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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Do it Yourself Discussion! => Topic started by: jpdx on January 14, 2019, 02:52:08 AM

Title: Drywall knives
Post by: jpdx 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."
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: Dogastrophe 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"). 
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: Mississippi Mudstache on January 14, 2019, 12:29:25 PM
6" knife is good for general purpose.
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: Papa bear 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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Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: BudgetSlasher 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.
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: dragoncar 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
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: Fishindude 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.
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: kenmoremmm on January 16, 2019, 02:47:59 PM
corner knives are awesome when you need them!
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: APowers 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.
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: Mississippi Mudstache 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.
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: Syonyk 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.
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: Mississippi Mudstache 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.
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: jpdx 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.
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: dragoncar 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.
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: jpdx 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.
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: APowers 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.
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: Mississippi Mudstache 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.
Title: Re: Drywall knives
Post by: Versatile on March 12, 2019, 07:23:53 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.

+2

Knives are cheap so why not own 3 or 4 that will cover everything?