Can you cut drywall with an electric jigsaw?

Can you cut drywall with a jigsaw?

Even if you haven’t yet worked with drywall, you probably know that this material is produced in the form of large rectangular boards. So no matter what kind of construction you do, you can’t do without cutting drywall. Large boards are only handy for caulking a large area.

The drywall cutting tool is ideal for complex projects and for adjusting the size of drywall sheets

To cut drywall, masters most often use an assembly knife, a hacksaw and an electric jigsaw. But if these tools are not at hand, you can cut drywall and a cutting machine, and a drill in the mode “angle grinder”.

The box cutter is suitable for cutting longitudinal pieces of drywall. Having made the necessary measurements and having held the line for a trimmer on which you will cut, put a metal ruler to this line, and, firmly holding it free of the assembly knife with your hand, put the tip of the knife on the line for a trimmer. It is not necessary to use a metal ruler, any surrogate with a sharp edge will do. Be very careful when cutting the board exactly along the line.

An ordinary box cutter is suitable for cutting long lengthwise strips

The cut sheet is bent and cut definitively at the break

If you are cutting the material on the table, move the board so that the notch protrudes over the edge of the tabletop by 1-2 cm. Break the core with light tapping, then turn the board over and notch the drywall at the breaking point. If you are cutting on the floor, you can put a wooden bar under the drywall board to break it up. When the core is cut, the timber is removed from under the sheet, the sheet is turned over, and the cut is made. To make the resulting edge even, you can mill it with a planer.

To even out the edges, you can plan them with a planer

A hacksaw is necessary for cutting square and rectangular openings in drywall. The thinner the blade of the hacksaw you use, the better. To cut the opening, the plasterboard is first outlined on the reverse side. Then in one of the corners of the future opening with a drill make a hole of such a diameter that a hacksaw blade could freely pass into it. It is more convenient to cut if you drill holes on all the outlined sides. When the opening in the drywall is cut, straighten the edge with a planer, and if dimensions do not allow, use a file. When cutting drywall with a hacksaw, remember: the tool blade must be perpendicular to the plane of the sheet. Then the edges are as straight as possible.

A hacksaw expands the possibilities when cutting drywall sheet. it can be used to cut small holes

The fastest way to cut drywall with an electric jigsaw is considered the fastest way to cut drywall. Of course, it is necessary to spend money to buy this tool (if you do not have it yet), but the jigsaw is worth the money. After all, you can use it to cut not only apertures of a strict shape, but also to make curved lines. Just outline the board as you need it, and then lay the sheet on two stools, leaving a distance between them so that the cut trimmer line goes through that space.

An electric jigsaw is great for cutting drywall, coping with complex lines and saving time and effort

Having set a blade of a jigsaw in the beginning of this line, begin to smoothly cut out details from drywall of the necessary shape. Circular holes need to be marked out with a compass. To cut drywall inside a circle, drill a hole and pass the jigsaw blade through it. Cut the required circumference along the drawn line.

Cutting drywall with an electric jigsaw requires no serious physical effort, takes less time, and produces less waste

If you cut drywall with an electric jigsaw, the resulting edges will need minimal machining, because of all the tools for cutting drywall, only an electric jigsaw can be held strictly perpendicular to the surface of the sheet. For this purpose, its design has a special soleplate.

Sometimes you need to cut drywall in an L shape (for a doorway, for example). Then you need to use several types of drywall tools. The short part is sawn through with a hacksaw, and the long part is cut through with a mounting knife. The board can be broken in and cut off on the reverse side. This work can also be done on an already installed sheet.

How to use a Jigsaw. Basics

The structure of drywall

The structure of gypsum board

Gypsum plasterboard is a classic “sandwich” consisting of two layers of heavy cardboard and a core made of pressed gypsum with various additives. The sides of the drywall panel are rounded. The product ends remain free.

  • Plasterboard is a standard material without any additives. Used in dry rooms with a high level of fire safety and normal temperature and humidity conditions.
  • Fireproof gypsum plasterboard (GKLO) is suitable for rooms with a high risk of fire hazards. Its sheets contain mineral fibers and various additives that increase the fire resistance level of the material. It can be recognized by its red colored cardboard. This option will be appropriate when cladding, for example, telecommunications.
  • The water-resistant drywall (WGCB), thanks to its anti-fungal coating and water-resistant impregnation, significantly reduces the absorption of moisture, and therefore is suitable for bathrooms, kitchens, etc.п. Distinguished by the greenish or blue shade of the cardboard shell.
  • GKLVO. fireproof and moisture-resistant drywall.
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Preparation and marking

In order to cut drywall, you will need the following:

  • Use only a knife with a sharp blade;
  • If you intend to mount drywall on the ceiling as well as on the walls, then you must first coat the ceiling, and then proceed to the walls;
  • If you need to cut drywall in a complex path, then first cut the length and then the width.

Remember that in the process of work and fastening of drywall it is very important to use as many whole boards as possible. So you reduce the cost of materials, there will be less work, and the process of cladding will go faster

Therefore, you need to carefully measure and study the surface you are working with, and then make a plan to use the boards in such a way that you have to cut them as little as possible.

If you need to mount drywall over a large area, we recommend using 3.6-meter boards instead of 2.5-meter boards. This will save you time and material.

To cut drywall professionally, use quality tools. If the sheets are large (120 cm wide), it is better to cut them by leaning them against the wall at a slight angle. And small sheets (up to 60 cm wide) can be cut on the floor. If you’re cutting drywall for the first time, you’d better practice on the floor. First of all we have to decide on what side to cut the drywall. To do this, make sure the drywall sheet is facing you. That’s the side the cut will be made in.

If you don’t know the best way to cut drywall, from our experience we can tell you that in most cases it is better to use a good utility knife. But sometimes you have to use other tools. For example a hacksaw for drywall, it is convenient to use for cutting holes of different shapes.

The minimum tools you need when cutting drywall.

Clever tip. If you are cutting the drywall with it against the wall, put some wooden planks underneath. This will make cutting easier and protect your fingers from injury.

drywall, electric, jigsaw

First we need to determine the size of the board to be cut with a tape measure. Do it very carefully, or the board might not fit, because it might be too big or too small. Also make sure that the vertical edges are aligned with the center of the purlins, otherwise the joints of the boards will not be rigid enough. Measure with a tape measure and make a mark in the right place with a pencil. In our example, we want to cut the board in half, so we make a mark in the middle.

Marking a sheet of drywall.

It is very important to take accurate measurements, otherwise you will spend a lot of time and money to correct errors in the joints. Be especially careful when you are working alone

To get a perfect straight cut, use a straight edge. If you want to achieve professional-level results and you have to cut drywall often and a lot, it is advisable to get a large lath and not to use homemade or hand-made tools.

drywall, electric, jigsaw

Move the ruler across the drywall until it reaches the right mark.

Using a lath to cut drywall

Preparing and marking

In order to cut drywall, you’ll need the following:

Makita Drywall Saw XDS01Z verses DeWALT Multi Tool DCS356B (Which one is better at Drywall)

  • Only use a knife with a sharp blade;
  • If you intend to mount drywall on the ceiling as well as on the walls, you must first trim the ceiling, and then proceed to the walls;
  • If you need to cut drywall in a complex path, first cut the length and then the width.

Remember that it is very important to use as many whole boards as possible in the process of working and fixing the drywall. This way you cut your material costs, there’s less work to be done and you can wrap the sheeting quicker

Therefore, you need to carefully measure and study the surface you are working with, and then make a plan for using the boards so that as little as possible they have to be cut.

By the way, the cost of laser cutting metal is not much higher than the cost of cutting drywall.

If you have a large square footage to wrap around, we recommend using 3.6 square feet of drywall instead of 2.5 square feet. So you’ll save time and material.

In order to cut drywall professionally, use quality tools. If the plates are large (120 cm wide), it’s better to cut them with the wall at a slight angle. Smaller boards (up to 60 cm wide) can be cut on the floor. If this is the first time you’re cutting drywall, it’s a good idea to practice doing it on the floor. In the beginning it is necessary to determine which side to cut drywall. To do this, make sure the drywall sheet is facing you. It is on this side that the cut will be made.

If you do not know what is the best way to cut drywall, from our experience we can tell you that in most cases, it is best to use a good box cutter. But sometimes you have to use other tools. For example, a drywall hacksaw, it is convenient to use for cutting holes of different shapes.

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The minimum set of tools you will need when cutting drywall.

Clever tip. If you cut the drywall with the wall against it, put some wooden blocks underneath. This will make cutting easier and protect your fingers from damage.

drywall, electric, jigsaw

First you need to use a tape measure to determine the size of the board to be cut. Do it very carefully, otherwise the board may simply not fit. it will either be too small or too big. Also make sure that the vertical edges are aligned in the center of the purlins, otherwise the joints of the boards will not be rigid enough. Measure with a tape measure and make a pencil mark in the right place. In our example we want to cut the panel in half, so we mark in the middle.

Marking a sheet of drywall.

It is very important to take accurate measurements, otherwise you will spend a lot of time and money to correct errors in the joints. Be especially careful when you work alone

drywall, electric, jigsaw

To get a perfect straight cut, use a guide rail. If you want to achieve professional-level results and you have to cut drywall often and a lot, it is advisable to get a good guide line and not to use homemade or hand-made tools.

Move the ruler across the drywall until it reaches the desired mark.

Using a guide rail to cut drywall

Basic Principles

To avoid unnecessary difficulties and mistakes in the process of cutting drywall, it is important to take into account a number of common rules:

  • The drywall panel is considered a flexible, but fragile material for a reason. Therefore, it should be laid on an even surface that is securely fixed and will not wobble during the work.
  • The tool blades have to be well sharpened, to avoid inadvertent damage to the sheet.
  • When choosing a surface for the work, it is worth taking into account another requirement. the place must be dry. GPB absorbs moisture too well, which affects its quality characteristics and complicates the cutting of the material.
  • When using a jigsaw or an electric drill, wear respiratory and face protection.

It is recommended to cut along the back side of the sheet. In this way, imperfections that occur during processing can be concealed.

Cut gypsum board with a mounting knife

The cutter has interchangeable blades. There are blades for cutting different materials, and the protrusion of the metal part beyond the handle is adjustable. There are the same clerical models, but to work with drywall, they are low-power.

You can even cut drywall with a stationery knife

It costs a mounting knife from a few hundred. The tool is good when deciding how to cut drywall at home in a straight line. Shape lines with a switchblade knife look like this. Here we go:

  • We draw out the drywall on the previously made marks.
  • We put a steel profile for drywall or a metal ruler to one side of the marking. They will not let the knife go sideways while cutting.
  • We put the blade to the edge of the marking and lead along it with a pressure of about 3 kilograms.

The knife should not go through the sheet. The correct way to cut drywall is to guide the blade with a depth of about half a centimeter. The rest will break along the line when we bend the panel with our hands.

The cut should be at the top. To bend the drywall will need to be supported. You can just put the sheet on the floor, or you can put it on chairs or the edge of the table.

How to cut drywall with a plane knife

The box cutter is suitable for cutting large, longitudinal pieces of drywall. Having made necessary measurements and having drawn a fishing line for a trimmer on which you will cut, put a metal ruler to this line, and, firmly holding it free of the assembly knife, put a knife edge on a fishing line for a trimmer. It is not necessary to use a metal ruler, any of its substitutes with a sharp edge will do. With care, cut the cardboard exactly along the line.

The box cutter is suitable for cutting longitudinal strips of drywall

The cut sheet is bent and cut definitively at the point of rupture

If you are cutting the material on a table, move the board so that the cut extends 1-2 cm beyond the edge of the tabletop. Knock over the core with light tapping, then turn the board over and cut the drywall at the break. If you’re cutting on the floor, you can put a block of wood underneath the drywall board to break it up. When the core is broken, the bar is removed from under the sheet, the sheet is turned over and the cut is made. To get the resulting edge was even, you can treat it with a planer.

To make the edge even, you can additionally trim it with a planer

Methods of cutting drywall

To cut gypsum board evenly, accurately, without ruining any of the sheets, you need to know some rules.

In this section we will consider how to use the tool described above in each case.

Holes for lighting fixtures and sockets

Holes for outlets or lighting fixtures experts cut after installing and securing drywall. For beginners, you can do without prior fastening. To this end, it is first necessary to accurately calculate the position and parameters of the future hole.

It is important to remember that the gap itself is a small shape, which later hides an additional plastic frame (to decorate the socket or the base of the lamp).

All calculations must be made from the back surface of the drywall. For the cutting itself you will need an electric screwdriver or a drill. The tool should have additional circular nozzles with small serrated blades.

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In the absence of a gun, a classic hacksaw will do. The holes are jagged, but fit the calculated parameters. All imperfections are covered by the blade.

The letter “G.”

The curved “G” shape of drywall is used to cover a door or window opening, as well as in the creation of any corner model.

The work begins with calculations and marking the line with a pencil. You can use a hacksaw for this if you don’t have a serrated drywall saw handy. Gypsum is a soft pliable material, which does not create problems when sawing.

The tool should be used to cut a short part. The long one is cut according to the “straight line” method.

In a straight line

Before starting work, it is necessary to make measurements in the room, so as not to make a mistake when cutting parts. Use a simple pencil to mark the cut lines. It is better not to use a marker or a pen. The corrosive ink leaves traces that show through the putty layer.

When drawing the main lines it is necessary first of all to make equal marks at the top and bottom of the sheet. After that, attach a level or metal ruler to the points, along which draw a straight line.

After completing the calculations and making the appropriate markings, the drywall is placed on a surface parallel to the floor. It is more convenient to use a construction knife for cutting, as the sharp blade can be adaptively adjusted while working. It should be remembered that the length of the tip should not exceed the thickness of the plasterboard.

To make the cut is recommended on a metal ruler, which is laid over a pencil marking. To create an even line requires an additional 3 times on the cut with the tool.

If the plasterboard is placed on the table, it is necessary to move the plasterboard so that the separated part does not touch the table surface. Once the cut is deep enough, you should take hold of the edges of the drywall and break along the line with a sharp movement. For the final cut, an additional cut on the opposite side is made with a construction knife.

When sawing drywall on the floor, after additional movements, the drywall must be placed in an upright position. The part to be cut out should be separated from the unwanted part by gentle jerks on the front side (to make a notch). After that, the unseparated fragments are finished off with a blade.

It is important to remember that you can not use a circular saw to cut drywall. Fine teeth rotating at high speed produce a dense column of dust. Particulate matter settles in the lungs and on the mechanical parts of the tool, causing damage to both humans and the insides of the circular saw.

Shaped cutting

There are situations when you need not a straight cut, but a curved or round cut. For example, if you make an arch or an opening for a light fixture. In this case it is best to use the jigsaw.

Work with it slowly, drawing clearly along the planned lines. The saw should be narrow with small teeth. It should run at high speed. A clean cut will produce a straight edge.

If you do not have a jigsaw, you can use a hacksaw or a construction knife and hammer. Make deep cuts exactly as marked. Lay the drywall on a flat surface with a dimple so it is under the hole you want to cut. Now strike in this place with the hammer. After the unwanted part comes off, turn the drywall upside down and cut off the excess paper.

To achieve a perfectly round hole is easy with a drill with special drill bits. The nozzle is pressed perpendicularly to the surface of the drywall. Pressing the trigger, begin to drill a hole.

To create decorative holes of large diameter or rounded details (for example, wavy elements) the drill is not able to. With such a task can easily cope with a hacksaw method of sectioning the inner elements. To do this, you need to cut a line for the trimmer and insert the blade with a pencil marking. Then it is sawn according to the marking.

Creating curved parts

The most difficult process is to bend plasterboard sheets. To do this, it is necessary to cut a rectangular billet. While bending the workpiece, it is important to do it this way. To stretch the back side.

To bend a piece of plasterboard, you must first create a template semicircular shape. It can be made of fiberboard or the described material. Cut out the template quite simply with an electric jigsaw.

After creating a template to roll one side of the part with a needle roller and moisten it with water. After that, it is enough to slowly bend it according to the template and fix it in that position. After drying, the drywall sheet will retain the shape it was given.

If the arch is hollow, you can do without wet bending. To create an arch, it is enough to make small incisions on the side that will be stretched. Once you understand how to properly cut drywall, you can cut out various design elements from this material.

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