How to Cut Drywall with an Oscillating Tool

How to Cut Drywall with an Oscillating Tool

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If you are doing interior walls, and you need to cut drywall sheets down to size, then there are a few different tools that you have at your disposal. Now, one of the most common tools to use for cutting drywall is an oscillating tool.

That said, today we want to figure out whether or not an oscillating tool is the best tool for cutting drywall, and if so, how it is done.

Is an Oscillating Tool the Best Tool for Cutting Drywall?

Sure, there are many tools that can be used to cut drywall, but the oscillating tool is one of the most common. One of the reasons that the oscillating tool is such a popular choice for cutting drywall is that it is so small and compact.

You can hold an oscillating tool with a single hand, hold the drywall with the other hand, and make cuts very easily. On that note, oscillating tools are also extremely portable and you can easily take them from one job site to another. What also needs to be said is that oscillating tools make very quick work out of drywall, especially if you have a special drywall cutting blade.

If you measure and mark correctly, using that drywall cutting blade, an oscillating multitool can be ideal for making long and straight cuts, but due to the shape of the blade, it’s also ideal for making small precision cuts. For all of these reasons, an oscillating tool is one of the best choices for cutting drywall.

What Oscillating Tool Blade Should You Use for Cutting Drywall?

Before you can get to cutting the drywall, you do need to make sure that you’re oscillating tool has the right blade fitted into it. Generally speaking, something like a semicircle HSS blade will work best for cutting drywall.

When you go to your local hardware or tool shop, you will see that there are many different types of blades for oscillating tools, and you want to go for one that is specifically labeled for cutting drywall.

The bottom line is that you need a very sharp blade that will easily cut through the drywall without causing too much tearing or damage to it.

How to Cut Drywall with an Oscillating Tool

Now that you know that an oscillating tool is ideal for cutting drywall, let’s go through a step-by-step tutorial on exactly how to get it done.

Step 1: Prepare the Area

First and foremost, you do want to prepare the area that you will be cutting drywall in, as drywall can be very messy when cut because it creates a lot of dust. Therefore, you want to consider cutting your drywall outdoors, or if doing so indoors, you want to put down some sheets and tarps to catch all of that dust.

You may also want to set up a small sawhorse in case you need to support the drywall from underneath to make your cuts.

Step 2: Safety First

Next, before you start doing anything, you also want to make sure that you put on either a respirator or at least a high-quality mask. Drywall creates a lot of dust when being cut, and drywall dust is not something that you want to inhale, so safety is called for.

Step 3: Measure and Mark

You now want to use your measuring tape to measure the space in which the drywall sheet is going to be installed. You then want to use a pencil or any other kind of marking utensil to transfer these measurements onto your drywall sheet that is being cut. Make sure to measure twice, because once the drywall has been cut, there is no going back.

Step 4: Affix Your Drywall Blade

The next step here, if you haven’t done so already, is to affix your drywall cutting blade to your oscillating tool. Make sure that everything is tight and secure, so that it cannot come loose when making your cut.

Step 5: Make the Cut

Now that everything has been prepared, it is time to actually make your cut. Remember that if you are cutting a large piece of drywall down to size, you do want to use something like a table or sawhorse to support it from underneath. Now, start up your oscillating tool and get it up to full speed.

You now want to move it along the line that you measured and marked in the previous step. When cutting drywall, something that you want to remember is that a pendulum-type motion or a rocking motion is best.

You don’t want to constantly touch the blade to the drywall. You want to periodically move the blade away from the drywall, using such a rocking motion, as this will help to remove dust and debris from the cut, therefore maintaining a good field of vision.

This type of motion will also help preserve the lifespan of the blade because the cutting edge will be doing most of the work. If dust happens to obscure your vision while cutting the drywall, stop using the tool and use either compressed air or a rag to get rid of any dust that is in your way.

Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks

Let’s quickly go over some tips and tricks to help make this process as fast and easy as possible:

  • Always remember to wear a mask and eye protection when cutting drywall, because you don’t want to get that desk in your lungs or eyes
  • Never try to cut drywall without supporting it from the underside, as drywall isn’t the most durable of materials, and may snap if you put too much pressure on it
  • Don’t try to cut drywall with an oscillating tool if you don’t have the right kind of blade, as it will not work properly


There you have it, folks, you should not have all of the information you need to effectively and efficiently cut drywall using an oscillating tool.