Professional Toilet Auger Vs Snake

What are the difference between a toiler auger vs a snake?  Snakes are designed to remove clogs from various drains, and they could be preferable in certain situations.  

Let’s find out the pros and cons of a toilet auger vs a snake and the best time to use them.

toilet auger vs snake
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What are the Differences between a Toilet Auger VS a Snake?

Is a toilet auger the same as a snake?  No, an auger and a snake are totally different tools, but people use the term interchangeably. A toilet auger is a tool with a 3-6 foot long thick cable with a bulb head, designed to unclog toilets of all types of clogs, including difficult ones. A snake is a thin piece of plastic with barbs on it that is short and is meant for easy clog removal like hair.

The other main differences between a professional toilet auger and a snake include: 

#1. Uses 

The main difference between the two tools is their uses, as toilet augers are designed specifically for toilets while snakes are ideal for drains in your bathtubs, sinks, showers, and washing machines.  

They are designed similarly, as they both require the use of a cable to reach clogs, but snakes typically remove debris rather than break it apart and force it down the drain. 

For example, if your shower drain is clogged, a snake will pull out any hair that could be causing the blockage, whereas a toilet auger will break through the material, so it can travel through the drain. 

For ToiletsFor Sink, Shower, Bathtub Drains
More expensiveCheaper
Breaks through clogsPulls clogs out
More powerfulLess powerful

#2. Size 

Another noticeable difference between the two is the size. A professional toilet auger is designed to be easy to use and as such, they are larger so that you can stand while using it.  The cords are thick and sturdy, meant to grind away clogs in your big toilet drains.  

They usually come with vinyl porcelain bowl protectors built in, to keep from scratching your toilet bowl when working on clogs.  They also have a nice plastic housing that keeps you from getting splashed with dirty toilet bowl water.

Snakes, on the other hand, are substantially smaller but you can find them in different shapes and sizes. Some are a simple piece of long straight plastic with sharp edges to catch on clogs when you push it down your drain.

#3. Cost 

You’re likely to find snakes for a more affordable price than augers since they are typically the second step to dealing with a clog. 

Nevertheless, augers are a more heavy-duty solution for serious clogs. This is especially true if you look for a very basic snake designed for all of the drains in your home.  

With that said, they also don’t give you the ability to travel further into your toilet’s pipes to get clogs that are impacted deeper. 

As augers have more power behind them, especially for toilet clogs, they’re great to have at home. To make unclogging toilets even easier, did you know there are electric toilet augers as well? 

#4.  How They Clear Clogs: Toilet Auger Vs Snake

Toilet augers vs a snake break through clogs.  The have a bulb head on the end of the metal cord that wraps into the clog and breaks right through it.  If you use an auger, you will for sure get all of the clog out the first time.  

Because of their sturdy metal construction and thick cords, toilet augers are more powerful and can work on tougher clogs than snakes.

With a snake, they hit your clog and then you pull out whatever it has collected.  Some will still be in the drain. You’ll probably have to put your snake down the drain a few times to make sure you pulled all the clog out.  Run hot water down your pipes for about 5 minutes after snaking your drain to make sure the clog is washed away.

Is a Drain Auger the Same as a Snake

Some folks use the two terms interchangeably. But, there is a big difference between an auger and a snake as shown in the images below. Drain snakes are for super shallow, easy clogs like hair. Drain augers are for deeper and more complicated clogs. Both work well in drains up to 2″ in diameter, but are not designed for toilet pipes, which are about 4 inches in diameter.

Drain Auger
Drain Snake

Can you Snake a Toilet with an Auger

Yes, the best tool to use on a plugged toilet is a toilet auger.

Does a Toilet Snake work better than a Plunger?

Both a toilet snake/auger and a plunger are effective at clearing blockages in toilets, but each has its own pros and cons. A toilet snake/auger can reach further into the drain and is more effective at breaking up and removing blockages that are located deep in the pipe, such as those caused by toys or other objects that have been accidentally flushed.

A plunger, on the other hand, is often more effective at removing blockages that are closer to the opening of the drain, such as those caused by clumps of toilet paper.

We recommend trying your plunger first and if that doesn’t work, then use a toilet snake/auger.

Toilet Snake Vs Drain Snake Summary

Is a toilet auger better than a snake? Toilet snakes or augers, are built with thicker cables to clean out your toilet drains compared to drain snakes. This is because toilet drains are twice as wide in diameter as regular drain pipes.

Toilet snakes come with a large bulb head to pull out larger clogs that you run into in toilets. for unclogging your toilet, a toilet auger is much better than a drain snake or any other kind of snake you have.

There are 2 categories of drain snakes: the thin short plastic kind and the metal drain augers that Pros use. Both types are made specifically for drains with thin long cables about 25-50 feet in length. The plastic drain snakes are good for shallow clogs like hair.


You don’t have to spend a bunch of money on a professional toilet auger to unclog your toilet.  The difference between a toilet auger vs a snake are not a big deal, so grab the one that you can afford today.


Are toilet augers expensive?

No, toilet augers cost around $30 and up, depending on the brand and make/model you purchase. Compared to a minimum 200$ plumber call out fee, this is a huge savings.