Basic Drywall Tools

Welcome to our Basic Drywall Tools List!

Here is a list, with suggestions, of all of the basic drywall tools you will need for any drywalling job. Without these tools your drywall installation will be nearly impossible to complete.

Many of these “basic tools” are simple things that most people already have around the house. If you don’t already have them, now is a good time to buy them because these all-purpose tools will come in handy for many jobs.

drywall razor knife
Razor Knife - The first and probably most useful of the basic drywall tools when working with drywall is the razor knife. This can also be known as a box knife or carpenter knife.

A decent razor knife will run around $8-12 American at your local hardware store. We highly advise when purchasing a razor knife to get an easy change blade. They will be in the $12 range but are well worth the extra few dollars.

Be sure when purchasing a razor knife that you pick up a few extra blades, because cutting drywall will dull them quickly.

tape measure
Tape measure - Any common tape measure will do but we highly recommend a tape measure at least 12ft long and with a wide blade. This allows for easy measuring and a longer life on your tape measure. A tape measure will run between $12-30.

drywall square
Drywall Square - The drywall square is an essential basic drywall tool for cutting drywall. It is used to make straight cuts also can be used for measuring. The drywall square is almost always adjustable to set the depth for marking your lines. Drywall squares will run in price from $15-40 depending on the brand.

drywall mud pan
Drywall mud pan The drywall mud pan is a very simple tool to use. It is used to hold drywall mud allowing you to be mobile while mudding and tapping. It will be made of plastic and have removable metal edges. The price of a drywall mud pan will run between $4-8.

Drywall or “Putty” Knives - A drywall knife is a flat knife as depicted in the image and is not used for cutting. Instead the drywall knife is used for spreading mud across seams.

Drywall knives very in size from 2-12” depending on what application the knife is being used. A drywall knife can run from $3-18. You will want to purchase a metal knife and not a plastic disposable.

You will need, at a minimum, a 6” knife, a 10” knife, and a 12” knife.

Inside Corner Knife - The inside corner knife is exactly what the title suggests. It is a drywall knife used to put mud on inside corners. An inside corner knife will range in price from $8-14. If you’re working on corners this is a must have if you are not this is a non mandatory item.

drywall keyhole saw
Drywall Keyhole Saw - A keyhole (or “jab”) saw is around 6 inches in length and used for cutting holes in drywall such as outlets. It has a narrow, pointed end so it can be "punched" through drywall. The keyhole saw runs between $5-10.

Sanding Blocks - Sanding blocks are a necessity. You can get them in different grits depending on what type of finish you are trying to establish. Typically, a 150 grit sandpaper is used to finish drywall. You may also pick up a corner sanding block which is a must if you are doing inside corners. Sanding blocks will typically range from $6-10.

drywall pole sander
Pole Drywall Screen sander - A Pole Sander is basically a modified version of the drywall screen sander. The only difference being that the pole sander is attached to a 3-4 foot wooden rod allowing individuals to reach seams higher on walls and ceilings.

electric drill
Drill - Any common drill can be used for installing drywall. They offer attachments for some drills to set the depth of the screws preventing users from breaking the paper. These attachments are highly suggested and make the process of hanging drywall so much simpler.

Many hardware stores and lumber yards will also have specialty drills made solely for installing drywall and setting the depth. The price on drills ranges greatly. Depending on brand and specialty the price can fall between $35-350. This gives all you tool enthusiasts a chance to buy some new toys.

Pencil - Nothing more really needs to be said. You will need a regular pencil for marking lines and measurements. Or you can purchase a contractor’s pencil, which is more heavy-duty and less likely to break.

Compass - An ordinary compass is a must have tool when creating a circle holes in drywall. You would need this when cutting out for a light fixture. A compass will run around $2.

Screw Driver - You will want to pick up a screwdriver that matches the drywall screws you have purchased. This will be used to tighten up screws that are not deep enough or take out screws that have broken the paper. A screw driver will run, depending on brand, around $3-6.

drywall dust masks
Dust Mask - Probably the most important tool when working with drywall is the dust mask. It protects you from breathing in all of the fine plaster dust that is created and stirred up during the drywalling process. You can pick up a ten pack of particulate dust masks for between $4-8.

That’s it. Basic drywalling tools are really not very expensive, and as I mentioned before, you probably already have most of them. The few others – such as the drywall square & pole sander – can come in handy for a variety of other household jobs.

Best of luck with your drywall project. Click here to move on to our Advanced Drywall Tools or move on to our Rental Drywall Tools.

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