Cutting circular holes in plastered ceiling for recessed light housing

I posted a query last week about cutting a straight line along plastered wall with gypsum lath with a concrete block wall about 3/8" behind it and PT furring strips in between, and it was chewing up the blade and someone suggested using a skilsaw or jigsaw. I have not tried it yet but a similar problem is happening on the ceiling where I need to cut circular holes for recessed cans.
The ceiling is also plastered over gypsum lath so overall thickness is about 5/8". Will a normal hole saw work or I need special diamond blade hole saw?
Thanks,
MC
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A zip tool with a tile cutting carbide bit would be my first choice. You would have to go slow.
JK
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Special carbide hole saws are made for recessed lights. They are expensive but work great on plaster and lathe. Be sure to get the correct size. I tried my Dremel Rotary Advantage once on some recessed lights. The first hole or two didn't come out too well even though I was using the circle cutter attachment. By the fourth hole they were looking great until the tool froze up from all of the fine dust getting inside of it. I had to completely dismantle the Dremel to get rid of all of the dust. I haven't used it since.
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A cheaper alternative to buying a new power tool is a hole cutting compass - you can get one at THE DEPOT. Use this to cut a circle through the plaster but it won't go through metal lath. Get plenty of blades if you have to cut more than one. The lath will chew them up.
Next you can crumble out the circle piece then use wire cutters or sheet metal sheers to cut out the lath. Be careful when cutting that stuff with anything - power or hand tool - wear gloves. It will shred your skin worse than a mean tom cat.
This method is slower, but more deliberate with less chance of injury and cutting where you don't want to.
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I think the compass will take a power drill right? I think I will try this. Thanks!
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On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 08:17:44 -0500, John Grabowski wrote:

You need a special rotary drill designed for drywall, like the Dewalt DW660 or Rotozip RZ01-1100. You might try some pawn shops for them also for a better price.
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I found this and it seems to describe my precise requirements.
http://www.holepro.com/?gclid=CMPVppL705ECFREoFQodTQboZQ
Anyone tried it - any luck?
MC
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote on 20 Feb 2008 in group alt.home.repair:

I have a consumer-grade version of that tool, and it works fine on wallboard. I don't know how it would do on plaster, but I suspect it would work as long as I went very slowly.
--
Steve B.
New Life Home Improvement
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