A drywall saw is a tool used for two main purposes: to cut drywall down to size for building projects or to cut small-sized holes in drywall for installation purposes. Despite being a relatively simple tool, there are several types of drywall saws on the market and plenty of things you should be aware of before buying one.
Whether this will be your first time purchasing drywall saw or you just need a replacement, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll cover the ins and outs of drywall saws and round up our top picks.
Pros and Cons
But do I really need a drywall saw? Isn’t that a bit redundant? Can’t I just use one of the other cutting tools I already have?
The short answer is no. But let me explain.
Using just any old cutting tool you have on hand would be like brushing your teeth with a stick or chopping vegetables with a plastic spoon. A drywall saw is specially designed for the task of cutting drywall and provides a clean finish like no other tool can.
Of course, drywall saws are not without their faults. (Let the builder’s tool that is without fault throw the first stone…)
Some types of drywall saws are known to create quite a bit of dust while in use, which can be harmful to the saw itself as well as your health. In addition, if you’re not yet skilled in the art of drywall sawing, there’s a chance you can injure yourself or cause damage to anything behind the drywall (like wires, for instance).
- Specially designed for the task
- Provide a clean cut
- Can produce lots of dust
- Can cause injury or damage
Really, you can compensate for these shortcomings by familiarizing yourself with how to safely use the drywall saw you purchase. Your upcoming drywall projects will go all the smoother for it!
What to Look for in a Drywall Saw
It’s a drywall saw. What is there to know? It cuts drywall, that’s good enough for me.
Before making a hasty purchase, it’s important to familiarize yourself with drywall saws. Knowing everything about the product you intend to buy—from the material used to make its handle to its tooth grind—can help you avoid a disastrous drywall cutting experience and make your entire project a lot easier on you.
Let’s get into it.
The handle may seem trivial, but imagine how your hand is going to feel after a long day of cutting drywall down to size. Can you feel the blisters already? Or the frustration of losing your grip on the handle mid-cut, over and over again?
Yeah, no one wants to spend an afternoon that way.
Purchasing a drywall saw with a sturdy and ergonomic handle seems more important now, doesn’t it?
Most drywall saw handles are made of wood or rubber, both of which are quality materials. While it really comes down to preference, keep in mind that wooden handles tend to have less ‘grip’ than rubber ones, making them a bit more difficult to use.
You should also consider the shape of the handle (Does it fit well in your hand?) and its durability (Do you see it breaking anytime soon?).
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to purchase a drywall saw with an incorrectly sized blade for your project if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
In short, longer blades are usually preferred over shorter ones. This is because they cut through more drywall at a time than their shorter counterparts, which makes any drywall cutting job significantly easier.
Most blades come in 6-inch or 12-inch lengths, though you can find some models that have shorter blades. The 6-inch variety is best for making smaller cuts, while the 12-inch variety is best for bigger projects where you’ll be cutting entire drywall pieces.
Wondering what makes the point at the end of the blade so important? This point is crucial in certain drywall cutting projects, as it punctures the material before you begin the actual cutting. Just like a kitchen knife is safer and more effective while sharp, so is the point of the blade.
If possible, feel the sharpness of the point yourself before purchasing the tool; if you’re not satisfied, keep looking!
Tooth grind refers to the number of cutting surfaces each tooth on the blade has. Two or more is preferable, so look for saws labeled as ‘double ground’ or ‘triple ground.’ The additional cutting surfaces allow the blade to cut through the drywall much more efficiently and with less effort on your part!
Great results + less effort = a much happier you.
If you opt for an electric drywall saw, you also need to consider the unit’s RPM (rotations per minute). Spiral saws are the most common type of electric variety used for drywall projects, and you can normally expect an RPM of around 30,000 from this tool. Some units do offer a little more power than this, so keep your eyes open and purchase a higher-power saw if you can afford it. More power means faster cutting and less effort on your part!
Having a new and useful tool around is a beautiful thing…unless, of course, you realize much too late that there’s no room for it in the garage, tool shed, or your tool kit. Then it just becomes an eyesore and a nuisance.
Due to the long blade of manual drywall saws and the bulky composition of electric ones, they can be pretty difficult to store. Fortunately, there are a few manual saws that have a folding feature which allows you to fold the blade down when not in use—this makes it markedly easier to store! You can also find entire drywall saw kits; going this route automatically gives you a place to store the saw and its accessories.
Different Types of Drywall Saws
As we briefly touched on earlier, there are two different types of drywall saws: manual and electric. There are also specific saw types that fall under these two categories, which we’ll discuss here.
If you plan on doing drywall projects often, you may want to consider purchasing more than one type of saw. There are many situations where different saws can complement each other during the course of a project—for example, a utility knife is ideal for small cuts while a jab saw is better for larger cuts. If you only need the saw for a one-time project or occasional use, you should try and purchase the type that best suits your individual needs.
Drywall Utility Knives (Manual)
Drywall utility knives are a favorite tool among professionals, and for good reasons. Not only are they compact and lightweight for easy portability, but they also have a sharp blade that’s perfect for making small cuts. They’re also very easy to use, even for those who are new to the drywalling world!
Jab Saws (Manual)
The jab saw is another popular drywalling tool, often used in conjunction with utility knives. As the name suggests, you use this saw by jabbing it in and out of the drywall (a great way to de-stress, no?). They tend to have longer blades (6-inch or 12-inch), which allows them to cut through a lot of drywall at once. While these are easier for newbies to use than their electric counterparts, they can be hazardous if not used correctly.
Circle Cutters / Hole Saws (Manual)
Circle cutters are very basic tools that cut…wait for it…circles. These normally require two-hand operation, but are small enough for easy portability and create perfect circle cut-outs. This type of saw is ideal for drywall projects that will require you to make holes for electrical wiring to go in, for instance.
Reciprocating Saw (Electric)
Reciprocating saws are similar to jigsaws in design, and can be used with a variety of blade types to suit a number of cutting tasks. The device is relatively easy to use, but may not be ideal for amateurs or those who are new to drywall cutting.
Spiral Saw (Electric)
Spiral saws are versatile and ideal for cuts that require more attention to detail. You can use them for a range of cuts, from circles and rectangles to odd shapes that would otherwise have you pulling the hair right out of your head.
That said, these are not playthings and not recommended for inexperienced users. Also keep in mind that spiral saws tend to create far more dust than manual saws do, which can be damaging to the saw and your health.
Track Saw w/ Dust Collection (Electric)
If long-term breathing problems aren’t really your thing, you can still benefit from the speed and convenience of an electric saw. Though a less popular option, you can also use a track saw to cut drywall—just make sure it has a dust collection accessory to eradicate the aforementioned issue. This will give you a quick, smooth sawing experience with little to no dust-related repercussions. Again: not a toy and not for amateurs.
The Best Brands to Look For
It’s only natural to want to know something about the folks you’re forking your money over to. To give you a hand, here’s some basic information about some of the companies we’re featuring on our list of the top drywall saws.
The go-to brand for many a professional, DEWALT is renowned for its impressive array of workmen’s tools. Its nearly 100-year history dates back to 1922, when Raymond DeWalt added the final touches to his landmark woodworking machine. Since then, the company has only grown and continued to perfect upon itself and its tools. You have only to look at its constantly evolving tool selection, support of wounded Veterans, and eco-friendly approach to tool production to see what makes DEWALT different: it has a whole lot of heart.
IRWIN Tools, founded in 1885, is a brand name with a long and colorful history behind it. Considering the company got its start after purchasing rights to a revolutionary idea from a local blacksmith, it should come as no surprise that it continues to glean inspiration from the needs and frustrations of modern-day workmen. In fact, it sends dedicated teams to worksites in order to find out exactly what workers need from their tools. From there, it delivers. If you need reliable and user-friendly tools for your workplace or practice, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better brand.
The Goldblatt company was conceived in the early 1900s by Russian emigrant Henry Goldblatt. Though many years have certainly passed since the company’s inception and rise to fame, one thing has remained the same: its devotion to creating top-notch tools for workers in a variety of industries. For affordable tools you can always count on to get the job done—and then some—explore Goldblatt’s extensive selection.
Klein Tools is all about professionalism at every level. This means creating professional tools for hardworking professionals in a range of different professions. Founded in 1857 by German emigrant Mathias Klein, the company has always done a superb job of giving workers exactly the tools they need to succeed. Through the Civil War, the growth of the United States, and the ever-growing influence of technology and globalization, Klein Tools is still standing strong and providing some of the best tools on the market.
Created in 1932 by Albert J. Dremel, this company specializes in rotary tools and also produces a variety of other workmen’s essentials. To give you an idea of how dedicated Dremel is to giving customers just what they need, consider one of its pioneer tools: a portable, multi-function rotary that could be used for any number of tasks. The company has since expanded its selection of products, but the high level of quality and user-friendliness remain.
Frustration often facilitates some of the finest ideas and inventions, and this was certainly the case for RotoZip (bought by Bosch in 2003). The company was born in 1972 after a professional drywaller set out to create a more efficient and user-friendly tool for cutting drywall. For many years, the company has been continually adding to the market with unique and well-built tools that any professional can rely on.
Whether you need lawn care tools, a new drill, or—ahem—a top-notch drywall saw, you can look forward to sublime quality when you purchase from WORX. You may have heard of companies ‘reinventing the wheel,’ but WORX reinvents…well, everything tool-related. The company boasts a work model driven by innovation, which is clearly evident in every single one of its products. Another reason to feel good about purchasing from this company is its constant striving for eco-friendly manufacturing practices and products. That’s right: quality and a better future for the environment wrapped into one brand name.
The Best Drywall Saws
Without further ado, our top picks. Feel free to skim through and find your favorites!
This 2-in-1 folding jab saw and rasp blade combo from DEWALT is the definition of user-friendly. The jab saw portion boasts triple-ground teeth and a durable construction, while the inbuilt rasp will make it easier for you to get clean cuts for each and every drywall project. Additional features include a locking mechanism to keep the blade of choice safely locked into position and a comfortable bi-material handle. This combination saw is great for smaller-scale projects and is easy to take with you anywhere. What’s not to love?
Who would have thought that such a simple design could pack such a punch (or rather, such a cut)? The blade of this IRWIN Tools jab saw has triple-ground teeth and features a thick design that’s perfect for a range of cutting tasks. Its rubberized handle is crafted with your comfort and convenience in mind, employing the company’s ProTouch grip design to keep your hand feeling great (and your grip firmly around the handle) for the duration of your project. And all this at a super-affordable price—you’ll even be able to afford it on your post-Christmas shopping budget.
A cute 5-inch blade, spicy red-and-black design, and super-sleek construction are all waiting for you once you purchase this jab saw from Goldblatt. Triple-ground teeth, a construction of 8 TPI bi-metal, and a super-sharp point make it one lean, mean cutting machine! Better still is its anti-clog technology; the blade uses deeper gullets than you’ll find on the average jab saw, which means you have a lot less mess and frustration to worry about as you work. Its non-slip handle design and easy-to-use locking mechanism make it a breeze to work with from beginning to end, and the blade folds down for hassle-free portability. Oh, and it has a pretty nifty hang hole on the handle for storage. What more could you ask for?
One look at this folding jab saw from Klein Tools and you’ll know it means business—no nonsense here. Its blade is made of carbon steel and features triple-ground teeth for a faster, more intense cut. This saw can cut in two directions and also has two different locking options: one for 125 degrees (when the blade is partially unfolded) and another 180 degrees (when the blade is completely unfolded). Throw in its non-slip handle, the cushion at the end of that handle, and its lanyard hole, and you have yourself a jab saw you’ll be proud to wield for your next project.
Why keep your jab saw all lonely in the garage when you could, I dunno, take it camping with you? What’s that? You don’t think it’s up for that kind of outdoor exposure? Then you obviously haven’t met this 10-inch camping saw from CIANO.
Specially constructed with SK5 alloy steel, lovingly coated with Teflon to protect it from rust, and given triple-ground teeth to boot, it can more than take care of itself. It also folds easily, features an easy-grip silicone handle, and locks in place for added safety. From sawing tree branches to helping you defend yourself from any potential deep-in-the-woods serial killers, this jab saw will more than prove itself next time you hit the great outdoors.
This rotary saw from DEWALT provides 5 amps and 30,000 RPM of power for big projects, features a durable construction you can count on—and it kind of looks like Bumblebee from Transformers. Its bold black-and-yellow design is complemented by its sleek build and a range of features that will make your next drywall project a literal breeze. Because electric saws tend to stir up lots of dust, you’ll especially appreciate its dust-blocking capabilities; just flip the switch and your saw will be protected from dust damage to ensure a long service life. And trust us: this is a rotary saw you’ll want to have on hand for years to come.
You could buy a solo rotary saw…or you could buy an entire kit that has everything you could possibly need. Hmm. That’s a tough one.
This kit includes thirty Dremel accessories, two attachments, a carrying case, and more. But the real showstopper here is the rotary saw, which features something many other rotary saws do not: the ability to change the saw’s speed while maintaining the quality of the cut at every speed. You can run this thing at as low as 5,000 RPM or as high as 30,000 and this bad boy won’t even flinch. Other notable features include its slim design, incredible handle grip, and a two-year warranty.
Made in the United States, this hole saw kit from DEWALT comes with fourteen additional pieces, including several attachments of different sizes and replacement parts. The saw was designed specifically for cutting through thicker materials that other saws would struggle with. This is made possible by its double-ground teeth, deep cuts in the blades, and easy-breeze ‘plug ejection’ to ensure the blades are never clogged for long. It’s durable, all-inclusive, and easy to use…what are you still standing around for?
Mm-mm-mm. This is one attractive piece of machinery. From its black finish to its svelte frame, there is just so much to love about it—and that’s just its appearance.
You can use this 30,000 RPM RotoZip spiral saw for any number of cutting projects and on a range of different materials. In addition to its strength, you’ll love how effortless its one-hand, barrel grip handle makes it to hold and maneuver throughout the course of any project—this is further complemented by its lightweight construction. Finally, you can be sure this saw will last you a long time due to its motor brushes and its (super-convenient) compatibility with so many different accessories. Could this much cutting power really be wrapped up into such a beautiful-looking product?
Okay, this thing is a beast. A reciprocating saw by day and a jigsaw by night. All at the push of a button. It may be intimidating in size, but it’s surprisingly lightweight and a breeze to use. Unlike most of the saws we’ve covered so far, this one cuts using a more-efficient circular motion to make your projects go by that much faster. And due to its 2-in-1 functionality, you can use this tool for all kinds of projects! If you’re still not sold, have we mentioned that you can easily use this saw with off-brand blades if you so choose? Like, why don’t more brands make their tools this convenient?
We’ve now gotten you acquainted with quite a few incredible drywall saws, each one more than worthy of taking its rightful place in your garage, workshop, or toolbox. Keep in mind that the best drywall saw for you depends on…you. Ask yourself what features and functionalities are most important to you, and find a comparable product in your price range. You deserve it!