flexiblefullpage - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Routing Box Cutouts In-Place

billboard -
Jobsite Know-How

Routing Box Cutouts In-Place

The result is a clean cutout that will be easily concealed by a standard coverplate

By by Myron Ferguson May 29, 2019
This article first appeared in the June 2019 issue of Pro Remodeler.

routing a box cut out in place

Using a drywall router is a lot like routing wood or laminate with a guide bit. The drywall-cutting bit we use for electrical boxes has a “guide point”—a ring around the tip that won’t cut into the edge of the box, so it acts just like a guide collar [A]. The process is more or less the same whether you’ve traced the outline of the box or just marked the center.

To make a cutout with only a center mark to work with, turn the router on, then poke the bit through the drywall at the center mark and work toward the edge of the box [B]. When you hit the edge, pull the router back just enough to “jump” over the edge of the box, which moves the bit from inside to outside the box. From there, work counterclockwise, keeping the tip of the bit in contact with the box all the way around. Slow down at the corners to prevent over-shooting (something that gets easier with practice). 

If you’ve used magnets or some other method to locate and trace the outline of the box, you can start the bit on the outside of the box by plunging through the drywall on or immediately next to your outline [C]. From there, press the tip toward the box to make sure you are, in fact, on the outside of the box, and work counterclockwise to make the cutout.

Either way, the result is a clean cutout that will be easily concealed by a standard coverplate [D].

written by

Myron Ferguson

Myron Ferguson is a drywall contractor and construction trainer. He contributes content to Professional Remodeler's sister site ProTradeCraft.com and has a blog at ThisIsDrywall.com.

Related Stories

Why Blow-In Cellulose Insulation?

Hear why the Model ReModel contractor chose blow-in cellulose and watch the installation

3 Tips for Rough-In Photos

These three quick tips will maximize the usefulness of your rough-in images, ensuring they're helpful for years to come

How to Replace a Window (Part 2)

This time it’s in a fat wall wrapped with a housewrap air barrier and exterior rigid insulation

3 Pro Tips for Insulating Foundation

Symbi Homes builds and remodels green from the ground up at the Model ReModel 2022 project, the Regeneration House

How to Replace a Window in a Fat Wall (Part 1)

Jobsite Know-How details how to install a window... again. This time it’s in a fat wall wrapped with an air barrier and exterior rigid insulation

Using XPS to Insulate Foundation

Symbi Homes plans to achieve several green certifications for its remodel of a 19th-century Victorian, our Model ReModel 2022 project.

How to Solve the Deck Ledger Problem in Fat Walls

Brick veneer and rigid exterior foam raise questions about deck ledger connections. We provide some answers.

How To Cut and Install Stair Stringers

Part 2 on the basics of building a straight run of stairs

boombox1 -
native1 -

More in Category

native2 -
halfpage1 -