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18 Architecture Drawing Tools That Every Architect Needs

As you set out on your Architectural studies, you will learn how to create various designs, plans, and models. However, to pull off the assigned projects, you'll need various tools to help you make accurate and clean drawings.

This article discusses the various drawing tools an architecture student requires to do great projects. So, without further ado, let's get started.

18 Architecture Drawing Tools for an Architect

1. Tracing Paper

The first of the crucial tools an architecture student needs include tracing paper. You'll often need copies of your original work or to reproduce stencils when creating various designs. That's where tracing paper comes in handy since it allows you to make replicas of any drawing or drafts quite easily.

Alvin, Lightweight Tracing Paper Roll, White, Suitable...
  • Make the most of your next project. This high-quality,...
  • Versatile, no-bleed-through paper with your drawing tool of...
  • Simplify even the most complex multi-layer designs. The high...
  • Available in white, yellow, or canary colors. Each available in...
  • Alvin has been the professional's choice for drafting tools and...

This transparent tracing paper from ALVIN will help you transfer the smallest details from the original piece as accurately as possible. Its versatility allows you to use pencil, ink, felt tip markers, or charcoal without bleeding through, making it an ideal tracing paper for any architect.

2. Cutting Mat

In architecture, students will need to draw or cut designs from different angles. Making these cuts on your desk or your work surface can leave scratches and nicks that damage your property. That is why it's crucial to always have a cutting mat for your architectural projects.

Dahle Vantage 10673 Self-Healing Cutting Mat, 24"x36",...
  • [SELF-HEALING] -- 5-layer design for maximum durability
  • [1/8" PVC] -- Thick Construction protects work surface
  • [SCREENED MEASUREMENT GRID] -- For easy trimming and sizing-...
  • [SCREENED GUIDES] -- Contains inch, metric, and angled trimming...
  • [SURFACE PROTECTION] -- Protects surfaces and keeps blades from...

The Dahle Vantage Self-Healing Cutting Mat has multiple layers making it useful in protecting your work surface. With its screened trimming guides, you can make accurate cuts in inches, meters, and various angles while keeping your blade from dulling.

3. Mechanical Pencil

A standard wooden pencil won't cut it for architecture students since they quickly lose their edge during drawing, so mechanical pencils are the best for architecture. Fortunately, mechanical pencils will deliver precise and more consistent results when drafting architectural designs and making ruler-based drawings.

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rOtring 600 0.5mm Black Barrel Mechanical Pencil...
  • An iconic tool meant for a lifetime of use; The Full metal body...
  • Brass mechanism allows Precision lead advancement; Lead hardness...
  • Hexagonal shape avoids sliding on drawing tables; Design, pattern...
  • The fixed lead guidance sleeve prevents breakage and gives you a...
  • Limited Warranty: Guaranteed for 2 years from original purchase...

The rOtring 600 Mechanical pencil will take care of all your sketching and drafting needs. This pencil comes with a metal body that you can easily grip and is ergonomically designed to let you work for hours without tiring. The lead hardness grade indicator on this mechanical pencil allows you to identify the lead grades while working, making it an invaluable tool to architects.

4. Electric Eraser

Wiggling your hand to rub off errors in your drawings is now a thing of the past. With electric erasers, you don't have to move a muscle to make the adjustments you want. You'll be able to say goodbye to hand fatigue when erasing the faults in your architectural designs with the help of a battery-powered eraser.

Electric Eraser for Artists, AFMAT Electric Eraser...
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  • 【Electric Eraser Kit with 2 Eraser Sizes】Our electric eraser...
  • 【Big Comfortable Switch Design】 Instead of a large...
  • 【Strong Erasing Capability】Circular movement and strong motor...
  • 【Rechargeable Electric Eraser】To satisfy your needs to use...

The AFMAT rechargeable electric eraser features two eraser sizes to help you make targeted and precise changes to your work. It has a comfortable design that allows you to hold it without discomfort and has a large switch making it easy to use in all your drawing projects.

5. Scale Ruler

Something else that should always be in your tool kit is a scale ruler. In architecture, plans and designs are drawn according to various scales. At times, an architectural student will need to convert a design to a larger or smaller scale using various mathematical measures, confusing. With a scale ruler, you'll be able to easily decode architectural drawings and translate them into the desired size.

Mr. Pen Triangular, Architectural, Aluminum Scale Ruler...
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  • Triangular Ruler Made From High Impact Aluminum, Build To Last
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  • Color Coded Triangular Scale For Easy And Quick Selection Of The...
  • Imperial Scale: 1-1/2, 1, 3/4, 3/8, 3/16, 3/32, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 3,...

The Mr. Pen Trianglular Scale Ruler features laser-cut prints that will not fade or scratch off. Additionally, the aluminum build makes this ruler strong enough to last for years without replacement. With three different colors marking the different scales, an architect can quickly identify the suitable one while drawing.

6. Measuring Tape

A measuring tape is like a flexible ruler that you can roll up or retract. Typical rulers are great for taking straight measurements; however, when architects want to measure around a corner or curve, they must have a measuring tape.

CRAFTSMAN Tape Measure, Self-Lock, 25-Foot (CMHT37225S)
  • EASE OF USE: Self-locking blade of the retractable tape measure...
  • QUICK & EASY MEASUREMENTS: Fractions printed on the blade
  • ADDED GRIP: Rubber overmold for added grip

The CRAFTSMAN Tape Measure has a self-lock feature that automatically keeps the tape in a locked position to prevent retraction before you're done measuring. With its accurate measurements, you can use this compact tool in drafting architectural plans without any hassle. The retraction is smooth and controlled so that the hook doesn't slam the case, making it a long-lasting option.

7. Drafting Tape

Most architectural projects begin with ideas and concepts represented in the form of a sketch or draft. As an architect translates the thoughts on paper, it is essential to have a solid and steady workspace. That is why using drafting tape to fasten your paper to the surface can help you create accurate architectural models.

Mr. Pen- Professional Drafting Tape, 500 Pieces...
  • Box of 500 drafting dots
  • Pre-cut dots of tape. 7/8” diameter
  • Great replacement for drafting tape
  • Hold drafting paper firmly in place without any tear and sticky...
  • Convenient and easy to use dispenser box

With Mr. Pen Professional Drafting Tape, architecture students can secure the drafting paper in place without any sticky residue after removal. The 500 drafting dots in the dispenser box are easy to carry and store, and the small size makes them easy to apply.

8. Sketch Book

Another essential tool for architects to have is a sketchbook. Since inspiration could come at any time of the day, you should always arm yourself with a book to put down your ideas. With a sketchbook at hand, you can easily draw any design that comes to mind for future reference, or you could practice sketching any model you desire.

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Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook - Dot-Grid...
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  • Allow 15 seconds for ink from any Pilot Frixion pen marker or...
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The Rocketbook Smart Notebook is a reusable book that you can sketch on multiple times. If you want to erase something you've written, a drop of water will do the trick. Additionally, you can use it alongside the Rocketbook App for the ultimate digital experience.

9. Precision Cutting Knife

While some can render impeccable designs on paper or screen, some can create real models with solid materials like paper, thin metal, plastic, or wood planks. When you want to create a particular design model, you'll need a sharp cutting knife for making precise cuts.

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X-Acto No 1 Precision Knife | Z-Series, Craft Knife,...
  • Precision knife with number 11 fine point blade for exact cuts
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The X-Acto Knife is an architect's best choice for making clean cuts since it features a fine point blade that can make accurate cuts. The Lightweight handle made is made of aluminum which also makes it durable. It comes with a safety cap to let you safely store or carry this useful cutting tool around.

10. Lining Pens

Today, there are many types of pens on the market; however, the best one for architects to use fine liners. These pens are the best choice for drafting and developing your architectural plans on paper. If you want to draw smooth and fine lines, lining pens are the choice for you.

Rotring Rapidograph Technical Drawing Pen College Set,...
  • 4 Piece Pen Set perfect for College-level students includes 4...
  • The precision ink pen with the innovative refillable capillary...
  • For tracing paper, vellum drawing paper and lineboard
  • Features a crafted stainless steel nib
  • Color coded barrel indicates line width

The Rotring Rapidograph Technical Drawing Pen is one of the best architecture pens you can buy. It features refillable ink cartridges and a unique pressure equalizer system that prevents ink spills and leakages. You can use colored inks to refill this pen, and the stainless steel nib makes it durable.

11. Drawing Board

Architects need to have a flat and solid surface when drafting or drawing architectural plans. Only with a smooth workspace can you make a clean and clear line in your work. That is why it is essential to have a drawing board to lay your paper and design your project as you desire.

The OneSpace Craft Station is a great tool to buy since it features a barricaded edge that won't let your supplies fall off even when the top is tilted. With 2 slide-out drawers on this unit, you can conveniently store your tools for quick access. Measuring 41 by 24 inches, this drawing board will comfortably accommodate your drafting papers without a need to fold the edges.

12. T-Square

Another tool architecture students must have is a T-Square ruler, which is required in drafting. These rulers are great for making straight and square lines during the drawing process. It is a tool that you'll spend a lot of time with, which is why you need a durable and accurate one for your kit.

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  • Black T ruler (12in), perfect for architects, engineers and...
  • Made from high impact carbon steel for durability
  • T-ruler is largely and accurately laser printed on both sides....
  • Can be used as T square, L square, L ruler
  • 8inch/20cm calibrated t head

This Mr. Pen T square is a 12-inch metal ruler built using high-impact carbon steel, making it a long-lasting architect's tool. With its large and accurate laser-printed scales, this ruler features calibrations in both centimeters and inches. Additionally, its versatility allows you to also use it as an L square and L ruler.

13. Compass

The level of accuracy required in architecture leaves little room for error. While making straight lines is made easier with various rulers, you'll need to use a compass to make accurate circles. A compass will allow you to create circles quickly and efficiently without going freehand.

Staedtler Comfort 2 Pc Metal Quick Setting 6" Compass...
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  • Quick setting with push button mechanism & Center wheel
  • Hinged lead and needle legs
  • Interchangeable leads and needles
  • Comes in hard plastic case with hinged lid

The Staedtler Comfort 2 Compass set will provide the precision and ease you need to draw smooth circles in your design. This easy-to-use tool can make circles of about 13.75 inches in diameter with its push-button mechanism. The needle legs will ensure the compass stays in place during use to avoid errors.

14. Paper Trimmer

When it comes to storing the plans and ideas you've developed, you require to place related papers together. Since drafting papers could vary in size, it is important to trim them into the same size to store them appropriately.

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  • Perfect for cutting straight lines The sharp blade is ideal for...
  • Simply measure and line up your papers to get the exact same,...

The Jielisi 12 inch paper trimmer is designed to trim A4 and A5 paper easily. The sharp blade is this tool can cut through card stock and chipboard, among other materials. It is easy to use since all you require to do is line up the papers and get flawless and consistent cuts.

15. Adjustable Triangle

In the technical drawings architects make in various projects, you must envision how every angle and line will look. Since determining these angles with the naked eye is difficult, many students use drafting triangles to make lines at precise angles in their projects.

Pacific Arc Adjustable 12 Inch Triangle Plain Edge for...
  • ADJUSTABLE TRIANGLE- This drafting triangle is made out of high...
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This Pacific Arc Adjustable Triangle will be a great addition to your architect's toolset since it has an inking edge designed to prevent the build-up of ink under the instrument, which could lead to smearing. With a locking nut, you can explore different angles of the triangle without repositioning. The red dial indicator makes it easy to read the dial while drawing.

16. French Curve

Not all lines in architecture are straight, some are curved, and others slant at various angles. When a straight ruler doesn't get the job done, you probably need a french curve to make the smooth curves your design requires. With a french curve set, you can handle any curves and sways your work will entail.

Westcott French Plastic Curve Set (FC-4)
  • Heavy weight clear plastic
  • Smooth double-beveled inking edges
  • Includes 4 sizes of the most popular full-size curves
  • Conveniently packaged for individual or classroom use
  • Great for detail work

The Westcott French Plastic Curve set contains four varying equipment suitable for making the smallest or the largest curves. You can easily see through these heavy-weight curves made from clear plastic as you work on your designs. With the four different sizes, this tool is excellent for the detailed project of an architect.

17. Pen Tablet

Architecture is no longer limited to analog tools. Now, there are digital ways of expressing an architectural drawing. You can create your design on a tablet which means that pens, pencils, and paper are no longer required. With a tablet, you can save your architecture projects on the internet or in soft form. All you'll need is suitable design software.

Wacom DTK1660K0A Cintiq 16 Drawing Tablet with Screen
  • A more affordable pen Display with Wacom Pro Pen 2 technology,...
  • Cintiq’s 15.6 inch 1920x1080 HD displays provide you with...
  • See your creations in vibrant color on the Cintiq’s HD display...
  • Connect to your computer with the convenient 3 in 1 (HDMI)...
  • Warning: Manufacturer's warranty is only valid when purchased...

The Wacom Drawing Tablet with Screen provides a workspace to express your skills in HD clarity and vibrant color. It is compatible with various software such as Adobe Lightroom, Illustrator, and Photoshop, among others. It comes with a scratch-resistant and antiglare surface that is built to last long.

18. Desk Lamp

Architects can work at various times of the day or night. Whichever time is most convenient for you, it's important to have enough light as you work to ensure a high level of accuracy in your drawings and models. As a result, it is important to have a light source near your work surface to help you see clearly.

TORCHSTAR Metal Swing Arm Desk Lamps, Adjustable Table...
  • 💡 2-IN-1: You can either stand this lamp up on its own or with...
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  • 💡 BULB REPLACED: Fit for a bulb that is 40W max and both (sold...

With the TORCHSTAR Desk Lamp, you can fill your workspace with enough light for you to work throughout the night as comfortably as you would do during the day. This desk lamp has a metal swing arm that allows you to direct the light wherever you want it.