Drywall Measuring and Marking Tools

This story is a gallery of the tools used to measure and mark when working with drywall.

This category includes some tools that have been in builders' tool kits for thousands of years. But you'll also find the latest stud-sensing technology -- it's the next best thing to seeing into a wall. Equip yourself with a tape measure, pencils, a mason's line, a plumb bob, and a line level that clips onto a tightly stretched string. Choose a brightly colored line level so that it won't get lost amid construction debris. You'll need a 4-foot level to check framing and as a dependable straightedge. Use a chalk line to mark long straight cutlines. It can also serve as a plumb bob. For drywall projects steer away from red chalk because it's a permanent color. Blue, the standard color, works well. You'll want squares in an assortment of sizes. A 12-inch combination square allows you to draw square lines, and it is handy for making layout lines at a specific distance in from the edge of a board. A drywall T-square is handy for laying out and guiding cuts on a sheet of drywall.

A compass/scribe helps mark circles and the contours of irregular surfaces. A stud sensor is used to find framing studs behind walls. Electronic and magnetic finders detect the nails in a wall. New models use sound to sense the density of the studs. They can also help locate pipes and wiring inside a wall. A water level makes it easy to find and mark level on surfaces that are too far apart to use a carpenter's level -- across a room, for example.


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