The Blade Runner quickly and neatly cuts the front and back layers of paper on a sheet of drywall at the same time so you only have to make one pass.How it works: little rolling blades are integrated in the top and bottom halves of the tool, which are held together by strong magnets but can be separated by two hinged levers. The drywall goes between the two halves. When you push the tool across the drywall the levers retract; the top and bottom pieces remain aligned; the cutters score the paper. A little tug breaks the board. There’s no awkward added step of snapping the paper on the front face and then holding things steady to go around to cut the paper on the back.
I’m by no means a fast drywaller to begin with, but the Blade Runner cuts straight easily and does so faster and neater than a utility knife, the tool I usually use. It also cuts clean curves and closed openings that a utility knife will not do. You could cut out a window in the middle of a sheet, for instance, and just pop it out because the drywall is scored exactly both front and back. (note: it would not cut an opening for a electrical outlet or switch too well due to its size but most people use a rotozip for that chore anyway.)
It’s not cheap I realize (I used company funds to buy the tool). But here’s my rationale: while I am primarily a finish carpenter and furniture builder I end up doing dry wall occasionally, as much as a dozen times a year, usually on small jobs or repairs. I have always found it awkward to cut the paper on the back of a board after bending it and I’ve never had a lot of luck just snapping it back to pop the paper on the back side. That only works if the dry wall is very dry and crisp.
This speeds the job up considerably; I can cut clean curves; and I can work the drywall standing on edge, for the most part. The tool also seems really rugged. I haven’t used mine for very long, but it is certainly immune to being dropped repeatedly (I work alone and the 10′ boards I’ve mostly used the tool on are awkward). The manufacturer says it will cut 3500 feet of drywall before needing new blades, which are easy to replace.