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Carbide grit holesaw, it will last you a lifetime. If I have a lot to cut I will burn through the plaster with the carbide grit, then cut through the wood lath with a regular hole saw.

Or buy a case of regular hole saws because lime plaster will murder them.
 

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Home Repairs
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Plaster drywall or plaster over old lathe? The old lathe system hates vibrations, so you might want to use a spiral cutter after making a pilot hole. You can pretty much write off the bit afterwards. If it is on a newer drywall type substrate, you can use whatever you like if you do it neatly.

A hole saw would be fine for a newer system, but could possibly create a problem on old plaster lathe ceilings because you never really know how loose the plaster is to the lathe.
 

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I should also add that the cheap one don't appear to be much different than the expensive ones. Mine's a Greenlee but I picked up a MasterCraft set for 20 bucks and it works fine.
 

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Drill a small hole in the center of where you think you want the light and use a wire thru the hole to check for pipes/joists. Easier to patch small hole than 6" hole.
 

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Never tried a roto zip or multi master but they might be distant runners up with an abrasive grit bit.

The reason the hole saw works the best is these other tools get hung up on the lathe and crack the plaster and then your are going to be late for dinner patching that mess.

Jig saw with abrasive blade would be fun to watch. It sounds like a total nightmare. LOL.

If you go with the hole saw with abrasive grit It might be worth switching from an abrasive grit saw to a wood hole saw that is the same size once you are thru the plaster down to the lathe.

Agree with RRK above that you want to be sure there are no obstructions where you want to insert the recessed fixture canister. Often there is framing, wiring or pipes in the way where you want to install it.
 

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I have an acquaintance who owns an electrical company and buys Dewalt hole saws by the case and throws them out as they get dull.
 

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Hair Splitter
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