Becoming proficient in the skill of precisely slicing drywall is crucial for DIY enthusiasts and professional contractors. Regardless if you are installing new drywall or making repairs, understanding how to correctly make cuts is vital.

The first step in cutting drywall is to measure and mark the area that needs to be cut. Once the area is marked, the next step is to score the drywall. This can be done using a utility knife or a drywall saw.

After the drywall is scored, it can be snapped along the score line. Finally, the backside of the drywall can be cut to complete the process.

How to Cut Drywall

Tools and materials needed

Cutting drywall requires a few specific tools and materials. In this section, we’ll go over the essential items needed to cut drywall.

Measuring tools

Before cutting drywall, it’s important to measure the area accurately to ensure a precise cut. The following measuring tools are necessary:

  • Tape measure: A tape measure is essential for measuring the length and width of the drywall sheet accurately.
  • Pencil: A pencil is used to mark the measurements on the drywall sheet.
  • Drywall T-square: A drywall T-square is a tool used to draw straight lines on the drywall sheet. It is crucial for making accurate cuts.

Cutting tools

After measuring the area, it’s time to cut the drywall sheet. The following cutting tools are necessary:

  • Utility knife: A utility knife is the most common tool used for cutting drywall. It is perfect for making small cuts and precise cuts around outlets and switches.
  • Keyhole saw: A keyhole saw is a hand saw with a long, narrow blade used for cutting small areas of drywall.
  • Jab saw: A jab saw is a hand saw with a pointed tip used for making rough cuts in drywall.
  • Rotary tool: A rotary tool is a versatile power tool that can be used to cut drywall. It is perfect for cutting small holes and making precise cuts.
  • Reciprocating saw: A reciprocating saw is a powerful tool that can be used to make rough cuts in drywall. It is ideal for cutting large sections of drywall quickly.

Safety equipment

Cutting drywall can create a lot of dust and debris. It’s important to wear the following safety equipment to protect yourself:

  • Dust mask: A dust mask is essential for protecting your lungs from drywall dust.
  • Safety glasses: Safety glasses protect your eyes from flying debris.
  • Gloves: Gloves protect your hands from cuts and scrapes.

With these essential tools and materials, cutting drywall can be a straightforward process.

Preparation steps

Before cutting drywall, it’s important to prepare the work area and have the necessary tools and materials on hand. This section will cover the preparation steps, including measuring the drywall and marking the cut lines.

Step 1: Measuring the drywall

Measuring the Drywall

The first step in preparing to cut drywall is to measure the area where the drywall will be installed. Use a tape measure to measure the height and width of the wall or ceiling.

Make sure to account for any openings, such as windows or doors, by measuring their height and width as well.

Once you have the measurements, transfer them to the drywall using a straightedge and a pencil. Make sure to mark both the front and back of the drywall to ensure accurate cuts.

Step 2: Marking the cut lines

Marking the Cut Lines

After measuring the drywall, the next step is to mark the cut lines. Use a straightedge and a pencil to mark the cut lines on the front of the drywall. If you need to make any openings, such as for electrical boxes or light fixtures, mark those as well.

Once the cut lines are marked, use a utility knife to score the front paper of the drywall along the cut lines. Be sure to apply enough pressure to cut through the paper but not the drywall itself.

After scoring the front paper, snap the drywall along the cut lines by folding it back and applying pressure to the back of the drywall. Finally, use a utility knife to cut through the paper on the back of the drywall to complete the cut.

Cutting techniques

When it comes to cutting drywall, there are a few techniques that can be used to ensure a clean and precise cut. Whether you are cutting straight lines, curved lines, or holes, there are specific methods that can be used to achieve the desired result.

Cutting straight lines

Cutting Straight Lines

Using a utility knife

One of the most common techniques for cutting straight lines in drywall is to use a utility knife. To use this method, measure the length of the cut and mark it on the drywall using a pencil.

Then, use a straight edge or T-square to guide the knife along the line, applying enough pressure to score the paper layer of the drywall. Once the paper layer is scored, snap the drywall along the line to break the gypsum core.

Finally, use the knife to cut through the remaining paper layer on the back of the drywall.

Using a drywall saw

Another technique for cutting straight lines is to use a drywall saw. This method is best suited for longer cuts that cannot be made with a utility knife.

To use a drywall saw, mark the length of the cut on the drywall and then use the saw to cut along the line, applying enough pressure to cut through the paper and gypsum core of the drywall.

Cutting curved lines

Cutting curved lines in drywall requires a bit more finesse than cutting straight lines.

Using a fine-tooth blade

One method for cutting curves is to use a jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade.

To use this method, mark the curve on the drywall and then use the jigsaw to cut along the line, applying enough pressure to cut through the paper and gypsum core of the drywall.

Using a keyhole saw

Another technique for cutting curves is to use a keyhole saw. This method is best suited for smaller curves that cannot be cut with a jigsaw.

To use a keyhole saw, mark the curve on the drywall and then use the saw to cut along the line, applying enough pressure to cut through the paper and gypsum core of the drywall.

Cutting holes in drywall

Cutting holes in drywall requires a different technique than cutting straight or curved lines.