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Drywall Fasteners and Anchors

Anytime that you need to fasten something, be it a towel bar, shelf or other object to a wall constructed from drywall you must consider the best method to anchor it.

4 different drywall anchors
Figure 1 - Assortment of drywall anchors

Every DIY home handyman has faced a home improvement that required fastening an object to drywall, even if you're building a home - the key is to use an anchor that will work for your specific project.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of fasteners and anchors designed for mounting items to drywall.

In this review we will attempt to cover the most popular fasteners and anchors and describe the differences. By no means have we listed every drywall fastener or anchor that exists and there may be some that have been left out that have benefits that the ones we have listed do not.

It should also be noted that many manufactures make the same basic fasteners and anchors and although there are some subtle differences, in order to differentiate their products, the end result, in most cases, is the same.

The reader should not assume that the position in the list represents the quality of the product. The items are listed randomly and their position should not be taken to imply anything what-so-ever.

Drywall Fasteners & Anchors



Advantages - Disadvantages - Comments

threaded drywall anchor


Available in a range of styles and sizes to
accommodate loads from 30 to 90 lbs.

No pre-drilling necessary.

Install quickly and easily with a #2 Phillips
or cordless screwdriver.

Most anchors of this style are removable and

Available in metal and plastic.

winged plastic anchor


Requires pre-drilled hole

Loads to 35 lbs.

Wings help prevent pull-out from the drywall.

Available with specialty fittings incorporated
in head - shelving standards, peg board hooks,
wire shelf anchors, picture hook, double sheet drywall

plug anchor


Requires pre-drilled holes

Comes in a variety of sizes to accommodate
numerous screw sizes.

Also available without a top rim, allowing
it to be inserted into drywall flush with the

Least expensive of all the anchors.

expansion anchor



Sleeve type, expansion or hollow wall anchor
designed for use in base materials such as plaster,
wallboard, concrete block, hollow tile or plywood.

Requires pre-drilled hole.

Must use mounting bolt thread size supplied.
Available 1/8, 3/16 & 1/4 inch bolt sizes.

drive in expansion anchor


As Above, but it is designed to be driven
into the wall with a hammer.

toggle bolt


Requires pre-drilled hole, larger than head
of screw - washer may be required.

Strongest of all the drywall fasteners.

Excellent choice for overhead mountings

one piece threaded drywall fastener

One Piece

One-piece screw anchor.

Leaves a much smaller hole than toggles or
other systems.

Available in two color finishes: white and
chrome; and in two head styles: pan and oval.

No pre-drilling is required, the anchor is
inserted through the fixture and screwed in
with an ordinary Phillips screwdriver.

expansion anchor


Fast, easy to use expansion anchor designed
for use in wallboard.

The anchor has a pierce point, requiring no

Removal of the anchor, if required, is easy.
Once removed, the anchor leaves a small slit in
the wallboard.

strap toggle anchor


A pre-assembled anchor consisting of a carbon
steel wing and a locking cap / ratchet leg assembly
molded from engineered plastic. When compared to
traditional toggles, this unique anchor can be
installed through a smaller hole and does not
require a fixture or screw to set it.