6 Types of Drywall Anchors

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Understanding the 6 types of drywall anchors may sound uninteresting to you. Not until you realize that it would come in handy when you consider putting up extra shelves and cabinets for display and storage. And that includes hanging art pieces like paintings, wall sculptures, and other possible wall décor on bare walls to make them stand out. Now let’s get familiar with the ideal anchors for drywalls in your home.

Drywall Anchors

What is a drywall anchor?

A drywall anchor is a hardware installed on a wall to support display shelves, open bookshelves, wall-hung display and storage cabinets. Or they could be the back part of a cabinet storage. In all these cases, they need to be installed and secured to the wall, either on wood, metal, or steel studs, or using specialized kinds of wall anchors. And wall anchors are pieces of hardware to anchor, or secure in place, a shelf, a wall hanging, a cabinet system whether open or with doors.

The 6 Types of Drywall anchors

Types of Drywall anchors

01 | Molly Bolt or Fastener aka expandable metal anchors

The moly bolt is a building and construction hardware installed on the wall to which an object is hung or secured. Exactly what we would do to a painting or a wall décor on an interior wall in your house. It works by anchoring or securing that object to the drywall, gypsum board wall, or plasterboard. They are available in a few sizes to be used for different sizes and weights of objects.

In the living room, it could be a pair of sturdy moly bolts to display the Next Gen ultra-high-definition TV set hung on a storage or cabinet divider floated at the midsection of a bigger space. Or maybe an interior gypsum-board wall division supported by wooden or metal studs. The molly bolt is also referred to as an expandable metal anchor, a hollow-door anchor, and a steel hollow-wall anchor.

drywall anchors

02 | Self-Drilling Drywall Anchors

Self-drilling drywall anchors can be mistaken for small screws. And what’s so great about them is that the holes don’t have to be drilled or made on the drywall board. All that is needed is to position one piece on the drywall, and then screw it right in. Self-drilling drywall anchors do not only work on drywall boards, but also on other items in the house. Like wooden or laminated shelves, curtain rods, wall decors such as wall sculptures, paintings, and other wall-hung arts.

Self-Drilling Drywall Anchors

03 | Toggle Bolt

Toggle bolts are made of metal and it is designed with a pair of horizontal triangular toggles that fold down to fit through the inner side of the wall. And once the pair gets through the hole, it automatically springs back into place, horizontally or at 90-degree angle with the threaded nail. It’s the one to use when supporting heavy objects. It can also be installed in concrete or masonry walls.

100pcs Expansion Drywall Anchor Kit With Screws Self Drilling Wall Home Pierced Special For Nylon Plastic Gypsum Board

04 | Wall Claw Anchors

Wall claw anchors would be your option when the desired area to place a wall hanging doesn’t coincide with a wall stud but just a dry wall. You don’t even need a drill to create a hole. Now the wall claw anchor comes in a set. A plastic anchor with a Philips screw opening, a coordinating Philips screw. First, make a small puncture on the desired spot on the wall with a hammer and a small nail. Then, using a screw driver or a drill driver, insert the plastic anchor through the hole. Lastly, drive the metal screw in place. Make sure to leave a small gap between the dry wall and the head of the screw, around ¼ inch. That space is for hanging the wire of a picture frame or wall art.

Wall Claw Anchors

05 | Wall Plug

Wall plugs back then were made of wood, and today they’re made of either plastic or fiber, which are stronger and more resilient. Wall plugs are recommended when the board or similar building material is brittle, porous, or not strong enough to carry or handle the weight of the other item or piece to be screwed to it. Aside from fiber, plastic, and laminated walls and boards, these wall plug screws can be used in walls made of masonry materials. In the UK, it’s known as Rawlplug, its creator and manufacturer. In the US, it’s called an anchor plug.

Wall Plug

06 | Plastic Expansion Anchor

For framed pieces, artwork, sculpture, and other lightweight wall-hung ornaments, a plastic expansion anchor would be sufficient. If you’re doubtful about how heavy the piece you intend to display is, check its weight using a digital or conventional weight scale and make sure the object is lower than 15 pounds.

First, drill a hole that is a bit smaller than the anchor’s diameter. As an electric or manually-powered drill set comes with different sizes of drill bits, just pick out the two appropriate sizes. Then hammer the anchor through the small hole, setting it into the wall. Lastly, insert the hook or the screw using a screwdriver. Now it’s ready to hang your intended wall art piece. Alternatively, if the object is wider and therefore heavier, then install 2 or 3 hooks to distribute the weight and make it hang well.


Building and construction hardware like bolts and fasteners can be expected to undergo variations now and then. So, there could be further innovations in the types of drywall anchors. It’s not only to strengthen their brand and capture a bigger market. It’s also providing more versatility in usage and function. And to keep up with and develop new technology and techniques in the building industry. Homeowners then would have more options and possibilities in setting up shelves, cabinets, wall arts, and more on their interior walls. The result: more livable, efficient, and flexible living spaces.