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The Ultimate Plumbing Tools List [10 Must Haves] - Shadow Foam

The Ultimate Plumbing Tools List [10 Must Haves]

When you’re embarking on a plumbing project, having the right tools at your disposal is key to getting the job done right. From wrenches to pipe cutters, your ultimate plumbing toolkit needs to account for every eventuality, from complex burst pipes to simple clogs.

So, where to begin? In this comprehensive guide, we're going to go over 10 of the most essential plumbing tools list that every plumber should have in their arsenal, as well as some handy tips on keeping your toolkit secure and in-tact while on the move.

Let’s dive in!

Basic Hand Tools

Adjustable Wrench

Starting with the basics, an adjustable wrench is a plumber's best friend. Perfect for tightening and loosening nuts and bolts, its adjustable jaw allows it to work with various fastener sizes, making it incredibly versatile.

Pipe Wrench

The pipe wrench, with its toothed jaws, is ideal for gripping and turning pipes, and it's an indispensable tool for working with metal pipes and fittings.


This one is your greatest ally against clogs in sinks, toilets, and drains; a good plunger can truly save the day, clearing blockages with the power of suction and pressure. A must-have for both professionals and homeowners alike!

Cutting and Shaping Tools

person using plumbing tools

Pipe Cutter

For precise cuts on metal or plastic pipes, a pipe cutter is your go-to tool; this ensures a clean, straight cut every time, which is essential for proper fitting.


Versatile and handy, a hacksaw can cut through pipes, screws, nuts, and bolts, and is a must-have for any plumbing job that requires cutting.

Pliers and Gripping Tools

Tongue-and-Groove Pliers

Also known as channel locks, these pliers are perfect for gripping, twisting, and turning tasks. Their adjustable jaws also fit a range of sizes, so they’re extremely adaptable for a range of different jobs.

Locking Pliers

Locking pliers, also known as vice grips, should be another tool in your arsenal; these are invaluable for holding objects securely, which allow you to use your hands for other tasks. They also come in particularly useful when it comes to stubborn nuts and bolts.

Needle-Nose Pliers

With their long, thin jaws, needle-nose pliers are excellent for reaching into tight spaces and gripping small objects, so they're a must for any detailed work.

Plumbing Wrenches

man using wrench

Basin Wrench /Sink Spanner

Also known as a sink spanner, a basin wrench's long shaft and swivelling jaw make it perfect for tightening and loosening nuts in hard-to-reach places - perfect for use under leaking sinks.

Strap Wrench

The rubber strap of a strap wrench provides a strong grip without scratching surfaces, so it's ideal for working with chrome or polished pipes.

Monkey Wrench

A monkey wrench has smooth jaws (unlike the pipe wrench) and is used for turning fasteners without damaging them - this wrench is great for use on iron and steel pipes.

Pipe Joining Tools

Pipe Threader

When you need to create custom-length pipe connections, a pipe threader is a great plumbing tool to have on hand; a pipe threader cuts precise threads into the ends of pipes for a secure fit, ensuring that every connection you make is leak-proof and reliable.

Pipe Fusion Tool

For joining plastic pipes, a pipe fusion tool uses heat to melt and join pieces together, ensuring a watertight seal.

Compression Sleeve Puller

Lastly for pipe joining tools, this one is crucial for removing compression nuts and sleeves from pipes; it's a lifesaver when updating or repairing plumbing fixtures, and can be especially handy in tight spaces where traditional tools might not have enough clearance to grip and turn the nuts effectively.

Drain Cleaning Tools

Drain Auger / Drain Snake

Often sold in shops like B&Q, a drain auger, or “drain snake”, is a long plumbing coil used to clear clogs deep within drains, and can be useful when a plunger isn’t enough to clear a blockage. It’s always good to have one of these on hand when dealing with stubborn clogs or slow-draining sinks.

Wire Brush

A wire brush is essential for cleaning the insides of pipes and fittings, ensuring a clean surface for joining or sealing.

Transporting and Protecting Your Plumbing Tools

So, once you’ve put together your ultimate plumber’s tool kit, it’s important to consider storage options - after all, keeping your plumbing tools organised and within easy reach can significantly enhance your efficiency on the job. Plus, you’ll also want to protect your tools from both loss and damage when in transit and on the job.

For any professional plumber, we’d highly recommend investing in a quality toolbox, and the Milwaukee Packout system is ideal for a handyman on the go; this modular, expansive modular toolbox system is designed for portability, with built-in weather resistance, a full interlocking system and stackable storage boxes.

Toolbox Organisation with Shadow Foam

And if you want to take it a step further, combine your Milwaukee Packout with our custom-designed Milwaukee tool organiser, Shadow Foam! Our tool box inserts are made with 100% polyethylene to shield and protect your tools when they’re not in use, while our precision-cutting system allows you to carve out shapes specific to each tool to ensure a snug, secure fit.

And if you’re not sure exactly how to cut the inserts yourself, please make sure to take a look at the YouTube video I posted not too long ago, where you can find me giving you a detailed, step-by-step tutorial. With a quality packout and Shadow Foam protection, you can make sure you never lose your most important tool again.

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