Whether you’re a DIYer or seasoned plumber, a simple plumbing-related job like changing a leaking faucet, replacing a rustic pipe or unblocking clogged lines and drains will go south if you try to accomplish the task with the wrong tools.
By wrong, we mean using a random wrench instead of specially-designed plumbing wrenches for instance. Even a single loosely- or tightly-latched nut can make your entire project go down the proverbial drain. However, things will pan out perfectly if you have a collection of the best plumbing tools at your disposal.
There is an array of plumbing tools that will make your life easy by providing you with versatility and reliability without putting a significant dent in your wallet. Items like adjustable plumbing wrenches, basin wrench, rotary hammer, hacksaw, pipe and tube cutter, sink drain cleaner, plunger etc. make a plumbing kit well-stocked to enable you to carry out a variety of plumbing operations effectively and efficiently.
To avoid getting overwhelmed, here’s a list of the top 10 plumbing tools along with a comprehensive buying guide to help you properly stock your plumbing toolkit.
Top Plumbing Tools Comparison Table
RIDGID 31105 Plumbing Wrench (824)
Weight: 6.01 pounds
Dimension: 22 x 4.3 x 1.8 inches
Bahco 325 Professional Hacksaw
Weight: 1.78 pounds
Dimension: 15.75 x 6.3 x 1.14 inches
Bosch HDG414 Diamond Hole Saw
Weight: 1.09 pounds
Size: 4-1/8 Inch
Knipex 86 03 180 SB Pliers Wrenches
Weight: 9.2 ounces
Dimension: 9.84 x 3.31 x 0.75 inches
Reed TC3QP Tubing Cutters
Weight: 1.95 pounds
Dimension: 11 x 5 x 2 inches
SharkBite 23251 Pex Crimp Tool
Weight: 3.15 pounds
Dimension: 16.75 x 5 x 1.5 inches
RIDGID 35473 K-45AF Sink Drain Cleaner
Weight: 11.02 pounds
Dimension: 12 x 7 x 14 inches
Dewalt SDS Rotary Hammer Drill (DCH273B)
Weight: 6.4 Pounds
Dimension: 13 x 4.2 x 8.6 inches
Ridgid 31175 Basin Wrench (1017)
Weight: 3.52 ounces
Dimension: 13.5 x 6.3 x 1 inches
ToiletTree Products Toilet Brush & Plunger Combo
Weight: 2.42 pounds
Dimension: 15.9 x 8.18 x 6.06 inches
1. RIDGID 31105 Plumbing Wrench (824): Best Plumbing Tool Overall (Our Top Pick)
RIDGID 824 plumbing wrench is quality and comfort rolled into one. With the use of aluminium construction, the tool possesses exceptional sturdiness to function for an extended period without deformation.
Due to the same aluminium construction, it is 40% lighter than traditional pipe wrenches. So much so that you would feel like holding a feather instead of a bulky wrench. This seems like an award-worthy feat, more so if you consider its large size of 24-inch. Speaking of size, this size makes it ideal for pipes having a diameter of 1½ inch and 2½”.
This adjustable wrench employs an l-beam handle with a fully floating forged jaw to offer you a superior and comfortable grip.
Despite the name sounding like “rigid”, the tool is adjustable and adaptable. It comes with a non-stick adjustment nut, self-cleaning threads coupled with easily replaceable hook jaw, heel jaw and spring assembly. Meaning, not only it can accommodate a pipe capacity of up to 3”, but its maintenance is also a breeze. Just move parts a little here, a little there and you will easily reach the tightest corners of ridges for cleaning.
However, it is more expensive than some other wrenches found in the market, but you get rewarded with premium quality.
- Superior quality.
- Hook and heel jaws and spring assembly for easy maintenance.
- Serves well with pipes of 1½” and 2½” diameters.
- Superb grip for easy operation.
- Relatively expensive.
- New piece is stiff at first, making it a little hard to release.
Ridgid 824 is a premium quality pipe wrench that offers decades of superb performance. Users love it because its reduced weight makes it easy to handle. It is expensive, but the exceptional build and performance offer great value for the money.
2. Bahco 325: Best Professional Hacksaw for Plumbing
According to plumbing gurus and passionate DIYers, Bahco 325 hacksaw is among the top 10 best hacksaws due to its superior structure and ergonomic design. To retain Bahco’s glowing reputation, this unit is composed of corrosion- and rust-resistant aluminium material, which ensures the tool stays in its prime condition for decades.
There are other ergo designed tools, but hardly any comes as close to ease-of-handling as this one offers. It is attributed to the dual padded handle which together with overall ergonomic structure makes its use extraordinarily easy.
Furthermore, the 12-inch shatterproof bi-metal blade sporting a 55-degree alternative mounting and remarkable blade tension allows you to cut through tough cookies like pipes, nuts, and screws with astounding accuracy and speed.
You will never have to deal with a dull as a butter-knife blade because its swift release mechanism offers a simple and quick replacement. A single press to the spring-loaded system is all it will take to take out the dead blade and slide a new one in its place.
- Sturdy and lightweight.
- Ergonomic construction with dual padded handles for comfortable handling.
- Blunt blade with high-tension adjustment and alternative mounting angle precisely and swiftly cut hardware
- like pipes and nuts.
- A quick-release system for convenient blade replacement.
- Excellent value for money.
- Higher cost is a slight putoff.
- A bit heavy for smaller hands.
Bahco 325 hacksaw is hands down the best professional hacksaw because of its ability to quickly and accurately cut rustic pipes and tubings, thanks to the large blunt blade having remarkable tension along with the adjustment. Plus, the ergonomic frame and padded handles feel comfortable and balanced in hand for precise and consistent movement.
3. Bosch HDG414: Best Diamond Hole Saw for Plumbing
When you want to cut perfect circular holes in a surface for a pipe installation without breaking a sweat or breaking a bank, Bosch HDG414 Diamond Hole Saw is the fella to seek assistance from.
This hole cutter ranks high on DIYers and plumbers choice list because of its longevity and rapid performance. The machine has vacuum-brazed diamond grit to cut in a snap without getting damaged in the process. Let’s just say you placed it on a surface – ceramics, tiles, porcelain, plaster etc. – blinked an eye and Voila! There’s a beautifully round 1-inch deep cavity formed.
Thanks to the integration of segmented teeth, neither the tool heat up nor it produces a huge pile of debris. This is what you call a neat and clean move quite literally!
The plugs are designed to be removed very quickly, courtesy of the Quick Change universal hole saw system. So, when you have to cut a hole of a different size, it will only take a few seconds to replace the drill bit with one of the required diameter.
The price might seem a bit higher to on-budget customers, considering it is just one piece instead of a full set. However, the long-lasting quality and bullet-train like speedy hole drilling process make it worth the bucks. A little advice though, continuously sprinkle water on the bit to keep it from heating up if you plan to run it for longer projects.
- Well-built with a longer lifespan.
- Vacuum-brazen to cut a 1” deep hole at lightning speed.
- Segmented teeth keep the unit and surface from heating up and minimize debris.
- Works fabulously with granite, ceramics, tiles, porcelain, marble etc.
- Drill bits can be changed quickly.
- The cutting head needs to be immersed in water after regular intervals.
- A bit steeple price for a single piece.
This Bosch Diamond Hole Saw is an ideal choice for creating multiple rounded hollows in a few minutes. The diamond drilling bit works remarkably well with a plethora of tough surfaces like ceramics, tiles, granite, porcelain etc. without heating up and wearing out.
4. Knipex 86 03 180 SB Pliers Wrenches: Best Top Rated Plumbing Tool
Knipex Multi-Purpose Wrench is held in high esteem for the number of possibilities and convenience it brings along. The ultra-durable yet surprisingly lightweight and compact unit can easily fit in your pocket for immediate use when needed. Add a straightened handle and slim jaw profile to the mix, and handling it becomes a breeze.
Speaking of slim jaws, the narrow mouth allows you unconstrained access to even the narrowest of areas.
There’s no need to bother yourself with tons of metrics and Imperial spanners, this jack-of-all-trades wrench will carry out just about any job thrown at it. It comes marked with a metric and inch scale to let you open the jaw to the desired width.
What else you don’t need to worry about is the grip. Having two setting positions coupled with recessed areas and multiple adjustments enable you to hold up to 1.5” hex fasteners in a vice-like grip. Just like its tight grasp on fasteners, you can hold this multi-purpose unit in the same firm grip due to the plastic handles.
It’s quite costly for a small piece of equipment. But, all premium editions come with a high price. Its forged steel construction with chromium-plated finishing compensates for the hole it drills in your wallet. You might completely get over the soaring price with the knowledge of its multiple talents. Whether you want to use it for gripping and holding tasks or pressing and bending applications, it will not disappoint you.
- Ultra-durable and lightweight.
- Multi-purpose, pocket-size wrench.
- Multiple adjustment positions and integral recessed areas hold the workpiece in a tight grip.
- Slim jaw profile for unhindered access to narrow spaces.
- Built-in marked adjustment scale for added convenience
- This is suitable only for extremely tight quarters.
This Pliers cum Wrench by Knipex comes in handy during a wide range of automotive and household plumbing applications. Sporting a slim jaw profile resembling pliers along with a ratcheting adjustment system results in a vice-like hold on nuts and bolts to get the job done with efficiency and convenience.
5. Reed TC3QP: Best Quick Release Tubing Cutters
Talking about the best plumbing tools for DIY jobs without mentioning TC3QP Pipe Cutter by Reed is like a cardinal sin. Trust me, fellas, I ain’t exaggerating; it is that good at what it does. As expected from this century-old mogul of pipe tools and vises, this tube cutter is also composed of rock-solid material following commercial quality standards. Its durable framing supplemented by zinc aluminium sliding bars highlight the tool’s unparalleled strength and sturdiness.
The article comes with a built-in reamer and an additional wheel cutter lodged in the knob. These additions earn the tool brownie points because of the unlimited possibilities they introduce. Throw any plastic, aluminium, copper or light wall steel pipe at it, it will cut the object as smoothly as if it were made of rubber. Simply put, anything within the range of 3/8 – 3½ inch is a game for it.
With11-inch in size, this monster of a tool weighs almost 2-pounds; this means it is not designed for tight-quarters work. However, what it is can do, it ensures to give a killer performance every time. Thanks to its multiple support wheels, the unit allows secure contact and tracking over the tubing size at hand to deliver clean square cuts even in the most challenging place like floor drains. The spring-loaded quick release will enable you to retract it without pinching your finger.
- Commercial quality.
- Suitable for tracking and cutting.
- Neatly cuts aluminium, copper and PVC pipes.
- Spare cutter wheel in the knob for versatility.
- Spring-assisted quick release for easy retracting without hurting yourself.
- Not suitable for tight-quarters work.
Reed TC3Qp Tubing Cutters entail a hefty price tag and commercial quality to indicate this is a no-nonsense tool designed for serious plumbers and DIY enthusiasts. The tool delivers neat and precise cuts to ensure your plumbing project is finished with professional-like finesse.
6. SharkBite 23251: Best Crimping Tool for Plumbing
SharkBite 23251 is one of the most highly recommended models when you ask for the best PEX crimp tool with unbeatable efficiency and simplicity. The tool has a rock-solid, durable construction that holds up over time without deforming even when you put it through rigorous use. Unfortunately, this tough built also makes it a bulky piece that cannot reach into narrower spaces.
But, thanks to the long handle, reaching Pex pipes in recessed areas. Speaking of Pex pipes, the tool is not as versatile as you would like; but it makes fine work of connecting copper, PEX, CPVC, and PE-RT pipe in the desired combination given that the crimping ring is either of 1/2” or 3/4” in size.
The credit for its superb performance goes to the rubberized handles along with hinges that allow you to maintain a non-slip firm grip on the tool to give the ring a proper squeeze. As mentioned earlier, it’s the simplest and easiest to operate tool because it comes factory calibrated. This means you don’t need to search for additional parts. The piece is ready for effective action in a variety of positions.
- Sturdy construction quality.
- Ergonomic handles offer a fatigue-free, firm grip.
- Hinges provide leverage to squeeze the ring with strength for a tight seal.
- Comes factory calibrated for easy and immediate use.
- Bulky structure cannot reach tight spaces.
- Limited use.
If you’re looking for a hard-to-break, rugged PEX crimp tool designed for two common size PEX pipings and fittings, then SharkBite 23251 model is a worth considering candidate. Its no-frills design along with superior ergonomics allow you to form a tight seal while joining PEX pipes.
7. RIDGID 35473 K-45AF: Best Sink Drain Cleaner Machine for Plumbing
Cleaning clogged pipes alone is a nasty encounter that could worsen with a shoddy drain cleaner. Hence, the reason behind our effort to introduce you to the best value plumbing tool perfect for the said task. Once again, RIDGID steals the show by providing you with a reliable commercial quality machine at a competitive price.
The machine is specially designed for clearing drain lines of 3/4” to 2½” in size. Considering the price, you would expect something cheap. But, cheap is a word unknown to Ridgid, unless it is related to pricing. The manufacturer has installed a corrosion-resistant, robust cable drum to withstand harsh treatment during cleaning without denting. The inner drum is made interchangeable, and a two-piece twist lock canister is added to the composition for a no-fuss cable changeout. Meaning, with just a few flicks of your hand, you will have the right cable installed for the job at hand. Thanks to the dual auto-feed, the cable can be inserted or retrieved in a snap.
Depending on the blockage, you can increase the speed through its variable speed option to spear through tough clogs, opening them in a jiffy. The compact and lightweight design of the tool is perfect for lavatory and sink lines and tub/shower drains.
- Tough and compact body.
- Dual auto-feed control for swift insertion or retrieval of cable.
- Interchangeable inner drum with twist lock canister for hassle-free cable changeout.
- Variable speed control to spear through stubborn clogs.
- Perfect for small lines of a lavatory, sink or shower/tub drains.
- Reasonable price with a lifetime warranty.
- Cable tends to bend when run at full speed while unblocking stubborn clogs.
Despite entailing a reasonable price tag, Ridgid K-45AF is a solidly built drain cleaning machine with a lot of nifty features for easy handling. The auto-feeding of cable along with speed control allows you to quickly snake out debris and filth that has been blocking pipes in your sink and shower drain.
8. Dewalt DCH273B: Best Hammer Drill for Plumbing
If there ever were an Olympic event for best running SDS Rotary Hammer, this model by Dewalt would have been a medalist. It has a brute-like strong body housing a brushless motor to indicate its unbeatable durability and ability to run for an extended period without burning up.
With its ability to deliver 2.1 joules of impact energy and speed capacity of 0-1100 rpm, it allows you more than usual coverage in less time. Plus, the impact speed of 0-4600 bpm coupled with the ability to run on a 20V battery implies that the tool will give you high performance as compared to other rivalling models within the same price range. Just know that you will have to purchase the battery separately.
What makes it ultra-special is the built-in vibration control feature that minimizes hand fatigue to let you concentrate fully on the job at hand. After all, no one wants to feel continuous tremors travelling throughout one’s hand while drilling through tough concrete slabs and drywalls. Besides, when you add a 360-degree side handle promising a comfortable and firm grip to the mix, it becomes crystal clear that you can trust this tough fellow to provide you with as much comfort as needed to finish a project.
The last admirable aspect is the inclusion of a retractable utility hook for hassle-free hanging and storage.
- Powerful brushless motor with 2.1 joules of impact energy for vast coverage in a short time.
- Vibration reducing feature for fatigue-free operation.
- 360-degree side handle offer a comfortable grip.
- Convenient storage because of a retractable utility hook.
- The extra cost of the battery makes it an expensive purchase.
- Not suitable for large-scale demanding projects.
- High power consumption.
As expected, this SDS rotary hammer drill from Dewalt has the brand’s exceptional quality at a relatively economical price. With its admirable impact energy and speed together with minimized vibration, it offers a comfortable and convenient operation to complete small-scale projects quicker than expected.
9. Ridgid 31175 Basin Wrench (1017): Best Budget Plumbing Tool
Our list is dominated by Ridgid because the company is a champion at producing the best plumbing tools for DIY plumbing assignments. Its telescopic basin wrench is perfection incarnate. This is one of the most lightweight basin wrenches that you will find, yet its durability is unquestionable.
The unit uses spring-loaded jaws to firmly clasp around nuts and bolts ranging between the width of 3/8” to1¼”. What gives it an edge over many other models is the tension plug that enables you to lock the head in any position up to a 90-degree angle to acquire the best working angle but also keep it from swivelling for a better and quicker outcome.
Another great feature is its extendable length. The shank can be elongated from 10” to 17” or any increment in between to allow you easy access to hard-to-reach corners under the sink.
What you might find as potential deal breakers are its tendency to rust if not wiped dry and oiled after use, and the few tries it takes to successfully latch on to a nut.
- Sturdy and lightweight.
- Spring-loaded jaw for firmly grasping the nut.
- Tension plug with angle adjustments.
- Extendable shank.
- Perfect for nuts ranging between 3/8” to 1¼” width.
- Prone to rusting if not properly cared for.
- Takes a little effort to catch a nut.
Ridgid 31175 basin wrench is an affordable and simple way to deal with nuts and bolts holding your basin’s faucets. The tool has a pivotal head with a lock and an extendable shank to enable you to easily reach awkward corners underneath the sinks to quickly and effectively get the job done.
10. ToiletTree Products: Best Toilet Brush and Plunger Combo for Plumbing
This duo will win you over with their well-made built and sleek stainless steel finish. We know there’s nothing pretty about a toilet brush, but that doesn’t mean it should stand out as an eyesore in your pristine toilet. That is why users admire this combo as it comes with a hideaway canister that keeps the bristle-side of the brush and plunger concealed. The holder is made bulky to make sure it doesn’t tip over when you take out or slip the item back in its slot.
Its cleaning brush is better than some others we found in the market because the black bristles have the right amount of stiffness to easily scrub the toilet clean. These brush fibres allow you to wipe a substantial amount of grime and filth from the bowl with a gentle scrubbing and less sprinkling of water.
The same great craftsmanship is found in the composition of the plunger as well. The black rubber plunger is designed in a manner to provide excellent grip and suction power to clear up the clogged toilet with just a few pumps. You will have proper flushing in a few seconds.
- Well-made items with sleek finishing.
- Stiff bristles quickly scrub away grime from the toilet bowl.
- The rubberized suction cup of the plunger has a firm grip and excellent suction power to quickly clear the blocked toilet.
- Heavy canister firmly holds the duo while keeping the ugly parts concealed.
- A bit expensive.
- The plunger head is small.
- Quality needs improvement.
Ignoring the few gripes, the overall built and quality of both the plunger and the toilet brush is dependable. The duo along with a heavy canister for holding the tools helps you keep your toilet hygienically clean.
Buyer’s Guide for Buying the Best Plumbing Tools
There are some tools that are essential to have around if you want to smoothly carry out plumbing jobs without requiring external help. We will shed light on those necessary items in this buyer’s guide to help you gather a proper collection of quality plumbing tools.
You need several sizes of wrenches to effectively deal with the situation at hand. Instead of hoarding a set of different sized wrenches, go for the model with adjustments. Not only will it save you from the hassle of digging through several items to find the right model, but will also enable you to adapt the wrench according to the diameter of the pipes you are dealing with.
The wrench with a small 10” length is good for accessing narrow spaces while the one as long as 24” having a longer handle will offer you extra leverage and reach.
Having a sturdy pipe cutter is essential for delivering clean and precise cuts to copper, brass, aluminium, steel and PVC pipes. Investing in a commercial quality tube cutter with adjustments and a spare cutter wheel gives you the liberty to squarely cut pipes and tubes ranging from 1/4” to 1-⅜” single-handedly. If you have to work in tight quarters, it is better to go for a compact model.
PEX Crimp Tool
If you’re planning to undertake PEX-related plumbing assignments, you need a sturdy pex crimp tool to ensure leak-free joints. A versatile piece will let you join any two pipes in an air-tight seal with the right size of the crimping ring. Make sure the tool you have chosen has an ergonomic handle and extra leverage to help you squeeze the ring with the right amount of strength to form a seal proof connection insusceptible to leakage.
A rotary hammer is indispensable for your toolkit because it helps to deliver powerful blows in tight spaces without extra effort. A model like Dewalt SDS rotary hammer drill allows you to drill through hard concrete and wooden slabs and drywalls in less time for driving or removing screws. Its hammering function can deliver up to 4600 blows per minute, which implies its strength and ability to let you finish small-scale DIY projects efficiently and in less time.
You need a basin wrench if you are planning to tackle nuts and bolts holding faucets of your sinks. Make sure to pick a model with a pivotal head and adjustable shank length. By doing so, you will acquire more flexibility and leverage to reach narrow areas to exert the right amount of torque to fasten/unfasten the nuts.
You need to search for a well-built hacksaw with a fine-toothed blade mounted at such an angle that makes it easy to cut metal. A good quality hacksaw will have ergonomic handles and will hold the blade in such high tension that will make quick work of cutting tough objects like bolts, nuts and hard plastic pipes without compromising the precision and accuracy of the cuts.
There’s nothing as gross as clogged pipes and lines, whether they’re of the sinks or showers/tubs. Look for a sink drain cleaner having a durable cable drum along with adjustable speed. By doing so, you will be able to unclog even the stubborn blockage effortlessly. It will help you immensely to prefer a lightweight tool as controlling it will be convenient in confined spaces.
We are drawing the show to a close. In the article above, we showed you a range of the best plumbing tools suitable for DIYers and professional plumbers alike. Each product has a distinct set of strengths and weaknesses. Now, it is up to you to assess them by keeping in mind the kind of plumbing projects you are likely to undertake. If you still have some unsolved queries, our buying guide will hopefully answer them for you in detail.