In a fit of unrestrained impulse buying I purchased a RotoZip about 18
months ago. There was a residual vision in my mind of their TV ad
where the things effortlessly zips through every thing. A couple of
months later I went to use it for the first time. I think I wanted to
cut a circle or an arc in a piece of hardboard (Masonite) I was using
to make a jig.
It didn't perform so I put it back in its case and used my trusted old
Bosch jig saw instead.
Now, I was just wondering if I should have spent more time mastering
its use or whether I should just leave it in the pile of other
worthless gadgets I have accumulated over the years.
I am sure this group will have the answer.
It works really great for cutting holes in drywall. Hang the drywall, then
cut out around the outlet boxes and light fixtures. Use the fixture as a
guide. No measuring required. No need to buy those great big plates to
hide your mistakes. The circle fixture works great on drywall too. I have
had trouble using it with any other material.
The problem with this is the edge of the outlet/switch box will be
1/2" below the finish side of the drywall. I know some/most of the
screws on outlets/switches can span the 1/2" but it just seems like a
poor quality job to have the outlet/switch box not at the surface of
I have a Sears brand of the Dremel and it is useful in some
instances. Gets used a couple times a year. Glad I bought it. Not
sure I see the need for a Roto Zip. Might acquire one of those small
palm routers like the PC 3510.
No need to buy those great big plates to
On Feb 5, 6:38 pm, email@example.com wrote:
Just read the other responses of just barely tacking the drywall in
place and cutting out the hole with the box in its proper 1/2" proud
of the studs position then sliding the drywall over the box hole and
finishing the drywall screwing. Might have to try this with my Sears
Dremel next time I hang drywall. I'va always done the measure where
the box is and cut the drywall before putting it on the wall method.
On 5 Feb 2007 16:46:34 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Should have read this before I posted the last one. Sorry!
If you're going to try it with the Dremel (and I haven't,) I'd suggest
getting one of those "router" attachments so that you've got a way to
keep the bit perpendicular to the wall. Should work fine, then- but
freehanding it might be a bit more trouble than it's worth, and
probably not a good reflection of the potential it has.
On 5 Feb 2007 16:38:29 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
It is. I think you missed something in the description- you rough in
the boxes so that they will sit flush with the finished drywall
surface, and then screw in the perimeter of the drywall and maybe a
stud or two. Just what you need to hold the sheet on the wall or
ceiling. Then you cut the drywall around the boxes and it pops down
over them. *Then* you finish screwing it down completely.
Sounded like a crappy way to do it to me as well (I always used to
layout the sheet and use a keyhole saw to cut the holes before hanging
sheets) until I saw a guy actually doing it. Took about 10 seconds to
make a firm believer out of me.
No real need for the Rotozip unless you're a sheetrocker or do a *lot*
of remodeling, really. It's sure nice for what's being described, and
saves a lot of time- but it's nothing a guy can't do with a utility
knife and/or a keyhole saw. For a hobbyist woodworker or DIY home
repairs, there's not much call for the thing.
At the moment my baasement shop plans have changed. A friend said I
should stud and insulate and drywall the basement walls instead of
just painting the concrete white. I'm thinking I will do this. So
instead of rotary hammering the metal boxes and conduit to the walls
with Tapcons, I'll be putting outlet boxes every 4 feet onto studs
attached to the walls/floors/joists. Lots of outlet boxes.
Still wondering about the drywall attaching. When I hang drywall I
put in the screws so any wrinkles are worked out as I screw it down.
Put 3-4 screws into the same stud or two in the middle of the drywall
sheet. Then put screws in the studs to the sides until I get to the
outside of the drywall. Like when laying laminate, you start in the
middle and work to the edges or start at one end and work to the other
end so no bubbles occur. But with drywall its probably stiff enough
that resting it on top of the 1/2" protruding boxes will not cause any
bubbles, warps to form. I'm thinking up problems that do not occur.
I'll have to try it with the utility knife and keyhole saw and see if
that works. Then maybe try the Sears Dremel freehand. Then maybe buy
the router base thing for the Dremel tool. Then maybe buy the PC 3510
since its a new tool and I want a new tool. Want, not need.
On 6 Feb 2007 08:22:19 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Never really saw any wrinkles on sheetrock, but if you just run the
screws along the top of the sheet, you should be able to use the
technique *and* set your mind at ease. Before you zip it out, all you
need is enough holding power to keep the sheet from falling off or
Please note that utility knife and keyhole saw works best if you
layout and cut the holes while the sheet is on the ground. The
drywall bits have blunt ends that should not tear up your wiring, but
using a keyhole saw to cut around the roughed-in box is a good way to
either cut your wires or give yourself a really good shock, if the
wires are live. It can work very well, you just need to measure
Sadly I made the same mistake, only difference being I bought mine at
Sears. The pin that you push in to tighten or loosen the collet broke
the second time I used it (13 months after purchase). Sears would not
take it back or exchange it. Called Rotozip and they did exchange it
for a new one. The plastic housing that holds the pin broke again.
Bad design of the plastic housing I think. I ended up drilling out
the shaft to accept a C141-B rig pin.
Other than drywall the only other use I found was when I need to hog
out a few studs that had finished drywall on the other side. Was
especially helpful getting at that last stud in the corner. I don't
think any other tool could have done that job.
I don't have a rotozip tool but have a Dremel with the spiral cutter and
the router base. It worked great when I installed the can lights in our
family room. I used it to make the cut outs in the dry wall and in the
wood paneling for the switches.
A Rotozip fits in the gap between a Dremel and a router--it can take
Dremel bits but has immensely more power and it can take 1/4 inch
shank router bits but is less powerful and precise than a router. Look
at it as a Dremel on steroids and you're pretty close to the mark.
It is _the_ tool for making cutouts in drywall and plaster--my house
has plaster over drywall so in the middle of installing network
cabling, having gotten fed up with all the other approaches, I broke
down and got one for that. It has since proven occasionally useful
for all sorts of things.
If you want to cut a circle in a piece of hardboard, the Rotozip
cutter isn't really right--it will take forever to do the cut unless
they've improved them considerably and the finish will be pretty poor.
Get yourself a quarter inch router bit and use the quarter inch collet
in the Rotozip and it should go just fine.
Once I had to attach a round flexible duct to a sheet metal duct in a
basement, and the only access was from the top, between
joists. The only way I could manuver to cut the sheet metal was to
use the rotozip with a circle cutter. There was just enough
room to get the tool and my hand in there and I could hardly see what
I was doing, but it worked.
Heck it doesn't cutout outlets in drywall very well if using plastic
boxes. The hi speed bit melted through the boxes I wound up hand cutting
with a drywall saw then finishing with the RoroZip and took it back.
Hmmm. I have no problem cutting around plastic boxes. Have to be
Did you use drywall bits?
To get rid of the drywall dust problem experienced during cutting, I
purchased some drywall bits. They reduced the dust dramatically.
Possibly, the drywall specific bits are better at cutting around
plastic. (Thinking out loud :)
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