If your home often has blocked drains, it's good to call a plumber and have the plumbing pipes thoroughly inspected. Consistent clogs often signal damaged pipes that may be letting in dirt, sediment, and other debris that won't allow water and solid waste to flow through those pipes. However, if you want to be prepared to address the occasional plumbing clog or blocked drain at home, note the right tools you need for this work, and this will ensure you can handle this job quickly and easily.
Auger is a fancy term for a plumbing snake, which is a long, thin piece of metal cable that wraps around a spindle, and which is controlled by a handheld crank. There are different types and lengths of augers; a closet auger is meant for toilet clogs in particular. This type of auger doesn't use a spool, but a type of rigid shaft that allows for better control over the direction of the cable itself.
Note the length of augers, if you plan on buying one for repeated use. You actually don't want one that is overly long, as that length can be cumbersome and difficult to control. Trying to reach clogs that are buried deep in the home's plumbing pipes can also mean damaging your home's pipes and their connectors; it's usually best to have a plumber address clogs that are not located near the surface of a drain instead. Choose a short auger for regular use, and call a plumber if it isn't effective in addressing a clog.
There are actually two types of plungers; one with a flat surface is for sinks, and one that is shaped like a bell, with a small circular opening in the middle of the face, is for toilets. Trying to use the wrong plunger on your clog can mean wasting time and potentially damaging a sink or toilet.
If you've ever tried to loosen a connector around a pipe in order to remove it and clear a clog, and had your metal wrench simply slide around the connector, you probably need a strap wrench. This type of wrench uses a rubber strap instead of a metal head with teeth. The rubber strap can create a firmer grip and even a vacuum effect, allowing you to loosen a stripped connector and open the pipe. The rubber strap also won't strip the connector even further, so you don't need to replace it once the clog is clear.