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 place. 

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. We'll also discuss what a handguard removal tool is and give you 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 DETAILS
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Real Avid Easy Grip AR-15 Handguard Removal Tool

  • Easy and ergonomic grips.
  • Made from tough CoatedSteel.
  • Contoured rods for fitting delta rings.
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Darrels Custom Firearms - AR-15/M16 Handguard Removal Tool

  • Rubber grips for a better, non-slip grip.
  • Can work with AR-15 and M16 handguards.
  • Made from high-quality steel for superior durability.
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Delta Ring Wrench Handguard Remover

  • Works with all kinds of AR-style rifles.
  • Best AR-15 handguard removal tool for the money.
  • Made from durable steel and plastic to prevent damage to the handguard.
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NcSTAR AR Handguard Removal Tool

  • Rods are made from high-quality steel.
  • Plastic coating for a better, non-slip grip.
  • Works more effectively with drop-in handguards.
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Tapco AR-15/M16 Handguard Removal Tool

  • Best of the Tapco brand.
  • Coated in surgical style plastic.
  • Rods made from high-quality material.
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Midwest Industries Hand Guard Removal Tool For AR-15

  • Fits all AR-style rifle platforms.
  • Easy to grip for quick handguard removal.
  • Made from high-quality steel for easy Delta ring gripping.
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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 it might be beneficial:

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 unscrew it more easily. It will even compensate for not having the strength you would need 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. This type of specialized 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. This is 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 to get a product that is solid and won’t easily damage your handguard.

Material

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

On top of that, it doesn’t easily warp or get damaged. Any tool made from materials 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 tools are designed to be easy to hold on to. Especially for those who have trouble using the strength in their hands or have limited mobility due to arthritis or other conditions.

Even if your hands are in good condition, these tools are an appropriate substitute for other tools that may cause damage to the handguard itself or even potentially 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 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. They may match some of the needs and preferences you have.

By now, you should have a good idea of how this type of product should look and work. With that said, let’s dive into our list starting with the “best overall” pick:

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 difficult Delta rings. Even with your bare hands or other tools, they still seem like a complete pain. However, with a tool like this, removing handguards is so much easier.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a produt that is considered to be the best, you might want to give our best overall choice a closer 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, 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 and 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.

This will take out all the difficulty you might have with other methods in removing the handguard itself. 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 Darrel's Custom Handguard Removal Tool might be your best friend in such a situation.

This is not just for AR-15s, it’s also used for M16 handguards as well. If you own both rifles, 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 you’ll ever need to buy, then you may have found it in the Darrel's Custom Firearms AR-15 product. 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, even the ones that often prove to be a real pain using other tools. Expect this tool to be one of the best on the market and a likely head-to-head competitor to the 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 to Your Handguard is Guaranteed 
  • Take Handguards Off With Ease. No Jamming or Other Functional Issues to Report

Cons

  • Might Not Work With Free-Floating Models 
  • Removal Might Be a Little Difficult

If you’re looking for a product 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 product you can count on.

This is made from high-quality steel and plastic and is 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 you have on your rifle, this is the perfect tool for you.

Aside from it being easy to use and 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 time and frustration and get a handguard removal tool 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.

Bottom Line

Most tools not designed to remove handguard are not a good idea. Plus, they can potentially cause all kinds of damage to the handguard (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 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-Lengthened
  • Some Have Had Issues With the Overall Design
  • Some Users Complain 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 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 product 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, you might want to consider purchasing this NcSTAR product. 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 you can possibly afford, this might be something worth looking at a bit further.

Pros

  • Makes it 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 best used for carbine-style and full-sized rifles. Either way, it's a tool that will fit all kinds of rifles.

If you need to clean your rifle or make some spur of the moment 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 have 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 damage a handguard so badly 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 buying 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 review, 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 designed to easily grip onto Delta rings.

Even those hard to remove Delta rings won’t stand a chance against this tool. The black finish makes it 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 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 cleaning 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 with 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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Replacing the handguard happens 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.

If you still need a little help, check out the video below. 

Conclusion

The best AR-15 handguard removal tool is out there. This is one of the best tools that you’ll definitely want in your kit. There are times when you want to ignore seasoned vets of the AR-15 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 product for you and never struggle with removing your handguard any other way again. 

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