The 5 Best Drafting Boards

Sara Mandeed
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It may look like something out of a science lab, but the drafting board is a versatile tool that can be used in a wide variety of creative processes, from drafting building plans to drawing illustrations and cartooning. There are, however, many different types of drafting board and choosing the right one for you can be tricky.

Read this buyer's guide to find out how to select the best drafting board for you and your artistic endeavors.

NameCategoryProduct
SoHo Urban Artist Drawing Board Extra Large Size 19.75" x 29.5"Best Overall
SoHo Urban Artist Drawing Board Extra Large Size 19.75" x 29.5"
Alvin, LB SeriesBudget Pick
Alvin, LB Series
Alvin, LB SeriesUpgrade Pick
Alvin, LB Series

1. SoHo Urban Artist Drawing Board Extra Large Size 19.75" x 29.5"

Our rating: 9 / 10


SoHo Urban Artist Drawing Board Extra Large Size 19.75" x 29.5"

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Pros:

  • Can be used by several people at a time
  • Suitable for most drafting purposes
  • One of the most affordable options
  • Made of non-toxic materials
  • Ideal for kids and students
  • Very large (will easily fit several designs)
  • Easy to assemble
  • Trusted brand with good customer service
  • Features a unique design
  • Comes with a stand to hold your paper while you draw

Cons:

  • Drawer is not sturdy
  • Sticker edges are sharp
  • Stand might be too light for some people
  • Can be too small if you have larger hands
  • Board can develop cracks over time

Whether you’re a student or professional looking to do some initial sketches for your plans, a builder or architect trying to make construction plans, or a visual artist who wants to draw up some design ideas, this board will meet your needs. It’s not only the most affordable option, but also the most popular.

On Amazon, it has close to 3,000 perfect reviews, so that speaks volumes about its quality. It’s also stocked with 5-star ratings and has been purchased over 7,000 times. The one customer with a complaint received a replacement within the same day.

2. Alvin, LB Series

Our rating: 8 / 10


Alvin, LB Series

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Bottom line: The Alvin, Lightweight Drawing Board is our top choice for the best drafting board since it works just as well as more expensive boards and offers the same features at a much lower price. It’s a great choice for anyone, including kids and hobbyists. It’s also very portable, which makes it easy to work on any task you want and is easy to work with more expensive drafting boards.

3. Martin Universal Design Adjustable Angle Parallel Drawing Board

Our rating: 7 / 10


Martin Universal Design Adjustable Angle Parallel Drawing Board

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Pros:

  • Adjustable angle
  • Flip trays
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • Some people can’t set the angle
  • The knobs of the flip trays can break easily

While drafting boards come in many different sizes, designs, and shapes, the Martin universal road is a popular drafting board that offers a 20-degree angle that can quickly be adjusted between 80 degrees and a zero degrees by using a knob. The board is mounted onto a sturdy frame with built-in wheels that allow for easy moving.

The board comes with two flip trays that can be set at 20-degree or 40-degree angles. Each tray is removable, so you can also opt to use only the trays to draw on the board. Both the frame and the flip trays are made of steel that's sturdy and easy to clean. The dimensions (35.5 x 24 x 3.5 inches) allow for the board to serve as a comfortable writing surface.

The board's best feature is its ability to adjust the angle, so you can use the board to draw on both horizontal and vertical surfaces. This makes it convenient for architects and artists and it also works for various household projects. The board is lightweight and portable, so you can easily transport it to a client's location. There are also built-in wheels that allow you to move the board effortlessly.

4. U.S. Art Supply X-Large 25-5/8" Wide x 19" Tall

Our rating: 6 / 10


U.S. Art Supply X-Large 25-5/8" Wide x 19" Tall

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Pros:

  • Made of premium wood with a black finish
  • Perfect for creating large-scale designs
  • Lightweight and folds flat for easy storage
  • Smooth working surface (thanks to T-square holes)
  • Includes four 30-inch clips
  • Ultra-portable design

U.S. Art Supply is one of the leading brands when it comes to drafting boards. Their Artist Adjustable Wood Drawing Board is no exception. Suitable for both beginners and professionals, this model is large enough to accommodate most big projects. This drafting board’s top is made up of high-quality polyurethane foam, allowing it to glide smoothly across the board without catching on the paper.

The board weighs 2.85 lbs. and measures 25.5” by 19.5”. It has a white or black finish. The included clips are heavy duty and don’t wiggle thanks to the rubber caps at the end of each bolt. This product is one of the best drafting boards if you’re looking for something that offers both quality and value. And you can move it around easily since it weighs considerably less than similar models from other brands.

5. Alvin, Portable Drafting Boards

Our rating: 6 / 10


Alvin, Portable Drafting Boards

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Pros:

  • Reversible – dry erase or permanent marker
  • Heavy duty drafting board
  • Eight mounting holes
  • Top and underside coverings are affordable
  • Good size
  • Sturdy design
  • Easy to set up
  • Assembles in 10 minutes
  • Durable construction
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Cons:

  • Surface is not removable
  • Overall board size is smaller than expected
  • Can’t fit under desks

After comparing all the features, reviews, and product specifications, we found that the Alvin, Portable Drafting Boards, 18 x 24 Inches is the best drafting board on the market. The product description is very straightforward.

No matter whether you use this product for arts and crafts projects, school projects, or for your business, this drafting board will definitely make your projects easier to manage.

What’s more, it’s conveniently reversible: use dry erase markers on both sides or permanent markers on one side. The reversible feature makes this product better than others in the same category.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best drafting table?

Make sure you hunt for a great drafting table that’s just right for your height, ergonomics, and the type of work you do. There are other considerations to take into account too. Make sure your monitor and computer are at a good height and line of sight, test your keyboard and mouse reach to avoid any discomfort. You’ll want your space to feel comfortable and intuitive, as you’ll spend a lot of time there. Get the best drafting table and you’ll be ready to take on any creative project.

What are the types of drawing board?

There are two kinds of drawing boards available today. The first version is the conventional kind found in schools or offices, which usually have an elastomeric coating and attached wall stand. The second type is the portable board, which are great to have around if you want to work on your projects anytime and anywhere.

The portable drawing board should have a durable case to protect the board from hitting any sharp objects if you accidentally drop it. Make sure the case is made of hard plastic for safety purposes. The board’s surface can either be plastic sheet, paper, and even on a vinyl coated fabric. The top cover should be glued to the board’s surface to prevent the drawing surface from moving around especially if there is ample room for it to move.

What angle is a drafting table?

Most drafting tables have an angle of 30°. This angle is designed to aid in the control of a pencil while drawing. A pencil becomes less likely to slip from the drawing hand while using a drafting table.

The two most common angles for drafting tables are usually either 30° or 60° with a few tables coming in at 45°.

Why 45°?

Drawing tables that are 45° are meant to create a more natural wrist angle. If you’re someone that works with a drawing table the majority of the time, then a 45° angle would be optimal for you.

What is the height of a drafting table?

The height of a drafting table is usually between 29-42 inches, and it can range upward to that according to the preference of an individual. We all know that the height of the table is the first thing that will decide whether a user will have the best or worst experience with a drafting table.

However, the height of the table must be perfectly matched to the needs of the user. A table that is designed for a specific user will be enjoyed by that user frequently, and will be very easy to use.

It is great to have a drafting table that is perfect for the user, because it will encourage the user to use it very frequently. The benefits of having a drafting table at home are different from that of having a table in a workplace.

Conclusion

When you’re choosing between drafting boards, what you’re looking for is a durable product that’s easy to use, and reasonably priced. If that’s your goal, the selections you’ve just read about are all good, but my recommendation for the best drafting board is the LCD Heavy Duty Electronic Drafting Board with Case, 54” x 74” with a 7.5” x 9.5” Drafting Grid.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
SoHo Urban Artist Drawing Board Extra Large Size 19.75" x 29.5"Best Overall
SoHo Urban Artist Drawing Board Extra Large Size 19.75" x 29.5"
Alvin, LB SeriesBudget Pick
Alvin, LB Series
Alvin, LB SeriesUpgrade Pick
Alvin, LB Series