Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Interior Improvement Center > Walls and Ceilings
Reload this Page >

Best tool/approach for cutting out existing drywall portions?

Best tool/approach for cutting out existing drywall portions?

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-14-11, 04:41 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 59
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Best tool/approach for cutting out existing drywall portions?

Hello All,

I'm back for more advice.

I need to cut out about 12-14 single and double gang windows in existing drywall as well as a 4-5 inch by 20 foot trough section on a vaulted ceiling.

I'd like to do a really nice, clean job (of course) so what is the best tool?

1) A simple drywall saw - I bought this just to have as I never know when I'll need it.

2) A drywall router - I was looking at getting the Dewalt DW660 as it is affordable and has good reviews. I know these can make a mess but it seels like I can at least get clean lines and will help when I need to go 20 feet or so for cutting.

The downside is that for the vaulted ceiling where I need to take a good 15-20 foot cut, I'll have the ceiling joists right behind the drywall and I'll be going against those so I'm hoping this type of tool can adjust the depth of the bit so that it won't cut into the wood when I hit it?

Note: I also considered the Rotozip tool but most comments suggest the build quality is not as good as the Dewalt.

3) My cordless Dremel - This just doesn't seem as robust for large jobs and also the cutting wheels are not deep enough for a lot of drywall cutting. But I own one already so maybe I'm missing something.

The only other thing I can think of is using a small electric jigsaw?

Otherwise, which would make the most sense in terms of efficiency and clean, accurate cuts?

Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 12-14-11, 04:53 PM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 47,916
Received 383 Votes on 339 Posts
The drywall saw will be fine for the boxes but would be a lot of work for a 20' run. I've not used mine on drywall but a multi tool like fein's would probably work well - I have it's cheaper cousin from HF If you don't want to spend money for a new tool, a straight edge and utility knife should work decent for the long run. It doesn't take much to cut drywall
 
  #3  
Old 12-14-11, 05:29 PM
W
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,185
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I have a Craftsman "zip" tool (beefier than a Rotozip or Dremel)that works great for this kind of job but in my opinion the most important tools will be your shop vac and a straight edge fence.

I'm not familiar with the DeWalt but I'm a DeWalt fan and it looks like it's perfect for the job. Feel free to buy two and send the extra one to me.
 
  #4  
Old 12-14-11, 05:40 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 59
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Heh, thanks for the replies. I'll check out the Craftsman "zip" tool. I too am a big fan of Dewalt so figured it could not hurt.

I've heard of using a straight edge and a utility knife more than once. I can see doing this when you have new or unmounted drywall and need to cut it. But this is already installed, screwed in, etc. etc.

How would I get these chunks to come out simply with a utility knife?

The problem with just a drywall saw is wondering how I will cut through the the long ceiling piece when there is a joist every 14 or 16 or however many inches? I guess you just go at a very flat angle and then re-enter on the other side, keep going, etc?

Thanks
 
  #5  
Old 12-14-11, 05:44 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 26,778
Received 844 Votes on 774 Posts
If I was doing it, i'd chalk lines and use a reciprocating saw (sawzall) and a short blade. When you hold the saw at just the right angle, you won't cut too deep (u obviously don't want to hit any electrical, plumbing, etc) and you will "feel" any framing before you cut into it too deep.

Cutting drywall is not rocket science, and you should be able to cut plenty straight with one if you can follow a chalk line. The paper edge of the drywall will be a little ragged but with a sharp utility knife you just bevel the corner of that edge to clean it up and you're good to go.
 
  #6  
Old 12-14-11, 07:03 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 13,915
Received 283 Votes on 247 Posts
I would agree with XSleeper. When cutting long pieces or drywall to run wiring we will snap a line and use a reciprocating saw with a coarse blade. If you can get a helper to hold a shop vac hose right next to the blade when cutting, it will be almost dust free.

Use you jab saw for things like cutting in remodel electrical boxes or low voltage rings. A rotozip works very well when you have something to run the drywall bit along such as a new electrical box, can light, or window jamb.

I would not buy any craftsman tool that has a motor. Gas or electric.
 
  #7  
Old 12-15-11, 08:53 AM
coops28's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 1,752
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Me, I would chalk straight lines then just score it with a utility knife. Then hit it with a hammer. It will break on the score lines. Then cut through the back paper one more time. For me thats the easiest, fastest, cleanest and cheapest way. But thats just me. As far as your windows....Why do you have to cut them out? They are either cased with wood or wraped with drywall but either way you dont have to cut them out. If you are putting in replacement windows then you just remove the sashes and leave the jam. If you are putting in new construction windows then you remove them from the outside.
 
  #8  
Old 12-15-11, 11:01 AM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 59
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the great responses.

@Tolyn/XSleeper: So is a Sawzall (which I have) any better or worse than using an electric jigsaw?

I do like the idea (however simple) of using a shop vac (which I have) to help try and suck up some of the junk that would go all over the place. I know it won't be perfect but anything is better than nothing.

@Coops23: I didn't mean to imply that the "windows" were actual windows, but merely openings for low-voltage single and double gang brackets.

And it seems just a simple jib saw would work best for those.

Mostlyy, I wanted to find out that if $$$ were not a consideration (as per what tool to use), what the best option would be.

NOTE: One thing I forgot to mention or ask - and it's why I was leaning towards a drywall or wood router - I also need to cut openings into an external wall and I'm almost entirely positive that there is wood backing behind the drywall on this wall as it sounds quite solid when thumping on it.

So I can't use a jib saw on this wall. I could use the Sawzall but this is also why I thought maybe a router type tool might be safer/easier on both the drywall and wood.

Thoughts on the last issue?

Thanks!
 
  #9  
Old 12-15-11, 11:19 AM
S
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,622
Received 98 Votes on 86 Posts
I'd stick with the sawzall and keep the depth shallow enough you only cut the drywall - I wouldn't cut any deeper than that until the drywall is removed and you can see what's behind it.
 
  #10  
Old 12-15-11, 12:09 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 59
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mitch17 View Post
I'd stick with the sawzall and keep the depth shallow enough you only cut the drywall - I wouldn't cut any deeper than that until the drywall is removed and you can see what's behind it.
Hi Mitch,

So do you mean even for the exterior wall that has some type of wood behind the drywall (i'll drill into it this weekend just to scope it out), I should also use the Sawzall?

I'll head to Home Depot tonight to look at their shortest blades as I don't think I can adjust the "depth" the blade goes on my Sawzall.
 
  #11  
Old 12-15-11, 01:16 PM
W
Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,748
Received 27 Votes on 25 Posts
Cutting

I don't think I can adjust the "depth" the blade goes on my Sawzall.
To make a shallow cut with your sawzall, tilt the saw to lessen the cuitting depth.
 
  #12  
Old 12-15-11, 03:24 PM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 47,916
Received 383 Votes on 339 Posts
I'm almost entirely positive that there is wood backing behind the drywall
You want to tread lightly here, solid wood isn't normally inserted in a wall cavity for no reason. There is always the possibility that it is something structural so you need to know more about why it's there before you cut into it.
 
  #13  
Old 12-15-11, 06:04 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 13,915
Received 283 Votes on 247 Posts
A sawzall would be the same as a jigsaw. However, you would have better control of the depth of the cut with a sawzall. When cutting, cut with the blade at a steep angle, about 15 degrees to the wall. You will know when you hit framing as drywall cuts much easier then wood.

A router/rotozip is best for cutting precise in wood for low voltage rings and remodel boxes.
 
  #14  
Old 12-17-11, 04:48 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,964
Received 6 Votes on 6 Posts
I still don't have my head wrapped around what you are doing other than cutting sheetrock. Just remember, behind every inch of sheetrock, you need to consider the possibility of wiring, drain and supply water lines, cable, HDMI, fiber optic (probably not), all of which will make for a day if you cut through them. Using a power tool and NOT knowing what's there would not be my choice other than the zip tool, which you can set the depth of the blade to 5/8" and feel safe.
 
  #15  
Old 12-17-11, 06:28 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 13,915
Received 283 Votes on 247 Posts
The OP is running a bunch of low voltage cable: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...g-wall-oy.html.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: