Basic Plumbing Tools List: 10 Must-Have Tools Revealed

If you are a beginner plumber, then it is important that you have the right tools. It’s easy to get confused about what plumbing tools are necessary for each specific situation. That’s why we created this list of 10 basic plumbing tools – all of which every plumber should own.

1. Borescope

man using Borescope to inspect toilet

A borescope is a type of camera. It’s used to look inside pipes, which can be difficult for the naked eye to see what’s going on. The tool lets you get up close, so it’s easy to spot any problems right away – before they create an even bigger problem down the line.

There are three types of borescope:

  • direct vision borescopes (used when low-pressure water or gas flows through pipes);
  • video borescopes (useful in areas where high pressure creates more resistance);
  • and mixed flow borescope cameras that work well in both situations.

Borescopes have many different applications – from checking how clogged drains are to inspecting sewage systems. A professional plumber must have these tools with them at all times. Check our ultimate review of the best borescopes on the market.

2. Cup Plunger

man using Cup Plunger to unclog sink

A cup plunger is one of the basic plumbing tools. It’s used to remove air and fluids from pipes. The plunger usually has a rubber cup that is pushed against the pipe, which will create pressure so it can suck in any of these items. The tool also fits into sinks or toilets if one needs to clear a clog – such as when there are paper towels blocking their path (or other materials).

This type of plunger doesn’t need electricity or water to work. Therefore, they’re useful for emergencies. It comes with an extended handle that allows users more leverage while using this plumbing tool.

Cup plungers come in different sizes. But most have handles long enough for people who don’t want them flush up against the wall behind them when operating this device.

3. Adjustable Pipe Wrench

fixing pipe with Adjustable Pipe Wrench

An adjustable pipe wrench provides solid leverage and grip. This type of wrench is useful for tight spaces. It also provides a plumber with a 360-degree range that makes it easier to get at stubborn, stuck bolts and nuts in hard-to-reach places.

The adjustable pipe wrench has jaws that can work on pipes from about three inches up to six inches wide. However, one should be careful not to overtighten the jaws when using this plumbing tool. Otherwise, they may break off pieces of metal inside which could cause more problems than an easy fix was attempted.

The downside is the wrench leaves teeth on fragile pipes. Another downside is this type of wrench does not work well on corroded pipes because the jaws may slip off when twisting due to all of the rust.

4. Channel-Type Pliers

Channel Type Pliers on white background

A channel-type plier may also be called “slip-joint” pliers. They have a single handle that allows them to easily clamp onto anything from pipes and tube fittings. Up through nuts and bolts for tightening purposes or for cutting wires without getting hot hands in addition to being able to manipulate small objects such as jewelry wire while working near running water.

The downside of this particular style of plier is its lack of gripping power when compared to other types on the market.

5. Sink Auger

man unclogging sink with Sink Auger

A sink auger or a drum auger is another handy plumbing tool. It’s shaped like a drill and is used to remove clogs in drain lines. The auger has two or three prongs that turn around as it moves forward. This helps to clean the pipe by using water pressure to push debris through the pipes.

A sink auger consists of a long rod that is connected to a handle and has three rotating heads on the end. The auger can be used for many different plumbing purposes aside from clearing clogs. These can be unblocking pipes or de-scaling drains.

A drain cleaning snake (also known as an auger) will have two prongs that spin around in opposite directions at high speeds when it’s inserted into the pipe. This action creates pressure waves that push debris through even narrow pipe openings.

There are several types available: manually operated, electric worm drive, air-powered rotary hammer, and water-powered.

The main disadvantages of this tool are its inability to be used on vertical pipes without assistance from another person. There can sometimes be difficulty removing even small objects. Because they get pushed into tight spaces instead of dislodged. Another downside of this tool is slippery handles. As they are made out of rubber instead of metal or wood materials like most other tools in a plumber’s kit.

6. Faucet Valve-Seat Wrench

Faucet Valve Seat Wrench

A faucet valve-seat wrench is a basic tool that is used to remove and tighten the seat of a faucet valve. This wrench can be used on any size or type of faucet, but typically seats are not more than ¼” in diameter (which is small).

The main advantage to this tool is that it really grips onto things securely. Because there are two hole sizes on either side for different size banjo bolts. The disadvantage to this tool is that it gets stuck easily if debris builds up around the object being tightened. Also, when tightening something with a jammed-on plastic handle, you need another person to help open the wrench. While someone else turns the nut off from below where they can’t see what’s going on. So it doesn’t get too hard to break loose later.

7. Pipe Cutter

cutting copper pipe with Pipe Cutter

A pipe cutter comes with an adjustable head to cut the pipe at a length you set. It has an exposed blade on both sides of the tool. This makes it easy to cut straight through pipes.

The main disadvantage of this particular type of cutter is that it can’t be used with certain types of material like aluminum or plastic pipes and fittings. Because these types are too hard for the blades.

One advantage is that they can make clean cuts without leaving any rough edges around your plumbing joint. It’s very important when working with high-pressure water systems where leaks could cause serious problems.

8. Hacksaw

man in gloves cutting pipe with Hacksaw

A hacksaw is necessary when you need to cut through thick material. The hacksaw has a thin blade with teeth on both sides of the saw frame. This type is commonly used for metal pipes and other heavy-duty industrial applications.

One disadvantage is that they can be hard to use when you’re cutting through long, straight lengths of pipe. Because these types don’t provide much control over your cuts or angles. The hacksaw is designed to cut in short strokes rather than continuous ones along an entire length of pipe. Another drawback is that this tool doesn’t have replaceable blades. Once they get dull, there isn’t anything you can do about it until you buy a new one.

A great thing about this tool though is its versatility. Each hacksaw offers different features depending on what kind of materials you’re cutting through. They deal with plastic and wood well.

9. Teflon Tape

Teflon Tape over metal pipe joint

A Teflon tape is a type of insulation that’s designed to seal pipes from water leaks. It has a slippery surface, which makes it easy to be wrapped around the pipe without sticking. It’s a thin white-color tape that’s often used by plumbers to seal pipes against leaks. In addition, this material can also withstand high temperatures and low pressure.

This is a tool that you need if you’re dealing with plumbing, but it isn’t always necessary in every project. Teflon tape can be an economical way of stopping water leaks and saving your home from damage as well. It does cost more than duct or electrical tapes. But the quality far outweighs the price difference in this case.

10. Tape Measure

measuring pipes with Tape Measure

Every plumber must have a tape measure in their kit. This is an essential tool for measuring the length of pipes to make sure they’re all cut and installed correctly.

A tape measure can be used on any surface, including uneven surfaces like concrete or gravel floors. It can save time when dealing with problems such as leaks and clogs in your plumbing system.

This tool helps you bring objects into proportion so you’re fully aware of how big something is. Do it before making a decision about purchasing it at home improvement stores or hardware stores (and yes, this includes piping). This will help prevent instances where homeowners purchase too much material for what they need. This might end up going unused later down the road.

plumbing tools stored in bag

Best Plumbing Tools Listed

As a plumber, there are always new tools being released. It’s important to be aware of what’s out in the market so that you can better equip your business and provide your clients with top-of-the-line service. We hope this list has provided some insight into which basic plumbing tools should be on hand for any job.

For most daily plumbing tasks, you don’t need an expensive tool kit with dozens of items in them. This article outlines 10 basic plumbing tools you should start with. Over your practice, you’ll find out which tools can be added to your list.

Meter & Tester