Author Topic: Drywall knives  (Read 828 times)

jpdx

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Drywall knives
« on: January 14, 2019, 02:52:08 AM »
If you could only have one size knife for small jobs, which would it be?

I'm familiar with starting with a 6" knife for the first coat, working your way up to 12" for the final coat. I just don't want to buy multiple knives given the small number of projects I have around the home. I have to do several drywall patches, the largest is 12 x 24."

Dogastrophe

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 05:09:10 AM »
I've had decent results using just a 6" knife and a damp sponge for small repairs (no seam longer than 24"). 

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 12:29:25 PM »
6" knife is good for general purpose.

Papa bear

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 12:38:19 PM »
You really should have a 3” too.  It’s not like these things are expensive.

The 3” is great for applying mud, embedding tape, small holes, and scraping walls flat.  I use the 3” the most out of any of my blades and then go up from there.


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BudgetSlasher

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 04:10:51 PM »
What is a "small job?"

Without more detail I would say a 6" is a good general purpose size, but I used 3 and even 1.5 when bedding in tape. And I use as small as a can (1 or 1.5) when filling in picture hanging nail holes or stray dings/claw marks.

But if you are doing new tape you really should feather it out with a 12" on a later coat. I think we started with a 6" knife and now have everything from a 1" to a 14" and a 24" rubber "knife" for skim coats.

dragoncar

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 05:39:58 PM »
I've had decent results using just a 6" knife and a damp sponge for small repairs (no seam longer than 24").

Same here.  I actually bought a cheap 12Ē and corner knife but didnít use them as I the sponge technique worked better for my inexperienced hands. To be fair, I later added a texture so I had a lot of wiggle room.

Even wasting money on the extra knives, I saved thousands vs hiring it out

Fishindude

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2019, 08:09:55 AM »
You need the 12" knife also, hard to get seams flat otherwise.
I never was a fan of the corner knifes, but I'm also not a professional drywaller by trade.

kenmoremmm

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2019, 02:47:59 PM »
corner knives are awesome when you need them!

APowers

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2019, 07:28:20 PM »
I actually don't like 6" knives. They're too wide for small bits, and not wide enough to properly feather out patch seams. My go-to set of knives is a 4" and a 10"; the 4" for scooping, stirring, and applying, and the 10" for final coats and wide swaths to properly fade in/out from seams. Occasionally, I'll want a 12" or 14", but those instances are relatively rare.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2019, 01:11:33 PM »
I actually don't like 6" knives. They're too wide for small bits, and not wide enough to properly feather out patch seams. My go-to set of knives is a 4" and a 10"; the 4" for scooping, stirring, and applying, and the 10" for final coats and wide swaths to properly fade in/out from seams. Occasionally, I'll want a 12" or 14", but those instances are relatively rare.

Yeah, the 6" knives are too big for small jobs and too small for big jobs. But if I could only have one knife, that'd be it. I use the 3" and 12" knives more often than the 6" knife, but that wasn't the question.

Syonyk

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2019, 01:56:31 PM »
Even wasting money on the extra knives, I saved thousands vs hiring it out

^^ That.  I don't mind buying tools for DIY projects.  They typically last my life and save me a ton of money.

That said, I do hate doing drywall, so I don't own a set, but I'd just buy a selection and learn to use them.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2019, 06:16:21 AM »
Even wasting money on the extra knives, I saved thousands vs hiring it out

^^ That.  I don't mind buying tools for DIY projects.  They typically last my life and save me a ton of money.

That said, I do hate doing drywall, so I don't own a set, but I'd just buy a selection and learn to use them.

Same here. I'm a hardcore DIYer. Have a complete set of drywall tools that has saved me thousands over the last decade. That said, I despise drywall and avoid it at every turn.

jpdx

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2019, 08:09:02 PM »
OP here. I should add that I already own a set of 3 crappy plastic knives, which I find useful for mixing, filing nail holes, etc. I'm thinking I can apply mud for the first coat using my existing plastic knives, then use a 10" for the final coat. Is this a good strategy?

It seems everyone has their own personal preference and I value all of the knowledge you are sharing.

dragoncar

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2019, 10:00:52 PM »
OP here. I should add that I already own a set of 3 crappy plastic knives, which I find useful for mixing, filing nail holes, etc. I'm thinking I can apply mud for the first coat using my existing plastic knives, then use a 10" for the final coat. Is this a good strategy?

It seems everyone has their own personal preference and I value all of the knowledge you are sharing.

I've never used a plastic knife, so I can't comment on that specific aspect.  But I think it would help people to understand what type of joint compound and tape/mesh/corner bead you intend to use, and if you plan to do a texture.  I only say that because my personal experience of using a premix, sponging it off, and adding texture later will be very different from someone using 30 min fast set, a pole sander, and level 5 skim coat.  If you are using a water soluble compound with a sponge, it doesn't really matter how much you fuck up with a crappy plastic knife.  You can just smooth it down and redo it.

jpdx

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2019, 02:40:15 PM »
I am using premix, mesh tape, no corners, no texture. I'm mostly patching holes from electrical work, many of them are around 4" circles, and one 12 x 24 rectangle.

APowers

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2019, 03:57:41 PM »
I am using premix, mesh tape, no corners, no texture. I'm mostly patching holes from electrical work, many of them are around 4" circles, and one 12 x 24 rectangle.

I would highly recommend a 10" knife in this case. You'll need something smaller to scoop mud out of the bucket/bag, of course, but a good finish will be much easier with the wider knife.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Drywall knives
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2019, 12:29:32 PM »
I am using premix, mesh tape, no corners, no texture. I'm mostly patching holes from electrical work, many of them are around 4" circles, and one 12 x 24 rectangle.

I would highly recommend a 10" knife in this case. You'll need something smaller to scoop mud out of the bucket/bag, of course, but a good finish will be much easier with the wider knife.

I dunno. The wider knives are mostly helpful when leveling mud across the beveled edges where 2 pieces of drywall meet. I wouldn't use anything wider than a 6" knife for the type of work OP is describing. Personally, I would avoid the mesh tape for a patch that small and opt for the paper tape instead. It can be tough to keep the texture of the tape from telegraphing through the mud on those smallish patches.