View Full Version : Cutting drywall with a router

12-31-2003, 10:29 AM
I normally hang out in the finish carpenter's forum, so this may be a basic question, but here it is.

I need to cut a bunch of drywall to install backing to hang cabinets. I want to cut it clean and put back the pieces I take out. I know that the rotozip is promoted for this type of thing, but is there a bit that would fit in my laminate trimmer (small router), so I could avoid buying another tool that I would use only occasionally? Are there any cons to this approach?

Thanks much,

12-31-2003, 11:55 AM
Since you have to mud and tape the cuts, it doen't matter how clean they are, they will be covered by the tape. The roto zip makes a lot of very fine dust, I would just use a rock saw and cut between the studs, using them as a guide. Then fit your backing in between, "toenail" with screws and re-attach the drywall. Since it is behind a cabinet, it doesn't have to be perfect.

The rock saw cuts fast as well with less, more coarse dust.


12-31-2003, 02:09 PM
I think a 1/4 to 1/8 inch collet adapter might fit the bill. Here's Porter Cable's version, but I think most makers offer them. With the adapter you can use rotozip bits in your 1/4-inch laminate trimmer. Let us know how it works.

collet adapter (http://mivasecure.abac.com/toolauthority/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=T&Product_Code=42106&Category_Code=PCACCE)

12-31-2003, 09:28 PM
I agree with Kirk about the dust, my partner is always reaching for the cutout tool to cut holes in drywall and I hate the dust it creats. I just score the cut and reach for my drywall saw. Much cleaner way of doing it without all the dust in the air.

01-04-2004, 12:06 PM
Use the proper tool for the job. There are some things the cut out tool will do better than the say and vice versa. Frequently I can cut faster with the saw, and there is always less dust.

Plus, in your case, there is a learning curve withthe cut out tool(router) not to mention what all that dust will do to your bearings. I wonder if "real" cut out tools have sealed bearing to protect against that?


Rick Anderson
01-05-2004, 07:57 PM
A large dryWall saw (not the keyhole) will cut the fastest, not raize much dust. The large blade makes it ez to keep next to the stud.

If the rock is very hard, has several coats of paint, I sometimes use a makita 9.6 V recip saw. The low speed doesn't raize much dust and it saves my arms.

My favorite new "gee Wiz" tool for this is my Porter Cable 19.2 V cordless. Now Kirk has me worried on how long it will last cutting board. Drywall dust has got to be the worst case for bearings.

A router with the large window bit makes it ez for large cuts (plus fits in 1/4" collet). Using the small bit on plastic electrical boxes takes practice.

Myron Ferguson
01-08-2004, 09:09 PM
Whats wrong with a little drywall dust anyway?

01-23-2004, 07:04 PM
I can't believe no one has mentioned a small circ saw. I bought a Makita 9.6V circ saw (something like a 3" blade)I'm telling you, it makes cuts like a razor knife. I set it for 5/8" deep. The only thing is the saw has a trigger safety I conveniently took off with the Dremel. My Skil WD framer has no safety, why should a 3" battery tool?

Rick Anderson
01-23-2004, 08:25 PM
I use the same saw, or often the 9.6 volt mini recip saw (depending on the cut), but mostly on remodles over painted rock. I actually prefer my old 12 V Skill "Top Gun", but you can't get batteries for it.

The great thing about these low power/RPM saws is they cut fast and don't raise that must dust.

Where would you use this on new work?

01-24-2004, 07:04 AM
I found the saw lacks the battery life and power for new work. I actually bought the diamond blade for tile, but honestly keep the saw only for cutting into drywall and plaster. I follow the saw with a little one gallon shopvac, or sometimes just put a piece of heavy paper/cardboard under the saw against the wall.

Greg S. Levander
01-24-2004, 08:57 PM
I use a 2" coarse Kett saw blade(available at tool supply store for about $2.00)
I set the blade between 2 washers & nuts on a 4" 1/4" bolt/ splindle. I grab a piece of scrap wood (about 2.25" x12)& drill a 1/4" inch hole in it (or a hair larger) at the prpoper distance from the edge to accomodate the depth of what I am cutting. I use a VS cordless drill & use the scrap wood as a way to control the otherwise mean & nasty Kett saw blade. Again, Low RPM & a good Vacuum does the trick with minimal dust. This Is Reliabl,cheap, & very easy to accomodate any drywall removal situation. Greg

Mike Chrest
03-04-2004, 08:27 AM
Since you are a finish carp. you might consider a Fein detail sander. They come with a round saw blade that is THE BEST small patch drywall removal tool I have ever used. It leaves a hairline kerf and almost no dust.
Just run it down the middle of two studs, connect the verticle cuts and you can reuse the plug for the repair.

The nice thing is you can start in the middle of a wall. It can plunge cut with great control.

Watch out for screws though. You can hear when you hit one and back it out.

I also find other carpentry uses for it constantly. The wood cutting blades break if you sneeze on them and they are $40. The round blade is great.