7 Best Gun Cleaning Kits [2022] Universal & Build Your Own Kits

by Ryan Cleckner

July 14, 2022

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Cleaning your gun is a necessary part of being a gun owner.  A properly maintained and clean firearm is more reliable (it works better), it will last longer as an investment, and it can even maintain accuracy (with precision rifles).

But, in order to properly clean and maintain your firearms, you need the right cleaning equipment (solvents, brushes, oils, etc.) and it really helps to have it all organized in a complete cleaning kit.

In this review of the best gun cleaning kit, we’re not only going to help you choose the right tools for cleaning your gun, but we’re also going to show you which universal gun cleaning kit to get (or how to build your own firearm cleaning kit) so that cleaning your guns as a regular practice is as painless as possible.

Types of Gun Cleaning Kits

Although there are surely many different types of cleaning kits, we think it is easiest to break down a gun cleaning kit into two main categories:

Complete Cleaning Kits: These firearm cleaning kits typically come with the basics you need to clean a firearm and are self-contained in their own case. These are a great place to start for new gun owners – however, they’ll likely include many things you won’t use or need.  Complete cleaning kits can either be universal cleaning kits (meant for most firearms) or they can be specific to certain firearm types like handguns or shotguns.

“Build Your Own” Cleaning Kits: Once you’re more familiar with your firearms and know the type of tools, equipment, and solvents you’d like to use, you’re going to want to start building your own kit for cleaning guns. Even if you started with a complete cleaning kit, you’ll surely want to start adding to it or replacing items to make the cleaning kit work for your needs.

Best Gun Cleaning Kits

GuardTech Gun Cleaning Kit
  • Great Value Kit
  • 60 Individual Components
  • Comprehensive collection of gun cleaning tools
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Gloryfire Universal Cleaning Kit
  • Affordable
  • Low Profile and Labeled Case
  • 14 Bore Brushes Jags and Loops are Solid Brass
Check Price
Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box
  • Editor’s Choice
  • Sturdy Range Box w/ Universal Cleaning Kit
  • Has Everything You Need to Get Started
Check Price
Allen Company Universal Ultimate Kit
  • Pro Grade Kit
  • Comes with Quality Toolbox
  • 65 Tools and Supplies
Check Price
Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Kit
  • Best Kit for Handguns
  • Compact and Portable
Check Price
Gloryfire AR-15 Cleaning Kit
  • Best for Your AR-15
  • Lightweight with Belt Attachment
Check Price
Spika Compact 12 GA Cleaning Kit
  • Best for Your 12 GA Shotgun
  • Comes with 4 Stainless Rods
Check Price

Best Gun Cleaning Kits

  1. GuardTech Universal Gun Cleaning Kit
  2. Gloryfire Universal Cleaning Kit
  3. Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box with Universal Gun Cleaning Kit
  4. Allen Company Ultimate Universal Weapon Gun Cleaning Kit
  5. Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Cleaning Kit
  6. Gloryfire AR-15 Cleaning Kit
  7. SPIKA Compact Shotgun Cleaning Kit

Specs Comparison of the Best Gun Cleaning Kits

Reviews of the Best Complete Gun Cleaning Kits

Universal gun cleaning kits are the most popular type of complete cleaning kit. Here, our top choices for gun cleaning kits are all universal cleaning kits meaning they can be used for handguns, rifles, and shotguns.

Our top universal cleaning kits have room for expansion – this is deliberate. Although a complete universal cleaning kit is a good place to start, trust us: you’re going to want to add particular components, and having room to expand is nice.

We’ve also added some complete cleaning kits for particular firearm types. Often, a cleaning kit just for handguns is handy (especially if you don’t need the extra components for rifles or shotguns). Also, if you have an AR-15-style rifle, having a simple and dedicated cleaning kit for it is super handy.

1. GuardTech Universal Cleaning Kit

Editor's Choice
GuardTech Universal Gun Cleaning Ki

GuardTech Universal Cleaning Kit

This set is a comprehensive collection of gun cleaning tools. It includes jags, slotted tips, adapters, utility brushes, patches, and more–even a bore rope cleaner and cleaning picks which aren’t widely available in cleaning kits.

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  • Components A-
  • Function A
  • Quality A+
  • Value A+

Our Grade

A

Reviewed by Ryan Cleckner

Reader’s Grade

A

Based on 4 Reviews

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GuardTech Specs

  • Dimensions 15.31 x 10.63 x 2.17 inches
  • Weight 1.56Kgs (55.03 oz)
  • Warrenty ‎5 Year Warranty
  • Components 130-piece set

GuardTech Universal Cleaning Kit

After receiving this kit and giving it a solid review the GuardTech Universal Gun Cleaning Kit deserves its place at the top of my list.

This kit is a great tool to keep your firearms clean and well-maintained. The kit comes with everything you need to clean both pistols and rifles, and it does a great job of getting rid of all the dirt, grime, and gunk that can build up on your guns over time.

The GuardTech is an American company and this kit is packed with 60 individual components and 130 total pieces. Which includes Brass Jags, Brushes, Cotton Mops, Patches, and a bore snake.

I find that using kits like this makes the whole process of cleaning and maintaining my firearms an easy process.

Overall, the GuardTech Universal Gun Cleaning Kit is an excellent choice for anyone who wants an easy, effective way to clean their firearms. The kit is very affordable, and it does a great job of keeping your guns looking new. Highly recommended!

For the full review of this kit, be sure to check out the GuardTech Universal Cleaning Kit Review!

GuardTech Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • Comes with organized Case
  • Includes Bore Snake
  • Bits fit in case
  • Leaves no room for expansion
  • No Lube or Oil

2. GLORYFIRE Universal Cleaning Kit

GLORYFIRE Universal Cleaning Kit

This all-around cleaning kit comes in a nice hard clamshell style case that’s easy to organize and store.

Gloryfire Universal Cleaning Kit Specs

  • Case Hard Clamshell Style Travel Case
  • Brushes Included 14 Bronze Wire Brushes
  • Bore Snakes None
  • Oil and Lube? No
  • Patches? Yes

Gloryfire Universal Cleaning Kit

Looking for another affordable gun cleaning kit that will take care of all your firearms? Look no further than the Gloryfire Universal Gun Cleaning Kit!

Coming in second up on our list, this comprehensive kit includes a good start to the tools you’ll need to clean your guns. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or just like to target shoot on the weekends, keeping your firearms clean is essential for optimal performance and safety.

If you’re looking for a set of brushes and rods for most firearms, this is it.

As far as a complete cleaning kit, however, this option is a bit lacking. You’ll need an extra case to store solvents, oils, rags, etc.

For starting out, this will work, but you’ll find that this sort of case isn’t really a good option. You’ll eventually want more specialized tools and products and you’ll soon find that brushes are fairly disposable and you’ll probably be buying more in the future for calibers that you use often.

This kit would make a good gift as it isn’t too expensive and gives a gun person plenty of things to use for cleaning without being an entire kit.

For an individual look at this kit, check out our Gloryfire Universal Cleaning Kit Review.

Gloryfire Universal Cleaning Kit Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • Low Profile and Labeled Case
  • 14 Bore Brushes Jags and Loops are Solid Brass
  • Leaves No Room to Expand Kit
  • No Bore Snakes Included
  • No Lube and Oil Included

3. Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box W/ Universal Cleaning Kit

Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box W/ Universal Cleaning Kit

Provides a quality range box to carry all cleaning supplies. Range box is also specially designed to support gun while cleaning.

Otis All Caliber Elite Specs

  • Case Hard Shell Range Box
  • Brushes Included 16 Bronze Bore
  • Bore Snakes 4 Included (.22/.223, .30-.308, 9mm/.38, 12 GA)
  • Oil and Lube? Yes
  • Patches? Yes

Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box 

If you’re looking for an all-in-one universal cleaning kit, do yourself a favor, just buy this one and save yourself some time.

No, it’s not “perfect” but I don’t think that any pre-made kit can be perfect for everyone’s needs and styles. For example, as a long-range guy, I’m a snob for a certain type of jag and cleaning rod (more about that below).

But, if there’s one kit to get to cover most things, I love this kit because it has tons of quality components and one really important thing for me: room to expand!

You’re eventually going to want a room for a general-purpose cleaning rag (a piece of an old t-shirt), some more solvents/oil, and I’d add cleaning rods.

The pull cables Otis uses instead of cleaning rods are ok but they are not my preference.

Other bonuses to this gun cleaning kit include the nice case that can be used to support the firearm while cleaning and the inclusion of the Otis ripcord barrel cleaners. They, along with another brand (bore snakes), are SUPER handy to quickly clean out a barrel and chamber – but, they’re not a replacement for a full cleaning.

For an individual look at this kit, check out our Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box Review.

Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box Pros and Cons

  • Comes with Sturdy Range Box
  • Supports Gun while Cleaning
  • Lube and Grease Included
  • 16 Different Bronze Bore Brushes
  • 4 Firearm Specific Ripcords
  • Most Expensive Kit
  • Rods sold separately

4. Allen Company Ultimate Universal Cleaning Kit

Allen Company Ultimate Universal Cleaning Kit

Great value for 65 different weapon cleaning tools for all calibers. Comes in handy easy-to-organize toolbox.

Allen Company Ultimate Universal Kit Specs

  • Case Hard Shell Toolbox
  • Brushes Included 14 Bronze Bore Brushes
  • Bore Snakes None
  • Oil and Lube? No
  • Patches? Yes

Allen Company Ultimate Kit 

If the Otis kit above is too expensive for your budget, then this is the kit you should get instead.

It still has the benefits of a large case that allows for the addition of more components and it has a lot of components to get you started.

However, with the low price point comes lower quality components and not as many extras.

You’re going to need a good gun solvent and gun oil before this kit can really work as a universal gun cleaning kit.

If you’d like to check out the full review on this cleaning kit, you’ll find this in our Allen Company Ultimate Kit Review.

Allen Company Ultimate Universal Cleaning kit Pros and Cons

  • Great Value
  • Nice Organized Toolbox
  • Plenty of Bore Brushes
  • No Bore Snakes Included
  • No Oil and Lube Included

5. Real Avid GUN BOSS Handgun Cleaning Kit

Real Avid GUN BOSS Handgun Cleaning Kit

An affordable handgun cleaning kit thats easy to grab and go.

Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Kit Specs

  • Case Zippered Ballistic Nylon
  • Included Brushes 4 Phosphor Bronze Brushes
  • Bore Snakes No
  • Oil and Lube? No
  • Patches? Yes

Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Cleaning Kit

With all of my recommendations so far about having a large kit with room to expand and giving a preference for many components, you may be surprised to see this tiny kit is recommended. 

So, why such a small and limited kit?

A small kit like this is SUPER handy if you only have one or two handguns to clean but it is really useful to throw into your range bag with other shooting accessories. 

Think of this as your travel kit that can be used anywhere even though you might end up with a full-sized cleaning kit at home.

Don’t forget to check out our individual review on the Real Avid Handgun Cleaning Kit.

Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Cleaning Kit Pros and Cons

  • Best for Handguns
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight and Compact
  • Handguns Only
  • Need to Empty out Unneeded Gear to Make Room for Solvent and Oil

6. GLORYFIRE AR-15 Cleaning Kit

GLORYFIRE AR-15 Cleaning Kit

A compact, lightweight carry option for cleaning your AR-15 or rifle in the field.

Gloryfire AR-15 Cleaning Kit Specs

  • Case Lightweight Nylon
  • Included Brushes Brass brush, Chamber Brush, Nylon Brush
  • Bore Snakes None
  • Oil and Lube? No
  • Patches? Yes

Gloryfire AR-15 Cleaning Kit

If you were in the Army or Marine Corps, this should bring back some memories.

On its face, it is an extremely basic and limited kit. Like the handgun kit above, it is NOT intended to be a complete cleaning kit for all of your guns.

However, if you have an AR-15-style rifle, having one of these is a must-have. And, if you have the room for it, this should accompany you with your rifle.

The cleaning rods are handy in the field to clear barrel obstructions (including a stuck case) and the chamber brush is an absolute necessity to clean the star chamber of an AR-15. I like to wrap a rifle cleaning patch around the chamber brush to twist around in the chamber to clean it.

Once you get one of these, you’ll soon realize its utility and how it is like a small tool kit kept in a vehicle but for your rifle. Fill the bottle with some Break Free CLP and you’re good to go.

For an individual review on this product check out our review on the Gloryfire AR-15 Cleaning Kit.

Gloryfire AR-15 Cleaning Kit Pros and Cons

  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • A must-have for AR-15s
  • Cannot Expand Kit
  • Only Comes with Space for One Empty Bottle

7. SPIKA Compact 12 GA Shotgun Cleaning Kit : Best for Shotguns

SPIKA Compact 12 GA Shotgun Cleaning Kit

Super portable kit that makes cleaning your shotgun at the range or in the field easy.

SPIKA Compact 12 GA Cleaning Kit Specs

  • Case Hard Plastic
  • Brushes Included Bronze Brush, Spring Brush, Utility Brush
  • Bore Snakes None
  • Oil and Lube? No
  • Patches? Yes

SPIKA Compact 12 GA Shotgun Cleaning Kit

Just like our #3 recommendation above for handguns, this is a limited but handy kit for shotguns.

It isn’t really compact enough to easily throw into a bag when you go to the range but it is a handy and fairly portable solution to keeping your shotgun clean.

The rod and barrel mop are really important tools for maintaining your shotgun. It’s not a bad idea to keep the cleaning rod in your vehicle in case you need to clear a stuck shotgun shell hull.

This is also a good gift and place to start for someone new to guns but you’re going to want to eventually expand your kit and your passion for shooting grows.

To see the full review on this cleaning kit, you’ll find the Spika Compact 12 gauge cleaning kit review here!

SPIKA Compact 12 GA Shotgun Cleaning Kit Pros and Cons

  • Lightweight and Portable
  • Plastic Jag
  • Case Could Be Better Quality

Components for Building Your Own Firearm Cleaning Kit

Whether you started with a universal cleaning kit and you’re looking to expand your cleaning kit or you’re starting from scratch and building your own cleaning kit, we’re going to cover each of the component types you should consider and give our recommendations.

Cleaning Kit Components:

  • cleaning rod – used to clean the inside (bore) of a gun’s barrel
  • bore brushes – Bore brushes are fairly straightforward.  The good ones are inexpensive.  The really cheap ones are junk.
  • cleaning patches – Cleaning patches are useful for cleaning the barrel and other small parts of a firearm.
  • jags – The part that holds the patch
  • general-purpose brushes – Any proper gun cleaning kit needs at least one general-purpose brush.
  • cleaning solvents – Cleaning solvent helps remove the carbon and residue from previously fired ammo and it can help to remove copper build-up in the barrel.
  • gun oil – For rust prevention and lubricity/function.
  • container to hold all components – Container to hold your kit.
  • gun cleaning extras – Optional Extras (see table below) – These are nice to have.

Cleaning Component Definition Check Latest Price
Dewey Cleaning Rod Clean the inside of the barrel. Check Amazon
Otis Ripcord Multi Caliber 10PK Great for pistol barrels Check Amazon
Tipton Bore Brushes The good ones are inexpensive Check Amazon
Cleaning Patches Useful for cleaning. Check Amazon
Parker Hale Brass-style jags The part that holds the patch Check Amazon
General Purpose Brushes Every kit needs at least one Check Amazon
Shooter’s Choice MC#7 Bore cleaner Cleaning solvent helps removes build-up Check Amazon
Break Free CLP Oil Rust prevention and lubricity/function. Check Amazon
Flambeau Outdoors Tackle Box Container to hold your kit Check Amazon
Tipton Firearm Cleaning Pick Set Optional Extras Check Amazon
Q-Tips Optional Extras Check Amazon
Grypmat Tray Optional Extras Check Price
Needle Oiler Bottle Optional Extras Check Amazon

Gun Cleaning Kits – Buyer’s Guide

There are many different types of cleaning kits for firearms. There are universal cleaning kits that are complete kits meant for most types of guns, packaged kits for particular types of guns (ie: just for pistols, rifles, or shotguns), and individual components for making your own cleaning kit.

Because there are so many cleaning kit options for cleaning firearms, we thought it’d be easiest to break them down into just two categories:

  • Pre-packaged complete cleaning kits, and
  • Individual cleaning kit components for building your own cleaning kit or supplementing a pre-packaged complete kit.

The pre-packaged kits are a great place to start, but the vast majority of them don’t have all the things you’ll need to properly maintain your firearms.

What Type of Gun Cleaning Kit Should You Get?

Both building your own cleaning kit and buying a pre-made cleaning kit have pros and cons. Let’s take a look at each and see which one best fits your needs to help you make the right choice for your cleaning kit.

Complete Cleaning Kits

Complete kits are pre-assembled kits with gun cleaning components. They can be universal cleaning kits meant for most firearms or they can be kits that are designed to be just for one type of firearm (ie: pistol, rifle, or shotgun).

These are a good place to start for new shooters. Even though they may not have all of the components you’ll eventually want or need, they are a great place to start while you figure out what works for you.

Building Your Own Cleaning Kit

Advantages of building your own gun cleaning kit could be that you’ll get exactly what you want/need and you won’t spend money on things you don’t need.

Some disadvantages may be that it might be difficult to know what you need until you have some experience and you’ll likely spend a bit more for each component.

What is Each Cleaning Kit Component For?

If you read about some cleaning kit components above and weren’t quite clear about what they are or how they’re used, we’ve got you covered;

Cleaning Rods are a tool for cleaning the barrel of your firearm.

The cleaning rod is used to scrub the inside of the barrel with a brush and it is used to apply the solvent and wipe the inside of the barrel clean with patches pushed through the barrel with a jag.

Jags are attached to the end of a cleaning rod and carry cleaning patches through the barrel.

There are three types of jags: eyelet-style jags which allow a patch to be passed through an opening in the jag, push-style jags which have a pointed tip and ribbed edges which hold the patch in place as it is pushed through the barrel, and parker-hale style jags which allow the full width of the patch to be wrapped around the outside of the jag.

My favorite style of jags is the parker-hale style because they very rarely bind in the barrel and they provide the most patch surface area.

Bore brushes are attached to a cleaning rod to scrub the inside of a barrel. The most popular styles are made from brass or nylon.

Some people are concerned with using brass because they are afraid that metal will hurt their barrels. I do not share this concern. The heat and pressure of a bullet are fairly intense and impart more stress on a barrel than brass bristles.

Boresnake/Rip Cord are handy tools for a quick scrub and wipe clean of a barrel. They do not replace a proper cleaning, but they are so handy that they’re almost all I use for my pistols.

They consist of a length of cord that can be dropped through a barrel and used to pull the working parts through the barrel. They include brushes in the middle and soft material that wipes the barrel clean.

These are caliber specific as the brushes need to be the right size to scrub the barrel and the soft material needs to fit tightly.

Gun Solvents are cleaning chemicals meant to help remove carbon and other residues from firing your gun.

Gun oil can be used to help clean your gun, preserve your metal from rusting, and also aid in the operation of your gun by providing lubrication.

If you’d like to see our full breakdown of gun oils, you’ve got to see our Best Gun Oil Guide.

Cleaning Kit Conclusion

Whether you start with a complete cleaning kit and add on as you need or build your own from scratch, you now know what you need and what to look for.

Please let us know how your cleaning kit turns out and if you learned any helpful tips.

Gun Cleaning Kit FAQ’s

What is a good quality gun cleaning kit?

A good quality gun cleaning kit should include high quality components and not cheap plastic. We recommend the Guardtech Universal Cleaning Kit

What is a good gun oil to use?

Our favorite gun oil is Gun Fighter Oil.

What happens if you don’t oil your gun?

If you fail to re-apply oil and allow the solvent residue to remain, your weapon’s parts may corrode. It’s possible that it’s already too late when rusting occurs; nevertheless, proper lubrication and storage can prevent it from happening.

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About Ryan Cleckner

Ryan is a former special operations sniper (1/75 Ranger) and current firearms attorney, firearms industry executive, university lecturer, and bestselling author of the Long Range Shooting Handbook.

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