Are Automatic Drywall Tools Worth It?

Drywall finisher holds money against his face as he contemplates buying automatic drywall tools.

You may be on the verge of expanding your business or feeling the physical strain that comes with finishing drywall by hand. Perhaps you’re thinking about investing in automatic tools, but their higher price tag gives you pause. Weighing the pros and cons, you may be wondering…are automatic drywall tools really worth it?

The quick answer is yes. The long answer is – it depends. If you talk to your fellow tradesmen or browse the tool forums online, you’ll quickly learn there’s no simple answer regarding this question. There are many ways to finish drywall, and every finisher has their own way of working. So how do you determine if automatic drywall tools are right for you?

In this article, we’ll explore when, why, and how automatic drywall tools can be a great investment for you and your business.

When should you invest in automatic drywall tools?

First, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have more work than you can finish by hand?
  • Do you feel continually pressed for time?
  • Are fatigue and physical strain beginning to wear you down?

If your answer to these questions is yes, then you’re ready for an upgrade.

The best time to invest in automatic drywall tools is when your workload increases, but you’re slowed down by not having the right tools. To keep up with production, many drywall finishers turn to automation to increase their work productivity.

Why should you invest in automatic drywall tools?

Automatic drywall tools make installation faster, easier, and more profitable. The main benefits include:

1. Faster Production

Work 3 to 4 times faster than finishing by hand. This allows you to take on larger or more frequent projects, increasing your productivity.

2. Less Fatigue and Physical Strain

The elimination of unnecessary reaching, bending, lifting, or squatting will help prevent long-term injuries common to the trade.

3. Enhanced Jobsite Safety

Automatic drywall tools often reduce the amount of time spent on stilts or scaffolds, enabling you to work from the ground in most cases.

4. Increased Profits

Backed by industry standards, automatic tools are sure to reduce labor hours and increase profits.

5. Greater Work Opportunities

Automatic drywall tools give you greater flexibility to expand your services and take on different types of jobs.

Oh, and an added benefit? They qualify as a tax deduction for your business as well, saving you additional money.

Do automatic drywall tools have an immediate impact on workflow, or does it take time to notice the effects?

Automatic drywall tools come with a learning curve that can be easy or hard depending on the experience of the finisher. But once you overcome the initial hurdle of learning how to operate them, you’ll notice a significant change in speed and efficiency.

The best thing to do is practice as often as possible, learn from someone who uses automatic tools themselves, or refer to tutorials which are now available online for helpful tips and tricks.

How should you invest in automatic drywall tools?

We recommend saving enough money to pay for the tools upfront as this will save you more money in the long run. Buy one or two tools at a time – or however many you can – until you have a complete set for your needs.

What about renting or buying used?

Yes, renting and buying used tools are available options. Just be mindful of potentially high rental fees or misleading ads online.

Renting Automatic Drywall Tools is a great way to try out different tools without the commitment, but this will cost you more money than owning the tools outright.

Renting Automatic Drywall Tools

Some Companies allow you to rent equipment which is a great way to try out different tools without the commitment, but this can cost you more money than owning the tools outright.

If you are considering buying used tools, make sure to examine them in person before committing. Often, they require repairs that could cost you more time and money.

Buying Used Automatic Drywall Tools

If you are considering used tools, make sure to examine them in person before buying. Often, they may require repairs that could cost you more time and money.

What automatic drywall tools should you invest in first?

When it comes to investing in automatic tools, it really comes down to personal preference. For instance, you may be someone who prefers manual finishing but you’re looking for practical ways to speed up the process. Or, you’re considering semi-automatic tools to help bridge the gap. Or, you could be totally ready to transition from manual to automatic tools, but you’re worried about the learning curve it entails. Whatever the case, doing a quick self-assessment is a great place to start formulating a game plan that works for you.

We recommend identifying parts of the installation process that cost you the most time and energy (a.k.a. headaches). By doing this, you can identify tools that would make a worthwhile investment or best suit your current needs.

Check out How to Add Automation to Your Drywall Routine for an in-depth look at practical ways to invest in automatic drywall tools. For this article, we surveyed professionals in the field and this was the most popular response:

1. Get some finishing tools first.

Finishing takes the greatest amount of time and effort, requiring a finisher to run multiple coats of mud to achieve a perfect finish. Doing this by hand is physically demanding. To speed up this process, most finishers invest in automatic finishing tools first. Buying a mud pump, flat boxes, and a sturdy handle will save you a tremendous amount of time and energy straight from the get-go.

Product image for Tapepro Flat Boxer Kit BK-3

Tapepro Flat Boxer Kit BK-3

Protect your flat finishing tools in this ultra-durable, shock and water resistant tool case designed to extend the life of your tools. The Tapepro Flat Boxer Kit BK-3 comes with Blue 2 Flat Boxes, Recess Plate, Replacement Blades, and Bumper Kit. BK-3 Kit Includes: FFB-200 – Blue2 Flat Box 200mm (8″) ​FFB-250 – Blue2 Flat Box 250mm (10″) ​FFB-300 – Blue2 Flat Box 300mm (12″)…

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2. Invest in corner tools next.

Corners and angles are another labor-intensive process to finish by hand, and if you’re ramping up production – having a few automatic corner/angle tools is a great way to streamline this process.

Product image for Columbia Angle Head

Columbia Angle Head

The Columbia Angle Head finishes angles professionally with the correct, consistent amount of mud and the proper feathering of edges. Precision machining of hard-chromed wings ensures longer wear and superior performance. Columbia Corner Finishers are one of the finest designs out there. Bullet proof and accurate. Finish angles professionally with the correct, consistent amount of mud and the proper…

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3. Then upgrade your taping knives to a banjo or bazooka.

As your productivity increases, you can cut down the taping process by investing in a banjo or bazooka depending on your needs. A banjo is inexpensive, user-friendly, and can be filled by hand. A bazooka is far more expensive, but is specially designed for large, frequent projects.

Product image for TapeTech EasyClean Bazooka

TapeTech EasyClean Bazooka

TapeTech EasyClean Bazooka features: New! Longer Control Tube makes it easier to cut tape when working in rooms with higher ceilings New! Integrated flanges provide positive, ergonomic grip when cutting or advancing tape New! Tube Protector provides comfortable hand grip for better steering and control New! “Twist-off” Tube Protector at bottom of Taper for easy cable and plunger access New! Enclosed…

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As you become more experienced with automatic drywall tools, you can begin to look at complete sets that best suit your needs. Many finishers mix and max different brands, depending on their preference for color, material, and price.

In Conclusion

There’s no denying automatic drywall tools are a large investment, and the learning curve can be a bit intimidating. But with the right timing, budget, and strategy, you can simplify the drywall installation process with just a few tools. To learn more about practical ways to add automation to your workflow, check out this article. To better weigh the pros and cons, check out this infographic.

Here at Wall Tools, we believe that price shouldn’t be a barrier to better business opportunities. That’s why we’ve partnered with PayPal to offer payment options on qualifying purchases. For more information, please contact us at or 1-877-925-8665 and a member of our dedicated sales team can help you with any questions you have about tools, products, or services. We look forward to helping you!