|Am-Tech Doctor Drain|
|Turboproducts Big Master Plunger|
|Monument Master Plunger|
|Monument Handy Plunger|
Yes, we are talking about plungers, those handy devices that are essential in the bathroom or WC. Now, before we go on to give you a list of excellent plungers – the very best in the business, in fact – there are some important historical aspects to consider. We would wager that, in your history lessons at school, the flushing toilet was not covered. This is, of course, a travesty, as this most excellent and essential item of plumbing is, in fact, a very British invention. That’s the modern flush toilet as we know it: there were prior forms, such as those built by the Romans (if you’re ever in my home county of Northumberland, check out the well-preserved example at Housesteads Fort on Hadrian’s Wall – it’s utterly fascinating) but these were communal toilets (yes, really) with a constant stream of water running through.
For the record, the flush toilet in its basic form, not that different to the one you use daily, was invented by a gentleman named Sir John Harington, in 1596. We know, of course, that we’ve shattered your illusions: contrary to popular belief, Thomas Crapper did not invent the flush toilet, which is a great pity. So pleased was Harington with his invention, he wrote a book about it, which we are sure is a thrilling read. He installed one for Queen Elizabeth I – his Godmother – at Richmond Palace, which we presume she appreciated. It’s not recorded who invented the plunger. So, how does it work? Let’s take a look!
How It Works
Table of Contents
- 1 How It Works
- 2 Top 10 Best Plungers
- 2.1 1: Luigi Plunger
- 2.2 2: Am-Tech Doctor Drain
- 2.3 3: Turboproducts Big Master Plunger
- 2.4 4: Monument Master Plunger
- 2.5 5: Monument Handy Plunger
- 2.6 6: Large Plunger with Wooden Pole
- 2.7 7: Am-Tech Large Heavy Duty Plunger
- 2.8 8: Bulk Hardware Sink Plunger
- 2.9 9: Monument MP1600 Toilet Plunger
- 2.10 10: Silverline Blast Wastepipe Unblocker
- 3 Important Features to Look For
- 4 Let’s Wrap It Up!
Of all the items you have in your home that are entirely practical, the humble plunger stands head and shoulders above the rest. It serves a purpose – one rather nasty but essential purpose – and that’s it. We were surprised to find, then, that in fact there are variations on the theme: it seems that industrial designers the world over have been trying to perfect the plunger, and many have come up with some rather innovative and often amusing designs, as you shall see when you read on. You probably have a plunger already: after reading these, you may want to upgrade to a more up to date, all singing, all dancing, super-plunger.
So, how does it work? Well, the strange fact is it’s not as simple as it seems. The traditional plunger is designed to form a suction area that is air-tight, and that drives blockages (usually caused by too much paper or items that shouldn’t be down there) downwards. This works in some cases, but not in others. In fact, many people have had to resort to calling out a plumber to clear more difficult blockages – an expense you don’t want. Some of those that follow on this list use a different method, as you will see, so let’s get down to business (excuse the pun) and have a look at the top 10 plungers on the market today – prepare for an exciting read!
Top 10 Best Plungers
Let’s begin by being totally honest: we didn’t expect to find any variety in the design of plungers, but we were immediately proven wrong. It was perhaps foolish of us – in the age of computer aided design and innovation – that even this most basic of items would be subject to original thought, but there you go! This one, from Luigi Plumbing, is a genuinely innovative and original design, and a clever one, too. It is designed specifically for toilets, so will not work on your sink basin. It does, however, claim to be ‘The World’s Best Toilet Plunger’.
Unlike most plungers, it uses water rather than air. This is significant because it claims to provide more power than a traditional plunger. It has a flexible and extending concertina style part that you put down the bowl; you pump the handle end which draws and expels the water in a high pressure stream, and it removes the blockage. This is a clever device, and one that has proven popular with customers, and we were both amused and pleased to see such original thought. Expect to pay a little more than £10, so it’s not bad value either.
This is a more modern take on the traditional plunger, and one with some neat and very practical attributes. It is a quite stylish design – if a plunger can be – so will fit neatly into your cupboard, and promises ‘powerful plunging action’, which sounds a lot of fun. You get two interchangeable plunging heads, so you can use it on different sized drains, and it has an upper body section with a plunger inside to create the force of air needed to drive the blockage away. The maker, Am-Tech, has a wide range of household goods, and a decent reputation.
It is a well-built item that feels durable, and it is said to be useful on toilets, sinks, showers and baths – any type of drain in fact – with great effect. It does, however, provide the same problem as many such plungers of the usual style: the difficulty in creating a seal. We can’t see a way around this, and it is a drawback. It’s a decent device, though, and we have seen them selling for around a fiver, so it’s not expensive.
Before we go on, what a name! ‘Big Master’ really says it all when it comes to plunging, doesn’t it? Prepare for disappointment, though, as this one is designed for baths, sinks and showers, so there’s no room for toilet humour! The makers give great credence to the fact that this one is Made in Germany; perhaps they have plenty of experience in plunging? It is a big and chunky device – as the name suggests – with a large head for creating a seal.
Interestingly, this one comes with a sealing device for the overflow; this is to stop water coming back into the sink when plunging, and is a sensible addition. It is made of durable plastic but doesn’t feel of a particularly high quality, although we must say that customer reviews have been favourable. All in all, a decent plunger of the traditional type, albeit not suitable for toilets. There is one problem – it’s around £20, which is pricey for one of these.
If there is one drawback this one has over the one above, it’s that it’s just a Master, and not Big. No, we’re joking; in fact, it is very similar to the above, and does the same job – in other words, it unblocks sink, bath and shower drain pipes in the traditional way. We don’t even know the country of origin, so can’t bring you that interesting fact! Customer reviews are favourable – and some even allude to the fact it can be used on toilets, which it is not designed for – and it is a typical plastic device with a large head for creating a seal.
What else can we say about this one? To be honest, we are looking for a little more innovation here, and there isn’t any. That’s not to say you should write this one off; far from it, in fact, when it comes in at half the price of the one above, around a tenner (or possibly considerably less if you shop around). It’s nothing special, then, but it does the job.
Another design from Monument, which seems to have quite a range of plungers and other household goods. This is a smaller model than the one above, and is designed – the makers claim – for smaller basins. So, no toilets in this one either. Given that we set out this review with a fascinating and educational brief history of the flush toilet, we’re a little disappointed that, so far, the majority have been for sinks. We hope to find something toilet-related as we progress.
Anyway, about the Monument Handy Plunger; it’s made from plastic with a concertina design head – patented, apparently, by the manufacturer – and is indeed a handy item to have around the home. It will successfully clear smaller drain pipes, and is easy to use and feels quite durable. If you want a basic and simple plunger to have in a cupboard in case of a problem, this could be it, and it can be found for not much more than a fiver.
It is very satisfying, when reviewing products such as these, to come across one that is exactly as you imagined; in other words, this is – in every single way – how you picture a plunger. It’s the one you have seen in crude comedy sketches, and is as no-frills as it gets. And, to be fair, that is exactly why we like it! In fact, this could be an item found in the stork room of an old hardware store, having been there for a few decades. It’s THE plunger, and it’s a tried and tested model.
Do we need to describe it? Ok, here goes: it has a long wooden handle – just a pole, that’s it, nothing more; in fact, at 38inches, it’s a very long pole. It has a rubber suction cup on the end, the type that folds itself to make a seal. And, well, that’s it – it’s a toilet plunger, as you know it! It’s easy to clean, too, which is a vital selling point for these, and it’s as simple to use as can be. If you want a plunger that is like the one Grandpa used to have, this is the one, and at about five quid you can’t go wrong.
One thing we will say about Am-Tech: they don’t mess about with pointless names for mundane products. This one is large, it’s heavy duty, and it’s a plunger. It’s good for sinks, baths and showers, but we’re not sure the familiar concertina design will be adequate for use in toilets. It has a large head for creating a seal, and a long handle for ease of use, and is made of polypropylene so is very easy to clean, which remains important even though it’s not for toilets.
We are far into this review now, so it is clearly becoming difficult to find interesting things to say about the more traditional-style plungers. It works, that’s a good thing, and it is a tried and tested design style that will do what it needs to do easily. It’s also cheap at about a fiver, which seems to be the norm for this type of plunger. At that price, you really can’t lose, and it’s a handy item to have in your cupboard under the sink. And that’s about it.
With products such as these – i.e. those that are designed for practical use – it is sometimes the case that simplicity is the answer, ad few plungers are as simple as this one. We must add that this one is made in the UK, by Bulk Hardware – a company manufacturing a range of household products and one that has been in business for many decades – so if a home-grown plunger is a must, this could be the one for you! It’s made from plastic and is easy to use, too.
It’s a traditional plunger, as with the wooden one above, and comes with 150mm suction cup and a 225mm handle for versatile use. It uses the standard soft-rubber suction cup action to create a seal, and does the job on sinks, shower, baths and – yes, you guessed – toilets! It’s a good all-round plunger with no special attributes but to do the job it is intended for. It’s also a fiver, so you are getting value for money with this one.
Another from our old friends Monument, the masters of the art of plungers! They are the people with the ‘patented bellows design’ so they must be good! This is quite a compact design, made from plastic and with the pump and unblock action – and it is designed to be easy to use and easy to clean, too. It’s nothing special – let’s face it, it’s a plunger – but it does the job. Or does it? Some of the customer reviews say it’s great for sinks and such, but not for toilets, so beware.
So, nine items in, and we are nearing the end. We’re also nearing the end of things to say about plungers. In their defence, these items don’t lend themselves to lengthy descriptions, and nor should they: plungers are designed to, well, plunge, and nothing more. Each of these items does its job to a sensible degree, and each is useful to have to hand should you need one. How much is this one? It’s around 12 quid, so we reckon is outclassed in price by some of the other items here. If you need – really need – a plunger by Monument, it could be the one. But we don’t see why you would!
At last, we reach number 10, and it’s an interesting design in that it is very similar to the second one on the list. That means it’s not traditional at all, and is quite a clever design. It’s also very, very cheap, but we will come to that in a minute. This takes the form of a tube with a plunger device inside; you draw the water up by pulling the handle towards you, and shoot a powerful jet of water into the drain or bowl to clear the blockage, and it works. This is a good design, and one with many attributes that make it better than some of the others on this list.
So, is it the one we recommend? You’ll have to read on to find that out! We will say that, in this company, it is a viable contender, and it is durable, usable and practical, but we think there may be others that are better for toilets. That price? It’s less than four quid, which is quite amazing, and we don’t know how they do it!
So, there you have it; an exciting and informative review of the top 10 best plungers on the market, and we hope you have learned a lot about these very handy devices! Before we go on to give you our summary and verdict, let’s take a look at some of the features you might want to look out for when choosing the one for you.
Important Features to Look For
A plunger is a plunger, right? Well, not always, and as we have seen in the above reviews, there is quite a lot of variety in design and effectiveness among these devices. What do you need to look for when choosing a plunger? Let’s have a quick reminder:
- Does it do the Toilet – this is an important question as, much to our disappointment, we discovered that many of these are not suitable for use unblocking toilets. To be honest, we reckon that might rule a good few of these out, so check carefully before you buy.
- Traditional or Innovative – this is also a good one: do you want – or need – a more modern innovative and fancy design, or a suction cup on a stick? It’s up to you, but we know which we would choose…
- Price – some of these are very, very cheap, while others are what we consider to be expensive for a plunger. Do you really need to pay £20 for a plunger? Not when you can get one for a fiver!
That’s about it really; there’s not a lot to say about how to choose the right plunger! So, all that we need to do is wrap things up!
Let’s Wrap It Up!
When we set out to write about plungers we wondered where we were going to get all the words from; our concerns were justified as, to be frank, a plunger really is just a plunger. For the record, we did a little research into the history of the toilet plunger (really, we did) and found out who is credited with its invention! The first such item was allegedly invented in around 1777 by one Samuel Prosser, but it’s interesting to note that the first patent for one was listed as recently as 1987! That’s your interesting fact for the day.
So, which would be our choice? To be honest, we looked long and hard at the more innovative and unusual designs here, and concluded that while they perform their job, they don’t do a much better job than some of the traditional designs. We also concluded that no, you don’t need to pay £20 for a plunger. We choose the most traditional model of all as our choice – number 6, the one with no name but a wooden pole and rubber cup – as it is cheap and does the job. It’s also a good indicator of why sometimes, standard designs are standard for a reason. Buy one of these, and you can unblock any drains easily and effectively, with no fuss.