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The Essential Drywall Tools List: 17 Different Types & Their Uses


essential-drywall-tools-list_2Hanging drywall isn’t difficult to do. There are certain tools you will need to put it up efficiently, though. When you mix up drywall mud, it only stays wet for so long, so make sure you have all the tools you need before you start the job. You won’t want to quit and give the mud time to dry out before you’re ready for it. We have put together a list of tools that you will need in hopes that you only have to make one trip to your favorite home improvement shop.divider 4

The 17 Different Types of Essential Drywall Tools

1. Utility Knife

utility knifeMost toolbags have at least one or two utility knives. They’re portable, they’re small, and they’re very sharp. Avoid craft style knives with snap-off blades and opt for those with interchangeable blades. This will prevent you from snapping your way through multiple blades and they are more secure and stable, so will provide greater stability while you work.

2. Tape Measure

tape measure

Any tape measure can be used to measure the size of drywall sheet that you will need. We recommend that you get one that is at least 12 feet long to enable you to measure longer walls.

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3. Drywall Knife

drywall knife

Drywall knives are the flat blades used to spread the joint compound or spackle over the seams to seal them. You may want to get a couple of different sizes to use, depending on how big your job is. The most common drywall knives range in length from six inches to 12 inches.

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4. Drywall Screws

drywall screwOnce upon a time, drywall was hung using nails and a hammer, but this is no longer the case. Specialist drywall screws get greater purchase in the drywall. Coarse thread screws are easier to use and most projects will use ⅝” lengths. You will usually use 32 drywall screws in each sheet of 4 x 8 drywall board.

5. Cordless Drill

cordless drillIt takes quite a few screws to hang a sheet of drywall. The quickest, easiest, and most efficient way to screw them all in is with a cordless drill. Cordless is preferred over corded, so you can just keep working without stopping to change electrical outlets.

6. Drywall Saw

drywall sawA drywall saw has a long thin blade with a handle on one end that is used to cut odd shapes into your drywall.

7. Drywall Square

drywall squareA drywall T-square has a full 48” length, which is longer than other types of T-squares. It can prove expensive, but it can also prove invaluable because the head sits neatly over the edge of the drywall and is long enough that it reaches the other end. It’s an expensive drywall tool, but it is an essential one.

8. Drywall Mud Pan

drywall mud panMud pans are inexpensive and invaluable. They are used to hold the mud while you transport it around. They’re available in multiple sizes and you should ensure that you buy one that is big enough without being overly cumbersome. Aluminum pans are lightweight which means that they can be shifted around easily while holding all the mud you’re going to use.

9. Drywall Sanding Sponges

drywall sanding spongeThough drywall sanding sponges work well for smoothing your walls, you don’t want to depend on them to do the whole job for you. They are best used for touch-ups only. The sanding process is one of the most tedious and time-consuming aspects of drywalling. It is, however, a very important step. As with any good sanding job, you should start out with an abrasive surface.

  • Abrasive

An abrasive sanding sponge looks like a kitchen sponge but is extremely coarse on one side and slightly less coarse on the other side.

  • Non-Abrasive

A non-abrasive sanding sponge has a smooth surface with no grit on one side and a very light grit on the other. Again, this is used for touching up your tape work only.

10. Dust Mask

dusk maskWearing a dust mask over your nose will keep you from inhaling the tiny dust particles into your lungs.

11. Drywall Corner Knife

drywall corner knifeAs well as the 4” or 6”, and the 12”, drywall knives, you can also buy a drywall corner knife. It is possible to complete the corners using your standard knives but it will be easier using a corner knife that is dedicated to the task.

12. Sanding Blocks

sanding blockYou will need something to smooth the rough spots over the seams once the drywall mud has dried. For smaller jobs, you can get handheld wood blocks with sandpaper on one side. You do need multiple grits from coarse down to fine. You don’t want to sand with the coarse and follow that directly with the fine, because the coarse will leave marks that the fine can’t sand out.

13. Pole Sander

pole sanderThe Pole Sander is really just a manual sander attached to the end of a pole. These serve two purposes. They can be used to reach the tops of walls and ceilings, without having to keep getting up and down ladders. They can also be used to cover large areas from a single spot, which makes them more convenient than blocks or sponges.

14. Corner Sander

corner sanderIf you’re using a sanding block, rather than a pole sander, then you may also want to buy a corner sander. These have a 90° angle that allows you to sand into the corner of walls or into the ceiling corner. You can get blocks that you use in hand or those that attach to the end of an extension pole for the ceiling.

15. Sanding Sheets

sanding sheetWhether you’re using a sanding pole or sanding blocks, you will need plenty of sanding sheets, especially for large jobs. The coarse sandpaper gets rid of large blocks and larges pieces of debris from the surface of the drywall once the job is complete. Fiberglass sandpaper is mesh-like in design, and this design allows dust to fall through the holes and prevent clogging.

  • Coarse Fiberglass

The coarser sanding sheets are used first to knock off the bigger pieces of dried drywall paste. They are made out of fiberglass and have large holes that the dust falls through. The sandpaper would gum up really fast if not for those open holes.

  • Ordinary-Looking Sandpaper

The finest of drywall sandpaper looks just like regular sanding paper that is used on wood. This is used to get rid of the last few rough spots and achieve a nice, smooth, seamless wall.

16. Jab Saw

jab sawWhether you’re using a sanding pole or sanding blocks, you will need plenty of sanding sheets, especially for large jobs. The coarse sandpaper gets rid of large blocks and larges pieces of debris from the surface of the drywall once the job is complete. Fiberglass sandpaper is mesh-like in design, and this design allows dust to fall through the holes and prevent clogging.

17. Drywall Lift

deywall lift

Putting up drywall is not difficult unless you try to do it on your own. If you have to do the job by yourself, spend the money to rent a drywall lift to lift your drywall sheets into place.


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Essential Drywall Tools

With these tools, you can more efficiently complete any drywall project, whether you are hanging a single sheet or completing a whole room. Some of the tools, like the drywall lift, may not be vital for all jobs, but if you do need one, you will struggle without.

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