Best AR-15 Handguard Removal Tools of 2019 – Reviewed and Rated

Are you looking for the best AR-15 handguard removal tool? If so, then you’ve come to the right  that are currently the most popular on the market. Before we get to our list, we’ll talk abouplace.

If you’re looking to remove an old handguard from your rifle, it’s always important to find the right tools so you can safely remove it. This can be when you want to clean your rifle from top to bottom or if you’re intending to install a replacement handguard.

Either way, you want a tool that’s reliable and always handy whenever you need it. To get you started, we’ve handpicked six of the best handguard removal tools what a handguard removal tool is and a few reasons why you’ll need one. We’ll also talk about how you can choose one for your own use.

Comparison of the Best AR-15 Handguard Removal Tools

Product

Our Rating

Price

Real Avid Easy Grip AR-15 Handguard Removal Tool

Best Overall

Darrels Custom Firearms - AR-15/M16 Handguard Removal Tool

Runner-up

Delta Ring Wrench Handguard Remover

Sniper Delta Ring AR-15 AR15 Wrench Removal Tool for Quad Rail Handguard Remover GunSmithing

Best for the Money

NcSTAR AR Handguard Removal Tool

Tapco AR-15/M16 Handguard Removal Tool

Best from Tapco

Midwest Industries Hand Guard Removal Tool For AR-15

What is a Handguard Removal Tool?

The handguard removal tool is designed to help you remove your AR-15 handguard without ever having to rely on an additional pair of hands. This will also come in handy if you are one of the many users who might rely on a tool due to some possible hand strength issues. The tool itself is easy to use if you want to simply remove the handguard from your rifle.

Do You Need a Handguard Removal Tool?

The obvious answer is yes. And there are a few good reasons why you need one. Some seasoned AR-15 users will often eschew the idea of owning one in favor of regular tools. That’s entirely up to you. But if you’re looking for a special tool to remove the handguard from your rifle, here are a few reasons why you might need one:

It’s Easier to Remove a Handguard

You can use different tools or your hands. But it can be a challenge to get them off with your bare hands or even with some screwdrivers. So you’ll need a tool that will allow you to add on more strength so you can be able to unscrew it. It will even compensate for not having the strength you would have just for removing the handguard with your bare hands.

Prevents Damage

If you’re using other tools, odds are they may scratch or damage the handguard itself. So a handguard removal tool might be a worthy substitute compared to some screwdriver that’s laying around in your toolbox.

Prevents Cuts and Other Injuries

Yes, removing a handguard can even pose a risk for cuts and injuries. Especially when you’re faced with the potential of dealing with sharp edges that may cut your hand. A handguard removal tool will immediately eliminate this issue.

Characteristics of our Top Picks

We chose these six handguard removal tools based on a few characteristics that stuck out as really important to the user. This will be the same list we recommend you use to find your own tool. If you’re a first-time buyer, it is highly recommended that you look for the following things while finding a handguard removal tool:

Price

If you’re a budget shopper, the price might be important to you. However, you should abide by the rule of finding the best quality you can possibly afford. Even if the price is on the high, but affordable side it’s worth the value in getting a handguard removal tool that is solid and won’t easily damage your handguard.

Material

Most of the handguard removal tools will be looking at will be made from steel. It’s a tough material that is designed to have a firm grip on even the hardest to remove parts if it’s made well enough into a tool.

On top of that, it doesn’t easily warp or get damaged. Any tool made from anything other than steel might be suspect. So err on the safe side and find a steel tool to get the job done.

Ease of Use

The last thing you want to do is find a tool that will be difficult to grip or use. Thankfully, these handguard removal tools are designed to be easy to grip. Especially for those who have trouble using the strength in their hands or have limited mobility due to arthritis or other conditions.

Even if you're hands are in good condition, these tools are an appropriate substitute for other tools that may cause damage to the handguard itself or even cause damage to your hands.

Quick Take - The Best AR-15 Handguard Removal Tools

Review of the Best AR-15 Handguard Removal Tools

The following is a list of the six best AR-15 handguard removal tools that are currently on the market. As you go through each review, be sure to make a note of any features or functions that stand out as interesting in your opinion. It may match some of the needs and preferences that you might have.

You might have a good idea of how your handguard removal tool should look like and how it works. With that said, let’s dive into our list starting with the “best overall” pick for the best AR-15 handguard removal tool:

Pros

  • Very durable rods.
  • Grip is super comfortable.
  • Fits most Delta rings without issue.

Cons

  • None.

First on the list, we’ll be taking a look at the Real Avid Easy Grip AR-15 Handguard Removal Tool. Right away, you’ll notice the grips on the tool itself. It is designed to make using the tool more comfortable and ergonomically friendly for its users.

All you have to do is apply this tool to your empty magwell, place the tool in the delta rings, and then squeeze. Once you remove the handguard, you’ll be ready to clean your AR-15 rifle or do some routine maintenance to it. Either way, you’ll need a tool to make the entire process a lot easier.

This is the tool you need if you hate the idea of dealing with Delta rings that are difficult. Even with your bare hands or other tools, they still seem like a complete pain. But with a tool like this, it makes removing handguards so much easier.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a handguard removal tool that is considered to be the best, then you might want to give our best overall choice a look. The Real Avid Easy Grip lives up to its name of being an easy to use and easy to grip tool that will only remove the most stubborn of handguards.

Why use your bare hands when you can use a tool that will get the job done in a matter of minutes? If you’re looking for something that’s quick and easy to use so you can go about cleaning or maintaining your rifle, then the Real Avid Easy Grip AR-15 handguard removal tool might be just right up your alley.

Pros

  • Can work with both A1 and A2 style rifles.
  • Easy to grip. Doesn’t slip out of your hands.
  • Steel is super strong. Can handle all kinds of Delta rings.

Cons

  • Might be a little pricey for those on a budget.

Now, we’ll be taking a look at the Darrel’s Custom Firearms AR-15/M16 Handguard Removal Tool. This tool might be your best possible option if you’re looking for a simple tool that will easily remove your handguards. The rods are made from high-quality steel and come with rubber handles to ensure that you have a solid grip on the tool itself while you’re removing the handguard itself.

This will take out all the difficulty in removing the handguard itself like with other methods. At the same time, you won’t have to worry about this tool slipping out of your hand while you’re removing the handguard.

Plus, it has the ability to work with even the toughest of Delta rings. So if you’re looking for a tool that will work with these kinds of rings, the Darrels Custom handguard removal tool might be your best friend in such a situation.

This is not just for AR-15 handguards, it’s also used for M16 handguards as well. If you own both rifles, then you may want to have this tool handy just in case you need it.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for the last handguard tool that you’ll ever buy for a while, then you may have found it in the Darrels Custom Firearms AR-15 handguard removal tool. This tool has proven itself to be super strong thanks to the steel rods.

Plus it’s super dependable since it will have no issue removing any Delta rings. Especially the ones that might be proven to be a real pain if you’re using other tools. Expect this tool to be one of the best on the market and a likely head-to-head competitor to our previous tool in our review.

Sniper Delta Ring AR-15 AR15 Wrench Removal Tool for Quad Rail Handguard Remover GunSmithing

Pros

  • Super tight grip.
  • No damage guaranteed for your handguard.
  • You can take handguards off with ease. No jamming or other functional issues to report.

Cons

  • Might not work with free-floating handguards. Removal might be a little difficult.

If you’re looking for a handguard removal that might be more affordable for you, then you may want to consider the Delta Ring Wrench Handguard Remover from the Sniper brand. If you’re looking for a tool that won’t cause any damage to your handguard, this might be the tool that you can count on.

This is made from high-quality steel and plastic and it’s designed to make handguard removal a cinch. The tool itself is more effective if you’re working with drop-in type handguards. If you know that’s the kind of handguard you have on your rifle, then this is the perfect handguard removal tool for you.

Aside from it being easy to use and being very durable, it’s a very affordable tool to have in your kit when it comes time to clean or maintain your AR-15 rifle. You don’t want to go through the stress of trying to remove a handguard just so you can clean your AR-15.

You want the process to go smoothly from start to finish. So save yourself the time and frustration and get a handguard removal tool that you can rely on for a long time. But if you’re strapped for cash, the Sniper Delta Ring Wrench Handguard Remover might be exactly what you’re looking for in a tool.

Bottom Line

Most tools that are not designed to remove handguard are never a good idea to use. Plus, they’ll cause all kinds of damage to the handguard itself (almost to the point where it looks bad). But if you’re looking for something that won’t scratch the finish or warp the handguard itself, you want a tool that will easily remove the handguards while going easy on the accessory itself.

If you’re looking for a tool like that and at a price that you can afford, then you’ll want the Sniper Delta Ring Wrench Handguard Remover to get the job done.

Pros

  • Super easy grip.
  • Affordable for most budgets.
  • Works great with drop-in handguards.

Cons

  • Tools may need to be re-lengthening.
  • Some have had issues with the overall design.
  • Some users complained about the tool slipping on them a few times.

Up next, we’ll be taking a look at the NcSTAR AR Handguard Removal Tool. This is another tool that you might want to consider if you’re looking for something that won’t suck the life out of your bank account. This tool will make handguard removal easy and simple.

The rods are made from high-quality steel and are coated in plastic to ensure that your handguard is protected from damage. At the same time, you’ll also be able to get a firm grip on the tool itself while you’re dealing with hard to remove Delta rings and other parts that might be stubborn for your bare hands or other tools.

If you want something that’s solid, easy to grip, and will work with most AR-style rifles then this handguard removal tool from NcSTAR might be your cup of coffee.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a tool that is more affordable than any other handguard removal tool on the market, then you might want to consider purchasing the NcSTAR handguard removal tool. Don’t mistake this for a cheap, low-quality tool.

It’s still excellent in quality and does its job as advertised. If you’re looking for a tool that might be the best quality tool you can possibly afford, the NcSTAR handguard removal tool might be something worth looking at a bit further.

Pros

  • Easy to remove difficult Delta rings.
  • Easy to grip. No slippage to speak of.
  • Plastic covering does a great job of preventing damage.

Cons

  • None.

If you’re a fan of the Tapco brand, then you might enjoy the AR-15/M16 handguard removal tool made by them. This is a tool that is best used for carbine-style and full sized rifles. Either way, you have a tool that will fit all kinds of rifles.

If you need to clean your rifle or make some spurious repairs that might require you to remove your handguard, this tool might be exactly what you’re looking for. This is made from a high-quality material that will firmly grip the Delta rings and handguards so you can easily remove them from a rifle.

Never will you have to struggle or get frustrated with the difficulty of removing a handguard that might otherwise happen with other methods. The tool is coated in surgical style plastic, making it easy to use and easy to grip so it won’t slip out of your hands.

If you’re a first-time buyer and have never heard of the Tapco brand before, this is your opportunity to get one of their products so you can get a good idea of the kinds of accessories they make for AR-15 rifle owners.

Bottom Line


The Tapco handguard removal tool is reliable and does a great job preventing the handguard from getting scuffed or scratched while you’re removing it. The last thing you want to do is get a handguard so badly damaged that you’ll need to buy a new one.

That alone could set you back hundreds of dollars. Save yourself the money and frustration of finding a new handguard and find a tool that will not just easily remove it, but doesn’t scratch or scuff it up.

Pros

  • Super sturdy construction.
  • Super easy to grip and squeeze.
  • Easily removes difficult to remove Delta rings.

Cons

  • None.

For our last handguard removal tool, we’ll be looking at the Midwest Industries Hand Guard Removal Tool. If you’re looking for something that is durable, easy to grip, and easy to use then you’ll want to have a tool like this in your kit. The rods are made from solid steel that is designed to easily grip onto Delta rings.

Even those hard to remove Delta rings won’t stand a chance against the Midwest Industries Hand Guard removal tool. The black finish makes the tool look sleek and sharp. At the same time, it’s also designed to protect the finish of your handguard rather than scratch it up and make it look unpleasant.

The tool is long and will be long enough to reach into your magwell so you can go to work and easily remove your handguard. Once removed, you can go forward with maintaining the rifle, adding on new accessories, or simply clean it up so it remains reliable and functional for years to come.

Bottom Line

The Midwest Industries Handguard removal tool is probably the closest thing you’re going to get to a universal tool. Meaning you can use this for pretty much any AR-style rifle that has a handguard attached.

It’s super strong and will stand up to all kinds of difficult to remove Delta rings. If you’re not sure if any of the other tools above might fit your AR-15, this might be your safest option on the list.

How to Use an AR-15 Handguard Removal Tool

Using a handguard tool might be difficult if you don’t know how to use one. Below is a brief how-to guide on how you can utilize one of these handguard removal tools to your advantage. Here’s how you go about using one:

First off, check to see if your rifle is free and clear of any live rounds. Check the magwell and the chamber. Once you have the all clear, move on to the next step.

Slide the tool over the Delta ring and into the magwell. The magwell is your leverage point. Once in place, grip the tool and lever it down. Remove the handguards one at a time.

Replacing the handguard is in reverse order. Place the tool on the Delta ring and slightly grip the tool. Install the handguards in place. If you’re using a drop-in they should snap in easily. Test the handguards to ensure that they are secure. At this point, you’re done.

Conclusion

The best AR-15 handguard removal tool is out there. This is one of the best tools that you’ll want in your kit. There are times when you want to ignore the seasoned vets of AR-15 shooters when they say “don’t get this tool”. This is one of those times. You want to use a tool that will be beneficial and much needed if you’re intending to clean or maintain your AR-15 rifle. Find the best handguard removal tool for you and never struggle with removing your handguard any other way again. 

Leave a Comment