How to cut drywall lengthwise or crosswise

How to cut drywall? How to cut drywall? Cutting drywall correctly and better

Drywall is one of the most common construction materials today. Its popularity is due to its versatility and a wide range of uses. With the help of this material is easily erected not only primitive partitions and ceiling systems, but also create complex scenic elements and spectacular design forms. over, plasterboard is widely known even to those, who are absolutely far from construction or repair work and know about it only by hearsay. That’s how great is the popularity of drywall today.

The advantages of this option of finishing include:

High load-bearing capacity;

The absence in the composition of toxic elements and compounds;

Absence of an unpleasant odor both during and after repair;

Maintaining the microclimate by optimal air exchange through the gypsum base of the material.

Another fairly important advantage of modern drywall is the variety of sizes. If previously, for a long time, plasterboard was sold only in standard variations, today, thanks to the abundance of manufacturers and the breadth of market offers, you can choose the material, the width of which ranges from sixty centimeters to two and a half and even three meters. All depending on the needs and wishes during the repair.

However, it is worth noting that no repair or reconstruction of the interior with the use of drywall does not do without its cutting. It does not matter if you just need to lower the ceiling for the installation of lighting, or if you want to make a creative and original arch in the interior.

Cutting drywall is possible in several ways. It uses a variety of devices and tools, ranging from an ordinary construction knife to an electric jigsaw. To choose what to cut drywall and how to do it correctly, consider in detail a set of tools that are used by specialists.


Immediately worth stating that if you begin to study the recommendations of professional construction publications, as a tool there will be offered the use of specialized devices. However, only professionals can often cope with these devices. In addition, specialized equipment is rather expensive and for a single application in terms of home repair can be simply unprofitable. In such a situation, it is possible to cope with the help of improvised tools.

Measuring tape. is necessary for measurements;

Pencil. easily replaced by any writing instrument, as traces and marks later successfully overlaid with the finishing putty;

Determining what is the best way to cut drywall, you can choose from the following list:

A construction knife is a tool that is an advanced copy of a utility knife. If you need to make one cut, you can use an ordinary box cutter, but if you need to cut a lot of drywall, the ordinary knife will break. If you are doing repairs in your own apartment, but do not want to buy a construction knife, use an improved version of a clerical knife (boxscutter).

This tool is stronger than its office knife counterpart. It is designed for cutting dense materials, while the main mission of a office knife is to cut thin paper only. And at the same time, the box cutter is cheaper than the construction tools. The box cutter can easily cut drywall. You will have to make some effort only for an even cut, because in this case the place of the cut is formed by jagged edges and irregularities. The way out will be an ordinary trowel with sandpaper. But some experts advise not to do even that, because with further finishing such defects are easily covered with peorized corners.

Hacksaw. It is quite possible to cut drywall with a hacksaw for metal that can be found in the arsenal of any craftsman at home. Its blade is thinner than that of a wood hacksaw, resulting in a neater cut. At the same time, cutting drywall with a hacksaw will be somewhat complicated by the interfering edge of the handrail, but you can adjust to this.

Electric jigsaw. It is recommended to use this tool for cutting work only after equipping it with high-quality saws. It is desirable that these accessories are designed for cutting metal. This is due to the fact that metal saws are equipped with finer teeth, which allows you to leave a minimum of chips and nicks in the place of the cut. The advantage of using an electric jigsaw lies in the possibility to cut rounded details. Electric tools are also a great way to speed up the work, which ultimately has a positive effect on both the result and the condition and spirits of the craftsman.

Cutter or an electric drill with a crown. have proven to be excellent for shape cutting, particularly circles.

Planer. a tool of the final stage. Its main purpose is to give the cut edges a neat appearance. In the absence of the tool, it can be easily replaced by sandpaper.

Asking the question of what to cut drywall with, it is worth bearing in mind that any cutting tools are quite suitable for the work, up to an ordinary kitchen knife or angle grinder. There are no specific rules. However, atypical cutting tools require certain skills in working with the material, so it is still better to give preference to more typical devices.

How to cut drywall With the question of how to cut drywall. Now let’s consider the options for cutting this material. To begin with, you should become familiar with the structure of the material. At its core. plaster with fillers, which for strength is glued with building board on both sides. This structure gives the material the desired shape and flat surface. That’s why gypsum board is deservedly recognized by masters as so convenient to work with.

With the help of gypsum boards partitions are erected, decorative elements and ceiling structures are created. Also in the practice of repairs there are furniture structures made with this material. To date, there are three main varieties of drywall:

moisture-resistant, designed for rooms with a high level of humidity (such as swimming pool halls and bathrooms);

Fireproof. used for cladding fireplaces or other places near open flame.

In addition to basic types, manufacturers offer acoustic drywall, as well as sheets of increased strength.

Let’s see how to cut the drywall in both ways.

Standard variant This technique involves cutting drywall in a straight line. This method is not considered difficult. The mechanism of action is as follows:

Lay the sheet on a hard, flat surface;

Make an accurate marking of the future cut with a pencil, pen or any writing instrument;

Make a cut under the ruler (or use a level if you do not have one);

Start the work from the back side (where the denser cardboard);

When cutting, press the tool deeper into the gypsum core.

When you finish cutting, turn the sheet over and fold it along the line toward the uncut side. The plaster that has not been cut through to the end will self-fracture in the required direction. The final step is to cut through the cardboard from the front side along the resulting curve.

How to shape-cut drywall? This process seems so complicated that many home masters tend to minimize the number of non-standard shapes and design elements. In fact, there is nothing to be especially afraid of. Curved cutting, of course, requires some skill and a better tool. However, it is quite feasible for the average home handyman who performs repairs.

The process should begin with the marking. To create even circles, a needle, thread and pencil can be used instead of a circular. Shaped cutting is available in four different ways. Each of these is used in the appropriate situation.

The principle and rules of cutting drywall

Attention ! The kitchen constructor is up and running on our site. Get acquainted with it and design your dream kitchen for free! The closet constructor may also come in handy.

The principle and rules of cutting are based on an understanding of what you are dealing with, so you should first study the structure of the material. But in this case, the name speaks for itself. the two outer layers are formed by cardboard, which serves as the basis of relative strength, and between them are encased in gypsum with fillers. Different types of plasterboard are used for different purposes: standard, waterproof, fireproof. The first applies in all cases, excluding the paneling of walls and ceilings (here we use moisture-resistant plasterboard) and structures that are in close proximity to a fireplace or other source of heat (in this case it is a fire-resistant material).

Preparation and marking

Lay the sheet of gypsum plasterboard on a smooth, horizontal surface and mark it with a pencil, tape measure or ruler. Marker and fountain pen are suitable for this procedure, but their traces are visible under the putty.

Immediately before or during the work, choose a tool that will be used for cutting. You have a lot of options, depending on the resources you have. In fact, you can cut drywall with any sharp-edged object, but it requires certain skills. Let’s take a look at the basic tools that can be used.

Key tools for cutting drywall sheets

Cutting drywall to specific dimensions requires the presence and use of certain tools, which include:

  • Electric jigsaw. With its help it is comfortable to carry out cuts of considerable length. Its use allows you to cut elements with complex curvilinear shape.
  • A clerical knife or a knife designed for cutting drywall.
  • Electric drill with large feather drills and bits that allow you to cut huge round holes for outlets, switches and utilities.
  • A narrow serrated saw with slightly serrated teeth, used for cutting wood or a hand saw for cutting drywall sheets.
  • A wood or drywall planer, which will be needed for trimming edges when cutting material.
  • Needle roller will be necessary when creating arches or other curved surfaces, for example, when forming a complex ceiling structure with the presence of many tiers.
  • To measure and mark the sheets need a pencil or marker, a construction tape measure, an angle, a metal ruler, or straight metal profile with a length of 1 m, which is used during the construction of frame purlins. To make long straight cuts will also have to be available a rule.

Knives for cutting drywall sheets

Since the key tool for drywall cutting is the knife, its inherent parameters should be examined in detail. Knives used in cutting the sheets can be divided into 3 categories:

  • Standard. The main advantage of these models is their affordable price. They have a simple design consisting of 4 components, which include a handle body, locking cover, blade adjuster, and a replaceable cutting element. These knives are not very reliable, especially when cutting drywall sheets. They are more suited to other tasks, for example, cutting wallpaper. Their cutting elements become blunt rather quickly while cutting drywall.
  • Reinforced. These knives, unlike standard models, have a higher cost. Their distinctive feature is the presence of the guide made of metal, which is located in the body of the tool, allowing to fix the blade more reliably, as well as to provide rigidity of position during the cutting process.
  • Professional. These models are used by specialists who often work with drywall. There are a lot of professional knives on the market, but their distinctive features are their ergonomic body, the way the clamp works, and the slightly altered design of the tool. Their price is several times higher

For cutting drywall, you can use any category of tool, but to finally stop your attention on one of the options should take a closer look at each of them.

Note! Knives with a 9 mm blade are not suitable for cutting drywall sheets, as they lack stamina and can break during cutting, so they should not be used. Their use will not only significantly reduce productivity, but can cause serious damage to the hand.

Generally, drywall cutting knives with 18 or 25 mm wide cutting element are used.

Stationery knife

It is the easiest and most affordable solution, which is in high demand among non-professionals. This tool is notable for its ease of use and is suitable not only for cutting gypsum board, but also for a number of other tasks. The thickness of blade in this type of knives reaches from 0,3 to 0,6 mm, and the higher the ratio, the better. Externally the models may look different, but their performance parameters are practically the same.

Knife with a trapezoidal blade

This type of knife has a trapezoidal blade and is designed specifically for cutting drywall. The models’ advantages include the presence of a convenient handle, which makes using the tool as comfortable as possible, because the force of the hand is well distributed on the material to be processed. The cutting element of such a knife is characterized by high rigidity, which excludes its bending and high-quality cutting of drywall sheets. Tools of this type are present in a different price segment, and their cost often depends on the brand of the manufacturer, but even the most budgetary of them are able to fully prove themselves during use.

Knives with a folding design

Most of the characteristics of this tool are similar to the previous version, but it has not only a trapezoidal blade, but also has a folding design that allows you to comfortably and safely carry a knife in a folded form, eliminating the possibility of injury.

Circular blade knife

These knife models are mainly preferred by specialists when cutting gypsum plasterboard sheets, because they make even curved cuts as straight as possible. The disc blade is fixed near the metal ruler set along the cutting line, along which the tool pressed against the material is moved by the craftsman. After that in the place of the cutting element passing there is an even cut with the presence of the same depth. Considerable tension can be exerted on the circular blade when required, as it can easily handle considerable loads due to its high level of rigidity.

Some folding blade models are also equipped with a disc-shaped cutting element that slides out of the body as the movable portion of the handle is actuated.


This special cutter for cutting drywall has a peculiar and unlike other tools design and appearance. The cutter bar has two cutting elements that are positioned horizontally and parallel to each other at a specific distance. It clamps onto the gypsum board and slides over it to cut two layers of cardboard. Its cutting elements are round and can be easily replaced if needed. Razmus allows you to make perfectly straight cuts, cutting the sheet into strips up to 12 cm wide, often used when constructing ceilings consisting of many tiers, and other structures, the creation of which requires the presence of narrow strips of equal size. Its handle is also a guide from which the required cutting width is set. Subsequently, the panel cutter is placed on the gypsum board’s end face, and the board is cut along its entire length.

How to cut water-resistant drywall?

You can use an electric jigsaw or an angle grinder with a “dry cutter” disk. But it should be taken into account that their use generates a lot of dust and noise.

How to cut a rectangular hole in drywall?

You put a ruler (rail) to the cut line and press it to the sheet, with your foot at the bottom and your hand at the top; Cut through 2/3 of the drywall; Place the sheet of drywall perpendicular to the floor and, resting your knee on a fishing line for a trimmer cut from the opposite side of the cut, fold the sheet at an angle; Then cut through the second layer of drywall and that’s it!

How to properly cut drywall at home

This is usually the shape of the material if you need to trim a doorway. Measure and mark the contours of the pieces. Then the short part is sawn with a hacksaw, and the long part is cut with a knife.

With this type of cutting, it is important to give a regular sheet of gypsum board the necessary size. Lay the source on a horizontal surface. Once the desired size of the part is marked on both sides of the drywall, use a drywall cutting knife and a metal ruler to cut through the layer of the sheet. For convenience, adjust the blade of the knife so that it protrudes from the handle at a length that would not be too thicker than the thickness of the drywall.

It is not necessary to cut the material according to the drawn mark without a ruler. so you are unlikely to get an even cut. Run the knife several times along the working line to deepen the cut. The drywall will then be broken where you want it to be.

Next, place the sheet with its edge on a support and tap it a little on the opposite side from the cut. Do not “push” the sheet too hard. Usually the core breaks after a few taps. All that remains is to tear the cardboard that joins the two halves of the sheet.

Working with drywall attached to the wall

Despite the fact that it is easiest to cut loose drywall, sometimes there is a need to cut and cut off the excess, while the sheet was on the frame. This design option is justified by the fact that when cladding with drywall corner walls or window jambs, its edge must precisely overlap the edge of the surface, where it is fixed (for aesthetic reasons). That’s why you have to attach the larger dimensioned plasterboard to the wall, and only then remove the extra centimeters.

Make sure that the framework holds the drywall securely. In this situation, you will not have a problem with which side to cut the drywall, because the answer is self-evident. cut the side that is adjacent to the cladding surface. Cut a few times along the marked line, using the tool while gently squeezing out the unwanted portion. Then finish cutting the sheet on the reverse side.

Attention! To give the drywall on the frame an “L” shape, cut the trimmer line horizontally with a hacksaw and then use a knife to saw off the vertical trimmer line.

Curved cuts and irregular cuts of drywall

It is often necessary to cut drywall not in a straight line, but as required by the sockets, built-in lighting fixtures or your own imagination (eg, a curved ceiling). Working with indirect parts requires a certain amount of skill.

  • To create a round hole in gypsum board is necessary to use an electric drill fitted with a special nozzle. There are different nozzles, also called circular saws, in terms of application and diameter. Give preference to the one designed to work with plywood, wood and drywall.
  • If you don’t have a circular saw, don’t despair. It is quite possible to use an electric jigsaw: draw a circle of the required size on the drywall and make a hole inside it. Next, insert the tool blade and, following the contour of the marking, make a round hole. But note that you need to use a narrow saw with small teeth and do not rush when cutting the sheet. The result of unhurried work is a straight edge of the piece. Control the jigsaw without rushing, but it should be run at maximum speed.
  • If you do not have any of the above tools, as a last resort, you can make a hole in the drywall sheet with a hammer and a special knife for drywall. To do this:
  • Lay out a marking on the worksheet;
  • Well pressed, cut through the marked lines (in this situation, the main thing is to cut through the sheet of drywall to a sufficient depth);
  • Place the drywall sheet on the surface with an indentation so that it is under the future hole;
  • Hit with a hammer in the planned hole so that the core of the sheet breaks, it is not necessary to overdo it, otherwise it may crack;
  • Next, break off unwanted pieces of plasterboard, cutting off the back of the sheet of cardboard.
  • The easiest way to cut the drywall is with a jigsaw. However, if you do not have it, you can get by with a convenient and worthy substitute, namely a hacksaw for drywall. You can manage without it, too.
  • Take measurements and draw the future dimensions on the sheet;
  • The cut outline should be divided into straight segments, and then cut them with a knife, cutting the cardboard and scratching the plaster;
  • Break off the resulting sections in the same way that we told you about in the last variant of cutting drywall.

This technology is especially effective when cutting out large shapes. To prepare elements with a small radius it is better to use a hacksaw.

How to fasten drywall to the wall?

Fastening drywall to the wall on a wooden frame. This option is possible, but it is better to make a framework for drywall from wooden bars. On how to fasten the bar to drywall, a small instruction on how to mount drywall on a wooden framework from the bar will help.

How to cut drywall. tools, methods

Plasterboard. a unique material, which on the one hand allows you to get strong structures, but on the other. is characterized by fragility, which requires careful and careful attitude. Despite the fact that the process of cutting this popular means of decoration is not particularly difficult, wrong slicing. the most common mistake, leading to overspending material. In this article, the master plumber will tell you how to cut drywall correctly.

  • Devices for marking on the sheet of gypsum board. a simple pencil, a tape measure, a long ruler.
  • The actual cutting and sawing equipment: A knife. You can cut the gypsum fiberboard with a office knife, as well as a specialized construction knife with a double-sided interchangeable blade (suitable for more dense materials).
  • Hacksaw. Better if it is a metal tool than a wood tool; Electric jigsaw. Ideal for sawing rounded elements. Leave the least amount of chips on the ends of drywall quality saws for metal with a fine tooth; Electric drill. Needed for making holes. For large d gaps, round drill bits (which are used to cut the core of door latch latches) and feather drill bits will be required; A router is used to cut grooves of complex geometry, as well as round or oval-shaped holes. In principle, the shape of the hole can be whatever you want when using a router. You can also use a router to chamfer drywall sheets.
  • Edging tools: Deburring planer; Chamfering planer.

The arsenal of experienced craftsmen may include professional equipment, but for those who work with the material for the first time, this set is quite enough.

To better understand how to properly cut drywall, you need to clearly understand the structure of the material.

Gypsum plasterboard is a layer-by-layer combination of two types of materials. plaster (inner content) and sheets of dense cardboard glued to it on both sides.

This type of material is subdivided into different types, depending on the functions assigned:

Moisture-resistant gypsum board is needed when used in rooms with an increased amount of vapor in the air. Fireproof drywall is used where there are fireplaces, and near places with open flame sources.

Depending on the type of drywall varies and their thickness, which affects the difficulty of cutting.

Ceiling plasterboard has a thickness of 9.5 millimeters, wall. 12.5 millimeters, the arch. 6.5 millimeters.

Let’s consider a few peculiarities when cutting drywall:

  • It is necessary to place the sheet of plasterboard on a flat and stable surface, as it is very flexible.
  • If the sheet of plasterboard has a large size, it is necessary to cut it gradually.
  • Before you place the sheet on the working surface, make sure it is dry. A wet sheet will be unsuitable for work.
  • It is recommended to cut from the side that will be located against the wall. This will allow you to later hide possible deficiencies formed during cutting.
  • It is necessary to protect the eyes and respiratory organs with personal protective equipment.

When cutting drywall, it is not allowed to use a circular saw because of its ability to create a large amount of harmful dust.

What method of cutting drywall to resort to, it will become clear after studying the options available for this purpose.

What tools are needed for cutting?

For cutting and working with drywall you will need:

  • pencil or marker, the latter “marker” is better visible from any point;
  • A long metal ruler (alternatively. the profile), tape measure;
  • A hacksaw for drywall (for wood, better. for metal), file;
  • a mounting knife for gypsum board (an unequivalent substitute is a clerical knife);
  • A rule, a construction angle, a compass;
  • drywall or wood planer;
  • Drill with crowns and feather drill bits;
  • sandpaper;
  • jigsaw.

The marker has opponents, who say that the marks from it are then quite problematic to hide. The best hacksaw for cutting gypsum board is the one that has a thin blade and fine tooth. To this list is often added and “heavy artillery”. angle grinder, a special cutter for drywall, but such tools require skill. For those who have faced the necessity to cut drywall for the first time, a simple kit, that is available in almost every home, will be enough.

How to cut drywall?

Different operations may require their own improvised means. Since it is possible to cut drywall with several tools, it is better to consider the use of each of them separately. The main conditions are a continuous cut followed by a break. But this is not always possible, especially if the line for the trimmer cut is very long.

A box cutter

This simple tool is ideal for similarly uncomplicated jobs. It is used to cut large longitudinal pieces of drywall sheet. After the measurements are made on the material draw a line for the trimmer to cut. Then apply a ruler or profile, firmly fix the tool by hand on the line, carefully cut the drywall, deepening (maximum) to half a centimeter.

If cutting is performed on the table, the plate is shifted so that the notch went beyond the edge of the countertop 10-15 mm. On the protruding part of the sheet is gently tapped from below until the core does not break. Then the board is turned the other way around, notching the material at the break line. To get a perfect joint of the elements, the edge is processed with a planer.

There are several knives suitable (or special) for cutting drywall sheets:

  • Universal assembly knife. the most affordable option. It is simple and easy to use. It is possible to install blades of different thickness. Disadvantages. low reliability, blades that blunt very quickly.
  • Knife for drywall with a trapezoidal blade. This is already a professional, having an ergonomic handle, non-bending blade. The disadvantage of the best “gypsum pros” is “obscenely” high price, but even the most budget models of such knives guarantee quality of cut.
  • A tool that has a circular blade. These knives are favorites, as it is much easier to cut cardboard with them. Any kind of work is possible: both simple cuts and curved cuts. The pluses of the knives. a reliable blade, the same depth of penetration along the entire length.
  • Plasterboard trimmer. This design has two discs that allow you to cut a sheet on both sides at the same time. The peculiarity is that this tool is used only for obtaining small strips, their maximum width is 120 mm.
  • Double sided magnetic cutter. Blade Runner. This is a leader, if we evaluate the tools for speed and convenience. That’s why it is in great esteem among professionals. It consists of two separate parts that are held together by magnetic couplings. The miracle cutter has one disadvantage: the price.

The most undesirable option. office knives, too low-powered and fragile (flimsy) to work with any material-sandwich. Therefore, before choosing a model, you need to assess the front of work, the shape of the future blanks, the required accuracy of joining the elements. Very expensive cutting tools for beginners are not the best choice, because in this case the purchase is unlikely to justify itself.

A hacksaw

Use this tool to cut the holes. square or rectangular. The thinner it is, the neater the work will turn out. To cut a “window”, from the back of the plasterboard, first mark the shape of the opening, using a pencil and a ruler. In one of the corners of the outlined shape drill a hole of such a diameter (8-10 mm), that it could freely fit the blade of a hacksaw.

Then the operation is repeated in the remaining corners. The hole is cut with a hacksaw, which must be held so that the blade is always perpendicular to the surface of the sheet. In this case the edge will be almost perfectly flat. After cutting out a part, the edges of the drywall are smoothed with a planer. If the hole is too small, it is handled with a file.


This electric tool is considered the best helper for working with drywall, as it is faster and more convenient to cut drywall with a jigsaw. Another advantage is its versatility. With one jigsaw, you can cut holes of any shape. Thanks to the special sole that holds the blade perpendicular to the sheet, the edges are almost perfect. The disadvantage of the power tool is the dust that flies around the room.

The board is marked out and placed on two stools so that the place for the cut is exactly between them. The jigsaw blade is set without turning it on. Start cutting along the line, acting smoothly, without rushing. To cut a large round or oval shape, first also use the drill, which makes a hole for the jigsaw blade. The edges, if the work is not very extensive, can easily be cleaned after this tool, even with sandpaper.

Door or window openings require cutting drywall in an “L” shape. In this case it is reasonable to use two tools at once. The short part is sawn with a hacksaw, and the long part. with a mounting knife. In this case, it is possible to work with a sheet already fixed in place.

Round holes for a socket or a switch is made with a drill (at medium speed) with the nozzle-cone, jigsaw or narrow jigsaw. The first option is preferable, because the operation is as fast as possible. It is also recommended to cut out the sockets after the drywall has been installed on the frame.

Edge trimming

After trimming, the edges should be sanded a little, so that they are smooth. It can be done with sandpaper. It is necessary to accurately go over all edges, and remove chips and nicks. At the end we make one more step, fascias. The essence of this processing is that on all sides it is necessary to cut off a few millimeters of gypsum. To do this, take a distance equal to about two-thirds of the thickness of the sheet. The approximate angle at which a knife or planer bevels is 45 degrees.

Once the pasteboard is set, all gaps between the sheets should be puttied. Once the seams are dry, start wallpapering or painting. The attachment of drywall panels to the profile is a general rule. For better durability it is made of metal.

Versatile knife

Universal or mounting knife is deservedly popular, because along with the possibility of its use at any stage of repair contains a number of advantages in working with drywall:

  • Comfortable ergonomic handle design, made of lightweight metal or strong plastic and coated with multi-component rubber, makes cutting more comfortable and reduces strain on your hands.

Useful information: Drywall Framing: paneling for drywall, assembling partitions and constructions

  • Blades made of high-carbon steel are trapezoidal and sectionless, which increases their strength and rigidity. Spare blades are usually included and are replaced with new ones as needed. This combination of cutter and handle allows you to accurately cut sheets into elements of any shape and complexity.
  • The design of the all-purpose knife may contain details such as a belt clip or a box with spare blades in the handle. These options make this attachment even more convenient to use.

Important! blade must be sharp, and its length must be adjusted to the thickness of the drywall sheet.