Learning, Drilling,

What Size Drill Bit to Use for Anchor

By the end of this guide, you will easily be able to pick the correct size drill bit for your wall anchors.

I have doing drywall anchor installation services for years now. Knowing the right drill bit for various wall anchors enables easy installation and application while reducing the risks of improperly installed wall anchors that may cause your objects to fall.

To select the proper drill bit for your drywall anchor:

  • Check if the diameter is indicated on the package and use a drill bit of the same diameter.
  • Measure the length of the shank with a ruler and use the correct size drill bit
  • Most plastic anchors use ½-inch drill bits
  • For heavy-duty wall anchors, measure the sleeve with a ruler and use a drill bit with a corresponding diameter.

I will cover more details below.

What Size Drill Bit Should You Use for Wall Anchor?

You need the right size drill bit for your wall to facilitate an organized and stable anchorage of tools and other materials on a wall.

To select the right size drill bit:

  • Align the drill bit shank against the anchor body — excluding the flange.
  • Then select a drill bit that is slightly smaller.

Another way to select a proper drill bit for a wall is:

  • Analyze the back of a wall anchor’s packaging. Some manufacturers indicate the anchor diameter.
  • Then choose a drill bit accordingly.

The idea is to have the anchor sit snuggly inside the hole. It should not spin or wobble in the hole. Start with a small hole first because it is always possible to drill a larger hole, but you cannot drill smaller holes.

Plastic Anchors

A ½-inch drill bit size can work fine in a plastic wall anchor.

Plastic anchors are usually used to hand light-weight objects or medium-weight objects on a wall and hollow hollow-core doors.

Plastic anchors with wide flanges on one end require the correct drill bit. The width of the drill bit should match the anchor’s narrow portion on the plastic anchors to create a pilot hole.

After the anchor gets into the hole, flange the end out, and put a screw of the indicated gauge on the anchor package. The screw will increase the side of the plastic anchor, securing it on the wall.

You can always know that the hole is of the correct diameter when you experience some resistance pushing the anchor into the wall. However, you can change the drill bit if you experience more resistance.

Tips to Help You Determine the Correct Size Anchor:

  • If the diameter is indicated on the anchor packaging, use a drill bit with the same diameter.
  • Use a ruler to measure the shank against the anchor’s front section. You can find the same size drill bit or 1/16 inch more to create an opening for the screw.
  • Do not hang objects whose weight exceeds the labeled weight on the anchor packaging. The anchor may pull out and fall.

Toggle-Style Anchors

I Recommend ½-Inch Drill Bits for The Toggle Style Anchors.

The toggle bolt has wing-like probes that open once behind a wall, securing it firmly.

How to Install and Use Toggle-Style Anchors

  • Drill a hole the same width as the folded toggle bolt for the pilot hole. It should be the same. Otherwise, it won’t hold firmly.
  • To use it, remove the wing-like bolts from the screw.
  • Then, hook the hangable object screw when affixing it permanently on the wall.
  • Next, fix the wing-like probes on the screws so that they open toward the screw’s head.

Pushing the assemblage through a wall and turning the screw opens the toggle bolt (or butterfly) catch.

Heavy-Duty Wall Anchors

Metal and plastic wall anchors with expanding wings can sustain heavy-weight objects. And they don’t need to fit snugly in a wall like the lightweight anchors.

Measure or check the diameter of the sleeve before you drill a hole to install the heavy-duty anchor. The diameters of the hole and the sleeve should match.

You may use a ruler to measure out the sleeve’s diameter. Keep the wings or toggles folded close to the sleeve during the exercise. Once you obtain the measurement, that’s usually in inches, use a bit with the obtained diameter.

Still, you can purchase heavy-duty self-drilling wall anchors. In that case, you won’t need a drill bit.


The hole’s size depends and varies according to the product. However, the range is usually between ½-inches to ¾-inches.  Wall anchors that can hold up to about 70 pounds require larger holes to accommodate the wings or toggles so that the toggles can distribute weight over a larger surface area behind the wall.

When installing heavy items like a television and microwave, trace studs with a stud finder. Then, ensure that at least one side of the mount is affixed to the stud. That way, your heavy item will stay attached to the wall. (1, 2)


I recommend using a monkey hook when drilling a hole in a wall to hang up a heavy-weight object.  It is an easy-to-use product that can hold up to 50 pounds.

monkey hook

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) television – https://stephens.hosting.nyu.edu/History%20of%20
(2) microwvae – https://spectrum.ieee.org/a-brief-history-of-the-microwave-oven

Video References

Paxton Patterson


RJ Fixings Ltd

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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