Which direction should the drill turn?

Direction of rotation


When it comes to drain cleaning tools, understanding the nuances between different components can make a significant difference in efficiency and effectiveness.

Direction of rotation: Cable vs. Flexible shaft

The main difference between a cable and a flexible shaft is that a cable is wound in one direction around a mandrel. When you turn your drill in the opposite direction of the way in which the cable has been wound, the cable will unwind. On the other hand, our flexible shaft is wound in opposing directions on a central mandrel (core).

Flexible shaft is wound in opposing directions

This means that with our shafts, you can turn your drill in both directions of rotation and enjoy the benefits of equal torque in both directions. This is especially helpful when encountering a solid blockage that causes the chain to get caught. Being able to reverse the direction of rotation helps in getting the chain unstuck.

Manufacturing process

Our flexible shaft is made from spring-grade steel achieved through a special heating and cooling process. For this reason, we do not recommend using heat to solder the ends of the shaft when repairing it. Instead, simply slice it at the desired point with an angle grinder and attach your drain cleaning chain.

Here is a video we created on how to easily cut your flexible shaft:

Drain cleaning chains

It’s essential to note that most drain cleaning chains can be rotated in either direction, although there are exceptions such as the torpedo chain and chain retrieval tool, where rotational direction matters.


While cables offer simplicity and effectiveness in many scenarios, flexible shafts excel in situations where equal torque in both directions, and swift directional changes are crucial for successful drain cleaning operations. Understanding these differences will enable you to select the most suitable tools and techniques for optimizing drain cleaning processes and achieving superior results.