9 Essential Drywall Tools
Taking on a home drywall project requires attention to detail, ample preparation, and an assortment of specialized tools. You’ll likely have some of the tools you need, but there will be many left for you to rent or buy. Choosing to rent can save you money, and give you direct access to experts who know which tools you need — and which ones you don’t.
If you’re ready to find “drywall tool rental near me” or “sheetrock tool rental near me”, use the Rental Store Quick Locator above. Be sure to talk with local rental store professionals about your project to ensure you find the best tools for the job. If you need a little more information about drywall tools before getting started, we have that for you, as well.
- Drywall saw – Expect there to be obstacles to work around, making a drywall saw a necessity. It helps you cut odd or small shapes out of the drywall for things like electrical outlets or HVAC vents.
- Electrical drill – A cordless drill will be your best friend when hanging drywall. Each sheet takes a number of screws to properly secure it to the studs so you’ll be using a drill often.
- Drywall lift – This handy device allows you to raise the sheet of the drywall into place along a wall or ceiling without additional assistance — leaving your hands free to attach the screws.
- Taping knife – Flat-blade taping knives are indispensable drywall tools used to spread joint compound (also known as drywall mud) and spackle over seams to create a smooth finish. Note that they are different from putty knives you may already have on hand. Taping knives are available in multiple sizes as specific sizes work better for certain actions. Stock up on a few to find what works best.
- Mud pans – Drywall mud pans are simple, inexpensive, and easy to come by. The best tip is to buy one that’s medium-sized, big enough to hold mud, but not too difficult to move around.
- Banjo – Another convenient device, the drywall banjo speeds up the process of taping drywall seams tremendously.
- T-square– A drywall-specific T-square is 48 inches long, ensures perfect 90-degree angles, and essential for working with drywall panels. Why? Panels are 48 inches wide and the T-square can reach that full width. This is one tool you don’t want to go without.
- Corner knife – Corner work can be cumbersome, but specialized knives with a 90-degree angle can make drywall corner work much easier.
- Utility knife – This is a tool you might already own, but it’ll come in handy for hanging drywall. Use a utility knife with interchangeable blades for greater strength and stability.
Frequently asked questions
What do I need to mud and tape drywall?
There are a number of tools you’ll need to complete a DIY drywall project, many of which are mentioned above. Other tools you might need include a spackle tool, drywall scraper, or drywall spatula, tape measure, step stool, safety glasses, and sanding blocks. Materials such as drywall panels and drywall screws are also necessary.
Is a drywall cutout tool worth it?
It may not be worth buying a drywall cutout tool if you only plan to use it for one project. A more economical option would be to rent it. Of course, if you are going to drywall an entire home over a longer time frame, it’s likely worth it to buy.
Is it better to use sheetrock nails or screws?
Screws provide a stronger hold but are a bit more costly than nails. You may be able to use nails depending on the size of the project and the materials you are using. If you can swing it, use screws over nails — at least on ceilings or when attaching to metal studs or frames. Screws will ensure a final product that’s made to last.
If you’re on the fence about renting a drywall saw or drywall lift, your local, ARA-affiliated, rental store can provide pricing and guidance to help you make a decision. To locate your nearest drywall mud tool rental, use the Rental Store Quick Locator above.