When a student chooses the architect engineering as his/her career, the best architectural drafting board is the basic tool with which he/she learns how to draw those projection angles in a particular quadrant and other basics of engineering drawing.
Not only it helps in giving a nice finish to the drawing, but it also helps in maintaining the right body posture. Although the usage of the drafting board reduces with the advent of CAD tools, it still plays a vital role in the world of architects and engineers.
However, with the availability of countless numbers of drafting boards from different brands, it becomes difficult to pick the right option. So, to help you make the right decision, here I am going to give a list of top 10 drafting boards and tell you everything you need to know about drafting boards.
What Is an Architectural Drafting Board & How to Use It?
No one can better understand the importance of the best architectural drafting board than an architect, professional comic artist, or an engineering student who have to deal with different types of technical drawings during their work.
An architectural drafting board is a specially designed hardboard that is designed for drawing technical drawings on large sheets of paper. Engineers and architects primarily use these kinds of boards to draw precise technical diagrams like blueprints and other graphical illustrations. It can help in the proper evaluation of the drawing when viewed from a correct angle.
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But how to use them? Well, there are certain ways of using an architectural drafting board. I am listing them down here for your guidance.
- The manufacturer knows it the best: Of course, they do. Once you get your board, pull out the instruction manual, and check all the associated parts of your drafting board. The manual will adequately guide you in board setup and parts fitting.
- Adjustment of leg height: Some drafting boards have turning knobs located at the base. To perform the adjustment, unscrew the knobs until they are loose enough. Now, you can set up the board as per your height requirements. Once done, screw back the knobs tightly.
- Adjustment of drawing height: This process is almost the same as the step stated above. Unscrew the knobs until loosened. Pull up the board to reach a comfortable height for projecting the main portion. Screw back the knobs and lock them correctly.
- Angle adjustment: You can find knobs for this purpose on the top of either the back legs or front legs. Unscrew the knobs to loosen up, and then adjust the board's angle. Retighten the knobs after fixing the angle.
- Fix your paper: You can use magnets, drafting dots, or tapes to secure your drawing paper so that it stays fixed onto the board.
- Recheck and start using it: Verify whether all your settings are correctly done. To do that, sit on a chair and roll up to your drafting board. Hold a pencil and pose as if you are about to draw. If you feel comfortable, the adjustment is fine.
Advantages of Using Architectural Drafting Board
Drafting boards offer you a large surface to undertake your drawing plans to the next level. For best results, a drafting board stands as mandatory to eliminate the scope of errors and hike up the efficiency. There are various benefits of using a drafting board, here are a few of them:
The drafting boards offer the versatility of allowing the users to move around and adopt any posture they feel comfortable for making their designs. It will enable you to maneuver your artwork and spread the pixie dust for you to attain better outputs and results that won’t be possible just by using a simple drawing desk.
Stays in Place
All the drawings that you attach in a drafting board stay in its place rather than flying here and there and giving you a tough time to compile it. It ensures that all your papers stick to its place, minimizing the chances of slippage.
Provide a Hard Surface
If you are expecting some high-end architectural designs, you need to ensure that the surface you are keeping the papers is rigid. The drafting boards perform the same task by providing a flat rigid surface so that you can have a better finishing touch for your designs. Also, it allows smooth movement of the pencil over the drawing surfaces and minimizes the chances of slipping.
Another advantage of having a drafting board handy is that you get to invoke in yourself the feeling of a professional. The ambiance, the facilities, and aura have a lot to do when it comes to creativity. A drafting board can add that small pinch of professionalism and builds a deep impression that can infuse inside the art master in you to come out with better solutions.
Best Architectural Drafting Board Brands
It can be quite a hectic task to choose a brand that gets you the best among the architectural drafting boards. So, to ease your choice, I have listed down the renowned brands that you can consider while selecting a drafting board.
Since their inception in 2007, Studio Designs have dedicated themselves to build compact, spacious, and easy-to-assemble furniture. They host a team having almost 50 years of experience in this kind of business.
They are headquartered at Los Angeles and are known to offer drop-ship, LTL, and directly import to the local art shops as well as online retailers. Studio Designs host a wide range of products like drafting/craft boards, easels, table lighting, etc. Each of these items can be used separately or combined together to create full working studios.
Stand Up Desk Store
At the Stand-Up Desk Store, your pain regarding furniture purchase is acknowledged. Hence, they have dedicated their time and efforts to come up with furniture that will make you feel comfortable when using them.
Their architectural drafting boards are pretty easy to use, facilitated with exclusive features. Backed up by an efficient customer support team, they are ready to address your queries anytime. Their centrally located warehouses and ample stocks don’t make their customers wait for long.
Since 1950 Alvin has presented its customers with innovative quality products that are into the art of darting. In the beginning, Alvin Shoham started his company with just fifteen items, including drafting sets and slide rulers, but now, they're a full-line distributor of art products.
Alvin products are available throughout the US, Canada, and overseas. Alvin hosts and wholesales about 200 national brands of art supplies and tools. They offer exclusively designed drafting boards, which make them a reckoned choice for drafting tools drawing supplies by the engineers.
John Sebastian Staedtler founded the brand named Staedtler back in 1835. It was a pencil making brand back then. It is one of the oldest art suppliers of Europe and has been pioneering in art materials since its inception.
Staedtler has now grown to become one of the largest suppliers of art materials, especially architectural drafting boards across the globe. They have representatives in every continent and across almost 150 countries.
Rotring is a German brand, present in the market since 1928. They had started their journey as a manufacturer of the first nib-less fountain pen and have seen constant growth since then.
Rotring has also set up institutes for encouraging and training artists worldwide. They aim at inspiring the creative community. Their multiple features facilitated the drafting board, which is a demanding choice for the buyers.
What Are The Best Architectural Drafting Boards?
If you’re in a hurry, give a quick look at the features of the 10-best architectural drafting boards and pick the one that suits your needs the best.
- Best Overall: S.D. Studio Designs 10211 Architectural Drafting Board
Durable and versatile, Ergonomic design, Dual lift mechanism
- Best Budget: Flash Furniture NAN-JN-2433-GG Architectural Drafting Board
Adjustable surface, Comes with a raised metric ruler, Ideal for artists, architects, and engineers
- Best Wooden: Soho Urban Artist 8.3 lbs Architectural Drafting Board
Sturdy construction, Lightweight and easy to use, Extra-large work area
- Best Alvin: ALVIN PXB26 Architectural Drafting Board
Superb quality, Brake mechanism, Adjustable design
- Best with Parallel Rule: Martin U-PEB2026K Architectural Drafting Board
Rubber feet for added stability, Includes handle for easy transport, Lightweight and portable
- Best Adjustable: Stand Up Desk Store 50-Pound Architectural Drafting Board
Integrated pencil tray and paper stopper, User-friendly design, Sturdy construction
- Best Rotring: Rotring S0213910 Architectural Drawing Board
Made up of unbreakable material, Parallel straight-edge with stop-and-go locking mechanism, Two magnetic clamp strips for a secure hold
- Best A1 Size: JRB 18.92 pounds Architectural Drafting Board
Durable, lightweight, and portable, Great quality, Awesome design
- Best Professional: Artie's Studio CS-027 Architectural Drafting Board
3-plastic molded slide out drawers for storage, Spacious and adjustable work area, Sleek and stylish with a contemporary design
- Best Plastic: Staedtler 661 20 Architectural Drafting Board
Non-slip rubber feet, Made up of sturdy material, Twin rail for exceptionally smooth gliding of ruler
Best Architectural Drafting Boards Comparison Chart
Here is the comparison chart of the 10-best architectural drafting boards below that help you choose the right saw as per your needs.
|S.D. Studio Designs 10211 Architectural Drafting Board - Best Overall||53.75*31.25||Laminated||White|
|Flash Furniture NAN-JN-2433-GG Architectural Drafting Board - Best Budget||28.25*45.25||Melamine||Cherry|
|Soho Urban Artist 8.3 lbs Architectural Drafting Board - Best Wooden||19.75*29.5||Wood||Maple|
|ALVIN PXB26 Architectural Drafting Board - Best Alvin||20*26||Melamine||White|
|Martin U-PEB2026K Architectural Drafting Board - Best with Parallel Rule||20*15||Melamine||White|
|Stand Up Desk Store 50-Pound Architectural Drafting Board - Best Adjustable||39.2*27.5||NA||Birch|
|Rotring S0213910 Architectural Drawing Board - Best Rotring||2.76*2.76||Melamine||White|
|JRB 18.92 pounds Architectural Drafting Board - Best A1 Size||39.37*27.24||Wood||White|
|Artie's Studio CS-027 Architectural Drafting Board - Best Professional||41*24||Tempered Glass||Black|
|Staedtler 661 20 Architectural Drafting Board - Best Plastic||20.67*15.55||Melamine||White|
Top 10 Best Architectural Drafting Board Reviews 2020
Now you know what this guide is all about, let us go through a detailed review of the best architectural drafting board to help you choose the right product.
1. S.D. Studio Designs 10211 Architectural Drafting Board
As an architect, you need to have the perfect drafting board. With S.D. Studio Designs Graphix II, you get all the features you have ever needed to create that amazing design that would please your clients. The table is ideal for professionals to produce the highest quality designs that are meaningful as well.
The dual-top surface design allows the architects to concentrate on several projects at a given time. The heavy gauge construction of the table involves the use of steel that will make sure it lasts and handles a good amount of weight. The adjustable height allows you to ensure that you can adjust it to your requirement.
- Comes in two sizes: small and medium
- The dual top feature that can be angled or flattened
- The table can be tilted to 30 degrees
- Table frame created from durable steel
- The hard-plastic cover can easily be removed or reattached
- Provides ten-year warranty
- No knobs for height adjustment, only screws
|Height Adjustment||27-38.75 inches|
|Product Dimensions/Weight||48*32*4 inches/58 pounds|
|Manufacturer||SD Studio Designs|
If you are a young dedicated professional in need of something that will aid in easy design creation, S.D. Studio Drafting Board is the right choice for you. Check this video to know how it works:
2. Flash Furniture NAN-JN-2433-GG Architectural Drafting Board
Are you looking for an amazing drafting board for your architectural designing requirements? Is budget a constraint? With the Flash Furniture Architectural drafting board, you get access to a budget table that is perfect for all your projects. This multipurpose drafting table is created with a cherry melamine finish.
Not just that, it is backed by an adjustable surface that can be set at the required angle. Apart from this, you also get access to storage trays that can help you keep your supplies safe. The Flash furniture also brings you a file organizer backed by hanging hooks designed for all your critical drafting needs.
- Black metal frame with high gloss
- Dual locking wheel casters
- Raised ruler (Metric System) at the border
- Allows height adjustable of the Pewter frame of up to 47.75 inches
- Equipped with a curved tray which holds all your supplies
- Multipurpose table
- As it’s tall, one has to stand while working
|Angle Adjustment||40 degrees|
|Height Adjustment||47.75 inches|
|Product Dimensions/Weight||28.25*45.25*47.75 inches/49.3 pounds|
3. Soho Urban Artist 8.3 lbs Architectural Drafting Board
If you ask what's the best wooden drafting board in the market, I'd say its Soho's drafting board. Having a smooth maple finish, it reflects professional standards. With a measurement of 19.75" x 29.5," it's wide enough to accommodate all your supplies of artwork. Right from sheet papers and panels to paint and largest pads, everything can be placed over it.
Easy adjustment enables you to turn a flat table into a specialist drafting board. Plus, a sturdy ledge at the bottom is designed to hold artworks, tools, panels, sheets, etc. It is ideal for artists, painters, engineers, cosmic artists, etc.
- Extra-large area to accommodate all your supplies
- Adjustable from the level to 80 degrees
- Professional beechwood finish
- Comes with a sturdy edge to hold your artworks
- 100% Guarantee
- Doesn’t include clips
|Height Adjustment||3.54 inches|
|Product Dimensions/Weight||30.31*3.54*20.47 inches/8.3 lbs|
|Manufacturer||Soho Urban Artist|
With a sturdy side to keep your sheet at the place, you can put all your creative ideas onto the paper without getting distracted. Here's a video to help you get an insight into this product.
4. ALVIN PXB26 Architectural Drafting Board
Professional architects have been relying on Alvin for over a century now. If you're digging into the internet to get the perfect professional drafting table, Alvin would be the best pick for you. Alvin's drafting board comes pre-assembled, which will ease the process of creating final designs. Not just that, its rubber grip & brake mechanism keeps the board secured to one place.
Some of the other features include a melamine surface, acrylic blade, and straightedge to provide more control and comfort to the designer. Apart from that, the crystal clear and inking edged acrylic blade was given to minimize smudging.
- Comes with foldable metal legs for setting an angle
- Brake mechanism & rubber grip for comfort
- High-quality drafting table
- Versatile blade
- Portable board
- No assembly required
- The parallel bar might need frequent adjustments
|Height Adjustment||0.12-0.19 inches|
|Product Dimensions/Weight||26*20*3 inches/11 pounds|
As Alvin's board is portable, you're allowed to move it to a calmer place so that you can work in peace. Check out the video to get more information about the board.
5. Martin U-PEB2026K Architectural Drafting Board
(Best with Parallel Rule)
Parallel ruled drafting boards are popular because they extend the width of the table while remaining parallel to the apex. And when it comes to the best parallel ruled board, Martin's drafting table is unbeatable. To provide an architect with stability and strength, the board's body is made of aluminum having straightedge.
Along with adjustment knobs, it has a 6-position adjustable stand. Since it's made of particle board of high-resin, it's breakage free. For extra stability, it's equipped with a rubber-feet. It also comes with a comfortable handle to provide easy transport.
- Adjustable parallel drafting board
- Has a white melamine nonporous surface
- Adjustable knobs for securing it to one place
- Anti-wrap straightedge body
- Portable board
- Doesn’t come pre-assembled
|Angle Adjustment||5-angles adjustment|
|Height Adjustment||20 inches|
|Product Dimensions/Weight||20*15*20 inches/11.4 pounds|
|Manufacturer||Martin Universal Design|
There's no other drafting board that can beat Martin's superb quality adjustable board. Right from comfort and strength to stability and portability, it takes care of all. Here's a video giving out important information.
6. Stand Up Desk Store 50-Pound Architectural Drafting Board
In order to remain focused on creating the best design for their client, an architect must be able to adjust the table as per their need. And that's what Stand Up Desk Store's drafting table has to offer you. Not just the height, it also allows you to adjust the angle of the desktop to be used as a conventional sit desk or standing desk.
To enjoy an increased focus, prevent backaches, and boost calorie burn, adjust the table to become a standing desk. While the stable platform comes from extra-large rubber-feet, large thumbscrews provide height and easy angle adjustment.
- Enables efficient adjustment of the table
- Boosts productivity
- Comes with a steel frame to resist rigorous activities
- Coated with a durable powder finish
- User-friendly features
- Impressive weight capacity
- The tray is oddly designed
|Angle Adjustment||45 degrees|
|Height Adjustment||12 inches|
|Product Dimensions/Weight||40*26*38.5 inches/50 pounds|
|Manufacturer||S Stand Up Desk Store|
When you're not satisfied with your working space, the results aren't going to be pleasant either. So, get the Stand-Up Desk Store drafting board right away! Check out this video to know more features.
7. Rotring S0213910 Architectural Drawing Board
The advantage of having an A3 drafting table is that it comes with more width. So, if you are also looking for a table that provides such benefit, take a look at Rotring's adjustable drafting table. Not just a good working space, it's also a robust board which is non-wrap as well as unbreakable, ensuring durability.
Apart from looking gorgeous, the board ensures secure and easy hold by providing a dual-clamp magnetic strip along with a major pushbutton. Plus, it renders a comfortable working station due to its ergonomic design. To ensure high accuracy, it includes compass plotting, media markings, guide rails, and rapid set square marking.
- Come with two strip clamps
- Ensures your paper remains in place by providing clip facility
- Scratch proof and lockable
- Doesn’t need assembly
- Fitted with a locking mechanism of stop-and-go
- Doesn’t consists of a guide book
|Height Adjustment||2.76 inches|
|Product Dimensions/Weight||2.76*2.76*2.76 inches/0.35 ounces|
If you're an architect or an artist, this drafting table by Rotring would be your one-stop solution. Here's a video explaining its functions.
8. JRB 18.92 pounds Architectural Drafting Board
(Best A1 Size)
Are you a design student and looking for an A1 board? If so, then have a look at the A1 standard desktop drafting board by J.R.B. As it's portable and allows one to move it easily, it's the first choice of many hobbyists and students. While the base is constructed using wood, the other four angle brackets are made up of plastic, which is light and durable enough to be used regularly.
Edged with a thick 3mm P.V.C for tough environments, it reflects a professional yet stylish look. To ensure smooth operation and consistent accuracy while working, it has been fitted with a continuous x wire in a parallel motion.
- Incorporated with a professional reversible straightedge
- Comes with an optional handle for portability
- Fitted with continuous x wire in parallel motion
- Works in hard environments
- Very sturdy and professional
- Workstation isn’t precious
|Angle Adjustment||4-angle adjustments|
|Height Adjustment||4.41 inches|
|Product Dimensions/Weight||40*28*5 inches|
9. Artie's Studio CS-027 Architectural Drafting Board
Have you been looking for an ideal drafting table for your office? If you're a professional, you know how tough it is to find a perfect table. However, with Artie's Studio office drafting table, the task of getting a suitable table doesn't seem too tough. Easy adjustment allows you to adjust it in 6-angles from the flat surface.
Not just that, its spacious workstation allows you to accommodate all your creative artwork needs. The top has been secured with a tempered blue glass, which is also the main workstation, measuring 35 x 24 inches. For easy storage, it has been fitted with three drawers of plastic and slide trays.
- Allows you to tilt the upper surface for your comfort
- Provides 6-angle adjustment
- Fitted with slide-out trays and drawers
- Professional & tempered glass surface
- Comfortable work area
- Enough space for storage
- Isn’t pre-assembled
|Angle Adjustment||6-angle adjustments|
|Height Adjustment||29.5 inches|
|Product Dimensions/Weight||41*24*29.5 inches/33 pounds|
One can never be satisfied with their outcome if the process of designing wasn't comfortable, but with Artie's drafting table, you can unleash all your creativity. Check out the video to know more about the product:
10. Staedtler 661 20 Architectural Drafting Board
There's a very common misconception among people that plastic isn't durable and breaks easily. Let me tell you that there are different categories under plastic, and they can be distinguished based on their strength. In the case of Staedtler's drafting board, the plastic used is quite sturdy and break-free.
The one-hand locking system provides convenience while working on a project. Also, the rubber feet don't slip during work. Not just that, it also has a twin rail to ensure the smooth gliding of a ruler. The best part is you can figure out whether it's locked or not by looking at the color indicator.
- Equipped with single-hand locking system
- Twin rail is provided for smooth gliding
- Made from break-free and sturdy plastic
- Comes with a color indicator
- Slip-free rubber feet
- Doesn’t include a carrying case
|Height Adjustment||1.97 inches|
|Product Dimensions/Weight||20.67*1.97*15.55 inches/2.99 pounds|
If you had second thoughts about a plastic drafting board, worry no more! Staedtler's drafting board will remove your life-long misconception about plastic. Here's a video giving out major details.
Things to Consider When Buying a Drafting Board
A drafting board is a vital part and parcel of an architect's life. Only an architect can understand its importance as a good drafting board can make your job easy. So, what are the factors one should consider when purchasing the best architectural drafting board? Here I am going to tell you the same.
Materials and Building Quality
The best drafting board must be great in terms of quality. The longevity of the particular board entirely depends on the quality of the material. The sturdy material is an absolute must before shelling out money for this particular product. The building quality of a drafting board clearly reveals that a buyer should invest in it or not.
An ideal drafting board should be adjustable as per the requirement of the architect. While working on a large plan or design, he or she might have to tilt the board as per the requirement. It helps to find out the best vantage point for completing the assignment with ease. An ideal drafting board should have an adjustability range from flat to a minimum of 80 degrees.
A drafting board should be wide enough for an architect to work efficiently. The best drafting board should not be robust as the user may need to carry it around when required. The best idea is to figure out the type of work an architect is going to perform daily on the drafting board. The necessity of this mobility depends on the user.
Drafting boards come with a large space at the bottom to hold all the essential items a user requires. The best idea is to focus on the amount of space or number of drawers an architect wants to have in his or her drafting board to store all the important items. As per the requirement, an architect should look for the number of pull out trays or drawers in his or her drawing board or drafting table.
There are a few add-on features like the availability of the set-square, protractor, rulers with markings that can be there in the drafting board of an architect. A user can opt for a drafting board equipped with straightedge parallels to make sure the lines are straight and on point. These factors are add-ons. A buyer does not necessarily need to emphasize this.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Now that you know what the best architectural drafting boards are, you may have a few questions in your mind about the drafting boards. Here are the top 5 FAQs that are asked by many people.
The Bottom Line
I hope that this article has helped you to choose the best architectural drafting board that can meet your needs efficiently. However, I liked the SD Studio Designs 10211 Architectural Drafting Board the most.
This drafting board has a unique design that makes it ideal for a wide range of professionals and artists. What makes this product stand out from the crowd is its durable construction and ergonomic design. Do you have any questions? If yes, feel free to ask. I'll love to answer your questions.