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Following up on RotoZip stuff (TM 11/30/09), I found a link to CUTzOUT installation templates, which work with all brands of spiral saws and rotary tools. The above picture shows uses for the CUTzOUT Universal Single Gang Template, which costs $12.99, or $21.98 in a package with the SAWzBASE that attaches to the guide foot on most spiral saws and rotary tools to provide more stability and control. Other available templates include Universal Double Gang, Universal 4″ Round Box, Universal 4″ Square Box, STRAITCUTz, CIRCLEz, and more. The templates are ¼” thick ABS, and you can use them for “all remodeling, renovation, retrofit, and new construction projects to cut holes in drywall, paneling, plywood, ceiling tiles, OSB, SIPs, and all kinds of other materials.” They also make an ADAPTA-BASE — and apparently the shift key is stuck on their product-naming computer — that works “as both a cutting base and as a router base.” It allows working with the same guide bushings used on full-sized routers.

Javaco, a distributor of installation equipment, carries several of the CUTzOUT templates.

I’m tempted to get one just to put in some dummy switch boxes and mess with people’s minds. Has anyone used these templates? How well do they work?

CUTzOUT [Manufacturer's Site]

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11 Responses to CUTzOUT Installation Templates

  1. Jupe Blue says:

    I’ve not used them, but find with my Dewalt cutter I need both hands to handle it. Could use a third hand to hold the vacuum so I don’t spray dust all over the customers kitchen. Could use a fourth hand to hold the template?

  2. Brau says:

    Sorry, but this makes no sense to me. I retrofit a couple of outlets a day and the easiest, fastest way is to trace the box and cut it out with a $2.99 screwdriver-sized keyhole saw that I keep in my tool pouch. *If* I really wanted a way to waste time, I suppose I could go out to the van, get my fancy template, Rotozip, drywall bits, extension cord, vacuum, masking tape (so the cutter base doesn’t mar the surface), face mask …. and make a big-ass production of it.

  3. Roscoe says:

    +1 Brau, well said.

  4. Old Coot says:

    What Brau said.

  5. fred says:

    Might be useful for retrofit applications on tiled walls, but, considering that most jobs that I can ever recall did not retrofit boxes into old-work-tile – I’ll probably pass on buying any of these

  6. David Bryan says:

    While they’re trying to add up all those ways you can use this, they might as well have included different colors of devices and cover plates. That could really add up fast.

  7. dano says:

    How about building in a level within the device?

  8. David Bryan says:

    They’ve got two levels built in.

  9. Adam R says:

    Lasers…everything needs lasers. And a hole for a lanyard to connect to.

  10. David Bryan says:

    What we need is the las-vel-yard feature that covers all of it. Maybe I better trademark that real quick. Make that LAz-VEL-YARD.

  11. David Sprague says:

    Just a few comments from the person that designed these tools.

    The idea for the guides, templates came from thinking back over years of experience and identifying those times when I encountered problems that cost me money. I tried to come up with simple durable aids that eliminate costly problems.

    For Brau, I used to use the process you describe and most of the time this is still the simplest way to cut a hole in drywall. However, I used this approach for years for small jobs, such as putting in a couple of switch boxes, but ran into situations that when I drove my saw through the drywall the back of the drywall broke away so much that an old work or retrofit box would not hold in place. I had to repair the drywall and this cost me a lot of time and money.

    My first change in process was to drill through the wall first and then use the hand saw. This just added more chances for errors and drilling generates dust that can be messy.

    So I shifted to using a cutout tool or spiral saw since they don’t put as much strain on the drywall. But they can be hard to handle, may leave marks on a finished wall, and tend to generate quite a bit of dust in the air. Through many experiments: I found that a simple template or guide eliminated my problems with cutting level and accurately sized holes- I put levels in many of the guides, the template protects the surface of finished walls, and due to the design of the base attachment for the cut out tool there is very little dust put into the air.

    Now, I just make it a habit to carry a toolbox with my cut-out tool and templates with me when I go on site.

    So I encourage you to go to the business website, http://www.cutzout.com and have a look at the line of templates.

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