As a drywall finisher, what width tape knife can you not do without?

As a drywall finisher, what width tape knife can you not do without?

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0 thoughts on “As a drywall finisher, what width tape knife can you not do without?”

  1. 12″ and 6″ are the most used, but i would say that the one i kick myself for not having is the little 2″. Most light switches are near a door. Especially in commercial settings, you will find that there is no set distance from the door. If you have a two, or even a 1″, it comes in very handy. Otherwise you will be sanding off those horrible lines that you left behind when you were trying to use your 6″.

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  2. The master tapers, when hand taping and coating, use two knives, 5″ (or 6″) and 10″ (or 12″). Just two primary knives, real simple, maybe one or two custom made knives for acute angles.
    It’s usually just a go-to taping knife and coating knife. Any master taper, with a 10″ knife, can make a finish coat look as if they used a 24″ knife.
    The fewer the knives the faster and easier to clean. It isn’t the knives, it’s the operator using them.
    Some tapers like the traditional plaster trowel and hoc, others don’t.
    Most pro tapers use machines for quick production. But where hand taping and coating go, just like trim carpentry and painting, it’s the best tools in fewest possible number.
    Journeyman tapers, and there is one on a job I’m doing right now, will show up with ten different knives and trowels, of which they only need two, and their work, while performed in the sincerest and honest manner, is highly deficient, but don’t tell them that. They’ll throw knife #7 (a useless one) at you.

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  3. The two standard knives are the 6 inch and 10 inch, but those who say that is the only knife sizes you need have never finished drywall where door jambs are 4 inches from a wall corner, or a light switch or receptacle is 8 inches from a window. Walls are not flat, featureless structures, and so, to do all of the work in all conditions, you will eventually find need of different sized knives. Most of the taping and bedding is done with a six inch knife, and most skimming is done with a ten inch, but there are times you can benefit from having a variety of different knives.

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  4. I’m not a drywall finisher but for me. I guess I’d HAVE to say a six inch because my first coat is roughly 6 inches and you sometimes are working in a tight area and can barely fit your six inch blade in there. For most situations though my 12″ knife is my go to even on my first coat, but as I said I’m not a drywall finisher. I’m a carpenter that’s really good at drywall.

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  5. If you’re doing a patch, like a hole in the wall, you want a six inch knife, for mixing, feathering, scraping the wall: 6 inch is the go-to knife for so many things, it becomes an old friend in your tool bag.
    HOWEVER, ideally you also have a 10” knife. The broader the knife, the easier it is to properly spread the compound on the wall. You generally want to go wider than you think on a repair, as this ensures it tapers gradually and subtly and fools the eye. Too often, especially with repair kits that come with a flimsy, small knife, the user only just covers the metal repair patch and then follows the directions to sand it down. This creates a visible mound on the wall. Instead, buy a broader knife, preferably both the 6” and 10”; but you could just get one, 8” if you are budgeting.
    Instead of thinking of laying compound on the wall and sanding, learn to do “skim” coats by laying compound (“mud”) on the wall and then lifting it back off again, leaving a very thin coat. Thin coats dry quick and reduce sanding.
    This Is demonstrated in the video below.
    If you’re doing broad sections of wall, you want at least a ten inch blade, but if you have large hands a 12” or even 14” covers ground faster.
    Also a good idea to get yourself a decent mud pan, which makes the whole process easier. There are links to my preferred versions of all these in the video description. I also end up using my two inch blade a lot for scraping out the pan, though the essential tools are the 6” and 10” for the repair.
    The top errors in patching a hole are using a knife that is too small; putting too much compound on the wall in thick passes and relying on sanding; and not spreading the patch wide enough, which is counter-intuitive because you don’t want to make a small problem bigger; However you will understand why when you understand the principle: All drywall repairs mound the wall, higher over the center and tapering to the edges—but when the taper or gradient is very gradual, it fools the eye.
    To get nerdy about it, if you are looking at the earth from a helicopter, it appears flat, even though it’s curving, because it’s so spread out. If you see a hill in the landscape, it appears as a bump because the sides taper steeply in proportion to the breadth of it. There I got that off my chest. Been wanting to blab on about that.
    please Upvote if you found this useful.
    As mentioned, All these principles are illustrated in the video below.
    Best of luck, Andrew
    “Be kind to everyone, for each person you meet is facing their own great battle.”

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