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7 Types of Drywall Anchors (With Pictures)

Worker inserts plastic wall plug into a hole

Drywall anchors make it possible to hang items on your drywall without causing damage. However, there are several types available, and each is suited for a specific task. If you need to work with drywall and these anchors, keep reading, as we list the different kinds and explain when to use them.

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The 7 Types of Drywall Anchors

1. Toggler Snaptoggle Anchors

Use: Hanging heavy items

A toggler snaptoggle drywall anchor is ideal when hanging heavy objects on your drywall, like a shelf. Most will hold about 100 pounds, but some can support as much as 300 pounds. The anchor gets embedded into the wall to hold the screw in place, and it is the sturdiest kind available.

2. Strap Toggle Drywall Anchor

Use: Hanging heavy items

The strap toggle drywall anchor is a heavy-duty option available to builders. It enables you to accomplish the same thing as a toggle bolt drywall anchor but makes a smaller hole. It’s also more convenient, so it’s the option that most people choose when hanging heavy objects on drywall.

3. Steel Hollow Wall Anchors

split view of a drywall anchor installed
Photo Credit By: ANDY RELY, Shutterstock
Use: Hanging moderately heavy items

The steel hollow wall anchor is extremely easy to use and can fasten objects up to 100 pounds. As you start screwing the anchor into the drywall, the anchor expands and pulls the drywall tight. It works well and securely holds items and is one of the most popular drywall anchors.

4. Self-Drilling Anchors

Self drilling drywall anchors
Photo Credit By: Roberto Sorin, Shutterstock
Use: Timesaver

Self-drilling anchors enable you to skip drilling the initial hole that most other anchors require. It’s one of the easiest types to use and is effective at securing objects up to 50 pounds. It’s a good choice for many beginner DIY projects that work with drywall because they are easy to find and help save time.

5. Plastic Expansion Drywall Anchors

plastic expansion drywall anchors
Photo Credit By: aminkorea, Shutterstock
Use: Hanging light items

Plastic extension drywall anchors are among the most common types available. They are easy to use and inexpensive and can hold up to 15 pounds, so they’re perfect for picture frames and other small items. As the name suggests, this anchor expands as you drive in the screw.

6. Steel Toggle Bolt

steel toggle bolt for drywall ceiling
Image Credit: Hans Geel, Shutterstock
Use: Supporting heavy items

The toggle bolt is a sturdy metal anchor perfect for hanging shelving and other heavy objects. It’s also the recommended option when working with plaster and concrete walls. To use this option, you drill a hole to insert it, and as you tighten the screw, it expands and provides support.

7. Winged Plastic Anchor

assortment of different drywall anchors used for hanging objects on walls
Image Credit: Lost_in_the_Midwest, Shutterstock
Use: Hanging towel holders and toilet paper holders

The winged plastic anchor is similar to other anchors but has wings that help it expand to grip the drywall and provide support. While it has many uses, you will typically see this type of anchor supporting paper towel and toilet paper roll holders.

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Tips and Tricks for Working With Drywall Anchors

  • Always carefully measure and mark with a pencil where you want to drill.
  • Read the instructions that came with your drywall anchor carefully, as they should tell you how big to drill your hole.
  • Drywall anchors come in many sizes, so consider your needs and the thickness of your drywall when choosing your anchor.
  • Don’t use wall anchors to hang valuable items on the wall, even heavy-duty anchors, as the drywall can fail.
  • If you aren’t sure how big a hole to drill, use a drill bit measuring guide to match up your anchor with the correct drill bit.

What If I Make My Hole Too Big?

If the hole that you drill turns out to be too large for the anchor that you are using, you can try a larger anchor. A washer can also help you make do with a large hole.

Which Drywall Anchor Should I Use?

Weight: Anchor
< 10 pounds: Plastic sleeve
10–25 pounds: Self-drilling
25–50 pounds: Strap toggle, hollow wall
> 50 pounds: Strap toggle, toggle bolt
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There are several different kinds of drywall anchors available, and the one that you choose will primarily depend on how heavy the object that you are trying to hang is. Heavier things will require sturdier anchors, like the strap toggle and the steel toggle bolt, while lighter objects can use convenient and easy-to-use self-drilling anchors that don’t require you to drill a hole to get started. Consider your needs carefully, and choose a suitable anchor for the best results.

Featured Image Credit: Serhii Ivashchuk, Shutterstock


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