Essential plumbing tools include a hacksaw, propane torch, metal file, basin wrench and tongue-and-groove pliers. Others include a pipe wrench, adjustable wrench, hand auger, tubing cutter and plunger. A closet auger and fire-resistant cloth are also important plumbing tools.
A hacksaw is used to cut through tough materials, such as plastic pipes, metal pipes, nuts, screws and bolts. It is advisable to have replacement blades on-hand. A metal file smooths out the edges of metal pipes once they're cut with a handsaw. Metal files come in two types: half-round and rat-tail.
A basin wrench helps to loosen nuts in very tight and hard-to-reach places, such as under sinks, while a pipe wrench is used to loosen and tighten nuts and threaded pipes. One type of pipe wrench is used for grabbing and holding, while the other type is used for turning. To protect a nut or pipe from damage, a worker should wrap the jaws of the wrench in cloth before a job.
A plunger is used to quickly dislodge clogs from toilets and sinks, and a closet auger is used specifically to remove clogs from toilets. A tubing cutter slices cleanly through copper pipe and is good for cutting garden hoses.