Milwaukee M12 Drain Snake Review
Milwaukee M12 drain snake’s compact design, weight, power, and battery life makes clearing waste arm stoppages and similar jobs remarkably easier.
One of the most common plumbing calls is the clogged drain. The unpleasantness of the clogs cause is matched only by the difficulty accessing it. Unlike most jobs where you are in direct contact with the work, pipes are behind walls or underground. When the customers chemicals fail to clear the clog its time for the Pros to address the problem mechanically. If youve ever had the misfortune of attempting to clear a tough clog with a manual drain snake, you quickly understand why professionals turn to motorized options with tools like the Milwaukee M12 Drain Snake.
Many drain snakes attach to drills or are larger devices with electric motors. The drill attachments are often flimsy and the larger devices require tail pieces and sectional cables that have to lay on a customers floor. They also use electrical cords which have the potential danger of contacting water and creating a shock hazard. The Milwaukee M12 drain snake strikes intentionally at these shortcomings.
In order to get an idea of the features and performance of this model, I cleared many kitchen, urinal, and lavatory drain stoppages over the past several weeks. I needed to know if the M12 is fit for professional use and whether there are any limitations compared to my normal equipment. Heres what I found.
Is It Safe To Snake My Own Drain
Technically, yes. If you have some common sense and any sort of DIY experience, the process shouldn’t take a lot of training. What it takes is a little logic and a whole lot of patience.
There are some issues to keep in mind, however. Because drain augers are essentially a giant wound steel cable, they have the potential to hurt you if used improperly. I highly recommend getting a really good pair of leather work gloves or a specialized glove like the Ridgid Drain Cleaning Mitt. Your fingers will thank you.
Work slowly and take your time. Whipping the cable up in a frenzy will just increase the chance of binding it up. If you slept through physics class, you may not remember that energy can be stored in a kinked cable and released when pulled out of a tight space. Be careful.
The plumbing snakes on this list are meant for smaller jobs that are only a few feet down your kitchen sink or shower drain. For anything serious like tree roots growing through your main sewer line, it would be good to call a plumber unless you’re handy with the systems in your house.
If you live in an older house and you have plumbing made up of older galvanized metal, there is a chance that the sharp end of the pipe snake could scratch it. This could result in a rust issue and perhaps a serious issue in the future.
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Quickly clear clogs up to 50 ft. from the cleanout with this motorized drain snake. The power-feed drain cleaner has automatic feed control for easy navigation of multiple bends. Extra large wheels for easy mobility. Ground fault circuit interrupter for safe operation. The electric drain snake can handle pipes from 2 in. to 4 in.
- Quickly clears lines from 2 in. to 4 in.
- 1/2 in. x 50 ft. wire core cable resists breakage, tangling, and kinking
- Sealed air-activated foot switch
- Fully enclosed cable drum reduces splatter
- Durable steel frame with extended handle
- 8 in. solid rubber wheels for maximum portability
Replacement Parts in Stock
- Oversized item: cannot be shipped to Alaska or Hawaii.
- This item is subject to a 20% restocking fee
We think youll enjoy these customer-made YouTube videos about our products. Theyre independent, uncut and unsponsored. They may also contain some four-letter words that arent tool and other content thats not appropriate for children. We hope these videos help inform your tool-buying decisions. And a note from the lawyers: Products should always be used in accordance with the owners manual.
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About Drain Cleaning Machines
Find the high-quality, professional grade drain cleaning machines your plumbing business depends on at Zoro. Whether you’re a pro who depends on power tools for quick, efficient work or a homeowner making weekend repairs, you’ll find top brands and manufacturers like Ridgid, Milwaukee, Westward, and many others in our wide selection of machines.
From clogged sink drains to sewer blockages, our variety of drain cleaning machines are sure to get your pipes flowing again. Select from hand held drain snakes, power snakes and more advanced drain augers, drain guns, jetters, drum drain gun kits and sewer machines. Hand feed or automatic cable feed systems are available in our large selection. You can also shop both corded and cordless systems depending on your needs. Stay prepared for any job by making sure you have the right plumbing auger, cutter, cable or other drain cleaning accessories as well.
Mophorn 370w Open Drain Cleaning Machine
Last up is the most heavy-duty piece of machinery in this guide. Although, its not the best drain cleaner machine on the market, its one of the best budget drain cleaning machines for home use. If you have an unrelenting solid clog on your hands or need to cut through small to medium size roots, this is the tool for the job.
The smallest model in the lineup is the 370W with its 50 cable and four included cutting heads. The included heads are a C-Cutter, Boring Bulb, Spade, and Arrow. For jobs that require a cable longer than 50, there are models that provide up to 3/8 100 cables.
The 370W models 1/2 solid core stainless steel cable is good for both indoor & outdoor applications and for large drains up to 4 in diameter. The operation switch makes it easy to move the cable forward and backward without cranking.
- Features a powerful motor that blasts through roots in sewer lines
- A good budget alternative to Ridgid drain cleaners
- Youll most likely be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the materials for the price
- The open cable case makes it easy to monitor cable length and hose down the cable after each use without trapping water
- Includes 4 cutting heads for a wide variety of applications
- Tough clogs require patience to prevent the cable from tangling
- Too heavy for some
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Top 5 Best Drain Snakes For Home Use
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Are persistent clogs and embarrassing calls to the plumber putting a damper on your home life? If you answered yes, its a good time to take matters into your own hands by picking up the best drain snake for home use. Drain snakes aka augers are the first choice for any homeowner or renter who wants to unclog a drain.
There are several types of specialty augers that tackle different clogs from simple toilet clogs all the way up to troublesome main line clogs. Since clogged water mains usually necessitate a call to the plumber, they also require the most heavy-duty snake.
In this guide on choosing the best drain auger for home use, we share our Top 5 picks that will get rid of all types of clogging issues. The most common culprits are hair, foreign objects, grease, cosmetics/soap scum, buildup, and even plant roots.
Lets start with the helpful chart below that lists the most important specs before moving on to the reviews of each snake.
How Do You Use A Plumbing Snake
I always say get the right tool for the job. Well, actually, my dad-in-law says that but I’ve adopted the phrase since I write these posts and he tells me what to improve on. Still, he’s a very wise man.
The right tool to unclog a drain is the tried and true plumbing snake. You might hear it called a drain snake or a pipe snake as well but they’re all fairly similar.
A plumbing snake may come in different forms. There are manual pipe snakes that are basically a long cable with a plastic handle. Handheld drum snakes feature a plastic container that houses the cable and makes it easier to twist the assembly.
Electric models may work with a cordless drill or feature a motor of its own to turn the cable. In the case of really big jobs, drain cleaning machines are used by homeowners and professionals to clear out main drain lines.
Although there are a lot of various types of pipe snakes, they all function in the same way. A long, wound steel cable is fed down the pipe that’s clogged. There is a cutting bit at the tip of the cable, typically in the form of a diamond-shaped spring, that winds itself into whatever is causing the blockage.
Feeding the cable down the drain is fairly simple. You may have to push and pull a little in order to get the end past any sharp turns or tight curves because of traps or junctions. Continue feeding the snake down until you hit paydirt you’ll know that you’re there when you feel a spongy resistance.
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What Do You Use A Drain Cleaning Machine
If you’ve always called in a plumber to clear out the blockages from your home’s plumbing system, you may not know all the different styles and uses for drain cleaning machines. Luckily for you, I’m here to guide you through the basics of how to get that wastewater flowing again.
Drain cleaning machines are typically large, electrically-powered tools oriented around a large drum of tightly wound steel cable. An electric motor spins the cable which is capped with a cutting bit. The type of blockage will determine which bit to use with the machine.
As you may know, any house or building features a main clean-out access point in which the cable is entered. The cable is fed in slowly until the clog is reached at which time the motor is turned on. The cutting bit rotates and eventually slices through the blockage.
Typically, a snake camera is deployed down the pipe first. This piece of equipment can provide an important visual for the operator as well as measure the length of cable needed to address the problem. Once it’s pulled back and the problem understood, the drain cleaning machine can get to work.
Once the blockage is removed and flow is restored, a good plumber may check the length of the pipe again with the camera to make sure everything was addressed. The process is really very simple and any homeowner willing to take the time can take care of the job safely.
Ridgid 57043 Power Spin+ Drain Cleaner
As mentioned above, the Power Spin+ is the best all-around drain snake for most homeowners. Its versatility and the ability to use it manually or with a power drill make it the complete package. Also, the price is just about unbeatable if its the right tool for your clogging issue. Compared to paying high-dollar for a plumber to fix a moderate drain problem, youll save a bundle.
The kink-resistant Maxcore coil head cable is simple to operate, and we recommend using the appropriate safety gloves during operation. One feature youll find useful is the Autofeed trigger design that automatically feeds the cable down the drain and retrieves it while the drum is rotating. Simply pull the trigger to put this feature to work.
Finally, the beauty of the coil head is its ability to cut through near-solid clogs while capturing hair along its path. Dont be surprised if you retrieve a huge wad of hair filled with gunk using this bad boy. Cleanup is fairly simple, and its advisable to continue using gloves while handling the cable.
- The Autofeed feature makes it easy to feed and retrieve the cable
- An excellent choice for kitchen sink and washing machine drain pipes
- Does not include drop head
- Not for use with a toilet
- Multi-story homeowners may require a longer cable of 50 or more
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What Are The Different Types Of Drain Cleaning Machines
Large electric drain cleaners come in two types: drum machines or sectional machines. Both types are effective in cleaning out wastewater pipes but how they do the job differs quite a bit.
Sectional machines are favored by plumbers along the East Coast and Midwest areas of the country. Everyone else seems to prefer drum machines. Location aside, both models have their strong points.
Here’s the major difference: sectional machines use shorter lengths of wound steel cable while drum machines store a much longer cable onboard in a drum .
Sectional machines are able to travel without the entire length of cable attached so they’re lighter. And if you only need 50 feet of cable, an operator won’t have to haul in a machine with 100 feet. A 100-foot long bundle of steel cable can weigh 120 pounds or more so this is a real positive for a technician making a service call.
The cable used with sectional machines is more flexible so the sides of the drain will get more of a cleaning. On top of that, the motor turns the cable faster. Sectional machines cut at faster speeds with lower torque. This has one major drawback: danger to the operator. Special work gloves must be used.
Drum machines feature higher torque to get clogs cleared up and they come in a wide variety of sizes, too. The drum used to house the cable keeps it contained which in turn keeps workspaces and vehicles a lot cleaner.
Milwaukee M12 Drain Snake Features
- Lightest Professional Drain Line Machine
- Hybrid Design: Provides benefits of both handheld and floor based drain cleaners in one machine
- Drum Shield: Protects user & fixture during use
- Removable Inner Drum: Helps prevent cable bind up and contains mess inside the drum
- Slide Action Cable Lock Mechanism
- LED Light: Illuminates work area underneath sink and other dark spaces
- Drum will accept other manufacturers cables
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Teccpo Hgddc1a Automatic Cordless Plumbing Snake
If you like the idea of an automatic auger and want an electric unit rather than using a manual unit with a drill, this is your best option. Compared to the Power Spin+, the TECCPO Auger has more torque and a higher max RPM of 560.
Also, the job is done on near-autopilot compared to manual cracking or using a drill. For heavier clogs that need more oomph to reel in, the TECCPO is a better option than the Power Spin.
The 20V lithium-ion battery forces the corkscrew-style head through all types of clogs. Feel free to use this auger in your kitchen, bathroom, and even outdoors to tackle clogged gutter downspouts. Two-way rotation means the 25 ft cable does all the work for you with the help of the operating handle and forward/reverse switch.
- Smoother operation & easier than using a manual auger with a power drill
- Unbeatable value for the money
- Takes just minutes to clear most clogs
- Beginner-friendly and adequate for pros
- Enough battery life to complete most jobs without recharging
- Enough power for bigger jobs within 25
- The trigger switch gives you full control over speed
- The ability to unclog completely clogged drains
- The owners manual is riddled with typos
- The LED light is not very bright
- Not a good choice for toilets
- Not the highest quality materials, though for the price, its hard to complain
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Opening Clogged Drains Calls For Tough Drain Cleaning Equipment
Thats why General manufactures sewer and drain cleaning machines with the most durable components, from our Flexicore® wire rope center drain cables to our reinforced steel frames and drums for our large selection of drain cleaning machines. Whether you need to clear clogged sinks, tubs and laundry drains, or cut through tough root stoppages in main drain lines, General has a drain cleaning machine for you.
Need Help? Check out our Pro Tool Selection Directory to learn about Flexicore cable diameters and the compatible drain machines, and our Pro Tool Selection Guide featuring an interactive infographic that assists you in matching form to function and in locating any specific drain cleaning machine on our website. You may also call the Drain Brains at or click Live Chat for more information on these innovative drain cleaning tools for professionals.