Best Commercial Drain Cleaning Machine [Top 5 Reviewed]
Buying the right commercial drain cleaning machine for your business is extremely important. Not only do you need a unit that has the right features, but it will also need to be compatible with the width and length of cable you need to use.
There are also design issues to think about; how portable does the machine need to be? What size motor should it have, and of course, how much money do you have to spend?
Add to all that is the fact there’s a ton of options on the market in 2021. Deciding which commercial drain cleaner to buy can be a headache, to say the least.
Well, to assist you in your search we have carefully selected 5 top-rated cleaners covering a range of features and budgets.
For our findings at a glance, just head to the table below. For a comprehensive review of each of our picks, keep on reading.
Best Commercial Drain Cleaning Machine
Commercial Drain Cleaner Reviews
Our selection process and testing method involve a combination of the above criteria, plus recent customer reviews and feedback on performance, as well as analysis of how each model fares against others on the market.
1. EDITOR’S PICK: RIDGID 58920 K-50 Sectional Machine
Our top pick commercial drain cleaning machine for 2021 is this high-quality unit from the ever-reliable Rigid.
As a mid-priced option, (the Speedway offering reviewed below is substantially more expensive) there is a lot to like with the K-50.
Classed as a sectional machine, it is suitable for a wide range of commercial drain cleaning applications.
However, it is important to note that the sectional cable is sold separately to the unit in order to provide operators greater flexibility on the cable type they need.
The 3 cable sizes that are compatible with the K-50 are:
- 5/16 inch (8 mm)
- 3/8 inch (10 mm)
- and 5/8 inch (16 mm)
The K-50 stands up to the normal build quality we have come to expect from Rigid tools, (the company has been a market leader since its inception all the way back in 1923).
That vote of confidence is also reflective in the extremely generous warranty that the company provides; the Rigid K-50 is supported by a lifetime warranty against defects in material or workmanship.
Despite the hard-wearing design, the machine is still lightweight and portable.
Weighing in at only 37-1/2 pounds the K-50 can literally be picked up (using the top handle) and moved to the area where work needs to be done.
The machine features an adequate 1/6 horsepower induction motor, (admittedly there are more powerful units on the market). This rotates the drain cleaning cable at 400 RPM, with the unit being a fully grounded electrical system for safety purposes.
The K-50 also has an Instant-acting cable clutch to help ensure that your cable runs efficiently and provides maximum user control. Users have forward, off and reverse toggle modes for operating the motor.
Finally, you also have the peace of mind that the machine is approved by CSA and UL Standards (115V models only.)
- The portable design weighs just 37.5 pounds
- Runs 3 different size cables
- Easy to use – instant-acting cable clutch maximizes operator control
- Approved to UUCSA Standards
- Rigid limited lifetime warranty
- 1/6 HP isn’t the most powerful unit on the market by any means
- You will have to spend several hundred dollars more on the sectional cable
In our opinion, Rigid K-50 is the best commercial drain cleaning machine on the market today. It is well built, portable and with some nice user features, making it an ideal tool for the busy professional.
The fact that it can run 3 different types pf cable is also a genuine benefit. Just consider your budget however, as cables are not included in the base package.
2. COBRA PRODUCTS GIDDS-211332 3/4″ x 100′ Speedway Drain Cleaning Machine
If you are looking for an all in one commercial drain cleaning solution, the Cobra Speedway line of machines could be a great choice for you.
Rather than piecing together the kit as you would with the Rigid K-50, here you have a complete package complete with 3/4″ x 100′ slotted end cable and a 4-piece cutter set.
The Speedway also benefits from a powerful ¾ HP heavy capacitor motor. That being said, it is more expensive than our top choice commercial drain cleaner.
Other nice features related to the motor are the manual thermal overload protector switch, and the fact you have instant operation, forward-off-reverse control.
The unit is built with a “tilt-a-way” three-position power feed. The driveshaft is also fitted with grease so that drum changes can be smoothly executed.
The Speedway is a versatile beast too. Capable of cleaning 4″ to 10″ lines, this premium commercial drain cleaning machine can be used for main drains, sewer lines, and root blocks. It is clear that this is a unit designed for the working professional
The build quality is impressive too. The main unit features a double reinforced contour welded frame, (making it resistant to the inevitable knocks and bumps to and from and at the workplace); the reinforced 19″ molded cable drum is also solidly built.
Finally, there is the subject of portability. While not as convenient to carry around as the Rigid K-50, the fact that this machine has wheels and can be moved into position is a benefit.
- Kit contains 3/4″ x 100′ end cable plus cutter set
- Powerful 3/4 hp heavy duty capacitor motor
- Capable of cleaning 4″ to 10″ lines
- Tilt-a-way three-position power feed system
- Robust build quality with wheels for portability
- The most expensive machine in our top 5
- Not as lightweight or easy to use as the Rigid K-50
Overall the Speedway drain cleaning machine is a quality option for commercial operators. It has the power and versatility for the range of applications professional users will come across.
It is also a complete package from the off. Highly recommended.
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3. BEST BUDGET: VEVOR 50 Feet by 1/2 Inch Electric Drain Cleaner
Our top pick budget drain cleaner is suitable for both commercial and homeowner use. While it doesn’t have the premium power and features of some of the other units in our top 5, the Vevor is still a very capable machine for the money.
Let’s take a closer look.
The inbuilt motor is capable of 160 RPM for cable extraction and while notably lower than the likes of the Rigid K-50 (which has an RPM of 400), still gets the job done.
Being a budget option it can only deal with pipes from 2″ ID to 4″ ID, however again this is to be expected.
This is a work-ready kit and comes complete with a 0.5inch x 50ft Wire Core Cable. This cable is extremely well designed and has the flexibility to negotiate multiple 90-degree bends without damaging the pipe.
The kit also includes 4 different cutters making it suitable for working on sinks, showers and floor drains.
The build quality is also good, making it appropriate for daily use. The Vevor features a premium heavy-duty steel frame with a sturdy base. The unit can easily support the wire core cable and enclosed drum that it works with.
The enclosed body also means that the workings of the unit stay clean for longer.
It is also compact and portable, (weighing in at only 72 lbs (32.5 kg), ) two attributes the working professional requires out of their drain cleaning machine.
For ease of use (and the benefit of hands-free), the machine can be operated via a sealed air-activated footswitch.
- High quality steel design
- Portable and lightweight
- Includes 0.5inch x 50ft Wire Core Cable and cutters
- Air-activated Foot Switch
- Protective Enclosed Drum
- Sealed Air-activated Foot Switch
- Can only handle Handles pipes from 2″ ID to 4″ ID.
- The motor is slow at 160rpms
Overall, the VEVOR 50 Feet by 1/2 Inch Electric Drain Auger is a high-quality machine for the money. With its sturdy build quality, portability and work-ready for a range of applications you will not be disappointed.
However, the fact this is a budget machine does mean it lacks the power and overall functionality you will find in more premium options.
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4. HydroStar Compact Electric Drain Cleaner
Another budget drain cleaning machine now in the form of this offering. The specifications here are similar to that of the Vevor, making this a suitable unit for both home operation and low-range commercial drain cleaning activities.
A robust 1/2″ x 50 ft. wire core cable is included, this is designed to eliminate breakage, tangling, and kinking as the cable travels through the pipework.
As with the Vevor machine, the pipework you can work with is a bit limited. The unit can only clean pipes between 1” to 4” in size.
On the plus side, the machine features a built-in GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) for longer life and increased safety.
It also has a 1/3 HP motor working at 5.3 amps. Adequate power but not in the same league as more premium options. The sacrifice, of course, is speed.
A sealed air-activated foot switch makes operation nice and easy. The fact that this drain cleaning machine comes with a whole host of accessories, will also please the working professional looking for a small unit that can clean in-house pipework.
The kit is shipped with four interchangeable heads for varying applications. The spade cutter pierces through stoppages, while add-ons such as the boring bulb cutter will retrieve or pushes through any stoppages.
A 1-1/2″ arrow cutter is best applied when grease build-up is the issue. A 1-1/4″ C-cutter is designed to scrape the sides of the drain line clean.
All in all, a complete drainage cleaning system for 1” to 4” pipes.
- 1/2″ x 50 ft. wire core cable and 4 heads included
- Budget price point
- Built-in GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter)
- Sealed air-activated foot switch
- Only applicable for 1″ ID to 4″ ID pipes
- Fitted with a low power 1/3 hp motor
Much like the Vevor, this is an impressive drain cleaning machine for the money. Suitable for smaller commercial applications, this unit has everything you need to successfully clean 1” to 4” pipework. If this suits your work-load, you will not be disappointed.
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5. Ridgid K-400 Drum Machine With C-45 Cable
Another high-quality Rigid machine makes our top 5 list. The K-400 is a classed as a drum machine (rather than the sectional that is our top pick) and opts for a wheeled design rather than the more portable pick up and carry.
However, we will talk about that more shortly. First, let’s take a look at some of the important specifications.
Power is adequate and more in line with the budget options review above. Rigid has opted to fit the K-400 with a 1/3 Horsepower induction motor. This also features forward/off/reverse operational modes.
The machine is capable of running 3/8-inch (for 1-1/2-inch to 3-inch lines) to 1/2-inch (for 3 to 4-inch lines) cables. The maximum length you can run with this drum machine is 100 feet.
It is, of course, suitable for commercial drain cleaning applications (otherwise it wouldn’t have made our top 5 list).
As Rigid states, the profile of the machine both in design, weight, and features is with drain cleaners, service plumbers, and institutional facility managers in mind.
This is evident with the range of accessories that are included in the kit, (see tab below for full list). Several cutters and a 1/2-inch x 75-foot solid core wound cable mean that you can be up and running as soon as the machine arrives.
It is also easy to use. The K-400 has an optional Autofeed control system that will actually power the cable in and out of the drain.
This system is designed to indicate when blockages are encountered. It will then slow or stop the cable run so that potential cable flip-over will not occur.
Admittedly, the working professional looking for a commercial machine will not necessarily want to use this, however, it is still a nice feature to have.
Finally, there’s that reassuring fact that Rigid provides a lifetime warranty against defects in material or workmanship.
If you’re using the machine every day in a commercial setting, you will appreciate that peace of mind.
- Kit and cable included
- Efficient motor with high RPM
- Autofeed system making it easy to use
- Lifetime warranty
- Doesn’t offer the portability of the Rigid K-50
The K-400 is a great machine for operators looking for a mid-range system that can handle a range of applications.
Rigid knows what they are doing with these machines and it shows.
However, the fact you can pick up the higher-powered K-50 for a similar price (although you will need to purchase cable and tools on top), means the professional user may want to look towards our top pick option instead.
Factors to consider before buying a commercial drain cleaning machine
The are a few things you should consider before purchasing a commercial drain cleaning machine. Let’s take a look at some of them now…
The commercial drain cleaner comes in two main types; sectional and drum. Machines that use a drum configuration are fast and convenient to use. They come self-contained, with the cleaning cord wound in the single drum making them especially easy to transport.
Sectional machines are more lightweight as components can be carried separately. However, this also makes them slightly more cumbersome to transport. Having the ability to couple and uncouple sections as you see fit is a benefit mind you.
When a faulty cable rears its ugly head, you can still continue using a different cord. For a professional, this is extremely useful.
Motor-driven drain cleaning machines will rotate the drum and therefore the cable at different rates. The amount of force that the machine can put through the drain line is related to the motor size and the power coming from it.
Essentially, the more powerful the motor, the faster you will be able to unclog tough blockages.
Size of the drain lines
The diameter of the drain pipes you will be working with is an important variable when looking to buy a commercial drain cleaning machine. A professional plumbing firm or drain cleaning business will need a machine that caters to the full range of drain pipe sizes.
Residential pipes require a cable of between ¼” to 3/8”. When unclogging a bigger drain at industrial premises (floor drains, roof vents, etc), your cable lines will need to be much larger.
Check the specifications and accessories to ascertain what size drains you will be able to clean using the machine.
Weight & Portability
We touched on portability above, however, the weight of the machine clearly has a part to play too. If you’re a professional, a lightweight drain cleaner that can easily be lifted from the back of the truck to the location with ease is recommended.
That being said, a heavier machine may be the result of more sturdy build quality. This is clearly important too.
Most machines will have wheels so that they can be maneuvered into place. Hard-wearing wheels with rubber rims are a good choice as you will not need to worry about potential punctures.
Overall Build Quality
Often connected to price, the fact a drain cleaning machine will take a lot of abuse in its working life, you are going to want to buy a model that can handle the pace.
This means overall build and design quality. Machines that have kink-resistant lines are definitely recommended.
Read what past customers have thought about a particular model of drain cleaner. Does it have a good reputation? Brand reputation will be relevant here too. Research the manufacturer of the machine you are interested in and see what the internet has to say about it.
Following on from build quality is the warranty. A well-made machine will often come with a generous warranty as the manufacturer will have faith in the strength of their own product.
Understand the service plan and read the manufacturer’s terms carefully. Being a commercial machine you will want to know just how long the warranty is and what it actually covers.