ThePipingMart Blog Fasteners Hollow Wall Anchors vs Drywall Anchors – What’s the Difference

Hollow Wall Anchors vs Drywall Anchors – What’s the Difference

Hollow Wall Anchors vs Drywall Anchors

When homeowners or interior designers start working on a new project, choosing the right tools and accessories can be challenging, especially if you need to become familiar with the technology behind them. For instance, when installing shelves, picture frames, or similar objects on drywall, people typically use hollow or drywall anchors. Although they may seem the same, these two anchors have unique properties that can impact your project’s results. Therefore, in this blog post, we’ll review the primary differences between hollow and drywall anchors to help you choose the right one for your project.

What is Hollow Wall Anchors?

Hollow Wall Anchors are a type of fastener used to secure items to walls or other surfaces. They’re made from metal and have a threaded center sleeve and an expandable anchor end. The anchors are inserted into pre-drilled holes in the wall, then the sleeves are tightened with a screwdriver or drill which causes the anchor end to expand behind the wall creating a strong grip.

What is Drywall Anchors?

Drywall anchors are key components used in construction to affix items directly to drywall. They come in a variety of styles, such as toggle bolts, molly bolts, and plastic conical anchors that expand when a screw is inserted. In addition to drywall, these fasteners can be used on other surfaces like plaster or wallboard. Installing them properly ensures your hardware will remain secure for the lifetime of your project.

Difference Between Hollow Wall Anchors and Drywall Anchors


One of the primary differences between hollow and drywall anchors is their structure. Hollow wall anchors are designed with an internal spring-loaded expansion mechanism that presses against the wall once inserted into the wall hole. These anchors suit walls with voids or cavities, such as concrete blocks or hollow doors. On the other hand, drywall anchors are typically made of plastic or metal that holds the screw in place on the wall’s surface. These anchors can be used in drywall, plaster, and concrete walls.

Load Capacity:

Another critical aspect to consider when choosing between hollow or drywall anchors is their load capacity. Hollow wall anchors are suitable for light to medium-duty applications. They can support up to 50 pounds, making them ideal for hanging small mirrors, pictures, or shelves. On the other hand, drywall anchors can support heavier loads, making them suitable for larger objects like cabinets, televisions, and other items that weigh over 50 pounds.


The installation process of both hollow wall anchors and drywall anchors also differs. Hollow wall anchors require more precise measurements and drilling to install correctly. They typically require a 1/4-inch drill bit and a hammer to install them correctly. The proper installation of hollow wall anchors is critical since they can spin or fall out accidentally if not installed correctly. On the other hand, drywall anchors are more straightforward to install and can be done with just a cordless drill and screwdriver.


Price is also an essential aspect to consider when selecting the anchor type to use. Hollow wall anchors are generally more expensive than drywall anchors due to their complexity and design. However, since they are more reliable and offer more holding strength, they are worth the extra costs. On the other hand, drywall anchors are affordable and readily available, making them suitable for small projects that require less strength.


Finally, it is also necessary to consider the application when choosing between hollow and drywall anchors. If you are looking for a simple, affordable, easy-to-install anchor for smaller projects, drywall anchors are your best bet. However, if you need to hang heavier objects or your wall has voids or cavities, hollow wall anchors are the way to go.


In conclusion, choosing the right anchor type can affect your project’s overall success and appearance. Understanding the differences between hollow wall anchors and drywall anchors can help you decide which type of anchor to use for your specific needs. Before deciding, consider the anatomy, load capacity, installation, price, and application. With careful consideration and planning, you can ensure your project will be safe, secure, and look fantastic.

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