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Old 05-03-2013, 10:50 AM   #1
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Hi all. Starting to mud and tape this weekend. Are the knives at home depot good enough? Should I get a 6 10 and 12 inch knife? Thanks.

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Old 05-03-2013, 11:05 AM   #2
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I do not shop at box stores so do not know what HD carries.

What you want though are tools with blades that flex a bit but not so much the action is wimpy.

Consider the quality of the handles and how the blades are rivoted in place through the handles. If the blade is rocking around in a cheap Chinese handle when it is new, and the rivets look sloppy, the situation will not improve with age, I promise!

Look for decent quality stainless steel and not carbon steel that will rust on you.

You most certainly want to think about a basic 6-8" taping knife and a nice wide one the width of a standard mud tray for skim coating and things. I am not sure you need a 10" also but it might come in handy. And it may be a size you are comfortable using for your taping work so buy it if you can afford it.

Some people like inside and outside corner tools. I find them helpful some times but just in the way most of the time. The small ones with no flex are absolutely worthless.

I've always had sort of a multi-purpose plastic drywall knife for quick jobs. They come in real handy for mixing dry mud too and are super easy to clean.

Invest in a good mud pan. I like the real metal ones but had a rounded bottom plastic one with inserted metal edges that was nice until the plastic got carved up. The $3 plastic things are tossing money to the wind and will break in your hand.

You will want a good quality utility knife and some blades too. And a drywall rasp and some sanding blocks.

Keep your drywall tools cleaned and lightly coated with something like WD-40 when stored and they will be ready to use whenever you need them for many years to come.

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Old 05-03-2013, 11:10 AM   #3
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Thanks for all the info. Lots of good information. I will head up tonight and see what I can figure. I did get a drywall rasp for hanging and that was the best thing I ever bought.

Hope the next step goes well :-)
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:20 PM   #4
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Hope the next step goes well :-)
Whether it does or not is really up to you. You are at least starting out asking about the right tools!

It all comes with a learning curve so do not be too hard on yourself.

The biggest mistake first timers make with mud and tape is over thinking and over working it. Gob the mud in the seams remembering of all building materials it is about the cheapest? Press real paper tape into it. Take your knife and press the tape into the mud. Scrape the excess away so you do not have to sand it and then leave it alone as as successful first pass.

Really, it is when you start overworking it you get in trouble, the tape starts tearing and degrading on you, etc.

Let the mud dry, then come back at it with your finish coats.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:28 PM   #5
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I'm trying to do it right :-)

Shouldn't be too bad. dad is helping with project and he's done it before. And I've been watching a lot of YouTube!
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:01 PM   #6
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WallBoard makes good ones, Marshalltown makes good ones USG makes really good ones. make sure you spring for the little extra and get stainless steel. make sure your taping knife has that brass cap on the end. That is a hammer for when you come across a nail that needs to be pounded in. Mud pan go metal and stainless as well. and don't buy a corner knife you can use your regular 6" blade for inside corners.
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:34 PM   #7
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Mine are from HD.

I've tried a few, and end up buying one here or there... I've grown to like some favorites. You'll just find that with some you can get a nice smooth edge and with others you struggle a bit more. It's trial and error. One I like just has a hard plastic yellow textured handle. I didn't think I'd like the plastic ones cuz they seem cheaper but it holds really nice and works well. In the bigger ones I've got one I like w a rubbery grip.

I agree with sdsester... the corner tool is a unitasker. After some practice, I can do an inside corner just as nice w a regular blade and not have to clean extra utensils.

-mike
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:57 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. Local hd only carries wall board so glad to hear they are decent. Going shopping tonight :-)
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshs View Post
Hi all. Starting to mud and tape this weekend. Are the knives at home depot good enough? Should I get a 6 10 and 12 inch knife? Thanks.
Unless you are going in the business of drywalling, you had it right in your first post. Get the basic knives from Home Depot. I also like to use a 3" knife for bedding the tape. I may even skip the 10" and go to the 12".

To all the other posts, yes, you are correct, but you sometimes fail to realize that we are DIYers who are going to do this one project and then put the tools away until we need them again in three years and can't find them and have to buy new ones.

B
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beepster View Post
Unless you are going in the business of drywalling, you had it right in your first post. Get the basic knives from Home Depot. I also like to use a 3" knife for bedding the tape. I may even skip the 10" and go to the 12".

To all the other posts, yes, you are correct, but you sometimes fail to realize that we are DIYers who are going to do this one project and then put the tools away until we need them again in three years and can't find them and have to buy new ones.

B

So very true. I got my drywall knives at harbor freight (though the knives at lowes were the same price). As long as I clean and dry them off, no rust. If they do happen to get some rust, a green scrubby or steel wool cleans them right up.

sdester's warning about not overworking the mud is also very true. If you screw up spreading the mud and start trying to fix it with additional smoothing passes, you're almost guaranteed to make it worse. It's much better to just wait until the coat dries, then apply your next coat to smooth it out (sand between the coats, if you really have something out of whack that needs fixing).
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:33 PM   #11
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+ 10 on the not over working it. I was the next Picasso. NOT...needless to say I did a lot of tearing off paper and starting again. "But it looks soooo easy on tv"

Now I limit myself to 2 passes and if its got issues there is always the sanding.

Just remind yourself the folks you see doing it on the idiot box have been doing it for so long that they almost create art.

I cant talk to HD but I can state that the ones that Lowes has with the blue handles have done us well for the last few years. They have gotten a good work out and are easy to use.

Robyn
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beepster View Post

To all the other posts, yes, you are correct, but you sometimes fail to realize that we are DIYers who are going to do this one project and then put the tools away until we need them again in three years and can't find them and have to buy new ones.

B
And some times we who do it alot lose tools along the way too.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:46 PM   #13
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i use a 3-4" knife bedding the tape for inside corners. then i got over the corners with a 4-5" knife. i find there is no need for a 6" in the corners. i then use a 5-6" for taping my butts and flats. and for final skim i use a 10-12" knife. so for a regular homeowner i'd get a 3,5, and a 10. and like the others said all stainless and a stainless pan. good luck
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:31 PM   #14
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I bought my knives at Lowes, they have stainless versions that are cheap. I want to buy a Marshaltown or Goldblat hawk on Amazon (great price), but I'm almost done with the current drywall work. Personally I don't like pans. I plop the mud on double wall cardboard pieces I have cut to size. I just throw them out after each use.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:35 PM   #15
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Another thing that works for me... I really try to smooth out the mud. IMO I'd rather sand less and have to put on another coat, even if it takes longer. I hate the sanding part.

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