News & Opinion

6 Best Tools for Cutting Drywall


If you’ve ever witnessed a professional drywaller install 10-foot long panels on a ceiling by himself, you may think the task is easy. But that guy was talented. Even the smaller panels are heavy and unwieldy. Making cuts to drywall can be a challenge, too. Fortunately there are many tools that make the job easy. Here are the 6 best tools for cutting drywall according to the Pros. And be sure to check out our 6 methods for cutting drywall article as well.

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It Cuts Like A Knife

1. The Razor Knife

The most commonly used tool for cutting drywall is the razor or utility knife. You score the panel, apply some pressure, and snap! You’ve got a new, clean edge. Ok, maybe you’ll need to practice a little.

2. The Keyhole Saw

If you’re sticking with hand tools, you’ll also need a keyhole saw. The tool has several names – keyhole saw, drywall saw, jab saw – but by any name it’s a long-bladed saw used for cutting small holes. It’s needed to rough out outlet boxes, HVAC vents, windows, and doors in the panel. For those bigger cuts, however, we suggest a power tool.

6 Best Tools For Cutting Drywall

Use the razor knife for major drywall cuts.

Plug It In, Crank It Up

3. The Reciprocating Saw

For those of us with an affinity for power tools, the always helpful reciprocating saw can make the rough out cuts. Just make sure you have the right blade accessory, like this one from Milwaukee:

milwaukee drywall blade for SawZall

4. Oscillating Multi-Tool

We’re big fans of the versatility of this tool. It’ll get it done when other tools can’t. All major manufacturers make them and we’re sure you can find at least 6 projects to do with it right now. It makes plunge cutting drywall panels a breeze.

5. Spiral Saw

You’ll be tempted to write your name in the drywall with a spiral saw. The bit makes easy cuts in the drywall and it might be the best tool for the rough out job.

6 Best Tools For Cutting Drywall

I don’t have enough hands.

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The Last of the 6 Best Tools For Cutting Drywall

6. The Track Saw With Dust Collection

This is undoubtedly a specialty tool that won’t be appropriate for everyone or every job. It’s worth considering for it’s accuracy, speed, and cleanliness. You’d use this if, for example, you needed to make a series of identical length cuts through multiple sheets of drywall. With the right blade it could save you a lot of time. A traditional circular saw is a poor choice for cutting drywall because of the gypsum dust cloud created, but the dust collection feature of a track saw keeps the dust to a minimum and allows straight, accurate cuts with the guide. These haven’t gained widespread acceptance for drywall jobs quite yet, but some Pros say this method can save them a lot of time.

We hope you’ve gained some knowledge from the 6 best tools for cutting drywall. If you’re a Pro and you have drywall cutting tips, add them in the comments below—or contact us with your own Pro tips.

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