Plumbing snakes, also called plumbing augers, consist of a long metal tube at one end with a cable inside that has a corkscrew auger or blades attached, and a hand crank at the other. The cable end of the snake is placed in the drain and you turn the crank end to extend the cable down the drain. When it reaches the clog you can feel the resistance and must turn the crank to push through the clog and then pull it out of the drain. Plumbing snakes may have a straight tube or a J-shaped bend. The straight tube style is intended for sink drains, while the J-shaped snakes are intended for toilets.