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>Home >Basement_construction >How to cut drywall (the basics)

How to cut drywall (the basics)

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After spending hours and hours cutting hundreds of 2x4s for your framing, cutting drywall is a piece of cake! Here's how:

What you'll need:

  • Carpenter's knife (with plenty of spare blades)
  • Drywall rasp (to smooth rough edges)
  • Drywall T-Square
  • Several sharp pencils
  • A smooth, flat surface.
Assorted drywall saws and a drywall lift
A variety of drywall saws are a necessity when cutting drywall

How to cut drywall
(the basics)

1. Using a tape measure (or drywall square) and pencil (never use a pen- the ink will 'bleed through') mark the front of the drywall at the appropriate length.

2. Firmly butt the end of your T-square along the edge of the drywall. Hold the square in place with your knee.

3. Using a sharp carpenter's knife score the front of the drywall along the edge of the square. Cut along the 'factory edge' of the drywall whenever possible. This will ensure a straight cut every time.

Caution: It might go without saying, but BE CAREFUL when cutting! It's easy to get careless when you're doing cut after cut. One slip, and you'll be heading to the hospital for stitches.

4. Bend the drywall back to break it along the cut.

5. From the back of the sheet, carefully cut the back paper. Be careful not to tear the paper (or slice your finger).

6. If necessary, use a drywall rasp to sand down any high spots.

Drywall cutting tip: Use the rasp only if you absolutely need it. It's very messy, and the edge doesn't need to be perfect. The only time you should need to do this is if you're only cutting an inch or two off of a sheet. In these instances, the drywall doesn't seem to break as cleanly.

Next, see these sections:

How to hang drywall - A step-by-step guide to hanging drywall.
Hanging drywall - Drywall installation tips.
How to cut around openings and outlets - For cutting around switch boxes, outlets, light fixtures and other tricky areas.


Construction Topics

Tools you'll need

The 3-4-5 rule

How to frame a wall

How to attach walls

How to install insulation

Drywall estimating

How to hang drywall: Step-by-step

How to cut drywall

How to cut around outlets and openings

Drywall installation tips

How to frame a door

How to trim a door to fit

How to finish a door

How to frame around poles

How to finish drywall

How to sand drywall

Tips for buying, finishing, & installing baseboard molding

How to fix squeaky floors

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