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Old 05-05-2010, 05:08 PM   #1
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Drywall Screwdriver and other tools

I'm about to start putting up drywall in a 3 room, 600 sq.ft. addition in the basement. I'm looking for tools that I reasonably need to get this one-time job done.

I've tried using one of those screw depth attachements you use on a regular drill, but I've been unstatisfied with the results and looking for something better. It looks like this drywall drill at Home Depot could fill the bill... the cost isn't too much and it seems to be getting reasonable reviews.

Looking for any input if this is the way to go, if there is a better tool at a reasonable cost (again, remember, this is for a one-time project), or should I be looking at something else entirely.

What about making cuts for things like outlets and windows? They've got that router/dremal hybrid, but at $50-$100, don't know if it's worth it for a one time job.

Any input on tools I should look into would be appreciated... but keep in mind that I'm doing all the work as a one-man job, this is a one-time job, and I'm doing all the work because we need to safe the $$$ for a mini-van... the family is about to outgrow the SUV when it comes to car seats.


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Old 05-05-2010, 07:52 PM   #2
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If you already have an impact drill, that's what I've been using. Just go slow at the end so as not to overdrill. If you have a cordless drill the same rules apply. Everything I've read says a drywall driver is only worth the money if you are a pro. There was a suggestion about a drywall dimpler which sounds like a good idea and can be purchased at HD for $14 but again it's something I've never used.

There really is no substitute for a minivan for a big family that I've seen.


Last edited by Jim F; 05-05-2010 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:56 PM   #3
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I can't imagine hanging drywall without a drywall screw gun--I see why you are frustrated.

I've got a bunch of DeWalt ones--I have no idea of the cost.

As for a rotozip--Harbor Freight has cheap-o's--That would work well.
Someone gave me a Ryoby 18v cordless as a birthday present---that is one handy tool!

Good luck--Do you have any friends that might lend you the tools for a few days?

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Old 05-06-2010, 08:29 AM   #4
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No one to borrow from. I've been watching cregs list for drywall related tool hoping someone else out there doing what I'm doing (buying tools they might only use for this one job then want to sell them to get a few bucks back). But so far, no dice... the only place I've done pretty well has been picking a few things up at Harbor Freight. They have a store here in town. I've been able to pickup a palm nailer and a right angle drill for pretty cheap prices. I'll have to look into something like the Ryoby... at least it or a powerful dremal would have more uses in the future.

I ment to include a link before... here's the tool I'm thinking about getting at home depot.
The price seems reasonable for a one-time job.
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:41 AM   #5
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the roto is a nice tool but hanging and cutting without is not that hard. a good drywall screw gun is a must imho
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:41 AM   #6
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The impact as above suggested works great, plus it has 1001 other uses so it isn't like it is a one use deal. I got a craftsman combo with the impact and regular screw gun, 19.6V for $100. I fully expected it to crap out after some use but it didn't. Went through my 5 month renovation w/o any issue.

I have found that using the regular old drywal jab saw works great for all your cutting needs.

The rototool and the drywall guns are great if you do it all the time. To me, not worth the expense.

Good luck.

Also, that rotozip can sometimes do more harm than good. Very easy to go wild with it then you have more finishing to do.

They look and sound cool but I would stick with the jab saw.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:53 AM   #7
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For a novice on a small(ish) project, I'd say just make your cuts with a utility knife and/or keyhole saw. I would invest in an actual screwgun. You can get one for under $100 at any big box store (Dewalt, Ridgid, Makita are all good quality). China Freight probably carries a cheaper off-brand that would suffice for occasional use.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:11 AM   #8
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If you've never hung drywall, call your local Habitat for Humanity (or similar) and see if anyone is drywalling in the near future. It is a good way to see how the whole process works and have people you can ask questions to as you go.

As for tools:

A power driver of some sort, drill or impact driver is a must. I have seen people tack the sheets up with nails and come back later to drive their screws but if you don't do it all the time I could imagine it is pretty easy to mess up that way.
When I've done it with Habitat they always outfit their drills with dimple bits. It will help prevent over-driving your screws. The bits are like $0.50. Buy a few.
A nail pouch will also save a bit of time so you don't have to keep going to get screws.
A good utility knife or three. If you are like me you will set one down and forget where you put it.
A friend or ten to help hang the ceiling. Again, with Habitat they apply construction adhesive before installing the ceilings. Don't know if it is overkill or not but it seems to work out well enough.
A drywall square and scoring square will make cuts a lot easier.
The Habitat folks here also make what they call "Durbin Buckets" - which are two 5-gallon buckets turned upside down about 36" apart with a 2x10 or 2x12 between them. Everything is fastened in and secured. Make awesome, light-weight platforms to get up a few feet.

For one-off tools Harbor Freight or a local equivalent is fine. For tools you plan on using a long time, buy a reputable brand.

There are also a number of threads here on how to finish your drywall that explain the types of mud, how to use tape and so on as well as having links to other sources with videos and more how-to's
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:40 AM   #9
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Here are the tools I use when I do any drywall job. I like to have everything so I can do a drywall job as fast as possible.

Maybe there are some tools you could skip but this is what a person would optimally have.

basic utility knife
drywall T-square
drywall saw
keyhole saw
power jig
circle cutter
drywall lift
drywall hammer
drywall screws (instead of regular screws; project goes a lot faster)
electric drywall screw gun
taping knife
pole sander
sprayer (prob have to rent this unless ya want to spend thousands of dollars)


Last edited by ews; 05-13-2010 at 11:43 AM. Reason: forgot something
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