Whether you’re a budding apprentice plumber or a gnarly, wisened veteran plumber, having the right power tools in your van will ensure your day goes smoothly; unpack them, use them, get the job done with them.
On top of that, everyone knows that plumbers like to push their power tools hard, so it’s also important that you have tools that’ll take the abuse!
WHAT ARE THE BEST POWER TOOLS FOR A PLUMBER?
Let’s be honest, it can be easy when we’re feeling flush to load up our shopping basket with loads of new tools, some of which we might hardly ever used. However, this guide is deliberately limited to the absolute “must have” power tools for plumbers, which we feel are:
- cordless twin pack: combi drill & impact driver
- SDS+ hammer
- oscillating multi-tool
- circular saw
- dust control system
Why go for a twin pack of cordless tools? The main reason is they’re typically a bit cheaper than buying each tool separately
Equally, the temptation can be to opt for two tools on different battery platforms. But we’re being pragmatic here. Buying a twin pack ensures that both will share the same battery, and going forward this means you can add to your kit by buying body-only versions, which won’t come with a battery but are a fair bit cheaper. Read our guide to body-only tools here.
For this guide, we’ve chosen Milwaukee’s Red Lithium-ion twin pack. Both tools in the pack are brushless, which means the motors are more durable, they can take a knock and you’ll get better performance from them, especially when you push them hard.
The impact driver – M12CD – puts 37Nm of torque in your hand, while the combi-drill – M18 ONEPD – offers you up to 32,000 blows per minute.
The right tools for the right job; hence the need for a good quality SDS+ hammer drill. It’ll be ideal for the times you need to punch big holes in masonry, or even chip or chisel concrete.
Choosing an SDS+ hammer that will perform as you want it, when you want it is also key. So for that reason ,we’ve gone for the DH24PX from Hitachi.
With its 3 modes (hammer, rotary hammer, drilling) it punches into masonry with 2.7 Joules of impact energy and a 7830W motor. In terms of what it delivers with this spec, put a core bit on it and it’ll make holes up to 32mm in diameter.
These tools are virtually a pre-requisite these days thanks to their flexibility. There isn’t much you can’t do with them, and they’re ideal for little jobs that other tools are either too costly or too big for.
Obviously it comes down to whether you need cordless or not, and of course the accessories you have with you. Click here to see all the cordless oscillating multi-tools in stock, and click here to see the corded versions.
This is one of the aforementioned body-only tools. You’ll save cash, and all you need to do is use one of the 18v LXT batteries already in your kit, such as those supplied with the Makita twin pack above. It has a big oscillation angle of 3.2º which allows for fast cutting applications, and the accessories will oscillate in the OIS shoe at up to 20,000 OPM.
Plumbers typically need a circular saw with a blade of around 165mm in diameter in order to quickly cut through floorboards, for example. However, the issue of nails in the wood often comes up! So, what about a circular saw that takes blades of 185mm and will cut through nails as if they weren’t there?
This is the Evolution EVOSAW230, it comes with 230mm TCT steel blade, and it’s a monster. For us, this is the perfect circular saw for plumbers as it’ll handle virtually any cutting job you throw at it!
Are plumbers the messiest tradespeople on site? We’ll let you guys argue that out, but the reality is, we all create dust and debris when we’re working. And with more and more jobsites making the possession of a dust extractor a requirement, it makes sense that we look for the best one on the market.
For starters, this is M-Class, meaning it fits the minimum dust extraction requirements from the EU and HSE.
Whether you use the power take-off for your corded power tools, like the circular saw, or for cleaning up wet or dry mess, the Dustex 35 MX AC is ideal, along with being super-portable. It benefits from a large 35-litre bin and automatic cleaning of the filter.
So that’s our suggestions for the best power tool kit for plumbers. What would you add to the mix? Let us know in the comments section below.
We’ve got a huge selection of hand tools for plumbers, here are some to choose from: