how to keep pegboard hooks from falling out - A definite guide | Madd Tools

how to keep pegboard hooks from falling out - A definite guide

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.

There are a few other causes as well that can't be solved with bigger hooks.

    1. Especially MDF board is prone to daily wear and tear. If you move your hooks around in the board quite often, you'll see that the holes will become wider as the edges will expand.

      At that point, the best thing to do is replace the pegboard with a new one.Expanded hole through wear and tear
    2. We previously talked about the different thickness a pegboard can have. Generally speaking, a thick pegboard will have more 'hole depth'.

      It'll create more guidance for the metal. This will result in less 'wiggle' and a smaller chance of the hook unexpectedly coming out of the board.

      Just take a look at this video. (The board in this video actually has some extrusions to minimise the 'falling out' but it still doesn't fully address the issue at hand.)

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

How to keep pegboard hooks from falling out

1. Buy the right pegboard hooks that stay put

Size matters - purchase thick 'stay-put pegboard hooks'

As years went by - not everything has changed for the best. 

  • Telemarketers got more aggressive
  • Pringles chips got a smaller radius
  • Soda got watered down
  • Pegboard hooks got thinner & thinner


Most pegboard hooks found on Amazon are thin metal wire disguised as hooks. These manufacturers decided to add 'plastic peg locks' to their hook sets that would prevent the hooks from falling out. 

Had they just made the hook thicker to begin with - no peg lock would've been needed.

So why do manufacturers keep making the hooks small? Because thin hooks consist of 70% less metal and are light (read: cheap) to ship.

At Madd Tools - we do things differently. No peg locks or awkward screw or locking hook systems.

Just thick, heavy duty stay-put pegboard hooks that will fit your board more snugly than the thin counterparts.

Real old fashioned heavy duty stuff that holds up the heaviest equipment.

To make matters worse - as explained before - 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. 
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 0.22" diameter and a lower peg. Try 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.

1. It is essential that you use pegboard hooks and pegboard accessories with the correct size to guarantee a snug fit. 1/4" holed pegboard requires pegboard hooks with a 0.22"-0.23" wire diameter.

2. Always opt for pegboard hooks that have a double peg attachment as they'll stabilise the hook on the 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 for optimal security for peg hooks. There's some quick DIY methods to go about that.

Option #1 - 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.

For more detailed instructions, check out this genius article with images on by cdsgraphic.


Option #2 - 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. 

Youtuber Screwed & Glued gives a demonstration below.


Option #3 - Use plastic peg locks

Some thin pegboard hooks come with little plastic retainers. They often confuse customers as it's not 100% clear how to use them. This Youtuber has found a way to use the peg locks so they secure the pegboard hook to the board very extra well. (Credits to Mitzi Robinson)


That's it! Let's recap. To ensure hooks won't fall out of your board, you have 4 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

    4. Use plastic peg locks

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.


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