A Quick Guide on How to Safely Cut Holes in Plasterboard

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Cutting holes in plasterboard can be both frustrating and time-consuming, but with the right tools and equipment, you will be able to cut different types of holes perfectly every time.

Here’s how you can do it properly:

For recessed light

Circular cuts are very difficult to achieve in drywall or plasterboard, but you can use different types of circle-cutters and hole-saws to cut circular holes for recessed lighting. Follow these steps when cutting for these types of light installations:

  • Mark off the circular area using a pencil and a compass.
  • If you’re cutting from drywall that’s already installed, attach a dustbowl to your cutter in order to catch dust and debris.

Attaching a dustbowl allows for easier work and cleaning. The collected plasterboard dust can be disposed of more easily when contained in a dustbowl, and you can clean the cowling by simply wiping with a damp rag.

For plumbing

One thing you need to keep in mind when cutting for plumbing is that you don’t have to use a dedicated circle cutter. In fact, you might be better off cutting the hole with a plasterboard saw angled slightly rather than straight directly at a ninety degree angle.

By doing this, you allow the pipes to slip more easily when inserted.

  • Mark off your drainage pipes with a pencil and a T-square for easier measurement, as the T-square can slide along the side of the plasterboard panel much more easily.
  • Use the heel of your hand to punch the saw through the plasterboard and saw along your planned lines.

Having the right plasterboard saw can save you a lot of time when it comes to cutting holes in interior drywall.

For power outlets

Square or rectangular cut-outs can be just as tricky as circular cuts. Whether you’re fitting a fixed power point or an aircon vent, it’s important to keep the tape measure level and fix the drywall sheet with enough screws to prevent any errors.

  • Mark all four sides of the point and cut through the three sides with the plasterboard saw. For the fourth side, simply score it using the blade of a utility knife and snap it open using a light punch with the knife’s back end.
  • Cut from the other side of the plasterboard and slice off the flap. Be sure to shave off the edges for extra clearance.

Keep in mind that only licensed electricians should work on active electrical wiring, and power cables need to be isolated before any work can be done on them. This means that you can only work on the plasterboard itself at best, and not on the electricals.

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