Number One. Adjustable Pliers.
Your adjustable pliers are stable for your EDC. You’ll be using them for many things such as screwing nuts, tightening small pipes and many other uses. You’ll want to get a dependable brand such as Channellock or Knipex, as they’ll be going through a lot of hard labour, so keep that in mind.
Number Two. Adjustable Wrench.
You’ll want to have an adjustable wrench for a few reasons. First, it has a smooth jaw. Unlike the adjustable pliers which are meant to grip on things, these are meant for either finishing work or just an everyday wrench, and secondly, some models have a hole at the end for hanging them, but I use it to make offsets in the threaded rod when something is in the way.
Number Three. Tape measure.
There are plenty of tape measures out there but my most trusted brand is Stanley. Stanley tape measures, Fat Max’s to be more precise, have been great to me in the past years and I can’t complain. They’re durable under all conditions and the price is very competitive, but this is my opinion and you should experiment on your own to see what suits you best. If you aren’t in the United States, I suggest getting an Imperial and Metric tape measure as often, your plumber will give you Metric measurements, so I strongly recommend it.
Number Four. Torpedo level.
If you want things to be straight, you’ll need a level on your person at all times. Sometimes, you’ll need to install a vertical waterline and other times, a drain which requires a slope. In both cases, you’re gonna need a torpedo level and my personal choice for torpedo levels are ones with strong magnets, easy to read vials and a solid body construction. I don’t suggest getting the “creme de la creme” of all levels as they’re more prone to getting stolen, but rather one that’s more affordable such as a Fat Max or a Milwaukee.
Number Five. Box Cutter Or Utility Knife.
I always keep mine in a leather pouch I have on my right side so it’s easily accessible when I receive an order or whatnot. There are many different types and sizes of box cutters such as these, but my “go to” knife and everyday carry is this one. Olfa makes great solid knives and the blades are very sharp and for those who don’t know why the blades are ridged like they are. Here’s why. When you snap a segment off, you get a new cutting-edge which is a very neat feature and a lot of people don’t know of.
Number Six. Marker Pen.
I tried all kinds of different markers and I always tend to carry the same two types, a permanent Sharpie type marker and a chalk crayon. I always find myself needing to mark on concrete, and I don’t find that a permanent marker is appropriate for two things, the floor might not need any finish so the client will be stuck with a mark on the floor and it kills your marker because of the dust. So for concrete, I use my chalk crayon and gyprocand other surfaces, my permanent marker.
Number Seven. Hammer.
You’ll need a hammer for all sorts of things like punching in anchors, to chipping off loose concrete. I’ve been using a Stanley 8-ounce hammer with flat claws like this one I find that it’s the perfect weight to power ratio for what a plumber needs to do on an everyday job. I usually carry mine in a tote, but you could get a hook that goes on your belt and carry it around with you all day depending on what you’re doing.
Number Eight. Multi-Bit Screwdriver.
As a plumber, you don’t want to be carrying around eight different screwdrivers in your tool bag or pouch, so I suggest getting this. Picquic is my preferred brand, but Milwaukee and other brands make good multi-bit drivers as well. A cool thing with these is you could use your driver bits on a drill, something that can’t be done with a normal screw driver.
Number Nine. Tube Cutter.
You’ll want two models in your toolbox, a small one and a big one. The little cutter can go from1/8″ to 1″ which is perfect for tight spots and the bigger model such as this one can go from 5/8″ to 2 1/8″, for bigger pipes. Plus, most models have built-in reamers in them to ream your pipes.
Number Ten. Pipe Wrenches.
You’re going to be needing a minimum of 2, so I suggest getting aluminium models seeing weight could be an issue. Your pipe wrenches will be your workhorses, and they’ll be taking a lot of abuse so get a good brand like Rigid or Lennox, they’ll pay for themselves in the long run. I’ve had mine for eight years, and they’re still running strong.