Installing Drywall

These tool do have a bit of a learning curve, but once mastered, you’ll be moving far quicker than if you were using a hammer and nails.

Screw guns designed for drywall have a faster RPM, than one designed for general construction. A drywall screw gun will turn as high as 4,000 RPM’s, while a screw gun designed for larger screws and other fasteners, also known as impact drivers, will turn around 2,500 RPM’s. These impact drivers generally have a high amperage motor as well, giving them more power for working with larger fasteners. Driving a 4″ screw with a dywall gun would be over working the tool, but is no problem for the impact driver.

The nose piece on a drywall screw gun is different from those on an impact driver. The impact driver, while it does have an adjustable nose piece, allowing you to control the depth the fastener is driven in, it is usually a bit larger, and heavier duty. The nose piece on a drywall screw gun is also depth adjustable, permitting the screw to be recessed enough to be spackled over, yet not break the paper surface on the sheetrock.

Both of these tools have a clutch built into them, allowing the tool to be running, without the driver bit turning. In order to drive a screw, the tip has to be pushed in, causing the tip to engage the clutch. Trying to use a drill for this is considerably slower, due to the lack of this clutch.

It’s easy to see the difference between someone that uses a screw gun occassionaly, and someone that has a lot of experience. The person with little experience in screwing on drywall, will place a drywall screw on the magnitized tip, which is a #2 Phillips head, hold the screw against the drywall, then start the gun and push on the handle of the tool, engaging the clutch and driving in the screw. It is important to push the tool square to the wall, so the screw head is properly recessed into the sheetrock.

The person with a lot of experience will start the gun, and push in the trigger lock, causing the tool to keep running. They hold the tool by the sides, not by the handle, kind of like choking up on the tool. The idea is to be pushing directly in live with the shaft of the tool. Holding the tool by the handle causes the user to tip the tool, resulting in the tip not engaging the screw head, or driving the screw in crooked.

Then with the motor running, they will then place a screw onto the tip, and basically bang it into the drywall. That forces the point on the screw into the sheetrock, allowing it to engage the clutch and screw in the fastener. Pressure is kept on the tool until the screw is recessed into the sheetrock, allowing the clutch to be disengaged. While this is being done, the user is reaching into their nail apron, getting the next screw ready.

A few parts of this process are a little tough to get the hang of. First would be not tipping the tool while banging the screw into the wall. Second would be actually hitting the stud in the process. Hand eye co-ordination is kind of important for this. And third would be keeping the tool tight to the screw until it is driven all the way in.

This does take some practice, but soon, you’ll be amazed at how quick you can screw on a sheet of drywall.

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