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How to Use a Drywall Circle Cutter

Cut clean round holes in drywall for electrical boxes and light fixtures with this circle cutter. It's quick and easy, and only takes seconds

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

A simple way to cut holes in drywall

Drywall circle cutters have been around a long time. But try using one and you'll find they're awkward and clumsy, because they only have one smooth wheel and take both hands to operate. You need one hand to pivot and the other hand to press the wheel through the paper to make the score.

This new circle cutter (from Goldblatt) has two sharp serrated wheels that you pivot around a sharp center tip. The cutter evenly scores the drywall paper surface so you can knock out the plug. It's worth picking one up if you have to cut lots of circles (for recessed lights or round electrical boxes). It is available at most stores that have a good selection of specialty drywall tools.

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Drywall circle cutter

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July 19, 5:06 PM [GMT -5]

Wouldn't a RotoZip handle this task faster?

May 16, 7:39 PM [GMT -5]

These circle cutters really work great. Just as few more suggestions: Measure the circle and add about 1/8 inch to the size. Make sure you fine the "exact" center of the circle. At that point insert the pivot pin and cut the face side of the circle first. Punch the center hole through the sheet to the back side with a small nail. Adjust the circle cutter for 1/8" larger cut and cut the back side. Before breaking out the circle with your hammer, cut about 8 cross sections on the back and front side with your razor knife. Tap the center of the hole on the face side and the hole should break open to the back. You should end up with a clean round hole.

Before you cut the next hole, make sure you reset the circle cutter to the right size.

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How to Use a Drywall Circle Cutter

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