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#87537 - 03/17/04 07:05 AM Can lights  
SteveMc  Offline
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 62
Rock Hill, SC
Anyone have a suggestion on how to cut holes in sheetrock for can lights. I have a side job this coming weekend and need to install about 7 cans. I've used a rotozip in the past, but don't have one now. I hate to buy one just for this job. Of course I could just use a sheetrock saw, but they don't give the smooth cut of a rotozip. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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#87538 - 03/17/04 09:18 AM Re: Can lights  
electure  Offline

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,261
Fullerton, CA USA
There are special hole cutters made for this purpose.
Greenlee makes the #6923, which is an adjustable hole cutter.
I don't suggest them, though. They have a strong tendency to walk their way right across the ceiling, doing more damage than good.

[This message has been edited by electure (edited 03-17-2004).]

#87539 - 03/17/04 10:50 AM Re: Can lights  
earlydean  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 751
Griswold, CT, USA
I always used the sheetrock saw (cut a little snug), then would dress it with a linoleum knife to remove the paper noodles.


#87540 - 03/17/04 04:32 PM Re: Can lights  
Jps1006  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 615
Northern IL
I've always used a sheetrock saw too and never had any problems with the rough edge. I just cut and go. It gets covered anyway.

If your using remodeling cans (depending on the brand) a tight hole sometimes can blowout the drywall when you shift the angle as you "jam" it up. The key to cutting that hole is: not too big, not too small, but just right........

I do use a 6-5/8" greenlee hole saw too, but more for 2X2 ceiling tiles. At $40 for the cup (no arbor) you'd probably be better off with the rotozip.

#87541 - 03/17/04 08:13 PM Re: Can lights  
Haligan  Offline
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 111
Berkeley, CA USA

My HVAC installer buddy uses his Rotozip for that. Every hole he tries to cut comes out shaped like a dinosaur.

Nora Lighting makes an expensive looking hole cutter that will go through 7/8's wood or rock smoothly. Adjustable up to 8". The pictures I've seen look very, very smooth. Even catches the dust.

#87542 - 03/17/04 09:06 PM Re: Can lights  
OreElect  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 98
I use a 6 3/8 hole saw with my 18 volt milwaukie cordless.To keep the dust down,I use a cardboard box cut down to like 3",putting a hole in the center of the box with the drill on the botton.Fast and easy.I use a carbide hole saw when instaliing in L&P. The 6 3/8 I use for Halo
and a 6 7/8 for Marco.And for sure use the remodel housing. One other old way I have used to keep the dust down is use a half of a basketball instead of the box.

#87543 - 03/18/04 04:27 AM Re: Can lights  
Scott35  Offline

Broom Pusher and
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,707
Anaheim, CA. USA
I hate to give away possible trademarkable inventions - of some stature, but per the holes for Recessed Fixtures (Can Lights), I have made several home made hole saw looking assemblidges which work great for drilling nice clean holes in Drywall and T-Bar Ceiling Tiles.

Using fine toothed bandsaw blades fitted onto a square piece of Plywood, you can create a large sized holesaw.

I picked up the bandsaw blade stock from a friend whom is in the business of making replacement bandsaw blades for Commercial and Industrial use, but even the ones from portable bandsaws will work. The best for me so far use 32 TPI metal cutting blades.

On a suitable piece of Plywood, scribe the circular limit line. With a Router and a small diameter bit (set to about ¾ the depth of the Plywood), route out the scribed line.
Insert some tough Glue - like an Expoxy, into the groove. With the bandsaw blade cut to fit the circumference, insert it into the groove. Add more Glue to both sides of the blade at the bottom.
Find the center of the circle and insert a suitable pilot device for stablizing and centering the apparatus.
Let dry a few days, then use away!

If done right, they last quite long! Takes some time to get the hang of it, but that's part of the fun!

Not being able to find holesaws of sizes like 6" and up (or if found, the sky-high prices makes one unconscience for several minutes!), I resorted to the option of creating my own saws.

Would like to get away from the Plywood base and go towards something metallic - and of one single piece for pilot / chuck extension and arbor.

Just a suggestion.


Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

#87544 - 03/18/04 07:09 AM Re: Can lights  
SteveMc  Offline
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 62
Rock Hill, SC
Thanks for all the suggestions. It's been a while snce I've instaled remodel cans n sheetrock, but I haven't forgotten what a pain in the a** the last ones were. Not much room for error. I have the same problem as mentioned above, lack of control, even with the circle cutter. I may see if I can go teh homemad hole saw route. I have a friend that teaches a machinist class and should have some band saw materal. I let you guys know how it went next week.

#87545 - 03/18/04 05:50 PM Re: Can lights  
mvrandazzo  Offline
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 110
I also use the 6-3/8" hole saw. I am not sure of the brand name. I got it from the big orange box for around $30-$40. I use a standard hole saw arbor. I start the hole in reverse using my 14.4V cordless to scar the surface and then put it in reverse for the rest of the way. I do dispise the dust thrown all over. But it is quick and neat.

Blessings, Mark

#87546 - 03/18/04 06:36 PM Re: Can lights  
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
For sheetrock the keyhole saw is the fastest, neatest and easiest. For plaster roto zip and good shop vac can't be beat. If you use the tool properly you should have no trouble.

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