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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.

Best Drafting Tables

Studio Design Vision


The Studio Design Vision is a two-piece table. The desk boasts a glass top made of tempered blue safety glass, allowing you an easy and safe experience no matter how much pressure you apply while making your lines. The frame of the table is made from powder coated steel of a heavy guage, meaning the desk is durable and sturdy. The table also features a number of removable trays for any supplies you might need to have handy while working on a piece.

Safco 3965MO


A flat table is far from preferable when it comes to drawing or drafting. In fact, professionals know that the best kind of desk is one that has a tilted surface. The Safco 3965MO is an adjustable station that allows you full control over the angle at which the top sits. This makes it much easier to tackle complicated drawings where you need to make lines that would otherwise be putting your body through difficult positions. Give your muscles a break with a split-level desk that boasts a strong frame and design.

Studio Designs Avanta


The Avanta is another excellent option produced by Studios Designs. The contemporary drafting desk boasts a sleek look that doesn’t sacrifice function for style. The glass top of the desk is both strong and adjustable, allowing you the comfort of changing the angle to suit whatever project you’re currently taking on. The desk also features convenient storage, meaning you won’t need to constantly get up and down to grab the supplies you require.

Studio Designs Triflex


Some features can be invaluable when it comes to drafting. The Triflex by Studio Designs boasts a design that allows you a perfect way to maximize comfort and productivity. The simple table can be adjusted up to 22 degrees in a standing position, providing you with a full range of movement. A versatile and innovative option for those in the field of drawing.

Studio Designs Ponderosa


Anyone interested in adding a unique piece to their homes or offices should consider the Ponderosa. Another classic design by Studio Designs, this drafting option has a classic look that can easily blend in with modern settings. The wood frame gives the desk a one-of-a-kind feel without cutting back on durability or usefulness. The table can be adjusted easily into 8 different positions, providing you with a number of angles to use to your advantage.

Studio Designs Vintage


Some environments invoke a classic feel, meaning the furniture placed within the room should match the style. If you want to create an air of sophistication with your drawing table, then consider the Studio Designs Vintage. Not only will this beautiful desk look fantastic in your home or office, it also offers ample workspace and a durable frame constructed of both wood and metal.

Studio Designs Fusion


Stability is important for those who spend long hours drawing. Should your desk wobble while making a vital mark on blueprints, for example, it could lead to some major disasters on an engineering front. Thankfully, you won’t need to worry about this with the Fusion by Studio Designs. This model offers floor levelers that increases stability and ensures you will not be making simple mistakes due to a faulty piece of furniture.

Studio Designs Graphix II


The Graphix II Pro Line by Studio Designs is another desk that is designed to meet the unique needs of engineers, architects, and artists. The desk offers visual appeal, with a wide surface that can be adjusted to whatever angle the user requires. Additionally, the frame is made from heavy-gauge steel, which means the desk will be able to endure whatever you throw at it. In addition to having control over the angle of the surface, you can also adjust the height to meet your preferences.

Mayline Futur-Matic


Sometimes, the best option is the one that is the most simple. When you opt for the Futur-Matic by Mayline, you’re getting a quality piece of furniture that is made to make your life easier. The design of the table is both durable and adjustable, meaning you will have no trouble changing the height and slant of the desk without difficulty. From design to function, the Futur-Matic provides a straightforward and effective way of getting down to business without pause.

Safco Precision

a-full-of-drafting-table-desks-for-drawing-Safco Precision-72-3962GR 3953

A desk needs to do more than simple look good in your space. It should also aid in increasing your productivity. The Safco Precision is such an option, allowing you to take advantage of a piece with a traditional style and modern features. Stay organized and motivated with a design that helps you with everything from storage to durability. The table can also be adjusted to meet your requirements, providing you with plenty of positions to work with.

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