Every shooter or a hunter can tell you: Gun cleaning mats are lifesavers!
Unlike towels or any other cloth, these are designed specifically for gun cleaning.
And for this reason, it avoids the chance of getting the things messy while you are cleaning your gun.
Below, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about choosing a gun cleaning mat that’s right for you…
What Is A Gun Cleaning Mat?
Specially designed for firearm owners & gunsmiths, gun cleaning mat pads are the piece of material which protects the surface while cleaning the weapons.
Made up of leak-proof materials these prevent CLP, solvents, grease or other oils from seeping through which can make the surface dirty or completely damaged.
Most of the cleaning mats for your guns, rifles, and pistols come with a type of graphic (a ruler or image) displayed on them.
These are also large enough to place your specific guns’ inner components organized.
Why Use A Gun Cleaning Pad?
Although a gun cleaning can be done at your garage, storage shed or at the workshop; using a mat you can just complete the task faster even at your home or living room.
By adding a layer of protection between your table and your guns, these mats make sure that your home’s surfaces aren’t dinged up in the cleaning process.
If you’ve ever tried cleaning a gun on a table without a gun cleaning mat, you know what I’m talking about.
An extra solvent can easily ruin surfaces — and be a pain to clean.
Not to mention, sharp edges and different parts are likely to add a few scars to your table’s complexion.
And all married gun owners know that this is a major mistake.
The good news is that you don’t have to invest in a completely new gun cleaning table or a gun vise.
With a just-right or a cleaning pad, you can clean your gun in a location that’s most convenient for you.
And with a quality mat, you can be sure that no one will even be able to tell which surface you’ve cleaned your gun on.
7 Best Gun Cleaning Mat Reviews
If you’ve ever had a chance to clean a firearm yourself, you know just how important a cleaning mat is!
With a good pad, you’ll be welcoming in a new era of faster and better cleans. However, choosing a bad gun cleaning mat can prove to be an expensive deal for you.
But, with several gun cleaning mats on the market, how do you know which one to use?
Below we have listed down some of the best options for you. Check them out in detail, before you pick one for the cleaning of your firearm.
1- UsefulThingy Rifle Cleaning Mat
If you’re looking for a way to simplify your firearm cleaning, a gun cleaning mat like UsefulThingy Rifle Cleaning Mat is the way to go.
Since it comes with all the informative printing and parts diagram (of the AR-type rifle) it looks simply awesome on your workbench/counter/table.
Not only this look great but also it helps you to assemble and dissemble your gun parts while cleaning.
With all the listed gun parts, it’s a must-have for new gun owners.
- Made up of thick sturdy and highly durable material
- 60 days money-back guarantee & excellent customer service
- Absorbent pad material to soak excess solvent and lubrication off your table
Above all, this highly versatile portable gun cleaning mat by UsefulThingy can be a great gift for gun enthusiasts (army, military, navy).
Why not get an additional one for your friend while making your purchase.
2- Lyman Essential Gun Maintenance Mat
Lyman is one of the pioneers in the field of reloading, shooting & firearms accessories.
Unlike traditional flat mats, Lyman’s Essential Gun Maintenance Mat comes with a breakthrough design to meet the standards and help users while cleaning their firearms.
Since the mat comes with a collection of recessed sections, it helps brilliantly to keep the small gun parts well organized while assembling and disassembling.
- Easy to use and clean
- Soft polymer material – to protect your gun finish
- Tough chemical-resistant material – for extra durability
3- TekMat M&P Handgun Cleaning Mat
The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield TekMat is one of the best for cleaning the M&P Shield handgun.
With its clear printing and simple instructions, you can easily assemble and dissemble your favorite pistol for repairing or cleaning, in a hassle-free manner.
- Light in weight, portable – can be taken where ever you need
- Clear printing which is waterproof, scratchproof, fade and oil resistant
- Soft thermoplastic fiber top – to protect your M&P Shield and Glock Gen5 pistols from scratches
- Thick 3mm neoprene rubber back – to protect your work table/surface from oil, solvent or chemicals
Above all this TekMat M&P Handgun Cleaning Mat is completely washable and can last for a lifetime.
So if you have handguns like M&P Shield and Glock Gen5 in your firearm collection, these gun cleaning mats with diagrams is a must-have mat for you.
4- Real Avid Smart Mat for Handguns
For people who want to accomplish their gun cleaning tasks in a much-organized way, Real Avid Smart Mat is the best one to go with.
With its unique parts tray and small magnetic section, it is available in a wide variety to choose from. According to your weapon type and requirement, you can pick the one that is best suited.
- Non-slip back surface for awesome gripping
- Easy roll-up, compact and portable for easy storage
- Step by step printed instructions for assembling and dissembling
- Magnetic parts tray to securely hold the parts like pins, springs, etc.
5- Falko Gun Cleaning Mat with Double Thickness
Falko Gun Cleaning Mat is two times thicker as compared to other gun mats available in the market. And for this reason it protects your bench and gun surface better from getting scratches.
Also, this extra-large gun cleaning mat is convenient enough to disassemble your firearms parts no matter it’s a rifle, pistol or a shotgun.
Especially if you want to clean AR15 parts, there is a crystal clear exploded diagram provided on the mat which makes it super easy to disassemble your gun.
- Made up of strong durable material
- Its oil-resistant, waterproof and easy to clean
- Provides perfect gripping to the surface – to avoid the sliding
6- Drymate Cleaning Pad for Shotguns and Handgun
Drymate offers you one of the best gun cleaning pad for shotguns and handgun according to your requirement.
When cleaning your favorite firearm, not only it helps in keeping all the parts organized but also in protecting your bench and firearms from getting the scratches.
- Beautiful green color mat available for handguns and rifles
- Made up of soft super absorbent material that is stain-resistant and durable
7- Sage and Braker Waxed Canvas Leather Gun Cleaning Mat
Unlike other cleaning pads, Sage and Braker’s mat is designed uniquely to protect your gun and work surface while repairing and cleaning your firearms.
It’s comprised of four pouches that can carry all your brushes, clp, rags and other cleaning tools in a hassle-free manner.
You can just roll them up in this mat, buckle it down with a leather strap and carry away wherever you want.
- Great classic sturdy looks to last longer
- Big enough to work your large firearms and rifles
- Thick enough to protect your firearms and bench surface
- Made up of quality materials like waxed canvas, wool, and thick leather
Factors to Look At When Buying
When you are planning to buy a good mat or a pad for gun cleaning, its worth noting that not all mats are created equal.
Investing in the wrong mat has rather dire consequences — especially for those who are married.
For this reason, it’s important to understand the different aspects of a gun cleaning mat.
Here are a few important things you need to consider before you pick the one.
If you’re into firearms, there’s one thing you know: Size matters.
This is especially true when choosing a gun cleaning mat. You need to make sure that your gun cleaning mat is big enough to cover the surface area you’re working with.
To calculate this, take a look at the size of your gun (whether it’s a small SIG P 365, M&P shield OR a large Remington 700, AR 15). If you’ve got several guns, consider getting a mat that fits your largest one.
You can always clean a smaller gun on a bigger mat, but you’re not going to be able to clean a bigger gun on a smaller mat.
With this in mind, you’ll also have to remember that you’re going to need space to put your gun parts, too. Give yourself a little leeway in size so that you can clean with added comfort.
The material of your mat must be of good enough quality to properly protect your home’s surfaces.
Unfortunately, materials that are generally good at preventing nicks aren’t too great for cleaning solvent. The same is true in reverse.
Silicon and plastic mats, for instance, don’t provide much protection from blunt-force trauma, but they do make cleaning up extra solvent a breeze.
For those wishing to better protect their tables, rubber gun cleaning mat or neoprene mats provide greater utility.
However there are various other materials like bamboo, wood, etc used to make the gun mats, neoprene is typically the material of choice for most gun owners.
3- Parts Bin:
You may also want to invest in a gun cleaning mat that comes with a parts bin. This is great for those who have trouble keeping up with their gun parts—especially the smaller ones.
By keeping everything in one place, you can keep track of everything you need to reassemble your gun.
By following the above information, you can be sure to pick a gun cleaning mat right for you.
4- The Brand:
I really don’t care whether the gun cleaning mat I am buying comes from a reputed brand or not, provided it’s made from sturdy leak-proof & non-absorbent material and offers me all that what I want in my mat.
A great product from a good company should always be there to offer timely customer support to their users, in case they find any issues.
5- The Cost:
Well, when it comes to the cost of any product, I really don’t believe that – higher price means higher quality.
Obviously, it can be true in most of the cases, but it really doesn’t make sense if you are buying a higher-priced mat just for the sake of being good.
It’s better to take a look at whether the mat is just priced high due to its brand name or does it really offer better durability and extra features than others.
Saving money is just awesome, but its essential for you to make sure that you are getting all that you need in your mat and you are not just wasting your money.
How To Clean Your Gun Cleaning Mat Pad?
Many times when gunsmiths and gun owners choose a low-quality mat they find it difficult to clean and maintain.
The worst that can happen is when they put them in their gun cleaning box, it can’t resist the leaks off of the oil or solvent if any. This makes all their kit oily and too much messy.
Choosing a right gun cleaning mat and investing some time to maintain it (even when you have chosen a high-quality leak-proof mat) properly is therefore important to extend the lifespan of your mat.
For cleaning your mats/pads once in a while you can just use your old towels (or rugs), soap or detergent in water. Some of them can also be washed easily in your washing machine.
Whatever method you choose (manual or machine wash) care that you do not use any harsh chemicals or detergents as it can damage your gun mats and fine prints embedded on them.
It’s best to check the manufacturer’s instructions for caring and cleaning your gun mats which can help in getting them cleaned risk-free.
Where to buy gun cleaning mat?
Gun cleaning mats are easily available at you nearby local sporting stores or at shops that deals in firearms accessories.
However, I always prefer buying them online at stores like Amazon to save my time and money. You can also check the features in detail at the official site and can purchase them there.
Should I buy a gun cleaning kit with mat?
Yes, that can be a good idea and can save your few bucks. Just make sure that you do not have a kit before and you are really in need of the kit.
If you do not need all the components available with a gun cleaning mat its good to buy the mat separately.
Why choose gun cleaning mats with diagrams?
Custom printed gun cleaning mats should always be your first preference.
Most of the USA brands design them to make it easy for their customers to get their firearms cleaned. These come with all the essential steps when its about field-stripping and assembling the gun parts.
No matter you want to clean your shotguns or rifles like AK 47, these mats with diagrams make the overall process super fast and convenient for you.
DIY Gun Cleaning Mat: Should You Make One At Home?
Picking the right mat for cleaning your guns (and to protect your workbench surface) is very easy and affordable online.
However for a group of people who are DIYers – who love making and experimenting with things at home – there a few useful guides available online to make a custom gun cleaning mat.
Just by following the tips provided here you can easily convert your old unused yoga mat into a homemade gun cleaning mat for cleaning old guns, rifles, and pistols.
Although the procedure may sound to be fairly tough for a novice it’s super easy for DIYers.
Note: For those who are not passionate about DIY ways to make a gun mat should not try it at home. They may end up getting the things complex.
Instead, you should always get one online which is available at a very low cost!