A beginner's list of must-have plumbing tools

Published: 03 Mar 2022 ・ Read time: 6 mins
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 labour required of you.
However, there are only so many more rewarding careers. A great deal of satisfaction can be taken from supporting somebody in their hour of need, while the people you meet and the variety of jobs you take on ensure no two days are the same!
In the coming years, you’re bound to accumulate an extensive sampling of plumbing tools and equipment; however, to begin with, you must invest in the essentials. 
With this in mind, we’ve compiled this list of essential must-have plumbing tools and explained 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 several different types of essential plumbing tools, including those for cutting, bending, soldering, freezing and more, and your plumbing tool kit must have all bases covered:

Pipe Cutter

This is one of the must-have plumbing tools, as you’re likely to find that you will use it almost daily. Many different pipe-cutting tools are available, including those designed for slicing through copper and those more suited for plastic materials.
They also come in varying shapes and sizes, from single-action, one-handed models that are perfect in tight spaces to rubber-handed shears that deliver precision cuts with minimal fuss.
image of pipe cutter at city plumbing
image of torch at city plumbing

Soldering Torch

When connecting copper pipes, 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 many other pieces to your plumbing tools kit, such as a gas cylinder, soldering mat, flux brushes and flux paste.


All essential plumbing tools are complete with 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 toolbox.
You can find sets with specially hardened teeth for those complicated pipes and nuts and those fitted with slip guards for additional safety.
image of a set of pliers at city plumbing

Test Detection

When assessing new and existing pipework, a pressure test kit is vital for any plumber’s test and detection equipment. They are ideal for inspecting new and existing pipework, enabling you to check for leaks before you 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 is a must-have plumbing tool.
image of a can of test detector spray at city plumbing

Pipe Freezing Kit

There are various freezing tools available that you can choose from based on how comprehensive you need your kit to be. You can opt for an essential freezing spray that will do the job in only a few minutes, allowing you to repair any pipework without draining the whole system. Or, for a more belt-and-braces addition to your plumbing tool set, machines that operate via clamps and can be used on pipes of all materials and sizes are available.
image of a can of pipe freezing at city plumbing

Pipe Benders

In the plumbing trade, jobs are often complex and rarely straightforward, so having the perfect pipe-bending tool for the task at hand is imperative.
The perfect pipe-bending tool can make up to 90 degrees of bends 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 more excellent stability.
image of a pipe bender
image of nanometer at city plumbing

U-gauge Manometer

Safety and accuracy are paramount when dealing with gas pipework. , which is why it’s essential to have reliable test and detection equipment. A U-gauge manometer allows you to test and check domestic and commercial gas appliances in line with Gas Safety Regulations.
Additionally, products such as a hose and leak detection fluid will further guarantee that you perform your work with the highest 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 for customers. At City Plumbing, you can pick up everything you need and benefit from our industry-experienced branch teams & customer service experts at the same time.
You can buy plumbing tools online or, if you prefer that personal touch, why not visit in-store by using our branch locator to determine which of our 370 UK locations is most convenient for you. 
Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is always ready to assist you in selecting the necessary tools and equipment to ensure that your job is completed to the highest standards.

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