A beginner's list of must-have plumbing tools

Published: 3rd September 2020 Read time: 6 minutes

Are you just starting out in the plumbing trade? Perhaps you’re new to the job, or have recently embarked upon an apprenticeship. There’s no denying it can be challenging, calling for solutions to a wide range of problems, not to mention the hard physical work that’s required of you.

However, there are few more rewarding professions. A great deal of satisfaction can be taken from helping somebody out in their hour of need, while the people you meet and the variety of jobs you take on ensure no two days are ever the same!

In the coming years, you’re bound to accumulate a large selection of plumbing tools and equipment, but to begin with it’s important that you invest in the essentials. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of plumbing tools and their uses to help you get started when it comes to tackling those tricky tasks.

Our essential plumbing tools list

As you’d expect for such a varied profession, there are a number of different types of essential plumbing tools, including those for cutting, bending, soldering, freezing and more, and it’s important that your plumbing tool kit has all bases covered:

Pipe cutter

This is one of the must-have plumbing tools, as you’re likely to find that you’ll use it on an almost daily basis. There are many different pipe cutting tools available, including those designed for slicing through copper and those more suited for plastic materials. They come in varying shapes and sizes, too, from single action, one-handed models that are perfect in tight spaces, to rubber-handed shears that deliver precision cuts with a minimum of fuss.

Soldering torch

When it comes to connecting copper pipe, you’ll need a selection of soldering and brazing tools to ensure the job gets done to your usual high standards. As well as a torch to provide concentrated high temperatures for long periods, you’ll need to add a number of other pieces to your plumbing tool kit, such as a gas cylinder, soldering mat, flux brushes and flux paste.


No set of essential plumbing tools is complete without a range of pliers, wrenches and spanners. For added flexibility, invest in an adjustable pair of pliers that allow you to work on fittings of all shapes and sizes, with the added benefit of taking up less space in your tool box. You can find sets with specially hardened teeth for those particularly difficult pipes and nuts, as well as those fitted with slip guards for additional safety.


When it comes to assessing new and existing pipework, a pressure test kit is a vital part of any plumber’s test and detection equipment They are ideal for checking for leaks before you decide to fill the system with water and can test a wide range of pressures, while a flexible hose and rubber boot make for safe, easy use. For apprentices and experienced pros alike, this really is one of the must-have plumbing tools.

Pipe freezing kit

There are a number of different freezing tools available, depending on how comprehensive you need your kit to be. For example, you can buy simple freezing spray that will do the job in only a couple of minutes, allowing you to repair any pipework without having to drain the whole system. Or, for a more belt-and-braces addition to your plumbing tool set, there are machines available that operate via clamps and can be used on pipes of all materials and sizes.

Pipe bender

In this trade, jobs are rarely straightforward and that’s why it’s imperative to have the perfect pipe-bending tool for the task at hand. With this must-have plumbing tool, you can make bends of up to 90 degrees in copper and light-grade stainless-steel pipes of various sizes. This can be done either by hand or in a vice if you’re seeking greater stability.

U-gauge manometer

When it comes to gas pipework, safety and accuracy is of the utmost importance, which is why it’s crucial to have the very best test and detection equipment. A U-gauge manometer allows you to test and check domestic and commercial gas appliances in line with the Gas Safety Regulations, while other products such as a hose and leak detection fluid will help to ensure you carry out all your work to the strictest safety standards.

Where to buy plumbing tools

The above are just some of the must-have plumbing tools to add to your kit before you tackle any jobs. At City Plumbing, you can pick up everything you need and benefit from our stellar customer service at the same time.

You can buy plumbing tools online or, if you prefer that personal touch, why not use our branch finder to work out which of our 370 UK locations is most convenient for you. Our expert, friendly staff will be only too happy to help you pick out the essential plumbing tools and equipment you need to get the job done to the highest possible standards.

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