Drywall anchors have always been more confusing than they have needed to be. The simple practice of hanging something from a wall when no stud is present behind that section of the wall turns out to be quite a challenge.
There are so many options, from molly bolts to toggle bolts and all sorts of things between, and now there is something (relatively) new, a plastic toggle anchor.
What Is A Plastic Toggle Anchor?
Unless there is a stud behind the sheetrock, it can’t support more than, say, 5 pounds of hanging weight with a screw, so you need an anchor.
A toggle anchor is a type of wall anchor that is designed to hang things on drywall (sheetrock). A “toggle” would be a general description of something that goes into a hole in the wall and then expands, using the strength of the wall (not a screw) to support whatever you hang.
Classically toggles looked like the above, with a little butterfly-shaped spring-loaded piece of metal. These work well, but they are easy to drop behind the wall if you unscrew too far and they require a rather large hole in the wall.
Plastic toggle anchors are made of a material known as “polypropylene” which is a form of plastic. It’s non-corrosive, corrosive-resistant, non-conductive, and will work with a standard metal screw.
A typical plastic toggle, like the Toggler Toggle TB anchor meets US government specification FF-B-588-D for Type IV wall anchors.
How To Install A Plastic Toggle
Watch the video above to see how to best install a plastic toggle into drywall. This is a general guide, but you should always follow manufacturer guidelines and instructions.
- Make sure there is no stud behind the area were you want to install the toggle.
- Drill a small hole where you want the anchor to go. It should be small enough that the back end of the toggle can’t fit in easily.
- Compress the toggle as much as possible. The wings on the back generally fold away from you, as in the video. Pliers can be helpful to really compress the plastic.
- With the toggle fully compressed, push it into the hole in the wall
- With the toggle anchor fully in place, given a slight pull, to ensure the wings have fold out behind the wall.
- Insert the screw and screw it in, locking the toggle in place. Don’t overtighten — plastic is strong but can crack. Normally you’ll want to keep the screw head at least 1/4″ out from the wall to hang a picture or you will use the screw to mount something between the screw head and the wall.
How Strong Are Plastic Toggle Anchors?
This will vary based on the size and the model, but a standard Toggle TB with a #8 x 1-1/2″ screw will support up to 143 pounds of hanging weight when used with 1/2″ drywall. This is as per the manufacturer’s specification. In practice you’d likely want to limited a toggle to 75 pounds of pressure.
Note: If your home has 3/8″ drywall then you’ll need to limit the weight. For example, a plastic toggle anchor that is rated for 143 pound with 1/2″ drywall is rated at 93 pounds for 3/8″ drywall.