A Guide to Weight Limits for Toggle Bolts

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When you need to hang something heavy from the wall, you need to use toggle bolts. And if you’re going to use them, you're going to need a guide to weight limits for toggle bolts.

Use a guide to weight limits for toggle bolts to make sure you're using the right bolt for the job. No matter what you need to hang from your wall, you need to use the right bolt.

What Is a Toggle Bolt?

Toggle bolts may also be called all anchors. They are used to secure items to the wall, whether it's a television, shelves, pictures, or anything else you might be placing on the wall.

These bolts are designed in a unique way, with sturdy wings that serve as an anchor base. This makes them stronger and more durable than regular bolts or nails.

But how strong are they?

You need to know how much weight your toggle bolts can support. Otherwise, the bolt could give and whatever it's supporting will fall and potentially break.

A good toggle bolts guide can help you make the right choices. Because when it comes to your walls, you can’t afford to be casual about the items you hang on it.

Types of Toggle Bolts

There are many different types of toggle bolts that are designed to do different tasks and support different weights. Do you know your drywall anchor weight limit?

Even though toggle bolts are tough, they do have their limits. Understanding just how much weight a specific bolt can take is critical not just for proper use, but for safety. The amount can vary depending on the size of the anchor and the wall you are using it on.

Make sure you are aware of the guidelines or you could end up with broken items and damaged walls. Good toggle bolts installation will keep your items hanging beautifully and safely.

Improper installation will cause damage and leave you with more DIY tasks on your to-do list. It’s better to get things right the first time so you can move on to the projects you actually want to do.

Toggle Bolts

Though many types of bolts and anchors might be called toggle bolts, really there is a specific type of anchor that is called a toggle bolt. How much weight can a toggle bolt hold?

Toggle bolts are drywall toggle bolts that can typically support 50 pounds of weight. However, different types of toggle bolts support different weight amounts.

However, lots of different types of anchors, fasteners, and bolts are called toggle bolts. This can get confusing, so you need to know exactly what you’re working with when you come across a toggle bolt called by another name.

This is important stuff when you want to know toggle bolt weight capacity, which is really the main thing you need to know. Figuring out the weight capacity is the main thing you need to know about how to use a toggle bolt.

Expansion Anchors

These anchors are drywall toggle bolts and they may also be called conical anchors and winged anchors. These anchors are designed to expand and lock behind the wall when they are twisted into the wall.

Expansion anchors are made with plastic and metal, primarily. Plastic expansion anchors typically support the least amount of weight, while metal expansion anchors can generally hold much more.

Self Drilling

Self-drilling anchors are designed to grip drywall and essentially lock into place. These anchors are made in a huge variety of materials.

Self-drilling anchors create a very secure connection to the wall.

Sharp Toggle

Sharp toggle anchors are made to hold particularly heavy items. This is what you'll use for a TV, for example, or a set of heavy shelves.

There are lots of highly heavy items you might want to secure to the wall, such as a large mirror or another heavy piece of furniture or decor.

Steel Hollow

This is another option when you have something very heavy to hang from a wall. These anchors are encased in metal and they are designed to expand into the wall once screwed in, which creates a lot of strong support.

Weight Limits for Toggle Bolts

Toggle bolt weight capacity typically depends on the size of the bolt. Toggle bolts are made from various materials, including different types of metal and plastic, but it's the diameter of the bolt that really matters when it comes to supporting weight.

Different manufacturers make toggle bolts that support different weights. Toggle bolts in the same size from one company may not hold as much weight as a bolt from another company.

However, most toggle bolts and drywall toggle bolts fall within a range when it comes to supporting weight. Know the weight the bolt can support and you’re well on your way to knowing how to use a toggle bolt.

When it comes to bolts, size matters. Small toggle bolts hold smaller amounts of weight, while larger bolts support more weight.

So how much weight can a toggle bolt hold? Well, how big is your bolt?

Get to know the different toggle bolts sizes to know what size you need to use.


A 1/8-inch toggle bolt is very small and it holds the least amount of weight. This bolt can hold up to 30 pounds against any type of wallboard.

To get the bolt to support heavier weights, you'll need a bigger bolt. Drywall anchor weight limit numbers really matter, so go up in bolt size when you’re hanging something heavy.

Small toggle bolts make smaller holes in the wall, so you will want to choose this when it’s appropriate. Don’t go up in bolt size just because you can.


Depending on the brand you're buying from, a 3 16 toggle bolt will support 90 to 110 pounds of weight. Some brands can hold as much as 265 pounds of weight in this size.

Check the label to see if the manufacturer has included a weight amount the bolt can support. Some 3/16 toggle bolts can hold more weight but some can hold less, so it's definitely worth it to take a look.


When you get a 1/4-inch toggle bolt, expect it to hold around 85 pounds of weight. Some of these bolts can hold as much as 265 pounds.

Check the label on the box for 1/4 toggle bolt weight capacity to make sure it will support the amount of weight you’re hanging on your wall. Most of the time, you want to use one of these bolts to support very heavy items.

Hollow Walls and Solid Walls

Drywall anchors are toggle bolts that are made to work with hollow walls. The bolt is inserted into the wall and it expands outward behind the wall.

What if you're attaching something to a solid wall? What happens then?

If you're trying to mount something on a solid wall, such as masonry like brick or cinderblock, you do still have options. There are types of toggle bolts that are designed just for this task.

Expansion anchors are designed to work in thick, solid walls made from metal, wood, concrete, or other durable materials. With the right anchors, you can still place items on even these types of thick walls.

Unline toggle bolts, expansion anchors don't have the butterfly design. Instead, these anchors are heavily ribbed. This ribbed design gives the anchors a lot of grip and strength. However, it's important to know that expansion anchors are only as strong as the wall they are being put into.

Crumbling concrete, for example, will not support the weight of what you're trying to hang from the wall no matter how good the anchor is. Make sure you're working with a very solid wall if you're using an expansion anchor because if there is any weakness the anchor will give and the object you are hanging will fall.

How to Install Toggle Bolts

Drywall and other hollow walls don't have a lot of strength or support behind them. In fact, they have nothing behind them and this is why drywall alone isn't strong enough to support heavy items.

Toggle bolts, which are designed to hold weight and support heavy objects, work even in hollow walls. You don't have to find a stud to use these bolts.

With toggle bolts, you can hang pretty much anything for the wall safely and securely. Better yet, you can hang stuff wherever you want it. However, you have to install and use toggle bolts correctly in order for this to happen. There are two parts to every toggle bolt, the bolt itself and the toggle.

The toggle is the part that spreads out behind the wall. To properly install a toggle bolt, pre-drill a hole that is wider than the bolt. Take the toggle, the butterfly-shaped part of the device, and hold it closed.

Insert this toggle into the drywall to make sure there is room. Don't push it through the hole.

Insert the bolt into the item you want to secure to the wall. Place the toggle at the end of this screw.

Hold the toggle closed as you insert it into the wall. Push it all the way through. Use a screwdriver or drill to tighten the bolt. Pull the bolt toward you and tighten.

The toggle will expand and after you tighten everything, you will have a very secure connection. As long as you’re paying attention to your toggle bolts sizes and weight limits, you should not be able to hang your item on the wall and it will be securely and safely in place.

Weight Limits for Toggle Bolts

How do you know the weight limit for the particular toggle bolt you're working with? If you're not sure, go with a bigger bolt that will reliably support more weight.

Some manufacturers have a wall anchor weight chart for all their toggle bolts and similar anchors.

Once you know how to use a toggle bolt, you can safely mount anything to the wall and really get creative with all your DIY projects.

Toggle Bolts FAQs

How much weight can a 1/4 inch toggle bolt hold?

A 1/4-inch toggle bolt that's made with plastic can reliably hold about 50 pounds of weight. Designs made with metal can often support more weight, up to 85 pounds or more.

How much weight can a 1/8 inch toggle bolt hold?

The 1/8-inch is the smallest size of toggle bolt, so it holds the smallest amount of weight. These bolts can support 30 to 55 pounds of weight, on average, depending on the manufacturer and the material they're made from.

How much weight can 3 16 toggle bolt hold?

What is a 3/16 toggle bolt weight capacity? A 3 16 toggle bolt will support up to 90 pounds in most designs.

Check the 3 16 toggle bolt weight capacity if the manufacturer of the bolt provides one, because this does vary by brand.

How much weight can a 1/4 20 toggle bolt hold in drywall?

The 1/4-inch toggle bolt is a larger size, so it can hold more weight than other designs. This toggle bolt can support, typically, between 120 to 265 pounds.

How much can a 1/2 toggle bolt hold?

The weight that toggle bolts can support changes depending on the type of wall the bolt is going into. In many cases, a 1/2-inch bolt can support 65 or more pounds of weight.

In some types of walls, however, this bolt can support 100 pounds of weight.

How much weight can 2 toggle bolts hold?

Adding more toggle bolts means that more weight can be supported. If you have something to support that you're not sure about or you want to be certain it is safe to support, add another toggle bolt.

Can toggle bolts hold up a TV?

If you use a toggle bolt that is strong enough to support the weight of a TV, you can use them to mount a TV to the wall. Some bolts can support more than 200 pounds of weight, which should be more than any TV weighs.

What is a disadvantage of using toggle bolts?

Toggle bolts are wondrous little devices that make it easier for you to mount very heavy things to walls and ceilings, which makes them highly useful. However, there is a downside to using toggle bolts.

You do have to pre-drill holes in the wall for toggle bolts and installing them takes a bit more work than using a simple nail or screw in the wall. Toggle bolts will also leave a noticeable hole in the wall after they're removed, which will have to be patched and repaired.

What is an alternative to a toggle bolt?

There are multiple types of bolts that are made to support weight. Molly bolts, for example, are made specifically for supporting heavy items in drywall.

Different types of wall anchors support heavy loads. However, toggle bolts support the heaviest loads so when you have something very heavy to hang, this is still your best option.

Can you over tighten toggle bolts?

Bolts can be over-tightened, so it's important to use some care when you are installing them. If you over-tighten bolts, you could crack the wall where you're inserting the bolt.

Can you hang cabinets with toggle bolts?

Toggle bolts are strong enough to support the weight of cabinets and the stuff inside cabinets. It is possible to hang cabinets with toggle bolts and this is actually done all the time.

Further Reading

8 Options For Bolting To Concrete

A Guide to Installing Toggle Bolts in Your Ceiling

Choosing and Installing Wall Anchors

Fastening Nuts and Bolts: The Basics

Hardware for Hanging Heavy Items

How To Choose The Right Bolt