21 Necessary Plumbing Tools To Have in Your Toolbox
Whether you’re seeking a career as a plumber or are simply a homeowner who’s a fan of DIY repairs, having the right tools will make your job faster, easier and more successful. While there are an endless number of plumbing gadgets available on the market, these 21 tools are the most tried-and-true elemental plumbing tools that you should have in your toolbox.
1. Adjustable pliers
(channellock tongue-and-groove pliers)
The appeal of this tool is the fact that it can replace an entire set of pliers due to its adjustability. The jaws can be adjusted to allow them to grip and clamp nuts, bolts, pipes, fasteners and fittings of all types and sizes without slipping.
2. Adjustable wrench
Similarly to the channellock pliers above, an adjustable wrench can replace a whole set of wrenches as it adjusts to nuts and bolts of many sizes.
3. Automatic cordless drain auger
An essential tool for any homeowner or aspiring plumber, an automatic drain auger allows for easy clog clearing. The flexible shaft can snake around bends and curves, grabbing clogs even if they’re deep inside the pipe.
4. Basin wrench
This handy tool has a pivoting head at the end of a long handle designed to reach up into awkward or cramped spaces behind a sink to tighten or loosen mounting nuts or flexible supply tube nuts. A telescoping handle provides longer reach where needed.
5. Cartridge puller
Repairing leaky faucets is made much faster and easier with a cartridge puller. This gadget is designed to easily remove old or damaged faucet cartridges in order to replace them. The size and shape of a faucet cartridge can vary depending on the faucet brand, but there are universal cartridge pullers available so that you don’t need to purchase several of these tools.
A hacksaw is a universally helpful tool that fits in the hand easily and is completely portable. Plumbers use hacksaws to quickly cut plastic and sometimes metal pipes to length.
7. Hole saw
Hole saws, as the name suggests, are for cutting holes. A plumber uses a hole saw attached to a power drill or a right angle drill for cutting holes through metal, PVC or wood to route plumbing components.
8. Internal PVC pipe cutter
This tool is ultra-valuable to any plumber. It’s a steel saw-tooth blade on a 3” shaft that works with a power or impact drill to cut pipes in an otherwise inaccessible location. The cutter cuts most types of pipes by cutting from the inside of the pipe. This is useful when cutting drain stubs to the floor, removing broken parts of a pipe in preparation for a replacement section, and more.
9. Nipple extractor
A nipple extractor is one of the most useful plumbing tools to have on hand for simple plumbing repairs. This tool, made of corrosion-resistant galvanized steel, is used to remove old or broken pipe nipples from the pipe fitting without damaging the components.
10. Offset hex wrench
This wrench is very common in the field of plumbing. It’s hex-shaped clamp and offset design allows for a secure grip on hex nuts, square nuts, unions, valve packing nuts and more.
11. PEX crimp ring tool
Available in manual or battery-powered design, this tool allows for easy crimping of metal pipes for a tight, secure fit.
12. Portable self-igniting gas welding torch
This portable torch can be used for soldering, thawing, and more. It’s small enough to be clipped onto a belt for easier carrying and use, and the 3’ hose allows you a more flexible reach.
13. Power drill
Obviously, a standard power drill is an essential tool in every toolbox. This tool handles almost every conceivable plumbing project, and it multitasks with dozens of attachments that vary from shower grout scrubbers to hole saws and every kind of drill bit.
14. Push-to-connect fittings removal tool
The compact design and one-handed operation of this tool is great for fast, easy removal of push-to-connect fittings from copper, CPVC or PEX pipes in hard-to-reach spaces.
15. Ratcheting pipe cutter
Typically made with a steel carbon cutting wheel, this cutter can easily cut most common pipe and tubing materials. The ratcheting handle provides accommodation for working in compact spaces and for many sizes of piping.
16. Reciprocating saw
This multi-purpose saw is used to easily cut different materials on all types of projects, from steel to PVC to wood, and can be adapted with different types of blades to serve the purpose you need.
17. Right angle drill
Often referred to as a 90 degree drill, this tool allows you to drill holes in tight spaces, such as between studs and joists.
18. Straight pipe wrench set
A straight pipe wrench is suited to any type of pipe work; having a set of different sizes in your toolbox is recommended so you can choose the wrench according to the size and type of pipe you’re working with.
19. Thread seal tape
Commonly known as plumbers tape, Teflon tape or PTFE tape, this film tape is used to seal pipe threads to provide additional leak prevention.
20. Toilet bolt lock wrench
Removing toilets can prove to be difficult when the bolts become corroded or stripped. To make a plumber's job easier, a bolt and lock wrench holds the bolt in place, preventing it from spinning while you remove the nut.
21. Wireless Endoscope inspection snake camera
A wireless endoscope is a useful tool used to perform inspections deep inside pipes, helping to detect clogs, roots or cracks in pipes. The camera is equipped with LED lights and is observed via an application on Windows, iOS and Android.