Joint Knife Versus Taping Knife: What is the Difference?

Joint knives are generally more useful for smaller work. They can be used to trim drywall, fix plug holes, and do other small jobs. Taping knives are a little larger than joint knives but they still do the same thing as joint knives just on bigger projects like taping ceilings or walls.

Many regards these two as the same thing but there are notable differences between them. In this blog post, we shall learn more about these differences and discover why taping blades are better preferred.

Joint Knife Versus Taping Knife

Joint Knives

General Description


Joint knives are smaller than taping knives. If you have used the joint knife before, then there is no way that you cannot notice this considering how small it is compared to other types of knives in the market.


Most joint knives are thin, have rounded edges, and pointed tips. These three characteristics make them ideal for cutting drywall corners. They can do a variety of cuts in the corners. They can be used to square-cut, round cut, or even an L-shaped cut if needed.

The slanted edge minimizes the amount of mud or compound that gets onto the knife and keeps it clean.

This is also the reason why it’s generally considered a drywall knife. If it is not sharp, you cannot really use it for plasterboard and other thicknesses of materials.


Joint knives are used to cut tape during the finishing of drywall. They are very sharp on one end but the other, they have a rounded edge to help molding compound or joint spline slide freely over the knife.

Since they are tiny they are perfect for small jobs like trimming drywall, cutting corners on the wall and fixing plug holes. They are not as sharp so smaller cuts are possible.

This is also the reason why it is being used to cut tape instead of using a taping knife or another type of knife because joint knives are quite small and will give you that clean edge over the other knives.


If you are going to buy a joint knife, then make sure that you have the correct tool sharpener so you can sharpen it when needed. You also need to make sure that it is clean at all times otherwise molding compound may get stuck on the tip or between the edges and could prevent another compound from flowing freely over the knife.

Taping Knives

General Description


The size of taping knives varies depending on what manufacturer makes them. However, most of them are the same as joint knives only a little bigger.


Unlike joint knives, taping knives have flat sides. This helps you when applying mud or finishing compound onto the wall or ceiling. Since there are two flat sides, this will give you an even spread of compound all over the surface that is being worked on.


Size is not really a major factor to consider as it will depend on what you’re working on and how big an area that you need to cover with mud or compound.  If you only need to cover a small area, it will be easier to use the joint knife because it is smaller.

If you have two knives and one is bigger than the other, then size becomes important because using a big taping knife on a small job will make you work harder than if you use the smaller one.

Taping knives are used in a variety of ways by different workers, some like using knives that have both flat sides while some like using only one side. This is up to you and how you are comfortable working with the knife.

While joint knives are more used in taping drywall, taping knives can also be used for these jobs but they are better off being used in taping jobs such as applying mud or finishing compound.


These blades require some maintenance for them to be long-lasting. Use a wire brush or sandpaper and remove any dirt that is stuck on the blade to ensure they last longer. If you regularly maintain them, it will help extend their life span.

The Better Choice

The main difference between joint and taping knives is that one is specialized for taping use only while the other can also be used for jointing but it will not be as effective as a joint knife.

It is best to invest in both joint and taping knives. Yet, between the two, the better investment is the taping knife because it is more versatile.

Final Verdict

At the end of the day, taping knives are superior to joint knives because they are more versatile and easier to maintain.

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