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Mr. spock 01-06-2013 04:49 PM

Need advice cutting 10" speaker holes
Hi everyone

I'm not experienced with drywall. I've done some square hole cutting in vertical walls for boxes, but never done circle holes in ceilings. I'm an engineer with good experience with wood and metal, but again not much drywall.

So I have about about 28 10" diameter holes to cut into my 5/8" drywall already hung ceilings. The spots have been marked with something called EZ plugs (I may not have the name right).

After doing some tool searches I find many don't do a diameter this large and some that do seem to only work if you have access to both sides. I only have access to the outside face.

I need a recommendation on what tool to buy and how best to use it. If possible I'd like to minimize the dust during cutting.

I've seen people recommend to use scoring type tools, follow it with a utility knife to get a deeper cut, score an big X in the middle, and punch it through.

Thanks in advance.

gregzoll 01-06-2013 05:36 PM

The speakers should come with a template. You just need to get the hole big enough for the speaker to fit into, and then the grill will cover it. If you are good with a drywall saw, or even a rotozip, it can be done.

Davejss 01-06-2013 06:20 PM

Keyhole saw.

scottktmrider 01-06-2013 06:45 PM

I agree with a jab saw.If you have never used a router (rotozip) you can make swiss cheese out of the drywall it takes a little practice to use one.

joecaption 01-06-2013 06:51 PM

Even a Jig will work.
If you want to cut down on the dust better have some standing next to with a shop vac with a drywall bag over the filter.

JKeefe 01-06-2013 08:56 PM

Just get a cheap drywall/jab saw (for example: Since you say you've cut rectangular openigns for wall boxes, maybe you have one already.

Since the speaker baffle is going to be your clean edge, you don't need to cut a perfect hole. Take your template and put in on the ceiling, trace it or stick it up there (depending on the way it is designed) and then use the drywall saw to cut the hole. You can get started by jabbing the saw through the drywall, or you could use a spade bit to drill a starting hole (make sure you drill inside the drywall circle to be removed). Since you don't need a perfect circle and since the saw blade isn't too thick, you will be able to cut a circle with this blade if you twist the blade while cutting.

Scoring and then punching out the middle sounds a bit risky - if you mess up then you have a brand-new ceiling that you've just made a mess of. Just use the hand saw and take it slow. I've done this for 6-inch speakers and it was easy (the "hard" part is awkwardly working over your head). 10-inch will be that much easier since the curve isn't as tight.

28 speakers is a lot - doing a whole-home audio system?

SeniorSitizen 01-07-2013 12:10 AM

For cutting 28 holes 10" dia. I'd be reaching for my Saber saw with the circle cutting attachment. That would right after I located all electric wires in the area. And there might even be a little duct tape involved with that shop vac hose.

epson 01-07-2013 12:22 AM

you also can get one of these

BigJim 01-07-2013 12:37 AM

And be sure to check that you aren't cutting your hole center of a ceiling joist it isn't fun trying to patch a ceiling and make it look right.

Seattle2k 01-07-2013 02:36 AM


Originally Posted by epson (Post 1088028)

They don't score the paper on the backside (topside), which can result in problems when you punch it out. Though, you can use it to mark your circle, before finishing the cut with your drywall saw.

oh'mike 01-07-2013 06:00 AM

Just to make sure that there is nothing above that will cause you trouble---take a length of stiff wire--bend it into an L shape (Half the length of the hole 5"?)

Poke a hole in the center of your proposed location---insert the bent end into the pilot hole---

Rotate the wire and slowly raise it,while spinning the wire---if you are to close to a joist or other obstruction--you will hit it---

JKeefe 01-07-2013 09:39 AM

Hopefully the OP has selected loudspeaker locations that are clear of ceiling joists. If not, that speaks to an entirely separate issue...

Mr. spock 01-07-2013 09:53 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Wow, lots of replies. Thanks guys.

A few points...

I know the area above all these cutout areas are clear. The EZ plugs were installed by a professional and I took pictures of everything before the drywall went up. However I'm a little concerned these plugs could get in my way if a sawing blade has to cut them too. Enclosed is a picture of one. The round hole is the center point.

I do have a very nice drywall hand saw/knife (not correct term). It worked very well on my square holes. I just assumed there were some reasonably priced tools on the market that make the job easier and faster. It seems like the type of tools recommended by Epson work best on the paper side, not the side facing me. Correct?

Good advice on the drywall bag for my shop vac. I did not know such a thing existed.

ToolSeeker 01-07-2013 10:31 AM

Do not understand the fancy gizmo. Seems like 28 of those would make an awful wavy ceiling. And if your circle goes that close to the can light there won't be room for the beauty rings. Maybe I'm not looking at it right.

gregzoll 01-07-2013 12:11 PM

You are seeing it the same that I am. Total pooch screw on this, with poor planning of the location of speakers & lighting. As for the saw or rotozip, that plastic is going to be nothing to either one.

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