How to Cut a Hole in Drywall

There's no need to rent or buy a rotary tool for simple drywall cuts for a receptacle box.

We will show you how to lay out the hole and cut it for a professional fit.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Drywall Saw;
  • Utility Knife;
  • Tape Measure;
  • Carpenter’s Pencil;
  • T-Square.

Steps for Cutting a Hole in Drywall

Measure for the Cut

Drywall doesn’t have to be installed perfectly tight in the corner of a room to properly finish it. To account for walls that may be slightly out of plumb, we subtract about 1/8 inch when making our measurements from a corner wall.

Next, measure down from the sheet of drywall above the receptacle. We suggest grabbing a piece of scrap drywall or piece of paper and drawing the shape of your cutout, with the measurements.

Transfer your numbers to the piece of drywall you’re going to cut using a T-Square. Don’t press down too hard with your pencil, as the lines that run past the cut can show through the paint on the finished wall.

Cut the Drywall

To prevent the drywall paper from tearing when you cut it, it’s important to score it with a utility knife. Score your markings on the outside of the line, that way your hole doesn’t end up too small.

Plunge your drywall saw through the piece of drywall to make your cuts. Angle the blade inward so the hole ends up a little bit bigger on the back side. This will give you a little wiggle room when you install the sheet to the wall. If the hole opening is rough, clean it up with your utility knife.

Install the Drywall

If you’ve used these basic steps and measured correctly, the hole should line up with the receptacle box. Complete installation by fastening the drywall to the studs with drywall screws.