Techdry Tools has come out with the Dry-X3, which they describe as the world’s first multi-blade detail knife.
The Techdry Dry-X3 drywall tool is said to be 100% designed, manufactured, and assembled in the United States, and with US-sourced materials.
The X3 was designed more for detail and finishing work, such as when working around door frames, and features 3 blade sizes – 1/2″, 1″, and 2″.
The blades are made from aircraft quality (301 grade) stainless steel, and the handle is made from aluminum. It is also built with nylon washers and a patent-pending pressure lock that keeps the selected blade in place.
It weighs around 9 ounces.
Techdry says that their Dry-X3 was designed by [drywall] professionals for professionals, and that the tool was in development for over 3 years.
In videos of the prototype, the blades fan out from the handle when the user presses down on the pressure lock. After you fold out the blade you want, releasing the lock secures the blade in place and causes the other blades to retract back into the handle.
Techdry says that their tools can be rebuilt and customized by users. The parts kit comes with nylon washers, a compression spring, and replacement stainless steel blades.
Over on Techdry’s social media channels, they showed off prototypes of potential blade options.
The Techdry Tools Dry-X3 seems to be a well-thought-out idea.
Two concerns came to mind: how well will a tool with moving parts endure drywall compound, and won’t the blades stick together, making the tool difficult to use?
However, I’m not too worried. Digging around social media, Techdry’s founder definitely seems rooted in the drywall industry, and so I am confident they took this into account. Plus, you can completely disassemble the tool for maintenance or repairs if it’s ever required.
As for the blades potentially sticking together, I believe that’s what the nylon washers are for, providing just enough separation between blades to allow for easy selection.
Techdry’s presentation of the X3 so far seems earnest. In other words, I really get a “we made a tool we want to use” kind of vibe.
I really like that the tool is said to be designed, manufactured, and assembled in the United States, and from US-sourced materials.
I also like that they’re working on potential expandability – it looks like they already have prototype blade shapes for painting, caulking, and finer detail applications.
I think the tool is appealing, and it definitely has potential. However, I don’t do a lot of drywall finishing work. For those of you that do, what are your thoughts?
I don’t do a lot of drywall finishing work, but I see a lot of crappy drywall finishing work, and the OCD in me requires that I fix it before the customer can complain. (I’ve learned that this is like a 50-50 gamble… the company owner is on the side of “don’t fix it and half the time they won’t complain” where I prefer that it looks good every time and it’s cheaper to fix it before there’s a complaint.)
Anyhow, since I don’t do it a lot, anything that can help me make a good finish faster and easier might help. At that price point, this might be worth a try since it’s easier to keep handy then a few specific tools, especially if they get the corner and rounded bead blades out at reasonable prices. I’ll still need to find space for a medium and small knife though.
Even the cleanest among us cannot help but gunk up some drywall knives
while using them, whether or not we’re diligent about cleaning them afterwards.
This tool looks like an absolute nightmare to clean up, even if done so immediately after use. And aside from completely cleaning each blade before you change them, just grabbing it with some mud on your hands will completely fill the blade cavities with a very hard to remove mess.
Looks good on paper, but cannot see this staying in the drywall kit longer than a few months.
Same. Looks like a nightmare to clean. One might be tempted to drop it in a bucket of water…but that’s not good either, as aluminum + stainless together is just asking for galvanic corrosion.
It looks like a glorified putty knife for a painter
I finish drywall everyday, from early in the morning till late at night often. Drywall has consumed my life for many years. How often do I need a 1/2″ or 1″ knife? Very seldom, but when I need it I need it. This is something you would use once a month between a metal door jamb and a corner space. It wouldn’t be hard to clean because it would most often would just be used for a few feet of tight area, you wouldn’t float mud with this thing. It would combine 3 specialty knives into 1 saving space.
That’s almost exactly the same concern I have. Though for me it’s common household drywall repairs, like drilled holes and such. No matter how fast you clean it, the blade is always going to accumulate some sort of residue… no matter how small the job is.
Another concern here is… even with the washers, and keeping the blades clean as you can, will they withstand sitting next to eachother when folded, and unfolded? The gunk might not keep them stuck together, but, it might also deform the blades if they’re all forced into a space too tight for them. Are these able to withstand that, or will they lose their straight edge we rely on?
Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea. Through and through, I like the “Any Putty knife you need, is all at your fingertips here” design. That said, and I don’t think this is something the Company can be faulted for, Drywall compounds of all sorts, do all kinds of damage to blades. I guess my best question to ask in solution to this would be… I guess… Can you rebuild the stock one to be significantly thicker at the handle, to separate the blades from all contact with eachother, and the actual handle scales? Yeah, I see the silicone spacers, but are they enough? I would feel more comfortable if the blades were between 3 and 5mm apart at all positions, and an extra width of up to 7mm from either handle scale they’re closest to.
Or am I overdoing it here? Think the company already thought of that, and has an extender kit in mind?
Seems like an interesting idea, a smaller blade might make some types of detail work easier, thought it seems like just taking a normal 1″ knife down to 1/2″ would be enough. At some point it stops being a useful tool, and 1/2″ seems like about the right size to me.
I wonder if a fellow couldn’t just sharpen the smallest blade to make it a scraper. That would be more useful to me.
That price point seems pretty compelling. As I read the article I thought “neat, but it’s probably approaching $100”. I was pleasantly surprised.
I’m no drywaller, so this might be too niche – yet tempting just for the cool factor.
301 nor 304 stainless should have any galvanic issues with AL. I hate they say aircraft grade as that’s just sort of bunk but for once this applies a bit.
Meanwhile I like some of the idea. one drywall knife to do 3 potential needs for a job. I especially like the idea of having the special shapes on hand.
otherwise what would 4 quality basic knives cost. probably 45?
I don’t like the term “aircraft grade” either, but to their credit they list the alloy type, and so I didn’t mind repeating it.
sorry should NOT have galvanic issues. typed too fast
This looks very well made but from my perspective I don’t see the utility in having them in one multitool. If you’re doing drywall you’re going to have all your other knives and pan and tape and buckets of mud and so on, how much space are you saving by having 3 knives in the space of one? Imagine if you had a paintbrush that had 3 brushes in one, or something like that.
Agreed, I feel like the cumbersome, un ergonomic design would outweigh the benefits of just carrying 3 separate tools, or paintbrushes in your case.
If you carry tools, stilts, and sandpole to a new job every few weeks often up stairs or in urban areas where you have to park in some garage 3 blocks away every ounce matters.
This looks like the absolute dumbest idea ever. It wins the Trifecta — expensive, useless, and fills a niche that doesn’t exist.
I had to look and make sure today’s date wasn’t April 1.
That’s a bit harsh.
I receive a lot of emails from inventors and independent tool makers, and this is one of the rare ones that seem to be driven by utility.
Is it a great tool? I don’t know. There seems to be genuinely positive responses in the social media drywaller groups. That and the better-than-most presentation encouraged me to keep an open mind.
I have to agree with John on this it is dumb !!! NO Professional taper would ever be caught dead having this in their tool box. I would be good for a janitor scraping gum off the stuff.
I’d buy it. This is for getting mud into tight spaces. I know 100s of pro tapers and they all carry small putty knives for awkward small spots.
Good morning Jeff,
My name is Cory fisher, I am the founder of Techdry tools. I have been a drywall finisher going on 20 years now. We have sent out our Dry-x3 to only professional drywall contractors with great reviews. If you would like to find me on social media, feel free to contact me and I will ship you one, I guarantee you will change your mind. We have developed our tool with the same material as the automatic taping tools to ensure it works with drywall and paint.
My name is Cory fisher and I am the founder of Techdry tools.
I developed this idea from doing large commercial drywall projects, where you have multiple sizes of small areas across large job sites. I feel it definitely has a place for professional painting and drywall contractors, it has saved multiple hours and trips across job sites. If you are a professional drywall/painter I would love to send you one and have you do an honest review.
I agree that detail work requires finer tools; but a drywall multitool, what could go wrong? Interesting at first, but drywalling tends to be a bit messy, how ocd does one have to be to keep this clean to allow blade switches on the fly, … then we are getting mud between the blades, disassemble to clean, … or simply may lose screws with ordinary use, like any other hand or multi tool that involves screws.
I will stick to narrower standalone blades. Easier to switch, clean, …
Looks like a gimmick. Should sell like hotcakes to the DIY crowd at Home Depot and Lowes.
Any locking mechanism will fail or clog up to mud…and if I’m mudding I have pockets or an apron…and usually I have one hand free because I’m holding a hod of mud.
Last night I was trying to figure out just exactly how one would use this tool. Let’s say you’re mudding and you suddenly come across a tiny spot you need to get into and fix. How are you supposed to deploy this tool without it being awkward? If I’m mudding I’ve got either my main knife or a trowel in one and, and in the other hand I’ve either got the hawk or a mudpan, plus a smaller knife held at the same time. So now I need to pull out this guy. How exactly do I do that efficiently when both my hands are already full, and it takes two hands to open this folding tool? Am I expected to put all my tools down (not so easy while keeping everything clean of crumbs and dust), and then get out this tool and fiddle with tiny controls while my hands likely have mud on them?
I also just noticed that the fact that the handle is wider than the blades also limits their utility. If I need a 1/2″ wide knife then I most likely need the handle just as narrow or perhaps even bent out of the way. On the rare occasion I have a situation like this I either cut a door shim down with a utility knife or snip off a piece of steel pallet strapping. Either of those are thin enough I can hold it in my off hand along with the hawk/pan, and the strapping can easily be bent into different shapes as needed.
Koko The Talking Ape
I’m not a drywaller, but that handle looks heavy, slippery and poorly shaped for the hand.
Looks like it will be uncomfortable to use, and I too would be concerned about jamming up the mechanism. If you’re on the job any time you take to fix your tools is less time you’re making $$$
For all those saying “its dumb” or poorly designed because it will get mud in it:
Professional tapers are just like any other profession, if you’re good at your job, you’re not getting mud all over and making a mess. We use small blades like these for tight spots, touch ups, detailing, etc… and they are very handy when needed.
You shouldn’t be getting mud all over your hands or on the tools, thats how you get grooves and defects from drying unevenly on the blade. Just like painting, you clean your tools often and earlier than you think you should to keep them clean and performing well.
I don’t know if I’ll buy this since I already have individual small blades, but its definitely something I’d carry in my pocket while finishing drywall
As a modular platform for blades, this is pretty interesting and has greater potential than just drywall.
8oz is a nice weight for something this size. I’d have to hold it in the hand, and feel the tolerances and balance, to know whether it would work well for me.
I do drywall only incidentally as it is often part of exhibition changeover in gallery spaces. I doubt this would be part of my drywall kit, as my methodology is to submerge knives in a bucket of water whenever setting them down. A dedicated flat-pack of stainless blades would be more my speed in these sizes, but this could find it’s way into one of my finishing kits- that 5-in-1 caught my eye as something that could make its way into my go bag rather than live with the paint trays.
Are you a preparator?