Drywall is the final shell on the outside of internal walls of a house. It is the surface upon which wallpaper can be hung, texturing can be applied and paint can be coated. Good drywall taping tools are vital for best results and you should never improvise and use tools that were not intended for the job. Not only will the finish be less satisfactory but the tasks will be more difficult. Drywall taping tools can be bought second hand or new, either individually or in pre-packaged kits for convenience.
Drywall used to be finished using paper tape but these days, some professionals prefer to use fiberglass mesh tape because of its self-adhesive convenience, its far greater strength and the ease of use. With the use of appropriate drywall taping tools, applying fiberglass mesh tape is quite simple and a smooth, barely detectable finish can be attained.
Commonly used drywall taping tools
You will definitely need a 4 or 4 ½ inch steel knife. Don’t bother with plastic knives as they will break. The steel should be fairly flexible and of good quality. After all, they’re not expensive and you want them to last the job. A width of greater than 4 1/2″ is not practical because you need to fasten the tape tightly within the recessed section of the joints.
Another essential drywall taping tool is the 10′ steel knife, which should also be of high quality and appropriate stiffness. A corner tool is also vital but of all the tools, you can afford for this one to be made of plastic as they seem to be more effective than the steel ones. Corner bead is important for ensuring that the corners where sheets of drywall meet are finished smoothly. A pair of tin snips will be needed to cut the corner bead and a hammer is required to nail it in.
Of course you’ll need the drywall tape. While fiberglass mesh tape is convenient, strong and easy to use, some professionals believe that it is a little bit of a nuisance when running the knife down, as the knife catches on the mesh at times. Weigh up the pros and cons and speak to your DIY advisor who can best advise you which one to choose. You’ll also need sandpaper to sand the drywall in between coats of compound.
A collection of the right drywall taping tools, and knowing how to use them correctly, is important to achieving good results. This job will require practice and tenacity so be prepared to spend plenty of time learning as you go.