I didn't realize that these were intended for use with drywall (I only found out the name of these things after the fact) and just put them in where we had a stud. Now, it turns out that my holes are not level and I need to adjust one of them slightly. I am planning to fill in the hole with a wooden dowel/carpenter's glue after I get it out, but wasn't sure how to remove the anchor safely to begin with.

How can I remove this without causing damage that can't be repaired easily with the dowel/glue? Should I remove both of them and just redo it without the anchors?

Edit: picture (anchors bottom right)

enter image description here

  • 1
    Post a picture, or a link to a similar product online. There are different kinds of anchors, the removal method depends on the exact type that you have.
    – haimg
    Apr 10, 2017 at 14:05
  • "How can I remove this without causing damage" what is "this"
    – Alaska Man
    Apr 10, 2017 at 14:32
  • @haimg Added the picture of the anchors.
    – Lunyx
    Apr 10, 2017 at 14:40
  • That's a masonry plug, not a drywall plug.
    – AndyT
    Apr 10, 2017 at 16:39
  • @AndyT How do they differ and does it affect my situation differently?
    – Lunyx
    Apr 10, 2017 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


If the anchors are wedged tight in the wood, full length, you don't really need to remove both of them, you can use leave one in. Remove just one to make everything level.

To remove it, just use a wood drill bit slightly larger then the hole and drill the plastic anchor out. Do NOT drill any deeper than the anchor length.

You can now glue in a dowel, pre-drill a pilot hole and screw in a screw at a correct height. Use a longer screw, say 3 1/2" or so, so at least some of the screw is inside the undisturbed part of your stud.

Personally, I'd just leave the anchor where it is, drill a new pilot hole where it needs to be (right through the anchor body), and use a longer screw, and not bother with gluing dowels. I wouldn't trust these glued-in dowels anyway. If your new hole needs to be slightly lower, I suggest you go with this route.

Another solution would be to abandon both anchors altogether (cut their bases flush so you can cover their holes later), and drill two new holes in a slightly different location (if this is possible in your circumstances).

  • For the last solution, how much distance away from the current holes should I be to ensure that the new screws will be secure (for reference, I'm holding around 30 lb with 2 screws)? What would you use to cover the existing holes? I would have thought that the dowels, once glued to the stud, would provide almost as much support, but I suppose that's not the case?
    – Lunyx
    Apr 10, 2017 at 15:33
  • Frankly, 15lb shear load is a very light load. If you pre-drill a new hole, couple of screw diameters away from the existing hole will be fine. You can glue in a dowel, if that gives you more peace of mind, but with that kind of load, it doesn't matter.
    – haimg
    Apr 10, 2017 at 15:55
  • Do you have any picture examples of what you were referring to by the wood drill bit? There seems to be many types.
    – Lunyx
    Apr 13, 2017 at 17:17
  • Any wood drill bit would do. Twist drill bit is preferable, but a spade one will do, too. Plastic is softer than wood, so any wood drill bit will be OK. If you don't own one, I suggest buying a set of drill bits, it's cheaper than buying them one by one, and even a cheapest set at home improvement centre is going to serve you well for occasional home improvement work. I have in mind something like this: homedepot.com/p/BLACK-DECKER-Quick-Connect-Set-30-Piece-71-973/… : a set that has small diameter twist drill bits, and large diameter spade bits.
    – haimg
    Apr 13, 2017 at 17:35

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