The anchor pictured was holding a hose reel, which has been removed. When I twist the part sticking out it just spins infinitely in either direction. I think it is something like a toggle or a molly anchor. How can anchors of this type be removed with as little damage as possible to the wall?

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3 Answers 3


These don't come out easily, sometimes they can be pushed back into the wall and dissappear, this is often the case if the person installing it was thinking ahead and drilled the hole deeper than needed as an end-of-life plan.

Else you need to drive the shaft back in a bit to release the wedge and then pull on the sleeve part, locking pliers are useful here.

If it won't budge the easiest fix is to chop it off using an angle-grinder with a cut-off wheel and then drive it back into the hole a bit and plaster over it.

  • Thank you - I ended up just buying another hose reel of the same type/size and reusing the anchors. Didn't want to deal with these anchors!
    – Luke
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 21:43

These are wedge anchors and they're almost impossible to get out withoutY damaging the wall. Your best bet is to use a cutoff tool like a Dremel tool with a cutoff wheel. After removing the bolt portion you can grind away at the sleeve to recess it a bit more and then dab some white caulk around the hole to seal and cover it up. Good luck

  • Masking tape on the surface around your wall anchors will keep burning metal from your angle grinder from staining the surrounding area. Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 0:49
  • Thanks, if this is the case, I think I'm just going to buy another hose reel of the same size/type. The old one was in bad shape so it looked terrible.
    – Luke
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 1:57
  • @Luke Using brute force , you could screw a nut on the anchor and then grab the anchor with a crowbar. Slide a piece of wood between the wall and crowbar, to protect the wall, and pull. you might just pull the anchor out. this could damage the wall which is hy I didn't include it in my answer.
    – JACK
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 2:55
  • Typically the holes are drilled deeper than needed, after the bolt is cut off, the remaning sleeve and bolt can most likely be driven in to make a wall repair easier, unless you wanted to reuse the hole. This would not be possible in any case. Reusing the bolt as you (Luke) mentioned would be the best solution.
    – Jack
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 3:06
  • 1
    Using a crowbar can get you a hile about 5” in diameter to fill...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 8:43

I removed four of these successfully by doing the following:

  1. Using two hammers, pulling out the threaded bolt and attaching the claw of one hammer to it.
  2. Then using the other hammer, to hit the head of the hammer attached to the bolt. I did this in all four directions and used it to loosen the sleeve. Hitting in several different directions crushed the internal brick and increased the diameter of the hole.
  3. In some cases, this was enough to pull the bolt and sleeve out together. But in some cases I had to push the bolt back and use plyers around the sleeve to wriggle it out.

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