Cutting Drywall For Recessed Lighting

By Dremel Staff

Recessed fixtures can provide excellent ambient or task lighting. In most cases, adding recessed lighting to a finished room means cutting into the ceiling. The Model 6800 Dremel Trio Power Tool makes it easy to cut drywall, even above your head. The Circle Cutter/Edge Guide Attachment allows you to cut circles between 4 inches and 13 inches in diameter. And with speeds ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 revolutions per minute, the tool does all the work while you take all the credit.

List of Items Needed

  • • Model 6800 Dremel Trio
  • • Model TR800 Trio Circle Cutter/Edge Guide Attachment
  • • Multi-Purpose Cutting Bit #TR561
  • • Straightened coat hanger
  • • Safety glasses
  • • Dust mask
  • • Pencil
  1. The Model 6800 Dremel Trio cuts with a high-speed spiral action that prevents ripping or tearing of the material.

  2. Mark your cutting area. Locate the ceiling joists with an electronic stud finder and mark their locations. Use a pencil and the supplied template to mark the proposed location of the fixture, centered between joists. Pierce the drywall at the circle’s center with a straightened coat hanger. If possible, go to the attic and inspect the area surrounding the hanger for obstacles. If the attic is not accessible, push the hanger 7 to 8 inches into the attic and probe around. If you encounter obstacles, choose a different location for the recessed light.

  3. Insert the cutting bit. Holding the shaft-lock button, use the collet nut wrench to rotate the collet nut until the shaft-lock engages. Loosen the collet nut with the wrench and insert the bit into the collet as far as possible. Re-engage the shaft-lock and tighten the nut.

  4. Attach the circle guide. Size the circle guide to the proper diameter. Position the base of the tool onto the circle guide and lock it down by tightening the base plate thumbscrew.

  5. Push the Trio’s articulation button to straighten out the tool. Turn the tool on and use the Multi-Purpose bit to enlarge the hole you pierced with the hanger. Make a second plunge just inside the circle’s circumference and cut out to the circumference until the circle guide’s pivot pin drops into the pilot hole. Remember, the bit should extend 1/8 to a 1/4 of an inch through the back of the drywall. The circle cutter will guide you clockwise through the completion of your cut.

  6. Complete the circle, then turn off the tool and remove the cut-out drywall.

Tips and Warnings

  • • Blow out the vents of your Dremel Trio with compressed air after messy projects to keep it in good working condition.
  • • Follow all electrical safety rules and local code specifications when handling wiring.

© Demand Media 2011