Automatic, Semi-Automatic, or Hand Tools: What Tools are Right for You?

When it comes to taping and finishing drywall, especially the tools available, there are many options. Most fit somewhere into these three categories: automatic, semi-automatic, and hand tools. When considering which tools to buy, that many options can be intimidating! So here’s a few questions you can ask yourself that’ll make choosing the right tools easier:

1. How often will you be working with drywall?

If you’re working full-time in the drywall industry, switching to automatic or semi-automatic tools would be worth the investment. It will save you time and therefore money, as well as reduce the risk of long term injury. Working part-time? Using semi-automatic tools provides some of the same benefits as fully automatic tools, with a lower cost entry point. This is a good option to test the waters and decide whether automation is something you’re interested in. If you’re taping and finishing once in a blue moon then the traditional hand tools should do the trick! Perfect for a touch up or small jobs around the house.

2. What kind of drywall work are you doing?

Think about the typical size of the jobs you take on. Are you working in entire buildings for weeks at a time or are you doing patches around the house? The bigger the space you plan to cover the more useful it would be to have semi or fully automatic taping tools. 

3. What is your skill level?

Like with anything new, there is a learning curve when switching from hand tools to automated tools. How often you work with drywall and the size of the jobs you take on might determine whether leaning the new tools are worth the time.

Now that you've thought about your needs, you can confidently select individual tools or sets from these categories:

Level 5 Deluxe Stainless Hand Tool Set 5-609

Hand Tools

These might be for you if you:

  • Work with drywall occasionally 
  • Take on smaller jobs
  • Are just starting your taping and finishing journey

Consider the Level 5 Deluxe Stainless Steel Hand Tool Set 5-609 for your next drywall project! This set has the tools you’ll need to cut drywall sheets and mix, hold, and apply joint compound. Check out our previous article What Tools Do I Need to Finish Drywall for steps and other products you may need.

Columbia Commando Set


These might be for you if you:

  • Work with drywall part-time
  • Take on medium sized jobs 
  • Have moderate experience 
  • Are curious about automatic tools but not ready to jump all-in

Consider the Columbia Commando Set for your next drywall job! It has all the basics you’ll need to get you started in the move towards automatic taping at a comfortable entry price point.

TapeTech MAXXBOX Full Set

Fully Automatic 

These might be for you if you: 

  • Work with drywall full-time
  • Take on large jobs
  • Have lots of experience
  • Have used semi-automatic tools and are ready to invest in time saving equipment

Consider the TapeTech MAXXBOX Full Set for your next drywall job! As the name suggests, the Full Set has everything you’ll need to make taping and finishing faster and easier.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to tag us and share your work with the CSR community! Have a question? We’re here to help!


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