Table of Contents
- Best Drywall Saw Reviews 2019
- Stanley 15-556 Jab Saw with Cushion Grip – Best Seller
- Drywall Saw, Folding Jab Saw with 180 and 125 Degree Lockback Klein Tools 31737 – Top Pick
- GreatNeck 4932 Double Edge Wallboard Saw, 6 Inch – Best Value
- DEWALT DWHT20540 Standard Jab Saw – Runner Up
- Goldblatt Jab Saw – 6-inch Drywall Wallboard Saw, Soft Grip Handle, 8-TPI Bi-metal Blade – Also Consider
- Best Drywall Saw Buying Guide 2019
Best Drywall Saw Reviews 2019
Regardless of the contractor field, be it construction, electrician, plumbing, or HVAC, there are a number of tools used across the board. One of the more overlooked, but often important, hand tools is the humble drywall saw which is used to help get at different internal infrastructure in a building. That is why we have put together a list of the 5 best drywall saw reviews of 2019. We also provide a helpful buyer’s guide and a FAQ to further distinguish between what is truly important. While the Stanley and Klein Tools jab saws cover the top and the bottom of the price points, you have to keep reading to see which products offer something unique.
Stanley 15-556 Jab Saw with Cushion Grip – Best Seller
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In terms of hand tool manufacturing, few companies have the kind of prestige or reputation that Stanley does. In fact, these days, Stanley’s reputation is bolstered further due to their merger with the consumer-grade power tool manufacturer BLACK+DECKER. When you consider the sheer size and market value of both of these companies in their respective contractor markets, it is not difficult to see how Stanley is able to provide such impressive products at such reasonable prices. That said, it is important to note that Stanley is not really a company that makes its name on bells and whistles, instead preferring to rely on simple, straightforward quality to hang their hat on. As you can tell, this philosophy of design has a tendency to serve the company well and allows them to hold the best seller position.
Mostly Solid Blade
Clearly, the primary consideration when assessing a tool like a sheetrock knife centers overwhelmingly on the blade. Granted, there are a number of ways that you can approach this consideration, but thankfully, the Stanley drywall knife provides an excellent option for the majority of them. In fact, if there was one complaint that could fairly be leveled at the Stanley jab saw, it would be that there is no special arrangement of the teeth. This is a bit disappointing considering the numerous advances made in this regard to the tool in recent years, but it does not affect the overall performance of the Stanley drywall saw so much that you should remove this product from consideration. For one, the Stanley 15-556 sheetrock saw offers a solid cutting performance all the same with 8 tpi, which is more impressive considering its linear design. Also, while the teeth may be arranged in a classic style, they are at least engineered so that they cut quickly and cleanly and prevent the buildup or clogging of material that can produce rough cuts. One area where the Stanley drywall knife truly excels at is sturdiness, which is actually a problem for a number of products in this market. While this sheetrock knife does not exactly have the thinnest kerf, it does feature a blade made out of hardened, tempered steel and unlikely to bend or flex as much as some of its competitors.
Fairly Good Construction
Outside of the blade, the Stanley jab knife has a number of other design features that work in its favor to make the selection a solid choice. Arguably one issue that many cheap drywall saws have is the tendency for the blade to eventually come loose of its hilt. Thankfully, the Stanley sheetrock saw makes this nearly a non-issue by epoxy bonding the blade to the handle. Likely the only better solution to this issue is by using a full tang blade, which is an approach that virtually no jab saw uses. Going above and beyond stability, which is actually something of a problem for a number of drywall knives, the Stanley jab saw also makes it a point to provide an ergonomic handle as well. While it would actually be a bit better were the handle to have some kind of rubber or anti-slip coating applied to it, the Stanley jab knife still gets the job done with an anti-slip base as well as a ridged top. Combined, these two approaches help prevent the handle from slipping from your grip while in use. In fact, one of the few potential flaws in the Stanley sheetrock saw that we found came from the absence of a hang hole. When you combine this with the lack of sheath, which is another feature no other drywall saw employs, it can make carrying the Stanley jab saw a bit trickier than some of the other options we reviewed.
- Has 8 TPI
- The blade is epoxy bonded
- Is the least expensive drywall saw reviewed
- Blade made of hardened, tempered steel
- Teeth are engineered to prevent clogging
- Has an ergonomically designed handle
- Does not have special teeth
- Not as easy to transport
Drywall Saw, Folding Jab Saw with 180 and 125 Degree Lockback Klein Tools 31737 – Top Pick
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Though they may not be the most well-known company on our list, few hand tool manufacturers can claim as sterling a reputation as Klein Tools. Having been founded over 150 years ago, Klein Tools’ storied history actually begins as a manufacturer of electricians pliers but quickly expanded with various innovations in manufacturing, often leading the way for the market and resting at the tip of the cutting edge. This dedication to the highest levels of quality continues to this very day, though the humble hand tool manufacturer has expanded further still well beyond the scope of their original designs. That said, unlike some other companies, Klein Tools manages to ensure their products maintain the same level of quality despite branching off into different fields.
Rarely is the most expensive product in a market unanimously the best, with much of the price often coming down to leveraging brand name recognition, but the Klein Tools jab saw more than makes up for that price with features not found on many of the other options we encountered. Easily one of, if not, the best features we discovered with the 31737 drywall saw has to be its folding design. This approach is great because it allows you to quickly and easily stow your sheetrock knife away without having to worry about dulling the blade or teeth or having to worry about accidentally poking or cutting you during retrieval. The Klein Tools jab knife goes even a step further by designing the handle to have a holding hole in case you want to keep it tethered for quick retrieval rather than having to dig around your toolbox for it every time you need to make a cut. While this design alone might make the Klein Tools drywall knife one of the more innovative products we saw, the fact that it also allows for multiple cutting positions is a breath of fresh air. Contractors may have adapted and made do with a 180-degree angle for decades, but the 31737 jab saw seeks to improve upon that further with a 125-degree cutting position. This is important because it allows you to get better leverage when you are making that initial jab into the sheetrock as part of your starter cut. Just make sure that you hold the Klein Tools 31737 sheetrock knife properly so you do not accidentally trip the blade lock while in use.
If the Klein Tools jab saw offered a unique approach to carrying and making the pilot cut alone, that might be enough to place it on our list as the top pick. It would definitely make justifying the price a bit more difficult, but it would still earn high marks for professional performance. Thankfully, the Klein Tools sheetrock saw is not content to simply lean on innovation to carry it across the finish line and backs that up with an excellent build quality too. This begins primarily with the blade which is made of hardened carbon steel, allowing it to maintain a stronger and more rigid integrity than many of the others we reviewed. Fair warning, this does mean that the Klein Tools jab knife may be prone to break in extremely cold temperatures due to carbon steel’s increased brittleness in such environments. Still, this incredibly strong blade is then reinforced further with the inclusion of triple-ground teeth. This allows the Klein Tools 31737 jab saw to cut through the sheetrock more easily and on both the jabbing as well as pulling strokes of the cut. As an added icing on the cake, the Klein Tools drywall knife also features 8 TPI, which puts it on par with any of the top-performing products that we came across.
- Has 8 TPI
- Has 2 cutting positions
- Has a rubber gripped handle
- Has a folding design
- Has triple ground teeth
- Blade made of hardened carbon steel
- Has an awkwardly positioned release
- Is the most expensive drywall saw reviewed
GreatNeck 4932 Double Edge Wallboard Saw, 6 Inch – Best Value
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GreatNeck is an interesting company because based on its pedigree, one might assume that it would be better well-known than it actually is. Still, this company is one of the more surprising entries on our list due to the fact that it takes the best approach to a drywall jab saw that we found. Of course, anyone with a little bit of knowledge about GreatNeck’s history is unlikely to be that surprised. Despite over a century of experience, this is actually one of the younger companies we came across. What makes it even more remarkable is that it is also one of the few companies on our list that actually got its start making blades. While this is not the least expensive sheetrock saw that we found, its capability combined with its price easily makes it the best value product on our list.
A Superior Design
There really is no getting around the fact that most sheetrock knives may be well-built, but their design can almost always be improved upon. This is because the overwhelming number of products in this market utilize a single-sided design. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this approach, the blade specialists at GreatNeck saw an opportunity to improve the user experience with a different avenue. To this end, the GreatNeck jab saw is the only product on our list that features a double-sided blade, something that can be a bit tricky to pull off without the proper manufacturing. The double-sided design of the GreatNeck sheetrock saw is valuable for a couple of reasons, but one of the more important is that it allows you to cut in virtually any direction without having to adjust how you hold the jab knife. Since space is often restricted when using a drywall saw in the first place, the ability to use the GreatNeck jab knife with the greatest amount of leverage makes this one of the more convenient and effective products we came across. Arguably the biggest flaw in this sheetrock saw’s design comes from the fact that it only has 6 tpi which is by far the fewest on our list. However, the ability to cut in any direction likely makes up for some of its cutting inefficiency otherwise.
A Decent Build
One thing to consider when opting for a double-sided jab saw is the fact that there is technically less material there in the first place. While this may seem obvious, the implications for this design are not always so clear at first glance. Essentially, the absence of material, as well as the lack of a straight edge, means that the GreatNeck sheetrock knife is more liable to bend or flex when you are making you pilot cut. Keep in mind, this is less of an issue once you have already started to make your cut, but it can be a problem when you are first driving the blade into the drywall. That said, this should not necessarily be seen as a knock against the general quality of the GreatNeck drywall saw considering it is otherwise a well-made product. For one, the blade is made of hardened, tempered steel, though it does not utilize a unique formula like some of the other products we reviewed. Still, the teeth are precision ground and sharpened on both edges to make sure that you get the same quality cut on the pull as you do from the plunge.
- Has a double-sided blade
- Has a rubberized grip handle
- Is a less expensive drywall saw
- Has an ergonomically designed handle
- Blade made of hardened, tempered steel
- Has precision ground teeth
- Has the fewest tpi reviewed
- Is not the sturdiest drywall saw
DEWALT DWHT20540 Standard Jab Saw – Runner Up
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Despite its renown and reputation, DEWALT is actually the youngest company on our list, even with almost a century of experience behind them. Aside from their general prestige, DEWALT is also known as a professional-grade manufacturer. That said, DEWALT is definitely more well-known for their power tools than they are their hand tools, let alone their drywall saws. This is likely part of the reason the DEWALT product is positioned so low on our list, but it is also worth noting that DEWALT is owned by BLACK+DECKER. BLACK+DECKER merged with Stanley, arguably the most successful brand of professional-grade hand tools in the world. As such, the DEWALT is a solid option, but it does not really offer much more than any of the other options on our list.
While the DEWALT may come in at a tad more expensive compared to some of the other options we reviewed, it does also provide some chart-topping specs as well. In fact, out of all the jab knives we saw, the DEWALT drywall saw has the most teeth per inch at 9 TPI. While this may be a bit of a modest increase compared to the other options on our list, the 6” blade helps ensure that you get more cutting power than many of its competitors. On top of that, this was largely accomplished with the use of a layered tooth design as opposed to a linear approach. This allows the DEWALT sheetrock saw to make far more aggressive cuts than some of the others, though it can also lead to those cuts being a bit rougher around the edges. Finally, these teeth are induction hardened which ensures that they will not break off like cheaper, stamped teeth.
In an effort to earn its “professional-grade” title within the Stanley BLACK+DECKER, the DEWALT sheetrock knife does offer some a bit extra in some regards. For instance, this is the only drywall saw we found whose blade was made out of stainless steel. This is important because not only does it ensure that the blade is strong, but it also allows for the blade to be more easily maintained and less likely to rust or corrode than some other types of steel commonly used. To be fair, this does make sharpening the jab saw a bit trickier when compared to the other metals used, and the DEWALT jab knife is noted for being a bit duller than many of the others that we reviewed. Still, the DEWALT drywall knife is a durable product you will not have to worry about over the long haul as the company provides a limited lifetime warranty on the product.
- Has the most tpi reviewed
- Has Induction-hardened teeth
- The handle has a plastic overmold
- Has a layered tooth design
- Has a Limited Lifetime Warranty
- The blade is made of stainless steel
- Is a somewhat more expensive drywall saw
- Not the sharpest blade
Goldblatt Jab Saw – 6-inch Drywall Wallboard Saw, Soft Grip Handle, 8-TPI Bi-metal Blade – Also Consider
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Goldblatt is right up there with any of the other companies on our list in terms of history and experience. Even better, this company is arguably one of the best examples of the American Dream come true having been founded by a hard-working Russian immigrant. That humble origin is infused in everything the company does as their products seek to focus on the people using the tools as opposed the marketing platforms. This leads to more specialized tools which may not necessarily have the same versatility as some of the other options on our list, but it still provides an excellent option for its particular purpose.
It is a bit disappointing that Goldblatt could not quite crack the code on complete balance, because this jab saw has some of the more intriguing properties we found. For one, the blade itself is made out of D6A+M2 bi-metal steel which means it has a higher carbon content, but not so much as to be called carbon steel. This allows for the blade to be a bit stronger than standard steel without suffering from increased brittleness in cold climates like traditional carbon steel. On top of that, the tip features a beveled design to make slipping into sheetrock easier, while the teeth are triple-ground to more easily and smoothly cut into the uneven drywall. Finally, the blade features a Teflon coating so you do not have to worry about it catching on the material and keeping the edges smooth compared to some of the other models we reviewed.
Considering its heritage and unique engineering choices, it might be a bit surprising to find the Goldblatt jab saw so far down on our list. The primary reason for this is that the aggressive tooth design which allows for such good cuts comes at the expense of structural integrity. Much like other drywall knives that remove additional material to achieve a sharper cut, the Goldblatt sheetrock saw is noted for bending or flexing a bit when trying to make the pilot cut. Of course, once you get that pilot cut started, the solid engineering and 8 TPI help make sure your cuts are smooth and clean. It is also worth noting that the handle features soft-grip material and an ergonomic design so you do not have to worry about user fatigue over extended use.
- Has 8 TPI
- Has a beveled tip
- Blade made of D6A+M2 bi-metal steel
- The blade has a Teflon coating
- Has triple ground teeth
- Has an ergonomic, soft-grip handle
- Is a somewhat more expensive drywall saw
- Not the sturdiest drywall saw
Best Drywall Saw Buying Guide 2019
The material generally refers to the blade, though occasionally the materials used for the handle can improve upon the product’s design. Still, when it comes right down to it, making sure that the drywall saw is made of some form of steel is paramount. This is because steel is both incredibly strong as well as lightweight, offering a good balance for a hand tool. That said, there are a couple of different types of steel used for sheetrock knives, and you will have to consider what works best for you. If you live in a region that does not see truly cold temperatures, say those below freezing, carbon steel is likely the best option. Of course, if you are a plumber or work in wetter locations, you may want to go with a blade made of stainless steel which is naturally more resistant to rusting and corrosion.
This is likely the most varied and most important part of a drywall saw, though there are few approaches which stand out as being unanimously better than the rest. One of the more important factors to consider is how many teeth per inch, also known as TPI, the blade features. The more teeth the blade has, the better it will be at cutting the material, all other things being equal. The arrangement of the teeth can also be fairly important, though this often matters a bit more if you are cutting materials outside of drywall or primarily focused on using the jab saw for demolition purposes.
While this is technically a bit of a design consideration, the inclusion of teeth on both sides of the blade should be weighed. That said, a double-sided jab knife will generally trade some of its structural integrity in order to provide a more convenient and aggressive cut. Finally, the way in which the teeth are sharpened will play a huge factor as well with many top-tier sheetrock knives using a triple-ground approach. This provides three separate cutting edges on each tooth, though ensuring the backside of the tooth is also sharpened can further increase the cutting performance.
While the handle is rarely instrumental in determining how well a drywall saw actually cuts, it can play a huge role in determining how comfortable it is to use a given sheetrock saw. There are a couple of common design features that manufacturers use to increase a jab saw handle’s ergonomics. By far one of the most effective is the inclusion of rubber overmolds onto the, generally, plastic base. This allows you to maintain a solid grip on the handle, even if your hands are slick with sweat and will often include grooves as well. Another common feature of jab knife handles entails how they are shaped. The standard ergonomic design sees a slight bulge in the middle to provide positions of leverage for your fingers. That said, some manufacturers are moving towards a pistol-grip grip design as this makes it easier to cut on both the plunge and the pull stroke.
When to Use a Drywall Saw?
While the name may seem like a dead giveaway, drywall saws are often used for a variety of purposes that are not limited to sheetrock alone. Granted, the jab saw is primarily meant to be used for this purpose, and some may even void their warranty if used for cutting other materials. However, it is worth noting that many jab saws are sold under the advertisement that they can be used to cut a wider variety of materials than just drywall.
That said, it should be understood that while some sheetrock knives are capable of cutting wood, rarely should they be used for any serious cutting of this material. On the other hand, if you have plywood or MFG wood, jab knives are usually fairly effective due to their aggressive tooth design combined with their relatively thin kerf. Another material that is occasionally advertised to be cut with drywall saws is plastic, though this will definitely differ from product to product. It is also important to note that not all plastic is appropriate to be cut with drywall knives nor is every thickness suitable either.
Which Drywall Saw Design?
This consideration can definitely go a bit further than you might expect as there are a couple of different designs for drywall saws focused on different aspects of the product. In this instance, we are not really talking about the materials nor the tooth arrangement, though the latter of those two is definitely a more varied and vital component. Instead, when considering the blade design of a jab saw, it focuses more on whether it is single or double-sided. The double-sided design has the benefit of cutting from two sides at once, though that is less relevant once you have made your pilot cut.
Still, the double-sided blade also allows you to cut in either direction without having to adjust how you hold the jab knife or your cutting technique. The other major design consideration, which is admittedly less common than the blade one, involves the handle of the jab saw. While the different materials can be analyzed, that is not truly a question of design. Instead, the handle design often involves whether the blade can be folded into the handle or is fixed. A folding drywall saw has the advantage of being far more portable and technically safe than a fixed blade– especially since few fixed blade sheetrock knives have sheaths either.
What to Look For?
Arguably the most important factor to consider when choosing a drywall saw is the teeth as this will have the greatest impact on the product’s ability to cut. Teeth per inch, or TPI, is generally seen as the primary aspect which determines the overall cutting performance, but there are a few engineering approaches that can accentuate this or account for a lack of teeth. The way the teeth themselves are sharpened will play a huge role in how well the sheetrock saw cuts with triple-ground teeth being the best. While layered teeth will allow you to cut the material more easily, especially useful for denser materials, this design also makes the cuts rougher.
In the end, the best drywall saw will be slightly different depending on your particular needs. The Stanley jab saw offers a solid product at a low price point but offers few frills. The Klein Tools sheetrock saw, on the other hand, has one of the more impressive designs and is great for on the go work. The GreatNeck jab knife is an excellent option for those who expect to cut drywall more than most thanks to its double-sided blade. The DEWALT drywall knife might not wow in every category, but its stainless steel blade combined with 9 TPI make it great for wet environments. Finally, the Goldblatt features some of the best teeth that we encountered and makes incredibly smooth cuts, but it is not the sturdiest when making that first jab.