Hot Topics: Cutting Accurate Drywall Holes

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Every time you put drywall up, you have to cut out holes for receptacles, switches, recessed lights and any other fixtures or protrusions behind the wall. You could use a keyhole saw, like in the old days, but if you’ve got a lot of holes to cut, what’s the best way to speed up the job? The Forum has a definite opinion.

Original Post: Drywall tricks for cutting fast and accurate holes/squares?

tonic Member

I have a lot of drywall installation to do and I have difficulty cutting accurate holes (recessed lights) and rectangles (electrical boxes). My holes and rectangles just are not that accurate. I have seen construction where the drywall guys have super nice, tight cuts. How do they do that?

My method is probably the same as most people, which involves measuring and drawing the shape to be cut out onto the new drywall panel. Then, mounting the new drywall panel with holes cut out onto the studs. This takes forever, and my results aren't that great.

Is there a faster and more accurate way to do this without drawing the shapes? Are certain tools, even power tools, better suited for this?

Highlights from the Thread

wildbill7145 Member

Just found this on here. Will likely answer most of your questions: cutting holes in drywall

XSleeper Member

I second the Rotozip. But make sure the wires in the outlets have been pushed ALL THE WAY back in the box or you will really screw up the insulation on the wires with it. Some guys like to router the inside of the box, before routering the outside of the box... makes it easier to see what you're doing. Going the right direction (clockwise or counterclockwise, depending) also helps immensely. If your router wants to constantly spin off the box and out into the drywall, you are probably pushing the router in the wrong direction. The direction of the rotation of the bit should help the router hug the box as you move it around the box.

czizzi Member

With the Rotozip, it is important that you use drywall bits and not wood bits. They look similar except that the drywall bits have no cutting edge on the extreme edge. This allows the blade to follow the contour of the box or can and not try to cut through it.

Also important to not nail or screw the drywall off completely in or around the holes to be cut or you will crack or bulge the drywall and create additional headaches to the install.

joecaption1 Member

And use the bits with a pilot on the tip. It acts as a guide against whatever you’re cutting out. Set the depth guide so only the pilot is sticking out. A bit with full cutting surface will tear up the fixture.

dgb049 Member


Remember, go counter clockwise with the Roto-Zip.

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