Semi-Automatic Taping Tool

Semi-Automatic Drywall Banjo

  • SKU: 5-311 | UPC: 810091330661
  • The best deals of the year are here until Nov 30th.
  • This item is currently 20% OFF
Now: $103.99
MSRP: $129.99
Was: $129.99

Questions? Prefer to order directly over the phone? Call: 800.227.7713


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  • SAVE TIME & MAKE MORE MONEY >> Simultaneously apply an even coat of joint compound and tape over flat drywall seams. By using a LEVEL5 Banjo, you'll save valuable time, achieve professional results, and increase your profitability.
  • EASY TO USE >> Features a flow gate with an integrated tape cutter. Based on the compound's consistency, you can easily adjust the amount of dispensing compound. When you complete a seam, you can cut the tape without a knife.
  • EASY TO MASTER >> The LEVEL5 Banjo is easy to use and can be learned in minutes. Plus, it's simple to teach others and scale up your drywall finishing business!
  • EASY TO MAINTAIN >> With a hinged cover that opens wide, cleaning and maintaining your LEVEL5 Banjo is a breeze. With proper cleaning and lubrication, your LEVEL5 Banjo will last indefinitely.
  • DURABILITY AT ITS BEST >> Built from aircraft-grade aluminum, LEVEL5 Banjos are lightweight, yet built to withstand the rigours of commercial use. All surfaces are anodized for corrosion resistance and peak performance.
  • GUARANTEED PERFORMANCE >> LEVEL5 offers a 7-year "no hassle" warranty - the best in the industry.

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For more details or to purchase by telephone, call us at 800.227.7713


The LEVEL5 Banjo Drywall Taper is an intermediate or “semi-automatic” tool that enables you to apply paper tape or Fibafuse to flat drywall seams with precision and efficiency.

While not quite as fast as an automatic drywall taper (#4-760), the banjo is much faster than hand taping. For any drywall finishing job of 10 sheets or more, this tool will save you valuable time while achieving professional results. It is also easy to clean when the job is done.

The LEVEL5 Banjo Drywall Taper is a commercial-grade workhorse. It features an aircraft-grade aluminum body that has been fully anodized for corrosion resistance. The hinged lid has a high quality urethane rubber seal and industrial-quality latches. The banjo also features an adjustable flow gate with an integrated tape cutter as well as a comfortable, soft-grip handle.


  • Aircraft-grade aluminum body
  • Premium color anodizing for easy cleaning and corrosion resistance
  • Composite tape roll holder that won’t shrink or crack over time
  • Adjustable flow gate with integrated tape cutter
  • Heavy-duty, soft-grip top handle
  • Adjustable hand strap with thumb rest for better control on the wall
  • Hinged lid
  • Proprietary urethane rubber anti-leak seal
  • Industrial-quality latches

Learn more here:

level5 drywall banjo being filled


Preparing Your Joint Compound

  • Mix water with your compound until it is a consistency where you know it is going to flow out of the banjo easily and without dripping (think of thick Greek yoghurt).
  • The compound should be smooth and free from air bubbles. You should be able to pour it from your bucket into the compound chamber. Alternatively, you can use a LEVEL5 Compound Pump (#4-771) with a flat box filler valve (included) or LEVEL5 Compound Tube (#4-741) with its flat box filler nozzle installed.

Preparing the LEVEL5 Banjo

  • Place a tape roll onto the tape roll dispenser and insert the leading end of the tape into the slot that enters the compound chamber. If the tape is creased, ensure that the crease points down towards the bottom of the Banjo.
  • Inside the compound chamber, insert the tape end through the slot located in the tape dispensing head at the front end of the taper.
  • Pull the tape upwards, following the contours at the top of the compound chamber.
  • Load joint compound into the compound chamber below the tape. The pressure created when you pull the tape through the compound chamber while operating the banjo will coat the back of the tape evenly.
  • PRO TIP: Avoid overfilling the compound chamber as two things could happen: (1) it may become challenging to pull the tape through the compound chamber, resulting in tearing the tape inside the banjo or (2) the seals won't function correctly, causing excessive leakage.
  • Always prime the banjo by pulling the tape through until no dry tape is coming out of the dispensing head. Cut off and discard the dry tape, and you are ready to go.
  • Note that you can loosen two thumbscrews and adjust the gate/cutter on the tape dispensing head to control the compound flow to your preference.

Operating the LEVEL5 Banjo

  • Place your hand through the strap on the side of the banjo, ensuring that your thumb rests on the thumb tab, and wrap the rest of your fingers around the base of the tool.
  • Hold the banjo with one hand and pull out a length of tape roughly equivalent to an arm's span with your free hand. Apply the tape edge to the beginning point of the seam and push the span of tape down along the seam.
  • Next, apply pressure on the tape near the dispensing head with your free hand, so you can move the banjo forward along the seam. Apply pressure to the tape every two or three feet, repeating the process until the end of the seam. It may take some time to master the technique, but once you do, you will be able to move quickly along the seam.
  • When you reach the end of the seam, press the tape against the drywall with the taper cutter's edge, and quickly pull the banjo to tear the tape.
  • To complete the taping process, we recommend using a 6-inch joint knife (#5-406) along with a mud pan (#5-332) or a hawk (#5-325) to bed the tape down, removing any excess compound and air pockets behind the tape. The result should be a smooth, flat, and clean surface over the taped seam, ready for final finishing.


A Pressure Washer Makes Cleaning Fast

To ensure that your LEVEL5 automatic and semi-automatic tools last longer, it is crucial to clean them thoroughly before storing them between jobs. Although not required, a lightweight and portable pressure washer, commonly used for washing vehicles, can make light work of the cleaning process. There are many cost-effective options available on Amazon with good ratings.

Lubricate After Cleaning

Once your automatic and semi-automatic tools are clean, it is important to lubricate all the moving parts to displace any remaining water and reduce the risk of corrosion. IMPORTANT: avoid using standard WD-40 or similar lubricants as they can be caustic and damage the rubber seals and gaskets, which in turn can affect tool performance. In fact, it's best to steer clear of any spray lubricants unless you are certain of the propellant used. For example, many spray cans use solvents like benzene as a propellant, which is a solvent.

We recommend using simple, low cost 3-in-1 machine oil, available in metal squeeze cans, to lubricate every moving part before and after use. Alternatively, if you prefer to spray the oil onto your tools, you can buy it in a larger format and apply using a hand spray bottle.

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  • Drywall Banjo | Complete Overview


7-Year Warranty

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

LEVEL5 makes workhorse drywall finishing tools that set the standard for quality & reliability.

We back all of our tools with the strongest warranties in the industry and work hard to provide our family of finishers with the best customer service possible.

Do you have questions about your LEVEL5 Tool(s)? Call our toll-free support line at 866.562.4229 (local: 913.631.0804) or send us an email at Our support team is available Monday through Friday, 7:30am to 4pm Central Time.

Manufacturer's  Warranty

For its full line of semi-automatic drywall finishing tools and accessories, LEVEL5 Tools, LLC. ("LEVEL5") offers a full seven (7) year warranty to the original owner that these products will be free from defects in material and function. This warranty is valid only in the USA, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and Europe. A one (1) year warranty applies in all other countries/markets.

Terms & Conditions

  • The Warranty applies to the original owner and is not transferable.
  • The Warranty is limited to repair or replacement of the product, and does not cover direct, indirect, consequential, incidental or any other type of damage resulting from its use.
  • The Warranty does not cover normal wear, misuse, negligence, fire, theft, loss or intentional damage.
  • All shipments to the LEVEL5 facility must be freight paid. LEVEL5 reserves the right to determine whether to repair or replace any product covered under the Warranty. Discontinued products may be replaced with newer models when necessary.
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(2 reviews)
  • Level 5 Banjo

    Jerry S, July 26, 2023


    So nicely made, aluminum not plastic, metal hinges and a nice rubber gasket to keep the compound from coming out, very nice quality and color finish, I thought the cutter is so good, no bad thing to say of this, top quality..

  • semi auto tapper

    Gary, March 7, 2023


    Great banjo. Level5 standards as expected!! The only thing to add is a corner tucker...