Tools to Cut Drywall


Drywall is strong, but is easy to cut once you know the tricks of the trade. Most of the time a tradesman's knife and a small drywall saw are the tools used, though some amateur drywall installers use a power saw. Learn to use these common tools, and you will be proficient at cutting drywall in no time.

Tradesman's knife

  • This general work knife's blade is drawn down a pencil or chalk line marking where the drywall has to be cut and separated. The drywall is then bent on the line in the direction opposite the cut, resulting in a break in the drywall along the cut line. The knife is then used to cut the drywall paper on the other side of the cut, separating the drywall into two pieces. Tradesman's knives are also used to scrape away loose pieces of drywall from the edges that have just been cut.

Drywall Saw

  • The blade and plastic handle of this saw together are roughly 12 inches long, with most blades folding into the handle. The saw is used to cut out holes in the drywall for receptacle boxes and light switch boxes, or to cut out small areas that need to be removed from large pieces of drywall that have either been, or will soon be, installed.

Power Saws

  • These saws are used to cut along long lines to separate larger pieces of drywall. Professional drywall installers tend not to use these saws, as the circular blade kicks up a lot of dust. When used in an interior setting, they can be very noisy. However, non-professionals working at home sometimes feel that they have a better chance of cutting a straight line with this kind of saw than by running a tradesman's knife by hand over a pencil or chalk line.

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  • "Home Improvement 1-2-3;" Benjamin W. Allen, Christopher Cavanaugh; 1995
  • Photo Credit carpenter`s knife image by Paolo from
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