SHEETROCK HANGING &
DRYWALL FINISHING TOOLS

An assortment of drywall finishing tools for (mudding/floating) and hanging (boarding) sheet-rock (drywall) are usually needed to do interior wall construction. Below I discuss the different types of dry-walling tools you can buy and how to use each specific tool, from doing repairs to texturing a complete start to finish drywalling project.

If on the other hand your looking for information related to drywalling. Hanging it for example, mudding drywall or sheetrocking, then use this drywalling/sheetrocking page to help you out.

All the tools below are in most cases designed for working with drywall (sheetrock).

When you see a drywall finishing tool that you would like to try ask your home improvement representative or tool rental agent for the dry-walling tool needed then describe what it will be used for.

As an example, you might want to ask for an electric cut out tool designed to remove the sheetrock where light switches or wall receptacle will be located.

Giving as much detail as possible regarding the project at hand helps you acquire the proper tools and having the appropriate tools gets the work done faster.


CUTTING TOOLS



DRYWALL CUTTING KNIFE
Utility knifes are usually one of the first drywall finishing tools a person buys. Utility knives work best to trim the drywall when hanging board and doing drywall repairs. Be sure to have a good sharp blade (1” wide or so) along with replacement blades on hand.


DRYWALL SAW
Hand held drywall saws are about a foot in length, have somewhat the same teeth as a regular wood type cross cut saw and tend to be tapered to a point on the end. Drywall saws look sort of like a fish filleting knife with sharp jagged teeth on the blade. A drywall saw is good for small jobs especially when cutting out around sections where a light switch or wall plug will be. If on the other hand your drywalling a room or larger area you might want to consider a few larger electric tools.


HOLE SAWS FOR AN ELECTRIC DRILL
Hole saws weren't made for cutting drywall but they do work well if you have them on hand. When cutting a round hole in drywall board a hole saw makes a nicer cut than other saws. You of course don’t want to go out and buy a hole saw just for your dry-walling project.


ELECTRIC CUT OUT TOOL
There is a tool made specifically made for cutting drywall board. It looks like a small router or Dremel with a special drill type bit as the cutter. Having an electric drywall cutter is a must if your doing a lot or drywall boarding and want to save some time.


HAND HELD WOOD SAW
A made for wood cross cut saw can be used to cut drywall board when dealing with larger pieces. With that said, if your doing an entire room then you may want to purchase a tool specifically made for cutting drywall.


JIG SAW
A good jig saw, especially one with adjustable speed is an excellent drywall cutting tool. Be sure to use the correct "sharp blade" in the saw (very course teeth). Having the correct blade will "cut down" on the drywalls paper from bunching tearing or ripping when you saw it.

I have seen electric circular saws along with table saws used to cut drywall but the amount of dust created is unbelievable, I wouldn't recommend cutting drywall board in this manner.


BOARD APPLICATION TOOLS



DRYWALL BOARD LIFT
A drywall board lift (or jack) is not an essential part of your drywall finishing tools. If your going to be applying sheet-rock to ceilings though then a lift would sure help.


MUD STIRRING TOOL
Some drywall mud needs stirring before application (including the premixed stuff). A drywall stirring tool fits into a hand held commercial drill and can look kind of like the stem from a milk shake maker only much bigger. If you need to stir some mud using a mud mixing tool with a top of the line drill gets your job done fast. Be sure the drill is made to handle the stress of stirring up the thick pudding like substance.


DRYWALL SCREW DRILL
For fast hanging of drywall board there are drills made that will hold screws like a machine gun holds bullets. If you are doing a larger size drywalling job check with your tool rental agent regarding a drywall screw drill.


HAMMER
Even though most drywall board is hung with screws, there are still a few who would rather use drywall nails and a hammer. When going the hammer and nail rout, make sure you hammer pushes the nails below the surface of the board (without breaking the paper on the drywall). Hamering below the papers surface leaves a divot and the divon needs to be filled with mud.


DRYWALL FINISHING TOOLS FOR MUDDING



TAPPING & MUDDING TOOL
Professionals use drywall finishing tools called Banjos or Bazookas that can apply both the mud and tape at the same time. For most jobs you will not need such a tool but if your interested you might want to check them out at your local tool rental agency.


MUDDING KNIVES (FLOATS)
Corner mudding knifes and other spatula type drywall finishing tools can range in different widths, shapes and sizes and are used to apply the drywall mud over holes and cracks or in the case of deeper larger crevices with drywall tape.

When it comes to using mudding knives the only way to get good with them is practice also, start out by applying less mud letting it dry, do a light sanding then apply more mud. Keep applying layers of mud and sanding until your happy with the results.


TROWEL
Some professional drywaller like to use trowels (the concrete type) as drywall finishing tools when apply mud. A trowel is much faster in the right hands than a regular mudding knife. Those who are in-experienced will most likely find that different sizes of mudding knives starting with the smallest knife for the first coat, medium sized on the second and the widest knife for the last coating will work best.


HAWK
When drywallers talk about hawks it's not the kind that flys around a room. A drywall hawk is about 16" BY 16" square made of flat metal and has a handle at the bottom. By holding the handle you will have a plate to place your wet mud onto. Using your drywall knife remove some of the mud from the hawk and apply it to the walls.

Some drywaller prefer a long ( bread pan type) tin container that is a little wider than the widest mudding knife but skinny enough to hold with one hand.


OTHER DRYWALL FINISHING TOOLS



ELECTRIC LIGHTING
Use an electric light such as the type for automotive repair helps you to see scratches, holes and divots in the drywall board once the mud is dry. A good bright light held close to the walls will more than likely show a number of areas that need touching up along with drying, sanding and priming.


Priming the drywall board with drywall primer, then letting the primer dry, before checking the wall finish with a light should help you find a number of imperfections to repair, sand and re-prime.


WALL SANDERS
Always wear a dust mask when sanding, texturing or cleaning up drywall dust. Pole sanders, hand sanders and spounge sanders are the only tools you will need for your drywall sanding project. Use electric sanders on drywall mud sparingly. There's a drywall finishing tool that's a wall sander and attach's to your shop vacuum but I have never used one and have not seen a dry-waller use them either so I would not be able to give you an opinion on how well they work.


SHOP VACUUM
Vacuum cleaners designed for construction pick up drywall dust better than your house vacuum. Home vacuums are not for the most part made to suck up tiny little dust particles. Also, when used to do so, could actually damage your vacuum. Your better off to sweep up the dust with a broom and dust pan along with damp moping, rather than operating your house vacuum.


TEXTURE HOPPER
Drywall finishing tools for apply splatter, knock down or popcorn to ceilings and walls with the help of an air compressor are called texture hoppers. When texturing talk to your tool rental agency and start by texturing a room that you don’t mind practicing on.

Different hoppers, compressors, environmental conditions and texture can give an assortment of finishes. By starting with a room that you don't mind screwing up "the garage for instance", you will have a better idea as to whether you still want to do the rest of your home.


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