How to Use an Oscillating Multi Tool to Cut Sections Out of Drywall

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Drywall is a popular material for home construction because it is inexpensive and easy to install. However, sometimes you may need to cut a section out of drywall for installation or repair purposes. This can be difficult to do with standard tools like a saw or drill. An oscillating multi tool can make this process much easier. In this blog post, we will discuss the steps necessary to use an oscillating multi tool to cut sections out of drywall. 

What is an oscillating multi tool and what can it be used for

An oscillating multi-tool is a versatile power tool that can be used for various tasks, including drywall cutting. It has a blade that oscillates back and forth very quickly, making it ideal for cutting through materials like drywall.

 

Can You Use an Oscillating Multi-Tool to Cut Drywall?

Yes, an oscillating multi tool can be used to cut drywall. It has an oscillating blade with small teeth that moves back and forth quickly, so it can easily cut through the drywall.

There are a number of tools which are very useful for when you are working with drywall, however for certain drywall jobs, an oscillating multi tool is the best choice and rapidly becoming the industry norm.

You have significantly more control over an oscillating multi tool than you have over circular saws, jigsaws and jab saws. You can use the multi tool to cut into drywall whether it is on the bench or hung on the wall.

The oscillating tool is ideal for cutting holes for electrical boxes.

 

Advantages of Using an Oscillating Multi Tool for cutting drywall

 

Multi tools are very versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks, including cutting drywall. They have a number of advantages over other types of tools, such as:

 

  • You have more control over the oscillating multi tool than you do over other types of tools like circular saws and jigsaws.
  • They are very easy to use and handle.
  • They are much safer than other types of tools because the oscillating blade is less likely to cause injury.
  • the oscillating multi-tool blade vibrates as opposed to spinning or rasping which results in much cleaner, crisper cuts
  • They are very affordable and can be found at most hardware stores. 

 

Which Blade should I use on Oscillating Tool for cutting drywall?

When cutting drywall with an oscillating tool, you should ideally use the right blade and one that is specifically designed for cutting drywall. The oscillating tool drywall blade has small teeth that make it ideal for quickly making neat cuts through the drywall.

Having said that, drywall is a relatively soft material and general purpose oscillating blades marked for use with wood or wood and drywall, or even PVC should be fine. You will need blades with some teeth or abrasion instead of scraping or sanding blades.

 

“Carbon steel” blades, or “high carbon steel”, or “HCS” is fine for cutting drywall. You will not need bimetal or tungsten carbide blades for drywall.

 

There is also the shape of the drywall blade to consider, which will come down to the number of, and size and shape of cuts you are planning on making.

 

At the very least, you should equip yourself with a narrow blade for plunge cuts and a semi-circle/half-moon drywall blade. You will need a multi-function blade if you plan to cut circles or irregular shapes.

How to use an oscillating multi tool to cut sections out of drywall

If this is your first time either using a multi tool or using a multi tool to cut into drywall, then it is recommended that you practice on a spare piece of drywall before tackling the job at hand. This will help you to get a feel for how the tool works and how much pressure you need to apply.

 

When cutting drywall, the multi tool will produce fairly fine dust, which you should avoid breathing in. This dust could also irritate your skin. The multi tool will also make a reasonable amount of noise which you should avoid overexposure to. For all these reasons, we recommend you wear a mask, gloves and hearing and eye protection.

 

  1. Mark out the area which you need to cut with a pencil. It is important to be as accurate as possible so that you don’t end up cutting too much or too little drywall.
  2. With the appropriate drywall blade fitted and set at 90 degree angle (so it points out of the side of the tool as opposed to out of the top), set the oscillating tool to the correct speed. You should start at a lower speed and then increase the speed if you find that the blade is not cutting through the drywall easily. 
  3. Place your hand on the wall to steady yourself and the tool, and bring the oscillating tool blade against the drywall. The steadying hand guides the blade, and the other hand (the one controlling the power) drags the tool down the line. 
  4. Start cutting along the line you have marked.
  5. Allow your blade to get to the appropriate depth, and then apply even pressure as you move the blade backwards and forwards.
  6. If you need to make any adjustments to the blade, or if the blade becomes clogged with drywall dust, stop cutting and make the necessary adjustments.
  7. Once you have cut through the drywall and completed the cut around the shape, you can remove the section you have cut out.
  8. You may need to use a utility knife to score along the edges of the cut-out section so that it comes away cleanly.

 

And there you have it! You now know how to use an oscillating multi tool to cut sections out of drywall. Just remember to take your time, be accurate with your measurements and use the correct blade for the job at hand, and you will be sure to get great results.

 

Cutting a Circle or an irregular shape in Drywall with an Oscillating Tool

 

If you need to cut a circle or an irregular shape in drywall, you will need to use a multi-function blade. 

 

When cutting an irregular shape, it is even more important to be accurate with your measurements and take your time. If you rush the job, then you are more likely to make mistakes which could result in having to replace the drywall

 

You will use the part of the multi-function blade that looks like a dagger blade to cut the irregular shape. The dagger blade will cut into the drywall in a similar fashion as a reciprocating saw or jigsaw; however, you will have much more control over the depth of the cut and the direction of travel.

 

Start the multi tool and let the dagger tool piece the drywall. Carefully draw the blade along the guideline you have prepared.

 

If you need to make any adjustments, stop the tool and make the necessary changes.

 

Once you have cut around the entire shape, you can remove the section of drywall. Use a utility knife to score along the edges of the cut-out section so that it comes away cleanly.

 

And there you have it!

Tips and tricks for cutting sections out of drywall with an oscillating multi tool

  • Be accurate with your measurements
  • Use the correct blade for the job at hand
  • Take your time
  • Use a utility knife to score along the edges of the cut out section so that it comes away cleanly. 

 

If you are very unsure of yourself, you could score the line you intend to cut with your utility knife, which will provide a groove for the multi tool blade to sit in whilst you perform the eventual cut.

 

You can also use a piece of wood as a straight edge when making your cut.

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