How Much Weight Can Wall Anchors Support?

Toggles, anchors or molly bolts are surprisingly strong. A 1/8 toggle can hold 30 pounds on 1/2-inch drywall and a 3/8-inch toggle can handle a hefty 50 pounds or more safely. When applying any kind of drywall anchor, you should understand how they work and which screw anchor may work best to put into a hollow wall.

Close-Up Of Screws With Hollow Wall Anchors Over White Background
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How Much Weight Can Wall Anchors Support?

Drywall and Anchor Relations

The covering that is placed against the vertical wall studs in a home is the drywall. It also covers small spaces between lintels and other joints to give a smooth exterior finish that can be painted or otherwise primed and decorated. Anchors are used on drywall between the studs so that pictures, tapestries, wood or metal hangings or other substantial wall décor objects can hang on the wall and not rip out the nail or screw that is sunk into the plaster-based sheeting. Drywall tends to be a 1/2-inch thick and made of gypsum, so it tends to crumble when too much weight is applied to its structure. Wall anchors make it possible to hang heavy items without worry of them falling to the ground and damaging a wall on the way down.

Types of Anchors

Wall anchors make for a firm fitting anywhere on a wall. They can be threaded anchors, straight plastic anchors and winged plastic anchors. All of these create a solid space to hang décor in a home. An anchor should always be used if you are not using a stud to hang a wall décor, from a light canvas to a heavy tapestry.

Straight Plastic Anchors

Straight plastic anchors are actually cylindrical in shape. They have a hollow center where the screw can be put in place and come in different lengths to hold various weights. Once the screw is inserted, it pushes the walls of the plastic anchor outward to make a firm purchase with the inside of the drywall.

Winged Plastic Anchors

Funny in shape, they are strong in place. Winged plastic anchors have a winged end that goes outward and it has the general shape of a T. The winged end rests against the back side of the drywall once it is inserted, which keeps the anchor in place. It needs a hole to be made before it can be placed and the screw put into the opening.

Simple Threaded Anchors

Threaded drywall anchors are plastic or metal. The threaded shank is screwed directly into the drywall so they don't need a premade hole to sink into the drywall. This can make them a bit firmer and able to hold heavier objects. Once the threaded drywall anchor is in place, insert a screw to hang the item and the job is done.


Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.