Drain clogs can be very annoying, regardless of where they appear. Whether in the bathroom, sewers, kitchens, and toilets, you can’t carry on with your activities due to the foul smells and flooding water. The first instinct is usually to call the landlord or the plumber to fix it. But the good news is that you can do the drain cleaning on your own with simple tools.
We have done our best to review the best drain augers and snakes for bathrooms, kitchens, and toilets since they all have different designs and different types of clogs. We have also included a detailed buying guide to help you get the most out of these tools.
First, Check our 3 best picks out of the list:
- Best Overall – Ridgid-GIDDS-813340
This is the best drain auger and snake for professional plumbers and DIYers alike. It has a 25-foot cable, which is ideal for most homes. You can use it manually or attach it to an electric drill for more power. Also, the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty.
- Best Value for Money – FlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink Snake
This is one of the cheapest but effective drain snakes. It offers the best value since it can unclog hair in places where most drain snakes can’t reach. It’s also light, easy to use, and very durable.
- Best Electric Plumbing Snake – RYOBI P4001
This is the best among the electric options, thanks to easy-to-use controls and a comfortable grip. You can advance, retract, and block the cable by pushing a button. It also comes with a 600 RPM motor for maximum torque and 25 ft. cable. The battery also lasts very long, and this tool comes with a 3-years warranty.
- Best Drain Snakes and Augers Review
- Best Overall – Ridgid-GIDDS-813340
- Best Value for Money – FlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink Snake
- Best Electric Plumbing Snake – RYOBI P4001
- DrainX Power Pro 50 feet drain snake with a drill attachment.
- RIDGID 59787 K-3 Toilet Auger
- General Pipe Cleaners R-25SM
- RIDGID K-45AF Drain Cleaning Machine
- Cobra Products GIDDS 211332
- VEVOR SEWER MACHINE
- OIIWAK HOME DRAIN SNAKE CAMERA
- How to choose the Best Drain Auger and Snake
Best Drain Snakes and Augers Review
Best Overall – Ridgid-GIDDS-813340
This is the ideal drain cleaner thanks to the ample length and AUTOFEED capability. It is 25 feet long, which is enough length for most residential drains. It can also comfortably clean pipes that are 1.5 inches in diameter. The AUTOFEED feature makes it easy to release and retract the snake by just pressing a trigger. What we love most about this cleaner drain snake is that you can use it as a hand auger by turning the “drum” manually or connecting it to a drill for maximum power.
When attached to a drill, this tool can achieve 500 rpm, which is enough torque for cleaning kitchen and bathtub drains. However, the powered mode is not ideal for toilets since it may damage the porcelain. The cable is conveniently placed in the drum to prevent a pull-out, and this tool comes with a comfortable handgrip. The drum is made of polyethylene, which makes it durable and light.
Most users loved the fact that they could use it with a drill to save some time. There were some complaints about the drain auger breaking after using it with the drill, but most users agreed that it’s durable than most of the tools in its price range. They also found it more comfortable to use and clean.
- It can be connected to a drill, which enables it to work faster.
- Easy to use
- The drum is made from durable materials.
- It’s light, minimizing any strain to your wrist.
- Lifetime warranty
- May easily get damaged when used with a drill
- May leave a mess, which takes some time to clean.
We recommend this drain auger and snake for both professional plumbers and DIYers. It’s pretty straightforward, effective, and easy to use manually and with a drill. If you’re not experienced in unclogging, expect to make a mess that will need some cleaning.
Best Value for Money – FlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink Snake
If you have a hair problem in your bathroom sink or bathtub, this FlexiSnake Drain Weasel is the best for you. Unlike some models that have a steel cable, this model has a plastic cable that’s flexible enough to go through the curves in the drains. It’s also durable and features micro hooks that grab any materials that may be blocking your drain. You also don’t need to keep the head; you can dispose it off since the manufacturer provides five replacement heads.
It’s also 18 inches long, enough for bathtubs since hair is always within a few feet from the top of the drain. We love how easy it is to use. You just insert it in the pipe, rotate it in 360 degrees, and remove the clog. That’s it. There’s no need to call a plumber.
Users seem to be very happy with how well this drain snake removes hair from drains. They also loved its affordability and simplicity. The only issue they raised was that you might have to buy a new plumbing snake every time you need to unclog your bathroom since it’s hard to clean.
- Small and easily fits in bathroom drains
- The micro hooks are effective in unblocking hair clogs.
- May easily break since it’s made of flimsy plastic
- You may have to replace it every time you want to unclog your drain.
You can’t argue with the creativity and effectiveness of this drain snake when dealing with hair clogs. It also doesn’t cost that much, which makes replacing it often a non-issue.
Best Electric Plumbing Snake – RYOBI P4001
Attaching a drill to a plumbing snake is not always the best idea. Some of them may not last long after that. Luckily, you can benefit from an electric plumbing snake like the RYOBI P4001 model. RYOBI is famous for manufacturing high-quality cordless products, giving you even more reasons to trust their products. This electric plumbing snake comes with a 600 RPM motor, which delivers enough torque while the 25 feet cable provides enough reach. It’s well equipped to unclog toilets, kitchen sinks, and bathtubs that are at least 2 inches in diameter.
Unlike the manual drain augers where you have to spin a knob to advance the cable, push the cable forward with the push of a button. It also features an auto-feed and locking mechanism. The 18V battery also lasts long. To prevent the user from fatigue, the handle has an over-mold. The drum is well built and has feet that prevent it from damaging delicate surfaces. Like most RYOBI products, this plumbing snake has a three years warranty.
Most users claimed that this plumbing snake works great, even better than the drill models. They did complain that the instructions weren’t straightforward, and it took some time to learn.
- The 18V One+ battery lasts long
- It’s light and has an over-mold for comfort when using it.
- 3 years warranty
- The 600 RPM provides enough torque for unclogging.
- The battery and charger are sold separately.
- The instructions aren’t comprehensive.
With such a tool, you don’t need to call the landlord or plumber. It’s cheap but is well built to remove even the toughest clogs. It may have a steep learning curve, but it’s worth your time and money.
DrainX Power Pro 50 feet drain snake with a drill attachment.
If you have deeper and broader drains, then you’ll love the DrainX Pro model. It’s a 50 ft. drain snake that easily cleans pipes ranging from 1.25 inches to 3 inches in diameter. Unlike some models that feature a plastic drum, this drain snake features a very durable steel drum that holds the snake cable in place. It also has a drill adapter that allows you to connect an electric drill for more torque. But you can also use it as a mechanical drill.
It also features a thumbscrew that allows you to lock the cable in the housing when you’re not using it. To offer the best value for money, the manufacturer also includes working gloves and a carrying pouch. You can also select a 25-foot and a 35-foot plumbing snake if you’re looking for a shorter one. This model is also not the best for toilets, for it can damage the porcelain.
Most users loved the durability and efficiency of this drain auger. The gloves and tote bag came in handy since drain unclogging seems to be very unsanitary. Some found the 50 feet model to be cumbersome, especially when unclogging kitchen sinks. But this wasn’t an issue since it still functions better than most drain snakes.
- Can be connected with a drill for more torque
- Offers better value for money thanks to the bag and gloves
- The 50 feet length is large enough for most drains.
- Easy to use.
- It may kink easily.
Overall, this is an excellent drain auger, whether you’re using it manually, or with the drill. It may not be as robust as some other models, but it gets the job done. Make sure you handle it with care to avoid any damages.
RIDGID 59787 K-3 Toilet Auger
This RIDGID model is designed specifically to clean toilet drains. That’s why the metal cable is wrapped in a vinyl cover to prevent damage to the porcelain. The cable is three feet long, corrosion-resistant, and it features a very sturdy bulb head. This makes it ideal for removing flushed jewelry, toys, or any other items that may be clogging your toilet. It’s also very durable and kink-free. Another reason why we recommend RIDGID’s products is the lifetime warranty they offer on their products.
Most users loved that this auger is light and easy to use. Also, since it comes in 3 and 6 feet, they confirmed that it has enough reach for most toilets, and the vinyl cover was effective in protecting the porcelain.
- Very durable
- It has enough reach and effectively moves through the S curves in the toilet.
- Easy to use
- The coating on the snake also preserves the toilet’s porcelain.
- It may still damage the plastic pipes and porcelain.
This is the perfect tool for unclogging your toilet, especially when you don’t want to call a plumber. It’s affordable, straightforward, and effective. It’s covered to prevent any damages, but always observe caution when using it.
General Pipe Cleaners R-25SM
This is one of the best drain snakes for kitchen sinks. It’s light, weighing 4 pounds, which makes it more comfortable even for seniors to handle. It’s a handheld auger that’s designed to unclog even the toughest objects in your drain. It comes with a large knob that holds the snake in place. It can comfortably unblock drains that are 1.25 to 3 inches. The drum is also made of durable polyethylene. The best way to use it is to feed the snake into the drain until you hit the clogging materials.
Using the thumbscrew, lock the cable in place and spin the cable slowly until you make sure it’s unclogged. Loosen the screw and continue feeding the cable to make sure there’s no blockage. After unclogging, you can flush with hot water to wash away the materials left within the drain. Do not insert all of the cable at once; this may cause it to kink.
According to most users, this drain snake works great in unclogging kitchen sinks, bathtubs, and toilets. Some complained that there are no instructions on how to use it. Luckily, there are several tutorials that they could learn from.
- The 50 feet length is enough for most households.
- Easy to use
- Very versatile
- It may kink when used at maximum length.
- No option to attach a drill
Even though you can’t attach a drill, the drive knob provides enough torque for unclogging all types of materials. We recommend it for its straightforward operation and affordability.
RIDGID K-45AF Drain Cleaning Machine
This is another excellent electric plumbing snake that can be used by DIYers and professional plumbers. Making 200 to 600 rotations per minute, this plumbing snake can unclog a wide variety of materials. It’s designed for drains that are 0.75 inches to 2.5 inches. What we love most about it are the four interchangeable heads.
It comes with a bulb auger, drop-head auger, spade cutter, c-cutter, and pin key, all designed to remove different materials from your drain lines. You also don’t have to touch the cable; you can advance and retract the cable using the levers. RIDGID also provides gloves which are essential when dealing with drains. As mentioned earlier, RIDGID also offers a lifetime warranty on their products.
Based on the user reviews, this is a sturdy drain cleaner. They loved the fact that they could choose between the 25 and 50 feet cable based on your drain size. Some claimed that it was heavy and a little challenging to use, but they couldn’t argue with the results.
- It comes with a very sturdy cable.
- The interchangeable drum holds the cable in place effectively.
- The motor also delivers enough torque for unblocking sewers and drains.
- It’s heavy.
- It’s challenging to use, especially for beginners.
We recommend this drain cleaner to professionals or people who are used to dealing with heavy-duty machines. This is because it’s expensive and has a steep learning curve, but it works as advertised.
Cobra Products GIDDS 211332
If you’re looking for more than just a DIY drain cleaner, this cobra sewer machine suits you. It’s designed for heavy-duty drain cleaning and sewer unclogging. The cable is 100 feet long, and it can unclog drains and sewer lines that are up to 10 inches wide.
Theo.75 HP motor and four different heads make sure that clogs and root blockages don’t stand a chance. There’s also a convenient switch for forwarding, stopping, and reversing the cable. It’s quite heavy, weighing 215 pounds, but the wheels make it easier to move around.
Most buyers claimed that this is an industrial grade drain cleaner. They found it quite heavy, but that was expected considering the power it has and the 100-foot cable. However, some users claimed that it breaks after a few runs.
- The 100-foot cable provides enough reach for unclogging sewers.
- It’s a versatile drain cleaner thanks to the different heads.
- The wheels make it easier to transport.
- It’s expensive.
- It’s slow.
We wouldn’t recommend this tool for DIYers. Based on its design, it is best suited for heavy-duty applications. It’s also quite heavy, slow, and challenging to operate.
VEVOR SEWER MACHINE
This is another heavy-duty sewer cleaning machine that’s worth mentioning. At almost a 1/3 of the price of the cobra products’ model, you get a 100-foot cable and a 1750 RPM motor for maximum torque. The only difference between the two models is that the VEVOR model can’t unclog drains more than 4 inches in diameter. The auto-feed mechanism makes it easy to advance and retract the cable. It also comes with four changeable heads based on the materials you’re dealing with in your drains. It comes in a sturdy steel frame to handle the torque.
The cable is also made of high-quality steel, which makes it effective in unclogging sewers, and this steel material doesn’t rust easily. However, make sure you wash it regularly. VEVOR has also rolled out a very effective air-activated footswitch, which makes the working process flawless. We also love the compact size for easier storage and the wheels for portability.
Several users were impressed by the power and effectiveness of the machine. They also agreed that the manufacturer has excellent customer service. But some claimed that the cable kinked easily, and the device was poorly packaged, causing some damages during shipping.
- Excellent customer service
- It comes with four different cutters to unclog different types of materials.
- The steel build makes it very durable.
- It’s an affordable heavy-duty drain snake.
- The cable kinks easily.
- Poor packaging may cause some damages.
- The instructions are not very clear.
This drain snake may not be as sturdy as some models, but it’s affordable and effective. We recommend it because of the excellent customer support. They promptly replace damaged parts. The instructions aren’t the best, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t get it sooner.
OIIWAK HOME DRAIN SNAKE CAMERA
We believe that you would do a better job of unclogging your drain if you could see the materials blocking it. We recommend this OIIWAK model, which comes with an IPS screen for better real-time images. You can also stream or record videos for further inspection. The cable is also waterproof, allowing it to maneuver in drain lines and sewers without being easily damaged.
To enhance visibility, this drain snake also has six lights and a 2800 mAh fast charge battery. This battery can last up to four working hours. It also comes with a toolbox for maintenance and an 8GB internal memory, enough to store the photos and videos. With the 11.5 feet length, you can inspect drains, sewers, aircraft, vehicles, vent pipes, and other mechanical equipment.
Most users were impressed by the functionality of this endoscope. They could use as an inspection tool and as a drain snake. They also loved the video quality, 8GB memory, and the easy-to-use monitor.
- The 8GB memory is enough to store videos and photos when doing an inspection.
- It’s versatile. It can be used in drains and other inspection activities around your home.
- The cable is very durable.
- The battery lasts long.
- The cable is difficult to control within the drain.
- The resolution is also not of the best quality.
We recommend this drain cleaner for people with smaller drains since it’s hard to control the cable when it’s too deep. Overall, it works as expected by allowing you to view the clog and determine the best way to deal with it.
How to choose the Best Drain Auger and Snake
Whether you’re a plumber or a homeowner who loves taking on DIY projects such as drain cleaning, it’s imperative that you choose the right tool. Below are some of the factors you need to consider when purchasing a drain auger and snake.
Drain cables come in different lengths and thicknesses, all suited for different types of drains. For the regular households, a 25-foot cable with a diameter between ¼ and 5/16 is ideal. But if you have a bathroom that’s upstairs, you’re better off with the 50 ft. drain snake. If you’re not sure about the diameter, always go for the smallest (at least ½ inches less than the pipe’s diameter.) Below is a table that estimates the best drain diameters based on your drain type and size.
|Drain||Pipe Diameter (in inches)||Cable’s diameter (in inches)|
|Bathroom||1 to 1.25||¼|
|Bathtub||1 ½ to 2||¼ to 5/16|
|Shower||2 to 3||3/8, 5/16, 13/32|
|Floor drain||3 to 4||3/8, 13/32, ½, 5/8, ¾|
|Floor drain||4 to 5||½, 5/8, ¾|
|Floor drain||6 to 8||5/8, ¾|
|Floor drain||8 or larger||3/4|
There are two types of heads in drain snakes, a cutting head and a coil. Some drain snakes come with an interchangeable head where you can switch between the two, while others come with fixed heads.
- Coil – This type is designed to “grab” the clogging materials and pull it out. They are the best for residential places since they can effectively remove hair, toys, jewelry, towels, baby wipes, or any other materials stuck in your drain. They often have “teeth” or micro hooks that attach to the clogging materials.
- Cutting heads – This type is common in industrial-grade drain snakes. They unclog by cutting through the clogging materials. It comes in handy when you have materials that you can’t easily pull out. These include roots, soap, mud, or food chunks.
Source of Power
For simple unclogging tasks, especially for relatively new homes, you’re okay with a manual plumbing snake. These drain cleaners have a rotating driving knob/crank that you rotate to advance the cable. They are pretty straightforward and cheaper. For more complicated tasks, an electric plumbing snake would be the best since they have a mechanism for advancing and reversing the cable, and they are more powerful. You will have to pay more for this type, but you can’t argue with their power and efficiency.
Preventing Drains from Clogging
Taking the necessary precautions can save you some time and money. You may not have to purchase the expensive electric plumbing snakes, and you may not have to unclog every couple of weeks. In your bathroom, you can install a shower drain hair catcher, which prevents the hair from blocking your drain. For kitchen drains, you can install a sink strainer to trap the debris. You can install a garbage disposal unit and always run the water at high speed to prevent any materials from ending up in your drain.