Smooth Drywall Skim Coats
The Level5 Skimming Blade is a lightweight and versatile tool for achieving smooth and consistent drywall finishes.
I’ve been finishing drywall since 2003. During that time, drywall tools haven’t changed much. Recently, I began seeing Level5 Skimming Blades on social media. The videos show a wide drywall knife held with two hands smoothing wide areas. The two-handed grip looks like it would make laying down a consistent thickness of compound easier compared to a conventional drywall knife with its single, center handle. The concept was promising enough that I ordered a kit.
I’m glad I did. The 24-in. Skimming Blade is feather-light yet solid, and the unique handle makes it comfortable to hold in a variety of positions. I love its rounded corners that don’t gouge into the mud like the sharp corners on most drywall knives. This tool also has an easy learning curve. I was quickly producing glass-smooth butt joints with minimal grooves or ridges. Level5 Tools also has an adapter and heavy-duty extension handle for out-of-reach areas on walls and ceilings that can reduce your reliance on scaffolding and stilts.
Level5 Tools makes blades from 7 in. up to 48 in. wide. If you’re having trouble deciding which sizes to buy like I did, my favorite and most-used blades are the 24-in. and 32-in. models. They work amazingly well for feathering butt joints, skimming rough walls and ceilings, and smoothing patches. The kit I bought cost about $225 and came with a 24-in. skimming blade, a 48-in. to 87-in. extendable handle, a handle adapter, and a 12-in. compound roller with cover (recommended for applying thinned-out mud). Different sets with skimming blades in various sizes are also available on the manufacturer’s website.
—Josh Risberg, a carpenter in Rosemount, Minn.
Photo courtesy of the manufacturer.