Best AR-15 Armorer’s Wrenches – 2020 Ultimate Review

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Working on your AR-15 build means having the best tools on-hand.

For those of you who have experienced what a poor-quality armorer’s tool can do to your gun and hands, it’s a no-brainer to opt for a dependable and safe tool every time.

In this article, we will look at what an armorer’s wrench is used for, what to look for when selecting a wrench, and recommend some of the best wrenches for your AR-15.

Comparison of the Best AR-15 Armorer's Wrenches

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Brownells AR-15 Armorer's Wrench

  • Double Sided Armorer's Wrench With All Tools
  • Carbine Buttstock Wrench Features 4 Teeth
  • Thicker and Longer Teeth Than Other Wrenches
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Magpul Armorer's Wrench – AR15/M4

  • Grip Enhancing Phosphate Finish
  • Convenient Bottle Opener for Refreshments
  • USGI Torque Spec References
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Tapco Weapons Accessories AR-15/M16 Armorer's Tool

  • Evenly Distributed Tools for Easy Use
  • Zig-Zag Textured Handle for Better Grip
  • Aesthetically Pleasing Finish
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Precision Reflex - AR-15 Barrel Nut Wrench

  • Compact Size. Easy to Carry and Store
  • Won't Flex Under Pressure Despite its Size
  • Include Multiple Inch Drive Cutouts
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Brownells AR-15/M16 Combination Wrench

  • Exact Replica of the Original Military Design
  • Rugged and Durable Construction
  • Works With All AR Models
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Rock River Arms - M4 Stock Wrench

  • Steel-Made Dual Function Wrench
  • Appropriately Priced for Low Budget Users
  • Comfortable Rubber Coated Handle
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What You Can Do With an Armorer’s Wrench

An AR-15 armorer’s wrench has a specific purpose and function, which is often misunderstood.

Since many AR-15 owners may never disassemble or assemble their gun beyond basic field stripping, they will be able to do most of the work without ever needing an armorer’s wrench.

If you are planning to build a rifle that does not include an already assembled upper, you will need a good armorer’s wrench for the job.

When working on a firearm, having the right tools for the job is essential, and an armorer’s wrench is probably the most critical of these tools. An armorer’s wrench can be a multipurpose tool or be good at a single function.

The most common uses for an armorer’s wrench are to remove or install a muzzle device, remove or tighten a buffer tube castle nut, tighten or loosen a barrel nut or free-float handguard ring.

What to Look For in an Armorer’s Wrench

Many armorer’s wrenches are either basic, single-purpose tools or will perform nearly all major assembly tasks. However, a good wrench will give you multipurpose use.

Price

A good wrench doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but remember that a cheap wrench is a single-purpose tool. Although an expensive wrench may cost you more, it will perform all tasks.

Build Quality

For a wrench, the quality matters a lot, since everything should be perfectly aligned and the wrench should be able to take on all sorts of punishment without warping or getting damaged.

Easy to Store

The wrench has to be easy to store when not in use. It means that the shape or design should be suitable for fitting into boxes or tool sets.

Safety

Many wrenches aren't ergonomic, which leads to injuries and discomfort when we use them, so keep this factor in mind when selecting your wrench.

Often, wrenches can leave marks or scuffs on the metal or powder-coating of the gun, so choose an appropriate one.

Quick Take - Best AR-15 Armorer's Wrenches

These are our recommendations for the best armorer's wrenches for the AR-15 :

  1. Smith Enterprise AR-15/M16 Armorer's Wrench 
  2. Brownells AR-15 Armorer's Wrench
  3. Magpul Armorer's Wrench – AR15/M4

Review of the Best AR-15 Armorer’s Wrenches

The following is a list of the eight best AR-15 armorer’s wrenches currently on the market. Before you choose the best one for you, be sure to review each one, taking note of their own features and characteristics. If you find one that stands out as the best one, you know it will be a win,ning pick. 

Now that you know what to look for when choosing the right armorer’s wrench for an AR15, it's time to check out our top picks. We’ve rounded up the most durable, reliable and functional wrenches for you, so check them out. Let’s start off with the first wrench on our list:

Pros

  • Durable
  • Easy to use
  • Solid construction

Cons

  • Too large to install a flash hider without damaging the crush washer

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users say this wrench was completely sturdy and did a good job tightening up all kinds of nuts and bolts. One user said he has always used this for the purpose of installing his own accessories. He was able to easily tighten things up and made sure they stayed secure in the long run. Users were satisfied with the overall durability and construction.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This wrench is made from high-quality stainless steel with an added black oxidized finish to boot. So it’s perhaps one of the most durable of its kind on the list. That’s a good sign if you want something that will last you a long time, especially when you just want to keep a wrench like this around for years or even decades. If you want something that is not only durable but can be perfect for tightening up nuts and bolts (and everything in-between), this wrench might be the perfect tool for you.

This heavy-duty wrench is compatible with encapsulated or peg-style barrel nuts for easy installation and removal of all barrels up to 1¼" diameter. It has an extra-long handle with smooth, contoured edges for comfortable use.

It doesn’t slip off and is thick and strong enough to handle the torque. It includes ½" square drive opening for torque wrench application; 5/8" and ¾" slots fit the receiver extensions and the A1/A2 flash suppressors.

Who Will Use This Most 

This wrench would be perfect for DIY AR-15 owners who are comfortable with installing their own accessories. But gunsmiths can use it to help install some complex accessories for their customers, too. No matter what you do or your level of gunsmithing, this wrench is quite easy to use for pretty much any installation or maintenance project.

Bottom Line

The Smith Enterprises AR-15/M-16 Armorer’s Wrench will be a great tool to have for your workbench. So whether you are just doing a simple install of an accessory or are using it for gunsmithing purposes, this wrench will give you years of reliable and dedicated service, no matter how often you use it. 

This versatile and durable armorer’s wrench will last a lifetime and get the job done. Keep in mind that the wrench is thicker than the standard A2 "birdcage" flash hider, and if mounted with a crush washer, it won't fit properly.

Pros

  • Durable
  • It won’t slip off
  • Solid construction

Cons

  • Not as comfortable as some other wrenches

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users say this wrench was perfect for many DIY projects, especially those who were using it to install such accessories like muzzle brakes and Picatinny rail accessories. They said the wrench had all kinds of heads available for different sizes, thus, making it super easy to use. One user, who is a gunsmith, says he calls it the “Swiss Army Knife” of armorer’s wrenches because he has every size imaginable at his disposal.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This wrench has several heads you can use for just about any project. Each is at a different size, so you won’t have any guesswork to deal with or have to figure out which wrench you need to use in order to get the job done. If you are looking for a wrench that will literally save you time, you’ll know that this could be the wrench you’ll want to invest in. It’s a whole lot better than investing in multiple wrenches. Why get many when you can get it all for the price of one?

This AR-15 armorer's wrench is compatible with encapsulated or peg-style barrel nuts and has a long handle which ends with a carbine buttstock wrench.

The four teeth on the buttstock wrench make removal and installation of an M4-style receiver extension nut easy. It is both functional and simple in design, and does its job well.

The wrench includes a 1/2" square drive opening for torque wrench application and 5/8" and 3/4" slots to fit A2 receiver extensions and flash suppressors.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will be an ideal wrench if you are intending on using it for installation purposes or for gunsmithing projects. It will be mostly used by those who would rather have an all-in-one wrench handy rather than having multiple wrenches and constantly figuring out which one is best for each project. If you want to whittle your wrench options down to one, this should be a wrench worth considering.

Bottom Line

The Brownell’s AR-15 Armorer’s Wrench is perhaps one of the best multi-purpose wrenches on the market. Plus, you have so many sizes and measurements you can work with, so it will eliminate all the guesswork. If you need a tool that will stand out as a go-to for all your AR-15 maintenance and installation needs, you’d be hard-pressed to find something like this anywhere else. 

This stout little wrench won’t slip off and damage your weapon and is tough. It is worth buying and will not disappoint you.

Pros

  • Excellent quality
  • Ergonomic design
  • Bottle opener included
  • Large handle for easy usage

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers loved this wrench for a few good reasons. One is that it’s not too large nor too small. They said it’s the one wrench they could take anywhere and make on-the-fly adjustments when needed. Second, they said the construction was solid and pretty much indestructible. So they have confidence in knowing the wrench will last them a long time.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This wrench is at the perfect size to take with you wherever you go. So it might come in handy at the range if you have to make some quick adjustments or upgrades. Furthermore, it looks like a wrench you can use for multiple purposes like home improvement or automotive projects. So if you fancy yourself a fan of multi-purpose wrenches, this just might be the one you’re exactly looking for.

Like most Magpul products, this armorer’s wrench is heavy-duty and highly functional.

The wrench can engage both stock and pin-style barrel nuts as well as standard-sized flash hiders. You can use it to install and remove rifle receiver extensions and carbine castle nuts.

The extended teeth are used with ASAP plates and it feature two hammer faces. The wrench works with 1/2" torque and once you’ve completed your build, use the built-in bottle-opener for a nice cold one.

It’s big and thick, giving great leverage without biting your hands. It is made in the U.S.A. and features a solid steel construction with grip-enhancing phosphate finish.

The enclosed end means it’s a tiny bit slower than an open-ended buttstock wrench, but the quality of engagement seems worth the reduced productivity.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will definitely be a wrench you can use for the sake of making quick adjustments and installations. So if you suddenly want to switch scopes with another one because it’s the only extra scope lying around (and has yet to be used), this wrench will allow you to make quick switches. Take this wrench with you to the range or out into the field and you’ll never feel ill-prepared again. 

Bottom Line

The Magpul AR-15/M16 Armorer’s Wrench might be the tool you can take with you just about anywhere you please. If not, you can always keep it home and use it whenever you have to make some kind of changes to your AR-15. It has a simple design and will be easy to use for any project that requires the use of a wrench.

If you have the budget, this is the armorer’s wrench to shell out for, as it makes most other wrenches pale in comparison. It will last a lifetime and is so comfortable and intuitive to use that you will never go for any other wrench again.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Comfortable to use
  • Does it all in one package

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users were happy with the simple design of this wrench. Not to mention, they were quite happy with the ease of use. They used this for removing even the most oddly-shaped nuts and bolts that were attached to buttstocks and all kinds of accessories. Even gunsmiths have clamored about this wrench, saying this is a must-have for any gunsmith, whether just starting out or having been in the game for a while. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Once again, we look at an all-in-one wrench that can be used for not just loosening or tightening any nut or bolt, but there are different wrench heads you can use for those types of small parts that are shaped differently. So if you need to remove a complex nut or bolt, you can make sure you have a wrench for that. Other than that, the design is straightforward and the construction is pretty durable. All and all, you have a pretty good multi-shaped wrench that can get even the most complex project done for you.

This wrench can do it all. It combines, in one small package, a barrel nut wrench, a muzzle device wrench, a spanner wrench, a forearm wrench, a flat tip screwdriver, an A2 tube remover, a receptacle for ½" drive/torque wrench, and a bottle-opener.

It gives plenty of leverage from its long handle for buttstock and barrel removal or installation. You can even use the flat face on one of the sides as a hammer.

It is made from heat-treated alloy steel and the matte, olive drab, powder-coat finish prevents oxidation and helps you get a firm grip.

Who Will Use This Most 

This would definitely be the kind of wrench a gunsmith can depend on for so many projects (like installing complex accessories). But don’t discount it as useless if you are a DIY kind of user. If you plan on making some upgrades to your AR-15 rifle (or any AR-15 rifle that belongs to a customer, if you are a gunsmith), this could be the one tool you can depend on if you want something that deals with any shapes besides the usual round shapes you see on nuts, bolts, and everything else. 

Bottom Line

The Tapco Weapons Accessories AR-15/M16 Armorer’s Tool is a tool that truly steps up to the plate when you want to remove those pesky, complex small pieces that even normal wrenches can’t seem to remove. It might not just be for gunsmithing purposes. It can come quite in handy for any non-firearm-related projects, too. For a wrench that can stand out as a wild card for the best overall in the not-so-distant future, this could be the wrench you can invest in without any shame or worry. 

It is the perfect tool for the AR enthusiast who wants to buy one tool that performs all the necessary functions of a toolkit for assembling the AR-15. It lasts a long time and can handle any task.

Pros

  • Good quality
  • Large handle for easy usage

Cons

  • Performs only a single function

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, a lot of new users were impressed with this armorer’s wrench. For one, they were impressed with the wrench’s ability to easily tighten and loosen the small parts (even the oddly-shaped ones) with so much torque. One user said since purchasing this wrench, it made a lot of his DIY projects a lot easier. One of his recent projects was installing a new buttstock onto his rifle. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Once again, this wrench has some additional heads you can use that can fit the square-shaped small parts so you can loosen or tighten them up. As a result, it makes DIY and gunsmithing projects so much easier. The wrench is made from high-quality Parkerized steel, thus making it one of the most durable wrenches available on the market. It’s a rough, tough tool that you’d be a fool to pass up on if you need a much-needed addition to the workstation. 

Who Will Use This Most 

This would be a good wrench for those starting out with DIY projects. If you are starting out with gunsmithing, this might be the only wrench you need for whatever project you are working on. So if you want something that will give you potential use for years or even decades down the road, this could be the wrench that will stand out. 

Bottom Line

The Arrington Accuracy Works Armorer’s Wrench is the real deal when it comes to installing or uninstalling any accessory on your AR-15. Plus, it’s a solid-looking unit that will last you a long time no matter how often you upgrade or maintain your rifle. Rest assured, it doesn’t wear or tear easily like some low-quality wrenches. But for the price it’s going for, the quality is well-worth it. 

This heavy-duty wrench is designed to enable easy removal and installation of the proprietary barrel nut on the Colt LE6940 Advanced Law Enforcement Carbine (ALEC).

It has a large, 3/8" thick handle with a ½" square cutout for a torque wrench or breaker bar, as well as a notch for removing the ALEC flash suppressor.

Bottom Line

Get this wrench if you have to assemble a Colt ALEC rifle, but if you are seeking a wrench that works with just an AR-15, you should look elsewhere.

Pros

  • Useful for many applications
  • Super-thick steel won’t flex
  • Heavy, solid construction will last for a very long time
  • Hole between pins help when aligning gas tubes properly
  • 10” long handle provides exceptional convenience and ease of use

Cons

  • Does not have an open end

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new users said this wrench easily gives them a great amount of leverage and torque. So it makes removing complicated nuts and bolts seem effortless. They were also happy with the fact that this wrench is durable and doesn’t do any kind of scuffing or damage to the rifle while doing maintenance and installation projects

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This is a wrench that is hardcore and won’t bend easily. And that’s because it’s made from high-quality steel that makes the wrench impossible to wear down or break. Sure enough, it does a good job of providing you with extra leverage and torque while removing or tightening any nuts, bolts, and anything in-between. Simply put, it’s the kind of tool that will work to your advantage when you’re working on a project where no regular wrench can stand a chance. 

Made of quality materials, you can expect to enjoy this leverage for a long time to come. Cut from 3/8” thick steel, you won’t experience any flexing under intense pressure or while transferring the torque evenly to the nut. This particular model also has a built-in 10” long handle, which means it’s quickly adaptable and convenient in a variety of applications. There are also additional holes between the pins to help with properly aligning the gas tubes.

Because of these high-quality specifications, you’ll have the benefit of less strain and that, in turn, means you won’t experience any damage to the teeth at all. When it comes to building and maintaining your gear, you’ll want tools that not only get the job done, but get it done easily and reliably. This Precision Reflex, Inc. AR-15 Barrel Nut Wrench is a product you’ll be happy to call on time and again.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will mostly be used by DIY users. Especially those who are looking for a wrench that will make tightening and untightening seem like a walk in the park. If you need something that can handle a lot of torque, you best believe this is the wrench that will get any heavy-duty job done. Once you start using this wrench, you’ll know for sure that it’s worth every penny.

Bottom Line

If you are serious about getting a wrench that will deliver all kinds of torquing power, you’ll know the Precision Reflex AR-15/M16 Armorer’s Wrench is the best match for you. It doesn’t matter if you are a novice gunsmith or someone who is good at DIY projects with an AR-15, this is the wrench you’ll never get tired of using once you get started.

For a wide range of applications, this is one tool that fits almost all needs, is made of incredibly high-quality steel and craftsmanship, and includes ease-of-use features like a long handle. Treat yourself and make builds and repairs easier!

Pros

  • Small, easy to store
  • Unbeatable durability
  • Useful for a ton of applications
  • Often requires very little torque
  • A true classic up to decades-old military specifications

Cons

  • No special features, just a solid classic

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users were pretty intrigued by the design. But nonetheless, it was good enough for them to get a good handle on it while they managed to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts. They said that using this made it a lot easier for installation and maintenance projects. Furthermore, it gave them a little bit more leverage than expected. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This wrench is not even shaped like a regular-style wrench. It’s roughly the same size as a credit card. That alone makes it a really portable tool you can take with you in case you need to make some kind of on-the-fly adjustments. So if you are at the range or out in the field and things seem out of alignment, you can make those much-needed adjustments by whipping out this puppy and doing them at the snap of a finger. 

The Brownells AR-15 or M16 Combination Wrench is an exact duplicate of a classic which is made for factory and military purposes and is arguably a must-have for any garage, regardless of what guns you own. An icon of quick and easy use in a small package, it’s versatile and allows for many fast, on-the-fly adjustments. With one single tool, you can remove barrel nuts, remove and install old or new flash suppressors, remove and install lower receiver extensions, and perform many more tasks.

Made entirely of blued steel, it is a quarter-inch thick and won’t flex under pressure, but it’s also feature-packed into a tight little five-inch long and two-inch wide body. This makes it a very low-footprint tool that’s easy to always have on-hand. There’s a reason this is a duplicate of a tool that’s been used by the military for decades—a small, thick design ensures it won’t break, no matter what you throw at it, and its small size improves the working radius. Often, you will find that you don’t even need to torque your wrench very hard but can easily perform at 70-foot/pounds and higher, with no problem.

With today’s constantly-changing hardware, there are some applications where this classic tool won’t be appropriate, but it is overwhelmingly useful for many functions. Do yourself a favor and experience the military classic.

Who Will Use This Most 

This wrench is for those who are looking for maximum portability. If you don’t want to leave home without it, this is the kind of wrench you can rely on. It might just be small enough to fit in a regular wallet (if you have such space). It might be an unusual looking wrench, but it can get the work done at home or on the road. 

Bottom Line

The Brownells AR-15/M16 Combination Wrench is small, portable, and can provide you with a good amount of torque wherever you go. If you need to add on a new part or make quick adjustments, this wrench is perhaps the best one you can use given its really interesting design. Plus, it can fit inside your pocket and is ready to go in a flash.

This combination wrench is a military classic capable of handling massive torque and applying itself to a wide range of uses While it doesn’t have modern features or bells and whistles, classics don’t need them when they work this well.

Pros

  • Incredible value
  • Rubber grip helps provide stability, control, and comfort
  • Handle features a cutout for the receiver extension tube so you don’t lose it
  • A solid and durable all-steel construction ensures reliable use for years to come

Cons

  • Limited functionality

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were quite satisfied with the wrench. Obviously, they loved the straightforward design for all kinds of maintenance and installation projects. They were happy with the ease of use, saying they get a good amount of torque out of it. One user said he finds this to be much better than any standard wrench he has used in the past for AR-15 installation projects.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This wrench is perhaps one of the best you can use for the purpose of buttstock installation or removal. There are two types of stocks you can install: A1 or A2. This wrench is compatible with both types. So if you want to make installing a buttstock look effortless, this is the kind of wrench that will definitely be your best friend. Plus, it’s flat and straight in terms of design. But surprisingly enough (or unsurprisingly) it doesn’t bend or break. 

The Rock River Arms M4 Stock Wrench is one heck of a steal, as the most affordable (if specialized) wrench on our list. You’d think such a low price-point would mean you don’t get much, but you’d be dead wrong. In fact, this wrench offers a lot of great features that we love.

A complete steel, dual-function wrench, you’ll easily be able to remove your old extension tube to install a new A4 stock. The spanner has three lugs to fit the newer A4-style castle nut. While it does its job exceptionally well, featuring an all-steel construction that’s durable and rugged and holds well by itself, Rock River Arms went further. You’ll get a comfortable, rubber-coated handle which not only feels better on the hands but improves grip. This is perfect if you can’t find your gloves or don’t own a pair, and find yourself struggling.

But what we really love is such a simple, but brilliant, feature—the handle has a cutout which fits the receiver extension tube. When you’re working and have all of your parts laid out, things can get messy and disorganized very quickly, and there’s nothing worse than having to hunt for a part you just had in your hand ten seconds ago. This simple feature seems like a no-brainer, but you’ll only get it with this surprisingly affordable gem of a wrench.

Who Will Use This Most 

This will be a great starter wrench for those starting out with a DIY project (like installing or replacing stocks). So if you want something that will be a simple-to-use tool and is completely newbie-friendly, this wrench will be worth giving a closer look. It’s pretty much the wrench you’ll need for all your buttstock installation projects. 

Bottom Line

The Rock River Arms AR-15 M4 Stock Wrench is the one tool that will make stock installation simple. With its durable construction and flat design, it will definitely give you a little bit more torque than what you need for tightening and loosening nuts and bolts. It’s durable, easy to use, and reliable for all kinds of DIY users.

While it’s not an all-in-one tool, this niche wrench will give you great durability, comfort, performance, and innovation, all at a price that’s almost unfair to the manufacturer. Don’t miss it!

Benefits of Buying a Quality Armorer’s Wrench

An armorer’s wrench can be beneficial to you in so many ways. Should you invest in one, it will serve you well in the long run. Here are a few benefits you can enjoy:

Easy Tightening

You can adjust it or use a certain wrench head that will be the best fit for any nut, bolt, or anything else that can be tightened by such a wrench. If you are installing any type of accessory, a wrench like this will make sure it will stay intact for as long as possible. No gunfire or vibrations from recoil can move it in the slightest.

Long-Lasting

Most of these wrenches are made from high-quality materials. So you know for a fact they will last you quite a long time (assuming you take good care of it after use). The better the materials, the better the chance it will last you, even through many years of dependable service. 

Multi-Purpose

This type of wrench doesn’t have to be solely for gunsmithing purposes. You can use this for pretty much any other purpose. For example, you can use this wrench as a home improvement tool that can be great for tightening nuts and bolts (i.e.--plumbing pipes). Don’t be shocked if the wrench you choose isn’t solely used for rifles alone. 

Conclusion

A good armorer’s wrench is a must-have for AR enthusiasts who like to build their own gun.

With time, you will find that the wrench pays for itself during repeated builds, as it will make assembling and disassembling the rifle so much easier and smoother. 

Keep in mind the build quality, price, comfort, and safety when selecting the armorer’s wrench and do check out our top picks that are excellent options.

People Also Ask 

Since it has been clear now that an armorer’s wrench is a must have tool to assemble/disassemble an AR. There are also several other considerations and minor tools you need to have with you. These will include punches, cleaning rods, patches, lube for the most part. Let’s take a look at some extra angles to be considered:

What Size Punches Do You Need for an AR 15?

You’ll need four different punch sizes for disassembling/assembling an AR-15. It includes 1/16” punch for ejector/charging handle pin, 5/64” for gas tube pins, 3/32” for bolt catch pins and 5/32” or ⅛” punch for fire control pins. The punches in an AR-15 build kit generally have a small nipple on the top to make pushing easier. 

Will an AR 15 Wrench Work on an AR10?

For the most part, yes. The major difference between an AR-15 and AR-10 w.r.t a wrench is the difference in barrel nut’s size. If you have a DPMS pattern .308, an AR-15 wrench will work for basic assembling/disassembling. Additionally, some wrenches are double-ended and compatible with both AR-15 and AR-10. 

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