The 5 Best Drywall Cutout Tools

Drywall Cutout Tools

Drywall cutout tools can be a time-saving purchase for professional contractors, carpenters and electricians who frequently work with drywall (Source).

They let you perform more intricate cutouts and their adjustable depth guides mean you don't have to worry about cutting through hidden electrical lines (Source).

These rotary tools come either corded or cordless, with the corded options providing greater RPM (revolutions per minute), while the cordless offer somewhat less power but are easier to use on remote job-sites where electrical outlets are scarce (Source).

Given the variety of bits you can swap in out and (without tools), you can use these cutout tools on plywood, tile, wallboard and other surface materials. Though we'd recommend against 1/4" and thicker sheet metal (Source).

How They Compare

The corded Makita drywall cut-out tool has the most RPM at 32,000, while its cordless counterpart had the most RPM among the cordless options at 30,000. Only the Milwaukee and the cordless DeWalt drywall cutout tools have integrated LED lights.

The cordless Makita was also the lightest weight at 2.1 lbs (though that's before you've purchased the battery separately), while its corded brother was the heaviest at 3.5 lbs. If you're looking for an inexpensive, 'value' option, we'd recommend checking out the corded DeWalt.

The DeWalt rotary drywall tool ships with 1 drywall cutting bit plus 1/4" & 1/8" collets. It shuts off with a turn-on/bump-off switch and is a 5-amp, 30,000 rpm option.

Professional drywall contractors as well as home-repair hobbyists say that if you are working with drywall more than on one-off occasions, this tool makes drywall installation and repair a justified purchase.

Traditionally a thankless task, these specialized rotary tools make remodeling work much faster & easier, especially if you're used to using hand tools. While it produces a fair amount of dust, by adjusting the angle of the cuts you can mitigate that somewhat.

Buyers also advise to blow it out after every use to remove damaging dust. Though it has a sealed motor- it's a sensible precaution to blow it out and keep moving parts dust-free.

Cutout Drywall Tools Compared

 Cutout Drywall ToolOur RatingPrice ($)Cordless?RPMLED Light?Weight
The DeWalt Corded Cutout Rotary Tool4.5$No30,000No3.4 lbs
The Makita Cordless Drywall Cutout Tool4.3$$$Yes30,000No2.1 lbs
The Milwaukee Cordless Cutout Tool4.0$$$Yes28,000Yes2.4 lbs
The DeWalt Cordless Drywall Cutout Tool4.5$$$Yes26,000Yes2.5 lbs
The Makita Drywall Cutout Rotary Tool4.9$$No32,000No3.5 lbs

Best Cutout Rotary Tools For 2017

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This drywall cut-out tool offered by Dewalt is powerful, handy, light, and versatile. Users love the tool-free bit changing system, but some do note that they had issues changing the bits fast.

The Dewalt cutout tool measures 11.5” x 5.5” x 3.5”, and it features an RMP of 30,000 which is great if you need more cutting power, a slim body design, a dust-sealed switched, a 5-amp sealed motor, a turn-on/bump-off switch, and a weight of 3.4 pounds. Another great thing about this cut-out rotary tool is that comes with ¼” and 1/8” collets.

A reviewer observes that this is one of the best cut-out rotary tools for drywall installation and that it’s solidly built and well-designed. He advises that you use a compressor to blow the dust out of the tool after you have finished using it.

Another user mentions that the motor is extremely powerful and that it won’t get bogged down even during heavy-duty jobs. He also says that although this corded cut-out tool vibrates a lot, it’s easy to use it and he highly recommends it. A reviewer adds that the Dewalt rotary tool cuts through plywood and acrylic with no issues and that it takes some time to get used to changing the bits.

However, some customers have said that the cutout tool is hard to control and that the vents blow dust in your face. Some users also note that the turn off switch is uncomfortable to reach and that there is only one speed.

DeWalt Corded Video Overview

Pros

  • Dust-sealed switch and motor
  • Tool-free bit change
  • Light
  • Two collets included
  • Light
  • Relatively easy to use

Cons

  • No variable speeds
  • Blows dust
  • Hard to control for some users
  • Uncomfortable switch
  • Difficult bit change

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

If you are searching for a top-notched cut-out tool, you might spare a moment to take a look at this cordless drywall cutting tool offered by Makita. Users love the shaft lock button for fast bit change, but some do note that the battery is not included in the package.

The Makita cut-out tool measures 12” x 4” x 5”, and it features an RMP of 30,000, a slim body design, a weight of 3.7 pounds with the battery, and a tool-less depth adjustment.  Another great thing about this tool is that it features Star Protection technology, and you can power it with Makita 18 V batteries.

A buyer comments that the Makita drywall router is very useful and handy since you don’t have to worry about tripping over the cord. He adds that the cut-out tool works exceptionally well and that he doesn’t have any complaints regarding its functionality.

Another reviewer observes that the Makita cordless cut-out tool is a necessity for any wallboard project and that it saves him a lot of time. A user adds that the battery lasts more than he expected and that he highly recommends it. However, some customers have said that the tool vibrates too much and that it’s easy to bump the switch. Some users also note that there are no variable speeds.

Cordless Makita Video Overview

Pros

  • Cordless
  • Shaft lock button
  • Slim
  • Light
  • Tool-less depth adjustment
  • Star Protection technology

Cons

  • No variable speed
  • Vibrates too much for some users
  • Easy to bump switch
  • No battery

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This 18-volt cordless drywall cut-out tool offered by Milwaukee is practical, fast and suitable for any carpentry shop. Users love the LED light and the vent on top of the device to blow the dust away, but some do note that they had issues with the depth guard.

The Milwaukee cut-out tool measures 12” x 12” x 4”, and it features a 4-pole motor, an RPM of 28,000, a tool-free depth adjustment, and a weight of 3 pounds.

Another great thing about this rotary tool is features Redlink Intelligence that provides overload protection. The package also includes a belt clip, 1/8 inch drywall bits, a 1/8-inch collet, a ¼-inch collet, and a wrench. It’s compatible with M18 batteries and chargers.

An online reviewer mentions that he is very impressed with the performance and functionality of the Milwaukee 18-volt cut-out tool. He states that the tool is powerful, well-balanced and easy to control and that it’s one of the best drywall rotary tools available on the market. The reviewer adds that the battery lasts for hours and that the motor is powerful and quiet. However, he observes that the depth guard can only be adjusted in .25” increments and that he doesn’t like that.

Cordless Milwaukee Video Overview

Pros

  • LED light
  • Vent on the top
  • Powerful
  • A tool-free depth adjustment
  • Light
  • Overload protection
  • Accessories

Cons

  • Some complaints regarding the depth guard

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

If you need a cordless drywall cutting tool, you might take a look at this 20-volt rotary tool offered by Dewalt. Users love the dust-sealed switch for prolonged use, but some do note that they had issues controlling it.

The Dewalt cordless rotary tool measures 4” x 3.8” x 10.5”, and it features an RMP of 26,000, a tool-free bit change, a bright LED light which is great because you can enlighten dark working areas, and a weight of 2.5 pounds. To use this drywall cut-out tool, you need two lithium-ion batteries, which are not included in the package.

In general, users have a high opinion regarding the Dewalt cordless cut-out tool, and they praise its performance, design, and usefulness. A purchaser comments that he has used this tool to cut drywalls, thick woods and aluminum with no complaints and that one battery last around eight hours.

Another buyer states that the rotary cut-out tool throws less dust than similar products and that it works well on ½ inch thick plywood. A user adds that the Dewalt tool arrived in perfect condition and that it’s a necessity for anyone installing drywalls. However, some customers have said that they find it hard to change the bits and that tool generates too much dust. Some also note that there isn’t a case for storage.

Cordless DeWalt Video Overview

Pros

  • A dust-sealed switch
  • A tool-free bit change
  • LED light
  • Cordless
  • Powerful
  • Light

Cons

  • Hard to control for some users
  • Bit change issues
  • No case for storage

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This drywall rotary tool offered by Makita is well-designed, well-balanced and suitable for cutting various materials. Users love the lightweight design, but some do note that it’s corded.

The Makita cut-out tool measures 2” x 2” x 10”, and it features a powerful 5-amp motor, an RMP of 32,000, a centrifugal fan, a two-way slide/bump switch, a tool-less depth adjustment, a ten ft. cord, and a weight of 2.4 pounds. Another great thing about this tool is that the fan exhaust vents blow the dust away from your face and the switch is sealed for protection and durability.

In general, reviewers are extremely satisfied with the performance and lightness of the Makita drywall tool, and they don’t have any major complaints.

A buyer comments that the drywall rotary tool is solidly built, but not heavy enough to tire your arms and that he highly recommends it. Another reviewer mentions that the cut-out tool feels good in his hands and that it works smoothly and precisely.

He adds that you can quickly change the bits and that it makes his job easy and pleasant. A user also notes that two 1/8-inch bits are included in the package and that he has been using the tool rigorously without any issues.

Makita Video Overview

Pros

  • Well-balanced
  • Light
  • Powerful
  • A centrifugal fan
  • A tool-free depth adjustment
  • A dust-sealed switch

Cons

  • Corded
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What Are Buyers Saying?


The first drywall cut out tool we took a look at is the DeWalt DW660. This is an imported option that ships with a single drywall cutting bit as well as 1/4" as well as 1/8" collets. This is a corded 5 amp drywall cutting machine that produces 30,000 revolutions per minute with an ergonomic and lightweight design engineered to reduce operator fatigue during extended use.

A type of rotary cutout tool, most buyers say it's pretty easy to swap out the bits of the tool without having to use a wrench. They applauded it as an exceptionally powerful option that is ideal for carpenters, electricians and drywall contractors- with integrated dust filtration provided by sealing the switch and motor.

  • One buyer who didn't want to use it on drywall, but instead on the plywood, told us that this rotary drywall unit was able to cut through 3/4" thick chemically treated plywood.
  • Indeed, as long as you pay attention to the bit you are using, reviewers tell us that it will work on most plywoods- though with hardwood you shouldn't go above 3/4".
  • On the other hand, another buyer says that you shouldn't use it to cut grooves or straight lines- it would be better to use a router- routers will provide more variegated bits to use and the integrated fences ensure a straight-edge cut, while the drywall cutout tool specializes in rough plunge cuts.
  • One professional drywall contractor says that traditionally he had to manually cut around vents and outlets- he purchased this drywall rotary cutout tool and was immediately impressed by its power and the ease of use.
  • Because of the tool-free bit swapping, it's quick to change between different cutting styles and you don't need to keep a wrench handy all the time.
  • While buyers who were doing a one time home renovation project may not need one, if you are working with drywall frequently, or a professional drywall contractor, there's really no excuse not to purchase a drywall cutout tool to help facilitate your work.
  • As opposed to a jab saw, because you can adjust the depth of the tool to the drywall thickness, you eliminate the dangerous risk of cutting through hidden data and electrical lines.

The second drywall cut out tool we took a look at his manufactured by Makita- it provides 30,000 RPM, weighs 3.7 pounds and is a cordless option. It's marketed as a strong & effective tool for drywall contractors- helping to enhance their cutting performance while remaining a cordless and therefore extremely portable option that doesn't require tools to swap out drill bits.

  • Buyers say that it doesn't have an LED light, no variable speeds and does not ship with a battery.
  • Overall, buyers were impressed with its efficacy, saying it works with LXT batteries, but some complained that it was a little bit too heavy and that the guide ring doesn't function effectively for .5" drywall.
  • Another downside is that it doesn't ship with a hard case- this makes it inconvenient to store, which is somewhat of an oversight considering that as a portable option you would think a handy carrying case would be included.
  • Another buyer was clearly impressed, however, saying that he purchased it as part of a remodeling and office renovation project that required working with wallboard.
  • In particular, he says that as a cordless option it made it easier to get the job done because he didn't have to search out a viable electric outlet in an unfinished home rehab situation and you're not tripping over a cord, which increase the safety of the worksite.

The third drywall cut out to be examined is manufactured by Milwaukee- it is a cordless option that is marketed as an especially compact rotary hand tool that includes a proprietary four-pole motor for providing faster and more powerful cuts. This is a 28,000 RPM rotary tool that can do 120 cuts all off of one battery charge- in addition it does include an LED light as well as tool-free depth adjustment.

  • One buyer wondered how effective it would be working with sheet metal and reviewers responded with a consensus opinion that it wouldn't work all that well because of the high RPM friction that would in all likelihood cause the unit to overheat and ruin the cutting-edge.
  • Many buyers had long anticipated Milwaukee releasing a cordless drywall cutout rotary tool, saying that for drywall contractors who only use Milwaukee tools having to transport around a separate battery pack charger for a Dewalt, for instance, was a bit of a hassle.
  • Overall, buyers applauded how well balanced this tool was in addition to the ease with which DIY homeowners and professional contractors could easily control and wield it.
  • Some of the noted benefits include an integrated LED light, enhanced motor speed, an integrated depth guard and a ventilated top motor to help keep dust and debris from shooting into the operators face.
  • Overall, buyers were impressed by how powerful the motor is, how long the battery lasts and the design that provides high-quality vibration isolation and tool balance.
  • On the downside, one experienced contractor complained because the depth guard only adjusts in quarter inch increments, this preset feature was somewhat of an annoyance for individuals who prefer to infinitely adjust their depth guard.

The fourth option is another DeWalt drywall cut out tool- this one is cordless and provides 26,000 RPM and has an LED light, though it does not ship with a battery. It's marketed to contractors and home repair hobbyists who are working with acoustical ceiling tiles, drywall, even plywood.

The included LED light helps perform cuts when you are in dark and unilluminated areas- a real convenience.

  • One buyer who wondered whether it would but wallboard was told by our user base of that with the right bit it certainly would.
  • Another reviewer who tested it on a range of different surface materials including aluminum sheeting, chemically treated plywood, and drywall says that it works best on drywall and functioned only moderately effectively on thicker woods and the aluminum sheeting.
  • Other mobile contractors were impressed saying that there is no trade-off in power for it being a cordless rotary tool.

The last option we looked at was the corded Makita drywall cut out tool- this is a 32,000 RPM, 5 amp option. Buyers overall were fairly impressed saying that it is lighter weight than the comparable DeWalt option and for some users felt more ergonomically friendly in their hands.

An artist told us that by employing shaft burrs and sanding drums that these modifications have increased his artistic output, while another reviewer was impressed by its dust extraction.

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