Best Heavy Duty Drywall Anchors and Hooks 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Drywall anchors and hooks Reviews

When it comes to hanging things from drywall, a simple screw often won’t do it. Sheetrock has its own complications, and they often limit the way that a house can be decorated for those who aren’t aware of the specific ways that things need to be done. We think the Monkey Hook Picture Hanger is the best drywall hook around.

Thankfully, there’s a whole lot of hooks and anchors that are specifically designed to overcome the limitations inherent to drywall that will allow you to get the job done with minimal fuss at the end of the day. Here are some of the best heavy duty anchors and hooks around:

Best
overall
pick!

Monkey Hook

Best overall: Monkey Hook

This package of hooks is highly recommended for anyone uncomfortable with anchors who needs a variety of hooks for the whole house or office.

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Top 5 Best Drywall Anchors

Name Type Weight Supported
Monkey Hook Picture Hanger Heavy Duty Drywall Hook Up to 50lbs Check Price
The Hillman Group Toggle Bolt Toggle Bolt Up to 75lbs Check Price
OOK – Heavy-Duty Drywall Hanger Mounted Drywall Hook Up to 200lbs Check Price
TOGGLER – SnapSkru Self Drilling Anchor Up to 57lbs Check Price
Prime-Line Products Z Molly Bolt Up to 50lbs Check Price

Best Overall

Monkey Hook

Monkey Hook Picture Hanger

Product Rating
5/5




If you’re looking to hang some pictures, lighter artwork, or other items then these hooks have you covered. They come in a pack of thirty with three different varieties, each of which is best suited for a particular task. Gorilla hooks are the thickest of the three and you’ll find they hold substantially more weight than the other two varieties in the box. The standard monkey hook is just what it says it is, a no-tools required drywall hook that can hold a substantial amount of weight at the end of the day.

The flush hooks are perfect for those who can’t stand visual clutter, they’re a bit lighter-duty than the other two options on this list but you’ll find they can definitely stand up to pictures and artwork. Their smaller size will allow you to mount items flush against the wall.

Pros and Cons

  • Three types of hooks for different applications
  • Great bargain for the price
  • Tool-less install
  • Not suitable for shelving or truly heavy duty applications

Best Toggle Bolt

The Hillman Group Toggle Bolt

The Hillman Group Toggle Bolt

Product Rating
4.5/5




If you’re looking to get some serious hanging done, then toggle bolts are what you’re looking for. It’s kind of hard to get an accurate weight rating on toggle bolts for one reason the wall will almost always fail before they do. Installation can be a bit difficult when you’re using a toggle bolt, but the results are spectacular. You’re left with a solid, permanent anchor that simply won’t fail. This variety, from the Hillman Group, comes with spring wings which are a little bit easier to install than the more old school varieties. The toggle itself will fold back while you insert it into the hole in the wall and then open again when it reaches the hollow interior.

These will hold flush against the wall, and you can then drive the screw until your anchor is of the appropriate length to hold whatever you might like.

Toggle bolts are recommended for the experienced DIYer who wants to hang heavy shelving meant for serious use.

Pros and Cons

  • Super heavy duty
  • Spring wings make for easier install
  • Permanent, durable hanging solution
  • Difficult to install

Best Mounted Hook

OOK 55099

Product Rating
4/5



This is an anchored hook which can support a surprising amount of weight and offers fantastically easy install even for the novice. All you’ll need to do to install it is insert the pointed end through the drywall, and then hammer in the five small nails that come with it. The almost tool-less install makes it great for beginners, and you’ll find that it supports a shocking amount of weight. Much like toggle bolts, an anchor of this type is unlikely to fail before the wall does. This makes it ideal for holding heavier items, but it can be somewhat limited due to the fact that the hook only protrudes a small amount and you can’t screw it out like you can with a standard anchor.

They’re rated for 200lbs but don’t test that out. ½” drywall isn’t going to hold up to that kind of weight, and it’ll most likely start ripping around 75lbs or so. If you insist on pushing the limits, try using two of them spaced apart by at least a foot.

This type of hook is best used for items which are large, heavy, and suspended from a wire in a high traffic area.

Pros and Cons

  • The wall will fail before the anchor
  • Amazingly easy installation
  • Perfect for heavy, valuable items
  • Short hook limits it’s usage in many cases

Best Self Drilling Anchor

TOGGLER SnapSkru SP Self-Drilling Drywall Anchor

TOGGLER SnapSkru

Product Rating
4/5



For some people, the thrill of punching a hole in drywall is just too good to pass up. Thankfully self-screwing anchors make for a quick and easy way to get things done. While they claim that this anchor doesn’t need a pre-drilled hole, drive a pilot hole of 1/8” or so just be sure it’s straight for the best results. Once the anchor is installed, all you’ll need to do is put the screw in and you’re good to go. The main limitation with this anchor is going to be the weight of the item you intend to hang. They’ll hold up to thirty pounds or so, but going much over that is pushing it and the wide threads will shred your drywall if you cause it to fail.

They’re still a solid anchor, however, and as long as you watch the weight of the item you’re hanging from it you’re surely going to be good to go.

Highly recommended for folks who want to hang lighter shelving or medium-weight pictures worry free.

Pros and Cons

  • Supports weight safely
  • Easy installation
  • Versatile usage due to the screw
  • Will damage wall in case of failure.

Best Molly Bolt

Prime-Line Products Z 10532 Molly Bolt Standard

Prime-Line Products Z

Product Rating
4/5



Molly bolts are one of the best types of anchors, hands down. They combine most of the strength of a toggle bolt with easy installation. Drill a hole, pound the molly in, put the screw in, done. Even better, molly bolts hold a ton of weight for their diminutive size. These ones are rated to hold 50lbs and with a molly bolt you can generally believe the weight rating. This length is useful in pretty much any kind of drywall you’ll find in a residential area, and you can rest assured it’ll make for a permanent solution to any kind of hanging problems you might have.

There’s one other hidden thing about molly bolts that isn’t often talked about, when they fail frequently they’ll just fall out of the wall. No extra damage from wide threads or a toggle.

Molly bolts are a safe and easy way to get the most out of your wall without risking any damage.

Pros and Cons

  • Hold an impressive amount of weight
  • Fits in nearly any size of drywall
  • Versatile usage
  • Requires tools to install

What is a Drywall Hook or Anchor?

Put shortly, these devices make hanging things from your walls a snap. Most of them are specifically designed to be used with drywall, and that means that you can avoid the issues you’d have if you just decided to slap a screw in and hang things from it.

In general, anchors will be a bit more complex to use but have a lower profile than hooks. You’ll need a drill and a screw gun for them. The lower profile allows for a wider variation of use than just pictures, however, and you’ll find they’re useful for shelving as well.

Hooks, on the other hand, are super easy to install but a bit more limited in their usage as a general rule. There’s a few different varieties, including those that are simply inserted into the wall and those which are actually anchored with several screws.

If your problem is being able to hang things from drywall, heavy-duty hooks and anchors are the answer.

What are the Different Types of Hook and Anchor Available?

There’re several variations of each which are readily available, and each one is suited for slightly different purposes.

Anchors

For the most part, anchors will consist of two pieces. The anchor itself will be mounted into the wall, followed by a screw into the anchor. The outer sleeve of the anchor is what actually bears most of the weight, and it widens the profile in order to support more weight than a bare screw would. Their installation can be a bit tricky, but the benefits are immense.

Self-expanding anchors

are a plastic sleeve which is inserted into a drilled hole in the wall. Following the insertion of the sleeve, a screw can be driven in which locks the anchor tight against the gypsum in the center of the panel.

For the most part, they break easily and should only be used for lighter objects. This makes them pretty much unsuitable for any heavy-duty applications but they’re fine for hanging frames and pictures.

Self-screwing anchors

are where we get into the good stuff. They consist of a “screw” with a hollow center and wide threads. The wide threads allow them to hold a huge amount of purchase within the center of the panel and support more weight without possible damage to the wall.

After the anchor is driven into the wall, you can back off the screw contained within the center in order to hang whatever you may like. They’re a huge upgrade over self-expanding anchors, and can often support quite a bit of weight.

Molly bolts

are a fun little piece of engineering which consists of a metal sleeve with some small moving parts that allow the “bolt” to gain purchase. Some of them are designed to be hammered directly into the wall, but it’s generally a better idea to introduce them with a pilot hole first.

Once the sleeve has been driven into the wall, the contained screw will cause the “legs” on the far side of the sleeve to expand and grip the wall. This spreads the weight out and locks the anchor in place, making them one of the strongest types of anchor around.

Toggle anchors

consist of a threaded sleeve with a large, bulky piece of metal on the far side. They’re by far the hardest to install of the basic anchor types, but they do support a rather impressive amount of weight. You’ll need a large drill bit just to get them in, however.

They work by tightening until the large piece of metal locks against the back of the wall. Unlike molly bolts, the area they hold across is often measured in inches rather than fractions. Toggle anchors are strong enough that thinner drywall can be damaged if you decide to test out the weight capacity.

Hooks

There are two main types of hooks which are used, both of which are very simple to install. Their usage can be somewhat limited, however, by the simplicity of their design.

Basic hooks

are a piece of strong steel wire which you push through the wall and then twist until the longer end is locked against the wall from above. They’re an extremely simple piece of hardware but they can hold a surprising amount of weight at the end of the day.

The main problem is that they’re limited to things which “hang” rather than those which can be mounted. So they’re great for pictures, but you’re not going to want to use them for shelves.

They offer one more advantage over anchors that you probably don’t want to test: they won’t damage the wall in case you overload them. Instead, the wire itself will bend and allow your item to fall without ripping out a chunk of the wall.

Anchored hooks

are something of a hybrid. They consist of a round piece of metal with a hook mounted on the front. There is a piece of metal in the back which is bent upwards as well, made to hold against the drywall like a standard hook.

In the front of the anchor will be several screw or nail holes which you can then drive home in order to make for a truly impressive amount of weight bearing capacity. In the event the screws or nails begin to fail, the metal in the back will generally catch things.

An anchored hook will quite often have enough weight capacity that a complete overload has serious consequences, like toggle anchors, and can result in you losing a chunk of the wall as well as the anchor itself.

What are the Advantages of Heavy Duty Anchors and Hooks?

The advantages offered are numerous, but the main thing you’re looking at is the ability to hang items from drywall safely. Many of us have tried to use simple screws, or even screw in hooks, in drywall and found them lacking at the end of the day.

Hardware which isn’t just meant to anchor things causes a lot of trouble for home owners. Screws will have a tendency to bend, or even strip out of the hole, since their threads aren’t actually made to support weight at a ninety degree angle to the face of the wall.

Screw-in hooks are often only good for supporting a couple of pounds, and if you exceed that capacity the thin threads will rip out of the wall, leaving you with a hole and your decoration on the ground.

What you gain by using the proper hardware is peace of mind. Your anchors won’t fail as long as you stay within their rated capacity, and the hung item is sure to stay in the proper place.

Features to Compare

Overall, the main thing you need to concern yourself with is whether to use a hook or an anchor.

Hooks work best for pictures, and simple drywall hooks will allow you to support an impressive array of pictures, frames, or anything else that is hung with a wire or simple bracket. It’s usually for the best to use a pair of them separated equally from the edge for any frame wider than 12” or so.

If the frame has brackets, you’ll definitely want to make sure that the bracket itself is able to support a hook properly. The hook should wrap nearly all the way around the bracket for anything heavier than a couple of pounds, since the force exerted will keep the hook from bending and failing.

While they can be used for shelving, only use them for shelves which are primarily intended for decorative purposes. If you’re just planning on putting a couple of candles or a few small statuettes on them, then you’re probably good to go and the ease of installation will work out in your favor.

You’ll also need to make sure the bracketing the shelves use are compatible with hooks, as most will have recessed holes specifically for screws and may not have enough room for a hook to gain purchase once pushed through. 

If you’re planning on using the shelf to hold a bunch of stuff, then us heavy-duty anchors.

Anchors work best for heavier objects. Shelves are one of the main things you’ll find hung with anchors, and there’s a ton of shelves out there that have a specialty built backing that will only fit with the screws used in anchors.

They’re easy to recognize, they will often be an inverted “keyhole” shape of metal over a recessed hole in the edge of the shelf. The screw will go in the larger portion, and the shelf will fall a bit as the shaft goes into the thinner section. The tension of the screw against the backing is what will hold it in place.

Conclusion

Anchors also work great for pictures, particularly those with heavier frames and a wire hanger. Use anchors for anything over fifteen to twenty pounds.

Anchored hooks fall in between. They’re fantastic for really heavy frames as long as they’ve been installed properly, but most of them simply won’t be able to get a grip on the edges of shelving due to their construction.

They tend to be more secure than anchors, and will hold their place better in high traffic areas. If you want to hang grandma’s antique mirror, you’re best using an anchored hook, but they’re a bit of a specialty item and not quite as versatile as standard hooks or anchors.

References

  1. https://www.thebalance.com/
  2. http://www.naturalhandyman.com/
  3. http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/

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