What is a Drywall Rasp For?
You may have seen these little hand tools and wondered what the heck they are actually used for. After all, one of the great advantages of drywall is that not only is it cheap, it’s standardized. Those 8-foot panels are so handy partly because they come more or less ready to go just as they are. And besides, edges and joints are going to be buried under joint compound and then painted over – so what would we need a drywall rasp for?
Well, if all you’re looking to do is slap something up with whole sheets, you may never need a rasp. If, on the other hand, you’re doing patch work, adding cutouts for windows or electrical sockets, or even doing custom drywall art, you’re going to need to smooth the exposed edges to get the perfect fit. That’s where a drywall rasp comes in.
Just like other kinds of rasps, the ones made for drywall work like a cheese grater – that is, they use a flat surface with sharp-edged holes to shave off small, thin pieces of material. The result is that if you cut a piece of drywall – say you need a 1-foot by 1-foot square to patch a hole – you can cut it very slightly larger than the size you want and use the rasp to gradually shave the edges down until it’s a perfect fit. Similarly, you can use the rasp to enlarge a hole you’ve cut (like for an electrical socket) if it’s slightly too small. Finally, you can use the rasp to flush sheetrock with studs or to remove small bumps from rough-cut sheets, allowing them to sit square with other sheets of drywall for a tighter, smoother joint.
Rasps Save You Time and Money
And while rasps are an important tool for doing precisely fitted, professional-looking work, they are a lot more than that: they’re also a big time- and money-saver in the long run. This is because any significant gaps you have when you hang your drywall need to be backfilled before you (or someone you’ve hired) can do the finishing work. The cleaner your hang, the less extra work of backfilling you’ll have to do before finishing, so taking 30 seconds with a rasp to get the perfect fit now might save you hours of backfilling (and waiting for compound to dry) later on. And if you’re thinking about avoiding the headache by skipping the backfilling step, don’t! If you fail to backfill large gaps, you’ll create weak, flexible points in the wall that can cause cracking (and expensive, time-consuming repairs) farther down the road.
Rasps are an effective, inexpensive precision tool that belong on every drywaller’s tool belt, whether you’re a pro, a hobbyist, or a first-timer. You might be able to get something put together without one, but if you want your results to look smooth and professional, a rasp is indispensable. A rasp is a that budget-friendly tool that helps ensure you can create a beautiful finish.
Image Source: Extreme How-To“