Plumbing Tools List [With Pictures] - Red Box Tools

You won’t get very far in the plumbing trade without a quality set of plumbing tools. Essential tools for plumbers range from pipework tools like tube benders and inspection tools like drain rods to an insulated tool set and soldering tools.

Having the right tool to get the job done safely is key when you’re fixing or installing plumbing hardware like bathrooms and heating systems, so we’ve pulled together these plumbing tools list to help you find the best plumbing tools for your plumbers’ toolkit.

plumbing tool with pictures

Pipework Tools

1. Tube and Pipe Cutters

Tube and pipe cutter tools are an absolutely necessity for a plumber.

Designed to cut cleanly and precisely through copper tubes, these compact cutting tools come in a range of sizes to accommodate different pipe dimensions.

Alternatively, a telescopic tube cutter can be adjusted to size and can also make it easier to reach pipes that are in awkward places.

Knipex pipe cutter

2. Tube Benders

A tube bender allows you to bend a straight pipe to a desired angled, saving you the hassle of having to trim the pipe to size and then join it to another length of pipe using a fastener.

tube bender

3. Reaming Tools

You might not need reaming tools on every callout but they’re definitely a useful bit of kit to invest in as a plumber.

Reaming tools, like deburring tools and pen reamers, allow you to widen holes and tube openings, but they can also help you to clean out old soldering or cement, so you can reuse, rather than replace, the fitting.

pen reamer

4. Hacksaw

A hacksaw is another type of cutting tool that’s handy to have in your plumbers’ toolkit. If you need to cut through a nut or a bolt you just can’t seem to wriggle free with a wrench, this is the tool to turn to.

Just make sure you stock up on spare blades as cutting through metal components can blunt hacksaw blades more quickly and you never want to be caught short on a job.

hacksaw

5. Waterpump Pliers

Waterpump pliers come in all makes and sizes but it’s the really small profile ones that plumbers seem to need most regularly.

Although not a specific plumbing tool, a solid pair of waterpump pliers is useful to have on your plumbing tools list for times when you need to remove nuts and bolts from places where access isn’t easy.

waterpump pliers

6. Pipe Vice

A pipe vice is a bit like having an extra set of hands on a job. You can use it to grip a pipe securely, whenever you need to work on a pipe with both of your hands – for example, when cutting it to size using a hacksaw.

pipe vice

Plumbing Wrenches

1. Basin Wrench

Basin wrenches are exactly what you need when it comes to tightening nuts and bolts in hard-to-reach places (like behind sinks).

They’re T-shaped in appearance with an in-built clamp mechanism and a vertical handle that’s great for manoeuvring into tight nooks and crannies.

basin wrench

2. Adjustable Wrench

Adjustable wrenches get their name from their adjustable jaw. They’re similar to a traditional wrench, with the exception that their jaw can widen or tighten to fit different sized nuts and bolts.

This versatility makes an adjustable wrench a great multi-purpose tool to have in your plumbers’ toolkit.

adjustable wrench set

3. Pipe Wrench

A pipe wrench is designed to hold threaded pipes and pipe fittings.

They’re great for holding parts in place during installation or removal and they offer great leverage too, making them a top choice when it comes to tightening seals or loosening fittings.

5. Chain Wrench

Tool organisation is key for working smartly and efficiently, but it also helps to prevent your tools from premature corrosion and damage.

Most mechanics find it handy to have a mix of fixed and portable tool storage in their garage – for example, wall-mounted heavy-duty tool panels complemented by a cantilever tool box. Shadow foaming is another great form of tool storage that makes it easier to organise your garage equipment and keep it in top condition.

chain wrench

Cleaning & Inspecting Pipes

1. Drain Rods

Drain rods are a tool you use to unclog blocked pipes and toilets.

They come in a few varieties, from manually operated rods that you clip together (sort of like tent poles) to flexible metal wires fitted with an auger attachment that you feed down the drain to push a stubborn deposit through.

drain rods

2. Inspection Camera

An inspection camera will help you to see what’s going on inside drains and sewer lines so you can get to the route of the problem.

These microscopic cameras are fitted to the end of a flexible, waterproof, cable so you can easily feed them into narrow openings and watch the footage feedback in real time.

inspection camera

Other Tools Needed

Screwdriver Set

A good screwdriver set is a basic tool that every tradesperson should have in their toolbox. For plumbing specifically, screwdrivers can be helpful for removing screwed on panels on fixtures and hardware.

As screws can vary in their make, it’s a good ideal to cover your bases by investing in a few different screwdriver types (for example flatheads, Philips, and Torx) so you’re prepared for all eventualities.

screwdriver set

Hole Saw Kit

Most plumbing hardware like baths and basins won’t come with holes cut out for the taps so it will be on you to put these in for your customers.

For that you’ll need a hole saw, a type of cylindrical saw that creates perfectly round cuts using a serrated blade. Hole saws are typically sold as a drill bit attachment, so you’ll also need a compatible power drill on which to attach the saw blade.

hole saw blade set

Soldering Tools

Soldering allows you to quickly patch up a ruptured pipe and is a technique that all good plumbers should know how to do.

Chances are you’ll find yourself soldering a lot on the job, so soldering tools like a soldering torch, soldering mat, and soldering wire are an essential investment for your plumbing toolkit.

soldering torch

Power Drill and Drill Bits

A power drill is tool that makes all kinds of jobs so much easier. Whether it’s creating a hole for a wall plug to sit in or screwing a radiator bracket onto a tiled wall, a power drill will do the job in half the time.

For ease, most plumbers prefer a cordless drill with a chargeable battery pack. It’s also important to invest in drill bits for all the materials you’re likely to encounter in a home, such as tile drill bits, auger attachments, masonry drill bits, and twist drill bits.

tile drill bit

Plumbing Safety Supplies

Torch

A synthetic light source, like a torch, will improve visibility when you’re working in poorly lit places, such as underneath baths and in floor recesses.

You may also find yourself on jobs where the electricity is switched off or the bathroom has no windows, so coming equipped with your own torch or a headlamp is essential.

Torch

Gloves

Plumbing is hands-on work and often dirty. It also involves operating a lot of sharp and powerful cutting tools, so we recommend investing in a sturdy pair of good-fitting gloves that will provide your hands with protection but won’t restrict your movements.

Knee Pads

Another thing you can guarantee as a plumber is that you’ll spend a lot of time kneeling on hard surfaces.

This can get pretty uncomfortable fast and can also lead to joint damage, so wear a sturdy pair of knee pads to absorb some of the pressure.

Popular Plumbing Tools and Tool Kits

Missing an essential item from our plumbing tools list? Find everything you need within our best tools for plumbers’ range, including specialist safety tools such as an insulated tool set.

KNIPEX 00 11 01

MAGNETIC UTILITY KEY

KNIPEX 90 22 10

BK BIX® CUTTERS FOR PLASTIC PIPES AND SEALING SLEEVES, 72MM

KNIPEX 00 21 33

S TOOL CASE “ROBUST26” PLUMBING

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Or why not take your tool storage to the next level with our made-to-order tool box foam drawer inserts and custom shadow foaming?

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