If you’ve ever tried to put an AR-15 together with standard tools, you know it can be a pain. There are tons of specialized parts on an AR-15, and you have to improvise a lot if you don’t have the right tools.
SPOILER—if you just want to get to the point and buy an armorer’s wrench so you can tear down and rebuild your rifles, get the Real Avid Armorer’s Master Wrench. It’s a high quality wrench, that can be used for almost anything you need to do when working on your rifle.
If you’re into evaluating all the options, keep reading. We’ll tinker with all the best armorer’s wrenches and show you what’s what.
The Top Armorers Wrench in the Market Today
The best armorer’s wrench reviews: getting the job done
Our most capable armorer’s wrench is up for review first. All the competing wrenches will be checked over in order of price, from the most affordable to the most expensive.
Time to do some wrenching.
1. Real Avid Armorer’s Master Wrench - Overall Best Armorer’s Wrench
The Real Avid Armorer’s Master Wrench meets all the requirements for an armorer’s wrench, and then some.
This wrench has all the tools you need:
- Castle nut wrench.
- ¾ muzzle brake wrench.
- Mil-spec barrel nut wrench.
- Free-float barrel nut wrench.
- ⅝ receiver extension wrench.
In addition to the normal tools, this wrench also has a variety of hammers—steel hammer, brass hammer, nylon hammer, and rubber hammer. These are super handy for tapping pins in and out, and knocking things loose without marring your rifle.
Then, this wrench also has a torque wrench attachment, so you never over or under torque anything. Also, all the torque specifications are laser etched right on the side of the wrench. That way you don’t have to use Google before you tighten everything.
To help you use all these tools, the handle is designed to give you maximum leverage and help you use the hammers. It makes things a lot easier, especially when you have a barrel nut that’s rusted on or caked in carbon.
The best part is that this model costs about the same as any standard armorer’s wrench. So, you get a ton of value.
If you need an armorers wrench that will help you do more than just loosen and tighten screws, this is the wrench for you.
2. Brownells AR-15 Armorer’s Wrench - Budget Armorer’s Wrench
The Brownells AR-15 Armorer’s Wrench gives you all the utility of an armorer’s wrench for the lowest possible price.
This wrench has the wrenches for muzzle devices, barrel nuts, and castle nuts. Additionally, there’s a space for attaching a torque wrench. So, you can tighten or loosen anything you need. And, you won’t over or under tighten your hardware.
The buttstock wrench has four teeth to engage all four notches on M4 style castle nuts. This exceptional grip on carbine castle nuts and helps reduce the chances of damaging your rifle. However, the buttstock wrench does not work on AR pistol castle nuts with less than four notches.
This wrench has a nice long handle that provides plenty of leverage for loosening and tightening everything. And, the whole thing is covered in an anti-corrosive coating that protects the metal and extends the service life.
Unfortunately, some buyers have found that the coating is actually a bit too thick and makes the wrench fit awkwardly on some nuts.
3. Magpul Armorer’s Wrench for AR-15/M4 - Value Armorer’s Wrench
The Magpul Armorer’s Wrench for AR-15/M4 is, at first glance, a standard armorers wrench. But, there’s an added feature or two that justify the slightly higher price.
First, this wrench has everything you need to work on barrel nuts, castle nuts, muzzle devices, and receiver extensions. All the wrenches are setup to work on a standard carbine.
This model will also fit AR pistol receiver extensions with three notches. However, if your receiver extension has only two notches, it won’t fit.
There’s also a torque wrench attachment point. So, you can ensure that all your parts are properly secured.
This wrench is forged from solid steel for excellent durability and an extra long service life. And, it’s coated in a non-slip phosphate finish that prevents corrosion and ensures that you can always get a secure grip on your wrench.
The only hangup with this wrench is the cost. There are wrenches that offer more utility for the same price.
But, if you’re looking for a wrench that offers lots of durability with some ergonomic enhancements, this needs to be your go-to armorer’s wrench.
4. Arrington Accuracy Works AR-15/M16 Colt Law Enforcement Carbine Armorer’s Wrench - Top Armorer’s Wrench
The Arrington Accuracy Works AR-15/M16 Colt Law Enforcement Carbine Armorer’s Wrench is designed to work on certain law enforcement carbines. But, it’s also a solid tool for working on any standard AR-15 carbine.
This wrench is built around a thick ⅜ inch handle that offers excellent leverage for installing and removing the various nuts on an AR-15 carbine. There are notches for removing muzzle devices and a torque wrench attachment. So, you can install and remove muzzle devices, and check them for the proper torque.
The torque wrench attachment point can also be used to attach a breaker bar for removing especially difficult nuts.
The barrel nut wrench is designed for the Colt Advanced Law Enforcement Carbine, and any rifles that use the Colt ALEC barrel nut. It’s not a universal barrel nut wrench. But, the ALEC barrel nut is very difficult to remove without a barrel nut wrench specifically designed for it.
This model also includes a notch for removing ALEC flash suppressors. So, it’s a good all-purpose muzzle device wrench for law enforcement armorers who work with Colt law enforcement rifles.
Yes, this model is expensive. However, it’s the only way to go if your rifle uses Colt ALEC hardware. And, it’s still useful for certain parts of a standard AR-15.
If you need a wrench for Colt law enforcement rifles, this is definitely your best option. As a bonus, it’ll work as a muzzle device wrench on your other carbines.
Tightening Things Up
It’s easy to think you don’t need an armorer’s wrench, especially if you don’t disassemble your AR-15 all that often. But, as soon as you need one, you’ll wish you had an armorer’s wrench. Disassembling and reassembling an AR-15 without one is pretty much a nightmare. And, using an improper tool can damage your rifle.
An armorer’s wrench is worth the money, even if you only use it occasionally.
If you want a good armorer’s wrench with the utility that will make it pay for itself, get the Real Avid Armorer’s Master Wrench. It’s an excellent and affordable armorers wrench. And, it includes a customizable armorer’s hammer that you can use on all your guns.
If you’re still using standard household tools and struggling every time you need to work on your rifle, it’s time to get an armorer’s wrench. You’ll thank yourself later.
James Miller is a defensive firearms coach, certified through the ICE Training Company. He teaches Intuitive Defensive Shooting fundamentals and tactics to shooters of all skill levels. He lives, writes, and skis in Reno, Nevada.