Best plumber's tools

     
    
     
   

1. Pipe cutters

 
 pipe cutter 

Every plumber should have a few of these pocket-sized tools. Pipe Cutters(also known as an Automatic Pipe Cutter, Pipe Slice and Single Handed Pipe Cutter) can cut through most piping with ease, they produce a cleaner cut than using a hacksaw, more importantly, they are quicker. They can be used in tight spaces which makes them ideal for plumbing use. Circular pipe cutters are not adjustable so it is recommended that you purchase the most common diameters of copper piping (8mm, 10mm, 15mm, 22mm and 28mm).

 

 
     
   

2. Telescopic tube cutter

 
 tube cutter 

The  Adjustable Tube Cutter (or Telescopic Tube Cutter) is a must have tool for any plumber. It can cut pipes and tubing 6 - 35mm in thickness.  Perfect for those jobs your circular pipe cutter can't manage. It will cut through copper pipe neatly and will produce a clean cut.  It also comes with a built-in deburrer for neatening up those cutting jobs.

 
     
   

3. Adjustable spanner (Large, medium and small)

 
 adjustable spanner 

Adjustable Spannersare extremely useful tools for any worker and absolutely essential for a plumber. They are easily adjusted with a flick of the thumb and once set, the jaws will remain at their set width. They are used to turn nuts, bolts and fastenings. You need to buy at least a pair in order to tighten compression joints without twisting the pipework.

 
     
   

4. Adjustable pipe wrench

 
 pipe wrench 

An Adjustable Pipe Wrench is the iconic tool for a plumber. It has loads of leverage to turn pipes and fittings with a rounded surface. The toothed jaws allow it to dig into the workpiece and are sometimes the only thing that can remove a stuck pipe, bolt or when a nut has been rounded. A must-have tool!

 
     
   

5. Slip joint pliers

 
 slip joint pliers 

Slip Joint Pliers(also known as Water Pump Pliers, Groove Joint Pliers and Groove Lock Pliers) have a fulcrum (pivot point) that can be adjusted to increase the size range of the jaws. Their toothed jaws make them ideal for gripping and holding jobs. These pliers have various applications and are an extremely useful tool.

 
     
   

6. Mole grips

 
 mole grips 

Mole Grips (or Locking Pliers) are excellent for gripping and holding workpieces. Invaluable for turning nuts and bolts that have become "rounded". Their locking mechanism allows the tool to hold workpieces securely while you have both hands free to work with. 

 
     
   

7. Blowlamp and gas

 
 blow lamp 

Plumbers use Blowlamps for soldering and fixing copper pipes. An essential tool for creating water-tight seals and joints. It is important to purchase a good quality blowlamp that produces a fine flame at a high temperature to provide soldered joints that don't leak.

 
     
   

8. Pipe bender

 
 pipe bender 

Consisting of two long arms, two formers, a guide, a roller and a pipestay, using a  Pipe Bender  is the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective way to bend pipes.They can accommodate 15mm and 22mm piping. 

 
     
   

9. Plunger

 
 plunger 

This iconic tool has earned its place as the plumber's best friend by its simple yet effective design.   Plungers are inexpensive and is possibly the first tool you grab when a sink, toilet, drain or bath needs unblocking.

Have a look at the Power Plunger - a lot less effort, and dare I say, a lot more fun!

 
     
   

10. Hacksaw 

 
 hack saw 

Plumbing and pipes do not always come apart easily so investing in a good quality Hacksaw will be extremely useful when cutting any type of pipe, nut, bolt, or screw. In a tight squeeze you can always remove the hacksaw blade and use it on its own.

 
     
  

 

11. Junior hack saw

 
 junior hack saw 

A Junior Hacksaw is a fine-toothed hand saw that can cut through pretty much anything. Has a detachable and disposable blade held under tension in a lightweight frame. Ideal for tight spaces.

 
     
   

12. Spirit levels (large, medium and small)

 
 spirit level 

Spirit Levels are designed to indicate whether a surface is horizontal (level) or vertical (plumb). Having a range of sizes (small, medium or large) will allow you varying levels of accessability. You should always use the biggest level you can for accuracy.

 
     
   

13. Allen keys

 
 allen key set or Hex key set. Look out for the ball end or ball point hex keys, these will work at different angles and are ideal for those fittings in awkward places 

Many taps and shower heads are held on with ahex grub screws. They are easy to attach and remove as long as you have the correct sized Hex Keys (also known as Allen Keys). Every plumber should have a set of these. Opt for the Ball End (or Ball Point) Hey Key, these can be used at various angles and are excellent for use in tight spaces.

 
     
   

14. Pipe deburrer 

 
  Pipe or tube deburrer & cleaners 

Deburring is an important job for quality, aesthetics, functionality and can aid in the operation of working parts. So, whether you are cutting pipe or snipping tin, using a Pipe Deburrer to deburr your cuts shows your level of professionalism and care. 

 
     
   

15. Drain rods and accessories

 
 drain rods and accessories 

These tools are used to unblock drains and sewers. Drain Rods can be attached together end-to-end and inserted into a manhole, drain or access point to dislogdge a blockage. Most residential homes will not own these tools so make sure you do. 

 
     
   

16. Soldering pad

 
 soldering pad 

A Soldering Pad(or Plumbers Mat / Soldering Mat) is a fire resistant cloth used to protect surrounding surfaces and workpieces when soldering or otherwise using a naked flame. 

 
     
   

17. Radiator key

 
 radiator key 

A universal key that opens the bleed screw on a radiator so you can allow unwanted air to escape from the unit.

 
     
   

18. Radiator spanner

 
 radiator spanner 

A radiator spanner is a simple tool is for tightening and loosening radiator valves.

 
     
   

19. Sabre saw

 
 sabre saw 

An extremely useful power tool with interchangeable toothed blades used to cut a variety of materials, including wood, plastic and metal. A sabre saw's chief attributes are power and the speed at which it can remove old pipework. Essential for a full-time plumber.

 
     
   

20. Long nosed pliers

 
 long nose pliers 

Long nosed pliers are an essential tool for both cutting and holding jobs. They can be used to bend, twist, strip, cut, and reposition wire. They provide excellent control and are ideal for reaching into tight spaces and holes where fingers cannot reach.

 
     
   

21. Magnetic level

 
 magnetic level 

Magnetic levels are widely used in a variety of plumbing applications. Magnetic power allows the level to be set in any position safely and securely. It allows the user to perform without holding the level, enabling the use of both hands. The magnet won't work on copper pipes but will enable you to level radiators hands free.

 
     
   

22. Gas meter box key

 
 gas meter box key 

Universal key used to open meter boxes.

 
     
   

23. Stubby screwdriver

 
 
stubby screwdriver
 

Sometimes there is just one screw that you can't reach even with the most slimline electric screwdriver. This is where the stubby screwdriver comes into its own. It can be held in the palm of your hand and used in a variety of tight spaces such as under sinks and in bathroom units. No need to bruise those knuckles any more.

 
     
   

24. Long phillips head screwdriver

 
 long Phillips head screwdriver 

This screwdriver is ideal for fitting washhand basins where the extra length keeps your knuckles out of the way of the basin. Also perfect for slipping inbetween all those pipes your electric screwdriver is too big for.

 
     
   

25. Tape measure

 
 tape measure 

This handy little tool is essentially a flexible ruler which can extend up to 25, 50, or even 100 feet depending on the model. It will extend stiff and straight for ease of measuring, and it will retract into a coil to remain pocket-sized. 

 
     
   

26. Knee pads

 
 knee pads 

Because of the nature of pipework, plumbers may spend extended periods of time working on their knees. Knee pads will keep you from injuring yourself, they will protect you from impact and discomfort. Essential if you want to be able to walk unaided at 60 years old.

 
     
   

27. Stop cock key

 
 stop cock key 

A stop cock key is essential for turning off mains water supply. 

 
     
   

28. Stanley knife

 
 retractable trimming knife 

This multi-purpose tool has a wide variety of applications. A stanley knife can be used to cut a wide range of materials. If nothing else it will sharpen your pencil. Fits snugly in a pocket or tool belt and can be grasped at a moment’s notice. Their retractable blades are sharp, cheap and easy to replace.

 
     
   

29. Claw hammer

 
 claw hammer 

This is a standard piece of equipment for any worker.  A claw hammer has a blunt end for striking and a claw end for lifting nails and prying.

 
     
   

30. Torch

 
 torch 

Having to pull up floorboards to find that leaky pipe can be difficult at the best of times. Make the job of looking for the leak a whole lot easier with a powerful torch.

 
     
   

31. Open ended spanner set

 
 spanner set 

The spanner is an essential tool for any plumber and having a complete set will stand you in good stead for any number of jobs.

 
     
   

32. File set

 
 file set 

Although only commonly used for deburring, files have a wide variety of applications. They can be used to neaten, shape and cut fine amounts of material from a workpiece. 

 
     
   

33. Bucket

 
 bucket 

A bucket is an extremely handy piece of equipment that has multiple applications and uses. Excellent for catching the drip when you have a joint leak. Lightweight and durable if you buy a good quality one.

 
     
   

34. Pressure tester

 
 pressure gauge 

As a plumber you will need to check the pressure in pipes. A simple pressure tester tool will allow you to do this. Otherwise you will not just need one bucket but two.

 
     
   

35. Inspection camera

 
 inspection camera 

Inspection cameras are not only incredibly useful they are super cool too. They can be used to peek into those nooks, crannies, pipes, drains and holes that you just can't get access to any other way. Find any blockage with this tool and feel a bit like James Bond while you do it.

 
     
   

36. Cordless combi drill

 
 cordless combi drill 

This power tool will allow you to drive screws as well as drill holes. A cordless combi drill is powerful, interchangable, rechargeable and easy to use. This is standard equipment for any worker.

 
     
   

37. Jig saw

 
 jig saw 

The jig saw is particularly useful for plumbers because it allows the user to cut arbitrary patterns and irregular shapes, extremely handy when you need to cut a hole for a new pipe fitting or gain access to pipework via the floorboards.

 
     
   

38. Circular saw

 
 circular saw 

The circular saw has a wide range of applications. Although traditionally designed to cut wood, there are many different blades available that can cut through masonary, plastic or even metal. An all round power tool that can deal with even the toughest of jobs.

 
     
   

39. SDS drill

 
 SDS drill 

An SDS (special direct system) drill is a powerful tool and is typically used for those jobs where extra power is needed. The drill has three basic functions: normal drilling, hammer action drilling, and chiselling. It can hold large diameter drill bits and will make light work of tough drilling jobs.

 
     
   

40. Pipe freezer spray

 
 pipe freezer spray 

It will allow you to conduct plumbing work without having to turn off the main supply of water or drain down. Pipe freezer spray will not damage your pipes and can keep them frozen whilst you complete the task in hand. 

 
     
   

41.  Angle grinder 

 
 angle grinder 

The small (115mm / 4.5") angle grinder is a very powerful tool with multiple uses. It can be used to cut, grind and polish. There are various attachments that include: diamond blades, wire brushes, sanding discs, polishing pads, and grinding wheels. This handheld tool can be used to remove excess material from an object or simply for cutting through a workpiece and is incredibly versatile and powerful.  It will cut through anything with the right attachment. 

 
     
   

42. Immersion heater spanner

 
 immersion heater spanner 

An immersion heater spanner is a simple tool for fitting and extracting immersion heater elements.

 

For more information, see our guide to: Immersion heater spanners

 
     
   

43. Basin spanner

 
 basin spanner 

A basin spanner allows you to tighten or loosen under-sink tap fittings. It is ideal for those tight spaced plumbing jobs.

 
     
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