Which wall anchor do I use?
Some materials such as drywall or plasterboard aren’t strong enough to hold a heavy object attached to them. A toggle or anchor will help form a stronger attachment.
So, if, for example, you want to attach a picture frame to a wall in a position where you can’t line it up with a stud or solid piece of timber behind the wall, you’ll need an anchor or toggle to strengthen the attachment.
Ask your hardware specialist which anchor would be most suitable for the job you have in hand. Each anchor should have a size and weight rating. The first three types of anchor described below need screws of a size that is complementary to the anchor. This information should be supplied with the anchor when you buy it.
The following illustrations show various types of anchor, presented in order of strength and reliability.
For installation instructions for the ones you are most likely to use, see How
to install/remove wall anchors and Install toggle anchors.
Expansion anchors are light-duty anchors for plasterboard, block, brick or concrete. The soft plastic of the anchor expands as the screw enters it and fills the hole more firmly. These anchors are only as strong as the material they are installed in.
Threaded plasterboard anchor
These can be bought in metal or plastic. The large threads are intended to hold more strongly into plasterboard, though they are still not as strong as those following.
Winged plastic anchor
Closed (left) Open (right)
This is a cheap version of a metal, winged or spring toggle and is used in a hollow-wall situation. It offers more than double the strength of plastic expansion anchors. The wings fold backwards inside the wall to prevent the anchor pulling out.
Sleeve-type anchor or Molly bolt
This is a metal anchor that combines the ease of installation of expansion anchors with greater strength. During installation, the metal in the centre folds back inside the wall for extra grip. Once installed, it adds a permanent screw thread to the material so that items can be attached or detached several times.
A wing toggle is a bolt with a wing mechanism that opens behind the material it is being attached to. The wings grip to the wall as the bolt is tightened. The
bolt head lies flush against the object you have attached.
Similar to a wing toggle, though attached with a nut rather than a bolt head.
This specially designed bolt has a lead sleeve and metal cone on the shaft. When
the bolt is installed the sleeve is squeezed against the metal cone. The lead expands and fills every part of the hole in the material in which it is installed. Ideal for attaching wood to concrete. These range from light weight to very heavy duty. This bolt will attach wood to concrete.
For installation instructions for the anchors you are most likely
to use, see How to install/remove wall anchors and Install