Family photograph of Milwaukee Drain Snake Tools

Milwaukee Drain Snakes: Your Ultimate Guide to Powerful Drain Solutions

Milwaukee drain snake used over an illustration of pipes under a tile floor

When it comes to drain cleaning, having the proper plumbing tools is important. Milwaukee Drain Snakes offer reliable and versatile solutions for various drain challenges.

This article will explore four categories of Milwaukee Drain Snakes: Airsnakes, Augers, High-Speed Chain Snakes, and Sectionals. We will discuss their features and applications to help you make an informed choice.

What is a Drain Snake?

A drain snake isn't just any plumbing tool – it's a powerful solution designed to tackle drain challenges head-on. Designed for precision and efficiency, a "drain snake" comes in various forms to tackle a wide range of clogs and blockages. We'll delve into the fascinating world of drain snakes and explore the four groups of drain tools that can all be considered under this category.

These groups include:

  1. Airsnakes
  2. Augers
  3. High-Speed Chain Snakes
  4. Sectional Machines.

Each of these drain snake variations serves a unique purpose and possesses its own features and capabilities, making them indispensable assets for plumbing professionals and homeowners alike.

The drain snake tool steps up when the challenge surpasses the plunger's capabilities. But make no mistake – harnessing this power effectively demands a touch of skill from a professional.

Your Milwaukee drain snake steps in when:

  • Stubborn clogs in sewer lines prove too challenging for a mere plunger.
  • Sinks, be it the kitchen or bathroom, demand a thorough cleansing.
  • Sewer main line blockages threaten your plumbing and house.

A Milwaukee drain snake is also your ally against the persistent infiltration of tree roots into sewer pipes, a problem it addresses head-on. 

Diagram of pipes underground beneath a tree

With the right Milwaukee drain snake in hand, you're armed with a dynamic drain tool capable of maintaining your plumbing system's integrity. It's a commitment to ensuring unhampered water flow, leaving clogs and obstructions down the drain where they belong.

First, decide what Drain Snake you need

When taking on the challenge of a drain cleaning task, the key to success is making an informed choice about which Milwaukee Drain Snake to deploy. With various options tailored to multiple drain challenges, the importance of selecting the right plumbing tool cannot be overstated.

Each type of Milwaukee Drain Snake is designed to excel for specific jobs, ensuring efficient and effective drain cleaning results.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when determining which drain snake would best suit the task:

  1. What is the nature of the clog or blockage in the drain?
  2. What is the diameter and material of the drain or pipe?
  3. Is the clog near the drain opening or deeper in the pipe?
  4. Are there any bends or curves in the pipe that the snake needs to navigate?
  5. Is the clog caused by roots or tree branches infiltrating the pipe?

Let's dive into the world of Milwaukee Drain Snakes and empower you to make the optimal choice for your drain cleaning jobs. 

Milwaukee Airsnakes

In the field of drain cleaning, efficiency, and speed are paramount. This is where Milwaukee Air Snakes step onto the stage, offering a dynamic solution that harnesses the power of air pressure to tackle even the most stubborn blockages swiftly.

Check out this video on Milwaukee Airsnakes:

Airsnake Features:

Milwaukee Air Snakes are equipped with features that make them a force to be reckoned with in the field of drain cleaning:

  • Air Pressure Technology: The heart of an Air Snake lies in its ability to generate intense bursts of air pressure. This powerful force dislodges debris, hair, and clogs, allowing water to flow freely again.
  • Versatile Attachments: These sewer tools have attachments tailored to various drain sizes and blockage types. Milwaukee Air Snakes adapt to different problems, from sinks and showers to toilets and floor drains.
  • Quick and Painless: The swift action of an Air Snake ensures minimal downtime. It's a perfect choice when you need to clear a clog and restore drainage quickly.


Milwaukee drain snake being used in an industrial kitchen sink

Milwaukee Air Snakes shine in many applications:

Milwaukee Air Snakes excel in hair and debris removal, swiftly eliminating accumulated blockages that can cause sluggish drains. From tackling stubborn kitchen and bathroom clogs caused by soap scum, grease, or food particles, these user-friendly tools offer an effective solution for restoring optimal drain flow.

An air snake or auger will work well for shallow clogs near an opening, while deeper clogs may require the power and reach of a sectional sewer machine.


Air Pressure Control: Start with lower air pressure and gradually increase it if needed. This helps prevent damage to plumbing systems.


  • Efficient Unclogger: AirSnakes use air pressure to quickly clear blockages in drains, making them efficient for minor clogs.
  • Compact Design: Their compact size allows access to tight spaces where larger tools might.


  • Not Suitable for Heavy-Duty Tasks: AirSnakes may not have the power for heavy-duty drain cleaning tasks in larger pipes or complex plumbing systems.

Milwaukee Augers

Milwaukee augers are engineered to deliver exceptional performance and precision in drilling tasks. Designed with advanced technology and rugged durability, these augers are trusted by professionals across various industries. 

Milwaukee Auger Key Features:

  • Patented Cable Lock: The TRAPSNAKE Toilet Auger features an integrated cable lock mechanism that securely holds the cable in place for easy telescopic extension and retraction, ensuring precise control during operation.
  • Fixed Rubber Boot: Designed for maximum porcelain protection, this auger includes a fixed rubber boot that prevents scratches and damage to porcelain surfaces, enhancing its durability.
  • Versatile Cable Size: With a 6 ft. x 1/2 in., it's suitable for handling a wide range of drain sizes, making it ideal for toilets and floor traps ranging from 2 inches to 4 inches.
  • Multi-Purpose Usage: The TRAPSNAKE System is versatile and capable of clearing clogs in toilets, urinals, floor traps, sinks, bathtubs, and showers. It can be operated manually or with a cordless drill to tackle tough clogs efficiently.


  • Kitchen Sinks: Kitchen sinks often get clogged with food particles and grease. Milwaukee drain augers are effective at clearing these blockages and restoring proper drainage.
  • Bathroom Drains: Augers can clear clogs in bathroom sinks, showers, and tubs caused by soap residue, hair, and mineral deposits.
  • Toilet Blockages: When a toilet becomes clogged, a toilet auger can help dislodge and remove the obstruction without causing damage to the porcelain.
  • Floor Drains: Floor drains in basements, garages, and utility rooms can become clogged with debris and dirt. Drain augers are used to maintain these drainage systems.


  • Enhanced Protection: The fixed rubber boot minimizes the risk of porcelain scratches, ensuring that plumbing fixtures remain undamaged during use.
  • Telescoping Control: The patented cable lock mechanism allows for precise control, making it easier to navigate and clear drain blockages effectively.
  • Interchangeable Cable: The availability of replacement cables extends the drain tool's lifespan, providing cost-effectiveness over time.
  • Versatile Application: A wide range of suitable drain sizes and compatibility with various fixtures offer flexibility for multiple plumbing tasks.


  • Size Limitation: While versatile, this auger may not be suitable for large or heavily obstructed drains requiring specialized equipment.
  • Cable Length: The cable length of 6 feet may not be sufficient for longer or deeper drain blockages, necessitating additional extensions in some cases.

Milwaukee High-Speed Chain Snakes

The Milwaukee High-Speed Chain Snake is a powerful solution designed with cutting-edge technology and durability in mind. It gets the job done by harnessing a powerful motor that rapidly rotates a sharp-edged chain.

This mechanical advantage ensures precision and consistency in breaking down stubborn clogs in sinks, showers, or toilets. Not only does it save you time, but it also reduces the effort needed, making drain unclogging a more efficient task. It's all about practical effectiveness, no frills.

Key Features:

  • Powerful Descale Capability: The Milwaukee M18 FUEL High-Speed Chain Snake is designed for descaling pipes 1-1/2" to 4" in diameter. It delivers the power to remove scale buildup effectively.
  • Controlled Cleaning: Offering precise control, this plumbing tool features infinite variable speed adjustment, an electronic foot pedal, and a mechanical clutch. These features enable the easiest and most controlled wall-to-wall cleaning.
  • Cordless Convenience: Eliminate the need for extension cords and searching for electrical outlets. The M18 FUEL Chain Snake is cordless, providing access to power anywhere.
  • Versatile Chain Knockers: The high-speed chain snake has 1-1/2", 2", 3", and 4" standard chain knockers to clear grease and soft blockages effectively.
  • Bi-Directional Cable: Equipped with a bi-directional cable, the drain snake offers improved navigation within pipes, enhancing its cleaning efficiency.
  • Mess Containment: The partially enclosed drum design helps contain the mess and facilitates easy cable cleaning after use.
  • Portability: The plumbing tool is easily transported to and from job sites with a telescoping handle and durable wheels.


  • Facility Maintenance: Maintenance personnel in commercial buildings, hotels, restaurants, and other establishments can use this chain snake to keep drains clear and functional.
  • Plumbing Maintenance: The M18 FUEL High-Speed Chain Snake is ideal for routine plumbing maintenance tasks, including descaling and removing scale buildup in pipes from 1-1/2" to 4" in diameter.
  • Commercial Plumbing: Suitable for commercial plumbing applications, this drain snake can efficiently clear blockages and maintain the integrity of large-diameter pipes.
  • Residential Plumbing: It's equally effective for handling clogs and scale buildup in household drainage systems.
  • Industrial Facilities: It's a valuable asset in industrial settings where scale buildup and pipe blockages can disrupt operations.


  • Extended Runtime: With high-output battery packs, the chain snake can handle demanding tasks without frequent recharging.
  • Corrosion Resistance: Stainless steel components enhance the tool's durability and longevity, even in challenging environments.


  • Size Limitation: The plumbing tool is designed for pipes ranging from 1-1/2" to 4" in diameter, so it may not be suitable for larger pipes.
  • Initial Investment: While it offers significant advantages, the initial cost of the chain snake and optional accessories may be higher than some alternatives.

Sectionals vs. Drum Machines: Plumbing Discourse

The eternal debate in the plumbing world surrounding the superiority of drum or sectional machines still rages on, with professionals staunchly advocating for their chosen side.

However, the plumbing industry has long been searching for a compromise, a middle-ground solution that combines the strengths of both approaches. 

Milwaukee has stepped in to fill this void by introducing the first drain-cleaning solution that seamlessly melds the benefits of sectional and drum machines. The M18 FUEL Switch Pack Sectional Drum System has created today's most versatile and mobile drain-cleaning machine.

Traditionally, the preference for either Drum or sectional machines has appeared somewhat regional, with technicians in the East and Midwest regions often leaning towards sectional machines. At the same time, the rest of the country relies heavily on Drum machines.

The choice often boils down to factors like the need for portability in densely packed environments or having more room to maneuver the equipment. 

Milwaukee Sectional Machines

Sectional Drum Machines

The Milwaukee Sectional Drum System is a groundbreaking innovation in drain cleaning. It is the industry's first drain-cleaning solution that skillfully marries the strengths of sectional and drum machines, delivering unparalleled versatility and mobility.

This machine addresses a common challenge in drain cleaning—the ease of getting the equipment to the job site. The SWITCH PACK System boasts a modular design with backpack straps, making it effortlessly portable for tackling roof, drain, crawl space, or cleanout tasks.

Welcome to a new era in drain cleaning with Milwaukee Sectionals, where efficiency meets reliability. 

Key Features

  • Built-In Backpack Straps: Easiest Transport
  • Integrated Drum Brake: Electronically slows drum up to 5 times faster than competitor drum machines
  • Electronic Foot Pedal With Non-Slip Grip: Maximum Durability
  • Drain Line Capacity: 100' x 1/2" Inner Core Cable; 100' x 5/8" Open Wind Cable
  • SWITCH PACK Drum Capacity: 75' x 5/16" Inner Core Cable; 50' x 3/8" and 1/2" Inner Core Cable; 50' x 5/8" Open Wind Cable
  • Spin Speed: 250 RPM


  • Plumbing: Milwaukee Sectionals is a go-to choice for plumbing professionals, enabling them to thread pipes accurately for various plumbing installations and repairs.
  • HVAC Systems: Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians use Milwaukee Sectionals to thread pipes for HVAC system installations and maintenance.
  • Pipefitting: From industrial facilities to construction sites, pipefitters use Milwaukee Sectionals to create secure, leak-free, threaded connections.


Drum machine set up before a sink vanity
  • Versatility: Sectional machines can adapt to various pipe sizes and materials, offering flexibility in drain cleaning.
  • Durable Construction: Built to withstand demanding job site conditions, Milwaukee Sectionals are crafted from high-quality materials, ensuring longevity and reliability.
  • Interchangeable Components: Many models feature interchangeable die heads and other components, allowing users to adapt to different threading requirements quickly.
  • User-Focused Design: Ergonomic handles, intuitive controls, and user-friendly features provide a comfortable and efficient threading experience.


A collection of Milwaukee Drum Machines in a vehicle
  • RPM Spin Speed: The machine operates at a fixed 250 RPM spin speed.
  • Battery Dependency: As a cordless machine, its runtime depends on the battery's charge, potentially requiring frequent recharging for longer jobs.
  • Initial Investment: While it offers significant advantages, the initial cost of the sectional machine and optional accessories may be higher than some alternatives.

Milwaukee Sectional Machines

The Milwaukee Sectional Machine is a cutting-edge drain-cleaning tool designed to efficiently tackle tough clogs and blockages in plumbing systems. It takes a distinct approach compared to traditional sectional drum machines, offering more power and portability.

This machine boasts impressive capabilities, providing over 50% more clog-clearing power at its maximum distance of 150 feet. It excels at breaking through heavy roots and experiences minimal bog-down under load. Plus, it offers up to 40 minutes of runtime on a single M18 REDLITHIUM 12.0ah Battery, allowing it to handle extensive corrosion or clear numerous heavy grease clogs. Notably, it's over 30% lighter than corded models and is the most compact sectional machine in its class, further enhanced by its convenient carry strap for easy transportation between jobs.

Key Features

  • POWERSTATE Brushless Motor delivers the power to clear heavy roots out to 150ft 
  • M18 REDLITHIUM High Output HD12.0 Battery powers through multiple jobs on a single charge. 
  • REDLINK PLUS™ Intelligence ensures maximum performance under load  Lighest, most portable for the easiest setup and transportation 
  • Tool-free cable size changes ensure that switching between 5/8" and 7/8" cable takes only seconds 
  • On-board pin key storage for convenient decoupling of cables and cable attachments 
  • No tool lubrication is required 
  • Easiest Set-Up and Transportation
  • Enclosed Cable Reels: Containing the Mess of Used Cables 
  • Rear Guide hose is optimized for the easiest transportation


  • Clearing Tough Clogs: The Milwaukee Sectional Machine excels at clearing stubborn clogs and blockages in drains and sewer lines.
  • Versatile Reach: Its sectional design allows for flexibility in reaching clogs at different plumbing system points. This makes it suitable for residential and commercial applications where pipes can be extensive and complex.
  • Preventative Maintenance: Plumbing professionals often use the Milwaukee Sectional Machine for routine maintenance to prevent potential blockages.
  • Consumer Rental Market: Sectional cable machines, including the Milwaukee Sectional Machine, are popular in the consumer rental market. They fit into the trunk of a car and can be easily carried.


The Milwaukee Sectional Machine offers several advantages that set it apart from other drain cleaning tools:

  • Portable Powerful Performance: This machine is over 30% lighter than corded alternatives, making it highly portable and easily transported. It's the most compact sectional machine in its class, enhancing its maneuverability.
  • RPM Speed: The machine operates at a fixed 650 RPM spin speed.
  • Flexibility and Precision: Its sectional design allows users to target clogs in different parts of the plumbing system precisely. This versatility minimizes the need for extensive dismantling of pipes.
  • Ease of Use: Despite its power, the Milwaukee Sectional Machine is user-friendly, making it accessible to professionals and homeowners. It typically comes with clear instructions for operation.
  • Durable Build: Built to withstand the rigors of professional use, this machine boasts durability and longevity, making it a cost-effective investment for plumbing professionals.


  • Skill Required: Operating this machine effectively may require a certain level of skill and experience, particularly when dealing with complex clogs or extensive plumbing systems.
  • Maintenance: Like any mechanical equipment, the Milwaukee Sectional Machine requires regular maintenance to ensure reliability. Users should be prepared for occasional upkeep.
  • Initial Investment: Like its counterpart, while these machines offer significant advantages, the initial cost of a sectional machine and optional accessories may be higher than some alternatives.

Milwaukee Drain Snakes: Your Partners in Conquering Drain Challenges

Milwaukee Drain Snake in a clogged sink

In the world of drain cleaning, having the right plumbing tools at your disposal can mean the difference between a seamless flow and frustrating blockages. Milwaukee Drain Snakes emerge as the go-to solutions for professionals seeking reliability, efficiency, and versatility in conquering drain-related challenges.

This guide explored the primary categories of Milwaukee Drain Snakes, providing insights into their unique features, applications, and advantages. From the dynamic Air Snakes that harness air pressure to swiftly conquer clogs to the precision-driven Augers built for accurate drilling, the robust High-Speed Chain Snake designed for rapid clearing, and the efficient Sectionals that streamline threading tasks—each drain tool has its specialized role.

Armed with the knowledge of Milwaukee Drain Snakes, take charge, make confident choices, and ensure optimal flow and functionality. It's time to plunge into Milwaukee Drain Snakes, where efficiency meets excellence. 

Milwaukee Drain Snakes Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you snake or clean your drains?

  • You should clean your sewer line at least every two years.

What does a Milwaukee air snake do?

  • The M12 AIRSNAKE Drain Cleaning Air Gun is the industry's only drain cleaning machine designed to clear through drain covers and traps with powered air.

Can the Milwaukee Trapsnake Toilet Auger be used with a cordless drill?

  • Yes, this toilet auger can be used manually or with a cordless drill to provide additional power when dealing with challenging clogs.

How fast can the integrated drum brake slow down the Milwaukee Sectional drum?

  • The integrated drum brake can electronically slow down the drum up to 5 times faster than competitor drum machines, enhancing control and safety during operation.

What is a drain snake, and how does it work?

  • A drain snake, plumbing snake, or drain auger clears clogs and blockages in plumbing pipes and drains. It comprises a long, flexible cable with a coiled auger or cutting head at one end. The cable is inserted into the drain or pipe, and rotating it, the auger breaks up and removes obstructions.

 Can I use a drain auger on all types of drains?

  • Drain augers are versatile and can be used on most common household drains, including sinks, tubs, and toilets. However, using the appropriate size and type of auger for the specific drain you're working on is essential.