Real Avid Tools Review

Have you ever walked into a hardware store and been overwhelmed by the number of tool brands? It’s hard to know what brand makes the best products, what tools will last a lifetime, and what is crap. Real Avid is one of the best.
Kenzie Fitzpatrick

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Disclosure: Products are selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases from a link. How we select gear.

Real Avid Tool Review - Cover

Have you ever walked into Home Depot or Lowe’s and been overwhelmed by how many brands of tools there are on the shelves and what all those tools do? It’s hard to know what brand makes the best products, what tools will last a lifetime, and what is crap. 

Shopping for AR-15 tools is similar to shopping for any other tool in big department stores or online. There are a lot of brands making AR-15 tools that look like the real deal and are, unfortunately, not. I found Real Avid Tools about a year ago, and I am blown away almost daily by the products they make. Real Avid is one of the brands cheaper look-alikes hope to emulate but come nowhere close.

In This Article:

Real Avid Tool Comparison

Below is my list of the best Real Avid tools for 2022. I list the best choices in terms of value, performance, design, and cost.

Click on the name to head to the product page, read reviews and check prices or skip ahead to the list of Real Avid tools.

NameSelectionRatingPrice
Master Gun ViseBest Gun Vise
(4.3/5.0)
$299
Armorer’s Master Kit ProBest Armorer's Kit
(4.5/5.0)
$479
Smart-Torq & Driver Master SetBest Driver Set
(4.6/5.0)
$143
Level Right ProBest Sight Leveler
(4.3/5.0)
$69.00
Master Punch SetBest Punch Set
(4.5/5.0)
$99.99
Real Avid Pistol ToolBest Multitool
(4.3/5.0)
$58.92
AR-15 Tactical Maintenance KitBest Maintenance Kit
(4.3/5.0)
$199
Master Cleaning StationBest Cleaning Mat
(4.3/5.0)
$19.99
Real Avid Sight PusherBest Sight Tool
(4.3/5.0)
$144

Why you should listen to us

Real Avid Tool Review -- Overhead Shot
In order to demonstate how the Real Avid AR-15 Armorer's Master Kit can more or less do it all, I documented the assembly of my new Luth-AR rifle, which was built with the Armorer's Master Kit.

When I started shooting 3 gun competitions, I ran a stock Daniel Defense V7 AR-15. It was a reliable and excellent starter gun but was not built for competition. It was built for combat. I slowly changed a few parts to make it easier for me to manipulate the gun, such as an ambidextrous charging handle and a larger magazine release button.

As I got more into it, I realized it was time for a custom-built rifle that was made with everything that would give me a competitive edge.

I built my very first rifle under the supervision of my friend and brother from another mother, Scott Newnam. He taught me how a rifle functions, what parts reduce felt recoil, why one trigger was better than another, and how to choose a stock and grip to fit me right.

It was an overwhelming amount of information, and I realized quickly how much I didn’t know about my firearm. I knew that I’d be competing in competitions that Scott wouldn’t be at, and I wondered what would happen if something went wrong and I didn’t know how to fix it. I knew at that point I needed to do two things; take a class and get my own set of tools.

Over a year ago, I took DoubleStar USA’s AR-15 Armorer’s Course in Kentucky at their headquarters. I was proud to be the only female in the room and excited. In two days, I learned how to disassemble and reassemble an AR-15 by myself, with a mess of tools and parts dumped in front of me, and with no assistance. After becoming a certified AR-15 Armorer, I went home and started to make a list of the tools I needed to build and work on my rifles at home.

I was lucky in that I had mentors to help me understand what to buy and what products I needed. Real Avid’s business is tools. They are dedicated to the serious AR-15 Armorers, the tinkerers, and gunsmiths.

I have the Master Gun Vise, Armorer’s Master Kit, Smart-Torq & Driver Master Set, and the Level Right Pro. With these tools, I’ve built over a dozen of my rifles, taught my best friend, who had zero knowledge about AR-15s, how to assemble and disassemble a rifle on her own, and have swapped out parts on my PCCs and rifles regularly.

I have leveled several scopes, and when I’ve gone to check zero at the range, I’ve been dead on or have only had to make the smallest of adjustments without ever having fired the gun. I use these tools weekly, if not almost daily.

While my Real Avid products are dedicated to AR-15s, I have used these tools to swap a pistol grip, make adjustments to magazine pouches and my shooting belt, install red dots on my pistols, and more.

Real Avid Tools Reviewed

1. Master Gun Vise

Real Avid Precision Bench Vise with Clamping Vise Jaws & Swiveling Vise Body |Multi-Use Handsfree...
  • SWIVELING multi axis vise body allows for superior range of motion while objects remain securely...
  • LEVELING Knob allows for six degrees of side-to-side micro adjustment for optimal scope or accessory...
  • FAST adjust hand crank, speed cam ball and socket locking lever and articulating ball joint make...

The Master Gun Vise by Real Avid is the last gun vise I will ever own. When I started using it, it spoiled me as I was building rifles, so much so that I haven’t touched another vise since. It’s just that good.

Real Avid Tool Review - Master Gun Vice
The Master Gun Vise rotates on a ball with 360 degree of movement, enabling to position it at any angle. If you are serious about building or working on rifles and plan to do so often, this vise saves time and removes almost all of the headaches.

Simply put, this gun vise rotates on a ball which gives you 360 degrees of movement, enablign you to position your rifle at any angle. If you are serious about building or working on rifles and do so often, this vise saves time and removes almost all of the headaches assocaited with static vices.

Just like a regular vise, it features steel jaw plates with a crank but also includes gun-fit reversible sleeves with dual-purpose locking pins for the sleeves and Real Avid’s Lug-Lok upper vise block.

Real Avid Tool Review (39)
On the bottom of the vise is the ball and socket joint with a speed-cam locking lever that will tighten the ball's position after you tilt it at the angle you want.

If you plan to mount optics, level scopes, or do any precise work to your rifles that require leveling, this vise has a built-in leveling knob with six degrees of micro-adjustment. On the bottom of the vise is the ball and socket joint with a speed-cam locking lever that will tighten the ball’s position after you tilt it at the angle you want.

Real Avid thought of everything because they included a Torq-Lok pin in the base of the vise that locks the ball and socket joint into place for high torque applications such as tightening your barrel nut or installing a muzzle brake. This AR-15 armorers dream vise is the best tool for building rifles on.

2. AR-15 Armorer’s Master Kit Pro

The Armorer’s Master Kit Pro is every tool you need to build a rifle from start to finish. This kit includes Real Avid’s upper and lower vise blocks that were made specifically to fit the Master Gun Vise.

The upper vise block has holes drilled through it and sits between the vise jaws. The gun vise has small pins that insert through the jaws and the upper vise block to keep it in place for high torque applications, so there’s no up and down movement in the vise.

To build an AR-15, you will have to deal with roll pins, which means you must have a pin punch set. This kit comes with a nickel-plated, hardened steel set of flat tip and roll pin punches in various sizes. It also includes a hammer with four interchangeable heads made of rubber, nylon, brass, and steel. You never want to use the brass head, for example, to hammer directly on your lower, or you’ll scratch your finish.

This kit includes a torque wrench and 12 specialized crowfoot builder wrenches that fit the most common AR15 assembly nut sizes. The torque wrench allows you to set the exact torque specs you want before tightening anything down so you don’t under or over-torque. This is important because barrel nuts, muzzle brakes, and castle nuts all have different torque specs, and guessing is not something I recommend doing when building a rifle.

 The handiest tool I’ve ever used that has blown my mind is the AR-15 Master Bench Block that also comes in this kit. It holds five key AR-15 components to remove or install pins easily – contoured for the bolt, upper receiver, lower receiver, charging handle, and trigger assembly, plus it features magnetic pin storage. Lastly, it includes a pivot pin installation tool and a pin alignment tool and is all secured in a snapped-in organized hard case. If you’re going to get the vise, you should also purchase the Master Kit Pro.

3. Smart-Torq & Driver Master Set

Real Avid Gunsmithing Tool Kit: Torque Wrench, Precision Magnetic Screwdriver Set with LED Bit...
  • ULTIMATE GUNSMITHING TOOL KIT: essential gun repair tool kit with precision torque driver wrench,...
  • ACCURATE TORQUE SCREWDRIVER: 10-70 inch-lb range with distinct 1 inch/pound increments allow for...
  • EASY to read scale window and visual, audible click feedback prevents damage from overtightening...

The Smart-Torq & Driver Master Set may seem like any other torque driver and tool bit set, but it is not.

The quality of this kit is unmatched, and Real Avid designed this specifically for use on guns. A good piece of advice I learned is to buy tools that were intended for use on firearms rather than the “same” tools that weren’t designed for them.

Real Avid Tool Review (49)
The Smart-Torq & Driver Master Set may seem like any other torque driver and tool bit set, but it is not. It's made specifically for rifle-specific applications.

For example, a rifle’s firing pin retaining pin is not the same as a generic cotter pin. The stainless steel used in cotter pins is not hard enough to be used in a rifle. Firing pin retaining pins are heat-treated and made for use in bolt carrier groups. This driver set is no different. There are 83 professional gunsmithing hollow ground/square cut bits that perfectly match gun screw-slots from top to bottom to reduce slippage and the risk of stripping the screws.

Similar to the torque wrench in the Armorer’s Master Kit Pro, the torque driver in this set allows you to set precise 1 in-lb torque increments for superior accuracy and confidence in following torque requirements. A feature that made my life easier, even though it is the most uncomplicated design one could have thought of, is that the driver has a no shadow, LED illuminated light. When trying to install the grip screw, clicking on this light makes it easy to find the hole and finish the job.

Smart-Torq & Driver Master Set

Another neat tool included in this set is the dual-function small driver. The small driver works in tighter spaces and can act as a force assist lever by locking into the torque wrench or large screwdriver. This master set and the two products above will make you a master armorer in no time.

4. Level Right Pro

Real Avid Scope Leveling Kit & Precision Scope Level System | Complete Scope Mounting Kit for...
  • ACCURATE: Proper Scope mounting, and alignment of your scope is critical to achieving accuracy. The...
  • ALL YOU NEED Scope alignment leveling system attaches to square the scope to the receiver and...
  • INCLUDES: Level Right Pro Face Plate with Scope Saddle, Standard barrel attachment, Picatinny top...

I wish I had known about the Level Right Pro earlier in my rifle building, 3 gun shooting, and scope mounting career. If you’ve never used levels, a flashlight, a string, a weight of some sort, and turned off the lights to zero a scope, you’ll never know the struggle, and thankfully don’t have to!

Having a level scope is essential in rifle accuracy, especially long-range. The slightest cant will affect the bullet’s trajectory. The Level Right Pro takes all the guesswork out of leveling a scope and only requires four steps to complete the process.

First, you level the gun and square the scope to the barrel before locking it down. Second, level and lock the provided precision alignment grid behind the gun’s stock and turn on the reticle light.

This will project the reticle onto the grid and remind you of your high school geometry class. At this point, your scope rings won’t be tightened down just yet, so if the scope’s reticle is not aligned with the precision alignment grid, you can adjust the scope until it does.

Once everything is aligned, simply tighten the ring screws in a criss-cross pattern and make sure the reticle does not move in the process. This tool is specifically designed for open barreled (exposed barrel) bolt action and lever-action rifles or rifles with a Picatinny top rail handguard.

5. Accu-Punch Master Set

Real Avid Punch Set, Gunsmithing Tool Kit with Roll Pin Punch Set, Flat Tip Metal Punch Set, Brass...
  • GUNSMITHING TOOL KIT: all-inclusive, 37-piece gunsmith punch set, essential armorers tool kit for...
  • COMPLETE PUNCH SET: array of standard, flat tip metal punch selection; roll pin punch set; premium...
  • FLAT TIP PUNCHES: standard steel punches to remove and install solid pins for gun repair. INCLUDED:...

Whether you’re a gunsmith, an armorer, or a gun enthusiast, you should own a punch set. Punches are used to remove roll pins, tension springs, staking a castle nut, and even punching those pesky takedown pins outward to take your lower and upper apart.

This Master Punch Set also includes a pin alignment tool, which, if you’ve never started a roll pin before, you’ll find out quickly why this simple tool is so powerful.

Real Avid’s punches are made from different materials that serve a specific purpose. For example, the hardened steel, nickel-plated, corrosion-resistant flat tip metal punch set is used for removing and installing solid pins, while the soft brass, flat tip punches minimize the risk of damage to high-value collectibles. One of the trickiest pins to start is the bolt catch pin.

This is because the bolt catch button is under spring tension, so you hold it down while trying to align a pin and hammer the pin in while everything is aligned. This kit includes an elongated, flat on one side AR-15 bolt catch punch and bolt catch pin starter that makes life easy. You can easily carry this kit or keep it in your range bag.

6. Gun Tool AMP - Pistol

Sale
Real Avid Gun Multitool for Handgun & Pistol Gunsmithing | 24-in-One Gun Tool with Screwdriver, Bit...
  • ESSENTIAL Multi-tool with everything you need to maintain and clean striker-fired pistols and...
  • QUICK DEPLOY Holster transforms, carries, and stores the multi-tool frame with tools, bit set and...
  • INCLUDES Pin punch, flat carbon scraper, metal file, pick, nut wrenches (4mm, 5mm, 1/4”, 5/16”),...
Real Avid Multi-Tool

Real Avid just designed three new gun-specific multi-tools, and this is one of them. If you own several multi-tools, it’s probably because they are all slightly different, or you just really love the one you found that does everything you need.

The Real Avid pistol tool has pistol maintaining tools for your EDC and range handguns. 

The pistol gun tool has a 2.6” Wharncliffe knife blade, a tap hammer, and a bottle opener that can come in handy on or off the range. Hidden inside this tool are hex keys for laser and trigger adjustments in the following sizes: .028″, .035″, .050″, 1/16″. You can easily clean your pistol using the pick or the flat carbon scraper tool. 

You can tighten down the following size nuts with the built-in nut wrenches: 4MM, 5MM, 1/4″, 5/16″. Finally, there’s a 2.5MM (3/32″) pin punch and metal file on hand.

7. AR-15 Tactical Maintenance Kit

What I love most about Real Avid is the number of different kits or sets that bundle several products in one. 

The best way to shop for Real Avid tools is not to add items individually to a cart but find the kits or sets for the best deals on all or most of the products you need in one.

It will save you time and effort later on, even if you don’t need everything in a kit. The AR-15 tactical maintenance kit is not a cleaning kit product but is a much more in-depth kit to take care of your AR-15. Real Avid focused on the three most essential features to keep clean on a rifle; the bolt, bore, and chamber. 

Like the Real Avid pistol tool, they also designed an AR-15 AMP tool, which is included in this maintenance kit. Basic cleaning essentials for a rifle are included in this kit with the AR-15 smart mat, multi-kit .223 cal, and the chamber boss tool that removes carbon from the chamber. The AR-15 lower vise block is included as well as the pivot lock.

8. Master Cleaning Station - Universal

Real Avid Universal Smart Mat - 43x16”, Long Gun Cleaning Mat, Red Parts Tray
  • REAL AVID UNIVERSAL SMART MAT: premium gun cleaning mat with small parts organizer tray; completes...
  • LARGE AND SPACY: oversized, 43”x16” workbench mat is perfect for rifle cleaning or shotgun...
  • PROTECTIVE WORK MAT: work anywhere you want – this dedicated workbench mat top protects furniture...

I have a variety of pistols, rifles, and shotguns, and in various calibers, so I’m a fan of universal cleaning kits.

This isn’t just any cleaning kit. Real Avid goes above and beyond making quality products with every tool you can think of, even if you only use it once or twice. The Master Cleaning Station is for handguns and rifles (.22 – .45 caliber) as well as 20 and 12-gauge shotguns. 

The cleaning mat is connected with the cleaning kit and rolls up together when you’re done. The mat itself is oil and solvent resistant with slip-resistant backing. Everything from bore brushes, mops, gaps, patch tips, scraping tips, and patches are included in this kit. It comes with a multi-function T-handle, and the case keeps all the tools in one place when you’re done.

9. Master Sight Pusher

Real Avid Armorer’s Handgun Sight Pusher Sight Tool for Gunsmithing, grey/red
  • ACCURATE: Sight pusher sight adjustment advanced, precision tool to push, change, install and...
  • ADJUSTABLE: reversible metal Press Block provides multiple pushing surfaces to accommodate a variety...
  • COMPATIBLE: fits Glock sight styles; works on dovetail slots down to 5/32” (4mm) wide;...

It’s not very often that you need to change out or adjust your sights, but for a gun collector, someone who changes sights on every gun they own or helps buddies work on their guns, the master sight pusher tool is beneficial. 

If you cannot use a punch to remove a rear sight or don’t have the right vice to avoid marring up your gun, this Sight Pusher will be the most simple tool you can get.

The functionality is easy with a simple torque handle that doesn’t require a lot of hand strength to turn. This sight pusher works on most modern pistol sights and almost any size and style of press-fit dovetail slots and sight profiles.

Plus, this tool is compact enough to bring to the range if you need to make adjustments.

Who is Real Avid?

Real Avid is a USA-based company with products invented, designed, and engineering in Minneapolis, Minnesota and are contract manufactured overseas. I know some of the people at Real Avid because many of the people who work at this company are competitive shooters, hunters, or both! Real Avid makes products dedicated to hands-on gun enthusiasts. 

The amount of details that Real Avid adds to each product they release comes from the insights and experience of their customers. They listen to professional gunsmiths, armorers, builders, law enforcement, and military professionals to make every product they can that makes our lives easier. I believe that Real Avid invented the phrase, “Work Smart, Not Harder,” because all of their products make building or customizing a rifle a breeze.

Real Avid also takes time to deliver educational resources with each product they release, from how to use a punch tool and how a multi-tool unfolds to the most complex tasks of torquing and staking a castle nut or leveling a scope. Real Avid products videos on their website for each product they make. 

Some are short videos that simply show each component of a tool, and some have content that includes dialogue, diagrams, and demonstrations with a Real Avid team member explaining how a tool works. When you visit their website, they have multiple product photos, no matter how small of a product, a product description, features of the product breaking down each individual tool in a kit, and videos of the product functionality.

Why consider Real Avid products?

A sign of a good company is one that listens to customers and takes feedback to design future products. Real Avid is not just listening to feedback; their employees are some of their best customers and are shooters, hunters, armorers, and gunsmiths. 

Real Avid has excellent customer service, educates its customers on how to use their products, and constantly innovates to make AR-15 building more effortless. There are many reasons to consider using Real Avid products. They make quality products that last and always think of the next great tool to make gun owners’ lives easier.

Types of Real Avid tools

Tools & Sets

Real Avid Tool Sets

Real Avid makes build tools, multi-tools, optics mounting tools, cleaning stations and kits, individual tools, accessories, and cleaning chemical solutions.

If you can think of something you need, Real Avid’s thought of it and made it easier to use. They make sets for armorers and gunsmiths requiring a wide variety of tools, as well as the average gun owner who may just be looking for an individual tool or kit for one or two guns they own.

No matter what you’re looking for, Real Avid is the place for all your gun tool needs.

Multi-Tools

Real Avid Tool -- Multi-tool in use
Love 'em or hate 'em, multitools have a place in the market, even with their inherant shortcomings. Real Avid’s multi-tools are purpose made, so there's less compromise.

Multi-tools are a dime a dozen. Some are better than others, but Real Avid’s multi-tools are made for one purpose, like the pistol tool mentioned earlier.

The components of each tool are not the same and only apply to one type of gun, like the 1911 multi-tool. It’s important to know what gun you are shopping for so you don’t purchase something you don’t need or don’t own

Vices & Blocks

Real Avid Tool Review - Vise in user
It's clear that Real Avid put a lot of thought into the design of their vices and blocks, and the Lower Vise Block is super handy (especially when paired with their Master Gun Vice.)

Real Avid thought long term when designing their gun blocks before releasing the Master Gun Vise. The lower and upper vise blocks fit in any vise with two jaws that clamp together, so you don’t have to own the Master Gun Vise, but they did make the vise and blocks work better as one unit. As mentioned earlier, the upper vise block and Master Gun Vise jaws have holes that allow pins to go through both to lock the vise block in place. 

Regular vises do not have these special holes, so you can accidentally move a vise block when torquing something because nothing holds the block in place from above or below. Essentially, Real Avid’s vice and blocks take all the movement out by locking things in place from the ball to the vise block in the jaws.

Cleaning Products

eal Avid has slowly started breaking into the cleaning products market. Right now, the options are limited but include bore solvent, a gunk blaster, gun oil, wipes, and CLP. They are focusing on essential gun cleaning products as they expand this line. 

Always apply gun oil before shooting if the gun is dry and when storing your firearms for periods of time. Above all, in my opinion, gun oil is the most crucial product that keeps a gun running.

Smart Mats

Real Avid’s smart mats are explicitly designed for rifles, pistols, and shotguns, or they also offer a universal kit. You never know where you may need to clean your firearms. Each smart mat is attached to the tool options you need for the specific gun type and rolls up to pack up in a range bag or keep on your workbench.

Important Tool Considerations

Kit or Individual tool?

As mentioned earlier, if you are loading up on all the tools you need to build a rifle or customize a rifle, I recommend the Master Gun Vise, AR-15 Armorer’s Master Kit Pro, and the Smart-Torq & Driver Master Set. That is everything you need to succeed and allows you to save money by bundling everything together.

If you are looking for tools to keep in your range bag, competition gear, or workbench, individual tools may be the best route to get only what you need. Sometimes the individual tools are more lightweight and easy to access in a pinch, rather than pulling out an entire kit or set.

If you are a gun owner of any kind, I recommend getting a cleaning kit for your guns. It is vital to scrape carbon, polish feed ramps, clear gunk out of chambers, and keep your guns oiled.

Materials & Durability

Real Avid tools make their tools out of different materials depending on the tool in question. Some cleaning brushes need nylon to serve one purpose, while others should be brass for a different purpose.

As mentioned earlier, the hammer in the Armorer’s Master Kit Pro comes with four different heads made of different materials. These are designed to not mar the finish, for use with roll pins, and for other purposes fulfilling a specific need.

Overall, Real Avid uses quality materials for the tools that matter in gun building, like the torque wrenches, roll pin punches, crowfoot builder wrenches, and upper vise block, just to name a few. I have yet to break anything or notice any wear on the tools I use every week.

Storage & Portability

Real Avid Multitool Storage
When it comes to storage and portability, multitools are hard to beat. They may not house all the tools for every task, but they cover a lot of ground in a small package.

Everything Real Avid makes is portable, and all of their kits or sets come with a storage case of some sort. What I love most about Real Avid’s kit cases is that the cases themselves lock, are made of durable material, and I have yet to open my range bag to an explosion of bits or tools.

Two unnamed tool manufacturers have let me down in this arena. One makes aftermarket accessories, hardware, and small items I keep on hand in my range bag, but their hinged case has come loose just from the range to my home on several occasions. The second company makes good quality tools but cheaps out on the storage container, using plastic, with pressure hinges that lock in place and easily come loose.

I’ve snapped the plastic off that locks the top and bottom in place and can no longer use this kit anywhere but on my workbench.

Price Ranges vs. Features

Real Avid tools are an investment. They are high-quality products set at a price point worth the value. For example, a basic vise costs anywhere from $50 to $200 at a hardware store but is not dedicated to working on firearms. The Master Gun Vise is $299 and worth every single penny.

I’m of the mind of “Buy Once, Cry Once” because I used to buy cheaper items thinking I’ll save money, and then break it and buy another cheap item totaling up to the price of what I should’ve purchased in the first place. A large part of gun ownership isn’t the gun itself but the tools, gear, and maintenance items you need to customize them to you and keep them working.

How we selected these products

Real Avid is a tool manufacturer with the sole purpose of supplying tools to AR-15 armorers, gunsmiths, and the average joes who want to learn how to work on their own guns. Their tools are durable and designed with a purpose, making gun building a breeze. I highly recommend Real Avid tools as the one-stop shop for all your gun tool needs.

Conclusion

Real Avid is a tool manufacturer with the sole purpose of supplying tools to AR-15 armorers, gunsmiths, and the average joes who want to learn how to work on their own guns. Their tools are durable and designed with a purpose, making gun building a breeze. I highly recommend Real Avid tools as the one-stop shop for all your gun tool needs.

Sources

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