How to cut a round hole in drywall

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This step by step diy article is about how to cut a round hole in drywall. There are many cases in which a house remodeling implies circular cuts in the walls (installing recessed light, pipes), so in this article we will show you how to get accurate results, without breaking the exposed edge of the drywall, by using just common tools. Nevertheless, you should keep in mind, that you could also get good results with a circle cutter or a hole drill bit.

Using a power saw will create a lot of dust, as compared to using a regular keyhole saw. Nevertheless, a round hole cut with a drywall saw won’t be as accurate as compared to one cut with a circular hole cutter, but you can get decent results if you use the right techniques. Moreover, always check if the radius of the hole is right, before cutting the drywall, because if you make it too large, there is no coming back.




 Round outlet box


 Safety gloves, Eye protection, Respiratory mask

 Electrical screwdriver, Drywall saw

 Utility knife


 If you want to get the job done quickly, use a circular hole cutter

 Wear a respiratory mask when cutting the holes in drywall


 One day



Step 1: Mark the hole location



Use a tape measure to determine the location of the hole. Mark the place with a pencil.


Marking the line on the wall


In order to trace the cutting lines you can use several techniques. On one hand, you can use a round outlet box, or anything with a circular shape, after ensuring it has the appropriate radius. On the other hand, you can mark the outline with a compass or a pencil attached to a nail.

Useful Tip: Check if the radius of the hole is right, before tracing it to the wall. Always verify if there are pipes or electrical cables behind the wall, before making the cuts.



Step 2: Punch the wall with a drywall saw

Making the starting hole


A drywall saw has a really firm blade, so you can make all kind of cuts with it. In order to cut a round hole, you just have to plunge it into the drywall.

Useful Tip: Push firmly to get trough the drywall paper and gypsum layers.


Cutting a round hole in drywall


After that, you just have to cut along the outline of the round hole, making sure you don’t damage the edges. Do not apply too much force, otherwise you might cut the hole larger than initially planned or tear the exposed edges.



Step 3: Cut out the hole

How to cut a round hole in drywall


Although in most of the cases miscuts are not a serious issue, because the trim will conceal them, you still have to pay attention during the process.

Useful Tip: Applying too much force could damage the exterior paper layer, so make sure you work with good judgement and great attention.


Cutting a circular hole in drywall


When cutting the round hole becomes uncomfortable, make a new starting hole and continue the process.


Cutting a round hole in the wall


After completing the circle, make sure you pull the piece of drywall towards outside, otherwise it might fall inside the wall.


Circular hole in wall


The round hole made in drywall is almost perfect. Now, it’s time to check if the outlet box fits easily into place.


Installing the electrical box


The electrical box fits into the hole. Nevertheless, if you want to get the job done quicker or without having to worry about making the hole too large, use a hole saw bit.



Step 4: Use hole saw drill bit

Cutting circular holes in drywal


Cutting small round holes in drywall can also be done using an adjustable hole saw. In most of the cases, you can adjust the radius of the hole from as little as 1” up to as much as a 7”. In order to get a professional result, you just have to center the hole saw properly over the cut lines and make the hole gradually.

Useful Tip: Don’t forget to use a respiratory mask when making the cuts, as the hole saw will generate a lot of dust.



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