When you find it difficult to insert screws directly into a wall or other surface, first insert an anchor before securing the screw. This guide will tell you the best type of anchor to use for your next home improvement project.
Choosing the best anchor fastener
Anchors can hold as much weight as the wall they’re attached to can bear. Selecting the best anchor for your project would largely depend on the amount of load that is to be undertaken. Depending on the type and amount of load you can choose your pick for the best anchor fastener from the various types of anchor fasteners. The various load types are as follows :
- The shear load describes the amount of downward gravitational force and the weight an object exerts on the anchor.
- Tensile load is the amount of force required to pull the anchor straight out of the hole.
- Static loads are created by objects that never move and constantly exert the same force.
- Dynamic loads are created by objects that move or vibrate.
- Impact loads are created when weight is increased suddenly.
Anchor Types & Features
Anchors are available in multiple varieties, including concrete screws, hammer-in anchors, lag shields, lead screw anchors, plastic wall plugs and more.
These are best for attaching furring strips, doors and electrical boxes in concrete, brick or blocks. Concrete screws feature alternating high and low threads with diamond-cut notches for extra holding power. These screws may be sealed to provide protection against corrosion.
These are the best for hanging furring strips and metal brackets in concrete, concrete block, mortar and brick. With easy to install features these must be hammered into place for better functioning. It should be ensured that you avoid using it in crumbly surfaces as these hammer-in-anchors do not require a separate screw.
Longer shields are best for use in hard masonry while shorter shields are better for softer materials. These are used in conjunction with lag bolts. Short shields work well on shallow surfaces whereas long shields provide greater strength.
Lead screw anchors
Best for securing light to medium loads in brick, concrete block and masonry.
Plastic wall plugs
Best for light-duty applications in masonry, such as towel bars, tool brackets and shower doors. These plastic wall plugs require a pilot hole and expand once inserted to prevent turning and pullout. The tapered ribs prevent twisting and hence last long.
Best for medium-duty applications in concrete block, the length of the sleeve anchor is measured from the washer to the end of the anchor. The sleeves pinch the side of the pilot hole and get tighter as the screw is driven into place.
Best for light to medium loads in hollow block, the toggle bolts feature a set of wings that spring open once the bolt has been placed in the hole and the screw has been tightened. The wings provide a brace against the backside of the wall for a secure hold.
Extremely strong in nature, wedge anchors are best for heavy-duty load applications in concrete blocks and thin-wall or solid concrete. Stainless-steel expansion clip offers resistance to corrosion and the length is measured from one end to the other. Once inserted, they are nearly impossible to remove. It is advisable to use chemical and powder-actuated anchors when working with an extremely heavy object that requires an industrial-strength hold. These anchors are strengthened with chemicals you will need special instruction on how to use them. Anti-rotation fins prevent anchors from spinning while they are being inserted, which strengthens their hold. You can use a hammer drill when installing anchors into hard surfaces such as stone, concrete and brick.
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