The tools you will need for an AR build

So, you are getting ready for your build. If it is your first one then you are probably wondering what tools I will need for the job. Maybe, it’s not your first but you had a difficult time at certain points and you just didn’t know about a certain tool. This article describes what I consider the minimum necessary for a successful AR 15 build. Some tools are just plain essential and others you might try to get by with a makeshift instrument but when you’re done you just might have wished you purchased one of these.

First off, let’s not forget:

  • Ball peen hammer
  • Snap ring pliers
  • Allen wrenches
  • Torque wrench

Now, let’s make life much easier with these useful tools

Spring pin starter punch set from Brownell’s. Includes 5 different sizes for 19.99$.

Spring pin punch

These are a real finger saver. They keep you from hitting the wrong nail. You can get by without them but they make spring pins and roll pins go in with ease and it’s a sure fire carpet plowing stopper; that’s a term for getting on your hands a knees to find that dropped little part in the carpet.



Brass draft punch with hammer – Sold as A set at Brownell’s for 19.99$.

drift punch

These drivers are made of brass and are used when you have to hammer metal to metal. You should never use your hammer to beat on an AR 15 part because the steel the hammer is made from is harder than the AR part and it will mar it. Put the brass in between your hammer and the part and now it’s protected.


Pin punches – Brownell’s for 32.99$.

pin punch set

These punches are made exactly the same diameter as the pins you intent to drive and they keep you from flaring the end of the pin allowing you to reuse the pin.

Taper pin removal jig – Brownell’s

jig 1


You will probably only need this one if you’re AR has a Front Sight Base but it sure will come in handy if you need to remove a taper pin.


Gas tube wrench – Brownell’s

gas tube wrench

You will find this tool a must have if your gas tube gets stuck. It will easily get it out without damaging the tube. Let’s face it, the first time we do anything there is at least one Oops and a little backtracking becomes necessary. Don’t get stuck waiting on a new gas tube to come in the mail because you bent yours.



Barrel nut combo wrench – Brownell’s for 20.00$.

combo wrench

It’s just economical and space saving to get a combination wrench this one will tighten your barrel nut and you can use it on a castle nut if that’s what you have to fasten your barrel to the upper receiver.


Receiver block vise – PlastiXrevolution

receiver block vise


This is a must have for lightweight aluminum receivers. You just can’t clamp and twist on aluminum in a set of hardened vise jaws. Your new AR will look like your dog had mistaken it for a bone.

Well, have I covered them all? Probably not. Leave a comment and tell us what your must have build tool is and we might even add it to this blog post. Thanks for letting me share.


AR replacement parts and accessories

by: Gregg Fikes