15 Drywall Installation and Finishing Tools and Their Uses - knoweasy

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15 Drywall Installation and Finishing Tools and Their Uses

September 04, 2023

If you're keen on DIY, drywall installation and finishing is one of those tasks you can do yourself. All you need is the will to get the job done, the expertise and tools required for installation and finishing.

As far as expertise goes, drywall installation is relatively easy, especially when compared to traditional plastering methods that require more time and effort.

It can be easily and quickly installed onto wall studs or ceiling joists, reducing construction time and labor costs.

As for the tools you'll need, that's what we'll discuss in this article. Whether you're starting a new construction project from scratch or giving an existing room in your home a new look, it's important to know all the tools you need and what they're for.

We cover all the tools you'll need, from the initial stages of cutting and hanging drywall to the intricate process of taping, mudding and finishing.

Whether you're a seasoned season professional or a beginner eager to learn the ropes, our guide is designed to provide insights so you can tackle drywall projects with confidence.


I. Drywall Cutting and Hanging Tools


Box cutter or utility knife


Drywall comes in sheets. Therefore, you need to cut them to fit the size of the walls and ceilings you want to cover.

Unlike wood, it is not difficult to cut. All you need is a hobby knife or hobby knife. You can use it to trim drywall panels to fit the size of the walls or ceilings where you want to install them. The sharp blade of the hobby knife makes precise cuts along the plaster core, creating a clean edge.

Please note that you do not have to cut the paper completely. Simply score the surface of the paper along the desired cut line, then gently bend the paper along the scored line and it will snap precisely along the line you scored with the knife. This method is especially useful when cutting larger pieces of drywall.

You'll also need a hobby knife to trim the edges of the drywall after hanging it if excess paper or plaster is protruding from the sides.

Holes for electrical outlets, switches, or other fixtures will also need to be punched in the drywall, and this can also be done easily with a hobby knife.




A T-rule is especially useful when cutting large pieces of material such as drywall, where the long arm of the T-rule is placed along the edge of the sheet and the vertical arm is used as a guide for the hobby knife or cutting tool.

This ensures that the cut line is perfectly perpendicular to the edge of the drywall, resulting in a clean, precise cut. While cutting is not necessary, the use of a T-angle ruler provides a consistent reference point for all cuts, thus ensuring consistency throughout the installation.


Drywall Saw


A drywall saw, also known as a jab saw or keyhole saw, is the ideal tool designed to cut holes and openings in drywall during or after installation.

It has a narrow blade with sharp teeth that makes it easy to cut through drywall to create openings for electrical distribution boxes, plumbing fixtures, access panels, attic entrances, or other entry points behind walls or ceilings.

You can also use it to create notches in drywall to accommodate obstructions such as pipes or ductwork.


Cordless electric drill


While you can use nails to secure drywall to studs and joists, it's often better and safer to use screws. Screws provide a better hold, so the drywall won't pull on walls or ceilings.

To drive these screws, you need a cordless drill. Screws are installed faster and more efficiently with a cordless drill than with a manual screwdriver.

Try using a cordless drill with an adjustable clutch setting so you don't over-tighten the screws and damage the drywall.


Drywall Screw Gun


The main purpose of a drywall screw gun is to simplify the process of attaching drywall panels to studs or ceiling joists by automating the screw-driving process.

While you can use a cordless drill to drive the screws, it's faster and more efficient to use a screw gun because with a screw gun and its accessories, you don't have to manually load the screws one by one.

All you have to do is secure the drywall in place, place the tip of the screw gun on the spot, and then screw in the screws, all in a single operation. Some screw guns come with an organizing screw box that eliminates the need to manually load screws into the tool for each installation.


Drywall hammers


Although it looks like a regular hammer, a drywall hammer has unique features that can help professionals and DIY enthusiasts deal with drywall effectively.

The first difference between it and a regular hammer is that it has a wider beveled edge so you won't easily miss nails when hammering and piercing drywall.

It also has a serrated surface which is also designed so that it does not slip when striking nails.

The drywall hammer also has an axe edge, so you can use the axe instead of a hobby knife to scribe the drywall wherever you want to cut and then fold it in half.


Drywall Lifter


A drywall lift is a device used to secure and lift heavy drywall panels from the floor to the desired height for installation on a wall or ceiling.

This eliminates the need for multiple people to manually hold and position heavy sheets. With an elevator, you really can do everything yourself, especially if you don't have anyone around you to work with or you want to reduce labor costs.

Most lifts are equipped with tilt and swivel mechanisms that allow you to adjust the angle and orientation of the drywall panels to make it easier to install in tight spaces or around obstacles.


II. Tape and Mud Tools


Drywall tape cutter


The process of taping and applying joint compound to seams, corners, and other imperfections in drywall surfaces is called "taping and mudding". You'll need a tape cutter to do both, to ensure that the compound is applied evenly and the tape is embedded properly.

A drywall tape knife or potty knife is a flat, flexible blade, usually made of stainless steel or any other flexible, durable material.

As I mentioned above, it's what you use to tape and apply joint compound on drywall selvages, corners, and other areas that need to be mudded.

They are used to feather the edges of the joint compound to create a smooth transition between the mudded area and the surrounding drywall, resulting in a seamless and flat finish.


Drywall Corner Tool


Drywall corner tools or trowels are specifically designed to apply joint compound (mud) to the inside and outside corners where two drywall surfaces meet.

There is an inside corner tool and an outside corner tool. Both are designed to create a seamless transition between adjacent drywall panels and provide a neat look to the inside and outside corners of walls and ceilings.


Drywall Tape


You will need drywall tape to cover and reinforce the joints between two adjacent panels. Without proper reinforcement, the joints between drywall panels may crack over time due to temperature changes, building movement and settling of the joint compound. Tape prevents these cracks from forming by providing additional support to the joints.

It also creates a flat and even surface on both panels by covering the joints and providing a consistent base for the application of the joint compound.


Mud Pan


The mud tray allows you to carry a small amount of joint compound with you so you don't have to keep reaching into a bucket.

It also helps minimize waste because it allows you to carry the right amount of joint compound for the task at hand. This reduces the likelihood of overloading your tools and wasting mud.

The raised edge of the mud pan also reduces the risk of spills, and the straight edge allows you to scrape off any mud left on the tape cutter.


Mud Mixer


As the name suggests, a mud mixer is used to mix jointing materials. It is often used in conjunction with an electric drill to mix joint compounds, ensuring that all ingredients are evenly combined and preventing lumps, bubbles, and other inconsistencies that can affect the finish or appearance of the joint compound when it is applied.


III. Finishing and Sanding Tools


Sanding Sponge


Sanding sponges are typically made of foam with an abrasive surface and come in a variety of grit sizes (roughness) to accommodate different stages of the finishing process.

You can use them to smooth and refine the surface of the joint compound applied in the taping and mudding process, allowing you to produce an even and seamless finish.

The pliable surface of sanding sponges makes it easy to sand inside and outside corners while maintaining a consistent angle.

They come in a variety of grit sizes, from coarse to fine. You can use the coarser grits for the initial sanding and smoothing phase, while the finer grits can be used to create a polished and smooth surface ready for priming and painting so you can get the professional finish you want.


Pole Sander


A pole sander consists of a sanding head attached to a retractable pole, allowing you to sand large, high areas without using a ladder or any type of scaffolding.

It is especially useful for sanding entire walls and ceilings in preparation for paint or other types of finishes you want to apply.

The pole sander can accommodate a wide range of grit sandpaper sizes, so you can get any surface quality you want.

Sanding drywall creates a lot of dust. That's why most pole sanders come with a built-in dust collection system or attachment so you can collect all of the dust that's generated, minimizing the amount of airborne dust in your workspace.


Texture Sprayer


Texture sprayers are only used to spray texture patterns on walls and ceilings to add visual interest or to cover imperfections, seams, or any other irregularities in the walls.


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