7 Best Gun Cleaning Kits: Buyer's Guide [2023]

Date Updated: September 26th 2019
15 min read

As a firearm owner, it's important to regularly clean and maintain your guns to ensure they continue to perform at their best. Neglecting to clean your firearms can lead to poor performance and even malfunction. That's why it's crucial to make cleaning and lubricating your guns a regular part of your routine.

But with so many different cleaning kits available on the market, it can be tough to choose the one that's right for you. That's why we've compiled a list of the top 10 best cleaning kits for firearms. These kits have everything you need to properly care for your guns and keep them in top condition. So if you want to ensure your firearms are always performing at their best, be sure to check out our top picks for the best cleaning kits.

Best Cleaning Kit For convenience

Hoppe's BoreSnake Rifle Soft-Sided Rifle Cleaning Kit
Hoppe's BoreSnake Rifle Soft-Sided Rifle Cleaning Kit
  • Ultralight, compact and portable
  • Cheaper than other rifle cleaning solutions
  • One stop shop for rifle cleaning
  • Handgun owners will need a different cleaning kit

The BoreSnake rifle cleaning kit from Hoppes is a great kit from a company with a great reputation in the firearm cleaning market, especially with their famous #9 solvent and lubricating oil. With weather guard cloths and the boresnake itself, you get a pulling tool included and it all comes together in an organized soft-sided carrying case. Being so small it is easy to take the boresnake to the range, or just have an extra one stuffed in a side pouch.

The Hoppe's BoreSnake Rifle kit is very basic and simple, which many people will appreciate. The bore snake is an easy pick for those who value convenience, best bang for there buck and clean rifles. The Bore snake is claimed to be the fastest bore cleaner in the world, and its not hard to see why. The bore snake is great for all kinds of rifles, from your .22 to your precision rifle, since its almost impossible to damage the bore with the bore snake. Even if you have other guns you want to clean, this is still a great option to pair with a more robust cleaning kit.

The Everything You Will Need Cleaning Kit

Otis Elite Gun Cleaning Kit
USA Made
Otis Elite Gun Cleaning Kit
  • Professional grade cleaning kit for all gun owners
  • Includes more than 3 dozen cleaning tools
  • Mobile cleaning case
  • Comes with CLP, all-in-one cleaner, lubricant and protectant
  • Made in the USA
  • More expensive than other kits, but well worth it

For those of you who own more than one gun, or a multitude of different calibers, the Otis Elite Gun Cleaning Kit is definitely a viable option. This cleaning kit can be used on pistols, rifles, shotguns and muzzleloaders. From your most popular handgun calibers like the 9mm, .44/.45 to your popular rifle calibers like the .223 and .308 this cleaning kit has it all. Equipped with 16 bronze bore brushes with sizes marked on the brush stem, an array of aircraft grade Memory-Flex cables and thread connectors, 6 brushes, patches, lens sprays and much much more.

Made in the USA This is a very high quality, professional gun cleaning kit that includes everything you would need to keep whatever firearms you have, clean and ready at any moments notice.

Notable Mention Gun Cleaning Kit

Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box
USA Made
Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box
  • Great for people with many guns/calibers
  • Comes in a nice toolbox style carrying case
  • Has a built in holder for a rifle
  • Made in the USA
  • Doesn't have jags
  • A little on the pricy side
  • Mostly made of plastic

The Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box made its way on the list, since it is a great universal gun cleaning kit. Being able to Clean most rifles, pistols, shotguns and inline muzzleloaders, with 100% cotton 2" & 3" patches, 3 Slotted tips & 2 patch savers. The gun cleaning kit also comes with 4 caliber specific ripcords for quick bore snake like Cleaning in the field, and 16 brushes for all your popular rifle and handgun calibers. Not to mention, it also has a 5.56mm B.O.N.E tool that is used to clean the bolt carrier and firing pin at once for the tough to remove carbon build up.

If you have multiple firearms, like to keep your cleaning equipment organized, and don't mind spending a little more for USA made products this kit is for you. If you like to clean with jags and rods, you will have to purchase those separately since the cleaning kit does not include those. With the toolbox it comes with, it makes it easy to combine all your cleaning tools together, if you do have extra equipment laying around.

Great Price Gun Cleaning Kit

Ruger Universal Handgun Cleaning Kit
Ruger Universal Handgun Cleaning Kit
  • Great for people with handguns
  • Comes in a small carrying case
  • Quality jags, brushes and tools
  • Rifle owners will need a different kit

The Ruger Universal Handgun Cleaning Kit made its way on the list for its versatility of handgun calibers. This gun cleaning kit Includes a Cleaning rod, jags, Slotted tip/adapter, bore brushes, bore swabs, and a muzzle guard. The rods and all components are made of a quality brass, so your bore will not get damaged when cleaning. If you own a handgun caliber 380ACP, 357 Magnum, 38 special, 9mm, 10mm, 40, 44, 45 this cleaning kit will work for you.

The case itself has a removable tray that allows you to store small accessories underneath, or takdown pins from your gun when you are cleaning. With 15 Cleaning pieces and 20 cotton Cleaning patches this is a great starter cleaning kit for just about anyone.

Best Universal Gun Cleaning Kit

Gloryfire Universal Gun Cleaning Kit
Gloryfire Universal Gun Cleaning Kit
  • Can clean any gun you own
  • Comes with a variety of tools to keep your guns spotless
  • All tools are made of brass
  • All tools are labeled (NEW!)
  • Cannot put solvents and other cleaning equipment in same case

The Gloryfire Universal Gun Cleaning Kit is an all round great cleaning kit. If you own a handgun, rifle, shotgun or all the above you can clean all your guns from stock to muzzle. The Gloryfire gun cleaning kit comes with a shocking grand total 50+ tools to clean with. Some of those tools include solid brass rods, utility brass brushes, bronze wire brushes, jags, loops and much more. This universal gun cleaning kit also comes with a place to keep cleaning patches, and 2 bottles for cleaning solvents, so it could easily be brought to the range for emergency gun cleaning.

With such a affordable price you cannot go wrong with the Glorefire gun cleaning kit, and no need to buy another kit when you decide to get another gun or two. If you are looking for a quality gun cleaning kit that can be used for multiple calibers, then this kit is for you.

Best Stationary Gun Cleaning Kit

Allen Ultimate Gun Cleaning Kit
Allen Ultimate Gun Cleaning Kit
  • Comes with all the tools you may need to clean a gun
  • Great for all types of firearms (rifles, pistols, and shotguns)
  • Plenty of patches and array of brushes and tools
  • Extra space for anything else you use to clean with
  • Does not include solvent or oil
  • The rod may be too thick to clean a .22

Yes we do have another multi gun cleaning kit listed, but the Allen Ultimate is not just your next universal gun cleaning kit. The Allen Ultimate cleaning kit also comes with a large toolbox, so you can aggregate all of you tools into one organized cleaning toolbox. This cleaning kit features 65 pieces and is of professional quality, with brass constructed rods and quality bronze brushes for just about any caliber you may own. Reasonably priced, this professional gun cleaning kit may be a better option than the Gloryfire if you have other cleaning or smithing equipment you like to store together, such as solvents, small mats, take down tools, BCG cleaning tools etc. All in all not many complaints about this professional grade gun cleaning kit, and is a viable option for people just getting started with firearms or seasoned gun owners.

Additional Cleaning Items

HOPPE'S No. 9 Gun Cleaning Patch.38-.45 Caliber/.410-20-Guage (500 Pack)

It's a good idea to have a supply of cleaning patches on hand, as many cleaning kits do not include them and they will eventually be necessary for proper maintenance of your firearms. Hoppes cleaning patches are a reliable option, as they can be used with a variety of barrel sizes, including those of 9mm pistols and 20 gauge shotguns. Patches are truly a necessity for any cleaning kit.

Ballistol Cleaner/Lubricator

When it comes to cleaning your guns you will also need a cleaning and lubricating solvent. There are a few choices on the market, and everyone has there go to solvent that they either grew up with or used in the military. For us we love simplicity so we go with Ballistol. Ballistol is an all in one cleaner, so that means it cleans, lubes, and preserves your gun with just one solvent spray. Ballistol has been used by us for year, so we declare it here as the bets all round cleaning solvent. Of course there are others that can perform exceptionally well, such as Hoppes and CLP.

Notable Mention Handgun Cleaning Kit

Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Cleaning Kit
Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Cleaning Kit

The Real Avid Gun Cleaning Kit, another notable mention, one of the best pistol cleaning kits, and most certainly is one of most mobile and perfect if you only have handguns. Being able to clean all the popular handgun calibers, having a reasonable price and equipped with quality tools, brushes and rods makes this one of the best handgun cleaning kits on the market. And since the Avid cleaning kit is on the smaller side its perfect if you like to bring cleaning tools to the range, or have spare tools in your range bag. This kit is best for Glock's or any other striker fire pistol you come across, being able to clean roughly all models.

Gun Cleaning Kit Buyers Guide

When purchasing a gun cleaning kit, there are a few things to keep an eye out for. The first thing we look at are the tools that are comprised of the kit.

  • Rods

    A Cleaning rod is a tool that can be used to clean the inside of the barrel, they usually come in different sizes to fit different calibers, and made of different materials, such as plastic, brass, or carbon fiber. Any good cleaning kit should come with at least one cleaning rod. The rods should be made of something that is softer than the steel of the barrel, if it is not softer you can damage the barrel of your gun.

  • Jag & Loop

    A jag is a small pointed attachment for the cleaning rod, that is used to hold a patch in place while you push it through the barrel or the gun. Similar to rods, Jags should also be made of a softer metal or plastic. Jags are not necessary if the kit comes with loops, which do a similar thing but instead you thread the patch through the "loop" of the tool. We prefer loops, but both work just fine.

  • brass brushes

    Most kits will also come with an assortment of brushes, usually brass. The brushes are used to get into tight spots on the internals of the gun to remove tough carbon fowling. Be careful not to get stainless steel brushes since those can scratch your firearm, stick to brass or bronze. These brushes are great for, cleaning the extractor, inner rail, or even your BTC if you are cleaning your ar-15 or ar-10;

  • Cotton Mops

    Mops are the cotton tipped attachments, and should only be used after the cleaning process. After you have cleaned the bore of the gun, and ran patches through until they are white is the only time to use cotton mops. Extremely difficult to clean once they are dirty, make sure you run them only through a clean barrel. What most people use mops for, is to lightly lubricate your barrel with your select lubricating choice, done correctly your mops will always be white.

  • Patches

    Patches sound just like what they are, patches of material used to push through the barrel of your firearm with a loop or a jag. These are the primary cleaning component, and you will likely go through many patches when you are cleaning. We usually run patches through the barrel until they start to come out clean.

  • Bore Snake

    The bore snake is one of our favorite ways to clean a rifle. Simple to use, all it is, is a long a nylon/polyester rope with imbedded brussels that clean your barrel as you pull it through. It is hard to mess up the cleaning process with a bore snake. If you have a precision rifle, it is also great since it does not change the copper build up dramatically, keeping your internal ballistics relatively unchanged.

  • Cost

    When purchasing a gun cleaning kit, make sure the tools are the right size for your calibers at home. The prices of gun cleaning kits usually depend on the amount of attachments and pieces, the quality of the overall product, and where it was manufactured. Cheap gun cleaning kits usually fall apart after a few uses, the brush bristles will start to fall out, when the cleaning rods screw together they are not flush, things are not labeled, etc.

    Just like anything else you get what you pay for, but that does not mean you have to go out and buy the best cleaning kit on the market, there are many great options for less then 40 dollars, that will also last you a good while. After a while on any gun cleaning kit you will have to start replacing parts and pieces, which is one reason we like the Allen Ultimate Gun Cleaning Kit. With the toolbox style cleaning kits, after you start replacing pieces its easy to organize your collection of tools and parts for cleaning you have accumulated.

Video Walk through

If you are needing a walk through on a universal gun cleaning kit, take a look at the video below. Iridium242 does a great job of explaining each step and taking us through the cleaning process, using the tools provided in the gun cleaning kit. The gun cleaning kit used below is very similar to the Gloryfire pistol case we listed above.

Gun Cleaning Kit FAQ

Q: How to tell if a cleaning kit will work for my guns?

Once you have found a kit you like, the description will tell you what calibers the gun cleaning kit fits. Many times you will not see your caliber on the kit but that does not mean it will not work with your firearm. For example if you have a .380 and the kit is for 9mm, it will still work since those two calibers have the same diameter. This is not always the case, but something to look for.

Q: Do I need a gun cleaning kit?

Some pistols come with a some cleaning supplies, such as a single rod with a brush attachment in Glock's case. But that may also not be all you need. At a minimum you should be removing the fowling and carbon build up in your barrel, so at the very least having a rod with a brass brush attachment could help you a lot. To go with that you will definitely need patches and a cleaning solvent for your firearms.

Q: Will the cleaning rod scratch my barrel?

We get a lot of questions about potentially damaging the barrel wit a cleaning rod or brushes, and the answer is as long as you purchase rods and brushes with a softer metal than the barrel itself it can't damage your barrel. The materials you want to look for are brass or bronze, since those metals are copper alloys with higher zinc levels. Those metals are harder than copper and lead, but softer than steele, so it removes copper/lead build up but does not damage the barrel of your gun.

Final Thoughts

With so many gun cleaning options on the market, it can be difficult to find one that fits your needs, but extremely necessary to keep your guns clean and reliable for when they are needed. If you are still having trouble finding exactly what you need, or concerned if a gun cleaning kit will fit your calibers at home you can also try out our own custom gun cleaning kit quiz that will match you with exactly what you have at home, check that out here. Tell us what you use by leaving a comment below.

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