DIY projects and drywall inner walls always demand a small yet strong and sturdy tool to cut or curve them out. A keyhole saw or jab saw has no alternatives in this regard. So we all need to know which one is the best performer in the field and where to find it. Here are some words for you to get familiar with keyhole saws and get acquainted with the best drywall saws commercially available.
Understanding Jab saw/ Drywall saw/ Sheetrock saw/ Keyhole saw
A jab saw is merely a saw used for cutting small features in building materials. It is usually long and narrow in structure. It is also known as Drywall saw, keyhole saw, alligator saw or pad saw.
Keyhole saws are, basically, of two types: one is the fixed type and the other one is retractable blade type.
If you are planning to buy a drywall saw with lesser money spent, you may like the fixed blade types. As the building materials and procedures have escalated to advance to some extent, the construction designing of keyhole saw has been developed as well.
The pointy nose of the keyhole saw is due to the fact that one would need to just push or jab through the soft building materials and accomplish his/ her job. So, you would get rid of the drilling a drywall or plasterboard and that’s the reason why it is also called jab saw.
But there is a problem. More the keyhole saw’s length is, more is its possibility to get flexed or get obstructed. In order to overcome this problem, the retractable blade jab saw has appeared in the market.
How to Recognize the Best Jab Saw and Drywall Saw
Among hundreds of items available in the market with familiar and unfamiliar features embedded, it is much difficult to pick up the best one or at least the most effective one. Here is a list of points to be kept eyes on while choosing your jab saw:
Practical usage of any tool reveals a fact that comfort in using anything is inherently at the topmost priority. Even the blades get a lesser priority than the handle type when the fact is considered.
Wooden handles are the cheapest and most common. If you intend to buy a jab saw with wooden handle with it then obviously look for a smoother texture or an ergonomic design that would comfort you.
Ask yourself. Do you have a pile of the job to accomplish with your saw? If yes, then change your mind for a rubber or plastic handle grip. This would cost some extra penny. So, decide wisely.
While choosing rubber handles look for a hardened one. This will result in an extra comfort. Plastics may seem better if designed more work-friendly and enveloped with leather.
The most important thing about choosing handle is the slipping of hand. Of course, give importance to the cross guard. This not only helps you stay safe from external forces but also prevents your hand from sliding away. Well, making pilot holes may get a bit harder with a cross guard.
Most keyhole saws have similar alligator teeth. Even the lengths, as well as patterns of the teeth, are identical to many aspects. Hard teeth are always encouraged since it provides fewer tendencies to flex away at a side.
Essentially keep three things in mind while inspecting blades. Find the saw with the most sharpened tip. It will be easier on your part to penetrate right through your drywall. On the contrary, the blunt ones would end up with a pilot hole not satisfactory at all.
An important characteristic of gypsum, the material used in sheetrock or drywall, is that the more you rub or grind it, the more it heats up. For this, you will find holes in certain jab saws. Never lose an opportunity to take a keyhole saw with well-placed holes since they would allow you to minimize the phenomenon of heating.
And last but not least- the rasping feature. Some modern-day saws avail you an option of rasping which helps you cut a chunk of sheetrock out along with some professional finishing.
Some saws come up with the facility of folding the blades in. This helps you manage to keep the saw itself just in your pocket. But spending much for such luxury would many times prove pointless.
Combining the features above some standardized keyhole saw may be generalized as-
6 Inch Keyhole saw
Such saws have rigid blades, sharp teeth, aggressive cutting, soft grip, extended sharpness.
The drawbacks include: less comfortable with small hands and fixed blade.
Blade Replaceable type
This type is greatly a handy one. This may also serve well as a reciprocating saw. The blade makes an ergonomic angle making the task feel lighter.
But check out your wallet properly because it is going to demand roughly double the price of an ordinary keyhole saw.
It is best for cutting with small angles. If that’s not your prime target, leave it.
Best Drywall Saw, Jab Saw and Keyhole Saw
Few premium quality jab saw, drywall saw and keyhole saw listed below and reviewed.
1. Stanley 20-556 6-Inch FatMax Jab Saw
This Stanley 6 inches long jab saw has got its tip sharp enough to penetrate any piece of drywall or other gypsum boards or similar materials very easily. The handle of this helpful tool is slip-resistant. You may cut or curve either Sheetrock, plastic or wood with power and strength as well as precision and control.
The facilities that you will be awarded through it includes-
Well sharpened teeth that allow you gain a speed up to fifty percent faster. The durability of the induction-hardened teeth is at least five times longer than that of usual teeth. Besides, the pushing and pulling strokes while cutting becomes comfortable.
The tool is marvelously and, especially, ergonomically designed. The handle is bi-material, cozy and resistant to slipping increasing its lifespan and strength. It feels solid in one’s hand.
Even smaller hands get a good grip on the tool.
You will be having a limited lifetime warranty.
Let us have a look at its specifications. The blade is 6 and a quarter (one fourth) inches or 159 mm in length. The handle is made of plastic/ rubber bi-material. An inch of the blade encompasses 8 teeth and 9 points.
Most customers have expressed themselves to be satisfied with it. Though it is a bit tricky to get started, suggestions are made to drill the pivot or just hammer at the back of the keyhole saw to get enough insertion. Customers have even worked out successfully with it in gardening.
Some disadvantages of such an advantageous tool are that it neither has a cover, sheath or anything like that nor does it have a blade folding option. Possibilities are there to cut anyone on this super sharp object. Some others have complaints of getting the blades rusty within short periods.
Its cut is gigantic to some specific uses as the blade is thick. Complaints about bending the blades away are also on the list. Its thick blade needs to be handled tactfully as many times it weakens the nearby sections of plaster. It has no folding option.
There is also a folding version of fatmax.
2. Tarvol Folding Jab Saw
The drywall saw Tarvol, also known as RAZOR SHARP 7” BLADE, is a handy tool that may make your day. Besides cutting Sheetrock it is also equally helpful in cutting wood, drywall, bone, pruning, sawing, hiking, camping, trimming as well as hunting. That is a lot of tasks, isn’t it?
Features and Advantages:
As suggested by the name the folding jab saw contains a seven inches long blade with razor tooth. The hand saw is 1.2 mm thick and contains seven teeth in just an inch of the blade (7 TPI). The blade is straight enough and is totally corrosion resistant.
Tarvol jab saw has an ergonomically designed to handle. The black portion of the handle is made of rubber while the green portion is made of plastic. The style resembles the handle of a pistol so the grip is comfortable enough to for a professional cutting or sawing. It is also convenient to store it by hanging.
The design is compact enough to be folded down to 8.5 inches and just 2 inches in width.
Combining all the features it offers you to use it in gardening by cutting tees, plants and those stubborn roots, in fishing, hunting and much more only waiting to be discovered by you. So the folding jab saw is ready to be fit into your toolbox with all its versatility in any adventurous journey you set up onwards.
Oh, just keep another fact in mind that Tarvol is there with a money back guarantee of its tools and products.
The Tarvol saw is a bit bigger than the traditional drywall saws. This fact may be disturbing to some. Besides the saw blade is flimsy. So it has a possibility to bend away in heavy use. Some consumers have issues in the backward movement of the saw while cutting.
Some FAQs for you:
Where is it made from?
It is made from Yiwu, a city in China.
What is the position does its blade get locked?
It locks both in open and closed position. To prevent chopping your fingers it closes a few inches before closing too!
Will the saw cut PVC?
Yes, it will. But it is a very bad idea to do so. The blades will not remain as sharp as before. The best suggestion for cutting PVC is to use a hacksaw instead.
Is the blade replaceable?
Yes, the blade is replaceable. One replaceable blade costs double in comparison to buying the two together. So it is better off to buy two at a time.
What about cutting 4 to 5 inches tree by it?
Honestly speaking, a bow saw is more efficient. But the Tarvol jab saw would do.
3. WilFiks Razor Sharp 6.5” Pro Jab Saw
This is a jab saw that can give a decent cut to drywalls, wallboards, woods etc. The ergonomically designed handle won’t let the saw get slipped off your hand.
Features and Advantages:
The razor blade saw is simple to use. It lets one cut miters, tenons and dovetails quite precisely. If you are a home-centered craftsman, farmer, woodworker or even a person like general contractor then it is just an ideal instrument for you as it cuts smoothly through plastic pipe, sheetrock, wood, plywood, and other similar materials.
It has got a handy easy to use design. The handle is comfortable to hold as it is designed keeping every hand size in mind. This eventually lessens fatigue while cutting. The cutting angle is also allowed to be superior.
The teeth are good for a sharp and smooth cut as the blades are induction hardened. The sharp tip feature is also there to guide you well while the beginning of the cut. It perforates drywall easily. It is definitely handy for a quick cut. So the construction is durable enough.
The blade of the body is 6.5 inches and the TPI rate is 7 in number. The blade material is carbon steel so that the control and rigidity remain up to the mark.
The razor blade jab saw does not come along with a sleeve to cover and store safely. Besides a few complaints are there about not being able to cut plywood comfortably.
4. Milwaukee 48-22-0304 6 Inch Drywall and Plaster Rasping Jab Saw
The 6-inch Milwaukee jab saw is especially recommended in cutting through plasters and drywall for the purpose of demolition and renovation.
Features and Advantages:
The handle of this drywall saw contains rubber overgrip. So the whole cutting process is under your absolute control. The back ends or the pommel of the saw handle is flat. This is due to the fact that the user can easily puncture the drywall by putting the tip on the desired spot and just tap on the flat pommel.
The tool is endowed with some rasping holes. Those holes increase you perforation holes and cutting to some extent greater than traditional saws. These can also be used for masonry. For example, you can make metal surfaces smoothed by it. You can do the same for rocks. It is not too often that you are provided with dual teeth pattern in your blade. This texture allows fast sawing optimization through materials that are comparatively thin.
You may find answers to a couple of your questions (FAQS) below:
Does it cut lath with plaster?
The answer is yes.
But it will serve better if you pull out the plaster first and then use the saw. If you do not want to do so then at least drill a screw at some nearby point into the lath. Then saw the lath and plaster by holding the screw. You may hold the screw strongly by using pliers in this case.
Actually, in such cases, a power saw is the best.
Is there a blade cover or shield with it?
Unfortunately, it does not come up with a sleeve.
Can reciprocating blades be used in its handle?
Actually, the handle is a solid unit. So it is fixed and the blades cannot be interchanged.
5. DEWALT DWHT20540 Standard Jab Saw
The DeWALT keyhole saw has aggressive teeth that cut drywall or similar materials double faster than the traditional ones. The teeth are of induction harden type. So they are ready to serve sharp for a long time. And do not ever think that they are only made to cut drywall only. Plastic and other building materials are also in its domain.
The aggressive blade has a length of 6 inches providing eleven and a half inches of overall length. The rest of the length of the saw is the length of its plastic and rubber i.e. dual material handle. Besides the jab saw of DeWALT offers you 8 teeth per inch and 9 inches of interval among points.
The saw blade is pointy at the tip helping one to penetrate sheetrock. The handle is sturdy and the blade is sharp and strong. So, overall you get a tool rigid enough to handle you wall made of sheetrock.
Though it is oft said that the DeWALT standard jab saw is 50% faster than the ordinary saws, customers’ experience produced the fact that the speed is not so much noteworthy. So, as the advertisement suggests the tool is not so noticeably better in terms of speed.
6. Shark 10-2206 Rockeater Drywall Saw
Just as the name suggests, the Drywall Saw gifted by Shark, most familiarly and commercially provided adjective: Rockeater is a strong professional grade saw for redesigning your drywall.
Features and Advantages:
The teeth of the blade are diamond grounded and not just stamped. Its construction includes carbon steel as raw material which is high in quality. The puncturing point is too sharp. The sharpness is high to some degree to puncture for scoring or for cutting of plunge type.
The 6 inches long blade has 7 teeth per inch (TPI) with 2 edges for cutting purpose. The fact of a one year warranty is to be remembered while buying the product.
The Rockeater of Shark is so ergonomically designed that the handle is much comfortable than expected. Besides there a wrist strap for the comfort of cutting.
A few customers have complains of not receiving the advertised product. They take the advertisement nothing but bait. Some others point their finger towards the quality of the blade. They want the TPI count to be increased.
7. Stanley FatMax 17-205 12-Inch Compass Saw
Here is a bigger saw to take your cutting job to another dimension. The one footed compass saw Stanley is a tough saw that is specifically designed to do the cutting task in curves in woods, plywood and plaster boards. Drywall and sheetrock are on the default.
Features and Advantages:
The FatMax Compass saw contains a long blade with heat treated teeth which are also triple grounded in nature. The features are added to provide excellent cutting experience. The finishing that you will be awarded while working with this compass saw to plywoods and hardwoods will be finer than your imagination.
It also cuts dovetails, miters, tenons and what not. The fine blades are assembled to handle with heavy duty screws so that the attachment is secured. Its handle is its main attraction. The handle, bi-material in composition and solid in the physical aspect, does not only ensure one’s comfort but also escalates durability of the tool.
It goes rightly through wood or any similar material in the proverbial “knife through butter” way. You may use it for both general uses as well as for fine finish. It should also have no problem regarding cutting through plastic or PVC pipe. But of course, if possible, avoid it as it is not meant to be used that way.
The knife is a push style one. So you cannot grab both the opportunities of back and forth cutting. Also, customers accuse this handy tool with an accusation of less precise and less smooth sawing experience with it.
8. WilFiks Razor Sharp 12” Compass Saw /Keyhole Saw
With ergonomically designed handle and the thick blade comes the larger version keyhole saw from WilFiks to show you it’s perfect cutting of wood, drywall, plastic etc. with desired comfort and coziness.
Features and Advantages:
First and foremost the big bladed keyhole saw is easy to use. It has the precise cutting capability that can be realized while cutting miters, tenons and dovetails. Plywood, drywall, wallboard are simple jobs to be handled y it.
Safety is one of the major concerns such cases which is vividly expressed by its durable construction. Teeth are diamond grounded, induction hardened. So the razor-sharp compass saw is smooth and sharp with quick cuts including trimming, pruning, and gardening.
The blade is extra secured and the blade tip is tapered. So holes and curves in cutting are professional. Besides, the body blade is made of carbon steel. It is thick and counts 7 teeth in an inch of length i.e. 7 TPI. The saw is well balanced and enough light to carry.
How Does a Drywall Saw Work?
A drywall saw is used to cut drywall, which is often referred by the name brand Sheetrock, by penetrating the soft plasterboard. The Sheetrock is required to cut off in order to place lights, the switchboards or windows.
Safety first: to use a keyhole saw safely two things are to be ensured firstly- the appropriate blade and attaching the blade to the handle properly. A hole could be drilled at the penetrating point to reduce pressure on the saw. To make a hole all alone by a drywall saw, short lengthen blades are the best of choices.
The best method of handling the jab saw holding it enveloping its handle and then pointing it in a direction away from your own self or away from anyone besides you, surrounding or near you. Application of excess pressure is always discouraged while cutting any plywood or piece of timber.
Penetrating the keyhole saw or the jab saw at the right spot is the most important task in order to begin a Drywall saw cutting. To do that locate your position precisely, Put the tip of you jab saw at that point and simply blow a tap on the back of your saw handle. Don’t push it too thick inside unless you desire to give a thick cut.
One vital thing to remember while using a keyhole saw is that does not keep anything important on the other side of the Sheetrock which may get penetrated and get damaged. In cases where this is simply unavoidable, one needs to be much attentive.
To hold the saw in an effective way is by putting one’s thumb on its back and then inserting the saw in and then moving it back and forth just like a normal saw.
What Are the Uses of Jab Saw/ Drywall Saw/ Keyhole Saw?
A keyhole saw is used mainly to cut soft wood like drywall, wallboard, plasterboard etc. housing materials which are parts of the interior walls and ceilings. It is often a need to cut off chunks of sheetrock to provide dovetails, tenons, and miters. A jab saw is very useful in such cases. In some situations, a drywall saw turns out to be a must.
Jab saws are also used to perform curve cutting as many of them have the capacity to cut wood and plywood. So keyhole saws are being extensively used in DIY (Do It Yourself) projects.
Besides, there are many commercially available keyhole saws that can easily cut off small stems, twigs, and roots. So they can be usefully used in gardening and are being used.
If you like to cut drywall with a power tool then you can use a reciprocating saw for better performance but make sure it fits your needs and requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
How to Change the Blades of a Drywall Saw?
Just like a knife or a razor a keyhole saw gets blunt after a course of its use. And these are the tools that are extensively used. So changing its blades is a burning issue. Here is how you would do it:
Firstly, put the saw lay on one of its sides. Grab a screwdriver, for most of the cases the flat headed ones, and unscrew the screw to dismantle the saw and remove half of the handle.
Secondly, take the old and blunt blade out. Take sufficient care to avoid any unwanted injury as the blade maybe blunt for drywall but not for your skin.
Thirdly, place the new sharper blade in. Before re-screwing, the keyhole saw observe carefully whether you have put the new blade as the old one was positioned.
Lastly, place the half portion of the handle that you removed earlier and screw the screws. You need to make sure that the screws are placed tightly. Otherwise, the result may be an unexpected accident.
How to Patch a Hole Using Drywall Saw?
Grab the best keyhole saw, place its blade’s tip and push it through or tap it. Before cutting mark the spot to guide you. Make sure that no power or electricity is there on the wall. Now patch your hole with ease.
What Are the Best Tools to Cut Drywall?
Of course, a keyhole saw or jab saw is the best tool to cut a drywall it cuts holes on the pre-existing drywall. It cuts the Sheetrock as a hot knife cuts butter.
Besides, you may select a reciprocating saw or most familiarly known Sawzall when your task is to cut a lot of drywall panels. Again drywall cutout rotary tool is also one of the favorites as they cut precise holes in tiles, plywood etc. If you need straight cuts on the drywall a utility knife may be the best option. But do not cut larger chunks with it.
To find the best drywall saw or keyhole saw one needs to focus on its blades, the tip of the blade, TPI or teeth per inch in the blade, handle type, handle composition materials, handle structure etc. These are the key feature to get the best one out of many commercials products of the same family.
To utilize the saw one should spend at least some time to know to understand its uses and the procedure of working. Otherwise, its usage may prove to be a time waste.
Not only that, the tool is a very sharp one need to handle it properly and safely. One requires storing it in a safe place- out of reach of children and keep in mind the choking hazards related to it and its parts.