Drywall Saws and Knives

The installation of drywall involves cuts to fit the material around various fixtures, openings, and the wall itself.

Drywall Saws

  • Drywall saws are designed to cut through drywall with ease. They are used to make large cuts, especially for door and window openings. Their teeth are specially designed to cut through gypsum board smoothly, minimizing dust and debris.

Keyhole Saws

  • Keyhole saws or jab saws are used for more precise or smaller cuts. With a pointed tip for starting cuts without drilling a pilot hole, keyhole saws are perfect for cutting tight or intricate shapes in drywall, and especially for electrical outlets. They're versatile enough to be used on a variety of materials beyond drywall.

Utility Knives and Blades

  • Utility knives are the most commonly used tool for cutting drywall. They are used to score the paper surface of the drywall, allowing the board to be snapped cleanly along the line. For thicker cuts or double-layered drywall, the knife may be used to saw through the gypsum core after scoring. Blades are replaceable, ensuring always sharp cuts, and come in various types (e.g., retractable, fixed-blade) for different preferences and safety features.

Chop Saws and Blades

  • While not used for cutting drywall directly, chop saws (also known as miter saws or metal cut-off saws) are essential when working with metal studs in drywall installation. Equipped with high-speed steel or carbide-tipped blades, chop saws make clean, straight cuts through metal studs, which are increasingly common in commercial and some residential construction.

Other Cutting Tools

  • Circular Saws: While less common due to their potential for creating more dust and requiring more setup, circular saws with fine-tooth blades can be used for cutting larger quantities of drywall or making long straight cuts more quickly than with a utility knife.

  • RotoZip or Spiral Saw: For more intricate cuts or for cutting out shapes in already-installed drywall, a RotoZip or spiral saw can be very effective. These power tools allow for detailed work around electrical boxes, piping, and other fixtures.