Tools Every Gun Owner Should Have

Part of being a gun owner is fixing, maintaining, and upgrading your firearms. With a few basic and relatively inexpensive tools, you’ll be able to perform these routine tasks for your guns without paying extra to send them to someone else.

An armorer can clean and perform basic maintenance and upgrades on firearms. This is sometimes confused with the term gunsmithing.

True gunsmithing requires special tools, training, certification, and sometimes an FFL license. For our purposes, these tools are for individual firearm owners for basic armorer tasks.

Cleaning Kit

This may seem obvious, but a cleaning kit is an absolute necessity for all firearm owners.

Cleaning kits for rifles and pistols are inexpensive and intuitive to use. A clean firearm will function safer, more efficiently, and remain in working condition much longer.

There’s no excuse not to own a cleaning kit and regularly clean your firearms, so just do it.

gun cleaning kit

Basic Mechanical Tools

Most parts and fasteners on firearms can be removed and reassembled with common mechanical tools such as screwdrivers, sockets, and Allen wrenches.

Odds are you already have these tools for basic upkeep on your house and other things, but if you don’t just make sure you have a basic mechanical tool set if you’re getting into guns.

Gun Vise

A gun vise is a helpful tool to hold rifles or shoguns in place while performing tasks such as cleaning and mounting optics.

Gun vises can be a simple and cheap or complicated and expensive as you like, but if it holds your gun steady, it’ll work just fine. If you plan to mount your own optics, a gin vise is pretty much a necessity to ensure a level surface and so you can have both hands free.

gun vise for mounting rifle

Torque Wrench

Another useful tool for precision optic mounting is a torque wrench. Just like a vehicle, certain gun parts and accessory mounts recommend a certain torque setting set by the manufacturer.

Properly set screws will ensure your optic and accessory mounts are rock solid, even with heavy wear and tear from repeated use.

Punch Set

A punch set is a must have for upgrading triggers, which is a common and simple upgrade for many guns.

A good punch set will have brass punches to avoid marring your gun’s parts, a few steel punches for tougher pins, and plastic punches for more delicate tasks.

Brass/Plastic Mallet

Sometimes included with punch sets, brass/plastic mallets are great to have for many routine armorer tasks.

A decent mallet will have a dual head with brass on one side and plastic on the other. This will ensure overstriking your mallet wont result in too much damage to the finish on your gun, if at all.

Trigger Pull Gauge

Another great tool to have to test triggers to see what upgrades you can make is a trigger pull gauge.

Trigger pull gauges are a purpose-built tool that can have manual or digital readings. If you’re thinking about messing around with a few trigger upgrades, this is a must-have.

Scope Levels

Lastly, a set of scope levels will ensure you’re mounting optics in the most precise way possible.

A scope level will have a level that’s clamped to the foregrip of the rifle, and another smaller level to place on top of the scope turret. With this simple tool, you’ll always have a level reticle and it’ll make your rifle more accurate.

scope level mount for rifle


Doing routine maintenance and periodic upgrades to your firearms doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, with a little research and patience it can be quite easy.

Being your own armor is actually very enjoyable and you’ll have the added satisfaction of knowing you have the skills and know how to take care of your guns without relying on others.

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