You can get by doing drywall with a minimum of tools and materials, but if you want the job to go well — without frustration — there are a few things you may want to consider.
Knives Drywall knives come in various widths. You might be able to get by with two — either a taping knife (about 4″ wide) and a wide knife (10″-12″) or a medium knife (6″) and a wide knife, but it’s a good idea to have all three, and progressively move from smallest to largest.
A hock or compound tray This tool saves you from having to constantly return to the compound pail, which can be annoying as well as risky. If you keep the pail open, you speed its drying, and by constantly dipping in your knife, you risk dropping dry pieces into the mud, which can ruin your job. The hock is a flat metal surface supported by a handle. Just scoop some mud from the pail and drop it on the hock. Then hold the hock in one hand while you apply mud with the other. The edge of the hock provides a good place to scrape your knives clean, and the surface cleans up easily if mud begins to dry on it.
Corner trowel and knife Again, you can apply the first coat of compound on inside and outside corners with your regular taping knife. But the right tools can speed you through this task. A corner trowel lets you put your mud on both sides of an outside corner in one pass. An inside corner knife does the same on — you guessed it — inside corners. Apply subsequent coats with larger knives, doing one side at a time and letting it dry before doing the other side.
More next time.