Using Laravel Tinker

Using Laravel Tinker

Laravel Tinker is an invaluable tool for developers using the Laravel framework. As an interactive PHP REPL (Read-Eval-Print Loop) integrated directly into Laravel, Tinker allows developers to interact dynamically with their entire Laravel application. This can range from managing database records to testing service methods in real-time. This article aims to equip developers with the knowledge to effectively utilize Tinker within Laravel, covering everything from setup to advanced usage scenarios.

What is Laravel Tinker?

Laravel Tinker provides an interactive command-line interface where you can manipulate your Laravel application’s data using PHP code directly. Based on the powerful PsySH package, a runtime developer console and interactive debugger, Tinker makes it easy to experiment with and debug your application without the need for repetitive manual testing or temporary routes.

Setting Up Tinker

Tinker comes pre-installed with Laravel 10. This means you can start using it immediately after setting up your Laravel project. To begin, simply open your command line tool and navigate to your Laravel project directory. Enter the following command to start Tinker:

php artisan tinker

This command launches the Tinker environment, allowing you to interact directly with your application’s PHP code.

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Basic Usage of Tinker

Once you launch Tinker, you can start typing PHP code to interact with your Laravel application. Here are some fundamental commands and tasks you can perform:

Evaluating basic PHP Expressions:

> 2 + 3
= 5

Creating and manipulating models:

> $user = new App\Models\User(['name' => 'Jane Doe']);
> $user->save();

Retrieving data using Eloquent:

> App\Models\User::where('name', 'Jane Doe')->first();

Advanced Features of Tinker

Interacting with Eloquent

Tinker excels in managing database operations through Eloquent. You can perform complex queries, create, update, and delete records:

> $user = App\Models\User::find(1);
> $user->email = '[email protected]';
> $user->save();

Collections and Modifications

Manipulate collections and test collection methods without affecting your database:

> $collection = collect([1, 2, 3]);
> $collection->push(4);
> $collection->all();
= [1, 2, 3, 4]

Event and Job Testing

Trigger events and jobs within Tinker to see how your application responds in real-time:

> event(new App\Events\UserRegistered($user));
> dispatch(new App\Jobs\SendWelcomeEmail($user));

Practical Tips and Tricks

  • Variable Persistence: Tinker does not maintain state between sessions. If you need persistent changes, ensure you save them within your database or other permanent storage.
  • Avoid Production Use: While it’s tempting to use Tinker to manipulate live data, doing so can lead to unintended consequences. Always use Tinker in a local or staging environment.
  • Utilize Shortcuts: Tinker supports shortcuts from PsySH, which can speed up your workflow. For example, ls lists classes, functions, and constants, while doc shows the documentation for a class or method.

Common Problems and Solutions

Here are a few common issues that you might encounter while using Tinker and how to solve them:

  • Syntax Errors: Tinker will provide real-time feedback on syntax errors. Make sure to follow PHP syntax closely.
  • Class Not Found: Ensure that your classes are correctly namespaced and that you are using the correct names.
  • Handling Exceptions: Tinker displays exceptions thrown by your code. Use these messages to debug and fix issues in real-time.


Laravel Tinker is a powerful tool that can significantly enhance your productivity and understanding of Laravel applications. By providing a direct line to your application’s backend through the command line, Tinker allows for immediate interaction and testing of components within Laravel. Whether you are debugging or experimenting with new features, Tinker serves as a versatile companion in your Laravel development toolkit.

Derrell Willis
Derrell Willis Manager, Developer Relations

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