Do Drywall Anchors Go into Studs?

When hanging up a picture frame, mirror, curtain rod, or another heavy item, you’ll need to ensure it is getting all the support it needs. 

Installation requires a drywall anchor to securely fasten the object to the wall when drilling into drywall. 

Without the drywall anchor, the weight of the heavy item will start to pull at the screw and cause cracking damage and a large hole. 

If you install drywall anchors and hit a stud, you may wonder if this is the proper hardware.  

Drywall anchors do not go in studs. The purpose of all types of drywall anchors is to provide support and prevent damage. Studs are made of strong wood and are better suited for screws. You will have a hard time getting an anchor into a stud, and it is not the best choice for hanging heavy items. 

Proper installation of hanging heavy items is important for the well-being of both the wall itself and the hanging item. 

Let’s look into drywall anchors and what’s best to use on studs. 

do drywall anchors go into studs

Can I Put Drywall Anchors Into Studs?

Drilling the pilot hole for drywall anchor installation into a stud is very difficult. 

All types of drywall anchors are designed to go into drywall, not the strong wood of studs. 

Attempting to drill a drywall anchor in a stud will not result in a sturdy hold. 

In these situations, it’s much better to use a screw to secure the object. 

Screws are designed to go into the hardwood and produce a much stronger hold. 

It is better to hang heavy items such as a mirror, framed picture, or curtain rod directly into a stud. 

This prevents sagging, cracking, or damage to the wall and lets you rest assured knowing whatever you are hanging is securely installed and won’t fall over time. 

Screws tend to be quite a few times stronger than drywall anchors when installed into wall studs. 

Using the right hardware will ensure longevity and durability to whatever project you take on.  

What Is The Difference Between Drywall Anchors And Screws?

Drywall anchors are a specific type of hardware designed to hold screws securely when no studs are present. 

The anchor body is either metal or plastic and has a barbed texture on the exterior to help offer additional support. 

For some types, the anchor collar is attached to the screw itself, while others involve installing the anchor sleeve first and then driving the screw head into the anchor.

Screws do not have an anchor. 

They are much better suited for a wooden stud over a sheet of drywall. 

Screws will not hold as well in drywall. 

Depending on the size and length of the screw, you may need to pre-drill to effectively install the screw into the studs. 

This helps preserve the integrity of the stud as drilling a screw straight into the wood without pre-drilling sometimes cracks the wood. 

Related: Plastic drywall anchors keep breaking.

What Is The Difference Between Different Types Of Drywall Anchors?

When shopping for a drywall anchor kit, there are many options. 

Knowing the difference between the wide drywall anchor selection helps you pick the one best suited for your project. 

Certain drywall anchor types require a pilot hole. 

The pilot hole acts as a track for the anchor to enter the drywall easily without causing any cracking or damage to the wall itself during installation. 

Some of these drywall anchors do not require the pilot hole. 

This makes installation quick and convenient. 

Many of the different drywall anchors come in both plastic and metal anchor variations. 

We recommend using the metal varieties if you are looking for the most possible support and strength from your drywall anchor. 

The plastic and metal types have very similar technology, but the strength of the metal comes in handy when the hardware is intended to hold significant weight or undergo frequent wear and tear. 

Expansion Anchors

Expansion anchors are great options for most wall and ceiling applications. 

The plastic expansion anchors have a conical shape with raised rings. 

When this type of anchor goes into the drywall, it splits the anchor’s shank and expands into wings. 

These barbed wings provide extra grip and support. 

Self-Drilling Anchors

Self-drilling anchors come in a few different varieties. 

Some have plastic anchors, while others have metal anchors. 

The self-drilling anchors work much like the expansion anchors but do not require a pilot hole for proper installation. 

Self-drilling hardware allows users to have an easier time during the installation process. 

They do not require a pilot hole, so installing these self-drilling anchor types is quick and convenient. 

Hollow-Wall Anchors

Hollow-wall anchors are one of the most common types of anchors for use in drywall. 

They have spiked collars and have a tight grip once inserted in the pilot hole. 

When you screw the anchor into the wall, it contracts the anchor and extends out flanges or wings to provide even more support to the hardware. 

Hollow-wall anchors are also sometimes called molly bolts. 

There are also some variations with plastic straps. 

The metal anchors tend to be stronger and more stable than the plastic varieties. 

Toggle Bolt Or Toggle Anchors

Toggle bolts or toggle anchors are different than other anchor types. 

They come in both strap and screw variations but work similarly. 

The toggle is an anchoring element that provides extra support to the screw in the wall. 

The toggle inserts into the pilot hole and cinches against the back of the drywall board to provide strength and support to the hardware. 

For screw-type toggle anchors, the pilot hole needs to be larger to accommodate the spring-loaded toggle. 

Some variations of the screw-style toggle bolt have self-drilling adaptations for easier installation.