Ultimate Guide to Plumbing Tools: Top Picks for Expert Plumbers in 2024

Written by The Valve+Meter Team / April 1, 2023 / 13 Minute Read
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Plumbing tools have evolved alongside the trade.  Discover the top tools for expert plumbers, DIY enthusiasts, and the exciting technology changing how work is done.


Introduction To Plumbing Tools

Plumbing is a modern marvel, a complex network of pipes and fixtures that seamlessly delivers fresh, clean water into homes and businesses while safely removing wastewater – all without us giving it a second thought.

From planning and installation to plumbing repair and maintenance, the right plumbing tools range from basic hand tools to cutting edge computer controlled systems.

At Valve+Meter Performance Marketing, our team specializes in go-to-market tools for plumbers. In this guide, we take a look at the top plumbing tools that pros and DIYers alike use to do the work in the field.

You’ll find clear explanations of each tool’s purpose and tips on selecting durable, efficient options—without any sales distractions. Dive in to ensure your toolbox is equipped for success.

What's In This Article?

  • Common Plumbers Tools List
  • An Examination Of Essential Plumbing Tools
  • Cutting Edge Technology To Improve Plumbing Operations
  • Lead Generation Tools Driving Plumbing Contractors Growth

Which Tools Are Used For Plumbing?

Plumbing might be one of the oldest professions, but the tools of the trade are constantly evolving. From the humble wrench to high-tech inspection cameras, a plumber’s toolbox is a diverse collection of essential implements.

While we could spend a few paragraphs on how hoop skirts lead to invention of the spring loaded measuring tape, this guide is devoted to more specialized plumbing tools.

abstraction of plumbing tools

What Does An Apprentice Plumber Tools List Include?

For many professional plumbers, your career begins years before official training. Skilled plumbers are curious and motivated to learn how systems and mechanisms work.

Chances are an apprentice plumber has nearly all the tools in your collection before day one. Requirements and recommendations vary by trainer or employer.

A general plumbing tools list includes (with examples):

Cutting Tools

Measuring Tools

Marking Tools

Safety Equipment

  • Clear Safety Glasses
  • Set of Gloves

If you want to avoid buying individual plumbing tools, manufacturers like Milwaukee offer kits.

What Are Examples of Essential Plumbing Tools?

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Essential Wrenches

Serving as sturdy stalwarts within the craft, wrenches deliver the essential leverage and turning force required to secure or detach an array of fittings.

With several distinct varieties, wrenches are central to nearly every plumbing job. Crafted for particular tasks or conditions, this mighty tool ranges from the robust straight pipe wrench to the adaptable adjustable wrench.

Pipe Wrench

Atop the plumbing tool hierarchy sits the pipe wrench.

In 1888, Daniel C. Stillson patented this design in America and began licensing it to various manufacturers.

Variations of this quintessential plumbing tool can be found around the globe, including Johan Petter Johansson’s adjustable pipe wrench that resembles pliers.

This powerful tool, designed to tighten or loosen pipe fittings, is a key component of any plumber’s arsenal. Its adaptability was particularly beneficial in the days before standardized fittings and nuts.

The design comprises two serrated jaws—one fixed, one movable—allowing secure grasping and rotation by clenching onto the surface of the pipe.

Pipe wrenches have become indispensable not only for professionals but also for avid DIY enthusiasts due to their adaptability.

These plumbing tools come in various sizes and specialized alloys. Plumbers typically include two pipe wrenches in a kit.

Possessing an appropriate range of these wrenches ensures that plumbers can efficiently handle a spectrum of challenges related with different types and dimensions of pipes and plumbing jobs.

Basin Wrench

The basin wrench or sink wrench is used in tight spaces where other wrenches cannot be accessed. It’s specifically useful for securing faucets to basins and sinks.

The T-shaped design accesses difficult-to-reach spaces located behind sinks and secures or releases mounting nuts.

Possessing a basin wrench ensures that no faucet job, regardless of complexity, is beyond reach for resolution.

Not all apprentice plumbing tools list include a basin wrench, but this specialized plumbing tool is essential to your career.

Adjustable Wrench

A set of adjustable wrenches is just as important for securing fixtures and nuts.

This tool stands out for its versatility, serving as an invaluable companion when engaging with hexagonal nuts and fittings attached to pipes. Its ability to adjust means it can manage an array of sizes and fittings effortlessly, proving essential in all types of plumbing jobs.

Adjustable pliers have the strength to firmly hold and manipulate different nuts, bolts, pipes, fasteners, and fittings while resisting slippage. Possessing such a wrench ensures that plumbers are prepared for any unforeseen challenges during their work.

These plumbing tools come in various sizes and designs. A typical plumbing tool kit includes a set of tongue and groove adjustable wrenches.

plumbing wrenches abstraction

Pipe Work And Cutting Tools

Wrenches handle connections, but plumbing also demands precise measurements and cuts. Simple knives or razor cutters are useful, but specialized tools make the job easier and ensure better results.

Here are some essentials for plumbing tools for working with pipes:

  • Tube Cutter: Creates clean, precise cuts.
  • Pipe Bender: Forms pipes into needed angles.
  • Pipe Threader: Adds threads to the ends of pipes for connections.
  • Pipe Reamer: Smooths the edges of cut pipes for a better fit.
  • Hole Saw: Cuts perfectly circular holes in pipes.

These tools ensure a professional finish for sewer lines, connections, and other plumbing projects.

Hacksaws and Hole Saws

Plumbers rely on hacksaws for controlled, precise cuts through metal and plastic piping – especially when space is limited. Choosing the right blade with the appropriate teeth per inch (TPI) ensures a clean cut.

Hole saws, on the other hand, create perfectly circular holes of various sizes. This is essential when you need to run pipes through walls or attach fixtures.

Each tool has a unique purpose in creating the complex network of a plumbing system.

Tube and Plastic Pipe Cutters

Plumbers rely on tube and plastic pipe cutters for clean, accurate cuts on copper and plastic pipes. These tools are essential for smaller jobs or repairs.

When working in tight spaces, an internal PVC pipe cutter is invaluable. This specialized tool lets plumbers make cuts from inside the pipe itself. This makes it much easier to get the exact size and shape needed in confined areas.

Plumber’s Torch

A plumber’s torch plays a pivotal role, particularly when it comes to soldering. It is essential in creating strong joints within new piping systems, and its importance can’t be overstated.

This tool demonstrates great flexibility beyond just soldering. For instance, it is instrumental in defrosting pipes that have frozen solid. The control over heat that the plumber’s torch provides gives plumbers the capability to effectively shape and adjust pipe work as needed.

Safety Equipment for Plumbers

Plumbing is more than just tools and skills – it demands a focus on safety. Plumbers often work in hazardous conditions, with dangerous chemicals, the risk of falls, and other potential injuries. Here’s the essential personal protective equipment (PPE) every plumber should wear:

  • Eye protection: Safety goggles protect from debris or chemical splashes.
  • Hand protection: Durable gloves prevent cuts and exposure to hazardous substances.
  • Foot protection: Steel-toed boots guard against falling objects or crushing injuries.
  • Head protection: Hard hats are essential in areas with overhead hazards.
  • Respiratory protection: Respirators or masks may be needed for dust or fumes.

PPE isn’t optional for plumbers – it’s how they stay safe on the job.

Clearing Clogs and Blockages Efficiently

Obstacles such as clogs and blockages in sewer lines are formidable foes. Thankfully, a diverse array of powerful tools are at plumbers’ disposal to confront these challenges directly.

These champions include simple plungers for basic obstructions, along with hand augers and snake machines designed to conquer more tenacious clogs.

Now it’s appropriate to delve deeper into the details about these indispensable tools employed by plumbers.

Heavy-Duty Plungers

A heavy-duty plunger is a plumber’s best friend for common clogs. It’s a simple, effective tool for dislodging debris and restoring free-flowing drains.

With powerful suction, these plungers can handle even stubborn clogs in larger drains. They’re essential for drain cleaning and a must-have in every plumber’s toolkit.

Hand Auger and Snake Machines

If a plunger is ineffective, plumbers have recourse to hand augers and snake machines as their tools of choice. Engineered for the purpose of unclogging drain pipes, these instruments work by either breaking up or pulling out whatever is causing the blockage.

Powerful in nature, whether they are operated manually or powered by electricity, hand augers and snake machines provide strong support when confronting resistant blockages.

These implements ensure that even the most challenging clogs can be addressed with confidence.

Wireless Endoscope Inspection Cameras

Plumbers now wield an advanced tool, the wireless endoscope drain inspection camera, as their high-tech secret weapon.

This type of inspection camera is instrumental for conducting internal evaluations of pipes to uncover blockages, root intrusions, or fissures while avoiding disruptive excavation work. Equipped with these cameras, plumbers are able to swiftly pinpoint obstructions and deftly maneuver through complex drain systems.

This represents the next generation in plumbing technology: a wireless era that enhances efficiency and diagnostic capabilities.

plumbing and smart device abstraction

Innovative Plumbing Tools and Technologies

As various sectors experience the transformative effects of technology, so too does the field of plumbing. The industry is witnessing a constant influx of advanced tools and technological innovations aimed at bolstering efficiency and accuracy in the trade.

Among these groundbreaking plumbing tools that are redefining capabilities within plumbing are:

  • Fittings and PEX pipe expanders
  • Crimping devices
  • Tubing benders
  • Sophisticated computation devices

Equipped with such indispensable plumber tools—vital instruments in their arsenal—plumbers are achieving heightened effectiveness and superior outcomes.

Delving into these state-of-the-art developments reveals just how they’re reshaping what’s achievable for plumbers today.

PEX Pipe Expander and Fittings

Press fitting systems and PEX pipe expanders are leading the charge in advancing plumbing techniques. They provide a streamlined approach to connecting pipes, which accelerates installation processes and heightens efficiency. Tools designed for the removal of push-to-connect fittings simplify the disconnection process from PEX pipes, an invaluable feature when working within confined spaces.

Such advancements are revolutionizing traditional practices in plumbing installations.

Crimpers and Tube Benders

Tube benders and crimpers represent a significant advancement in plumbing tools. Essential for bending tubes and crimping metal pipes, these instruments are pivotal for tasks demanding exactitude and effectiveness. They enable plumbers to achieve secure connections that are tight and bend with precision, thereby improving the durability and functionality of the plumbing system.

Plumbing Business Software Solutions

The technological advancements have reshaped not just the physical tools used in the field, but also how plumbing businesses are administered.

A range of software applications designed to enhance different functions within a plumbing business, including job scheduling, dispatching tasks to technicians, generating invoices and managing interactions with customers.

When considering the right software consider key features:

Scheduling and Dispatching

Software designed for scheduling and dispatching provides plumbing businesses with a modern approach to organizing work. These digital instruments enable:

  • Updates in real time
  • Capacity to schedule appointments
  • Oversight of every assignment
  • Efficient coordination of technicians

By incorporating these software solutions, companies that specialize in plumbing can refine their processes and improve the services they offer.

Invoicing and Payment Processing

Digital advancements in the form of invoicing and payment processing software are revolutionizing plumbing businesses. The capabilities provided by these tools include:

  • Generating invoices
  • Dispatching them to clients
  • Handling invoice-related tasks
  • Incorporating payment processing within the system

Such technology not only enhances the efficiency of financial transactions, but also boosts cash flow through facilitating easy payment options and enabling online payments directly associated with sent invoices.

What Are The Leading Plumbing Software Tools?

Like all plumbing tools, the right choice in software depends on your needs and the job at hand. Here are a few of the leading platforms and a glimpse into what they offer:

  • Service Titan: Service Titan offers a wide range of features that nearly all plumbers benefit from. Built for the home services and commercial contractors, Service Titan has a wide selection of add-on features for companies of all sizes.
  • Workwave: Workwave features scheduling to get your team to jobs on time. This plumbing software also includes CRM to track your customers and invoicing features. The mobile app helps locally.
  • FieldEdge: FieldEdge plumbing software includes scheduling with invoicing powered by Quickbooks. Customer management, invoicing, and mobile app features make this a popular choice for plumbers.
  • Jobber: Jobber has the same features as other software including dispatching, invoicing, and customer management. Additional features customer communications via text message and marketing tools.

These innovative software tools provide a means for plumbing companies to gain an advantage by optimizing job coordination and management of their technical staff. It is worthwhile to delve into these modern solutions that support various aspects of running a successful business in plumbing.

commericial plumbing abstraction

Performance Marketing: A Plumber's Secret Tools

While copper piping and thread sealing tape are fundamental in a plumber’s toolkit, attracting prospective customers requires an additional tool: performance marketing.

Performance marketing differs from traditional marketing by focusing on results.

Traditional marketing often relies on broad strategies like direct mail, print ads, or billboards, which can be challenging to measure.

In contrast, performance marketing uses data and analytics to target specific audiences, ensuring that marketing efforts are efficient and cost-effective. This approach allows plumbers to reach potential clients precisely when they need services, maximizing the impact of their advertising spend.

Even all marketing platforms are not created equal. Selecting the wrong tool can lead to wasted resources and missed opportunities. It’s crucial for plumbers to choose a performance marketing strategy that aligns with their business goals and target audience.

What Are The Best Performance Marketing Tools For Plumbers?

At Valve+Meter, marketing starts with data. The same way that plumbing software has revolutionized operations, performance marketing transforms sales.

Instead of relying on tactics and individual advertisements for plumbers, our team creates a go-to-market strategy that is customized to your needs and goals.

Here’s a brief breakdown of how our marketing agency powers your plumbing lead generation:

Performance Website Design

At the heart of every successful plumbing business is a lead-generation website.

Designers craft dynamic and modern designs that attract visitors and convert leads.

With Valve+Meter, plumbers own their own websites and all content that our skilled writers, web developers, designers, and search engine optimization (SEO) specialists create.

Paid Media

Pay-per-click (PPC) search and social media advertising precisely targets your local service area.

Our data analysts pinpoint the ad copy, landing page design, and bid strategy to maximize your return on investment and eliminate wasted ad spend.

Google Local Services Ad

Google Local Services Ads connect plumbers directly with local customers searching for plumbing services.

These ads appear at the top of Google search results, providing a pay-per-lead system that can enhance visibility and lead generation.


The vast majority of homeowners search for home services on Google and other search engines.

SEO helps plumbers improve online visibility including your website’s ranking on search engines results, plumbing directories, and local citations.

By optimizing your website for organic search and boosting online reviews, SEO for plumbers can attract more organic traffic and increase the chances of converting visitors into leads.

Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow plumbers to engage with your existing audience and reach new plumbing leads through targeted advertising.

Showcasing plumbing services and sharing customer testimonials builds trust and can lead to increased referrals and leads.

Email Marketing

Staying connected to happy customers can be a challenge for internal plumbing sales and marketing teams.

Email marketing enables plumbers to send targeted messages to their subscribers, providing updates, special offers, and helpful tips.

This direct communication keeps the plumbing business top-of-mind and can encourage repeat business and referrals.

Using The Right Tools To Grow Your Business

From the simple wrench to the advanced wireless inspection camera, the world of plumbing tools is as varied as it is intriguing. These tools, whether for pipe work, clearing clogs, managing dispatches, or generating new plumbing leads, are essential in propelling your business forward.

To further enhance your growth, consider a free marketing assessment from Valve+Meter. Our experts can help you identify the right marketing strategies to attract more customers and boost your revenue. Contact us today to take the first step towards a more prosperous future for your plumbing business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Every plumber must have an adjustable pipe wrench at their disposal, as this tool is specifically crafted to grasp and twist pipes along with fittings, thereby simplifying the process of loosening or tightening threaded pipes.

Plungers, hacksaws, cutters, augers, pliers, and wrenches stand as the most prevalent tools in the plumbing industry.

When establishing a plumbing business, selecting appropriate materials that align with your specific area of expertise is crucial.

Technological advancements in the plumbing industry have led to enhanced efficiency and precision through tools like PEX pipe expanders, crimping devices, tube bending equipment, and digital calculators designed for assessing flow rates and volumes of pipes. These innovations are instrumental in improving various aspects of plumbing work.

It is critical to emphasize the role that safety gear plays in plumbing, safeguarding plumbers from dangerous chemicals, possible harm, and tumbles.

To secure their well-being while performing their job duties, plumbers must wear essential personal protective equipment such as goggles, gloves, and heat shields.

Tools that facilitate scheduling, dispatching, invoicing, payment processing, and managing customer relationships are integral to software solutions designed for the effective management of a plumbing business. These capabilities can significantly improve both efficiency and competitive edge within the industry.

The most effective marketing tools include: websites, paid advertising, search engine optimization, social media, email marketing, and additional tactics. Equipping your plumbing company with a complete set of marketing tools and strategy improves results, eliminates redundancy, and maximizing your lead generation.