The 7 Best Drain Snakes to Buy in 2018

What You Need to Know to Make an Informed Purchase

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Our Top Picks

Toilet Augers at Amazon

“Toilet augers are designed to clear the toilet without searing into and scratching the porcelain.”

Best Drain Snake for Hair Removal: FlexiSnake Drain Weasel at Home Depot

“Incorporates small hooks or grabbers to cling to the hair as it rotates around.”

Small Hand Snakes at Amazon

“Used for clearing small household drains and usually the most common stoppages.”

Best Extra Long Drain Snake: Husky 50 Ft Auger at Home Depot

“Digs deep into the pipeline with an extra reach unrivaled by the competition.”

Best Liquid Drain Cleaner: Instant Power Hair and Grease Drain Opener at Amazon

“A great solution for periodically deep cleaning your plumbing lines.”

Best Medium Drain Machine: Ridgid 115V Autofeed Drain Cleaning Machine at Amazon

“A five-piece set that comes with the main unit and four different heads for a variety of clogs.”

Best Main Line Snake Drain Snake: Cobra Products GIDDS-211332 at Amazon

“Meant for main lines, sewer lines and heavy blockages.”

  • 01 of 07

    Toilet Augers

    Ridgid 59787 K-3 3-foot Toilet Auger with bulb head
    Ridgid 59787 K-3 3-foot Toilet Auger with bulb head. Courtesy of Amazon

    Toilet augers are the only snake you will want to put down the toilet because they are designed to clear the toilet without tearing into and scratching the porcelain. An auger is a great tool and every homeowner should really have one for when a plunger just is not enough to clear a toilet clog. Toilet augers are so inexpensive to buy that you can buy a professional toilet auger for less money than it would cost to call a plumber.

    Buying tips: Toilet augers are cheap already so do not buy the cheapest one you see for sale. The least expensive toilet augers that I have seen actually work cost somewhere between $30 to $50. They come in all price ranges as cheap as $10 and the professional one I use is just less than $80. Please spend a little more because it will make a difference.

  • 02 of 07

    Best Drain Snake for Hair Removal: FlexiSnake Drain Weasel

    drain-weasel
    Courtesy of Home Depot

    Hair clogging a drain is one of the most difficult challenges to solve. Unlike regular organic matter that can be removed with brute force, hair easily tangles a typical snake head. As a result, there can be build up over time which creates a harder clog to remove. Snake drains designed for hair removal, on the other hand, use a different style of head that often incorporates small hooks or grabbers to cling to the hair as it rotates around. This can fully remove the hair in less time than it would take with the traditional hand operated drain snake.

    The FlexiSnake Drain Weasel is a deceptively simple tool that works its way around curves and bends to get into hard-to-reach spots in the pipeline. The handle spins 360 degrees and drives the main head with 18 inches between the clog and your hands. The head itself has 100+ small hooks to grab hair and other debris with ease. Each head and wand unit is replaceable as well. 

  • 03 of 07

    Small Hand Snakes

    General Pipe Cleaners R-25SM Spin Thru Drain Auger with 1/4-Inch by 25-Feet Cable
    General Pipe Cleaners R-25SM Spin Thru Drain Auger with 1/4-Inch by 25-Feet Cable. Courtesy of Amazon

    A small hand snake (also called top snake) is used for clearing small household drains and usually the most common stoppages. Hand snakes can often clear local kitchen stoppages, local washing machine stoppages, bathroom sink stoppages, tub stoppages, and shower stoppages. This makes it a very versatile machine and I think every homeowner should have one. Once again, like the toilet auger, these usually cost less than calling a plumber.

    Buying tips: A good length of cable to have ​for a small hand snake is 25’ but often 15’ is sufficient to clear common stoppages. Here it also pays to spend a little more money. The power drill snakes are my favorite, but I have seen hand crank snakes work decently as well. There are also some that you can hook to your own drill, saving you money. You can get nice power hand snake for under $100 and much cheaper yet for the manual snakes.

  • 04 of 07

    Best Extra Long Drain Snake: Husky 50Ft Auger

    husky-drain-auger
    Courtesy of Home Depot

    Sometimes, clogs are just out of reach of a typical hand-operated drain snake. Even though most drain snakes come with around 25 feet of cable, this might be too short for longer plumbing lines. Since a clog can form at any point in a pipe, obstructions that happen deeper into the line require more reach without losing the necessary power and torque to remove the debris. If you are facing such a situation, the only real solution is an extra long drain snake.

    The Husky 50Ft Auger digs deep into the pipeline with an extra reach unrivaled by the competition. Using a 50-foot cable made of spring steel wire, the auger is strong enough to tackle larger clogs typically found in two to four-inch drain lines. The cable is also rust resistant to extend the life of the tool. The grip and handle are also large with ergonomic contours for extra comfort as you use the auger. 

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Best Liquid Drain Cleaner: Instant Power Hair And Grease Drain Opener

    instant-power
    Courtesy of Home Depot

    Metal hand operated and electric drain snakes are not the only solutions when it comes time to remove a troublesome clog in your toilet. If there has been a long period of buildup, these traditional tools may not be as effective. A liquid clog remover, on the other hand, tackles the same problem in a slower manner. Simply pour the liquid into the drain and wait as it works its magic to dissolve and melt away organic matter without damaging your pipes. A liquid clog remover can be a great solution for periodically deep cleaning your plumbing lines.

    When a regular drain snake lacks enough punch or reach, the Instant Power Hair And Grease Drain Opener is a great backup choice. Tackling clogs, hair, and grease in the pipes, the liquid drain cleaner helps to dissolve debris quickly. The cleaner also uses a non-acidic formula so the inside of the pipes are not damaged as the liquid runs down, through the plumbing as it works.

     

  • 06 of 07

    Best Medium Drain Machine: Ridgid 115V Autofeed Drain Cleaning Machine

    rigid-drain-cleaning-machine
    Courtesy of Home Depot

    For major toilet and pipe clogs, the typical hand driven drain snake may not have enough power and torque to get the job done. Since this is a problem you don't want to extend or make worse, this kind of challenge will often require the use of a medium drain snake machine. Once you have the help of a motor at your fingertips, you will quickly discover why these machines are the most commonly preferred tool for professional plumbers when handling larger, more difficult clogs in a toilet.

    The Ridgid 115V Autofeed Drain Cleaning Machine is a five-piece set that comes with the main unit and four different heads for a variety of clogs. The machine uses a 25-foot cable that will fit 3/4 to 1-1/2 inch drain lines. The cleaner has a variable speed motor so you can control the amount of power and torque you put into the drain, which will help avoid any unnecessary damage.

  • 07 of 07

    Best Main Line Drain Snake Drain Snake: Cobra Products GIDDS-211332

    Mainline clogs present a unique challenge that is different from your average toilet clog. Mainlines tend to be larger, up to 3 to 4 inches in diameter, meaning anything capable of clogging this conduit is major. In order to fix this kind of problem, the typical hand driven drain snake will lack the necessary power to get the job done. When this happens, you need a mainline snake drain.

    Coming with a 100-foot cable and 3/4 horsepower motor, everything about the Cobra Products GIDDS-211332 screams “heavy duty.” Meant for main lines, sewer lines, and heavy blockages, the extra length of the cable will be more than enough for any hard-to-reach area around the home. Everything is also well contained and easy to transport thanks to the dual wheel, reinforced frame and skids.