a toilet auger being inserted into a toilet bowl drain

Toilet Auger

Originally contributed by • last updated 3/9/2021

Toilet Reviewer
Toilet Reviewer

If you’re like most people, you probably have a deep-seated fear of accidentally clogging a toilet. When it happens, your first thought might be to run, but you should probably try to clear it with a plunger, instead. But, if that doesn’t work, still don’t run, you might just need to grab a toilet auger. If you don’t already have one, purchasing one might not be a bad investment for future problems.


A toilet auger, which is sometimes referred to as a closet auger, is a relatively short and slender cable made from coiled wire that’s used to clear clogged toilets. The cable is fed through a hook-shaped length of tubing into the drain at the bottom of the toilet bowl. The cable is then rotated, extended, and retracted to clear the clog using the attached hand crank. The hook-shaped tubing makes it easier to feed the coiled wire through the toilet drain and helps to prevent damage to the porcelain. Most models are manually operated but automatic powered versions are available.

What’s The Difference Between A Toilet Auger And A Plumber's Snake?

You may be wondering what the difference is between a toilet auger and a regular plumber’s snake. Well, the former is basically a shorter, more manageable version of plumber’s snake. However, there are a couple big differences that make it more suitable for use in a toilet:

  • Like a regular plumber’s snake, it’s designed to get deep into the toilet drain to clear out any clogs that are preventing water from draining properly. Unlike a plumber’s snake, a toilet auger won’t extend deeper into the pipes.
  • Not only is a toilet auger shorter and more manageable, it’s also fed through a hooked shaped tube to guide it further into the toilet bowl for better access to the clog. A plumber’s snake has no guiding tube and needs to be manually fed through.
  • A toilet auger also comes with a special rubber sleeve that covers the auger tip to prevent it from scratching the porcelain finish in your toilet bowl. A plumber’s snake may scratch the surface.