Technical Drawing Tools

Technical Drawing Tools thumbnail
Multiple technical drawing tools are used by drafting professionals.

Drawing is an enjoyable hobby for some, but it is a career for others. Architects and engineers, for example, use their technical drawing ability to support themselves, and their professions involve a high level of training and specificity. Drafting, the professional term for technical drawing, is a very particular skill in these instances, especially when designing a building or structure. There are multiple tools that professionals use to ensure that their drafting is precise and accurate.

  1. Compass

    • A compass is a metal or plastic tool that has two prongs connected by a hinge on one end. One prong is a sharp point that holds the compass in place on the paper without it sliding. The other prong has a brace at its bottom that holds a pen or pencil. A compass is used to draw arcs, circles and semi-circles. The exact size of the circle can be specified to the millimeter, since the hinge of the compass also serves as a measuring device the draftsperson uses to set the circle radius.

    Set Square

    • Set squares are used to draw parallel, perpendicular and angled lines. In spite of its name, the device is actually the shape of a triangle and there are two basic types, which are named for the angles of the triangle. One type is a "60-30" set square, the other is a "45-45" set square. Draftspersons also use adjustable set squares, made with two or more movable parts that can be configured to create any angle needed. They are very useful in making lines that are precisely placed at a certain distance from each other or lines that are at a certain angle, often when used in tandem with a T square.

    T Square

    • A T square is aligned with the side of a drafting board to provide a horizontal reference for the artist. It is a metal, plastic or wooden "T" shaped device that rests on the surface of the drafting board so it can be slid up and down. This enables the person drafting to create horizontal lines or draw perfectly straight lines up and down when used in conjunction with a 90-degree set square. The T square is also used to make angled lines when used with set squares of various angles resting against the top edge of the T-square, which provides the horizontal reference.

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  • Photo Credit drawing image by Oleg Verbitsky from

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