The best toilet plunger

A toilet plunger doesn’t cost much, but it’s really worth having one when you’re in a bind. By skipping the call to a plumber, you save many times the cost of the tool. And then there are the unquantifiable benefits of being able to solve this problem in private.

We installed a dummy test toilet with translucent piping so we could visibly gauge the performance of each plunger, and after 35 hours of testing and research, the plunger we recommend is the Korky 99-4A Max Performance Plunger.

Our selection

Korky 99-4A Maximum Performance Plunger

In our tests, the power of the Korky far exceeded that of all other plungers. It was also easier to conform to the irregular shapes of the bowls.

Purchase options

*At the time of publication, the price was $15.

The Korky easily outperformed all other plungers in sheer pipe cleaning power. We built a transparent model of the toilet drain and then put a foam ball in it to simulate a clogged pipe, and while Korky was able to move the ball down the pipe at a rate of 2-3 inches per plunge, none of the other plungers could even move it. . A plunger has to make a tight seal against the bottom of the container, and Korky’s unique beehive design (soft, flexible rubber on the bottom half, a stiffer middle section, and thicker rubber near the handle) made it noticeably more effective than the other seven plungers in our tests. Including the test kit, we tested the plungers in three toilets, each of which had a different drain shape, and the Korky was always the most effective. The Korky also has a distinctive T-shank that naturally aligns your arm as you dive, making it easy to pack a powerful punch with less wrist strain than you would get with the typical straight shaft.

also great

A version of the Korky is available with a drip tray, but it grips the plunger too tightly and is frustrating to use. We found the MAXClean Universal Plunger Holder Drip Pan to fit the best and will catch any drips that come out of the Korky. The MAXClean tray has a one-piece design that is very easy to clean and sanitize. None of the other six trays we saw could contain the strange shape of Korky. The MAXClean Tray and Korky Plunger create a basic, utilitarian look, so if you prefer a more presentable plunger, keep reading our next selection.


Simplehuman toilet plunger

The Simplehuman plunger looks great and has a nice cart, but it’s not the most powerful plunger we found.

Purchase options

*At the time of publication, the price was $30.

If the Korky isn’t available or if aesthetics are your main concern, we like the Simplehuman toilet plunger. At the level below the impressive Korky, most plungers tested had about the same dipping power, but the Simplehuman stood out as the best-looking plunger we tested. It comes with a stylish drip tray that hides the plunger cup, has enough ventilation for proper drying, and is very easy to clean. Unlike the others we looked at, this tray has a magnet that attaches to the plunger handle, so you can transport both the plunger and the tray simply by holding onto the plunger handle.

also great

Ridgid 59787 Drill for 3-Foot Toilet

The Ridgid is a safe way to clean a pipe, but storage and cleanup make it inconvenient for most people.

Purchase options

*At the time of publication, the price was $28.

Some clogs are beyond the capabilities of any plunger. To reliably break even the most wedged blockages, we recommend the Ridgid 59787 3-Foot Toilet Drill. This type of tool, often called a closet auger, is what the professionals use: Instead of clearing a clog with pressurized water, like a plunger, a closet auger sends a coiled metal snake down the drain to push, physically pull and maneuver the obstruction until it is free. We tested two augers and preferred the Ridgid, which offers excellent overall build quality, handles in all the right places, and a nice sturdy clip that secures the snake section when not in use. The disadvantage of a cabinet auger is that cleaning and storage are more difficult than with a plunger.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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