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Everything You Need to Know About Sawtooth Hangers

  • by Arthur Harrison
  • 5 min read

For all products mentioned in this article please find links to each below

Picture this.

You just moved into a new house and have a ton of frames to hang.

It’s stressful thinking about how you haven’t made a dent yet while you still have other things to unpack. But luckily, there’s an easy solution to your problem — sawtooth hangers.

With years of experience working with picture hangers of all shapes and sizes, we'd be happy to share everything you should know about the humble sawtooth. Let's get right to it!

Sawtooth Hangers at a Glance

Sawtooth hangers are a type of picture hanging hardware that have jagged metal teeth that look like the edges of a saw. These serrations make it easy to hang frames from nails or screws on a wall.

Lots of people use sawtooth picture hangers, and it’s easy to see why. You just put them on the backs of your frames — serrated teeth facing down — and then screw or hammer them into place. It’s a quick and easy process.

When Should You Use Sawtooth Hangers?

Typically, sawtooth hangers are best for small and lighter frames. Think wood frames and pictures or artwork that weigh 20 pounds or less.

If you need to hang several pictures in a short amount of time, then you won't go wrong with these picture hangers. They’ll help your light frames hang on walls.

Sawtooths are also sold in bulk for a good price.

But that’s not all. Some sawtooth picture hangers can support other types of frames and even heavier items. Our mega sawtooth hanger, for example, can hold pictures that are as heavy as 250 pounds.

The 411 on the Different Kinds of Sawtooth Hangers

There are various types of sawtooth hangers. You’ll find small, large, and even larger than large sawtooths at our shop. We offer these picture hanging hardware in different finishes like nickel, zinc, and oxide, too.

You can also choose from several fastener types, like:


This type of sawtooth hanger has two holes on the ends for screws or nails. It’s more secure than the nailess sawtooth hanger, but it does take a little longer to install.

You need to pre-drill pilot holes into your frame if you use sawtooth hangers with screws. These holes will stop the screws from breaking off and keep the wooden frame from splitting. 

Nail Prongs

Nailess sawtooth hangers have a two-prong design that takes out the need for additional hardware like screws and nails. You just have to hammer this picture hanger into position on the back of your frame — and that’s it.

Usually, you don’t need to drill pilot holes for nailess sawtooths but hardwoods like ash and oak are exceptions.

Snap-In for Metal Frames

Need to hang a metal frame or two? Snap-in sawtooth hangers will make the process a breeze.

All you need to do is snap this picture hanging hardware directly into a metal frame. It’s strong enough to display the frame on your wall without any other hardware. No frills, no fuss.

If it’s correctly embedded into the frame channel, you don’t need to worry about the snap-in sawtooth falling out.

No matter which kind of sawtooth hanger you go for, you’ll have an easy time installing multiple ones on your frames.

Which Version Should You Go For?

If you pick your sawtooth hangers correctly, they’ll keep your precious artwork in place.

Our shop has several varieties available, so there’s no doubt that the perfect ones for your project are waiting for you. But how do you determine the right hanger?

Keep these factors in mind to narrow down your selection:

  • Size: Fits on the frame or item that will be hung
  • Weight: Holds the weight of the item you are hanging
  • Fastener type: Screws, snap-ins, or nail prongs

How Strong Is Each Sawtooth Hanger?

Don’t try to defy gravity by hanging a heavier frame with a sawtooth that’s meant to hold items up to 10 pounds. Only bad things will happen.

Your frame will drop, the glass will shatter, and your artwork may be ruined (the horror).

So when it comes to picking the right sawtooth hanger, you must take into account the weight of your frame.

Grab your bathroom scale to weight the item, and then once you have a number, use this table to figure out the most suitable sawtooth picture hanger: 

How to Attach Sawtooth Hangers on Your First Try

You don’t have to be an expert to install a sawtooth hanger.

If you follow these simple instructions, you’ll be able to attach your sawtooths to the backs of your frames in no time:

Sawtooth with Screws

  1. Place your frame face down on a soft surface.
  2. Position your sawtooth hanger. It should be centered left to right on the frame's top rail, a little bit below the top edge. Face the serrated edge pointing down.
  3. If you're using a hardwood frame, mark and drill pilot holes for the sawtooth hanger. Then, screw it to the back of the frame.
  4. Hang the frame on the nail in the wall. Make sure that it's wedged on the sawtooth. (The nail should be a headed nail instead of a brad since it can hold the frame better.)
  5. Step back and enjoy your work!

🔨 Important: If you’re installing a particularly heavy frame, use two mega sawtooth hangers. Space them equally on the top rail and check if they're level with each other. A cleat also is a more secure method to hang a heavy and wide item.

Sawtooth with Nail Prongs

  1. Lay the frame you want to hang face down on a soft surface.
  2. Install the sawtooth hanger centered left to right on the top rail. This is a little bit down from the frame's upper edge.
  3. Let the hanger's serrated teeth face down.
  4. Get a small hammer to tap the no-nail sawtooth hanger in place. You'll need to drill little pilot holes for the hanger's legs if your frame is made of extra hard wood like ash or oak.
  5. To know if you properly installed your nailess sawtooth, check if its shoulders are resting on the frame rail's surface. There should be around a 1/8 inch gap between that surface and the back of the hanger.
  6. Hang the frame in your chosen spot. Position it on the nail in the wall so that it's firmly lodged on the sawtooth. It's best to use a headed nail over a brad since it does a nicer job of gripping the frame.
  7. Ta-da, you’re done!

🔨 Important: Whether you install sawtooth hangers with screws or ones with nail prongs, don't forget about the frame's glass (if it has any). It may break if you aren't careful.

Sawtooth hangers are popular because of how convenient it is to install them. They come in handy when you’re strapped for time and have several frames to display.

Just make sure you measure your frames and double-check the sawtooths’ weight capacities before you proceed.

If you have other frames or pictures you want to hang, check out the rest of our offerings. We’ve got everything from art hangers and wall hooks to cleats and more!

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