The 5 Best Drywall Knife Reviewed

Finishing your drywall is no small task, though it takes fewer specialized tools than installation. The right tools are necessary, and you’re probably wondering: what is the best drywall knife for the task? Drywall Knifes also called taping knives, are essential trade tools for finishing and mudding drywall. Professionals and contractors will often have several knives for each layer of mud and corners, including different blade lengths and finishing trowels. You can finish your drywall project with just one quality taping knife.

Our number one pick is the DEWALT 8″ Taping Knife. This is one of the best drywall knives on the market in terms of durability, price, and ergonomics. It’s a little longer than the middle of the road 6″ blades, so there are other terrific options if your preference is for a shorter blade.

Drywall Knives In This Review

What Makes A Good Drywall Knife?

There are all sorts of knives and saws that you might hear used for installing and finishing drywall like utility knives, reciprocating saws and jab saws (for timing drywall and cutting corners), Dremel tools, roto zips (for cutting holes), and putty knives and spackling knives (for applying mud and tape). This article is talking about the latter drywall knives used for finishing.

You might already have a putty knife around your house or workshop, but there are benefits to getting a wide, drywall-specific knife for finishing your drywall. Many people use more than one size knife, but if you’re not finishing drywall all day every day, you can certainly get by with one quality blade. When picking a taping knife, consider what materials you are using and your style for mudding, taping and filling. 

Handle. Needless to say, but if you’re finishing a lot of drywall, you’ll want something ergonomic and easy to handle. You can find plain wooden handles, but the knives on this list have rubber handles and grips. It makes them a tiny bit more expensive, but for your wrist and hand health and comfort, it’s worth it. Some handles are capped in metal, meant to be a surface you can pound errant nails with. The durability of these metal caps varies greatly between knives.

Blade length. This is where there is some contention about what length of knife is perfect for mudding and taping if you’re only using one. Many pros like to use 6-inch blades for everything, though there are some applications where you would ideally want to use something larger, even a 12-inch blade. If you’ve done a really good job installing and your joints don’t need to be feathered out too much or filled a lot, you can get away with a smaller blade. If your joints need a lot of help – you might want a wider blade. Sometimes manufacturers will distinguish between a joint knife and a taping knife – usually, joint knives and shorter and taping knives are wider. You can use both for most mudding and taping purposes.

Flexibility. Joint knives vary in flexibility. It’s important that the knife you choose has some flexibility for skimming tape but should be so bendy that it can’t remove mud from under the tape. Both stainless steel and carbon steel have a good amount of flexibility. 

Best Reviewed Drywall Knives

Below are some of the best-reviewed drywall knives on the market, all reasonably priced.

Red Devil 4218 Flexible Taping Knife, 6″

Red Devil 4218 Flexible Taping Knife, 6", Gray
  • Solvent-resistant handle
  • High-carbon lacquer coated rust-resistant steel blade
  • Solid steel nail setting head

This 6-inch taping knife is a perfect size and the largest blade they offer in the Red Devil collection. The carbon steel blade resists rust, making it very low maintenance – throw it in your bag or toolbox, and the solvent-resistant handle adds to the knife’s versatility. The Red Devil is also exceptionally light at only four ounces. 

Users had an issue with the metal end, saying it wasn’t heavy or durable enough for hammering.

Choose this drywall knife if you need a cheap, usable knife for a small project or an extra tool for around the house. 


  • Solvent-resistant handle
  • 4 ounces
  • Carbon steel blade
  • Blade extends through the handle
  •  Rust-resistant steel blade

 LEVEL5 6″ Blue Steel Taping Knife

Level 5 Tools 5-112 Taping Knife,BS,Nylon Handle,6"
  • Taping Knife,BS,Nylon Handle,6"
  • Drywall and Plastering Tools

This is another great choice if the price is a concern. Level5 will get you through any drywall project and beyond, though users point out the plastic handle feels a little flimsy. You might be sacrificing a little comfort, but for the price, this knife can’t be beaten.

This is a good knife at the price but may not be for the user who needs to finishing drywall for a long period.


  • Hang hole
  • 5.7 ounces
  • Ergonomic design
  • Blue steel blade

DEWALT 8″ Taping Knife

It’s not surprising that a Dewalt tool made the top of the list. It gets high marks in durability, rust resistance, and ease of use. Users like the durability of the metal cap and say it works as intended when hammering nails and sustaining impact on the tip without falling apart. 

The designs of the handle and grip make it exceptionally ergonomic and great for all-day use. Its price is a little higher than others on this list, but not by much. Taping knives are so inexpensive you can afford to spend a few extra dollars on a quality tool. Stainless steel does need to be taken care of because it isn’t 100% immune to rust. 


  • Lightweight
  • Soft-grip handle
  • Alloy metal hammer end
  • Lifetime limited warranty.
  • Stainless steel blade
  • Hang hole

Warner 6″ ProGrip Stainless Steel Drywall Taping Knife

Warner 6" ProGrip Stainless Steel Drywall Taping Knife, Soft Grip Handle, 10916
  • 6" Painter's Taping Knife SS
  • We call it the Warner Way. We’re SMARTER, STRONGER AND BETTER at making tools and giving our customers the support they need to be successful.
  • Our tools are made to last by a skilled team of hard-working men and women who take pride in building quality into every product

A six-inch blade is just about perfect if you’re only going to buy one knife. This Warner features a lightweight design and a very tall blade, which gives it extra clearance for your fingers. The soft-grip rubber handle makes it easy to use all day, and it’s a very reasonable price. 

Some users reported having difficulty removing the sticker on the blade.

Get this drywall knife if you want another quality tool just for drywalling projects or you’re adding a six-inch knife to your collection.


  • 4.2 ounces
  • Soft-grip ergonomic handle
  • Hang hole
  • Stainless steel blade
  • Blades supported with aluminum backing
  • Flared blade for corners

Hyde Taping Knife Ss Pro 8in

If you’re the kind of drywaller who likes to apply mud up and down, then you might only need a longer blade. This Hyde model is great for the second and third layers of mud. The 8-inch blade means it better for feathering than some of the shorter knives. The rust-resistant stainless steel blade is low maintenance. 

Users point out that it is a little heavy, even for a longer blade. This might make it feel of higher quality to you. It depends on your preference.


  • 8-inch blade
  • hang hole
  • 23% lighter than conventional taping knives
  • Rust-resistant stainless steel blades
  • 8 ounces

What Else Is There?

When buying a drywall knife, your personal preference is important. Many DIY-ers and handy-people have just one flat blade that they rely on for many projects. Don’t get confused by other drywall cutting tools and drywall tools with the word ‘knife’ in them. Some of these tools include:

  • Jab Saw, also called drywall saw. This looks like a knife with teeth and is used to cut corners, small holes, and around electrical boxes.
  • Utility Knife. These can look like box cutters, with extendable and snap-off blades or swing open with double blades, have a knife lock, and come with extra blades. There are used to score and trim drywall. Excellent multi-tools.
  • Keyhole saw. Like a jab saw but generally longer, and the teeth only go in one direction. These are for more precise and delicate applications. 
  • Dremel, rotary tools, power saw, orbital saw. These high-speed power tools can be used to cut and trim drywall. 

Related: Best drywall saws reviewed.

These are a category of tools used for drywall cutting applications and can not be used to tape and mud seams.

Several types of knives can be used in place of one labeled “Drywall knife” or “taping knife” – joint knives, putty knives, spackle knives, and more. If you’re going to buy just one knife or only one knife dedicated to drywall mudding and taping, a medium-sized blade is your best bet. Keep in mind some of the following factors:

How much drywall are you finishing? If you’re doing a lot of drywall, you might want to get more than one knife. In that case, some brands sell kits like USG Sheetrock Matrix Drywall Taping Knife Set. The Rock Matrix Knives come in sizes from six to twelve inches and a mud mixer. This is great for someone who’s about to get really into drywall. Smaller, 6 inch knives are great for your first coat of mud, and the larger blades can be used to skim the last layer of mud. 

How well did you install the drywall? For drywall that is mostly flat seams (meaning two factory ends butted up against each other), it’s much easier to use just one taping knife. A 6-inch blade will work for every layer of mud because you don’t need to feather the compound out too far. For lots of uneven surfaces and crown joints, you will want a longer blade and larger knives to feather the compound for a smooth, even finish. 

How experienced are you at finishing drywall? If this is your first time working with drywall, you might benefit from buying a kit or at least a few sizes of taping knives. You can figure out the best method for initially applying mud to your seams – horizontally along the seams with a shorter blade or small up and down motions. Each method benefits from a different-sized knife. Also, if it’s one of your first times finishing drywall, you might have uneven seams, and a much longer taping knife will help you smooth them out. 


What is the Difference Between a Taping Knife and a Joint Knife?

These are very similar products. Generally, joint knives are smaller – under six inches, and taping knives are bigger – over six inches. A small joint knife allows you to get into small spaces and fill in cracks. A wider taping knife is good for feathering mud and getting your surface smooth. They look very much alike, and if you get a knife somewhere in the middle (around six inches), you should be ok whatever your knife is called. 

Can I Use a Taping Knife/ Drywall Knife for other applications?

Sure. A good taping knife can be used for all sorts of to-dos and projects. Scraping popcorn ceilings, chipping away paint and plaster, even as a dough cutter and bench scraper. Just be gentle and don’t use the thin blade for anything that will dull the knife. 

Can I Use a 12” Knife to Finish Drywall?

Yes, you can. If you’re going to purchase just one knife, it’s recommended you get something with a little more versatility, like a six-inch blade. Still, if you already have a twelve-inch taping knife and want to save a little money, you can apply point compound with short downward strokes along the seam and then feather outward. 

Can I Use a Putty Knife to Tape Drywall?

Putty knives are not ideal for taping and applying joint compounds. Putty knives have shorter, very rigid blades. You risk gouging and damaging the drywall paper with a putty knife, and it will be very difficult to smooth later coats of joint compound. You’ll likely end up with scores and bumps in your joint compound. Better to invest $8-$15 for a taping knife. In a pinch, a putty knife can be used for patches and small holes in drywall. 

Are Utility Knives and Taping Knives Different?

These products are very different. You might casually call either a ‘drywall knife,’ but utility knives are sharp, retractable blades used for cutting and trimming all sorts of materials. Utility knives look like box cutters, and the blades are changeable.

Do I need a Corner Taping Knife for Corners?

No. Many professionals don’t use a corner knife. The trick is to do one side of your corner, let it dry, then come back and mud the other side of the corner joint. You can achieve great results with the same joint knife or taping knife you use for the rest of the wall.