Installing Can Lights in Kitchen Ceiling

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Forum topic by Carl Webster posted 10-06-2011 05:55 PM 1403 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Carl Webster

82 posts in 3004 days

10-06-2011 05:55 PM

I have a project to install several “can” lights in a kitchen ceiling. I am using a 6 inch + hole saw to cut the holes. The ceiling is sheeted with 1×4 tongue and grove pine and covered with ceiling tile. The hole saw is too large to use a standard 1/2 inch drill to cut the holes for the can lights. What type of drill should I use, maybe a 90 degree angle drill?

-- Carl in SC

8 replies so far

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Carl Webster

82 posts in 3004 days

#1 posted 10-06-2011 06:48 PM

The hole saw shank fits the 1/2 inch drill chuck. This is not the problem. The hole saw because of its diameter creates a large torque requirement against the drill motor and twists the drill out of my hands.

-- Carl in SC

View Blakep's profile


232 posts in 3008 days

#2 posted 10-06-2011 06:57 PM

Do you have a handle on your 1/2” Drill?

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1730 posts in 3274 days

#3 posted 10-06-2011 06:59 PM

Since you’re cutting through wood, there may not be a good way to keep a hole saw that big from twisting on you. Can you make the cuts with a jig saw? It isn’t as pretty, but it will work. Light cans usually have trim rings which will hide minor irregularities in the cuts.

Hopefully, you’re absolutely certain about your can locations. It’s fairly easy to fix an “oops” in drywall, but not so much in wood. (You may NOT ask how I know that. – lol)

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

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Carl Webster

82 posts in 3004 days

#4 posted 10-06-2011 07:18 PM

Initially, I was not using the extra handle on my drill. I guess I should try that and see if that will resolve the problem. And yes I ended up using a jig saw to finish the first cut. It does not make as neat a hole as the hole saw.

-- Carl in SC

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3167 days

#5 posted 10-06-2011 09:39 PM

Just make sure that there is nothing in the way overhead like electrical wires. Mark the circle with the template that should be included and cut with a sheetrock saw. May take a few extra minutes and be a bit messy but a lot easier on the wrists.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18396 posts in 3882 days

#6 posted 10-07-2011 03:02 AM

I would use the hole saw to cut the tile, then use a sabre saw or something else ot cut the wood. That will burn up the hole saw in short order. Make sure you have clearances for the lights. They are a fire hazard.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2881 days

#7 posted 10-08-2011 04:43 AM

Or get a drill motor with a D-handle on the back and insert a 3 or 4 foot pipe through it. Enlist some help and have a couple of guys hold the pipe while one operates the drill. I would think a lower RPM drill motor would work the best. I think my hole shooter runs 850 RPM. I have seen some in the 550 RPM range.

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Carl Webster

82 posts in 3004 days

#8 posted 10-08-2011 02:48 PM

Thanks for all your inputs.

-- Carl in SC

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