How to Use a Molly Bolt

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A molly bolt is designed to hold heavy objects onto hollow walls. They usually consist of a pointed end, which is used to help insert the bolt, the bolt or screw itself and the anchor. The anchor is a sleeve that fits around the bolt and is threaded, so it expands as the bolt is tightened. Almost all molly bolts used in residential applications are designed for drywall, but molly bolts have also been designed for other materials, such as sheet metal.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill and bit
  • Hammer or mallet
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill a pilot hole at the location you intend to insert the molly bolt. Most molly bolts will have a pointed end that allows you to drive it in without a pilot hole, but you can minimize the chance of accidental damage by drilling one. The hole should be a smaller than the width of the sleeve on the molly bolt.

  • Place the tip of the molly bolt into the hole and drive it in with a hammer. If the hole was drilled to the correct size, this should only require light taps, but if it was too small, you will need to apply more force. Drive it in until the collar on the sleeve is flush with the wall.

  • Tighten the molly bolt by hand using a screwdriver. Do not use a drill with a screwdriver bit or other high torque devices as these will over-tighten the molly bolt. Tighten until the anchor feels snug and the bolt resists hand-tightening.

  • Loosen the bolt just enough to accommodate the item you will be hanging on it. Usually this will be no more than one or two full turns.

  • Hang the object onto the molly bolt. Many picture frames and mirror will have wire or hook you can attach to the molly bolt.

Tips & Warnings

  • Molly bolts are rated by weight. Make sure you choose the correct molly bolt for your application. If you are using a lot of molly bolts on a regular basis, consider getting a molly driver. This tool allows you to drive and set a molly bolt without changing tools.

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