screw anchors vs wedge anchors

Concrete Screws vs. Wedge Anchors: What's the Difference?

Concrete screws and wedge anchors are great choices for securing heavy loads or structures to concrete and masonry. Both serve the same fundamental purposes of anchoring objects, with many different sizes and varieties available. However, they differ slightly in their capabilities that builders need to consider before choosing the right anchor for their job.

Read on to learn more about concrete screws and wedge anchors, their advantages and differences, and how to use these durable fasteners in your application.

simpson strong tie titen screw anchor for concrete

What are Concrete Screws?

Concrete screws are large diameter screw anchors designed to quickly and easily fasten to concrete and masonry. These anchors feature a threaded, self-tapping design that screws directly into pre-drilled holes at a much faster rate, without the need for nuts, bolts, or any additional expansion mechanisms.

Also known as masonry screws, these heavy-duty fasteners can withstand high load capacities and are used for both permanent and temporary applications, including:

  • Installing shelves, brackets, and pallet racks
  • Securing electrical boxes and conduit
  • Mounting light fixtures and signage
  • Attaching handrails and grab bars

Advantages of Screw Anchors

  1. Easy Installation: Concrete screws are relatively easy to install, requiring only a pre-drilled hole and a compatible power tool, such as a drill driver or impact wrench.

  2. Removable: Unlike some other types of anchors, screw anchors can be easily removed, making them ideal for temporary installations or projects requiring adjustments.

  3. Versatile: Concrete screws are available in various sizes and materials, making them suitable for a wide range of applications, from light-duty fixtures to heavy machinery.

wedge anchors sitting on ledge

What are Wedge Anchors?

Wedge anchors, also known as stud anchors and expansion anchors, consist of a threaded stud with a cone-shaped end and a sleeve that expands when tightened. Using the right concrete drill bit, the wedge anchor is inserted into the pre-drilled hole, and as the nut is tightened, the wedge-shaped portion is forced against the walls of the hole, creating a secure connection

These concrete bolts offer high-strength, permanent applications for many heavy-duty jobs like:

  • Anchoring structural steel beams and columns
  • Securing heavy machinery and equipment
  • Installing handrails and guardrails in high-traffic areas
  • Mounting concrete panels and facades

Advantages of Wedge Anchors

  1. High Load Capacity: Wedge anchors offer excellent load-bearing capacity, making them suitable for heavy-duty applications where strong anchoring is required.

  2. Permanent Installation: Once properly installed, wedge anchors provide a permanent and reliable connection, resistant to vibration and movement.

  3. Suitability for Structural Applications: Due to their robust design and high pull-out strength, wedge anchors are commonly used in structural applications where stability is paramount.

wedge anchor install in concrete application

Choosing the Right Anchor for Your Application

When deciding between concrete screws and wedge anchors, builders need to consider the specific requirements of their projects. This includes types of installation, indoors vs. outdoors, permanent vs. temporary applications, etc.

Both concrete anchors work for heavy-duty and lighter-duty applications where strength and stability are paramount. However, for instances where fasteners may need to be removed, concrete screws are the preferred choice. Both their versatility and ease of installation makes them great for these instances. However, for projects where permanence is needed, such as structural or heavy machinery installations, wedge anchors will be the preferred option.

By understanding the differences between these two types of anchors and evaluating the requirements of your project, you can make an informed decision to ensure a secure and reliable anchoring solution.


Concrete Anchors from Fasteners Plus

Screw anchors and wedge anchors have their unique advantages and applications. Both anchor types come in zinc, galvanized and stainless steel options for enhanced corrosion resistance, as well as a range of diameter sizes for increased strength.

While these are two popular options, Fasteners Plus offers many different concrete anchors that are designed for specific installation purposes. Anchoring requirements can vary in different regions, which means having the correct anchors for your job is imperative. 

We also carry Bolt Holders from AnchorMate® that hold anchors in place before concrete pours, as well as essential anchor bolt locators and stabilizers to ensure a smooth and easy installation process both before and during the concrete pour. If you still have questions on which anchor to choose from, talk with our product experts at the contact information listed below to get the right anchors for your job.


Find it Fast. Get it Fast. 

Fasteners Plus carries a variety of screws, connectors, anchors, nails, power tools, and more! Place your orders at and our dedicated team will get quality products sent to you. If you have any questions about fastener options, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Product Experts at (888) 794-1590 or by email at

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