Mini-Review: The Dental Pick

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

One of the most useful gun cleaning / smithing tools I have is a dental pick.

The dental pick I use looks like the one pictured 3rd from the right.

Dental picks can be used for any number of common tasks such as scraping powder residue out of hard to reach places, holding down springs and miscellaneous adjustments. If you plink with dirty .22 LR ammunition they can be used to gently scrape off the powder that accumulates on the bolt face, so you can keep on shooting without feeding problems and without having to strip the gun.

They do have limitations. Because they are made from hard stainless steel you have to be gentle with them and you should keep away from outside finish of a gun.

A single stainless steel dental pick costs only a few dollars on eBay.

They get a 5 star rating from me, at only a few dollars they are worth every cent.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Troy Troy on Jul 20, 2009

    Like Tom mentioned, Tipton makes them in plastic and you can not have to worry much about damage; great for scraping out around extractors, firing pin holes, forcing cone recesses and so on. Here's the MidwayUSA page:

    They don't last incredibly long if you've got some hard scraping to do, so order a few packs at the same time.

  • Heath Heath on Jul 22, 2009

    I agree, they are worth their weight in gold. Every gun show I've been to has them as well. I think I bought 3 of them for $5.