A reader came across drywall-specific utility knife blades at the hardware store, and asked a fair question – are they actually better for cutting drywall?
I would like some input on this: Drywall vs. Heavy Duty Utility Knife Blades
I ended up buying the heavy duty ones after spending way, way too much time standing there over thinking it.
Man those were sweet – for the 1st 10 cuts or so. That hardened edge is so brittle that after 10+ cuts if you look really close it’s got a bunch of chips out of it, almost looking serrated. The chips then get bigger of course as you go on.
I was hoping you could get some comments/input from actual drywall guys to see what they think about this particular question, as well as which ones they prefer.
(The email was shortened for the sake of brevity.)
I’ve thought about this before, but must admit I have yet to take a closer look.
Milwaukee, Dewalt, and other brands offer drywall-specific utility knife blades, but they tend to vague about the benefits over standard and general purpose blades.
Milwaukee says: Optimized grind angles deliver improved sharpness for less repeat cuts.
Images of the blades don’t show much differences, but they are also unlikely to.
Dewalt says this about their drywall blades: Engineered edge for cutting abrasive drywall materials, and Drywall Utility Blades offer a long life and are not easily confused with other blades as they have the word DRYWALL etched into them.
I would think that drywall-specific utility knife blades are designed to be tougher than standard and heavy duty general purpose utility knife blades.
A cutting edge with higher edge hardness can provide greater sharpness retention. But, higher hardness can also go hand-in-hand with brittleness.
As David mentioned, cutting into drywall with a heavy duty blade resulted in a lot of chips.
So, it seems likely that drywall blades should be tougher and slightly less hard, to help them last longer when cutting drywall and similar abrasive materials.
If all you’re doing is cutting drywall, it might be worth it to equip a utility knife with drywall-specific blades.
All this is speculative. I don’t cut drywall day in and out, but I’m betting some of you do.
Do you use drywall utility knife blades? Have you seen any differences? Have they been worth it for you? Do you have a favorite brand?