The Top Plumbing Tools List for Contractors in 2022

Every plumber requires the best plumbing tools for their toolbox. The top plumbing tools are a great investment that can save money in the long term and help you do a better job in your plumbing business.

This plumbing tools list offers the best tools for plumbers. You can learn which ones are essential for plumbing projects and what specialty tools every plumber hopes to buy. Here they are:

Plungers

One of the best plumbing tools to remove blockages in the drain is a plunger. They come in handy for all sorts of problems and are the go-to first choice. You need one of each for your toolset, and there are three types to consider:

Cup Plunger

A cup plunger is what people often think of first. Sometimes called a sink plunger, they typically only work well for flat surfaces because the cup must lay flat over the drain to create the right vacuum to get rid of the clog.

If you use cup plungers with a flat surface, you also get the double suction effect, which is often called positive and negative pressure. The negative pressure happens when the cup is pulled up, and the positive pressure is when the cup is forced down.

Flange Plunger

This type of plunger is often called a toilet plunger and is slightly different from the cup version because it’s got a rubber flap that folds out. Therefore, it’s excellent for sinks and toilets. The advantage of flange plungers is that the flap can be folded into the cup to use as a regular plunger. Plumbers should keep separate ones for sinks and toilets to promote better hygiene.

Accordion Plunger

Mainly for toilets, accordion plungers are great when a flange plunger doesn’t work. They are made with hard plastic, so they’re a bit tougher to use. However, you get more pressure to unclog the toilet. Just be careful because you could damage the toilet if you’re not careful (scratches).

Pliers

Next up on the plumbing tools list is pliers. There are plenty of times where plumbers have to take off the nuts and bolts to get into the toilet or sink.

Overall, these are the best plumbing tools a plumber needs. There are different types of pliers out there, including water pump pliers and vise-grip ones. As a plumber, you need multiple versions so that you can work quickly and effectively.

Split-joint Pliers

These pliers feature an angled head. One handle slides up or down to adjust the grab size. Overall, plumbers find them to be useful when matching the specific size of the pipe without carrying many wrenches with them. You can carry one or two plumbing pliers with a single channel lock instead of tons of pipe wrenches! This is one of the best options, and you’re sure to see plenty of use from them.

Vise-grip Pliers

Sometimes called mole grip pliers, they are a cross between pliers and clamps. They’re easy to use to hold items that can’t easily be held, such as a pipe. The good news is that they offer a locking mechanism to hold things in place. Overall, a plumber can’t be caught without one of these tools.

Wrenches

You can’t do plumbing tasks without at least one wrench in your tool belt. However, you can find various sizes and shapes, but the adjustable wrench is one of the best. Other popular options include the basin wrench and pipe wrench.

Pipe Wrench

Overall, the classic and adjustable wrench is the pipe wrench. It often has serrated teeth to grip pipe fittings and pipes. A pipe wrench doesn’t need a huge introduction, but it should be in your tool arsenal.

Basin Wrench

The basin wrench is also an adjustable wrench and helps plumbers install bathroom and kitchen sinks. Though you can use it to take out nuts and bolts anywhere, it’s designed to reach into tight spaces. A plumber never knows when they might require a basin wrench!

Faucet Seat Wrench

A faucet seat wrench is a specialty wrench made of steel and can help a plumber remove or tighten faucet seats. Because they are specialty tools, they’re useful for only one purpose. Still, you may decide you want one later on as you grow your plumbing company.

Faucet Keys

Sometimes called sillcock keys, faucet keys are great for installing faucets and water coolers. It consists of an outdoor hose bib, water spigot, valve, or faucet that’s attached to the outside of a building. Many plumbers use them more than they think, so have a few on hand!

Hex Keys

Hex keys or Allen wrenches are quite handy when setting up shower valves or installing faucets. There are tons of times where plumbers need hex screws, so not having a set could be a huge annoyance.

Cutters and Saws

As a plumber, you are sure to have to shape and cut pipes and tubing. That’s why cutters and saws are part of the plumbing tools list. This is the moment where the right tool can make a difference between pipe-work that’s done well or something that’s a huge letdown. Here are the top choices for saws and cutters:

Hacksaw

A hacksaw is a fine-toothed saw and is designed to cut through metal. However, it can also get through plastic conduit and pipe, so it’s best to add it to your arsenal of plumbing tools.

Junior Hacksaw

Many times, plumbers find that the brother of the hacksaw, the junior hacksaw, features a small frame to reach tight spaces. Therefore, it should also be added to the toolset.

Hole Saw Kit

There may come a time where you must run the piping through metal, plastic, wood studs, or plasterboards, and a hole saw is crucial. To make a professional cut in those materials, the hole saw attaches to the drill and makes it easier and faster to do.

Plastic Pipe and Tube Cutters

Pipe cutters are designed to cut plastic and tube pipes. These tools are beneficial and can be faster, cleaner, and better than a hacksaw. Overall, that’s why a plumber requires a pipe cutter. Though you may find times where pipe cutters aren’t the right size for a big pipe, it’s still a good thing to have available.

Pipe and Tube Benders

There may come a time where you have to bend a tube or pipe without having a pipe bender, and this is a real pain in the rear. This causes you to figure out how to clamp down the pipe, what material to use against the pipe for bending, and so much more. Overall, it’s crucial to have one for your plumbing tools set.

Metal File

Files are great and can help plumbers smooth out rough edges from freshly-cut pipes. If you don’t use a hacksaw, you don’t require a file in your set of tools. However, you never know when you could need one, and it doesn’t take up a lot of space, so go ahead and add it to your toolset now!

Safety

Safety should be the number-one priority for all professionals and not just plumbers. The best plumbing tools should include safety items. There are various health hazards out there, and you want people to feel comfortable hiring your plumbing business for their plumbing projects. Here’s what to consider:

Goggles and Gloves

Goggles are crucial for your eyesight because debris can get in the eye while soldering pipes, cutting copper piping, inspecting leaks, and more. With that, you should wear gloves when working with pipes. You get a better grip and don’t have as many cuts and bruises.

Knee Pads

Plumbers often spend much time on their knees to get under faucets and sinks. With time, the stress on your knees adds up, which causes serious damage to the knee caps. Though these tools aren’t something most plumbers think about, knee pads are an invaluable addition and should be part of your plumbing tools.

Heat Shields

Plumbers often find themselves soldering things, such as loose pipes. Therefore, it’s best to have some heat shields. They protect the homeowner’s property from getting damaged because the solder could drip and ruin the floor.

Consumables

A plumber doesn’t only need tools for working on pipes. They also require consumables that must be restocked periodically. In a sense, you should think of them as a way to keep using each plumbing tool in your arsenal. They include:

Plumber’s Tape

Sometimes called Teflon tape, plumber’s tape can seal pipe joints and make them watertight. With that, it helps you disassemble the pipes more easily because they don’t stick to each other. You want to include this in your tools!

Soldering Wire and Paste

A plumber is likely to need their soldering iron periodically, which requires the right soldering wire. That way, they can work on a copper pipe with ease.

Flux (soldering past) is a water-soluble and acidic paste that’s applied to copper pipes. A plumber is likely to need it when two joints get soldered together. When the pipe is heated with the blow torch, the paste draws the solder into the gap and creates a near-permanent bond between the pieces.

Sandpaper

Though plumbers often forget about it, abrasive sandpaper can help smooth out any rough edges from freshly cut pipes. Plus, it’s a beneficial tool for other jobs.

Specialty Tools

Most homeowners don’t have these specialty tools for plumbing, but as a professional, you’re sure to require them more than you think:

Soldering Iron

It’s impossible to solder anything without a soldering iron. Make sure it’s part of your arsenal because this tool is pretty much a necessity.

Plumber’s Augers and Snakes

A hand auger or snake is crucial when a plunger isn’t enough for the job. Overall, a hand auger is a plumber’s best friend and is the best drain cleaning tool for professionals and amateurs.

Plumber’s Torch

When homeowners call plumbers, they expect them to have the right tools for the job. You can use any blowtorch for plumbing work, but it’s best to go with a plumber’s torch. It packs a punch, even though it features a small form. That way, it doesn’t take up a lot of room.

With that, a plumber’s torch is so handy for dealing with pipes.

Borescope

A borescope is a small camera with a flexible and long cable. It can be inserted into supply lines and drains to help plumbers determine what’s clogging up the pipe or what condition the pipe is in. Though it’s a specialty tool, most plumbers have one.

Hydro Jetting Machine

When dealing with a home’s sewer pipes, a hydro jetting machine is crucial. It has high pressures and can shoot streams of water to get through any debris.

Flex Shaft

A flex shaft is also needed for sewer pipes and features a group of defined springs that are wound up to have a strong rotational strength. Plumbers can easily bend and rotate them to move around and over obstacles.

Ratchet Pipe Threader

Sometimes, plumbers must re-thread pipes to make things work correctly. In that case, you need a ratchet pipe threader, which is a small kit that’s great for this job.

Conclusion

Plumbers everywhere know that they need certain tools to get the plumbing job done right. Though there’s no magical list of things to buy and when you now have a better idea of what your plumbing business needs to succeed.

If you weren’t sure what to put in your toolbox, you’ve just learned about the most common and specialty options in this plumbing tools list. You can go to any job site and handle pipe-work because you’ve got the best tools for the job!

Itamar Ben Dor

My father is a practical engineer, and as a hobby he was also involved in construction, renovations, carpentry and woodwork at home; So there was always tools, saws, drills and more at home. Already I was a little kid Dad and I would renovate the house. Once we built a shed for garden tools, once we did flooring for the garden, once we renovated the bathroom and that’s the way it is. Long before there was an internet, directories and plans. We would build things, kitchen cabinets, install electrical appliances, do flooring, pour concrete and more ... I in this blog want to pass on to you the experience I have gained over the last 20 plus-minus years since I was a child to this day and give you information about the best tools, project plans, guides and more.

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