How hollow wall anchors work, and how to use them

You may have heard them called a lot of different names - plasterboard fixings, hollow wall anchors, metal plasterboard plugs and bolts, and so on - but all of these names refer to the same thing. Hollow wall anchors are used to mount things on plasterboard (they also work well on inner walls made of chipboard).

Watch the video guide!

Have a look at the video guide to learn how plasterboard fixings work, and how to use them

How hollow wall anchors work

When you fix a hollow wall anchor into a plasterboard, the body is bent and expands at the back of the wallboard. This way, the hollow wall anchor make it possible to fasten heavier objects to plasterboard.

With such anchors, one square meter of (properly installed) plasterboard comprising a single wallboard can support a weight of 15 kg. Double plasterboard can cope with 25 kg per square meter, and triple wallboard can support up to 35 kg. If you're going to put up something heavier, read our guide on this.

How to use hollow wall anchors

Start by finding out which type of plasterboard fixings you need. Read our guide on this to get tips on choosing the right plasterboard fixings, for what you want to fasten to the wall.

Drill a hole of the correct size for the anchor you have chosen. With hollow wall anchors from Rapid, the right sized drill is always included in the pack. (Note: This does not however apply to the larger Master packs.)

As you will see, each anchor has a screw in it. Unscrew it before inserting the hollow wall anchor into the wall.

Insert the hollow wall anchor into the hole you have drilled, and gently hammer in the last section so that the anchor's teeth sink into the plasterboard.

Then screw in the screw, but not all the way, so that a section is left for the setting tool.

Insert the anchor setting tool into the gap, and make sure that it is at the correct angle to the wall. Then squeeze the setting tool handles together until you feel that they start to offer some resistance. If you don't feel any resistance when the handles are completely squeezed together, screw in the screw again and repeat this step once more. You should now feel resistance, which means that the wall anchor has expanded.

The hollow wall anchor is now installed! Remove the screw and hang what you wanted to on the wall.

More tips and guides

For more tips, read our other guides on plasterboard fixings here.