Cut Drywall With a Jigsaw in 5 Steps (Tutorial)

Cutting drywall can be difficult if you use the wrong saw. I needed to cut drywall to size and make holes for the light switches when I remodeled my home. It would be too costly to buy a different saw for every application, and I needed to know if the ones I had would cut all the materials for the different applications I had. I wondered if you could cut drywall with a jigsaw?

When cutting drywall to size, you can use a jigsaw if you have a few other tools to help get the job done correctly. Because drywall can rip or tear when it’s cut incorrectly. Using a utility knife, drywall rasp, drill with a drill bit, and marking tools with a jigsaw is perfect for cutting drywall.

Installing drywall is not too difficult to tackle as a DIY project, but it can be a challenge if you only have one or two saws. I had this problem when I needed to install drywall in my home. After speaking to a few contractors, I discovered I could use the saws I had to get the job done correctly. I decided to share the information I gathered about cutting drywall with a jigsaw.

cutting drywall with a jigsaw

How to Cut Drywall With a Jigsaw (5 Useful Items)

You can use a jigsaw to cut drywall, but you will need a few other tools to help get the job done. These tools will help you make precise, accurate clean cuts and won’t damage the drywall. Here is what you will need together with a jigsaw to cut drywall.

1. Saw Blade

You will need a saw blade made explicitly for cutting drywall. The blade must be compatible with a jigsaw and usually has a medium tooth count between 8-14 teeth. A blade like this works perfectly to cut drywall without tearing the paper.

2. Utility Knife

You will need a utility knife to make the majority of cuts in the paper as outlines, and the jigsaw will cut the inner part of the drywall sheet.

3. Drill and Drillbit

A drill with the correct drill bit will help you make the starter holes so you can easily insert the jigsaw to cut or make a plunge cut to get the jigsaw blade started. 

4. Marker and Speed Square

You will need a marker and speed square to mark the lines of the cuts you need to make to ensure you won’t cut skewed or incorrectly. It’s a good idea to use a carpentry pencil to make the markings.

5. Drywall Rasp

A drywall rasp is a tool that you use to smooth out the rough cut edges of the drywall. It has a serrated-wire grate, and it helps the overall look of the cut drywall pieces.

How Does A Jigsaw Work?

cutting with a jigsaw

To ensure you can use a jigsaw to cut drywall, you need to know how a jigsaw works. A jigsaw works with a reciprocating motion like a sewing machine. It has a straight blade that moves up and down, cutting the material at the upstroke because the teeth are pointed upwards.

The more teeth are on the blade, the finer and more precise the cut. It’s essential to turn the piece you are cutting over and cut it from behind; it will ensure a much cleaner cut, with less damage to the drywall facing the front.

How To Use A Jigsaw To Cut Drywall

cutting drywall

When you use a jigsaw to cut drywall, there are three different cuts you can use to get the drywall to the desired size and shape. These cuts are:

Making Standard Cuts

Making standard cuts in drywall is not difficult; you simply need to press the jigsaw blade into the drywall with enough pressure to make a hole. You should try not to use too much pressure as it doesn’t take much to break through the surface. 

Making Plunge Cuts 

To make plunge cuts, you need to position the tool to ensure the blade is aligned with the markings without touching it. You need to rest the heel of the jigsaw on the drywall and select the orbital function. Turn the jigsaw on and run it at high speed, then push the blade through the drywall slowly until it breaks through the drywall.

Making Rectangular Cuts

To make rectangular cuts in the drywall, make the markings with the carpentry pencil. Using a combination square with a bubble level, cut the lines you marked on the drywall. Using the combination square and bubble level will ensure you make precise and straight cuts. 

Tips When Cutting Drywall With A Jigsaw

Here are a few useful tips so you can make straight and accurate cuts in drywall with a jigsaw.

  • The most important thing you should remember when working with any saw is to wear the appropriate PPE at all times. It helps protect you from accidents.
  • If you are using the jigsaw for the first time, you need to read the owner’s manual carefully to ensure you know exactly how the saw works.
  • Inspect the saw and other tools thoroughly before you use them to make sure there are no defects or problems that might cause an accident or hurt you in any way.
  • You must look at the blade you are using before you cut; if you find any chips or teeth missing, you need to replace the blade before you cut again. Cutting the drywall with a damaged blade will damage the drywall or lead to injuries.
  • You should have an extraction bag handy to clean up the dust from the cutting regularly. The dust is dangerous to inhale and might damage your lungs, so ensure to keep the area clear of dust.
  • When the blade doesn’t want to go through the drywall, don’t force it. You need to reverse the saw before you try to cut it again. There might be some foreign object blocking the path of the jigsaw.

Conclusion

When I needed to cut drywall, all I had was a jigsaw, and I hoped I could use it to cut the drywall. After some research, I found I with the help of the proper tools; you can use a jigsaw to cut drywall. You need to make proper cuts when installing drywall or risk ripping the top layer of the drywall, which would easily break the boards. 

James Thomas

James Thomas

Tool Enthusiast

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