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When remodeling or building our homes, we most likely have to cut some Drywall. If you do not have a drywall saw or rotary saw to cut drywall, then a Dremel will be able to do the same job. A Dremel is actually pretty good at cutting drywall.
To cut drywall with a Dremel we use the #565 Multi-Purpouse Cutting Kit or the #562 Tile Cutting Bit. A Dremel 4000 is a good option for cutting drywall. Secure the drywall, put on safety gear, mark the cut, start the Dremel at 25 000 RPMs, plunge the bit into the drywall and start cutting.
That is the main process of cutting drywall with a Dremel, but I have some tips and tricks for you that I want to share throughout this article that will make the cutting so much easier.
How to Cut Drywall With A Dremel – Step By Step
1. Best Dremel For Cutting Drywall
The best Dremel for cutting drywall is the Dremel with the most power. A Dremel 4000 will make a faster cut than a Dremel Lite for example.
But drywall is very easy to cut into, it does not offer much resistance when cutting and not a lot of torque is required to be able to cut it.
All of the the more powerful models will suffice for cutting drywall. Like the Dremel 3000, 4000, 4300, 8220, 8260, or any other brand of rotary tools that you own.
The models with weaker motors will also be able to cut through the drywall but at a slower rate. I tried with the Dremel Lite 7760 and it worked perfectly fine. A Dremel Stylo+ 2050 would have a harder time cutting the drywall, but you would be able to do some work with that as well.
My personal favorite is the Dremel 4000 (Amazon).
2. Best Bits For Cutting Drywall With A Dremel
Dremel Multi-Purpose Cutting Set
The #565 Multi-Purpose Cutting Kit equips you with all tools needed to cut drywall with a Dremel.
You get the cutting guide that you can also use to adjust the depth of the cut. The cutting guide is also really helpful when cutting other materials like wood and routing with a Dremel.
You get 3 different bits that all cut drywall effectively. These bits are designed to cut drywall.
Two of the bits have tracing tips. The tracing tips are good for tracing electrical boxes and other shapes. They also don’t damage the pre-installed wires as easily if you were to hit them.
Bits with tracing tips are a little bit harder to plunge into the drywall with.
You also get a bit without tracing tips at the end of the bit. This bit is better at plunging into the drywall because of the cutting edge at the end of the bit.
Dremel Tile Bit
The Dremel 562 Tile Cutting Bit (Amazon) is also a great option for cutting drywall. But it is a little bit slower than the bits mentioned above.
The tile cutting bit is a very versatile bit, so you will be able to find many great uses for it other than cutting drywall. I use it for shaping wood and cutting tiles once in a while.
Rotozip Drywall Cutting Bit
Rotozip also makes some great bits that can be used to cut drywall with the Dremel or rotary tool. Just make sure that the bits have a shank size of 1/8″ (3.2mm).
3. Safety Gear
Dust Mask: Cutting drywall will produce a lot of dust. Be sure to make a dust mask to protect your airways.
Protection Glasses: Always use protection glasses when using a rotary tool. You never know when something can come loose and fly into your eyes.
Hearing Protection: A rotary tool can be loud sometimes. It is a good idea to wear hearing protection.
4. Type Of Cut
Cut Circles With A Dremel In Drywall
Circles are best to cut freehand. But be sure to mark the cut so that have a line to follow. It is fairly simple to follow the line because the drywall cuts so easily.
Cutting freehand will give you a little more versatility during the cut.
You can cut decent circles without using any guides. Holes in drywall rarely have to be cut to perfection, because they will get covered up with either an electrical outlet or paneling.
You can also clean up the cut with the Dremel by using some sanding drums.
Cutting Squares With A Dremel In Drywall
When cutting squares in drywall with a Dremel I like to use the #565 cutting guide. It just gives more stability when cutting straight lines. But you can also do it without a guide.
Using the cutting guide will help you achieve a cleaner cut, and gives you more precision.
You can also adjust the depth with the cutting guide, adjusting the depth reduces the chance of accidentally cutting into anything that is hidden behind the wall.
Cutting Existing Patterns (Electrical Boxes, Air Vents)
Sometimes we need to do cuts that follow an existing pattern or template. This can be an electrical box or an air vent hole.
In these cases, we want to use the drywall cutting bits that have a tracing tip.
We set the depth of the bit with the cutting guide #565 so only the tracing tip sticks out through the drywall.
The tracing tip will now follow any pattern or template on the other side of the drywall. This is very helpful when installing electrical boxes because you can’t see them after the drywall has been installed. You also have to do a very little measuring.
This concept is better explained in video format, you can check out this video on youtube if you are interested.
Cutting In Tight Corners And Destruction
Dremels are small tools. And you can make them even smaller if you use the Flex Shaft Attachment.
This makes Dremels great for reaching into tight spaces.
If you are removing drywall, a Dremel can come in handy when you want to reach those hard-to-reach areas.
The #562 tile-cutting bit is best for this kind of work.
5. Mark The Cut
If you are not following a template it is very important to have very visible marked lines of the cutting area.
Dust from cutting the drywall will quickly cover the cutting line and make it hard to see.
I normally just use a permanent marker.
6. Secure The Drywall
Normally, the drywall is secured to a wall when we do the cutting. But if not, it is important to secure the drywall because it has a tendency to vibrate and result in a bad cut.
For this demonstration, I just clamped it down on top of some plywood scrap pieces.
7. Start Cutting
Cutting the drywall is fairly straightforward. Start the Dremel, plunge down the bit into the drywall, and follow the line as well as you can.
I’ve found that an rpm of about 25000 works best for me.
Cutting drywall is very different from cutting for example wood where the grain will often steer the bit.
In drywall, you can cut in any direction without much effort. So staying on the line should not be a big problem.
If you are using a bit with a tracing tip you might have to use some force to get through the drywall, because the end of the bit does not have a cutting edge.
If you are unable to push the tracing tip through the drywall you can use a bit with a cutting edge to plunge through the drywall and then switch back to the tracing tip bit.
Other than that, there isn’t really that much more to cutting drywall with a Dremel.
But it can be a good idea to use some scrap pieces for practicing before you do your first cuts in the installed drywall.
8. Cutting A Perfect Circle With A Dremel In Drywall
There are methods we can use to achieve perfect circles in drywall with a Dremel.
We can use a circle-cutting guide for this.
Dremel has two attachments that will help you make perfect circles.
The first one is the #678 Circle Cutter Attachment (Amazon). This attachment helps you to make perfect circles ranging from 3/4″ (1.9 Cm) to 12″ (30 Cm) in size.
The second is the #335-01 Plunge Router (Amazon). This attachment is generally made for routing but it includes a circle-cutting guide as well.
For small holes in drywall, I recommend using a hole saw drill bit for your cordless drill. This is easier, and quicker and usually results in a cleaner cut.