Cutting Drywall: The Basic Techniques Shared in 2020

drywall cutting

Drywall boundary is often covered with tape, and joint compounds, so accurate measurement needs to be done when cutting drywall. It’s not so difficult to manage; you only need the right tools and techniques for cut drywall like a professional.

Your perfect cutting can make the sheets fit and tape together without any hassle. Learn more here if you want to choose the best drywall cutout tool.

So, here is our recommended list of Best Drywall Cutout Tools:

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Drywall Screw Gun & Cut-out Tool Combo Kit (DCK263D2)
244 Reviews
DEWALT 20V MAX XR Drywall Screw Gun & Cut-out Tool Combo Kit (DCK263D2)
  • DEWALT brushless motor in both units that delivers up to maximum run time
  • Li-Ion batteries with fuel gauge provide 33% more capacity over standard packs
  • ScrewGun offers maximum speed and control and high torque capability for wide range of applications
  • Cut-out Tool offers a 26,000 RPM motor, with tool-free bit change
  • LED light on both tools
DEWALT 20V MAX Drywall Cut-Out Tool Kit (DCS551D2)
74 Reviews
DEWALT 20V MAX Drywall Cut-Out Tool Kit (DCS551D2)
  • Delivers 26,000rpm Speed
  • Tool-free Bit Change
  • Dust-sealed Switch
  • Collet Diameter: 1/4", 1/8" in, Tool Length: 10-7/8" in
  • 26,000 RPM motor
Makita XT255R 18V LXT Lithium-Ion COMPACT Cordless 2-Pc. Combo Kit (2.0Ah)
35 Reviews
Makita XT255R 18V LXT Lithium-Ion COMPACT Cordless 2-Pc. Combo Kit (2.0Ah)
  • Drywall screwdriver with BL motor delivers 0-4, 000 RPM to handle a variety of drywall and framing applications
  • Push drive technology – in lock-on mode the motor starts only when the fastener is engaged for a quieter work environment and to save battery power
  • Extreme protection technology (XPT) is engineered to provide increased dust and water resistance in harsh job site conditions
  • The BL Brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL motor to run cooler and more efficiently for longer life
  • Efficient BL Brushless motor is electronically controlled to optimize battery energy use for up to 50% longer run time per charge

Related Post: Best Air/Pneumatic Tools List.

Cutting Drywall: The Basic Techniques

Cutting Drywall Faster with Less Waste

You can hear many stories about cutting Drywall, and some people fail to do it correctly. The story is mostly about cutting being messy and dusty. Drywall cutting is the easiest and cleanest way of all.

A person who loves to do DIY work, he/she can know the basics of how to cut Drywall without any problems. Drywall’s breaking mistake will cost up to a few bucks.

So, it would help if you were doing this by yourself and save 30 cents or more per sq. Ft., which the workers usually charge for this easy work!


Beware of tripping sheets because they can do damage to living beings or even kill someone. Inhaling the dust may cause serious lung problems because Drywalling is often dusty. Workers who have metastasis conditions can face worsened health problems.

Cutting to Length and Width

  1. Lean the Drywall and use a sharp knife to tear off the paper strip. Then flip the front so that its finished sides are toward the room. Be sure the edge of the top is leaned against the framing. Align the sheet then mark the length of the Drywall.
  2. While using your knife to cut the Drywall, you can use 4-foot T-square as a guide.
  3. Draw with the knife along the ruler in 1 slash from one side to the other.
  4. Break the core by using your knee.
  5. Cut the back from both up and down through the paper crease on the backside.
  6. Smoothen the rough edges with the surform rasp.
  7. Cut the Drywall in thin strips smaller than 3 inches.
  8. Rip sheets to length with a utility knife. Widen the sheet by pulling the knife before the 4-ft. Square.
  9. Lay the sheet on the floor, then cut the opening with a lower punch, and cut the back of it.

You should maintain a proper schedule for hanging Drywall. When you are hanging Drywall, there are more important things than saving cash.

The most robust and most crucial part of Drywalling is taping. Taping saves time and energy. If your Drywalls have poor cuts or significant gaps, then you’ll end up using the saved money all over again. So, do these steps carefully.

The score, Snap, and Cut

About ninety percent of cuts for Drywall is made with these necessary steps: first paper scoring, folding, and snapping the sheets and cutting through the paper measurements.

You’ll use different types of themes for every cut. For small cuts, a keyhole saw is used. More substantial cuts are done with Drywall rip saw around doors.

Working with Drywall Hanging

Drywall is known as plasterboard, sheetrock, gypsum board, etc. This Drywall is a strong and highly fire-resistant wall sheet. When you score the paper and cut it, the gypsum board breaks cleanly in line.

If you are scoring with a utility knife, use medium pressure and make a sign. When the blade stops perfect cutting, and the paper begins to tear from the score, then you need to change the dull blades into sharp ones.

Here a few tips for hanging Drywall:

  1. Before starting on the walls, you got to swing all parallel exteriors, such as ceilings.
  2. Make the complicated arrangement with the sheets by laying them flat on the floor.
  3. Get another person to help to hold the sheet while you cut it.
  4. Start cutting the sheets in length, not in width. It’ll save wastage.
  5. Use 12-ft long sheets to avoid hassle with the sheets in your room, and you’ll have fewer links to tap only.

Don’t create many joints, particularly base joints; those are difficult to tape.

Cutting Door and Window Openings

When you’re about to cut window and door openings, your trimming should cover a minimum of 1 inch of the surrounding Drywall. To keep the Drywall in place when cutting, you have to nail it over wall openings, if possible. Take the score of the backside on the top of the framing and saw all the gaps. You can use a top-rated framing nailer for this.

You have to use a router between the installed Drywall. Add the back part of the Drywall by the head of the frame. Slash and follow the crease as you break the flap upwards.

If you put tight joints in the Drywall, it will result in broken edges. Doing wider as tolerances while trimming can make things easier. But if outside corners get a metal bead, then the Drywall joints should be overlapped. Don’t use the taped edge of the Drywall, which connects to the edge bead.

Here Are Some Tips for the Cutting Door and Window Openings

Always span openings with one piece of Drywall. Joints that fall in line with the perimeters of openings are prone to stress cracks. It’s best to settle joints that result in an adverse impact in the center opening. It’s also challenging to use tape joints in the wood trim.

Use your 4-ft squares to hang the Drywall to mark the centers framing members. Then you’ll have a small number of studs and joints.

In Conclusion

Cutting Drywall may seem easy, but making the cuts on the Drywall may be quite a difficult task to complete if you don’t follow the right technique.

So, follow the tips mentioned above and make the challenge easier while getting your desired results efficiently. If you have any queries or suggestions, let us know by commenting here. Happy drywall cutting.

About the author

John Paterson

Hi there! My name is John Patterson. I’m a meticulous guy who loves to deal with the perfect tools for various needs. No matter if it’s a woodworking tool or gardening tool or anything else, I don’t compromise the quality and usability. Since 2010 I’ve been testing different tools for different DIY and professional tasks. Later in 2015, I decided to share my knowledge with the world. I started by answering people in the forums and several Q/A sites like Quora. Then I founded this blog to aid others like you with my knowledge and experience.