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Drywall Anchors vs Studs: What’s Difference?

Drywall Anchors vs Studs: What’s Difference?

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Every DIY’er knows that there are certain things you shouldn’t do without the right equipment. Hanging pictures, shelves, mirrors, and other wall décor is one of those tasks. For most people, installing hollow drywall anchors is the easiest way to hang objects on a wall. You can use your drill or even a hammer for that job, but both options require some physical effort, leading to mistakes.

Studs are better for heavy-duty projects like cabinets and bookcases. Anchors, on the other hand, are usually used when hanging lighter objects. Drywall anchors are usually drilled deep into the wall to counteract the weight of whatever item you’ll be hanging. At times, you won’t need drywall anchors if you can find studs on the walls. If you find a stud exactly where you need to hand your items, you won’t need a drywall anchor. But sometimes, you may need to use both.

If you’re unsure which option is best for your project, read this guide, and it will help you choose the right option.

What Are Drywall Anchors?

Drywall anchors are nothing more than a screw that you drive into a hole in the drywall to hold up something heavy on a wall. Drywall is a thin and fragile material, unlike studs. Because of this reason, you’ll always need to use anchors when hanging something on drywall.

The wall needs extra support to hold up the object. Another option is to drill holes through the studs and use those, but it requires more effort than just drilling into the drywall. Drywall anchors are very small and inconspicuous – you can’t even see them unless you look for them.

Drywall Anchors vs. Studs: Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing between drywall anchors and studs depends on the weight of the object you want to hang up. Use a stud finder to find nails or screws in your wall and use those instead of drywall anchors. However, sometimes a stud may not be directly behind where you want to place your item, which means you’ll need a drywall anchor regardless.

If the weight of your object is correct for the anchor, you should opt for drywall anchors. They’re simple to put in and don’t need any extra tools.

If your object’s weight exceeds the capacity of the drywall anchor (15 pounds), use a stud or even multiple studs instead. Studs will give you more options when it comes to hanging objects on your wall.

Differences between Studs and Drywall Anchors

Weight Capacity

Studs are generally better than drywall anchors in that they can hold more weight.  If you have to hang anything over 50 pounds on a wall, use studs with two different anchors for added support. It’s always best to be safe when hanging things on walls.

Studs are better than drywall anchors when hanging objects that need maximum support. There’s no need to worry about the anchor not being strong enough to hold up heavier objects since it can handle much more. Depending on the type of stud you choose, they can hold from 20 to 100 pounds. For drywall anchors, the best maximum weight for hanging items should be around 15 to 20 pounds.

Professional Look

If you want a professional-looking outcome, use studs instead of drywall anchors. You can’t see them, and they provide a cleaner look for your wall.

Drywall anchors are simple and can be used by anyone. They’re also very easy to install, which is why they’re the best option for beginners. However, you’ll get a much better result if you use studs instead of anchors on some or most parts of your project.

DIYers are recommended to use drywall anchors over studs because of their simplicity. Experts can use either one, depending on the situation.

Ease of Installation

Drywall anchors are much easier to install than studs. You can use a drill or even a hammer for this process. On the other hand, Studs require you to find your studs (which is difficult) and drive screws into them using either an electric screwdriver or another type of power tool.

Use drywall anchors on the entire project if you’re starting with DIY projects. They save you time and energy because all you need to do is drill into them. If you want a more professional look, use studs instead of drywall anchors for at least some parts of your project.

Drilling the Wall

You don’t have to drill the walls when using drywall anchors. Simply drill the anchors into the wall, and your object will be secured in place.

Drilling walls can cause damage to them, which is why you should avoid this if possible. Drywall is fragile and only meant to hold up lightweight objects anyway, so drilling into it can do more harm than good when using it to hang heavier objects.

Use drywall anchors on your project, and you won’t have to drill into the walls at all. This is a great way to save yourself some time and energy –drill into the anchors and hang up your object. As for the studs, you can use them if you want to drill into the walls for added support.


Drywall anchors are more affordable than studs because they’re so small and lightweight. They’re also very simple to use, which is why they’re recommended for beginners.

Studs are too costly for many people because of the additional tools required to work properly. It could be difficult to install studs if you don’t have a stud finder, electric screwdriver, or drill. However, drywall anchors and studs can be used interchangeably with each other.

Save money on drywall anchors for your project. These are the most affordable option, and they work well for beginners who don’t want to spend too much money on these types of projects yet. For more professional results, use studs instead of anchors in some parts of your project.

Availability and Quality

There are different types of drywall anchors, which is why you should choose the right one for your project. Plastic ones aren’t that great because they can break easily when hanging heavier objects.

Use studs in your DIY project if you’re looking to get a professional result. These are of better quality than most drywall anchors, and they’re also quite easy to install. If you want an easier option, use drywall anchors instead of studs on your entire project. This will save you a lot of time and effort compared to using studs for your whole project.

What Are the Disadvantages of Using Drywall Anchors?

One disadvantage is that you have to drill into your wall. The best drywall anchors are slotted ones, which will spare some damage to the drywall when attaching it. However, even small punctures are still visible, which is why you should keep the anchors above the spot where objects are attached to the wall.

What Are the Disadvantages of Using Studs?

One disadvantage of using studs is that they have to be installed into your walls. Finding them without a stud finder can be difficult, which means that you have to use a different type of tool or hire someone who knows how to find studs. Another disadvantage is that you need many different studs because not all of your objects will be heavy enough to need two anchors for support.

Drywall Anchors vs. Studs: The Verdict

Studs and drywall anchors both have their benefits; it’s up to you to decide which one will work for your project. If you want a more professional look, use studs instead of anchors for at least some parts of your project. If the weight capacity is correct and you don’t mind the look, use drywall anchors.

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