How to make pegboard hooks stay put

How to make pegboard hooks stay put

May 26, 2020
Pegboards are a storage essential. They make tool organization a breeze and make it possible to grab the right tool in a matter of seconds.

But it's not all sunshine and roses...
The '#$@#!' thing about pegboard is pegboard hooks falling off whenever grabbing a tool.


If I had a dollar for every hook that fell out of my board, I'd never have to work again. (and DIY-ing even more.)

Fortunately, there are a few ways to fix this problem.

Why do pegboard hooks fall out of the board?

First, it's essential to understand why hooks fall out like they do.

Commercial pegboard usually has 1 inch spacing between holes. There are, however, two kinds of pegboards when it comes to hole diameter - namely “small hole” and “large hole” pegboard.

  1. “Large hole” pegboard usually is ¼ in. thick hardboard with holes with a diameter of ¼ in. that can receive both 1/8" in. and ¼" hooks. This board is ideally used in garages, workshops, and other heavy use areas since the thickness of the board can guarantee more loading capacity.

  2. “Small hole” pegboard, on the other hand, is usually 3/16" (or thinner) hardboard with holes that are 1/8" or 3/16" in diameter. These holes can only receive small 1/8" pegs.
Because of its limited thickness, the board is better suited for hanging lightweight tools. If you do have heavier tools, it is a thicker board that is recommended for longevity as well.

Note that I'm talking about classic MDF board. There are boards out there that are much thinner, but made out of galvanised steel or hard plastic. Those thinner boards can usually hang quite some weight as well.

Now that we understand this, let's see what we can do to make those pegboard hooks stay put.

1. Get the right pegboard hooks for your pegboard

Most hooks out there are 1/8" (not at MADD TOOLS), so using these hooks on board with 1/4" holes is like  running a marathon with size 13 running shoes when you have size 9 feet. As your Nikes would fall off, so would your pegboard hook.
To make matters worse - peg holes of MDF board can be enlarged over time which gives the hook even more 'wiggle room'.
This happens as the edges of the hook broaden the hole. (Compare this to running a few marathons with those same oversized Nikes, and seeing the shoe get wider over time)
Conclusion: It is essential that you use pegboard hooks and pegboard accessories with the correct size.
Snug fit: 1/4" hooks in 1/4" holes.
What's also important to note is that some pegboard hooks have a double-peg attachment, while other hooks only have the upper peg to keep the hook secure.

It goes without saying that the hooks that have the lower peg are way more secure in the board than the single-peg counterpart.

The perfect hook has at least a 0.21" diameter and a lower peg. Such hooks can be found at MADD TOOLS. You’ll get hooked on Madd tools’ pegboard hooks and accessories because they're up to three times thicker than other hooks, so they'll never fall out off your board!

2. Secure thin pegboard hooks

If you're already stuck with thin pegboard hooks - and you have board with big holes, you'll need something to secure them with. There's some quick DIY methods to go about that.

Metal wire method

The method is ideal for when the board is fixed to the wall and you're not able to reach the backside. Things you'll need:
1. Thin metal wire
2. Needle nose pliers
3. Wire cutters

These steps can be tricky so take your time and don’t give up on the first try.

Step 1

The metal wire is thin enough to be bent by hand but before that, cut about 10 to 12 inches or longer, depending on how much you really need. Then, bend the wire in a half forming loop at the bend that can be wide enough for the pegboard hook to slip in.

From the loop you just created, make a fishhook shape that is almost equal in width as the two adjacent holes on the pegboard. Then, bend the tail of the hook in an arc facing away from the loop you made previously for a smoother transition in steps.

Step 2

Thread the wire for the hooks to be in place. Begin with the hole directly below the hole where the top of the hook is placed and thread the loop and hook-shaped wire into the hole with the loop going upwards toward the hole above it.

Step 3

When the wire is threaded through both holes, secure the hook by placing the top of the hook through the wire’s loop. Then, pull the wire back through the top hole while keeping the top hook through the wire. The wire shouldn’t be visible but it should be wrapped around the top of the hook.

Step 4

Secure the hook by using the tail end of the wire and wrap one piece over the top of the hook and around the other side and use the other end of the wire to wrap around the opposite side of the hook. Then you can tightly twist both ends of the wires by hand in order for it to be securely fastened.

Be careful because too much twisting can cause it to break and you don’t want to start over. Cut off the excess wire with your wire cutters but leave a quarter-inch off the twist so the wire can be secure longer without loosening up. Lastly, bend the excess wire upwards towards the pegboard.


Glue or zip tie method

If you haven’t fastened your pegboard to your wall yet, plan ahead and gather these items and follow these steps to prevent your pegboard hooks from falling.

Things you’ll need:
1. Zip ties
2. Hot glue

These steps are pretty straightforward and simple.

1. You can use small zip ties to secure the hooks by inserting it in the two holes adjacent to either side of the hook. Fasten it tightly and you’re good to go.

2. You can dab a little bit of hot glue on the lower leg before inserting the peg into the hole which keeps the hook in place. It might loosen up over time after light tugging. You won’t have to take a second glance whenever you grab your tools from the hooks. 

That's it! Let's recap. You have 3 options:

    1. Get the perfect hooks with double peg attachment and appropriate thickness for your board.
    2. Use metal wire to secure thin hooks
    3. Use glue or a zip tie to secure the thin hooks to your board

You shouldn't have to be frustrated anymore with hooks falling out of your board. Life just got a whole lot easier!

Oh, by the way... Have you downloaded our free eBook yet? It's full of handy, space-saving pegboard tips. And it's free to download for our readers.