What is a Drive Pin Anchor? A better understanding helps you make informed installation decisions

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At a very high-level, a Drive Pin Anchor is like a nail or a screw used to fasten or anchor concrete, masonry or other building, engineering and construction components to each other. Installation occurs in a pre-dilled hole in any target surface, using a strike action (typically a power rotary hammer or percussion drill using a drive pin anchor tool), which drives the pin into the body of the anchor. That action expands the anchor, forming a tight fit which allows anchoring of loads to the target surface.

Drive Pin Tool


Anchoring is the process of attaching fixtures to a target surface, such as a wall, floor, ceiling or beams. The type of anchor you choose will depend on various factors, including the application, the types of materials involved (concrete, wood etc.), the positioning of the anchor (walls, ceilings, floors) and the equipment/components to be anchored. 

Here are some generic characteristics to help you better understand how anchors work, and their typical application:

  • Some anchors are re-usable, which makes them removable and re-installable. Others are permanent anchors not designed for removal without damaging the anchor or the surface where they’ve been installed
  • There are anchors that come with machine screw threads. Others are meant for use with various types of screws, including lag screws, sheet metal screws or wood screws. In these instances, installers supply the screw of choice
  • Some are self-drilling anchors. Others, as with Drive Pin Anchors, require pre-drilled holes prior to installation
  • Most anchors, such as the Drive Pin Anchor, require a special tool – called the Drive Pin Tool, to “set” the anchor
  • Some anchors require pre-drilled holes equal to the length of the anchor. Depending on the application, such as for toggle bolts, other anchors might require extra depth holes. In this instance (toggle bolts), the hole drilled is larger than the screw size

The Drive Pin Anchor typically comprises of a 2-piece, pre-assembled construction design. The top portion (A) is the nail or pin, usually manufactured in stainless steel, high-grade carbon steel or other similar material. The lower part (B), which forms the anchor, is usually manufactured from a corrosion resistant alloy such as zamac.

The anchor is available in various sizes and shapes. They vary from light-duty and medium-duty varieties, to those designed for heavy-duty use. You’ll find them in self-drilling design, as well as those that require pre-dilled receiving holes in the surface where they’re installed. In some instances, the anchor comprises of just the body (B) – where you’ll need to provide the appropriate nail or pin. Others, such as the Drive Pin Anchor illustrated in the graphic above, come as a pre-assembled 2-piece unit.


Some anchors, such as Drive Pin (or nail-pin) anchors, require a driver tool when installing it. The Drive Pin Tool, available from SetItFast,  is a single piece tool that can quickly and conveniently be slid on and off the hammer/power tool, making anchoring operations seamless. The tool, when manually attached to a percussion drill apparatus or a power rotary hammer, helps set the anchor into the concrete or other targeted surface.

Typically, a drive pin anchor tool is a single-piece tool comprising of two distinctive segments – a shaft end with a bore (A) and a hollow sleeve (B). A hole is drilled into the target surface, and the anchor dropped into the hole. The shaft (A) of the tool is attached to a rotary hammer or another percussion device (such as a power drill).

The sleeve of the drive end (B) of the tool is then placed on the pin (C) of the anchor. The force of the hammer is transferred from the drill, into the tool and to the anchors’ pin, driving the pin into the tool’s sleeve, which causes the anchor to set into the target surface.

Our Drive Pin Tool system is the choice of professional contractors in all trades- coast to coast. It provides a safe and efficient method for installing anchors overhead, in walls, or in floors. Our setting tools significantly reduce the risk of damage to the anchor threads during installation.


The Drive Pin Anchor is an expansion anchor designed for use in concrete or other masonry applications. It is a permanent-fasten anchor, which means the only way to remove it is either by destroying the anchor (cutting the head) or destroying the surface when it resides.

Follow these steps to install a Drive Pin Anchor:

  • Proper and consistent holes are extremely important for secure anchoring. To help you drill the hole correctly, use the depth gauge on your drill/hammer, or wrap a tape around your drill bit to demark the desired depth
  • The diameter of the hole must equal the diameter of the anchor
  • Read the manufacturer-supplied instructions carefully before you drill. Some anchor manufacturers suggest drilling a hole slightly larger or deeper than the anchor


  • DRILL*
  • Drill the hole, using a hammer drill, into the target surface. Remember to set the drill to “rotate” position when performing this operation
  • Before inserting the anchor into the hole, clean any debris, dust, dirt and residual material from the hole
  • You may use a brush or compressed air to perform the cleaning operation. However, using a vacuum cleaner (or other suction device) may deliver better results


  • Place the anchor in the hole, carefully aligning the body into the hole
  • Install the Drive Pin Tool on the hammer/drill, and place the sleeve end over the head of the pin on the anchor
  • The strike motion will drive the anchor into the pre-drilled hole, while the pin will cause the anchor to expand and fit snugly into the target surface


The above steps are generic in nature, meant as general guidelines for setting Drive Pin Anchors. Actual steps may vary, depending on the application, the surface and the type of anchoring required.