Plumber Tools Guide

Best Plumbers Tools

Every plumber, regardless of whether they’re a professional or amateur will need a variety of tools to get the job done. 

In the office, we’ve put our heads together to create a complete list of “must haves” to help. Enjoy!

Pipe Cutters

 

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).

 

When picking a copper pipe cutter, you want to ensure that it’s lightweight but sturdy enough to make the cut clean and precise. If you can avoid or remove any external burrs at the same time, the more the better.

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).

When picking a copper pipe cutter, you want to ensure that it’s lightweight but sturdy enough to make the cut clean and precise. If you can avoid or remove any external burrs at the same time, the more the better.

Telescopic 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.

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.

Adjustable Spanner (Large, Medium and Small)

Adjustable Spanners are 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.

Adjustable Spanners are 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.

Adjustable 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!

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.

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.

Locking Pliers

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.

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.

Blowlamp and Gas

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. 

 

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.

Pipe Bender

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.

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.

 

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.

Hacksaw

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.

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.

Junior Hacksaw

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.

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.

Spirit Levels (Large, Medium and Small)

 

 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 accessibility. You should always use the biggest sized level you can for accuracy.

 

These days, we love the digital spirit levels because they give us another level of precision that only a practiced hand can give with a traditional spirit level. We have created a guide to the best spirit levels, something to match everyone’s needs and budget.

Pipe Deburrer

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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 dislodge a blockage.

 

Most residential homes will not own these tools so make sure you do.

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 dislodge a blockage. Most residential homes will not own these tools so make sure you do.

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.

 

This is handy for when you are completing work on clients premises to ensure that you do a professional job without making a mess or causing any damage.

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. This is handy for when you are completing work on clients premises to ensure that you do a professional job without making a mess or causing any damage.

Cordless Combi-Drill

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

Radiator Keys

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

 

These keys are universal so can be used on all different radiators.

A radiator key opens the bleed screw on a radiator so you can allow unwanted air to escape from the unit. These keys are universal so can be used on all different radiators.

Radiator Spanner

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

 

They are used to ensure that pipework is not bent when undoing or tightening the union nut of a thermostatic, manual or lockshield radiator valve.

A radiator spanner is a simple tool is for tightening and loosening radiator valves. They are used to ensure that pipework is not bent when undoing or tightening the union nut of a thermostatic, manual or lockshield radiator valve.

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.

 

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.

 

Long Nosed 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.

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.

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.

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.

Gas Meter Box Key

Universal key used to open meter boxes. This piece of equipment is vital for any plumber to ensure they can get on with the job at hand.

Many plumbers add a gas meter box to their keys to make sure they are never without it.

Universal key used to open meter boxes. This piece of equipment is vital for any plumber to ensure they can get on with the job at hand.

Many plumbers add a gas meter box to their keys to make sure they are never without it.

 

Inspection Cameras

 

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.

 

Long Phillips Head Screwdriver

This screwdriver is ideal for fitting wash/hand basins where the extra length keeps your knuckles out of the way of the basin.

 

Also perfect for slipping in between all those pipes your electric screwdriver is too big for.

This screwdriver is ideal for fitting wash/hand basins where the extra length keeps your knuckles out of the way of the basin.

 

Also perfect for slipping in between all those pipes your electric screwdriver is too big for.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

 

They can be included within work wear with some trousers incorporating knee pads, alternatively then can be purchased separately and added externally.

 

Knee pads are essential for people that work regularly on their knees, protecting the health of their knees and reducing the risk of being unable to walk unaided at 60 years old.

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.

 

They can be included within work wear with some trousers incorporating knee pads, alternatively then can be purchased separately and added externally. Knee pads are essential for people that work regularly on their knees, protecting the health of their knees and reducing the risk of being unable to walk unaided at 60 years old.

Stopcock Key

A stop cock key is essential for turning off the mains water supply. Typically stopcock keys needed to reach external stopcocks that can be below ground level.

 

This is why they include long shafts to aid in accessing hard to reach places. The stopcock key is then turned to open or close the stopcock, either allowing or stopping the flow of gas or water through.

A stop cock key is essential for turning off the mains water supply. Typically stopcock keys needed to reach external stopcocks that can be below ground level.

 

This is why they include long shafts to aid in accessing hard to reach places. The stopcock key is then turned to open or close the stopcock, either allowing or stopping the flow of gas or water through.

Stanley 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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

For plumbers, claw hammers can be used to help bend or break heavy pipe.

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.

 

For plumbers, claw hammers can be used to help bend or break heavy pipe.

Torch

 

Having to pull up the 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.

 

Having to pull up the 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.

Open Ended Spanner

The open-ended spanner is probably the first piece of equipment anyone will name if you ask them what is in a toolbox. The sizes of open-ended spanners vary, with most now being double-ended including two different sizes. 

 

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

 

The open-ended spanner is probably the first piece of equipment anyone will name if you ask them what is in a toolbox. The sizes of open-ended spanners vary, with most now being double-ended including two different sizes. 

 

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

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 masonry, plastic or even metal. An all-round power tool that can deal with even the toughest of jobs.

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.  

A file can be your best friend when you want to give a job a professional finish and keep clients happy.

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.  

A file can be your best friend when you want to give a job a professional finish and keep clients happy.

 

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, carrying tools around or mixing products.

 

When buying a bucket you should look for one that is lightweight, high quality and durable.

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, carrying tools around or mixing products.

 

When buying a bucket you should look for one that is lightweight, high quality and durable.

Pressure Tester

As a plumber you will need to check the gas or water pressure in pipes. A simple pressure tester tool will allow you to do this.

These can be helpful to check for leaks in pipes or for general maintenance.

Plumbers should always have a pressure tester handy to check their work for quality.

As a plumber you will need to check the gas or water pressure in pipes. A simple pressure tester tool will allow you to do this.  

These can be helpful to check for leaks in pipes or for general maintenance.  

Plumbers should always have a pressure tester handy to check their work for quality.

 

Jigsaw

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

 

A high quality jigsaw can make good clean cuts to ensure a professional finish to your work.

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

 

A high quality jigsaw can make good clean cuts to ensure a professional finish to your work.

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. A great tool for plumbers to complete jobs quickly and efficiently without making a mess.

 

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. A great tool for plumbers to complete jobs quickly and efficiently without making a mess.

 

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. The SDS drill is a great multi purpose drill for plumbers to get on with the job at hand.

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. The SDS drill is a great multi purpose drill for plumbers to get on with the job at hand.

Angle Grinder

Angle grinders are very powerful tools with multiple uses. They 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 making it handy for plumbers completing installations.

Immersion Heater Spanner

An immersion heater spanner is a simple tool for fitting and extracting immersion heater elements which is a common job for plumbers.

 

Immersion heater elements can get damaged through a faulty element, a build-up of limescale or corrosion. The immersion heater spanner is the only tool to loosen or tighten immersion heaters for installations or replacements.

An immersion heater spanner is a simple tool for fitting and extracting immersion heater elements which is a common job for plumbers. Immersion heater elements can get damaged through a faulty element, a build-up of limescale or corrosion.

 

The immersion heater spanner is the only tool to loosen or tighten immersion heaters for installations or replacements.

Basin Spanner

 

Every plumber needs a good range of spanners and the basin spanner is key. A basin spanner allows you to tighten or loosen under-sink tap fittings. It is ideal for those tight spaced plumbing jobs. 

 

 Every plumber needs a good range of spanners and the basin spanner is key. A basin spanner allows you to tighten or loosen under-sink tap fittings. It is ideal for those tight spaced plumbing jobs.