When you have a clog somewhere deep in the toilet, a plunger may not be enough to clear it. That’s when you need a toilet auger on hand. It can find that clog and clear it out. If you are in the market for such a tool, you want the best toilet auger you can get for the money.
Let’s look at a few models and see which one is best.
How to Buy the Best Toilet Auger
When selecting a toilet auger, there’s a few things you should keep in mind. They will help you find an auger to do the job quickly and efficiently.
- Length of the auger determines how far down the drain you can go to find the clog. The longer the length, the further you can go. Longer lengths, however, can require more physical effort to get into place.
- Protective sleeve and curved tube prevents the auger from scratching the toilet bowl.
- Flexibility is a necessity for getting into toilet drains. Some models are more flexible than others.
- Quality of construction is key for long-term use and durability. Poor quality construction or materials can shorten the tool’s usable life.
- Ease of use is essential. The tool should be simple to use and not require any special knowledge or strength.
- Operation types include hand crank, plug-in, and cordless. Hand cranks are quite common for household use. Plug-in and cordless models are fantastic for recurrent problems.
- Size of the auger head makes a difference in whether it can work in some fixtures.
- Ease of storage is a nice to have feature. The auger should fold or coil in a way that makes it easy to store.
Are Toilet Augers the Same as Drain Snakes?
When you go looking for tools to clear clogs, you may find yourself looking at both toilet augers and drain snakes. Here’s what you need to know about the two tools.
They both do the same job. They have a long length of cable or wire that infiltrates the depths of a drain in search of a clog. When the tool reaches the clog, the user twists the cable which pushes through the obstruction or captures it for extraction.
Both augers and snakes can be manual, plug-in, or cordless.
The biggest difference between the two is the size drains they handle. An auger is designed to handle larger drains like your toilet or shower. A snake is for smaller drains like the narrower pipes like the bathroom or kitchen sink.
Most times, the cable on an auger is heavier than that of a drain snake. That’s because the auger needs to clear a wider drain. The head is larger on an auger for the same reason.
Avoid the Need for a Toilet Auger
Prevention is always easier than removing a toilet clog with an auger. Preventing a clogged toilet isn’t difficult. It just requires a bit of knowledge and common sense.
- Only flush human waste and toilet paper. So-called flushable wipes are too thick to go down the drain in most homes. They can cause major clogs, especially in older plumbing. Even if they clear the house, they can cause issues in the main drain and city sewer.
- Keep small items away from the open toilet. This can be difficult when storage is limited. However, items like perfume bottles, makeup brushes, and toys are often the reason for clogs happening in the first place.
- Keep the lid down. The easiest way to keep things from falling into the toilet is to keep the toilet seat closed when it’s not being used. If the budget allows, invest in a self-closing seat.
- Don’t allow small children around the toilet unsupervised. One of the most common reasons for a major toilet clog is a flushed toy.
- Address issues immediately. If you notice the toilet is draining slower than it should, take action to clear the problem immediately. The longer you wait, the harder the clog will be to clear.
What Should You Do If Your Toilet Becomes Clogged
The toilet is clogged, and nothing is getting through. What do you do?
First, grab the toilet plunger. The plunger you use on the toilet should have a center flange that creates a seal around the toilet bowl drain. This makes it plunge effectively. Set the plunger into the drain. Push the plunger in firmly until it stops going down. Then, pull the plunger handle until it returns to the starting position. Repeat a few times.
In most cases, a plunger can handle the clog. However, if the clog isn’t moving, it’s time to bring in the auger.
You will need a sturdy pair of gloves for the job. They will protect your hands from splashed water and also give you a better grip on the tool.
Place the curved end of the auger into the toilet drain. You shouldn’t be able to see the end of the auger cable. Take a firm grip on the auger with one hand. Use the other hand to start using the crank. This will force the auger cable into the drain. Continue cranking until you hit the clog.
If you find the cable isn’t moving forward, crank the auger in reverse. Then, go forward again. Continue forward until you find the clog.
Forcefully crank the head of the auger into the clog. Then, reverse the auger crank, pulling the cable completely out. Flush the toilet to see if the clog clears.
Repeat using the auger until the clog dislodges and the water is flowing again. If you cannot get the clog cleared with the auger, you need to call in a professional to handle the situation.
If you cannot reach the clog with the auger, it may be deeper in the drain system. You may have to bring in a plumber to clear the problem.
Cleaning A Toilet Auger
After using the toilet auger to clear a clog, you should clean it before storing it again. This will keep it ready for the next time you need it. Cleaning it will also keep it in good condition for years to come.
- Fill a bucket with hot water. Add dish detergent to the bucket.
- Take the bucket of hot soapy water outside, along with the auger.
- Unroll the auger and lay it flat on the ground.
- Use a bristle brush to scrub the auger, using the hot soapy water.
- Remember to clean the handle and the crank casing.
- Rinse the auger with clean water from the garden hose
- Let the auger dry or wipe it off with a towel
- Dispose of the water outside and disinfect the bucket and brush
- Once the auger is dry, crank it closed and store it
Toilet Auger Comparisons & Reviews
The RIDGID 59802 K-6 DH Toilet Auger can be used to remove stoppages, roots, sticks, and rags. A sturdy handle sits atop the main tube that curves at the bottom to fit into the toilet drain. The curve has a protective sleeve to prevent the toilet from getting scratched. Built to do the job quickly and efficiently, this auger is heavy duty for repeated use. It extends out to 6′ feet to remove most clogs local to the toilet and the underlying drain. The generous head gets into the clog and dislodges it easily. It is a manual hand crank model.
- Heavy duty construction meant for multiple uses
- Flexible cable can get into the toilet drain
- Extends from 3′ to 6′ for extra deep augering
- Easy to use instructions, plus YouTube videos demonstrating how to use it properly.
- Auger can be tough to extract when extended to 6′ length
- It can be problematic to pull 6′ extension back in
The General Pipe Cleaners I-T6FL-DH Closet Auger has a telescoping design that resists kinking while doing its job. The initial 3-foot length of cable can extend to 6-foot with a push of a button and a turn of a crank. The cable is a patented core wrapped by two layers of tempered steel spring wire. It avoids kinks and breaks while remaining flexible to get through the toilet’s curves. It comes with a full year’s warranty. The drop head is versatile enough to work through the toughest clogs or to retrieve lost items from the depths of the toilet drain. It is a manual hand crank model.
- Professional grade construction makes it capable of handling the toughest clogs
- Easy to extend additional cable length with push button on handle
- Patented cable design keeps the tool working smoothly
- Drop head may be too large for some older toilet openings
The TACKLIFE Drain Snake 25Ft Automatic Cordless Drain Clog Remover brings power to unclogging a toilet. The rechargeable lithium-ion 20-volt battery helps the 25′ auger shaft power through the toughest clogs. A flexible shaft has an automatic telescoping feature to make insertion and retrieval quicker and easier. Its motor uses 560 RPM and large torque to deal with heavy workloads. This clog remover can go through drains 3/4″ to 3″ across. Its cordless design gives it flexibility that isn’t available with corded models. The flexible shaft is easy to replace if necessary.
- Offers 25′ foot flexible shaft to reach beyond the toilet and into the drain system
- 20-volt lithium-ion battery gives long-lasting power for tough jobs
- Cordless design makes it easy to use on toilets that aren’t near a power outlet
- Comes with 24 month warranty
- Shaft automatically feeds and retrieves depending on what user selects
- Can be used manually by placing the system in neutral
- Low battery can cause problems with it functioning
The XtremepowerUS 25′ Drain Auger 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion delivers cordless power to remove clogs just about anywhere. It works on toilets, sewer lines, bathtub drains, and even the kitchen sink. The tool is easy to use and works effectively. This tool offers variable speed control up to 550 RPM. The operator can control the speed with a simple adjustment. The LED on the bottom makes it easy to work even at night. It’s capable of working in drains from 3/4″ to 2″ wide and extends out to 25′. Because it’s cordless, this powered auger can go anywhere to handle any clog. The operator can switch between forward and reverse with a simple switch.
- Cordless design is easy to use anywhere
- Offers variable speed control to customize the amount of speed sent into the clog
- Has plenty of torque to power through the toughest clogs
- Easy to use for those who aren’t familiar with this type of tool
- Cable can snap unexpectedly
The Ryobi P4001 One+ 18V Lithium Ion All-In-One 25 Foot Drain Auger can reach into the toilet and sink to power through clogs or to retrieve small items. Its cordless design makes it easy to transport anywhere you need it. This particular model does not come with a battery included. It is fully compatible with Ryobi One+ 18V batteries that are used in other Ryobi One+ tools. Its built-in motor can automatically feed the cable forward or lock it in place for a power push. The unit comes with feet attached to keep it firmly in place while it does its job.
- Features a powerful motor capable of getting through the toughest clogs
- The cordless design makes it completely portable
- Has two drive modes: auto-feed and cable clamp
- Does not come with batteries, which are sold separately
- Coil can get jammed
And the Winner Is...
The clear winner is the TACKLIFE Drain Snake 25Ft Automatic Cordless Drain Clog Remover. It’s the best toilet auger among those we compared. It offers the ease of cordless power and the quality of construction you need for long-term use. The unit offers enough power to get through the toughest clogs with ease.
While the 25-foot shaft is comparable with the other two power models, the quality of the TACKLIFE auger shaft is superior to the others, which have a tendency to snap unexpectedly. If something were to happen to the shaft, a replacement can be purchased separately on Amazon for an easy fix. Replacement shafts for the other units were not so easy to come by.
The 20-volt battery is a definite step up from the Ryobi One+ 18-volt requirement. Plus, it comes with the battery and charger included with the auger, which the Ryobi does not. Ryobi owners must buy the batteries and charger separately, which adds additional cost.
Comparing the cordless TACKLIFE to the non-powered hand crank models is impossible. While they do the same job, the cordless model requires less effort from the operator and can reach further into the drain. The TACKLIFE can be put into neutral mode if manual insertion is a necessity.
Another standout feature of the TACKLIFE auger is the 24 month warranty that comes with it. The next best warranty is for one year. This extended warranty is a good idea since most people don’t use an auger frequently. It might be a year or more between uses. The extended warranty makes it easy to get service if it’s not working the next time you need it.