The obsession with buying and maintaining quality tools starts in early childhood, usually beginning around the time you helped your dad (or mom) change the oil in the car or build a treehouse as they unleashed obscenities and crushed PBRs. “Take care of your tools and they’ll take care of you,” is something a sociopath would say. Me, I’d say my appreciation of quality hand tools has been an evolution of sorts. But I’m tired of buying subpar driver sets and wrenches, only to have them bend, break or rust. And no, I (usually) don’t abuse my kit. So, let’s all grow up a bit and invest in some of the best gunsmithing tools available, shall we?
Invest In The Best Gunsmithing Tools Available
As a minor point of order, most of the below-listed suggestions are not dedicated gunsmithing tools – they are simply excellent hand tools that are most commonly used for weapon maintenance and upgrades. So when you aren’t switching barrels or swapping handguards, go ahead and use them to assemble that IKEA crib that will last you one to three seasons. These top tools are obvious picks – torque wrenches/drivers, brass punches, a solid vise – and shouldn’t need any explanations. Instead, let’s go through some guidance on how to protect your new, and costly, investments.
I. No one gets to borrow your tools. No one.
Want to know why this rule gets top billing? Because I’m the guy who borrows your tools and doesn’t return them or uses them improperly. I don’t care if your wife, brother, a Spanish General or Supreme Court Justice begs to borrow your new parallel punch set. Just. Say. No.
II. Buy a good toolbox (and use it)
Your new gunsmithing tools deserve an organized home. Linking my addiction to Pelican Cases and hand tools, I use the Pelican Tool Chest for portability. If you have the room for a multi-drawer standup tool chest and a workshop to go with it, head in that direction.
III. Keep your tools clean
I just dug up a pair of channel locks that had been buried (lost) on my range for three years. That’s no way to treat nice things. Wipe your tools down with a light coat of oil to prevent rust and corrosion. Obviously, be careful with electronics and precision instruments.
IV. Right Tool, Right Job
I am the biggest violator of this rule. Why stop what you’re doing to find a pry bar, just use the end of the hex wrench. Or how about a hammer/pliers combo? Also, even if you use the right tool, see rule one for additional guidance.
V. Metric versus Standard
If you don’t want stripped out screw heads, make sure to use the correct size wrench for your application. It may take longer, but if you don’t know the size of a hex bolt, check the part manufacturer’s site. Lastly, you can always use a micrometer or digital calipers (these probably should be on the list) to precisely measure edge to edge inside the head.
Gunsmithing Tools – Last thoughts:
As a wrap up, I thought we should touch on a topic that has nothing to do with gunsmithing tools: training and experience. When tinkering with firearms, it’s very easy to get in over your head and either ruin an expensive gun or create a dangerous situation. If you feel like you are crossing your experience boundaries, stop, reassess and seek the advice of a competent gunsmith. There are some projects that we all need to outsource and are worth spending a little extra money. Besides, any good gunsmith will have quality tools, and no he won’t let you borrow them.
Thanks for reading. Be safe and we’ll see you here on the blog.
Precision Instruments Torque Wrench
Setting the tool requires only fingertip force since the adjustment mechanism is not under load. There is no need to ‘work in’ a C series torque wrench before using it the first time. Split-Beam Click Wrenches overcome many of the problems associated with micrometer-style clock wrenches in abusive environments.
- Nickel/Chrome finish with ergonomic grip
- Tool does not have to be ‘turned down’ after use, providing convenience. The length also provides the needed reach for those-hard-to-get-at places.
- Torque setting locks on adjustable wrenches for repetitive applications
- Adjustment knob eliminates spring tension, so setting torque on adjustable wrenches is fast and easy
Mayhew Tools Brass Drift Punch Set
The Mayhew 67003 Brass Drift Punch Set, 5 piece comes in a new anti slip pouch. This set contains a 1/4 Inch drift punch, 3/8- drift punch, 1/2 Inch drift punch, 5/8 drift punch, 3/4 Inch drift punch. Mayhew stands for quality, dependability, and confidence. When the caliber of the tools is just as important as the skills of the professionals employed, businesses trust Mayhew to get the job done. Since 1856, our punches, chisels, and pry bars have been the go-to tools for OEMs and professional mechanics throughout the country. And while our company has grown to meet the needs of the professional market, as well as those of the do-it-yourself automotive enthusiast, our focus has never changed – leveraging our strength to build your business.
- Made in the USA
- Non-Marring/Non-Sparking, Will Not Damage Harder Steel Materials
- includes 1/4 x 4, 3/8 x 6, 1/2 x 7, 5/8 x 8 and 3/4 x 8 Drift Punches
- Comes In An Anti Slip Pouch With Hook And Loop Fastening System With Individual Slots For Convenient Storage
- Popular Uses: Aligning Steel, Car Repairs, Oil, Gas, Chemical, And Mining Applications
Mayhew Pro Pilot Punch Kit
The Mayhew 62254 12 piece pilot punch kit contains: 25000 1/16-inch No.1 pilot punch, 25001 5/64-inch No.2 pilot punch, 25002 3/32-inch No.3 pilot punch, 25003 1/8-inch No.4 pilot punch, 25004 5/32-inch No.5 pilot punch, 25005 3/16-inch No.6 pilot punch, 25006 7/32-inch No.7 pilot punch, 25007 1/4-inch No.8 pilot punch, 25008 5/16-inch No.9 pilot punch, 25009 3/8-inch No.10 pilot punch, 25010 7/16-inch No.11 pilot punch, and 25011 1/2-inch No.12 pilot punch.
Wilton Trademan Vise
The tradesman round channel vise is designed to handle the most demanding clamping applications. Unlike most vises that have a fixed center nut The tradesman round channel vise nut is anchored at the rear which provides straight line pull and even pressure resulting in greater durability. The round channel design also allows for a completely enclosed spindle and nut assembly keeping debris out and lubrication in for a lifetime of smooth operation. For ultimate versatility, the tradesman vise is equipped with main jaws, pipe jaws and a machined anvil work surface.
- Enclosed design keeps lubrication in and contaminants out for a lifetime of smooth operation
- Redesigned spindle assembly improves overall product life and durability
- Precision slide bar eliminates movement in the front jaw regardless of opened distance
- Machined steel serrated jaws with phosphate coating provide increased durability and an extended life of use
- Reversible jaw inserts are serrated on one side for extra grip and smooth on the other to prevent marring on softer surfaces
Knipex Tools Soft Jaw Pliers
Knipex Tools offers the only pipe and connector pliers in the market that offer 25 easy adjustment positions at the push of a button. Once this tool is set it stays in that position without movement until you change it, making it the ideal tool for repetitive work. Model # 81 11 250 has replaceable plastic jaws for soft surfaces with diameters up to 3″. Knipex Pipe and Connector Pliers are available with serrated gripping jaws or soft jaws for sensitive surfaces.
- Replaceable plastic jaws for soft surfaces to prevent metal from being transferred onto the workpiece which prevents corrosion
- Perfect for cannon plugs in aviation and electrical connections in high performance automotive, truck and trailer applications, for soft surfaces with diameters up to 3″
- Offers 25 easy adjustments with the push of a button staying set until you change it making it the ideal tool for repetitive work
- German chrome vanadium electric steel, forged, oil-hardened featuring an ergonomic handle with non-slip plastic coating
- Featuring ergonomic handles with non-slip plastic coating
PB Swiss Tools Dead Blow Mallet
22mm diameter heads, 270mm long, 75mm wide, 181 grams. The PB dead-blow mallets are extremely robust and unique in construction. The tough polyamide heads are anchored securely and can be easily replaced. The heavy duty mallet features both a plastic and steel head. Work with the best! PB Swiss Tools, established in 1878 and operating as a family business, offers a broad range of hand tools for professionals and craftsmen who insist on the highest standards of quality, durability, and precision.
Today, the products are still entirely developed in the Emmental region of Switzerland and are produced with sustainability in mind. PB Swiss Tools has spent over a century perfecting the ideal blend of quality spring steel alloys and precise heat treating processes to develop hand tools of unrivaled quality, unsurpassed precision, toughness, flexibility, and performance. All PB Swiss Tools products come with an unlimited lifetime guarantee.
- The PB dead-blow mallets are extremely robust and unique in construction.
- The tough polyamide heads are anchored securely and can be easily replaced.
- The heavy duty mallet features both a plastic and steel head.
- All PB Swiss Tools are 100% Swiss-made.
- Every PB Swiss Tools product comes with an unlimited lifetime guarantee.
PB Swiss Tools Parallel pin punch set
Set of parallel pin punches in holder. Sizes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8. Powder coated in rainbow colors for easy identification and selection.
- Includes color-coded parallel pin punches size 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 8mm in handy plastic holder.
- Safe: deforms elastically and plastically and do not suddenly break off (no danger of an accident).
- Color-coded set with perfect dimensional accuracy for exceptionally long tool life.
- All PB Swiss Tools are 100% Swiss-made.
- Every PB Swiss Tools product comes with an unlimited lifetime guarantee.
PB Swiss Tools Ballend hex wrench set
Long ballend hex key set with stubby tips and 100° angle for additional knuckle room. Metric sizes 1.5 – 10 mm in holder. Each wrench is a different rainbow color for easy identification and selection. Powder coated.
- Long Ballend Hex Key Set
- With Stubby Tips And 100° Angle For Additional Knuckle Room.
- Metric Sizes 1.5 – 10 mm In Holder.
- Each Wrench Is A Different Rainbow Color For Easy Identification And Selection.
Wiha Torque Control Driver Set
1 to 50 Inch-Pounds, 59 Pieces
Wiha 28589 fifty nine piece torque control set includes TorqueVario driver 15 to 80 inch ounces, 1 to 5 Inch, pounds plus minus 10 percent. TorqueVario driver 5 to 10 inch pounds plus minus 6 percent. TorqueVario driver 10 to 50 inch pounds plus minus 6 percent. Torx bits T5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30. Hex bits 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5 and 6mm. Hex bits .050, 1/16, 5/64, 3/32, 7/64, 1/8, 9/64, 5/32, 3/16, 7/32 and 1/4. Square bits 1, 2, and 3. Pozi bits 1 and 2. Phillips bits 0, 1 and 2. Slotted bits 3/16, 7/32 and 1/4 inch. Sockets 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 7 and 8mm. Sockets 5/32, 3/16, 7/32, 1/4, 9/32, 5/16 and 3/8 inch. Hex square adapter, bit holder and torque setting tool.
- Drivers meet EN/ISO 6798, BS EN 26789 and ASME B107.14M standards
- Certificate of calibration included for each torque driver
- Fast and easy torque adjustments with direct reading window scales
- Set includes 40 precision machined insert bits and 14 sockets
- Wiha quality products made in Germany
- Cushion grips for maximum user comfort, handle sizes proportioned for optimal torque performance
- Set includes forty precision machined insert bits and fourteen sockets
SiteLite Green Laser Professional Boresighter
- Guaranteed superior accuracy with a lifetime warranty
- Fits all calibers from .22 to .50 cal. plus 20 & 12 ga. Shotguns
- Includes the SiteLite BTS program to printout a laser boresighting target for you specific rifle and ammo
- Includes the SRL Scope Leveler to level your crosshairs before boresighting
- Includes a free Muley Crazy DVD featuring a massive 255″ Muley taken by SiteLite President Rich Langner
- Class IIIa Laser Product, less than 5.0mW power output.
Make magazines, frames, lowers, silencers (follow the law, people).
Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer
- Countless hours of high quality printing with the most reliable low-cost 3D printer
- Quickly and easily make your 1st print out of the box with completely pre-assembled printer, included 0.5kg spool of filament and clear setup instructions.Maximum Build Depth (inches): 9 Maximum Build Height (inches): 5.9 Maximum Build Width (inches): 5.5
- Far superior safety compared to competition with fully enclosed design, non-heated build plate, PLA-only printing and 3rd party UL safety approval
- Coming Soon! Compatibility with brand new Dremel Digilab 3D Slicer based on Cura, the industry leading open source 3D printing software and .gcode files so you can use your favorite slicer
- Accompanied by unparalleled local Dremel customer service support and industry’s best 1-year warranty.Extruder temperature: Up to 230°C /397°F
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