6 Drywall Cutting Tips

 - by Kate Miller

After spending all your money buying great quality drywall sheets, you do not want to make a mess by cutting your drywall the wrong way. Cutting drywall may seem straightforward, however, there are special techniques used to ensure that you get clean and neat cuts. You will need to cut drywall to fit over corners and unusual shapes. You will also need to cut drywall when installing it over fixtures such as sockets, ceiling bulbs, switches and smoke detectors among others. The following are some of the ways you can cut drywall so you do not end up wasting your drywall supplies.


One of the most important things you need to understand about cutting drywall is getting the right tools for the job. It will make it a whole lot easier to cut the material with fewer errors. Some of the important drywall cutting tools include T-square, utility knife, a keyhole saw, a 4-foot straight edge and a jigsaw. You will also need measuring tape and a pencil to measure and mark up the cuts before you start cutting. The utility knife is great for getting clean edges, which are much easier to mud compared to the ragged edges left by using a circular saw.

Another important thing to know about cutting drywall is knowing the difference between the front and back of the drywall sheet. Although both sides of the flat sheet may look the same, one side of the drywall is usually a different shade from the other. The lightest shade is usually the front as it is easy to paint over and get the desired color. The edges of the front side of the drywall sheet are also slightly recessed to make it easier to flush the tape for seamless joints.

There are three important parts to the drywall cutting process, the scoring, snapping and cutting. You first need to score the front paper, followed by folding and snapping the open sheet then you can cut through the paper on the back. These three basic steps can be used in variations for various cuts. When making electrical box openings, you can use the keyhole-type saw or a large coarse-tooth saw for longer cuts.

Measuring your cuts twice is advisable when working with drywall, as you should only aim to get one cut. It may take you a little more time to be done but it will be worth the few extra seconds to get an impeccable finish on your project. Write down all the measurements and mark them with your pencil. Ensure you measure both ends of the drywall since the drywall is not usually perfectly square. This is a crucial point to keep in mind when making cutouts in the drywall.

Finally, lay out the measured and marked drywall next to the wall or ceiling where it will be placed to ensure you get a proper visual on where the cuts need to go as accurately as possible.