16 Best Drywall Tools For Cutting, Mudding, Hanging, and More

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When I first started out with drywall projects, I thought it was a straightforward task. But let me tell you, not using the right tools can quickly turn a simple job into a disaster. I’ve learned the hard way that avoiding costly mistakes means equipping yourself with the essential tools for handling drywall sheets. Allow me to share my insights on the must-have tools for a successful drywall project.

Top 16 Must-Have Tools For Drywall Work

#1: Jab Saw

Admit it or not, smaller jobs like cutting holes in a sheet of drywall can be a complex procedure for newbies. Lucky for you, a jab saw can help in cutting drywall holes with depths measuring 6 to 8 inches, making your DIY projects more manageable than you ever imagined.

In my experience with larger projects, especially when using a pole sander or sanding block, I always advise having sanding sheets on hand. After you’re done with the cutting using jab saws, those sheets are crucial for sanding the drywall to perfection. Trust me, it’s a lesson I’ve learned from countless jobs.

#2: Utility Knife

The utility knife is among the best tools that you can’t miss when working on drywall projects. It’s commonly confused with drywall knives, but many DIYers prefer this alternative tool as it can be useful in any DIY project, not only in drywall installation.

And while any kind of knives may serve their purpose of making your drywall work easier, I don’t recommend ones with snap-off blades. If you want a reliable and convenient cutting tool, get yourself some utility knife from Hart tools that come interchangeable blades instead. 

Utility Knives

It’s also important to consider ones with screw-down handles when you shop for a utility knife because they offer greater stability than the standard ones sold in the market.  

#3: Drywall Knife

When embarking on a DIY drywall project, the drywall knife is another tool you can’t exclude from your list. We’re confident that you’ll find its flat blades highly convenient as they’re specifically made for applying drywall mud to seal the sheets. The best alternative for this tool is a corner detail sander that serves the same purpose as a sanding finish. 

I’ve found that while drywall knives aren’t necessarily pricey, they do come in a variety of sizes. It’s worth taking a moment to really look them over before buying. If you’re thinking about applying drywall mud for taping, I personally recommend knives between 4 to 6 inches. And for a consistent finish and those final coats? A 12-inch drywall knife has always been my go-to.

#4: Corner Knife

You may not know it, but a typical drywall knife can’t reach narrow edges, which is why it’s crucial to have a specialized corner knife in your toolbox. Unlike regular knives, you can navigate it at a 90-degree angle without any hassle during the drywall installation. 

drywall knife

DIYers view a drywall corner knife as one of the best drywall tools because it can be used for corners, drywall mud bucket cleaning, and coving. 

#5: Drywall Banjo

From my experience with various drywall tools, I’d confidently say the banjo is a game-changer, especially for those who aren’t fans of manual tapering. If you haven’t come across it, the banjo is specifically designed to apply paper tapes to drywall sheets. For beginners, I always suggest giving it a try; it can really help you sidestep those pesky drywall tape bubbles.

#6: Screw Gun

It’s not a secret that the usage of traditional hammer and nails are still relevant for smaller projects up to this day [1]. However, instead of drywall nails, you’ll notice that most manufacturers nowadays promote drywall screws to hang drywall sheets. Why? Because screw guns make the drywall job faster. 

It also ensures that the drywall screw is installed securely on the sheets. Although manually inserting drywall screws isn’t out of the question, it doesn’t suit bigger jobs that involve fastening dozens of screws. 

Cordless Screw Gun

If you want to take control of the speed of your installation, getting a drywall screw gun is still the best way to go. 

#7: Drywall Saw

Besides jab saw, another cutting tool you can consider buying is the electric drywall saw. It may not be mandatory equipment to have in your workshop, but having this tool around can make the cutting process bliss. 

Instead of a manual jab saw, electric drywall saw offer accuracy and speed that are highly needed for large-scale tasks. 

If you’re worried about the cost that a power saw may incur, you can opt for traditional drywall saw designed with coarse teeth that’s capable of cutting odd shapes in your sheets. 

#8: Cordless Drill

If greater efficiency and versatility are what you seek for your drywall project, a standard cordless drill from brands like Kobalt or Bosch will do the trick. Compared to its corded counterpart, your movements aren’t restricted when using this tool.

Kobalt Cordless Drill

#9: Drywall Screws

Having worked extensively with drywall, I always emphasize the importance of keeping your toolbox well-stocked with essential items, and drywall screws are no exception. When you’re out shopping for materials, you’ll discover that drywall screws come in two main types: coarse-thread and fine-thread. It’s crucial to make the right choice based on your specific project needs.

You’ll most likely need a fine-thread screw for fastening if you’re working on metal framing. However, if you’re dealing with wood studs and other home improvement tasks, you can count on coarse-thread screws to do the job. 

Generally, professional DIY workers like us would recommend having stocks of ⅝ inch screws as this size is the most widely used for drywall tasks. 

#10: Drywall Lift

Drywall installation isn’t a one-person job. However, if you have to do it alone, a drywall lift becomes the ideal tool for providing support. While this tool may be more expensive than other support options, some users rent drywall lifts to lift heavy sheets.

Drywall Lift

Another support tool lift you can consider when working alone, is the drywall stilts. If you need to reach ceilings as high as 8 feet, you can use it as an alternative to a typical ladder if you don’t have one at your disposal. 

#11: Dust Vacuum

Let’s face it. Dust is a common dilemma when working with tools and construction materials. While its generation cannot be stopped, having a drywall dust vacuum can create a barrier to stop the dust from spreading. 

Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate the benefits of a good drywall dust vacuum. While it’s not a must-have, if you’re considering getting one, I’d personally recommend looking for models with suction cups. Trust me, they’re a game-changer on smooth floors. And a bonus? Many of the newer models can seamlessly connect with drywall sanders, making the job even smoother.

#12: Sanding Pole and Sheets

There are hard-to-reach edges where drywall sanding sponges are of no use. For this dilemma, using a sanding pole with an extensive reach is your best alternative. These finishing tools are for wearing down the drywall after completing the installation. 

sanding pole

The best drywall tools that can help with the sanding process are the sanding sheets. If you’re a frequent woodworker, you’d know that these materials come in two varieties. First, the fiberglass mesh is designed with holes to give specks of dust opening and prevent them from caking up on the surface. 

The other one has the visual of typical sandpaper. However, I recommend these sheets for finer drywall sanding. 

#13: Sanding Sponge

Sanding sponges aren’t new in the market, but if you can compare their appearance to kitchen scrubs used to clean pots if you haven’t seen one. Like dish scrubbers, a drywall sanding sponge has a smooth side and an abrasive surface on the other. 

And while it’s widely popular, we don’t recommend relying on a sanding sponge on all your finishing tasks. This tool is effective for touchups alone. 

#14: T-Square

Most of the square here have substitutes, but a drywall T-square has none. It’s either you have it, or your DIY drywalling project will be hard to complete. Besides getting the right measurement, buying a drywall t-square allow users to cut sheets up to 48 inches in length. 

t-square

Available drywall t-squares in the market have heads that can be adjusted in different angles from 30 to 75 degrees. 

#15: Tape Measure

A tape measure is among the no-brainer and basic drywall tools you’ll need in this DIY project. You’ll need this for measuring how many sheets you’ll need to install in your walls. If you’re working on longer walls, get ones that can measure up to 12 feet long.

#16: Mud Pan

During the drywall application, you’d get your knife with excess mud, so it’s best to have a drywall mud pan sitting next to you during the process. 

Also check:

Price of woodworking tools 

FAQ

Are drywall corner tools good?

Yes, drywall corner tools are good. If you use it accordingly with the right application of pressure, this tool can make your DIY drywalling project better results. And because it’s specifically designed for hard-to-reach corners and edges, users of this tool can expect more convenient and efficient operations.

What is the number one tool when hanging drywall?

The number one tool when hanging drywall is a utility knife. Although considered a common sight in DIY projects, these knives can come in handy during cutting operations. When you shop for one, you’ll find that some of them have interchangeable and quick-change features that you’ll find useful.

Conclusion

Even with the best drywall tools in hand, success truly lies in knowing when and how to use them. Speaking from experience, understanding your tools is crucial, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned pro or just enjoy the occasional DIY project. I always advise adding some of these tools to your workshop; you’d be surprised how often they can come in handy beyond just drywall tasks.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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