Best Architecture Calculator

The Best Architecture Calculator for Architectural Work

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Calculators are useful implements for architects, aiding them in resolving on-site or office-based mathematical equations. The demand for calculators is spiking, notably among student architects and those undergoing practice training. It's vital that site specifications align with plan specifics, and having a high-performance calculator can enormously assist architects in performing these on-site computations.

Although the best architecture calculators are the electric ones because they can solve complex science and maths problems, other battery-powered calculators are also quite effective. In this article, we discuss the best architecture calculator in the market today.

We chose our first architecture calculator, the Construction Master Pro Calculator because it is a general construction calculator that can handle various mathematical problems quickly. It is also a big, reputable brand. The Scale Master Pro Calculator is our second choice and has a sleek design while remaining quite efficient. Our third pick, the Calculated Industries 4225 ConcreteCalc Pro Advanced Calculator, solves complex mathematical and construction problems and gives material estimates to prevent wastage.

Why You Need an Architecture Calculator

An architecture calculator is a great asset for architects, which helps them save time by eliminating tedious and slow manual calculations. It helps architects to understand their business and project costs properly. A good architecture calculator will help you quickly perform statistical and regression problems and offer multiple keys for easy operation.

Architectural design involves lots of geometry, trigonometry, and algebra. Architects use these math forms to plan their blueprints or initial sketch designs. They also estimate the issues the construction team may encounter when actualizing the design into real-life structures.

Top 5 Architecture Calculators

1. Construction Master Pro Calculator

Calculated Industries 4065 Construction Master Pro...
  • SOLVE ALL YOUR DIMENSIONAL MATH quickly and accurately with the...
  • LETS YOU EFFORTLESSLY WORK IN AND CONVERT between all common...
  • TIME-SAVING BUILT-IN FUNCTIONS for right angles give you instant...
  • PREVENTS COSTLY MATERIAL WASTE with built-in solutions for...

When doing my internship after graduation, I needed a calculator that would serve me for years after my apprenticeship. Calculated Industries is a big manufacturer of construction calculators and has a good reputation for their Construction Master Pro calculator was a natural choice for me. It is a general construction calculator that covers a wide range of construction activities, including building, framework, and concrete work. 

This calculator will help you solve all your dimensional maths quickly and accurately. It has powerful built-in solutions to help you complete layouts, plans, bids, and estimates. You also get to choose your preferred units. If you face problems converting between feet, inches, decimals, and fractions, the construction master pro calculator will help you.

You can use it to effortlessly work in and convert all common building dimension formats, including feet-inch-fractions, decimal feet-inches, yards and metric, weight-per-volume, and D: M:S to decimal degree conversions. This means you can use the calculator to calculate how much material you need, the volume of materials, and even how many truckloads of materials you need.

Image Credits: Burnstools.com

You will love its time-saving built-in functions for right angles. It will give you immediate solutions for rake walls, squares, angles, slopes, rafters, etc. It will also give advanced solutions for circles, arcs, columns, arches, and the complete stair layout. 

The Construction Master Pro gives you a handheld convenience by allowing you to custom define your preferences. It features a paperless tape that allows you to review the previous 20 entries to double-check totals. It has three-dimensional memory storage locations for your convenience.

This calculator will help you preserve its power through its auto-shutoff feature that turns the calculator off after about 8 minutes of idleness. Are you worried about material wastage? This calculator has built-in solutions for concrete footings, drywall, roofing, studs, and block estimating.

Pros:

  • It comes with a protective cover
  • Auto shutoff to preserve power
  • Quick and accurate
  • It comes with batteries to start working immediately
  • Prevents costly material wastage

Cons:

  • Costly
  • It may be difficult to operate for novices
  • May need battery replacement

2. Scale Master Pro Calculator

Sale
Calculated Industries 6025 Scale Master Pro Digital...
  • YOU GET 72 BUILT-IN SCALES for versatility, 39 imperial...
  • PLUS 6 CUSTOM SCALES, 3 each for imperial and metric units; you...
  • SO YOU CAN DO TAKEOFFS ANYWHERE with no cable or PC required; use...
  • AND CALCULATE AREA AND VOLUME – roll length and width to get...
  • MANUALLY COUNT items while rolling a set of plans to estimate for...

It is fascinating how this calculator deviates from the usual standard calculator in its make. But it is an equally important calculator for an architect who wants fast, accurate area and volume takeoffs from blueprints and drawings. Its versatile calculator gives you 72 built-in scales for imperial and metric measurements.

Image Credits: Calculatorking.com.au

It includes six scales that can be customized to let you define any scale from architecture plans that have been reduced, faxed, or otherwise out of scale. It can calculate linear measurements of any shape, which it can convert between scales and dimensions. You can calculate multiple units, including decimal feet, decimal inches, yards, feet-inches, millimeters, meters, kilometers, and square and cubic formats. 

This calculator can be used by contractors, architects, landscapers, plumbers, and anyone handling many plans and blueprints. You can use this calculator to count items manually. You can do this by rolling a set of plans to estimate for studs, piers, outlets, or other recurring items. To make an addition, touch the "Count" button, and to remove the last entry, touch the "Subtract" button. 

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Easy to learn and use
  • Can calculate unit and scale
  • Can count manually
  • It comes with a protective case and two batteries

Cons:

  • Costly

3. Materials Estimating Calculator

Sale
Calculated Industries 4019 Material Estimator...
  • WORKS IN UNITS THAT WORK FOR YOU -- enter dimensions directly in...
  • SET A PROJECT’S MATERIAL REQUIREMENTS to define and use stored...
  • BUILT-IN FUNCTION KEYS help you easily find the number of boards...
  • FIGURE OUT FLOORING REQUIREMENTS with built-in standard carpet...
  • Works directly in yards, feet, inches, fractions and meters –...

I needed a calculator exclusively focused on estimating materials to avoid losing money through wrong material estimates. This material estimator calculator saved me a bundle from struggling with these calculations. It comes with labeled buttons to help you make quick calculations based on specific materials.

Image Credits: Calculated.com

With this device, you can calculate all costs and allowances to help you buy the right amount of materials, no matter the project size. For example, this calculator can help you determine the number of tiles you need based on the total area and the grout width. You can then convert that figure into yards, feet, inches, fractions, and meters.

This calculator from Calculated Industries works in units that work for you. All you need to do is enter dimensions directly in feet, inches, fractions, yards, and meters, and they will instantly be converted into any standard building unit of your preference for consistent solutions that make sense to you. With built-in function keys, this calculator will help you easily find the number of roofing boards based on standard board lengths and stored measurements. This will help you get the right quantity of materials to finish the job without costly overages. 

Pros:

  • Estimates the cost of materials
  • It saves time and money
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Works in various units
  • Defines and stores values for materials
  • It helps find instant solutions
  • Hardcover door to protect it
  • Dual-powered battery

Cons:

  • You will need to change the batteries after continuous use
  • Does not program and store numbers
  • Buttons may stick a little

4. Victor C5000 Advanced Construction Calculator With Protective Case

Victor C5000 Advanced Construction Calculator with...
  • Estimates Materials Required to Complete a Project:...
  • Shock-Resistant and Spill-Proof Protective Case
  • Work With Imperial or Metric Units - Convert between units of...
  • Displays Numbers in Fractions or Decimals
  • Calculated Costs of Required Materials

I wanted a calculator that could save me time and avoid additional conversions. The Victor C5000 Advanced Construction Calculator allows you to use and convert between dimensions like feet, inches, yards, and meters when working on construction projects. It can solve various construction-related equations, estimate materials required for a project and their costs, and display results in fractional or decimal forms. It can calculate bricks or blocks, gravel, boards, lumber, flooring, drywall sheets, tiles, concrete, fencing, and studs. It also helps you make the perfect flooring plan for your project.

Image Credits: Victortech.com

This calculator is durable, shock-resistant, and has a spill-proof protective case for easy on-site usage. The grip design on the case allows you to keep a firm hold on it without slipping. To help keep your calculator compact, it is made with a protective case that can be folded back and latched in one place. To help you efficiently use the Victor C5000 Advanced Construction Calculator, it comes with a pocket reference guide, full instructional manual, and instructional videos.

Pros:

  • Great for on-site usage
  • It comes with a protective cover
  • Stays compact during use
  • Can estimate materials for a project
  • It comes with a user guide

Cons:

  • It does not have a lot of the needed features

5. Calculated Industries 4225 ConcreteCalc Pro Advanced Calculator

Calculated Industries 4225 ConcreteCalc Pro Advanced...
  • SOLVE YOUR DIMENSIONAL MATH and conversions quickly and...
  • QUICKLY CALCULATE SQUARE-UPS and drops for perfect form layout...
  • HELPS PREVENT COSTLY MATERIAL WASTE with concrete and rebar;...
  • AUTOMATICALLY DETERMINE WEIGHT per volume and select measuring...
  • INVALUABLE TOOL PAYS FOR ITSELF by reducing headaches and...

I needed a powerful calculator that could help me solve complex mathematical and construction problems. The Calculated Industries 4225 ConcreteCalc Pro Advanced can solve any dimensional math and conversions quickly and accurately. It has powerful built-in solutions that convert dimensions like feet and inch fractions, yards, and square and cubic formats.

Image Credits: Engineersupply.com

If you need a perfect layout and setup, this calculator will help you to quickly and effectively calculate square ups and drops. It will also help you calculate stair to get the right project and code requirements. The ConcreteCalc Pro Advanced calculator is good at estimating circular and polygon area and volume solutions. 

To help you prevent wastage, this calculator can help you track load requirements for materials and the number of truck leads needed in a project. It will help you prevent costly material wastage of concrete and rebar by determining total linear feet and rebar weight. You will be able to figure out the number of concrete bags required.

This calculator has block and footing keys, which you can use for estimates. This calculator will help you to determine the weight per volume automatically. You can also select measuring units such as pounds, tons, kilograms, and metric tons to determine the weight of concrete materials and density. 

This invaluable architecture tool will help prevent errors and reduce stress. It comes with a rugged shock, dust, and moisture-resistant protective case. To make it easy to use, it has a pocket reference guide that is easy to follow

Pros:

  • Quick and efficient
  • Can work in different dimensions
  • Prevents costly material wastage
  • Works in different measuring units
  • Has utility functions

Cons:

  • It’s costly

What to Look for When Buying Architecture Calculators

A good architecture calculator prevents errors and makes working life easier. Architectural calculations are highly complex and will need the best calculators to handle them. Here are some of the important features to look at before buying an architecture calculator:

1. Functions

Check all the functions present in the calculator of interest. Can it perform statistical, mathematical, trigonometrical, or algebraic functions? Consider all the functions you want your calculator to help you perform before making any purchase decision. 

2. Size

The best architectural calculator should have a compact size to carry it anywhere without constraints.

3. Power

Purchase a calculator that uses both battery and electricity for convenience. Ensure that the calculator is working well.

Conclusion

Architecture calculators should be portable and specifically built to solve architectural math problems. Various options in the market today perform various tasks, from measurements to materials estimates. Strive to look for one specifically made for your intended work.

Frequently Asked Questions About Architecture Calculators

1. What calculators do architects use?

The best architecture calculators are lighting calculators for the right placement of lights, cubic feet calculators, architectural modeling calculators, project management calculators, and building information modeling calculators. Electrical calculations and installation of heating systems are a core part of the overall architectural process. Therefore, architecture will need calculators for both activities. 

2. What is the scale for 1/4 equals 1 foot?

The scale of ¼ equals 1 foot is 1:48. This means that a 1/4 inch length on the drawing equals a 1-foot length in real life. The scale 1/4 inch = 1 foot is the most commonly used scale. It can also be called size 1/48. 

3. How do you calculate the architecture scale?

To calculate architectural scale, you will use a ratio of the scaled size to the actual size of the drawing. For example, if the scale is 1:1000, every 1 unit on the drawing represents 1000 units in real life. You can use an architect's scale ruler or a scale conversion calculator to calculate this scale.

To calculate scale factor out of architectural drawing scale:

  • Choose your scale. For example: 1/4” = 10”
  • Flip the fraction and multiply by 12 to get: 4/10 x 12 = 4.8.
  • Your scale factor is 4.8.

4. Do architects need calculators?

Architects need mathematical and thinking skills to solve problems and design buildings. However, they do most of the maths they need to succeed through calculators. Most of the architectural maths are basic arithmetic, geometry, and trigonometry. However, they may need scientific or other construction calculators for complex calculations. 

5. Can I be an architect if I’m bad at math?

You don't have to be a math genius to become an architect, nor do you need to master or memorize complex calculations and diagrams. However, you must understand maths principles and concepts, including geometry, trigonometry, and basic physics.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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