This article is about how to cut a square hole in drywall. Cutting a square hole in drywall is a straight forward procedure if you use the right tools and techniques. Therefore, if you want to install an electrical box or any other fixture in drywall, you have to use a keyhole saw or a jigsaw and get the job done as a professional. Nevertheless, the most challenging part of this project is to take accurate measurements, as even a slight mistake could compromise the whole procedure (the fixture might not fit into place). Work with good judgement and you will cut square holes in drywall without facing any issues.
Cutting a square hole in drywall to install switches, electrical boxes or other fixtures requires a lot of attention when taking the measurements and marking the square on the sheets. Therefore, work with great care when measuring the distance from the edges where you will install the sheetrock to the square hole. Next, transfer these dimensions to the gypsum board and use the fixture to draw the guidance lines or measure its dimensions with a tape measure. Remember that the square holes should be slightly bigger than the electrical boxes, otherwise they might not fit into location.
There are several tools which can be used to cut square holes in drywall. On one hand, if you have to cut the hole in an old wall, you should use a keyhole saw to get the job done as a pro. On the other hand, if you have to install new drywall boards, we recommend you to take accurate measurements, cut the square holes with a jigsaw / drywall saw and then hang it on the wall studs.
For round holes in drywall, we recommend you to read our article about cutting circular holes in drywall. Most of the techniques are similar, but you have to use other tools to get the job done in a professional manner.
Made from this plan
- Drywall board
- Utility knife, T-square, carpentry pencil and tape measure
- Drill machinery, Hole saw drill bit
- Drywall saw
- Take accurate measurements before cutting the square holes
- Make sure you don’t damage electrical wires or pipes when cutting the square hole
- 5 minutes, one cut
Marking the square hole on drywall
Cutting square holes in drywall is not as difficult as it might seem at first glance. The most important aspect is to take appropriate measurements and to transfer them on the drywall sheet. Therefore, use a tape measure or a T-square and measure the distance from the side edge of where you will install the sheet to the right and left of the electrical box / switch. Next, measure the distance from the bottom edge to the top and bottom of the fixture.
Use a T-square and a carpentry pencil to transfer these dimensions on the drywall sheet.
Work with patience and with great care, as this step is the most important aspect when cutting holes in drywall. Therefore, make sure the measurements are accurate before drawing the cut lines on the drywall sheets.
After you have marked the square with a carpentry pencil and double-checked the measurements, you can start the cutting process.
First, you have to drill several starting holes along the interior edges of the square with a drill machinery and a big drill bit. In this manner, you will be able to cut the drywall with a keyhole saw or with a jigsaw.
How to cut a square hole in drywall
Use a good drill machinery with torque control and a big drill to make four starter holes along the interiors edges of the square. I’ve seen some builders drilling the interior corners of the square, but our method is as efficient.
Use a vacuum to remove the residues and get ready to cut out the square. As you can see in the image, the holes are big enough to use a jigsaw or a regular keyhole saw, as we have used a large drill bit.
Use a jigsaw with a regular blade (it would be best if you use a blade with downward oriented teeth for drywall) or a drywall saw. Make sure you hold the jigsaw firmly and the blade goes exactly over the guidance lines. It is hard to cut the right angled corner in a continuous move, therefore you have to turn the jigsaw off and place the blade in another starter hole.
Continue cutting the drywall square hole, making sure the jigsaw’s blade goes exactly over the guidance lines.
Work with attention and with great care, to get the job done accurately from the first time. If you make a mistake, you will lose the money you’ve tried to save by doing the project by yourself .
If you have followed our tips and cut the square hole with the right tools, the electrical box / fixture should fit perfectly. Work with great care and you will obtain a professional result.
The toughest part of this project is taking proper measurements, as the rest of the procedures are straight forward. Therefore, pay attention when measuring the distance from the edges to the square hole.
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