Tired of using newspapers and dish towels to make sure you stay in the good graces of your wife? If you’re nodding your head to not sleeping on your couch then this article is for you. We had the opportunity to get our hands on TekMat’s AR-15 and S&W M&P Shield Ultra gun cleaning mats and we’re sold!
TekMat was developed out of the very scenario I described above. Dan at TekMat was using his wife’s dish towels to clean his AR-15 on the dining room table. She upgraded him to a piece of felt which would slide all over the table, stained easy and left little pieces of fiber stuck to the oiled parts of the gun. This frustration brought the birth of TekMat and we are glad it did.
There’s a multitude of gun cleaning mats on the market, and I’m here to tell you why you I believe the TekMat is one of the best choices. We’ll dive into the specifics later, but first I want to spend some time on why you should even own a gun mat in the first place.
Why You Need a Good Gun Mat
Gun maintenance is a mandatory part of gun owning. Some people prefer to clean their gun after every trip to the range, while others stick to every three to four visits. Most experts will suggest cleaning after every 250 rounds, if cleaning after every visit isn’t a possibility for you. When you clean your gun, you need a workspace long enough to hold your gun, rags, and cleaning tools, but that surface is likely a rough workshop table or bench. While guns are durable and rugged, your guns need a soft cushion or surface to lie on while you clean to prevent nicks and scratches. That’s where a cleaning mat comes into the picture.
The TekMat Premium Cleaning Mats are thoughtfully made with the cleaner in mind. They feature:
- 44” x 15” x 1/4” (AR-15), 20” x 15” x 1/4” (S&W)
- Water/scratch proof work surface
- Oil/fade resistant surface
- Soft thermoplastic top
- Direct vulcanization
- Manufactured approved parts list
- Stitched edge for grip and durability
- Rubber backing (non-slip)
Let’s get into each of these features and how all of them combine to make one of the leading gun mats on the market.
The water/scratch proof, as well as oil resistant surface, makes this mat heavy-duty. It has a soft thermoplastic for the top so it is still gentle on your gun while resilient against grease. There are a lot of oils and gunk that will ooze from your gun as you clean it, so it is important to have a cleaning mat that is won’t absorb this residue. Thanks to this feature, cleaning this gun mat is a breeze. Once it starts to need a deep cleaning just use a little dish soap and warm water to scrub it down then let it air dry.
TekMat uses a process called direct-vulcanization to fuse the soft plastic top to the rubber base.
“Vulcanization is a chemical process in which the rubber is heated with sulphur, accelerator and activator at 140–160°C. The process involves the formation of cross-links between long rubber molecules so as to achieve improved elasticity, resilience, tensile strength, viscosity, hardness and weather resistance.”
The base that the top is vulcanized/fused to is a rubber, non-slip base. To ensure the two pieces of the mat never tear away from each other, TekMat featured a stitched edge on their mat. This makes for a stable cleaning mat that you won’t have to worry about slipping (which ensures safe cleaning) and reduced fraying or splitting of the mat.
Since this mat is made of soft plastics and materials, it can be easily rolled up and stored away with other cleaning tools. The portability of this mat is a big selling point and sets it apart from other mats on the market.
A key feature of the TekMat cleaning mat is its size, both in length and thickness. This mat may seem too big, but once you lay it on your workspace and start cleaning, you’ll be thankful for the extra workspace. The thickness of this mat is hard to find on the market. A plush 1/4” of cushion makes for a comfortable workspace without compromising on stability.
One last feature I want to elaborate on is the content on the mat itself. Most models of this mat have a detailed parts list of their respective guns. It’s a small detail that may be of little importance to some, but it is a highly thoughtful feature and can come in handy if you forget where a piece goes.
This mat comes with a lifetime warranty to the original buyer. This warranty extends to factory defects or unusual faults.
TekMat put an extreme amount of thought into their mats and it shows. From the waterproof surface that is also soft on your gun, to the mat’s thickness providing cushion, they thought of it all. Small details like the stitched edges, or the portability, make this mat worth your purchase over other mats on the market.