Drywall is one of the most basic construction projects you can do in your house.
And yet, so many people don’t know the first thing about doing it.
I’m speaking from experience here.
Until I really got my hands dirty, I didn’t know a corner knife from a butter knife. But with lots of practice and a little bit of help along the way, I was able to learn more. In fact, I’ve even drywalled my garage.
You, too, can learn more about drywall and become a successful DIY master.
The first step is having the right drywall installation tools in your toolbox, and the drywall tools list is here for you below.
Any handy, DIY kind of person likely already has a utility knife on his workbench. But, on the off chance that you don’t, it’s time to get one. Utility knives are not only crucial for drywall, but they’re handy for a wide range of other projects as well.
Most commonly, we use utility knives for cutting pieces of drywall. You can also use it to cut tape, shave off excess pieces, or cut down on little bumps that you missed for a smooth edge. You can also use a utility knife to create butt joints.
I’d recommend not using snap-off blades, as they can negatively impact your stability. A high-quality retractable or fixed blade will do just fine.
- 2-in-1 tool with a standard blade + Jab saw
- Reinforced metal end to knock out drywall pieces and to finish sinking screws and nails
- Internal storage capacity for two additional blades
- Full lifetime warranty
When dealing with drywall, you must have a real drywall knife. A drywall knife is a flat blade that allows you to apply drywall mud smoothly and seamlessly. This tool makes it easier to cover the seams of your drywall pieces.
Drywall knives are similar to putty knives, but their flat blades make it easier to achieve the smooth finish you need. You can get this kind of knife in a wide range of sizes to cater to your specific project.
Drywall knives have proven to me time and time again that they are functional throughout the drywall process, including during taping, coating, and mixing.
I always recommend having two different saws during a drywall project: the drywall saw and the jab saw.
The first is the drywall saw. This saw boasts a long, thin blade that’s designed specifically for cutting drywall. You can saw through pieces and create the exact shape and size that you need with great precision.
These saws usually have comfortable handles that give you a sturdy, ergonomic grip, making them ideal for tough jobs.
- 5 Inch Blade with triple ground teeth for smooth, fast, effortless cutting.
- Extra secured blade to handle assembly for safety.
- Ergonomic Handle with Anti-Slip Super Grip Handle
The second saw you should have in your repertoire of drywall tools is the jab saw. Jab saws are similar to drywall saws, except that they are thicker with coarser teeth.
The name says it all: jab saws were made for jabbing drywall. The front tip is just sharp enough to allow you to push it through a piece of drywall whenever you need to start a cut from the inside. You can hit the end with your hand or a hammer to push it through, and the coarse teeth are great for sawing.
Consider using a jab saw whenever you need to make a square for outlets or light fixtures.
Drywall Corner Tool
It’s possible to complete corners of drywall in a room using your drywall knife, but a drywall corner tool makes the task easier and far less frustrating.
Drywall corner tools are uniquely shaped with 90-degree angles so that you can seamlessly mud the corners of walls or the ceiling. The thin metal is similar to a traditional drywall knife, so it’s familiar to use.
They usually have ergonomic handles that make them easy to maneuver. Remember, the goal of this product is to make your job simpler, not more complicated.
Whenever you’re working on a drywall project, you should always measure. Then measure again. Measure a third time, to be sure.
Because if you get your sizing wrong, you’re going to regret it.
And what’s the best tool for measuring drywall? A tape measure is, of course!
There are tons of tape measures on the market, so I won’t even attempt to tell you which one is the best. Just be sure to get a tape measure that goes at least as far as 12 feet. Most household bedrooms are between 10-12 feet long, so it’s a good idea to have enough tape to extend that far.
These days, there are tape measures that go much further than 12 feet. You may even need one, depending on the size of your project. Keep in mind that you don’t just have to measure your drywall pieces, but you also need an accurate gauge of the space you’re working on.
I prefer a locking tape measure that keeps the tape in place after you pull it out. That way, it doesn’t snap on me or loses my place. However, this is a personal preference and you can decide if a nicer tape measure is worth it.
- BladeArmor coating on the first 6-inch maximizes durability of hook end
- 11-foot tape standout; 16-inch and 19.2-inch stud center markings simplify framing jobs
- Mylar polyester film extends the life of the entire blade; stainless steel wearplate protects case
- Heat-treated spring provides long life and smooth blade recoil
N-95 Dust Mask
Working with drywall can be a messy business. One of the biggest contributors to the inevitable mess is dust from sanding. This makes an N-95 mask an essential item to include on your drywall tools list.
Dust in and of itself isn’t a huge deal. After all, there will be plenty of time for cleanup once the job is complete. But it’s a good idea to wear an N-95 dust mask to protect you from inhaling the dust particles in the meantime.
Take it from someone who has had their fair share of coughing fits – it’s something to consider.
Below, we’ll talk a little bit about the importance of drywall screws. And whenever you need screws, it’s helpful to have a drill on hand.
When you’re working with drywall, it’s easiest to use a cordless drill. Putting up drywall involves fastening it into place using drywall screws, typically in several places on the board. When you use a drill with a cord, things can get tangled very quickly.
A quality 12V or 18V cordless drill will serve you well. Make sure you have a couple of battery packs so you can keep one on the charger at all times. Doing this is a great way to avoid unwanted breaks in your workflow.
- Compact, lightweight design that fits into tight areas
- High performance motor delivers 300 unit watts out (UWO) of power
- High speed 20V drill delivers 2 speeds (0-450 and 1,500 rpm)
- 1/2-inch single sleeve ratcheting chuck provides tight bit gripping strength
When you’re hanging drywall, you can’t use just any old box of screws that you have lying around your workbench. You must use drywall screws only on drywall – I cannot stress this enough.
Drywall is pretty fragile. Using the wrong screws can destroy it or give you a lousy grip. Drywall screws are coarser and create better traction. They screw into studs seamlessly and work well without pilot holes.
Make sure you have plenty of screws on hand in the right size. Common lengths include 1-inch, 1 ¼-inch, and 2-inch, but you can find plenty of other sizes. The size you need will depend on the thickness of your drywall sheets.
Most people use ½-inch drywall in their home projects, which means you should grab 1 ¼ to 1 ⅝-inch drywall screws.
Avoid using drywall nails. Drywall nails were once commonly used to hang drywall, so you may discover them in your home if it’s an older construction.
Stick to screws – they work better, trust me.
There are tons of different straight edges and squares you can purchase at your local hardware store. They’re so common that you might already own one. However, a drywall T-square is a different story and it’s often worth the extra cost.
A T-square is a whopping 48-inches long. Why is this significant? Because 48 inches is the average width of a sheet of drywall. When you use a drywall T-square, you can use it to cut across the whole width with a steady, straight line.
Most T-bars have an average 90-degree head, but more expensive ones come with an adjustable head to give you different angles. Depending on the types of projects you’re involved in, it’s something you should check off on your drywall tools list.
- Anodized aluminum finish
- Sliding head adjusts to any angle
- Folds for easy storage
- ABS end caps with ledge: hands free hold, won't flip
Drywall Sanding Sponges
No matter how careful you are with your first round of sanding, there’s always going to be room for touch-ups. That’s where your drywall sanding sponges come in.
Drywall sanding sponges are exactly what they sound like. They’re essentially sponges covered with a thin layer of sandpaper.
The flexible block isn’t going to be able to handle the whole sanding job, but it does a really good job of getting those tiny little spots that you’ve missed along the way.
Drywall Mud Pan
No drywall project is complete without a drywall mud pan. A mud pan is what you use to hold your drywall mud during the mudding process.
Whether you’re using premixed mud or powder mud and water, you need a mud pan to carry along with you. Mud pans are long and thin, making them the perfect size for your drywall knife. Other containers make it difficult to get the mud out, so you’ll be thankful you got one of these plastic containers.
Sanding is one of my least favorite parts of the job – but it’s entirely necessary for a job well done. One of the best ways to sand down your drywall mud is by using sanding blocks.
Many workers prefer sanding blocks over sanding sheets or sandpaper because the thick block gives you a better grip and more control. It’s easier to glide the block over a large service while still getting the precision you need in other areas.
Sanding blocks can be just that: blocks with sandpaper. Some come with a handle attached, which can give you a nicer grip for a more comfortable process.
Any drywall project is bound to hand you some difficult spots to reach. You can climb up on a ladder and awkwardly sand that top corner or even the ceiling, or you can get yourself a pole sander.
A pole sander is basically just a piece of sandpaper attached to a long pole. The extra length helps you reach high places and can also help you cover a large spot faster than you would with a handheld sander.
Sanding precisely is so important. It will determine how the final look of your wall or ceiling is going to turn out. If something isn’t sanded well, you’ll see it after you paint.
One area that often gets poor treatment is the corners.
Corner sanders feature a sharp 90-degree angle so you can sand right in that tough spot. Many corner sanders are hand-held, while others attach to extension poles. They’re great for reaching the high points where the wall meets the ceiling as well as the corners where walls come together.
Sanding sheets are an absolute necessity for many jobs, but certainly for drywall projects. You can use sanding sheets as they are by hand, but you’ll also need them if you’re going to use sanding blocks or sanding poles to replace them as you go.
Sanding sheets are great because you can get a few different coarseness levels for a fine-tuned finish. Coarse sheets are great for the initial sanding of dried mud, while a finer sheet lets you achieve the smooth, flat surface you need to paint.
A drywall lift is a heavy-duty tool that’s essential for big projects. If your only goal is to place that hole that your son punched in the wall, then you probably don’t need one of these babies. But if you’re rebuilding a whole room or drywalling your entire garage as I did, a drywall lift can become your best friend.
A drywall lift is a metal contraption on wheels that holds and lifts large pieces of drywall into place. They’re used for placing drywall on the ceiling and holding them there so your hands are free to drill the pieces in.
If you’re not committed to buying one of these pieces of equipment, you can usually rent one from your local hardware store.
- Sturdy welded steel construction with powder coating
- 4" Caster Wheels For Easy Rolling
- Hoist tilting for ceilings and walls
- Built-in winch with brake
- Foot Stops To Keep The Lift In Place For Safety
- Easy assembly and disassemble no tools required