I have a pile of drywall scrap that's been sitting in my garage for a few years after a remodel, "just in case". My buddy came up with the idea of turning it into "karate boards" for our kids to destroy. Scrap pieces start at half sheet (4x4) and go down.

I'm also on the lookout for an excuse to buy something new. (Honey, it's for the kids!) At this point my only idea is to use the circular saw and toss the blade afterwards.

  • Not sure this is the best idea. Drywall dust could cause throat, nose, and lung irritation. This might not be a kid safe activity.
    – Tester101
    Sep 17, 2010 at 18:40
  • Hadn't thought of that...maybe hose em down a bit right before hand. Sep 17, 2010 at 22:14
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    Unless your kids have a truly epic roundhouse kick, I doubt there will be enough dust to worry about. Sep 18, 2010 at 4:34
  • Drywall dust also makes quick work of bearings, so if you use motor-driven anything to cut drywall, make sure you keep it out of the air intakes or your device will wear out very quickly.
    – JS.
    Apr 13, 2022 at 21:59

5 Answers 5


A craft knife or box cutter will do the job very quickly and cheaply. You only need to score the front side of the drywall and then it should snap cleanly enough along the score line.

If you already have a Dremel or Roto-Zip, you can get drywall bits for them that will make short work of any drywall.

  • 3
    Agreed -- box cutter works great... as long as the lines are straight. I've found that a drywall T-square is helpful too.
    – Mike B
    Sep 17, 2010 at 16:06
  • 1
    Upvoting for the utility knife part, not so much the dremel part. So much dust! Sep 17, 2010 at 16:09
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    Dusty yes, but the OP was looking for an excuse to buy new tools. :)
    – Niall C.
    Sep 17, 2010 at 16:24
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    Ooh...I forgot about the rotozip. I borrowed my dad's to cut the holes for fixtures and boxes. Is there a bit that will keep it straight, or clamp and go? Sep 17, 2010 at 17:00
  • @SteveJ: Like you, I use it for the cutouts for fixture & gang-boxes, after the drywall is hung. I don't use a tool for straight edges, and I don't think you'd need to in this case: how straight do you want your edges if the pieces are just going to get smashed anyway?
    – Niall C.
    Sep 17, 2010 at 17:14

Niall's right with the craft knife -- just score, snap, and cut the paper on the other side.

The rotozip and similar work fine, when it's just quick a dirty, unless it's really intricate cuts, I stick with a good old drywall saw. You can get cheap ones for $3-5.


There is always a drywall saw. It can be messy (not as clean as a knife) but it works fast. alt text

  • It's loads of fun for a kid to use, right? :-/ Sep 17, 2010 at 18:17
  • Dad used to use one of these all the time but he called it a "frog knife" for some reason Sep 17, 2010 at 19:54
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    It's about the same size as a frogman's knife (carried by frogmen and other scuba divers to hack away at things in an emergency), but it's not the same... a frogman's knife would have a D-shaped guard around the handle Sep 18, 2010 at 2:52

You have an excuse to buy a tool? Why not go for broke:

US-X Computerized Cross-Cut Saw

alt text

  • 2
    That's what I'm talking about! And like any good tool, it creates a project of it's own - expanding the workshop to squeeze it in. Sep 20, 2010 at 14:23

If you're really on the lookout to buy something new, a sawzall would make extremely quick work of this task. It's like using a sledgehammer to kill a fly, but they're really handy in other areas, and you can pick one up for less than $100.

The rotozip suggestion is also a good one.

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