Automatic Drywall Finish Tool Set: What You Need

If you’re a drywall professional who has mastered hand tools or a seasoned drywall professional looking to grow your business, you should consider investing in automatic finishing tools. Anyone regularly taping and finishing drywall will save a lot of time and effort with the right set of automatic taping tools.

In case you aren’t familiar with them, automatic taping tools are just what they sound like. Although some will argue, automatic tools provide more consistent results than finishing by hand. They often also combine steps (such as laying tape and joint compound simultaneously) to make the job quicker. Obviously, this can save a lot of time. On the other hand, they take a bit more maintenance and a larger learning curve to master them.

So what are the various automatic taping tools available? What should you consider getting if you’re building out your first set? Let’s take a look!

  1. Automatic Drywall Taper
    The automatic drywall taper takes care of your first steps. It applies tape and joint compound simultaneously, saving time on multiple passes. It also ensures an even flow of compound for smooth joints with minimal waste.
  2. Drywall Flat Box
    The drywall flat box, also called a finishing box, is used to apply an even coat of mud over taped joints. They distribute an even flow of mud over every joint while simultaneously troweling to give you perfect lines. Just like trowels and taping knives, they are available in a variety of widths, shorter for the bed coat (as short as 5”) up to large sizes (12” or more) for the skim coat. Using each box in turn will automatically feather the mud for a perfect crown. Consider getting at least three sizes – 7” for the bed coat, 10” for the finishing coat, and 12” or larger for the skim coat. Other sizes may be necessary on a project-by-project basis or according to your taste.
  3. Flat Box Handle
    Flat boxes require a handle which come in fixed lengths or in with the ability to extend. Handles are available in a wide variety of lengths from the very short to make it easy to finish inside closets and other tight spaces and very long to reach high 12’ ceilings. To start, consider a compact extensions handle that adjusts to cover common heights. If you regularly work with very high ceilings or have other specific needs, consider a detachable extension so you can modify the length to reach extreme heights when needed.
  4. Drywall Pump
    Automatic drywall tools have a mud reservoir that you must fill before using them. It is possible to fill flat boxes by hand but a drywall loading pump makes the job quicker and cleaner. You will also want to make sure your pump comes with a gooseneck and attachments so that you can fill your automatic taper and flat boxes. To use the pump simply place the pump in a bucket of mud, connect the gooseneck and pump the mud into your tools, filling them in a matter of seconds. Using a drywall pump will save you a lot of time refilling your tools.
  5. Corner Applicator & Finisher
    Similar to the flat box but intended for corners, the corner applicator with finisher can apply mud into inside corner joints. Corner finishers are manufactured to retain tight tolerances so that the mud tapers into feathered edges. Dial in how the corner finisher lays the mud with adjustable tension springs. Look for well-built finishers made of durable materials to ensure longevity.

These tools will allow you to tape all your butt joints, your inside corners, coat your corner beads, and lay the perfect finish coat while running as efficiently as possible. Conquer your next project with automatic taping tools!