I have a drywall job that I'm struggling to do with my hand tools and circular saw and can see a real need for a Spiral Saw RotoZip type of tool. But it'm not so keen to buy something so specialized that I may not need to use again for years.

How sane would it be to press a normal router into service cutting drywall? Could I outfit it with a drywall router's plunge cutting bit and basically use it for the same thing? Or am I better off just biting the bullet and buying a spiral saw?

  • Why kind of drywall work are you doing that could possibly suggest such a heavy duty solution (the router)? Maybe you are doing intricate carvings?
    – wallyk
    Oct 24, 2014 at 6:12
  • Routers make a mess with wood, can't imagine what they'd do with drywall. Make sure you wear a respirator, and seal off the area where you're working.
    – Tester101
    Oct 24, 2014 at 14:24

2 Answers 2


It's not sane. All you need is a utility knife. Even a curve cut is really easy with a sharp knife.

But if it makes you feel good then go for whatever saw you want. I do a lot of things that are a little more fun but not always the best choice.

  • 1
    One hand tool I like to use is a drywall hand saw (about $10 USD) for cutting out holes for electrical boxes. Doing those with a knife just takes too long.
    – diceless
    Oct 24, 2014 at 15:45
  • @diceless - I have a 5'2" drywall wizard that will knock out a 1000 square foot apartment (including ceilings) in one day. He uses a knife, measuring tape, rasp, drywall saw and a straight edge. When I see him cut a board for the ceiling, stand on a HD bucket, and pop it up like it is nothing it makes me feel inadequate haha. I am double his size and would take 4 times as long (if I am lucky) to do the same thing. He uses the saw only for pot lights (circles). The box knockouts he uses his knife. He listens to bad 80s rock too.
    – DMoore
    Oct 24, 2014 at 16:02
  • gotta love the pros. When they do it, it just looks so easy until you try doing it yourself. The first couple of times I've tried cutting out boxes with a knife it was just bad. I've been using a saw since.
    – diceless
    Oct 24, 2014 at 17:01

You could. It's going to be pretty heavy and a bit ungainly to deal with. It's also possible that the motor won't deal that well with the drywall dust, which can be fairly abrasive.

You could look to rent.

  • 2
    A cheap Chinese knockoff of a rotozip (try horrible fright, ebay, et al) will get the job done and not destroy the bearings in your router, if a pack of sharp blades per @DMoore doesn't. There's also a life-safety consideration in that the router is heavy and awkward compared to a cutout tool, which may lead to accidents, and any trip to the ER exceeds the cost of even an actual Roto-Zip. You can always sell it when you are done.
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 24, 2014 at 13:05

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