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How to pick drafting supplies for Architecture

How to pick drafting supplies for Architecture

How to Pick Drafting Supplies for Architecture

A skilled architect must be precise and creative, striking a balance between analytical and adventurous. Tools are an essential part of this equation. With the right tools, an architect can create, build, and innovate, drawing the blueprints for the future. Some of the most essential drafting supplies for an architect to keep in their arsenal include a high quality drawing board, templates, shape-drawing tools, and pencils and pens. If you’re wondering how and where to find the best selection of all these architecture tools, consider the following guide.

Select a Drawing Board

A drawing board is one of the most essential drafting supplies for any architect. Also sometimes called a drawing table, this tool is exactly what it sounds like: a flat surface upon which an architect can draft their plans. A drawing board’s slanted surface and stable construction makes it easy to sit and comfortably produce drafts. It is specially designed to be ergonomic so that the user may remain comfortable even for extended periods of use. Just make sure you’re using the right pens and pencils when you’re hard at work drawing.

Select a Drawing Board

Pick the Right T-Square and Ruler

T-squares are an important technical drafting tool for several reasons. They enable an architect to draw precise horizontal and vertical lines, and they are commonly used in conjunction with the aforementioned drawing board. Rules serve a similar purpose but lack the T-square’s signature stock. Some of the most common sizes for both include:

  • inches
  • inches
  • inches
  • inches
  • inches

Whether you prefer a ruler or T-square for your line-drawing needs, both are an essential addition to the architect’s tool box.

Pick the Right T-Square and Ruler

Shape-Drawing Tools

Lines aren’t the only thing an architect needs to draw. An architect also needs a drafting tool to create shapes such as circles, triangles, octagons, and more! Tools such as a flexible edge curve make it possible to do exactly this and create seamless, measured shapes to draft with. A flexible edge curve features a customizable shape so that users can mold it to whatever shape they need to draw. This is just one of many shape-drawing tools that is indispensable to an architect.

Shape-Drawing Tools


Templates are yet another drafting tool that an architect relies on daily. Templates come in nearly all shapes and sizes, with some designed specifically for architecture, and some made simply for general drawing. Any template stencil can be useful to an architect, but templates that feature stencils specifically for interior design or construction planning are essential for an architect artist. These tools make drafting simple by providing stencil outlines for some of the most commonly drawn items.


Pencils and Pens

An architect can’t draw without a pen or pencil in their hand — and just any pen or pencil won’t do. Like the rest of the drafting supplies that an architect uses, their writing utensils need to be specialized for the task at hand. In addition to specially designed pens and pencils, one writing tool that architects can take advantage of is a lead holder. A lead holder, which is also sometimes called a drafting pencil, unites a wooden pencil’s expression with a mechanical pencil’s convenience. Features such as rubber grips and oversized erasers make this tool a great investment for any architect or draftsman.

Pencils and Pens

Drafting Machine

Drafting machines are one of the best architecture tools to invest in. They take the guesswork out of architectural drafting and make it easier than ever to sync your work with a CAD program for digital enhancement. This mechanism utilizes two scales mounted in a right angle upon a protector head. This construction allows for angular rotation and free movement of the protector across the drawing board. A drafting machine that is compatible with CAD programs offers an additional layer of usability that makes it an asset to any architect.

Drafting Machine

Erasers and Eraser Shields

Even expert architects make errors, but the good news is that mistakes can be fixed with an eraser. Erasers that are specially designed for architects and draftsmen are perfect for undoing unwanted marks and mistakes. So-called drafting erasers typically come in four varieties:

  • eraser: This type of eraser is hard and rigid but very effective
  • eraser: This type of eraser can be shaped to make a point
  • eraser: This type of eraser is best for absorbing graphite
  • eraser: Made of rubber, this type of eraser is more rigid than gum but softer than vinyl

Any of these types of erasers can be used in drafting, and there’s no right or wrong option. Each architect’s choice typically depends on personal preference more than anything, so it’s okay to use trial and error as a way to find out what kind of eraser suits you best.

Erasers and Eraser Shields

Cutting Mat and Trimmer

Architects need to cut and trim paper while drafting, and if this is not done carefully, it can damage the surface underneath the architect’s knife. A cutting mat stands between a paper and the surface underneath to prevent this from happening. A trimmer gets the job done by carefully cutting paper, including small areas. Together, these drafting supplies make it easier for architects to draft creatively without damaging their other tools.

Cutting Mat and Trimmer

Materials and Storage

Last but not least, an architect needs storage for all of their architecture tools and materials. Without the correct storage system, there is no organization, and tools can be easily damaged if they are not kept carefully. This is especially true of the large documents that architects use for drafting — if not stored correctly, they will almost certainly become damaged. Some of the most popular options for large document storage include the following:

  • wall racks
  • file folders
  • trays
  • racks
  • flat files

These storage options make it easy to protect the work you’ve done and ensure that it is stored carefully. Choose the storage option that’s best suited to the type of drafting you do so that your documents are protected.

Materials and Storage

Shop Drafting Supplies

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the top tool used by architects?

How to pick drafting supplies for Architecture
Every architect has different preferences, but most would agree that the top tool for drafting and drawing is a drafting table. Without one, it can be difficult to draw for extended periods of time, which is, of course, one of the most essential functions of the job.

What kind of drafting table is best?

If a drafting table is essential, which kind is the best bet? There are many options to choose from — some feature a split level construction, while others feature a glass top. It’s best to research all the options before making a decision.

What kind of lead should an architect use?

Architects can use typical pencils and pens, but more commonly they use specialized drafting lead and a lead holder that allows for greater precision and control. An architect will typically choose a lead with a hardness and darkness that meets their preferences.

Which eraser type is best for drafting?

As is the case with desks and pencils, an architect’s choice of eraser really comes down to their own personal preference. Kneaded erasers are popular because they can be manipulated to make a point, but any eraser can work.

Should architects use a specific kind of paper?

How to pick drafting supplies for Architecture
Architects usually use specialized drafting paper that is designed to meet professional size and material requirements. Sometimes architects also use tracing paper, too.

Supplies for the Professional Architect

Finding the right supplies is easy when you have a trusted source. Engineer Supply specializes in providing architects with all the supplies they need, including drafting tables and more. Call 800-591-8907 to learn about our inventory.

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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