it more than I should have, but that was a user error and I should have backed off and used my gunsmithing screwdriver set instead.
Even though it was my fault that I broke the hex bit, Wheeler sent me a replacement part the following week and didn’t charge me for it. To me, that’s incredible customer service and if our readers have had similar experiences like mine, you appreciate the respect of good customer service.
1. Professional Armorer’s Wrench
Before I bought my first armorers wrench, I didn’t know how versatile and effective it was with my AR-15s. Normally when you’re trying to perform work on your AR, you’ll need a castle nut wrench, stock receiver wrench, barrel nut wrench, and muzzle brake wrench, at least.
With an armorer’s wrench, you can get all of those tools in one package and save your toolbox a ton of room. If you ever need to build an AR-15 or remove or secure a castle nut, barrel nut, muzzle brake, or replace a stock, an armorer’s wrench is perfect for you.
One of my favorite features is the torque measurements on the handle of the wrench to show you on the fly the correct torque you need to apply to each component.
Items that are easy to find in multiple 3rd party sellers are easier to gauge the fair price point on the product. Wheeler’s Delta Series Professional Armorer’s Wrench can be found at several stores, including Sportsman’s Warehouse, Sportsman’s Guide, Kentucky Gun Company, and Natchez Gun Supplies.
Comparing companies will give you the confidence that you’ve found the best price for the product you’re looking for. As part of my job, I do that research for you so you can spend your time doing things you want to do.
Anytime I buy a tool, I look for how many of my guns, scopes, optics, and other attachments can be worked on with that one tool. The tool that I use the most on anything related to my AR is the Wheeler Professional Armorer’s Wrench.
I would hate for someone to buy an individual castle nut wrench, stock receiver wrench, barrel nut wrench, and muzzle brake wrench without knowing what an armorer’s wrench can do for you.
The Wheeler Professional Armorer’s Wrench perfectly and safely fits the following components and purposes:
Castle Nut Wrench
5/8" Fixed Stock Receiver Wrench
1/2" Torque Receiver Wrench
Mil-Spec Barrel Nut Wrench
3/4" Muzzle Brake Wrench
The Wheeler Delta Series Professional Armorer’s Wrench is built from steel and fitted with an oil and water-resistant rubber handle for an easy grip and no-slip. I sometimes rub down my wrench and other steel tools with mineral oil or a few drops of CLP to keep them shiny and protected against rust.
The Wheeler professional Armorer’s wrench has never scratched or damaged my barrels, stocks, barrel nut, or castle nut.
Wheeler’s Delta Series Professional Armorer’s Wrench is designed to be the last wrench you’ll need for building your perfect rifle. This tool is what every gunsmith or armorer needs to be able to build or repair their AR-15.
It’s constructed from the highest quality materials delivering you the best performance for all your gunsmithing needs at a great value and includes 6 different essential AR tools. The handle has torque measurements included on the handle for accuracy with every build.
2. Wheeler Engineering 45-Piece SAE/Metric Hex and Torx Key Set
The Wheeler 45-Piece Engineering SAE/ISO Metric & Torx Key Set is one of the most-used gunsmithing tools in my collection. The biggest reason I like this tool kit is because of the compact storage with a universal capability.
I have a little ADHD and the Wheeler Key Set relieves stress because I never have to worry about where to put all of the tools and it even comes in slots with the measurements on them. I highly recommend this tool for any amateur gunsmith who is getting started building their collection.
What Does SAE Stand For?
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)is a private technology company that specializes in automotive and aerospace engineering. SAE has set a specific standard for hex threads to simplify the standard for each measurement.
What is a Torx Screwdriver?
A Torx screwdriver or star bit if you’re around cars more often than not is a unique type of driver that has a 6-point star-shaped design, as seen in the picture below. The whole reason to use a Torx screw is to give yourself better control and leverage than the Phillips head screwdriver.
The biggest complaint from most contractors was that Phillips head drivers would constantly slip out (cam-out) of the bevel and strip the screws. Torx offers much more control and leverage to get rusted and dirty screws out without stripping the screw.
Price Point for the Wheeler 45-Piece SAE/Metric Hex and Torx Key Set
Versatility of the SAE/Metric Hex and Torx Key Set
As you can see from the table below, versatility is the whole reason you buy this gunsmithing tool kit. The 45-piece Wheeler Key Set is perfect for almost every rifle, scope, pistol, and gunsmithing equipment, such as presses and gun vises.
Wheeler SAE/Metric Hex and Torx Key Set
ISO Metric Hex
Durability of the SAE/Metric Hex and Torx Key Set
You may run into trouble with the smallest of tools such as the SAE 0.028", but you have to be careful when using any tool. Many of the issues people have with the smaller keys are they think you can apply as much torque to them as the larger-sized screws.
You’re almost always going to get a broken key or stripped screw if you’re not using the tool in the way it was intended. Read the manual that it comes with and be mindful of the pressure you apply with your smallest tools.
3. Wheeler Cerama-Coat
Cerama- Coat is very easy to explain and even easier to use on your guns than you’ve ever thought possible. Wheeler uses a ceramic coating to provide a harder finish that will protect your gun from wear and tear.
Many companies use some form of ceramic coating to protect the exterior of the gun. The best part about the Wheeler Cerama-Coat is it can be applied over your bare metal or existing blued, anodized, or parkerized finish.
The Wheeler Cerama-Coat comes in the 4 most popular colors for rifles; Flat Dark Earth (FDE), Black, Foliage Green, and Olive Green. All colors are Matte finished providing a non-reflective service on your gun. This is especially important for hunters who don’t want to get flagged by a deer when the sun hits your barrel the wrong way and reflects like a flashlight to the animal.
You can apply this to any metal barrel or synthetic stock and will give you a waterproof finish to protect the finish that it came with. In short, you can probably increase the lifespan of your gun collection by decades if you care for them properly and apply protective coatings on the environmentally sensitive parts.
Durability for Cerama Coat
The Wheeler Cerama-Coat offers incredible protection from scratches, scrapes, gouges, and elements. You can easily apply Cerama-Coat to your gun and let dry for a day or so and keep it safe for decades longer. That’s the definition of durable, so I think it’s a must-have for any gunsmith.
4. Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool
I never really thought I’d need a tool this specific until I started shooting off target with my Glock 19. First, I know that I have enough trigger time with my Glock to be pretty consistent, so when I miss it’s either user error or the sights are offline.
Using the Wheeler Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool, I’m easily and quickly able to ensure my sights are always in line with the pistol centerline. You can easily remove or install dovetail front sights and rear handgun sights without hurting your pistol or the equipment.
Versatility for Wheeler Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool
Given the fact that it only works for handguns, it can be as universal as the other gunsmithing tools, but it does fit for just about every semi-auto handgun you could own. I also really like the adjustment marks because I forget to write things down sometimes and the marks on the sight tool allow me to go back to my previous settings.
Durability for Wheeler Armorer’s Handgun Sight Tool
You can put the Wheeler Handgun Sight Tool through hell and back and it will still work for you. The design and quality feel to them metal components make this as durable of a tool as you could ask for.
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