The Best Plumbing Snake: Drain Snakes Reviews (All Types)

Last Updated On May 26, 2022
best plumbing snake

Do you need a new plumbing snake to tackle a tough clog? Clogs occur in the different drains in your home for various reasons, and a plumbing snake is the best tool to help tackle the issue.

There are a lot of snakes to choose from. You need one made for the job, that also won’t break or get stuck.

In this PlumbingNav guide, we will cover:

  • How do plumbing snakes work?
  • Do specific drain snakes work on all clogs?
  • Different types of plumbing snakes
  • What do you look for in choosing a plumbing snake
  • Best individual snakes reviewed

ImageProduct
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Ridgid GIDDS-813340 41408 Power Spin with AUTOFEED, Maxcore Drain Cleaner Cable to Remove Clogs
  • Autofeed
  • 500 RPM power
  • 25’ cable
  • Autofeed
  • 500 RPM power
  • 25’ cable
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RIDGID 59787 Model K-3 Toilet Auger with Unclogging 3-Foot Snake and Bulb Head
  • Strong yet flexible material
  • Vinyl guard
  • Large handles
  • Strong yet flexible material
  • Vinyl guard
  • Large handles
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Cobra Enterprises 00710 Skinny Snake Drain Cleaner, Black
  • Extra skinny cable fits small drains
  • Inexpensive
  • Made by the Cobra brand
  • Extra skinny cable fits small drains
  • Inexpensive
  • Made by the Cobra brand
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Cobra 84250 84000 Drum Auger, for Use with Most Sink, Shower and Tub Drains, 1/4 in X 25 Ft
  • Coiled wire breaks up tough clogs
  • High quality plastic housing 
  • Long 25’ cable
  • Coiled wire breaks up tough clogs
  • High quality plastic housing 
  • Long 25’ cable
View on Amazon
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POPULO Electric Drain Auger, 25Ft Plumbing Snake Drain Clog Remover Tools, Cordless Drain Cleaner
  • 25’ long
  • Powerful 
  • Cordless
  • 25’ long
  • Powerful 
  • Cordless
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On May 26, 2022

Our #1 Rated Pick: Ridgid GIDDS-813340 41408 Power Spin with AUTOFEED, Maxcore Drain Cleaner Cable to Remove Clogs

When you need power, you can use this manual auger that autofeeds a 25’ cable into your drain (½” – 1.5”) and breaks up the clog at speeds up to 500 rotations per minute (RPM).

The cable retracts back into the drum when finished. You have the ability to attach to a drill (not included).

Our Top 5 Picks for Product

What's In This Guide?

      Plumbing Snake 101: How Do Drain Snakes Work?

      A drain snake consists of a long, thin “snake” that maneuvers through your pipe to reach the clog. It’s usually made of flexible material that allows the snake to turn around corners and navigate pipe joints. Once the snake reaches the clog at the source, it uses a crank (or electricity) to turn and break up the clog.

      Plumbing Snake 202: Do Specific Drain Snakes Work on All Clogs?

      Not all snakes will work on all clogs. Choose wisely.

      Some snakes won’t reach a deep clog in your main sewer line. Other snakes may not be able to fit in an extra small drain or one with a sharp corner turn. Other snakes may accidentally damage the material of the different fixtures on your home or pipe material. We’re going to explain the best types of plumbing snake for the job you’re facing, below.

      Different Types of Plumbing Snakes: Is Specialization Required?

      All Purpose Plumbing Snake

      An all purpose plumbing snake is designed to work on as many different drains and materials as possible. You’ll often find that while most plumbing snakes work in sinks and showers, they aren’t recommended for toilets. Finding a multipurpose plumbing snake is a common desire for homeowners. 

      These provide the most “bang for your buck,” and can pay dividends while tackling a variety of drain clogs in the future. Look for at least 25’ of reach, as this will allow you access to most clogs and save you money from 50’ options. Pro tip: You can often reach most main line clogs with this length if you snake a drain from the outside.

      Bath Tub Drain Plumbing Snake

      A bathtub drain plumbing snake specifically works on a large 1.5” or 2” floor bathtub drain. It also won’t damage ceramic, porcelain, or other common bathtub materials. These work great for unclogging a bathtub drain full of hair.

      Toilet Drain Plumbing Snake Augers

      A toilet drain plumbing snake can fit a toilet’s curve without getting stuck or breaking. If the clog is near the connection on the main floor drain, it can also work as a sewer snake. Toilet drain snakes won’t damage the toilet finish.

      Toilets can be a special case, watch this video to get a feel:

      Shower Drain Plumbing Snakes

      A shower drain plumbing snake works well with floor drains and multiple floor materials, including tile. These are properly sized for shower drains, as long as you remove the shower drain cover.

      Kitchen Sink / Garbage Disposal Plumbing Snake

      A kitchen sink plumbing snake or a garbage disposal plumbing snake works well with food waste in small drains before it gets too deep into your plumbing system. 
      We cover mostly manual or “hand” plumbing snake options below, with a couple of exceptions. See our other article if you’re looking for reviews on the best electric plumbing and drain snake options that will provide you with more power and further reach.

      What Do You Look For In Choosing A Plumbing Snake

      When looking for a plumbing snake, you should find a plumbing snake specifically designed for the clog in question. Ideally, you’ll find a plumbing snake that’s also easy to use and designed for multiple uses throughout your home.

      did you know best plumbing snake

      Best Individual Plumbing Snakes Reviewed

      Now let’s explore our favorite units so you can decide on the perfect choice for your situation.

      Our #1 Rated Pick: Ridgid GIDDS-813340 41408 Power Spin with AUTOFEED, Maxcore Drain Cleaner Cable to Remove Clogs

      When you need power, you can use this manual auger that autofeeds a 25’ cable into your drain (½” – 1.5”) and breaks up the clog at speeds up to 500 rotations per minute (RPM).

      The cable retracts back into the drum when finished. You have the ability to attach to a drill (not included).

      Pros

      • Autofeed
      • 500 RPM power
      • 25’ cable

      Cons

      • Not recommended for toilets
      • More Expensive
      • Cannot change out the head

      Our #2 Rated Pick: RIDGID 59787 Model K-3 Toilet Auger with Unclogging 3-Foot Snake and Bulb Head

      Use this 3’ auger in your toilet drain or various other drains in your home. The inner core cable is strong enough and rigid enough not to kink or break in the drain, but it’s still flexible enough to feed into a toilet drain.

      The vinyl guard protects the porcelain toilet or tub, and the large handles make it easy to control.

      Pros

      • Strong yet flexible material
      • Vinyl guard
      • Large handles

      Cons

      • Can rust over time
      • May not reach all clogs
      • May leave scratches when not used properly

      Our #3 Rated Pick: Cobra Enterprises 00710 Skinny Snake Drain Cleaner, Black

      This extra skinny snake reaches 10’ into your smallest drains. While cost-effective, you can reuse the snake since it retracts back into a casing until you need it again. Turn it by twisting the casing.

      This plumbing snake is best used for bathroom sinks, tubs, or showers. Not recommended for poly pipes, only PVC

      Pros

      • Extra skinny cable fits small drains
      • Inexpensive
      • Made by the Cobra brand

      Cons

      • Difficult to use 
      • Short cable
      • Won’t work with large drains

      Our #4 Rated Pick: Cobra 84250 84000 Drum Auger, for Use with Most Sink, Shower and Tub Drains, 1/4 in X 25 Ft

      This retractable snake feeds a ¼” and 25’ high carbon spring wire into your drain and includes an easy-to-use handle to bring it back into the secure plastic housing.

      It fits most medium-sized drains and the coiled design of the wire helps break up even the toughest clogs.

      Pros

      • Coiled wire breaks up tough clogs
      • High quality plastic housing 
      • Long 25’ cable

      Cons

      • Won’t fit in extra small drains
      • No autofeed
      • Not great around sharp turns

      Our #5 Rated Pick: POPULO Electric Drain Auger, 25Ft Plumbing Snake Drain Clog Remover Tools, Cordless Drain Cleaner

      Give yourself more power with this electric drain cleaner. The cordless application allows you to use the auger in places where you can’t reach an electrical cord thanks to the lithium oin battery.

      It reaches 25’ into your drain and generates more power than the handheld models. It even includes an LED work light to help you work in the night in the case of an emergency. 

      Pros

      • 25’ long
      • Powerful 
      • Cordless

      Cons

      • More Expensive 
      • Must learn how to operate 
      • Clean and dry thoroughly after every use 

      Final Thoughts On Choosing the Best Plumbing Snake

      A plumbers snake is a great way to handle a clogged drain yourself before calling for a plumbing service. Buy a multipurpose snake that can provide support for multiple needs, and some are long enough for sewer line cleaning.

      When the clog is located too far in your drain line, or you’re dealing with challenging blockages from cooking oil or tree roots, you may still need the help of a professional plumber. It’s always a money saver to first try to resolve it yourself and also satisfying when you can.

      Plumbing Drain Snake FAQ’s:

      How much does a plumber snake cost?

      A plumber’s snake can cost anywhere from around $10 for a cheap or disposable snake to up to hundreds of dollars for high-end electric models. Look for a mid-grade and multipurpose model for around $50. See this post where we review the best Ridgid drain snakes for all budgets.

      Can you snake a drain yourself?

      Yes! You can absolutely snake a drain yourself, even if you don’t have much experience. Choose the right snake made for your fixture. Remove drain stoppers for full access to the opening. You can also use a tub drain removal tool in some bathtubs if the crossbar is in the cable’s way.

      What can I use instead of a plumbing snake?

      You can use multiple other tools instead of a plumbing snake, such as liquid plumber drain cleaner or an all natural drain cleaner

      Can a drain snake break a pipe?

      If not used properly, the wrong snake can damage a pipe or your home fixtures. Read instructions before you use your snake. See this post for tips on how to recoil a drain snake so you don’t break it.

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      We’re passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, “how-to”, and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

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      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about "all things plumbing," helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about “all things plumbing,” helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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