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Drawing Boards vs Drafting Tables

Drawing Boards vs Drafting Tables

If you look at a Venn diagram representing drawing boards and drafting tables, you’ll see that the two tools have a lot in common, but that there are some key differences separating them, too. Both tools are ultimately useful for engineers, architects, and anybody else who regularly needs to draft on large surfaces — but if you want to ensure you choose the right one for your needs, you need to understand how they differ from each other. Read on to learn what makes drafting tables and drawing boards similar, but not the same.

infographics Drawing Boards vs Drafting Tables

What Is a Drawing Board?

A drawing board is a starting point for many artists and architects — and for many, they never feel a need to replace it! This basic tool is exactly what it sounds like. It is a large board with a flat surface that paper can easily be spread across and drawn upon. This tool is most popular amongst students, artists, and architects who seek the versatility of a simple board that can easily be moved and manipulated.

What Is a Drafting Table?

A drafting table serves the same purpose as a drawing board: it provides a flat, large surface for you to draw upon easily. Drafting tables, though, feature a fully integrated and adjustable drafting head that the user can set to any position and angle. This allows for more precise manipulation that is suited to engineers and designers who are drafting highly complex drawings.

Differences Between Drawing Board and Drafting Table

Drawing Boards vs Drafting Tables

The terms drawing board and drafting table are often used interchangeably, but the two tools actually feature several variations, including the following:
  • Drafting table surfaces can be tilted at a specific angle
  • Drawing boards are freestanding with no attached desk
Though these differences are typically true of drawing boards and drafting tables, you will find some tools that do not adhere to these rules — still, a drafting table and a drawing board are different tools that are ideal for different purposes.

Uses for a Drawing Board

So what are the ideal uses for a drawing board? Because more drawing boards are portable and unattached to a larger structure, they are perfect for the following uses:
  • On-the-go drawing
  • Take to art classes
  • Live figure drawing
These are just a few of the applications that you can use a drawing board for. Some drawing boards do come with an attachment which allows for manual manipulation but less portability. These drawing boards are better suited to uses that require greater precision.

Uses for a Drafting Table

If precision is your objective, though, you’re better off shopping for drafting tables. Why? A drafting table is designed to be tilted to an exact angle, thus allowing the user to achieve impeccable precision in their drawing. Some of the uses for a drafting table include:
  • Reading blueprints
  • Drawing blueprints
  • Writing technical guides
If your work requires exactitude, a drafting table is the best investment. Enjoy precision and comfort with a table you can easily sit and draw at.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I choose a drawing board or a drafting table?

Drawing Boards vs Drafting Tables

Drawing boards and drafting tables are both great for anybody who needs a large, flat surface to draw on. Which one you should choose depends on the investment you’re willing to make and the level of precision that your work requires.

Are drawing boards and drafting tables the same thing?

No, drafting tables and drawing boards are not the same thing. Though the phrases are often used interchangeably, these words refer to different pieces of equipment!

Why do I need a drawing table or drafting board?

Both a drawing board and a drafting table can make it easier to work on large scale projects effectively. Because both can also be tilted, they are better than a flat tabletop or other flat surface.

Are drafting tables ergonomically beneficial?

Yes! Yet another benefit of a drafting table is the fact that it is ergonomically designed to alleviate pressure on the user’s body. Adjustable drafting tables are ideal for individuals who want to use a drafting table while maintaining posture and working comfortably.

What size drawing board or drafting table do I need?

There are many different types, shapes, and sizes available when it comes to both drafting tables and drawing boards. You should measure the size of the paper you most commonly use and find a tool that will easily accommodate a workspace of that size.

Equipment for Engineers and Artists

Whether you’re an engineer, artist, or architect, there are few investments better than a drawing board or drafting table. To find the right one, consider the size you require as well as the level of precision you need. Engineer Supply has a wide selection of drawing board and drafting table options that are perfect for professionals. Call (800) 591-8907 or browse online to find the tool that’s best for you.
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