The 40 Best Plumbing Tools for All Jobs (With Prices)
Choosing the best plumbing tools can be overwhelming whether you’re an apprentice starting your toolbag, a journeyman upgrading your van, or an experienced technician starting your own plumbing business.
We’ve done the legwork for you by compiling a list of every essential and advanced plumbing tool, including how to use them and how much they cost.
For extra help, download this plumbing tool checklist to keep track of what you’ve purchased and what you still need.
Here’s what you can expect to pay for all types of plumbing tools:
Plumbers on the job need to install, repair, and replace different types of piping to fix leaks or clogs. To make sure you’re well-equipped for the task, budget $148–1,232 for these pipework tools:
1. Plastic ($12–50), copper ($15–60), and steel pipe cutters ($25–75): Used by plumbers for quick, clean, and professional slices or cuts, a pipe cutter is a convenient alternative to a hacksaw.
2. Hacksaw and junior hacksaw ($5–35): Hacksaws are manual tools used to cut through plumbing pipes, nuts, bolts, and various other metals. Junior hacksaws are smaller versions that are useful for cutting pipes in small spaces.
3. Hole saw kit ($40–200): Hole saw kits are cylindrical-shaped blades that attach to your power tool to cut perfectly round holes. Use them to cut holes of larger diameters where you can run pipework and wiring or install drainage pipes.
4. Thread sealing tape ($1–12 per roll): Also known as plumbers tape, thread sealing tape is a sealant for threaded pipe joints that don’t have a built-in rubber seal. It also acts as a lubricant for easier disassembly.
5. Press fitting systems ($50–800): Used to secure a connection onto a pipe by pressing a seal, press fitting systems are a quick way for plumbers to seal a connection without welding or soldering.
Keep a diverse set of wrenches so you’re prepared to tighten, loosen, and screw all kinds of pipe fittings. Expect to spend $60–$195 on these wrenches:
6. Pipe wrench ($20–60): You’ll use a pipe wrench on almost every job to loosen or tighten pipes and fittings. This type of wrench has a toothed jaw that grips the pipe or fitting, making it easier for plumbers to move. Common sizes you may need include 8”, 10”, 12”, 14”, and 18”.
7. Basin wrench ($15–50): Also called a sink wrench, a basin wrench is used to turn fasteners in tight spaces that are hard to access with a traditional wrench. You’ll usually use them underneath sinks to disconnect faucets.
8. Faucet seat wrench ($5–30): This L-shaped wrench is used to replace valve seats on sink and tub faucets.
9. Adjustable wrench ($15–45): With its movable jaw, an adjustable wrench lets you torque nuts and bolts of various sizes.
10. Faucet key ($5–10): Also known as sillcock keys, faucet keys are used to open and close outdoor water spigots on commercial and industrial buildings.
Tools for clogged drains
Clogged drains in sinks, toilets, and showers are among the most common plumbing issues for homeowners.
To quickly and effectively clear clogs for your clients, look for these tools—and budget $145–$465 (depending on the complexity of your plumbing jobs):
11. Plungers ($5–20): Have a few different plungers handy, depending on the type of drain you’re clearing. The three different kinds of plungers are a cup plunger, flange plunger, and accordion plunger.
12. Plumber’s snake ($10–25): When a plunger can’t clear the blockage, drain snakes are used to break through the clog. Motorized drain snakes are particularly helpful for more stubborn clogs because they have more power to push through the blockage
13. Motorized drain auger ($70–300): Drain augers work similar to drain snakes, but with wider and longer hoses that can clear clogs in bigger pipes like a toilet or shower.
14. Drain inspection camera ($60–120): Also called borescopes, drain inspection cameras are used to view the inside of a pipe or drain and identify what and where the blockage is.
Plumbing power tools and specialty tools
If you’ve achieved your Master plumbing certification, you may find yourself needing specialty and power tools to tackle bigger and more complicated plumbing projects.
Expect to spend between $3,625 and $6,965 for these specialty tools:
15. Soldering torch ($25–65): Also known as plumber’s torches, soldering torches are used to heat frozen pipes or rusted nuts and to solder copper pipes.
16. PEX plumbing tool kit ($500–700): Keep a full range of tools that are designed specifically for PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) piping systems, including a crimping tool, a tubing cutter and a de-crimping tool.
17. Cordless power drill and drill bits ($100–200): Cordless power drills come in handy for all kinds of plumbing work, and plumbers use drill attachments like hole saws and drain snakes.
18. Hydro jetting machine ($3,000–6,000): Use hydro jetting machines to clear grease, sludge, and soap clogged in sewer lines. These machines use high-pressure water to unblock debris.
Basic plumbing hand tools
If you’re just starting your plumbing business or an apprenticeship, make sure you’ve purchased a few of these basics (and budget $45–120 if you’re buying all of them new):
19. Flashlight and headlight ($15–35): You’ll need a source of light when working under counters or behind walls. Opt for a headlight when you’re working in the dark for longer periods of time.
20. Screwdriver set ($10–30): Useful for installing or changing plumbing fixtures, make sure to keep a complete screwdriver set in your tool bag.
21. Stubby screwdriver ($5–10): These small screwdrivers are lifesavers when you’re working in hard-to-reach places. The short handle allows you to easily loosen or tighten screws in cramped spaces.
22. Pliers or plier set ($15–45): When nuts or bolts are too small for a wrench to loosen, plumbers use pliers to tighten and loosen them.
Basic supplies to stock in your plumbing van
To be prepared for every plumbing job or emergency, stock your van with these essential supplies and consumables ($39–225 in total):
23. Soldering wire: $5–$25
24. Soldering paste: $5–$20
25. Washers and O-rings: $2–$20
26. Batteries (AA, AAA, 9V): $5–$20
27. Screws: $3–$30
28. Butterfly anchors: $5–$25
29. Duct tape: $3–$15
30. Sandpaper: $3–$20
31. Bucket: $2–$25
32. Silicon grease: $4–$20
33. Replacement hacksaw blades: $2–$15
Get an insider’s look at the tools and equipment Terence Chan, owner of Impetus Plumbing and Heating uses in this tour of his custom plumbing van and shop.
Safety tools and supplies
Maintaining a safe work environment for you and your client relies on investing in the right plumbing safety tools and supplies for the job. Pick up these safety supplies and make sure you’re using them properly.
34. Gloves ($7–25): Pick a heavy-duty work glove to protect your hands from hot elements or sharp surfaces. Plumbing gloves also help you easily grip wet and slippery items on the job.
35. Knee pads ($20–40): Pipework and other plumbing tasks can keep you on your knees for long periods. Knee pads help soften the pressure and save you from serious joint issues down the road.
36. Heat shields ($15–35): When soldering in small or confined spaces, heat shields protect you and your client’s property from potential heat or fire damage.
37. Goggles ($10–25): Whether you’re soldering a pipe or snaking a drain, safety goggles are a must-have to protect your eyes from flying debris and chemicals.
Digital tools to run a more efficient plumbing business
For your business to be a success, you’ll need more than just plumbing hardware. Invest in these digital tools to make the everyday work of running your business smoother.
38. Plumbing business management software
Plumbing business management software helps you organize and manage your plumbing jobs and customers from the office and the job site.
Jobber provides on-the-go job scheduling and dispatching, plus automated customer communication and time-saving invoicing tools.
Here’s what else you can do with Jobber as your plumbing service software:
- Let customers book your services online, directly into your calendar
- Create and send plumbing estimates and invoices
- Track client details and job history with a plumber CRM
- Schedule and dispatch plumbing technicians with a couple of clicks
- Automate appointment reminders and client follow-ups
- Collect payments in-person or online
39. Plumbing calculator apps
Speed up your on-the-job calculations with these handy plumbing apps on your phone or tablet:
- Use a flow rate calculator app when you need to quickly calculate the speed of water running through a pipe.
- A pipe volume calculator app comes in handy to calculate the volume of water a pipe can manage based on its length and diameter.
40. Accounting software
Plumbing business owners need accounting software to balance their books, track inventory, pay salaries, and make sure their business is turning a profit.
QuickBooks Online is the best accounting software for plumbing businesses of all sizes that need to manage their accounting and bookkeeping better.
Use QuickBooks Online to track income and expenses, financial reports, payroll, accounts receivable, and accounts payable.
Pro Tip: Use Jobber’s Quickbooks integration to keep your data up to date and eliminate double entry.
Originally published March 2022. Last updated September 7th, 2023.