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

Last Updated on May 18, 2020

Hanging 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.

1. Utility Knife

A utility knife is used to score the drywall before cutting it so you have something to follow to get an even cut.

utility knife

2. 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.

tape measure

3. Drywall Knife

Drywall knives are the flat blades used to spread the drywall mud 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.

drywall knife

4. Drywall Screws

The most efficient way to secure drywall is with drywall screws. All screws have different-sized threads. The thread that works best on drywall is ⅝-inch screws. The screw itself should be 1 ¼ inches long to attach ½-inch-thick drywall to a stud.

drywall screw

5. Cordless Drill

It 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.

cordless drill

6. Drywall Saw

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

drywall saw

7. Drywall Square

Drywall squares are L-shaped like the squares used in woodwork, except they are 48 inches long. This is long enough to cut the length of a full sheet of drywall. This ensures that your cuts are straight and even all the way across. This will be one of your more costly drywall tools, but it’s well worth the money.

drywall square

8. Drywall Mud Pan

The drywall mud pan is a U-shaped plastic pan with a metal strip on one side to wipe excess mud off your drywall knife. It is small enough that you can carry it with you wherever you go, which is really convenient when you are working on a ladder on higher walls.

drywall mud pan

9. Drywall Sanding Sponges

Though 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.

drywall sanding sponge

  • 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

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

dusk mask

11. Drywall Corner Knife

A drywall corner knife has a 90° angle used to spread the mud in the corner seams of your room. Straight drywall knives don’t efficiently push the mud into the seam to seal it. You need the rounded edge to push it deep into the corner.

drywall corner knife

12. Sanding Blocks

You 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.

sanding block

13. Pole Sander

For larger jobs, you will want a pole sander. This is a sanding block that screws onto a pole or broom handle, to help you reach up to higher places. It has wing nuts on it to securely attach your sanding sheets. Get a variety of grits to gradually sand your wall to the smoothness that you desire.

pole sander

14. Corner Sander

Don’t forget the corner sanding block that has that 90° angle to get into the corners of your room.

corner sander

15. Sanding Sheets

Sanding sheets are made of mesh and attach to sanding blocks or poles.

sanding sheet

  • 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

A jab saw is like a heavy-duty serrated kitchen knife. It is a hand saw with a six-inch blade (varies per saw) that has very sharp teeth, and a sharp tip. The tip is used to poke holes through the drywall, so it needs to be sharp.

Jabbing a hole in a wall is the main use for this saw. When you are jabbing a hole without an edge to start at, you place the sharp tip against the drywall and either smack the handle with your hand, or tap it lightly with a hammer.

jab saw

17. Drywall 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.

Now that you know what tools you will need, you can be well prepared to make quick work of your drywall job.

deywall lift


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About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!