Best Plumbing Snakes & Drain Augers Reviewed

Gary Johnson
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Plumbing snakes, or drain augers—as they are also called ” make clearing clogged drains a trivial task.

Well, maybe not trival, but certainly quick and painless!

As a plumber, I have been called out to countless jobs to perform drain cleaning. The only time I have played with a drain snake, though, was during my time in the Plumbing Program at Skill Center.

I am regularly called upon to unclog drains (we are a 24/7 Emergency Plumbing Service). Luckily for me, I have a whole van full of plumbing equipment for me to choose from. However, in many cases, the drain is inaccessible.

If the drain is clogged in an inaccessible location, I have to use my trusty drain snake. Just as a quick aside —I am not using any of the products below, I am just using the images as a reference.

NameCategoryProduct
RIDGID 14053 SeeSnake Plumbing Camera SnakeBest OverallRIDGID 14053 SeeSnake Plumbing Camera Snake
FlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink SnakeBudget PickFlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink Snake
RIDGID 35473 K-45AF Sink MachineUpgrade PickRIDGID 35473 K-45AF Sink Machine

1. RIDGID 14053 SeeSnake Plumbing Camera Snake

Our rating: 9 / 10

RIDGID 14053 SeeSnake Plumbing Camera Snake

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2. RIDGID 59787 K-3 Toilet Auger

Our rating: 9 / 10

RIDGID 59787 K-3 Toilet Auger

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Pros:

  • Very versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Bulb head design for easy plunging
  • Includes a cleaning snake for sinks, bathtubs, and drains
  • Strong and extendable 210-inch cable
  • Affordable

This is a super versatile and easy to use plumbing snake with an extendable 210-inch cable and a basic bulb head design that allows people of all sizes to easily plunge out clogs in toilets.

The Ridgid 59787 has a powerful 12-amp motor that can clear drainage lines that are 11-1/2 inches in diameter. It also comes with a cleaning snake that’s excellent for sinks, bathtubs, and other drains.

A major pro is the impressive customer service of the manufacturer. It doesn’t falter even when it comes to the tiniest of problems. One of the notable customer service reviews mentions that Ridgid replaced a broken part which was due to a user’s mishandling for free and no questions asked.

3. Ridgid GIDDS-813340 41408 Power Spin

Our rating: 8 / 10

Ridgid GIDDS-813340 41408 Power Spin

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Pros:

  • Great for long, complicated clogs
  • Provides fast relief from super-deep clogs
  • Easy cleanup – a small amount of the drain-clog liquid may come up during the process, but that should clear once the process is complete

If your standard drain cleaner isn’t doing the trick, especially if you have a serious clog, you might want to consider this professional drain-cleaning kit from RIDGID.

With the power of a high-torque motor and the convenience of auto-feed, this kit is designed to clear the toughest clogs with ease. Just give the tool a quick spin and it feeds itself deeper without any extra effort from you. Once you’re finished, it’s even easier to clean up.

Be sure to wear protective eye-wear and rubber gloves when using this tool, and don’t try to unclog anything that’s clogged on an active water line. The motor spins at 840 rpm, which might take a little getting used to if you’re not used to using tools like this one.

4. FlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink Snake

Our rating: 8 / 10

FlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink Snake

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Pros:

  • Set includes four lengths of microfish tape
  • Sturdy case for easy storage
  • Transparent shaft for easy viewing
  • Micro-hook refill wand included

Cons:

  • Short length on the longer hooks
  • Padded handle can cause slippery grip if hands are wet
  • Fiberglass handle can be a bit too short for taller users
  • Can be difficult to pull out of drain

If you want to buy a drain auger that will easily remove hair, grease, and other blockages from your drains, then find out what others have to say about the Drain Weasel. You will be glad you did.

First, you will appreciate the Drain Weasel’s flexibility. Unlike other augers that can be difficult to maneuver down the drain, this one can easily clear out a clog.

Second, this Drain Weasel drain snake is safe to use in all drains and provides excellent drainage. You will also appreciate the fact that this Drain Weasel drain snake is easy to pull out of the bottom of the sink.

5. RIDGID 35473 K-45AF Sink Machine

Our rating: 8 / 10

RIDGID 35473 K-45AF Sink Machine

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Pros:

  • Affordable and well-built
  • Powerful motor
  • Uses regulated cable allow flow control
  • Cable direction can go forward or reverse
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Great for occasional sink clogs

Cons:

  • Only good for disposing of small food debris
  • Does better with drain clogs caused by hair
  • Takes a fair amount of time to clear drain

Plumbing snakes are excellent for clearing clogs as a result of food or hair. The RIDGID 35473 K-45AF Sink Machine with C-1 5/16 Inch Inner Core Cable is one of the best value drain snake products available.

The 35473 comes with an innovative AutoFeed feature that allows you to control the cable’s speed and direction easily. The motor clogs are very powerful and can pull its own 6-foot cable into a 30-inch drain without getting stuck.

The 35473 is a lightweight and affordable product that easily fits in your toolkit. It’s perfect for small clogs as it’s not designed for larger obstructions, but many people rely on it to unclog sinks and showers without damaging the surfaces. Note that the cable is directional, and you need to push it forward to clear forward drains.

6. Drainx Pro Steel Drum Auger Plumbing Snake

Our rating: 7 / 10

Drainx Pro Steel Drum Auger Plumbing Snake

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Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Very high quality
  • Designed to break through almost any clog
  • Extremely durable
  • Includes gloves and storage bag
  • Five-year warranty

Cons:

  • Very heavy (23 lbs)
  • Quite bulky
  • May be too heavy for smaller people

Taking into consideration more than a hundred different customer reviews, we found the Drainx Pro Steel Drum Auger Plumbing Snake to be the best. The Drainx Pro is a professional-grade drain snake/plumbing snake that’s designed to break through some of the clogs that would normally be impossible for the average person to deal with.

This 25-ft. Drainx cable comes with a drill adapter as well as gloves and a storage bag. It’s made out of heavy duty steel and is on the thicker side. This makes it durable, but also quite heavy (23 lbs.).

Some people have complained that it’s too heavy for them to use effectively, especially because it’s on the thick side, but otherwise, it’s one of the best drain cleaners on the market today.

7. General Pipe Cleaners R-25SM Spin Thru Drain Auger

Our rating: 7 / 10

General Pipe Cleaners R-25SM Spin Thru Drain Auger

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Pros:

  • Clip holds onto drain clog
  • Gas-powered
  • Bends and twists
  • Serrated cutting edges
  • Replaceable cable extendible to 25 feet
  • Included hanging hook for extended reach
  • Ideal for 30-inch to 62-inch drains
  • Cable available in three sizes
  • Includes a free replacement cable
  • Very affordable

An anaerobic drain cleaner is patented by Rough-In-The-Head Inc and commercialized by the Drainworks brand. Commonly sold under the General Pipe Cleaners, the product has received a lot of praise from customers and professional plumbers alike.

8. Drainx Pro 50-FT Heavy Duty Steel Drum Drain Auger Plumbing Snake

Our rating: 7 / 10

Drainx Pro 50-FT Heavy Duty Steel Drum Drain Auger Plumbing Snake

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Long-lasting
  • Great for slower drains
  • Plunging mechanism makes for easy removal
  • Perfect for getting rid of hair

This Drainx Pro drain snake with plunging mechanism allows for easy drainage and is ideal for unclogging hair. It’s available at an affordable price and delivers great results.

The 12-inch steel drum is built to last and is resistant to corrosion. The ribbed rubber handle offers a comfortable, no-slip grip with a total length of 8 feet.

An extra pair of gloves are included to protect you from getting dirty while you’re cleaning. A storage case is also included that makes for convenient and easy storage.

9. COBRA PRODUCTS GIDDS-211332 3/4" x 100' Speedway Drain Cleaning Machine

Our rating: 6 / 10

COBRA PRODUCTS GIDDS-211332 3/4" x 100' Speedway Drain Cleaning Machine

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Pros:

  • Durable construction
  • Works great in any size situation
  • Includes cable and snake, drain auger, and a carrying case
  • Easy enough for DIY
  • Great for frequent use

Cons:

  • A bit expensive for occasional use
  • Long cables strain

The Cobra Products GIDDS-211332 3/4-inch x 100-foot Speedway Drain Cleaning Machine is right up there for the best drain cleaning machine for sale. This product allows you to clean a clog in a 100 ft long drain in a short amount of time … and it’s also easy to use.

You can use this powerful drain cleaning machine in a variety of ways, including in sinks, bathtubs, and through floor drains, too. Despite the fact that this is a high-powered machine, it’s sometimes a little tough to handle.

Concerned about the machine getting tangled in the drain? Don’t worry; the cable is flexible enough that it moves with the drain in most cases.

10. Ryobi P4001 One+ 18V Lithium Ion All-In-One 25 Foot Drain Auger

Our rating: 6 / 10

Ryobi P4001 One+ 18V Lithium Ion All-In-One 25 Foot Drain Auger

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Pros:

  • Extremely lightweight = less fatigue/strain
  • High/low variable speed options
  • Doesn’t kink easily (due to the dual rotary)
  • Extends 25 ft. so reach is exceptional
  • Runtime is exceptional
  • Battery is included, but not with some models

Cons:

  • Breakage is common for this item
  • Lacks a breaking mechanism in the handle
  • Oil drains out of the bottom of the auger so it’s not easily apparent when the auger is low on oil.

The Ryobi P4001 One+ 18V Lithium Ion All-In-One 25 Foot Drain Auger for Sinks or Toilets (Battery Not Included, Power Tool Only) features an extended 25 foot reach that drains both large and small sinks, tubs, and toilets effortlessly. The Ryobi drain cleaner has around a 23 inch hose which provides plenty of reach. The Ryobi P4001 is also lightweight so you will not get as much fatigue or strain while using the drain cleaner.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best drain snake to buy?

The most important thing is realism. It doesn't matter how many loops your worm squeeze has if it doesn't actually work when you try to use it. So look out for long warranty periods as a sign of quality.

Another factor to consider is the size of your drain. If your drain is very narrow, then you might want a snake that has one or more loops smaller than the opening. But if your drain is rather large, you may not need any loops at all, as a larger snake is more likely to get the job done regardless of any hair you encounter.

Finally, decide if you will be using your snake every day or purely as a backup. If it's your primary drain cleaner, then you can certainly spend more on a high-quality model. But if it's just an emergency back up, don't worry too much about the price and go with a super cheap model like the one we recommend.

What do professional plumbers use to unclog drains?

Once you’ve tried the methods above on a drain, but they haven’t worked, then it might be time to call in the professionals. If you’re seeing standing water in your sink, tub, or toilet, then it might be time to call a professional for extra help.

Plumbers use different types of tools to go through your drains. They are equipped to handle problems that require special techniques and machinery that you might not have handy. Your plumber can also check to make sure you are using proper maintenance and your pipes aren’t fractured or broken in any way. They can also share tips to help you better maintain your plumbing.

There are two main drain-clearing methods many plumbers use: augers and snakes. Below, we’ll talk about both of them and which ones you could consider investing in yourself.

Which drain auger do I need?

Drain snakes and augers are very similar. Both are tools to use to clear out a clogged drain. Both are simply hollow, snake-like, metal rods. The biggest difference is that a drain snake is flexible with a bit of give, while a drain auger is stiff and long.

The type of tool you need depends on the size of the drain you want to unclog. A drain snake will be able to navigate bends in the pipe easier than a drain auger, but a drain auger will be able to go down the drain farther.

Are drain snakes safe?

While paying for a plumber is probably a possibility and might be the easiest solution, doing it yourself is usually much cheaper. Using a drain snake to clear blockages is a safe DIY option for anyone with even a little bit of experience using tools and a lot less expensive than calling for professional plumbing services.

If you've never used one before, you will be surprised how simple they are to use and how easy they can be to learn to use well.

It's not uncommon for people to have used a drain snake at some point in their life, but forgot about using one. Most likely, you pulled out the snake and nothing happened, so you never had a reason to learn how to use one properly. If you don't remember how it works, I'll give a short overview of how it works.

Conclusion

Installing a new home is a difficult and strenuous process, and even experienced plumbers have to use drain snakes and drain augers to help clear the areas that are covered by plumbing. With that in mind, we conducted our own study to find the best drain snake and drain auger on the market today. We also made sure to review the background of each model so that you’ll know exactly why we chose to include certain brands and models in this list.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
RIDGID 14053 SeeSnake Plumbing Camera SnakeBest OverallRIDGID 14053 SeeSnake Plumbing Camera Snake
FlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink SnakeBudget PickFlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink Snake
RIDGID 35473 K-45AF Sink MachineUpgrade PickRIDGID 35473 K-45AF Sink Machine