How to Cut Drywall at Home with a Knife

Many align the house walls and ceiling with drywall. Fast, convenient, perfectly smooth. But the sheets are large and do not always fit exactly. Or you have to make a hole for a socket, a lamp, attach a small piece.

How to Cut Drywall at Home with a Knife

Professionals for cutting have special power tools, but they are always indecently expensive. What should ordinary people do? How to cut drywall at home? In fact, it is not as scary as it is thought. If desired, everything is quite doable in a few minutes. And the most popular tools will be needed.


Preparatory work is very fast. First, tools are selected so as not to run around in searches. You will need:

  1. Tape measure, building meter or ruler.
  2. A simple pencil, a nail, a self-tapping screw. Any item that leaves a visible mark.
  3. Knife. Office or construction (it is more reliable).
  4. Hacksaw. Preferably narrow, but with a hard blade. You can take intended for cutting knots.
  5. Hammer. The most common.
  6. Special Planer. Easily replaced with a file or medium-sized sandpaper.
  7. Drill. If there is a special nozzle-mill for it, it will be wonderful.

Then the sheet of drywall is laid on a flat surface. For example, on the floor. Specialists can cut drywall on weight, for beginners we do not recommend this technique. It is fraught with damage to the material.

If there is no space on the floor (this happens during the repair), then the sheet is placed on two stools. Strictly the same in height. And proceed.

Description of the cutting process

Measure the desired distance with a tape measure. A pencil is drawn with a simple pencil. Everyone will double-check again, because there will be no possibility to fix the work.

Then they take a clerical knife and cut the cardboard along the marking line. If there are doubts about the hardness of the hand, then you can cut along the guide. It is very convenient for this to use the rest of the profile for wall mounting or a long building level. Sometimes one effort is not enough, after all, drywall is quite durable material. Then cut through several times.

Do not immediately strive to cut drywall with a knife. It’s impossible. There is a hammer for such work. All that is needed is that several times it can be slightly struck at the place of the cut from the back of the sheet. The gypsum base will safely crack exactly along the cut line.

All that remains is to turn the sheet over and cut the second layer of cardboard with a knife. All is ready.

Video: How to Cut Drywall at Home with a Knife

For a better joint of the pieces, the place of the cut must be cleaned. Sometimes there are quite large notches. Aesthetically, they do not interfere, because anyway the place of the seam will be putty. But the accuracy of the connection can be affected.

Chamfering. this is the name of this procedure. It is easy to execute with sandpaper or large file. But we recommend purchasing a special planer for milking such purposes. over, it costs very democratically.

The sections are cleaned with smooth movements, without strong pressure. Do not try to achieve perfect smoothness. It is enough to remove large rags.

Someone will ask: why was a hacksaw needed? For cutting through holes. After all, they simply cannot be knocked out with a hammer. Practice shows that a sheet of drywall breaks anywhere, but not by marking. For through holes, the execution technique is somewhat different.

A hole of such a size is drilled in the sheet along the marking line so that the hacksaw blade enters. Then, with the same hacksaw, three sides of a square or rectangle are cut out. The fourth side can not be sawed. It is enough to cut cardboard with a knife on one side, and then knock out an unnecessary piece with a hammer. Cardboard on the other hand is also cut with a knife.

In the same way, angular squares and rectangles are cut out in drywall. Saw one side with a hacksaw, the second with a knife and a hammer.

Tip. There will be very few notches at the incision site if you hold the knife or hacksaw perpendicular to the drywall sheet. The lower the blade tilts, the larger the tatter will be in consequence.

How to cut a circle in drywall

If at hand there is a drill with a special nozzle, then small round holes are drilled very simply. The cutter is pressed to the sheet strictly perpendicularly, then the drill is turned on and slowly squeezed from above. The result is a bit dusty, but perfectly smooth.

Round holes or lines of complex configuration (waves, patterns) cannot be made with a drill. Here you have to act with a hacksaw on the principle of cutting out an internal piece. Drill the fishing line, insert the canvas. Then they saw it on the drawing.

Naturally, such work is inconvenient on the floor. You can put drywall on the table so that the cut point protrudes beyond the edge of the countertop.

Some craftsmen cut a round hole in the cardboard with a knife, and then knock it out in the usual way. Beginners are not advised to try to repeat a similar procedure. Without proper skills in drywall, an ugly break with torn edges is obtained instead of a perfect circle.

Tip. Do not try to cut openwork mesh or a complex pattern with thin lines in drywall. The material may simply not stand. The sheet is durable only with a large pattern of wide lines.

Useful Tips

  1. Some manage to cut drywall at home with an angle grinder. We do not recommend doing this. There will be a lot of noise and gypsum dust. With a simple knife and hammer it turns out much cleaner and more accurate. Yes, and do not need to get somewhere personal protective equipment and the ability to work with power tools.
  2. Excellent patterns for marking circles are glasses, plates and lids from pans. Just pick the right size and draw the line of the circle. This is the case when there is no compass at hand.

How to cut drywall at home? Very simple. Accurate measurement and a steady hand. these are the main components of notorious success. And you will succeed.