DIY is something of a national obsession, as millions of Brits happily try their hand at all manner of household tasks each year. However, some ventures transpire to be a little beyond the skillsets of certain would-be home contractors, evidenced by a recent survey which revealed that 32% of UK adults have had to call a plumber to specifically fix a problem caused by DIY.
Whether you are a particularly competent DIYer on a mission to expand your repertoire or a budding contractor with an interest in plumbing as a career, there are certain tools that are vital pieces of equipment for any plumber’s arsenal. These are the top three tools that no plumber should ever go without:
SDS Max Drill
Most handy types have a powered drill in their home; they are indispensable for making short work of household tasks, from assembling furniture and putting up shelving to hobbycraft. However, a standard rotary drill will not cut the mustard for plumbing applications.
Plumbers often need to drill through tiling, floorboards and even masonry in order to run piping through and out of the house, and standard drills are not nearly powerful enough to achieve this effectively.
Enter the SDS or SDS Max drill. SDS stands for Slotted Drive System and refers to the mechanism by which SDS drills efficiently break through harder, denser material when drilling.
SDS drills are, in essence, extra-accurate hammer drills that apply force through the drill bit as well as perpendicular to it. Prioritise models which offer advanced safety mechanisms for better physical protection.
An oscillating multi-tool is a peculiar power tool, and one that not many people will find in their standard garage or shed toolbox. It does exactly what it says on the tin; it is an often battery-powered device that rotates a chuck back and forth incrementally, at high speeds.
There are multiple attachments for the tool, that enable it to carry out a wide range of tasks from sanding down surfaces to sawing into materials and beyond.
For a plumber, the oscillating multi-tool is indispensable for plunge cuts into wood or plasterboard – making it astonishingly easy to cut out a perfect square for ease of access or the running of pipes, for example under the sink. They can also be used to smooth down and sand surfaces in hard-to-reach places.
Oscillating multi-tools are only convenient for lightweight tasks, though – and plumbers will frequently encounter the need to cut or deform heavyweight materials in order to complete their work. This is particularly true in the case of installing copper piping.
For applications such as this, a cordless angle grinder quickly becomes irreplaceable as a convenient cutting tool. With the right attachments, an angle grinder is powerful enough to cut metal pipes down to size, and to wear down any excess material from welds between pipes.
An honourable mention must go to the humble reciprocating saw – an endlessly useful implement for any contractor or DIY enthusiast, and useful for knocking up simple wood baton structures in no time at all.