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What Drafting Supplies and Tools Do You Need To Start?

Blog Drafting tools Hand-drafting plans is a long-held tradition among architects and those who work with them, persisting even after other industries have moved to a completely digital system. While there are a lot of uses for electronic plans and almost every project eventually uses them, there is an art to drafting just as there is to any other form of visual communication, and it is well worth picking up the practice. Like writers who swear that a first draft by hand helps them think, many people who draft today do so because they think it helps with the deliberative part of their process. Like any art, you can start quickly and with minimal supplies, but you will need the right tools to rise to a professional level.

Drafting Supplies for Beginners

blog drafting toolsTo start with, you need most of the same supplies you would use for other graphite drawing activities.
  • Drafting-weight paper
  • A ruler, compass, and protractor to serve as basic drafting tools
  • Pencils
  • Artist-quality erasers
  • A drafting table that can secure the project and support it while you work
Some practitioners prefer mechanical pencils because they do not blunt as they are used, but others swear by classic wood and graphite tools, so try both out for yourself. A table can be bought to purpose, or you can use a T-squareand any desk surface as a makeshift starter table. Some beginners also find it easier to learn on gridded paper. Of course, these basic drafting supplies are just for starting practice. To start work, you’ll need professional tools.

Drafting Tools for the Pros

Part of the process of learning professional drafting is slowly moving from the basic techniques that don’t require special tools into the processes that depend on them for accuracy, speed, and clarity of design. Among those are:
  • Protractors and angle measures in various sizes
  • Regular rulers, T-squares, yardsticks, and other linear measurement tools
  • Ruling pens
  • Proportional dividers, including multi-point dividers
  • Compasses, including a beam compass
  • Folding parallel rulers
  • Glider-style and rolling rulers
  • Pantographs and their accessories and related tools
  • Drafting tape
  • Blueprinting supplies
Blog Drafting tools Browse our Drafting Equipment Page to see our broad selection of tools You might also want to get some non-essential supplies like electric erasers instead of standard ones, for quality-of-life and efficiency improvements in your work process. There are always little extras you can find to support the idiosyncrasies of your style if you hunt around. If you’re looking for a quick way to get started with real tools, consider one of the drafting supply kits on site at EngineerSupply.
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