Drywall Anchors ~ What’s The difference?
There are many styles of drywall anchors, each one having different strengths and weaknesses. The important thing is to use the proper anchor for the correct application.
Often times a manufacturer will supply an inexpensive anchor with a towel bar or curtain rod set. It has been my experience that manufacturers supply the least expensive and minimum strength anchor that will do the job. There are safer, stronger options.
There are two types of drywall anchors:
Type 1: Hollow Drywall Anchors
Hollow-wall anchors are the simplest, easiest to install as well as the weakest connection. They can only be used in hollow walls like drywall and blue board. They are inserted into a pre-dilled hole and work by spreading within the hollow of the wall. Once spread, the anchor cannot be pulled back through the smaller installation hole.
Type 2: Solid Drywall Expansion Anchors
Expansion anchors are used in thick, solid materials such as concrete, brick, mortar, metals or wood. They work by expanding when a screw or bolt is threaded into them.
There are different types of drywall anchors with in each category
1. Plastic expansion drywall anchors:
2. Winged Plastic Anchors
This plastic anchor is for hollow walls and is a compromise between strength and cost. They are much less expensive to manufacture than metal anchors, but offer more than double the strength of plastic expansion anchors.
Because these anchors are made entirely from plastic, they must be installed with some care. Tthe are rated up to 35 bs.
3. Threaded anchors:This type of anchor is a basically a large, threaded nut with a point on the end.
4. Expansion Anchor:Steel hollow wall anchors are considered to be light-duty anchors. They require a pre-drilled hole and may be used in drywall, sheetrock, plaster or paneling. When properly installed, they will not crack or crumble the wall material and reist vibration. The machine screw may be removed and inserted multiple times to accomodate an exchange of fixtures.
Toggle bolts are the to strongest and best choice than all of the hollow-wall anchors. They consist of two parts. [The toggle or winged arms and the machine bolt]
Toggles are super strong. A 1/8″ toggle can safely hold 50 lbs on 1/2″ drywall… a 3/8″ toggle over 100 lbs.
The spring loaded metal wings make this an excellent choice for overhead mounting. Photo below shows an expansion anchor [top] and a toggle bolt not yet tightened. [bottom] Look at the difference in “grab” on the wall that the toggle has over the expansion anchor. This is what make it the strongest hollow wall anchor.