Construction is a tough job that takes some serious physical strength—the last thing you want to do is make the task even more difficult by overlooking potentially time-saving tools, such as a drywall lifter.
Standard drywall can weigh about 52 pounds for a 4-foot by 8-foot piece. You can just imagine how strenuous it would be to place a section of wall that’s two or three times larger. Drywall lifts simplify the task, eliminating the need for extra manpower and reducing the possibility of injury.
When considering a drywall lifter, there are a few elements you want to keep in mind. If you’re seeking to install the drywall yourself, price is probably a big concern so you want to find the best drywall lift for the money.
Other features you want to prioritize are safety, the weight and size capacity a lifter can maintain, and the extent of the product’s reach. Of course, these factors will depend on your own needs and uses.
The measurement of the ceilings or walls you intend to work with matters, since different lifts have a maximum reach suited to varying space dimensions; some products even come with extensions that provide added height. Other considerations include the degree that a unit can tilt—especially important for installing walls—the ease of assembly, and how suitable it is for compact storage.
Another key factor is the smoothness of operation. Ideally, you need a lift that’s sturdy and comes with a reliable lock system and a set of wheels designed for effortless movement on flat surfaces.
If you’re looking to invest in a durable tool, this guide includes an extensive list of the best drywall lifts. Based on drywall lift reviews and extensive research, the list provides a breakdown of the top lifts available on the market.
Now that you have idea of what to look for, keep reading to find the perfect lift for your purposes.
5. Red Line RLP9016 Drywall Panel 19’ Hoist Lifter Dry Wall Lift Tool
Given the moderate price of the Red Line RLP9016 Lifter, there are a number of features to love. Firstly, this 11-foot lift comes with a 4-foot extension, providing users with a maximum reach of 15 feet.
Using the extension you can reach varying heights, which makes it optimal for work in basements or attics as well as throughout the home. If you need to install a sloped ceiling, the lifter can also tilt at 65 degrees, while supporting weight up to 150 pounds. Made entirely of steel, this lifter is built to last and is backed by a lifetime warranty.
However, the unit ranks in at the end of our list in light of its wheels, which make maneuvering a challenge. Additionally, the entry point for the winch’s cable is a little too small, which both wears down the cable and makes installing the extension next to impossible. To fix this issue, simply widen the hole using a drill.
4. ARKSEN Professional 11 ft Drywall Lift Panel Hoist Lockable Drywall w/ Caster Wheel
With a maximum reach of 11 feet, the ARKSEN Professional 11 foot Drywall Lift can operate for both personal and commercial purposes. Competitively priced, this unit features a built-in winch and brake system designed to make single-person installation quick and safe.
Assembly is also relatively hassle free, requires no extra tools, and takes about 20-30 minutes. You can also tear down this model for storage in your garage or shed. As one of the best drywall lifts for the money, your dollar will definitely stretch father if you opt in for this product instead of buying a $700 machine or renting.
There are a few glaring concerns when it comes to this lift, however. Although the instructions are well written, drywall lift reviews criticize them for being too vague. Also, this unit is liable to suffering from a brake defect, which can cause the stop to give way and bring the drywall crashing down.
3. GoPlus 11’ Drywall Lift Panel Hoist DryWall Jack Lifter
GoPlus is known for making long-lasting products priced at an exceptional rate, and the GoPlus 11’ Drywall Lift is no different. Designed with user convenience in mind, this unit has the capacity to support a 16-foot sheet of drywall, making it ideal for larger DIY projects. In fact, the price of this lift is equivalent to the price you’d pay to rent a similar lift for 2-3 days.
The model comes in three separate parts: the wheels base, mast, and the drywall support, making assembly quick and uncomplicated. It also means that storage is pain-free since you haven’t gone to the trouble of assembling 200 or 300 parts. All you have to do break it down into three parts again. The folding wheelbase is also ideal for storage on garage shelves or in tight spaces.
There are some complaints among drywall lift reviews about the instructions, which can be difficult to understand and vague. Also, the hoist mechanism can be a little stiff at times, so it’s not ideal for consistent, commercial use.
2. Troy DPH11 Professional Series 11 Foot Drywall & Panel Lift Hoist
Among the long history of high-quality products developed by Troy, the Troy DPH11 ranks in as one of the best drywall lifts for the money thanks to its durability and innovative design. The unit comes with a two-year warranty that covers parts and defects, backed by a company you can count on to stand by it.
The lateral tilt allows users to install sloped ceilings and drywalls with less effort and less risk. Assembly is also tool-free and can be easily completed by one person, since the product comes in three separate parts. You can also disassemble this hoist into a compact shape that makes it perfect for storage in tight spots.
Located at the bottom of the mast, the backstop comes with two rubberize feet that secure the lift to the spot and eliminate any movement while operating. It’s made from welded steel and also features a reliable brake. The only real drawback is that the operation instructions are unclear at times.
1. Best Choice Products Drywall 11’ Lift Panel Hoist Dry Wall Jack Lifter
The Best Choice Products 11’ Drywall Jack Lifter is built to help you finish any wall or ceiling project in record time. The steel frame and wide wheelbase are durable enough to support sheets up to 12 feet and 150 pounds, while also foldable for compact storage.
The brake is steadfast, which means you’ll rarely have to worry about falling drywall. Considering the price and compatibility with a separate extension, this is among the best drywall lifts for the money suitable for commercial builders and DIY constructors.
The caster wheels allow for smooth rolling, so you can move it around without having to carry it or fussing with wheels that snag, are rickety, or unbalanced. While the wheels are reliable, the unit is very heavy and does require ample space for smooth movement across the floor.
Best Drywall Lift under 300 Dollars
One of the best drywall lifts under 300 is the Red Line RLP9016. The winch is user-friendly and runs smoothly, so you can get the job done without wasting time or energy troubleshooting a winch that’s prone to getting stuck. The model also features durable support hooks that are strong and maintain a firm grip on the wall, which is exactly what you need when first placing the sheet onto the lift.
Best Drywall Lift under 200 Dollars
For the best drywall lift under 200 dollars, you can’t go wrong with the Best Choice Products Drywall 11’ Drywall Jack lifter. Not only is it perfect for completing drywall installation projects quickly, but it’s also one of the fastest to assemble. This the perfect hoist to use if you plan on doing multiple installations of drywall over a period of time.
How does a drywall lift work?
A drywall, or sheetrock, lift operates using a winch system that cranks the lift up or down via a wheel. As a user turns the wheel, the cable is drawn up and the lift’s mast, or column, extends.
Whereas at one time two people were required to hold up drywall while a third nailed it into place, this tool enables one person to do the job of three. Depending on the size of the drywall, however, some help will probably be required to get the sheet onto the lift.
How to use a drywall lift?
Most lifts feature a user-friendly design with a tilting table that allows you to load the drywall and secure into place using a set of support hooks. You can also adjust the extension wings to support the drywall so as to avoid sagging and potential breakage.
Begin by unlocking the latch that secures the loading table in place and tilt the table towards you. Before loading the drywall, make sure you pull down the metal support hooks, which will keep the sheet in place.
Once the sheet is loaded, simply tilt the table back to its flat position, lock the latch, and begin turning the wheel. As the lift’s column rises, you can adjust the positioning of the sheet by pushing the lift as needed. Be careful to maintain a firm grip on the wheel at all times. Not all models have an automatic lock; losing control of the wheel could bring the sheetrock crashing down.
Additionally, you should always operate a lift on a smooth surface, since cords, debris, or even cracks in the floor can cause the caster wheels to snag. Once the drywall is in place, secure the brake, and install the sheet with screws and/or nails.
How much does it cost to rent a drywall lift?
The price of renting can vary depending on the retailer, but on average you’ll find that most drywall lifts rent for about $30 per day. Considering that you can purchase a quality lift for less than 200 dollars, it makes sense to purchase a lift if you plan to use it for a big job or depend on it for regular use.
How to build a homemade drywall lift?
Also known as a T-brace, T-Post, or deadman brace, a homemade drywall lift is usually constructed using 2’ X 4’s. The most important thing to keep in mind when constructing a T-brace is that the size will depend on the measurements of your ceiling.
To build a wood drywall lift you’ll need two pieces of 2 X 4: one that’s cut to match the length of the ceiling and another that’s about 3 or 4 feet long. Place the pieces together in the shape of a “T” with the shorter leg on top, then secure into place with a screw.
Next, screw two braces at 45-degree angles between the leg and the crosspiece and nail into place. Once that’s done you’ll have your very own drywall lift, ready for use.