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I've used these anchors in the past...I really like them for heavy duty mounting in drywall (for things such as vertical standards for shelves). However, these make pretty big holes in the drywall. Eventually if you take them down, put up new ones in different spots, they will essentially add many little holes to the drywall. You can patch it up, but the patched up spots won't have the same holding power.

What are my alternatives, if any?

alt text

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

An alternative to using a large wall anchor for heavy duty mounting is to always find a wall stud for whatever item you are hanging on the wall. Then you can use a smaller gauge screw (or nail) without any type of anchor required. This will leave a smaller hole in the drywall and give you all the strength you need, but limit you to the places where you can position the item.

I am not sure what the weight of the item is that you are looking to hang on the wall but another alternative could be to just use drywall screws without any wall anchor. In my house I do this a lot with light pictures, etc. A drywall screw positioned at a slight downward angle has a good amount of holding power especially if it is something that is not going to get a lot of use but just sit there (I do not recommend just a drywall screw for something like a coat hook).

And then you can always use picture hangers like this that would only make a small nail hole: alt text

Or even those sticky Picture Hanging Strips like this:
alt text

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There is a large variety of 3M Command products. – Dennis Williamson Aug 31 '10 at 21:22
+1 for suggesting using studs. I think that's the way to go. Even if you take the screw out, you probably can still mount something in the same hole because you've tapped the stud somewhat so it still holds. – milesmeow Sep 1 '10 at 11:02

I suggest you try some OOK Hangers. They are easy to install, don't make large holes, and hold a surprising amount of weight.

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I've used the 'shield' hangers before, and I'd use 'em again for any pictures / clocks / mirrors ... anything that needs a hook to hang on. I'd still use a wall anchor for shelves and the like, though, especially where you don't know what someone might put on there, so can't estimate the capacity needed in advance. – Joe Aug 31 '10 at 13:34
I've loved the OOK hangers for years for pictures, etc. They work great, and leave small holes. The only complaint I have with them is that the hangers themselves are a little big, so they occasionally can get in the way of the thing I'm hanging. – Michael Kohne Aug 31 '10 at 13:59

I don't have any first-hand experience with these, but they've always looked interesting to me.

Monkey hooks/Gorilla hooks "As seen on TV"

Monkey Hooks

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This page tests a variety of drywall anchors, including the above. The wire hook they tested held the least weight of all options. – Phrogz May 7 '11 at 13:20

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