Toilet Auger vs Snake – Which One Use for Unclogging a Drain?

Toilet Auger vs Snake – Which One Use for Unclogging a Drain?

You must have experienced a clogged toilet at least once in your life. And if you haven’t, you might someday. It is common for toilets to clog especially when they have been in use for years. Seeing your toilet clogged and water in the bowl rising up after every use is the most annoying situation you could be in. So, you must know what to do in such a situation.

To deal with the clogs, two very common tools used are Toilet Auger and Drain Snake. You might be wondering what’s the difference in their purpose when both are used for the same job? Here’s what you need to know.  They are similar in the sense that they are used to unclog toilets with minor to severe clogs. 

As far as functionality is concerned, they are similar in that too. Depending on the job that you intend to accomplish, both the toilet auger and drain snake have drums and hoses that offer a range of up to 100 feet. The options include plug-ins, cordless, and cranks.

Another very frequently asked question-related to Toilet Auger Vs Snake is “Is a toilet auger the same as a snake?” Here’s an answer. Not really. A snake is a smaller version of an auger. Although they’re normally not the best choice for a clogged toilet, they can work if you’ve got nothing else. They are best for small drains such as for dealing with sinks and bathtubs. In terms of how they remove clogs, augers and drain snakes are very different.

Can You Put Auger Down in a Toilet?

Can You Put Auger Down in a Toilet

Yes. Toilet Augers are designed in a way that they reach deep down under the toilet and break down whatever is causing the toilet to clog. This flexible coil of wire, also known as a plumbing snake, reaches down into the pipes and unclogs the obstructions without damaging the toilets. 

While you’re using the Auger, take care not to scratch the toilet bowl when you feed the end of the cable into it.

When Should You Use a Toilet Auger?

In case you have a clogged toilet and you’re done trying different baking soda and vinegar techniques to unclog your toilet, a toilet auger might be the solution you’re looking for! To clear a clog in your toilet, you should use a toilet auger. It would break down whatever has caused your toilet to clog and help your toilet re-gain its flushing power. 

Toilet Auger

This drain cleaning tool is used to get rid of clogs in toilets by maneuvering through the drain and striking the clog directly. These tools are used to open clogged sewer drains on the exterior of a home, where they are typically smaller than drain snakes. The hoses on augers are longer, and they can work on pipes up to three inches wide

When toilets become clogged, an auger is used to remove the obstruction. A stoppage can be caused by toilet paper, tampons, baby wipes, hair accumulating in the trap, and sanitary napkins. As a result, the accumulation of trash leads to plumbing problems such as incomplete flushes and toilet overflows.  Hence, this tool is optimal for drains in bathrooms, kitchens, garbage disposals, and external drains.

Toilet Auger

Types of Toilet Auger

If you think toilet augers come in just one shape, you’re wrong. There are different types of toilet augers that could differ in how they work, but their job remains the same. That is, unclogging a clogged toilet. Here are the most common types that you’ll easily find on the Market. 

Power AugerPower auger works much like a closet auger. Closet augers have a flexible tube that goes down in the toilet to do the job manually. However, power augers have motors that feed the tube through the drain while twisting it. 

As compared to manual augers, power augers are easier to maneuver down drains because they don’t require turning a crank. Clogs are cleared very efficiently with this auger.

Cable AugerAn auger that consists of a long, flexible cable with a corkscrew at the end functions as a simple cable or drain auger. Cable augers are operated by turning a hand crank that feeds the cable into the drain hole. With the auger, debris inside the drain is snagged by the corkscrew at the end and pulled out, clearing up the clog as a result.

Drum AugerA drum auger is also called a ‘canister auger’, and it uses long cables to unclog drains. The auger stores these cables in a drum-shaped container. Additionally, it includes a flexible cable with a corkscrew end. Using these augers, you can get to the clogs quickly, since they have an automatic feed.

Rocket Nozzle AugerA rocket nozzle auger uses high-pressure water to dislodge clogs from drains further down. Rocket nozzle augers clear clogs by injecting high-pressure water jets into the pipes. When nothing else works for your toilet, try using this auger. Professional plumbers use this tool to remove stubborn clogs from drain traps.

How to Use a Toilet Auger?

Whenever you’re dealing with your toilet, either you’re just cleaning it up, or you’re trying to clear up the clogs inside your toilet, wearing gloves is the first and essential step. You wouldn’t want to get your hand dirty!

Here’s how you can nicely use a toilet auger to get rid of your toilet clogs.

  1. The first step is to pull the cable or snake up until it reaches the bowl guard/elbow. Use the manual crank to do so.
  2. Next, insert the snakehead through the toilet slot. Please be careful not to scratch the porcelain toilet with the auger head.
  3. Take a firm grip on the shaft. Meanwhile, feed the cable slowly and carefully into the toilet drain by cranking the auger.
  4. Work your way up to the clog. To dislodge the clog from the drain, turn the auger back and forth.
  5. Rather than turning the crank forward, turn the crank backward to remove the clog. Dispose of the clog in the garbage.
  6. Two to three flushes are recommended to clear the clog. Here, you might want to know if you can flush a toilet without power?

You may watch this video to learn how to properly use a toilet auger.

Drain Snake

Drain Snake

Drain snakes are also known as top snakes or drum snakes. Snakes are smaller than augers and are designed to remove clogs from pipes. Like a regular toilet auger, it is a small drain-cleaning tool. However, drain snakes should be used to unclog the sinks and bathtubs and not the toilets. This is because there’s a chance that it might damage your toilet’s porcelain. 

Regular drain snakes include a metal cable that ranges in length from 25 feet to 50 feet, a corkscrew-shaped tip and a handle that turns to catch debris. An electric drain snakes, the motor is used instead of a manual crank.

Drain snakes come in two different designs. There are two common designs. To pull out a clog, the first design uses a coil or spring attached to a metal cable. While the second one just consists of a strip of plastic with a protruding edge that grabs and pulls the material out.

How to Use a Drain Snake?

The use of drain snakes is almost the same as that of an auger. Here’s how you exactly use a drain snake.

  1. Before handling any toilet equipment, put on gloves, particularly when handling electric drain snakes.
  2. Thread the drain snake through the drain hole. Take off the drain cover if necessary.
  3. Feed the snake into the drain by turning the manual crank. In case you’re using an electric drain snake, you’ll have to turn on the electric motor to feed the snake in.
  4. Keep feeding the snake in until you reach the obstruction.
  5. The drain snake can be snagged on obstructions or pushed forward to clear clogs.
  6. Once you’re sure you have successfully dislodged the clog, carefully pull the snake out.
  7. Clean the snake and dispose of the debris pulled out.

Which Tool Should You Use?

This isn’t very tough to decide which tool you should be using to get rid of the clogs. If you have a clogged toilet, you should definitely be using a toilet auger to clear up your toilet. Drain snakes too are for clearing up the clogs in the drains, but they’re not for toilets. They should be used if you have a slow draining sink or bathtub.

So, if you have a clogged toilet, go for a toilet auger. On the other hand, if you have a clogged sink or bathtub, go for a drain snake.

Why Auger Toilet and Drain Snake Are Different?

Why Auger Toilet and Drain Snake Are Different

Toilet auger and drain snakes are different in the way they clear up the clogs.

TOILET AUGER – An auger head is attached to a very long cable on a toilet auger. Toilet augers work extremely well for the toilets because they allow clogs to be broken up by rotation. Typically, they remove clogs in one go by pushing and breaking them.

DRAIN SNAKES – Snakes, on the other hand, are shorter cables or strips for any type of drain. Clogs are not broken by pushing them; rather, they are caught and pulled out of drains. It often takes several attempts to completely remove a clog.

Here’s a guide to the best low-flow toilets that won’t cause clogging and work extremely smoothly for years to come.



  • Great tool for clearing up toilet clogs
  • Useful for pipes up to 3 inches wide
  • Also available with electric motors for automatic feeding into the toilet
  • Breaks through the clogs and pushes them forward with pressure
  • More expensive
  • Bulkier than snakes




  • Work extremely well for sinks, showers and bathtubs
  • Available with electric motors for automatic feeding into the drains
  • Clears the clogs by pulling them out
  • Less bulky and easy to handle
  • Does not work for toilet clogs
  • Less powerful as compared to a toilet auger



Toilet Auger Vs Snake – FAQs

Can a toilet auger make it worse?
Toilet augers are an extremely handy and useful tool to clear up toilet clogs. But, if one doesn’t know how to properly use them, they might end up making the clog even worse. The clog or obstruction might get stuck in there badly or you may even damage the pipes.
Do drain snakes really work?
Drain snakes do work for cleaning the sink drains or bathtub drains. But they are not effective for clearing up the clog in your toilet. In short, drain snakes do not really work for cleaning up the toilet drains.
Are drain snakes bad for pipes?
If used improperly or handled carelessly, drain snakes can end up damaging your pipes. However, if used with care, they are a great tool for cleaning the sink drains.



Toilet augers work best for clearing up the clogs in your toilet. While drain snakes are for the sinks and showers, not for toilets. If there’s minor clogging, you can surely treat it on your own with the help of these tools. However, if doing it by yourself doesn’t work, simply call a plumber. We recommend do not trying hard again and again as you may end up damaging the pipes.


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