With the AR-15 Carbon Boss Multi-Tool, Real Avid looks to expand its already sizable niche in the crowded AR-15 multi-tool marketplace. I should begin with a bit of a disclaimer: I have some wariness when it comes to the vast majority of multi-tools. I’ve run across many that are cheaply made and possess mostly gimmicky “features,” easily replicable with a common paperclip or pen cap. That said, the AR-15 Carbon Boss Multi-Tool differed from many others on the market, packing enough functionality to make it incredibly useful and an excellent deal for the $29.99 price tag.
As its name implies, the main purpose of the Carbon Boss Multi-Tool is removing carbon, specifically from the four major components of the bolt carrier group: the firing pin, the bolt, the carrier and the cam. To this end, the Carbon Boss includes separate scrapers for the bolt carrier interior, the bolt cam, the bolt tail, the firing pin, the firing pin face, and a slotted scraper for the bolt lugs.
Though all these are well-made and well-dimensioned, I was particularly impressed with the tail scraper. It is comprised of an interior rod and an exterior edge, allowing the user to simply spin the carrier to remove carbon from behind the rings. I clean my bolt fairly regularly, but the Carbon Boss managed to chip off a sizeable carbon deposit on the beveled edge my usual cleanings had missed, thus demonstrating a decent value added over more traditional cleaning tools, at least in my view. The lug scraper adds similar convenience, as with conventional tools it is usually impossible to get a decent scrape on the multi-fingered apparatus. The slotted face eliminates this annoyance entirely.
Another feature I enjoyed was the Carbon-Boss’s unique brush design. Maybe it’s simply because I’m constantly in a rush, but I never seem to get my bolt carrier brushed as clean as I should; I invariably leave tiny streaks of carbon on the rounded surface, in between my straight brush strokes. The Real Avid Carbon Boss makes this a thing of the past, with its 360-degree phosphor bronze bolt tail brush, and its rotating nylon/bronze phosphor bolt brush.
The former is the circular bronze brush you see in the middle of the Carbon Boss. Simple yet ingenious, the brush allows you to simply stick the bolt tail in and rotate it, making carbon removal virtually automatic. The bristles also appear stiff enough to stand up to repeated punishment, though that remains to be definitively proven.
The latter brush, while it doubles as a standard scrubbing utensil, is made infinitely more useful by the mirrored arches shaved into it and the plastic it folds against. These arches allow the bolt to be inserted when the brush is adjusted out, then spun in the resulting space for quick and easy cleaning. No more missed spots anywhere.
While I would expect this piece to end up in our readers’ range bags more regularly than on their belts, the Carbon Boss Multi-Tool does come with a sturdy nylon belt sheath for those who are so inclined. It appears to be of more durable construction than most nylon multi-tool cases, which have a tendency to rip apart after even light use.
All in all, the Carbon Boss is a multi-tool that is refreshingly light on gimmicks and heavy on utility