ThePipingMart Blog Fasteners Toggle Bolt vs Lag Bolt – What’s the Difference

Toggle Bolt vs Lag Bolt – What’s the Difference

Toggle Bolt vs Lag Bolt

If you love to do DIY projects, choosing the right type of fastener is essential. When it comes to choosing between a toggle bolt and a lag bolt, it can be confusing, especially if you are new to the world of DIY. While both of them look similar, they serve different purposes. In this blog post, we will walk you through the differences between toggle bolts and lag bolts, helping you to decide which one to use for your next DIY project.

What is Toggle Bolt?

A toggle bolt is a fastening device composed of a threaded machine screw, two spring wings, or toggles. When inserted into an appropriately sized drilled hole in the wall, they open up on the other side to provide exceptional holding power. Toggle bolts are ideal for medium duty loads in hollow walls and can be used with plaster, drywall, and paneling.

What is Lag Bolt?

A lag bolt or screw is a fastener to secure two objects together. It features a pointed tip and threads along its shaft that increases friction when driven into wood or other materials. The head of the bolt has hexagonal ridges, which allow for extra torque when tightening with a wrench or socket. Lag bolts are commonly used in construction projects like decks, fences, sheds or retaining walls and can be found in common lengths up to 16 inches long.

Difference Between Toggle Bolt and Lag Bolt


The main difference between toggle bolts and lag bolts is their functionality. Toggle or butterfly bolts are designed to hold lightweight objects to drywall, plaster, or other hollow wall surfaces. On the other hand, lag bolts, also known as coach screws, are used to secure heavy-duty materials to solid surfaces such as concrete, wood, or brick.

Size and Shape

The shape and size are another significant difference between toggle bolts and lag bolts. Toggle bolts come in various sizes, ranging from 1/8-inch to 1/2-inch in diameter, and they comprise two parts- the screw and the toggle wings. The wings expand after inserting the screw into the wall, creating a secure hold. Lag bolts are typically larger than toggle bolts, ranging from 1/4-inch to 3/4-inch in diameter. They have a threaded shank with a hexagonal head and are used with a wrench or other tools.

Weight Capacity

Weight capacity is another factor when choosing between toggle and lag bolts. As stated earlier, toggle bolts are suitable for holding lightweight objects, such as pictures, mirrors, or curtains, while lag bolts can bear more significant weight loads. Lag bolts can handle heavier materials, such as lumber or sheet metal.


The process of installing toggle bolts and lag bolts is also different. Installing a toggle bolt requires drilling a hole, threading the toggle bolt’s wing and screw onto the bolt’s end, and finally tightening the screw. On the other hand, installing lag bolts requires attaching the bolt to a power drill and drilling a hole into the object’s surface. Once drilled the hole, insert the lag bolt and use a wrench or pliers to tighten it.


Lastly, the price range for both toggle and lag bolts differs. Toggle bolts are more affordable compared to lag bolts. The cost of toggle bolts varies depending on the size and the number of bolts in a package. Lag bolts, on the other hand, can be more expensive due to their durable construction and their potential to hold heavy materials.


In conclusion, knowing the difference between toggle and lag bolts will help you choose the right fastener for your DIY projects. Whether you need to secure lightweight objects or heavier materials, both toggle and lag bolts have unique functionality, size, weight capacity, installation process, and price point. Therefore, carefully consider your project requirements, including the weight of the item you intend to secure and the type of surface you will anchor it. With the right understanding of the difference between the two, your DIY projects will be easier and safer.

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