A List of Plumbing Tools and Their Uses

A plumber must have the proper tools to perform their job. Some of these include a stubby screwdriver, which is small in size and used to loosen or tighten screws that are too small for a normal-sized screwdriver.

Another valuable tool is a hacksaw, which is used to cut plastic pipes, steel hollow roads, and steel thin sheets. Plumbers also use a press fitting system, which reduces the time it takes to connect pipes.

Pipe Cutter

When pipes need to be cut for installation, repairs or for accessing areas where plumbing is located, a pipe cutter is often used instead of a hacksaw. Designed to fit around the pipe, these hand-held tools produce cleaner cuts and less swarf than saws.

These tools are available in a variety of sizes from small thumb-type cutters to large tools that work on bigger pipes. All use a cutting wheel in the tool jaws to score the pipe walls as the cutter is rotated around it. Some have built-in reaming tools for smoothing the pipe edges before soldering or fitting.

Pipe Vice

Pipe vices have two half-circle jaws that grip a piece of pipe, making it easy to secure the tubing while cutting and threading. It can also be used to hold the pipe firmly in place while welding.

Some models of the Pipe Vice feature a chain component that wraps tightly around the pipe, increasing its clamping area by more than quadrupling. However, the chain needs to be carefully secured before use, and it can take more time to use than hinged vices.

A yoke vise, also known as a hinged vice, has a fixed lower part and a moving upper part. It’s used to secure pipes and tubing and is often made from iron so it can withstand heavier applications and frequent use.

Pipe Threading Tool

Pipe threading tools cut the threads on pipes so they can be joined to other pieces using couplings or connectors. They come in different forms depending on the size and type of pipe, from hand-operated ratchet tools to handheld power-drive units and even large truck-mounted machines for industrial applications.

Users must lubricate the die head of the tool before inserting it onto the end of a pipe. This lubrication helps prevent the machine from causing damage to the pipe. Then, they turn the ratchet handle to rotate the die head and cut the threads. Once complete, users must use a tool known as a thread reamer to smooth the threads and remove any burs or debris.

Pipe Tape

Often referred to as plumbers tape, this is a type of non-sticky stretchy film tape that’s used to tightly wrap around the threads on plumbing components. This is usually done before screwing them together for a strong, watertight seal.

This is a common tool that every plumber should have as it helps prevent leaks in most cases. Pipe taping also acts as a lubricant for most connections that don’t have a built-in rubber seal.

To properly apply this tape, place it on the second thread from the end of the pipe and wrap it clockwise. Each new wrap should cover half of the previous one and should not bunch up or unravel.


No plumbing toolkit would be complete without wrenches. Plumbers need to have several different types, ranging from the standard adjustable pipe wrench to the specialized faucet keys that open and close spigots and sillcocks.

The adjustable jaws of a pipe wrench strongly grip round objects like pipes. However, they often leave teeth marks on fixtures with smooth finishes, so plumbers use strap wrenches to prevent this.

Hex wrenches, which have hexagonal heads, are used with many different types of fasteners, and plumbers need an assortment of sizes to be prepared for any situation. They also need a striking wrench to apply great force to seized bolts and nuts.

Press Fitting System

If you want to eliminate the need for soldering and open flames in piping connections, press fitting systems are an option. They are easy to use and provide a leak-free connection.

For best results, get a plumbing pipe tool kit that is compatible with different fitting systems and has a high cycle capacity. The Ridgid GIDDS2-813276, for example, comes with a good quality press tool, six interchangeable jaws, durable batteries, and a sturdy carry case.

The kit offers many benefits for installers as it reduces error and is quicker to install than copper brazing. This can save time and money for the installers.

Pipe Bender

A pipe bender is used for bending pipes. It has one handle and requires the user to use the floor or any flat surface for leverage. It comes with different formers that can fit various sizes of pipes. Some pipe benders have pre-adjustment angle dials, like the Rothenberger Robend 4000 E, which allows you to set up to a 180deg bend with ease.

There are several bending methods, including ram bending, which uses a die pressed against the pipe and works best for stub-ends and long radius bends. Rotary draw bending, which is employed by electric pipe benders, utilizes a mandrel inside the tube and can produce a high-quality finish.


Borescopes and endoscopes are both tools that can be used to inspect hard-to-reach areas of machinery or pipelines. But there are some differences between them that should be considered when choosing which one to use for a specific job.

One key difference is that borescopes can be equipped with a screen to allow the user to see what they’re inspecting in real time. This can be helpful for troubleshooting and making adjustments on the fly. Some also offer thermal imaging to detect leaks in pipes or electrical devices by identifying differences in temperature. Choose a model with high resolution for the best results.

Washers & O-Rings

Washers are flat pieces that help distribute the load of a threaded fastener like a bolt and nut. They can also act as a locking device, wear pad or preload indicator. You can find a range of metal washers here, including flat and spring types, as well as phenolic washers for electrical insulation.

While they may seem similar, washers and O-rings serve different functions. While washers are flat in shape, O-rings are circular and designed to fit into a groove to seal liquid or gas. They can be made from a wide variety of materials, such as rubber or foam.

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