I'm in the drywall business — admittedly not the most glamorous line of work. When I first started out 20 years ago, not only was drywall considered unglamorous, it didn't even require many tools. And, in the building business, it's "no tools, no glory." I always had a decent but dusty truck with some scaffolding and a few planks in the bed. The rest of the tools I needed to hang, tape, and sand, I could pretty much carry in my arms. I'm proud to say that in the last 10 years or so, all that has changed. A lot of new labor-saving tools, as well as tools that improve quality, have become available. I don't hesitate to buy the tools I need, either. Nowadays, I make four or five trips to the truck to haul my tools, just like the framers and finish carpenters do. For any of you builders who occasionally find yourself doing some drywall work now and then, here's a rundown of the tools I take to the job. Many of these are standard tools, but you may not have heard of some of them.

A good-quality tape measure is important. I use a 25-foot tape to figure materials for large rooms and, along with my utility knife, to scribe short, straight measurements along the edge of a sheet of drywall. The wider blade of a 25-foot tape allows you to extend it farther before it sags or buckles. T-square. A 4-foot aluminum T-square is a...

or Register to read the full article.