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Drywall Hawk and Trowel vs Taping Knife and Pan

Drywall Hawk and Trowel vs Taping Knife and Pan

Hawk & trowel or knife and pan? It’s time to settle the debate of which drywall tool combination is best!

Author:
Brendan Rumball
February 17, 2021

When comparing individual drywall tools, the LEVEL5 trowel and soft-grip taping knife both have great ergonomic soft-grip handles but their blade sizes differ from the maximum 18” on the trowel and the 14” on the taping knife.

Hawk & trowel or knife and pan? It’s time to settle the debate of which drywall tool combination is best!

An age old question, which is more efficient? Is it a personal choice or is there more to it. In this video Scott Murray, LEVEL5 CEO give us the rundown on the pros and cons of each set up. In Europe and Canada the Trowel is usually the go to while in the US finishers opt for the pan and trowel. Holding the pan all day on the job can get tiresome so some switch it up and use the trowel. Comparing the two they have a different way you hold them, different process.


When comparing individual drywall tools, the LEVEL5 trowel and soft-grip taping knife both have great ergonomic soft-grip handles but their blade sizes differ from the maximum 18” on the trowel and the 14” on the taping knife. When it comes to the hawk vs mud pan, hawks do offer a larger space to work with and ergonomics that allow you to shift the weight of your joint compound around but the LEVEL5 mud pans are arguably just as comfortable due to their curved bottom welds. Watch the full video to hear from LEVEL5’s President Scott Murray put in his two cents on the matter.

Ultimately there are no wrong or right answers here, its the choice of the finisher that matters and whether hawk and trowel or taping knife and pan, it's whichever you feel more comfortable getting the job done with that matters.