Kevin Brannigan Marketing Manager at Makita looks at how specially designed drywall screwdrivers and cutters can help improve productivity and make work easier.
Due to the nature of the material, plasterboard must be handled, cut and fixed correctly to ensure a high quality finish. The plasterboard can easily be damaged if the screws are driven too strongly into the material and often standard combi-drills produce too much force. Specialist screwdrivers for use on plasterboard are designed to drive the screws securely into the material without damaging the board. The screwdriver does this by disengaging the bit when it reaches a set point to stop it driving the screw too far.
Furthermore, the weight of plasterboard means that the large number of screws may be required to ensure it is fixed properly. For example, National House Building Council (NHBC) guidelines recommend screws be fixed every 230mm for ceilings and 300mm for walls, meaning as many as 32 screws per sheet may be required for walls. Therefore, improving the speed and efficiency of fixing these screws can create a significant time saving. For example, the unique Push Drive Technology featured in the Makita 18V LXT Brushless Screwdriver DFS250 makes it quicker and easier. With the lock-on button engaged, the motor will run automatically when the screw is pressed into the surface of the board and will drive until the screw is properly located. This has the added advantage of reducing overall power consumption, for longer run times per battery charge. It also has a variable speed trigger to provide fine control where necessary.
In the course of any job that involves plasterboard installation there will likely be a need to trim the board to shape or create cut-outs for light switches, power sockets or ceiling lights. A cordless cutter designed for this is a valuable investment as it can make this process much easier. The Makita 18V LXT Drywall Cutter DCO181 uses a rotating bit similar to a router cutter, which allows the cut to be started at the edge or in the middle of the sheet and efficiently cuts the material. A drywall cutter can also be useful for easily removing damaged areas of plasterboard that need to be replaced.
The DCO181 has a bit speed of up to 32,000 rpm for fast and easy cutting. The in-line tool design makes it comfortable to operate and can either be used free-hand or with a template or guide to make the alterations or cut outs. The DCO181 has an adjustable guide around the bit to allow the maximum depth of the cut to be set and avoid damaging anything that may be behind the plasterboard, such as wiring or pipework.
To ensure user safety and a clean work area, the Makita DCO181 has a dust extraction attachment that can fitted to the tool to capture and remove the plasterboard dust. It also has Auto-Start Wireless System (AWS) technology that connects the tool to compatible dust extractors using Bluetooth to run the extractor automatically when the tool is in use.
Plasterboard installations, repairs and alterations can be made simpler and quicker by investing in specially designed power tools. A drywall screwdriver and cutter are valuable additions to your kit when tackling these jobs.
To find out more about Makita’s range of specialist tools for interior fit-out and finishing visit https://makitauk.com/