50 Must-Have Architect Tools

Sara Mandeed
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As an architect, architecture software and your computer equipment is one of the most important investments you will make in your career. If you get a computer or laptop that is too slow, you will not be able to do some of the more intensive calculations. If you get a computer that is too old, you will run into some problems with compatibility. If you get a computer that is too out of date, you won’t be able to get your software to run correctly.

Over time, your hardware will grow and you will likely upgrade your computer. This is why it’s important to buy software that is compatible with both older versions of Windows and really new versions. Also, this is why it’s handy to get a computer that is very space saving and Easy to upgrade so that that you are prepared for almost any upgrade you may want to make.

Luckily, there are many great options for architect tools and Architect Software that will make your work much easier.

This article will go in-depth on some of the pieces of architecture tools everyone needs and wants. Most of the products mentioned on this page are new releases and carry the newest features and software. These will save time, reduce paperwork, and provide the most efficient work flow you can find.

NameCategoryProduct
Moleskine Classic NotebookBest OverallMoleskine Classic Notebook
Alvin, 3298Budget PickAlvin, 3298
New Apple iPad ProUpgrade PickNew Apple iPad Pro

1. Moleskine Classic Notebook

Our rating: 9 / 10

Moleskine Classic Notebook

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Pros:

  • Improved binding
  • Durable, smooth elastic band
  • Simply designed
  • Great for ideas, shopping lists, and taking meeting notes

Cons:

  • Some reports of the band ripping out after some time of use
  • Not good for fountain pens

The Moleskine Classic Notebook is the go-to notebook for architects, designers, students, and professionals. If you’re still using yellow Post-It notes, you’ve been missing out.

The Moleskin notebooks are designed for all types of writing, including routine notes, brainstorming, sketching, and drawing. It comes in a variety of sizes and styles. Some even have flexible covers and paper inserts that expand, and elastic straps for holding pens.

The paper is plain, and very similar to college-ruled notebooks. The only difference is the grid lines that appear on some of the pages. When in doubt, go for plain. This will let you write and draw freely, without making you feel boxed in.

2. Alvin, Black Series

Our rating: 9 / 10

Alvin, Black Series

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Pros:

  • Economical
  • Hollow triangular for easy storage
  • Durable
  • Strong

Alvin, a reliable brand in the engineering and drafting tools industry, has brought forth the Black Series Engineer’s Scale. It’s an affordable professional-grade engineer scale that is available in three different lengths – 13 inches, 16 inches, and 20 inches. The length of the scale is written on a sticker on the tube.

This hollow triangular scale has a thin flat edge for easy storage. It is made of aluminum for durability, while the markings are printed on the tube. It is strong and measures in both the English and metric systems, with accuracy of up to 1/32 inch. This scale is even stylish in black, so you can use it with your office decor. It also weighs less than 1lb, so it’s easy to carry around.

Regardless of your field, an engineer scale is an important tool that you won’t want to miss. Since they’re affordable, the Black Series Engineer Scale is a great investment for your professional endeavors. It’s also a lightweight tool, weighing less than 1lb which is ideal for carry-on travel.

3. Calculated Industries 4065 Construction Master Pro Advanced Construction Math Feet-inch-Fraction Calculator

Our rating: 9 / 10

Calculated Industries 4065 Construction Master Pro Advanced Construction Math Feet-inch-Fraction Calculator

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Pros:

  • Extremely durable
  • High-quality engineering
  • Easy-to-read display
  • Compact
  • Comes with a hard carrying case

There’s no reason to comp out on our list of the best contractor calculator for your job site. There’s a lot more to project management than just holding up a number 2 pencil. When using a calculator on a job site, it’s imperative that you trust in the accuracy of your tool.

The Calculated Industries 4065 Construction Master Pro is a contractor calculator for any hand who needs to do a quick sum. It’s an advanced construction calculator for your numbers-heavy job sites.

This handy tool features a 1-mm readout that goes up to 3.9 inches. It displays fractions in feet, inches, and fraction increments. In addition, it has steel buttons for optimal feel, and a ‘work lock’ function that prevents accidental functions. It also comes with a hard carrying case.

4. New Apple iPad Pro

Our rating: 9 / 10

New Apple iPad Pro

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Pros:

  • Beautiful and sleek design
  • Stunning screen, great color definition
  • Excellent battery life and performance
  • Loud and clear speakers
  • Comprehensive iCloud integration
  • Excellent motion sensors
  • High processing power

Cons:

  • Expensive, relatively speaking, for a tablet
  • Very iOS specific
  • Not 4G compatible on all LTE bands

The iPad Pro is Apple's line of touchscreen tablet computers. Models come in a range of screen sizes, including a 4th generation model with a 12.9 inch display. Many of the tasks that users performed on earlier iPad models can be carried out on iPad Pro models.

The iPad Pro features a new display with greater space, and a 3D Touch interface. The larger screen allows for useful multitasking capabilities, providing users with greater flexibility in Apple productivity apps. Though there is no hardware numeric keypad or a standard USB port, the optional (external) Apple Keyboard and Apple Pencil allow users to input data more easily.

Winner of an iF Design Award, the iPad Pro is ultra-light and thin at 7.5 mm. In addition to the faster processor, the iPad Pro features an updated dual-LED flash on the rear camera, and an 8MP camera and HD video recording at the front. The iPad Pro supports 4G on all LTE bands.

5. Cutting Mat

Our rating: 9 / 10

Cutting Mat

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6. Alvin, Lightweight White Tracing Paper Rolls

Our rating: 9 / 10

Alvin, Lightweight White Tracing Paper Rolls

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Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Excellent for tracing/underlay
  • Fades away easily
  • Easy to pass back and forth between collaborators
  • Perfect for tracing for architectural drawings but can also be used for arts and crafts
  • Best used on smooth and clean surfaces (like glass and white boards)
  • Can be purchased in rolls

Cons:

  • Rolls are rolled loosely, so make sure to unroll and smooth out before use
  • Fades easily out of sunlight
  • Not suitable for outdoor use

Tracing paper has been used to aid in making architectural drawings for as long as architects have been making them. This tracing paper roll is perfect to trace architectural drawings, allowing you to add another layer and exaggerate the dimensions. It is also useful when doing your underlay on a scale drawing. The tracing paper comes in three different sizes: 35 mm, 45 mm, and 70 mm, and in different quantities depending on the size. The paper that comes with this roll is very thin and lightweight, so it will always be easy to handle.

7. Staedtler Pigment Liner Bonus Sketch Set of 6 Liners

Our rating: 9 / 10

Staedtler Pigment Liner Bonus Sketch Set of 6 Liners

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Pros:

  • Includes nibs of different widths
  • Great for artistic drawing and sketching
  • Pencils are quiet and long-lasting
  • Pencils have a medium-soft texture
  • Pencils are easy to use
  • Pencils are perfect for use by beginners and children
  • Staedtler is a top quality brand

Cons:

  • Sketch pencils don’t blend well or go on smooth
  • Pencils’ leads break off easily
  • Heavy lead wears down quickly
  • Too light for shading
  • Pencils do not erase easily

The Staedtler Pigment Liner Bonus Sketch Set of 6 is a colorful, wood-based lead that’s perfect for your drawings. They are 6-lead colored pencils and a bonus blender pencil that come in a set of 10 fitted in a hard plastic carrying case.

The set includes the following:

Blue: A high-quality pigment, excellent for greys and pastels

8. 3M Super 77 Multipurpose Spray Adhesive

Our rating: 9 / 10

3M Super 77 Multipurpose Spray Adhesive

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Pros:

  • Versatile spray adhesive
  • Works with a wide range of surfaces
  • Can spray from a point or at a spread
  • Lifts and holds seals
  • Great for bonding polystyrene foam
  • Supports up to 3lbs
  • Slightly slower drying time than other adhesives

The 3M Super 77 spray adhesive is a versatile adhesive that has proved to be extremely effective in a variety of DIY applications such as attaching boxes, planning posters, bonding polystyrene foam, and for temporary repairs. The bottle and applicator also makes it easy to use on a wide range of surfaces without any risk of overspray. The 3M spray adhesive is incredibly versatile, especially when compared to superglue.

This spray is cloud white with a consistency of a thin oil and has a low odor. It also works wet or dry, so you get maximum versatility. The product is also made in the USA, which is great for many buyers who are sensitive to chemical additives in the products that they buy.

9. Leica DISTO D2 New 330ft Laser Distance Measure

Our rating: 9 / 10

Leica DISTO D2 New 330ft Laser Distance Measure

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Pros:

  • Excellent measuring tool, very accurate
  • Comes with free software for PCs
  • Range of up to 330 feet
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Long battery life
  • Different model available

Cons:

  • Handy for designers, not for contractors
  • Could be easier to read in bright shade conditions
  • Can only do linear distances

This little tool will save you hours on your next project. The disto D2 is a self-leveling laser distance measure for use at any other flat surface. It comes with handy features like augmented reality, smart high visibility display, wireless connectivity, and an intuitive keypad. The D2 does both metric and imperial measurements and can even understand decimal feet (great for the United States.)

The D2 330 comes with a self-leveling function that will correct for slopes and inclines. It measures to the nearest 1mm and has a range of 330 feet making it useful for even larger construction jobs. In addition, you can connect your D2 to your smart phone or Bluetooth enabled device and link with the free Disto+ app that offers 3D models and sketches to add more dimensions to your measurements. While not as practical as other measuring tools, it is a very useful tool to have on hand if you work with construction or architecture. Like other laser measuring tools it cannot measure areas larger than its view.

10. Phive LK-1 Metal Architect Swing Arm LED Desk Lamp/Table Lamp

Our rating: 9 / 10

Phive LK-1 Metal Architect Swing Arm LED Desk Lamp/Table Lamp

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Pros:

  • Mounts on most surfaces
  • High-quality LED light with a lifespan of 100,000 hours
  • 6-level dimmer and 4 lighting modes
  • Memory function
  • Ideal for a wide range of applications, from graphic for writing and crafts to reading and knitting
  • With an adjustable joint, swing arm, and heavy base, you can position the lamp in almost any way you want
  • The clamps simply to the top of your desk, light stand, or any other surface with a diameter of 4.8 to 9.8 inches
  • Easily clipped on a shelf or table
  • Lightweight and portable design
  • Suitable for heavy use

For Home Office Studying / Writing / Computer Bedroom / Living Room, Kindle / Notebook /Ipad.

11. Stainless Steel Ruler and Metal Rule Kit

Our rating: 9 / 10

Stainless Steel Ruler and Metal Rule Kit

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Pros:

  • Stainless steel and nickel with exceptional durability
  • Comes with a detailed conversion table
  • Can put a scratch or cut mark on the measuring tool
  • Strong yet lightweight
  • Easy to apply

The Stainless Steel Ruler and Metal Rule Kit with Conversion Table is, to our opinion, the absolute best metal ruler, and one of the very few available in the market. Made of stainless steel, it’s also a durable measuring tool. Additionally, it comes with a conversion table, making it more efficient.

This metal measuring tool offers common sizes – inches, millimeters, centimeters, and fathoms. The ruler stands out for being easy to use, lightweight, non-magnetic, and scratch-resistant. It comes in the standard 12” length, making it versatile enough for most uses. Also, this ruler features 3 measurement scales: 1”, 1/2”, and 1/4”, plus 0.1” divisions. It also has a clear theme to help users understand various concepts.

12. Five Star Loose Leaf Paper

Our rating: 9 / 10

Five Star Loose Leaf Paper

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Pros:

  • High-quality paper
  • Punched for 3-ring binders
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Won’t yellow with age
  • Available in various rulings and brands
  • 11 x 8-1/2 inch size
  • Great color contrast, doesn’t fade
  • Compatible with 3 hole and 4 hole punch machines
  • Great value for the money
  • Available in packs of 100 or 500

If you’re writing a lot of notes and want to keep your paper organized without having to shell out for expensive desk pads, then you should invest in a high-quality, durable notebook. One of the best notebooks out there is the Five Star Loose Leaf Paper. It’s excellent for your daily writing tasks and comes in a variety of different paper and sizes.

13. Staedtler Mars 780 Technical Mechanical Pencil

Our rating: 9 / 10

Staedtler Mars 780 Technical Mechanical Pencil

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Pros:

  • Ideal for writing and fine lines
  • Smooth writing experience
  • Strong lead
  • Comfortable, comes with medium eraser
  • Available in various colors
  • Excellent quality and craftsmanship
  • Excellent reviews and ratings
  • Provides superior control and precision

Jesse Hoekstra, in his article titled, “50 Must-Have Tools for Architects,” recommends using and purchasing the Staedtler Mars 780 as one of the best drafting pencils to use in the design process. It is absolutely one of the best and most popular pencils used by architects thanks to the combination of superb craftsmanship and expertise that the German engineering company produces.

The Mars 780 boasts of premium quality materials used in pure luxury style. The barrel consists of a robust plastic that’s designed to be comfortable, even with longer usage times. The rubber grip gives you hold and a sense of control, even with a fine grip. It also features a wonderful eraser that gives you precision in free form drawing and even in straight lines. It is also available in a variety of different colors, so you can have a variety of options.

14. Creative Impressions Metal Edge Acrylic Ruler 12 Inch

Our rating: 9 / 10

Creative Impressions Metal Edge Acrylic Ruler 12 Inch

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Pros:

  • Has a useful 1/8" edge
  • Reinforced measurements
  • Double-sided
  • Available in two colors

If you need a metal edge acrylic ruler that will last longer, it’s always a good to check out Creative Impressions. It's a double-sided ruler that's perfect for drawing straight lines and measuring fractions. The ruler has a metal edge (hence the name) and reinforced measurements that make it easy to read and write.

On the other hand, an acrylic edge is also useful for the purposes of preventing damage to your work surface due to the 1/8th-sized edge. In terms of availability, the ruler is available in two colors – lime and black. Plus, the ruler is backed by a lifetime guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase.

15. X-ACTO Compression Basic Knife Set

Our rating: 9 / 10

X-ACTO Compression Basic Knife Set

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Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Available in different sizes
  • Perfect for different types of work

Cons:

  • Not that sturdy
  • A few reported cases of longevity issues

Knives are an absolute necessary if you’re considering a career as a professional architect. Surely you’d want your favorite tools to be of high quality and be up to the challenge of heavy use each day.

This knife set from X-ACTO is composed of 5 blades – 3 are retractable and 2 are fixed-bladed. The precision V-Cut blades give you the accuracy you need for precise measurements. The knives feature durable, sturdy handles so that you can work for long hours without straining your fingers and hands.

If you need a highly portable and easy-to-store knife set, then the X-ACTO Basic Knife Set is the ideal choice. The set comes with a well-designed storage case that keeps the knives safe and intact and is very compact in shape. It also comes with a built-in belt clip so you can easily carry it around when you’re on the go.

16. Loctite Ultra Gel Control Super Glue

Our rating: 9 / 10

Loctite Ultra Gel Control Super Glue

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Sets fast according to customer reviews
  • Dries clear
  • Won’t ever crack or become brittle
  • Works on multiple surfaces
  • Stronger than other super glues according to customer reviews
  • Safe to use according to customer reviews
  • Reputable manufacturer
  • Paintable after drying
  • Non-flammable according to customer reviews

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work on all projects according to customer reviews
  • Has a tendency to drip, according to customer reviews
  • Limited life span

The Loctite Ultra Gel Control Super Glue is basically a new and improved version of the Loctite Super Glue. This particular super glue offers extra control because it is a thick, gel-like formula that forms a secure seal quickly and doesn’t drip. It has a longer working time, which allows you to move around the wet glue to fit your project and allows you to align your glued objects immaculately.

The Loctite Ultra Gel Control glue will set fast and permanently, and it is great for bonding virtually any material that is made of wood, plastic, or ceramic. It is particularly useful for bonding porous surfaces such as wood and ceramics.

17. NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves

Our rating: 8 / 10

NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves

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Pros:

  • These gloves will protect you from slicing, cutting, sharp impact, puncture, and abrasion
  • 9 out of 10 customers who have actually used these gloves in real world scenarios with knives and scissors swear that they really work, according to reviews
  • Made with a micro-thin asbestos free fiber, which is super stretchy, durable, flexible, breathable, and comfortable
  • The gloves are ambidextrous and will fit your left or right hand
  • They’re easy to wash and the material can soak up any liquid, oil, or dirt
  • A complimentary bonus e-book will teach you a little bit about how to prevent hand injuries while using knives, kitchen tools, and even while gardening or cleaning

Cons:

  • Some people have reported that they developed allergic reactions to the gloves, according to some reviewers
  • Some people reported that they had problems using the gloves because the fingers were too tight
  • Some people felt that they had more dexterity with the gloves than without, which might not work for people who want absolute protection

NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves.

18. Nozlen Document Poster Tube

Our rating: 8 / 10

Nozlen Document Poster Tube

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Pros:

  • Made of clear, super-durable plastic
  • Good size expandable from 24 .5 to 40 inches
  • Really easy to slide material into the tube
  • Clear ID card top stays on tight, but slides off easily to allow you to empty the tube and put in new stuff
  • Doesn’t take up much valuable space, so you can store it easily
  • Light- and water-resistant

Cons:

  • Base seems a little flimsy
  • Really expensive when compared to similar products
  • Might have to double or triple up tubes to avoid bending or breaking at base when tubes are filled
  • Might have to fight with the ID card holder to get it to slide back on top after emptying the tube

This Nozlen Document Poster Tube – Black Plastic Storage Tube Expands from 24 .5" up to 40" with Clear ID Card Cap – Water and Light Resistant – Telescoping for Posters, Artwork and Drawings is a great way to store rolled-up posters, artwork, or drawings. It’s made of clear, flexible, super-durable plastic that’s big enough to hold a full-sized 24×40-inch poster, or several rolled-up smaller posters or pictures.

19. ME456 A4 LED Light Box 9×12 Inch Light Pad Only 5mm Ultra-Thin USB Power Light Table

Our rating: 8 / 10

ME456 A4 LED Light Box 9x12 Inch Light Pad Only 5mm Ultra-Thin USB Power Light Table

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Pros:

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to use
  • Very affordable compared to other LED light boxes
  • The manufacturer stands by their product – 100% money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied

The ME456 12×18 LED drawing tablet is one of the most user-friendly LED light boxes on the market at the moment. It’s one of the top-rated light boxes listed in the best drawing tablets ratings, perhaps because it’s 100% compatible with all versions of Windows, Android, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

The light box has a very low weight of just 17 ounces. It’s also very compact and measures at 18x12x2 inches. The LED light plate is just 5mm thick, 10x brighter than traditional drawing tablets, and it has a 180-degree adjustable stand for optimum viewing.

Another feature which we love is that the light box comes with a 180-day money-back guarantee. If there are any issues with the light box itself, the manufacturer will replace it or refund the purchase.

20. Zona 37-434 L-Square

Our rating: 8 / 10

Zona 37-434 L-Square

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Pros:

  • It’s highly accurate
  • Metric and inch standards
  • Stain resistant
  • Size is rather small and easy to carry

The Zona 37-434 L-Square is a high-quality steel-made ruler with an L-shape design. Its features and functions are backed by a 2-year warranty. The ruler comes with a flip-over top bracket that helps you work on your drawings without the need to pull the ruler away. Its measurement scale is written on all edges and has a convenient ½ inch increment.

The total size of the ruler is 4 inches x 4 inches. It is constructed with positive check marks that allow you to take accurate readings every time. It can be used as a tamper to smooth or level extension papers while working on your drawings.

The stainless steel lead free construction is one of the most notable advantages of the ruler. The material is firm yet flexible, long-lasting and won’t chip, warp, or bend. The perfect accuracy of the ruler comes from the advanced technical design, which conforms to your drawing needs.

21. Staedtler 502 BK A6 Mars Rotary Action Lead Pointer and Tub

Our rating: 8 / 10

Staedtler 502 BK A6 Mars Rotary Action Lead Pointer and Tub

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The Staedtler 502 BK A6 Mars Rotary Action Lead Pointer and Tub for 2mm Leads, 502BKA6,Blue is a great set of tools to have around the office. This product is designed to help you advance your work productivity while also keeping you stay on top of your projects even on those hectic days. It features a lead tube and lead pointer in a convenient, compact size to ensure easy storage.

The sleek design and durable materials make it ideal for use by people of all skill levels.

The kit is designed to enhance your drawing and writing experience while also improving your work efficiency at the same time. It comes with a lead pointer, a tub of leads, and a pencil extender. Each of these tools has been designed to further simplify drawing, writing, and designing processes by helping you to make your work smoother and easier.

22. Ohuhu Electric Eraser Kit

Our rating: 8 / 10

Ohuhu Electric Eraser Kit

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Black.

Despite the lack of good freehand drawing skills, a pencil is still the best tool available to start your architectural drawing. However, even the best tools need to be sharpened, and that’s where this electric pencil eraser kit from Ohuhu comes into play.

This pencil eraser from Ohuhu is battery-operated and has an attached brush that serves 2 purposes in one device – both wheels and eraser in one tool. It comes with 20 eraser refills and has a length of 4.7 inches and a diameter of 0.375 inches. This electric pencil eraser is suitable for artists working on various mediums, like watercolor, pastel, oil, and pencil. With its slim shape, it fits in pencil cases without disturbing the rest of the pencils.

23. Alvin, French Curve Ruler

Our rating: 8 / 10

Alvin, French Curve Ruler

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Pros:

  • Excellent quality
  • Very sturdy
  • Fairly inexpensive
  • Perfect for various kinds of drawings
  • A useful gift for your loved ones who are architects
  • Contains eight different French curve templates

The Alvin French Curve set is a great addition to your home DIY tools. This set comes in different sizes and shapes for all the curves you will need for architectural drawings, sculpting and many more. It features two 30 degree curves, three 60 degree curves, one 85 degree curve and two 100 degree curves.

Though they are not needed for the set, this comes with an excellent French curve template holder. This will help to protect your templates from getting damaged by picking small holes while you put them back into the case. This set is perfect for your day-to-day professional as well as home-based use.

Features:

24. Westcott LetterCraft Large and Small Circles Template

Our rating: 8 / 10

Westcott LetterCraft Large and Small Circles Template

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Pros:

  • Large high quality design template
  • Works on various materials
  • Useful for beginner artists
  • Nice accompanying instruction manual
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Sturdy design
  • Very affordable price

If you're looking for a reliable and affordable design template, then this Large and Small Circle Template from Westcott is a nice option to consider. It is designed for professionals and beginners alike. The template involves a circular border with six different sizes and is ideal for use on wood, fabric, and other materials.

The great thing about this design template is that it comes with an instruction manual that provides tips on how to use the template properly. It is incredibly easy to use. Once the circle is in place, you just need to hold it in place and cut through the material with a sharp blade. It is perfect for a variety of purposes ranging from stenciling walls to creating intricate patterns on clothing.

To clean up the cuts once the project is complete, we recommend you use a mild detergent and water solution to dissolve the stubborn materials. The only real downside to this design template is that it may require additional sharpening of blades along the way.

25. Securcut 48.5 Inch Safety Ruler

Our rating: 8 / 10

Securcut 48.5 Inch Safety Ruler

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Pros:

  • Multitool function
  • Easily scores midline, backline and reference lines for use with a laser or marker
  • Soft grip section makes scoring comfortable
  • Cheap and easy to replace
  • Sharp and precise
  • Lightweight material
  • Large surface for scoring
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Flexible material
  • Made of stainless steel, but undergoes plastic-like finish to prevent rusting

Cons:

  • Not useful for everyday use
  • Described as too short

26. Westcott. 12"/30cm Junior T-Square

Our rating: 8 / 10

Westcott. 12"/30cm Junior T-Square

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Pros:

  • Resistant to dust
  • Comes with a protective cap to avoid rust
  • Perfect for use in gardens and art projects
  • Accurate measurement
  • Rust-proof markings

Cons:

  • Sometimes comes with defects
  • Somewhat slippery

A junior T-square is commonly used to aid drawing or measuring straight lines in a variety of applications. The tool itself is most commonly used in schools and situations where drawing and measurement precision is a priority.

This particular T-square from Westcott is a good product to consider. It has a 30-inches long metal shaft made of high-quality stainless steel. The marking heads are made of steel as well, and the front end of the head is protected by a plastic housing.

There’s also a 6-inch scale, for both 1/16 in. and 1/8 inch accuracy. These markings are easy to read and the dial locks securely. The tool is quite wide so it can cover a large surface area, and it’s also got a hook to hold pencils and pens.

27. Swingline Paper Trimmer

Our rating: 8 / 10

Swingline Paper Trimmer

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28. Sargent Art Plastilina Modeling Clay

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sargent Art Plastilina Modeling Clay

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Pros:

  • Stays soft and pliable
  • Perfect for children and adults
  • Non-toxic, non-available material
  • Says FDA-approved

Cons:

  • Easily fractures/breaks
  • Sizing may be slightly different from product to product

In this category of best modeling clays, we bring to our audience the product from Sargeant Art. The product is non-toxic and non-available material, which means it is good for children and adults alike.

The material is said to be FDA approved which means it is safe for use. The elasticity of the material gives the user a lot of advantage, because it helps mold the clay to his/her liking.

The plastilina can be stored at room temperature, and is quite durable if kept away from water. When the product needs to be mixed, make sure that you rub the clays together to rid of any air pockets which can cause cracks and fractures.

29. Dahle 796 Trimmer Stand w/Paper Catch

Our rating: 8 / 10

Dahle 796 Trimmer Stand w/Paper Catch

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Pros:

  • Best paper trimmer stand for Dahle 446 Trimmer
  • Good for office and home
  • German Engineered
  • Durable
  • Allows you to work more proficiently
  • Equipped with a paper catch
  • Allows for a distance of 22 inches between the blade and the table
  • Cordless
  • Easy to carry

Cons:

  • Not very sturdy
  • Does not come with detailed instructions
  • Check Price on Amazon

Sheet Capacity, 22 x 12.6 x 9.6 in

This paper trimmer stand is designed to ensure that you work more proficiently while being able to compare the sheets of paper you’re working with. The Swiss-engineered device helps to maintain a constant distance between the paper and the blade. This is to ensure that you’re able to use the trimmer precisely.

It also allows you to work from a prolonged distance when using the Dahle 446 premium rotary trimmer. The sturdiness of the trimmer stand is quite exceptional as well. The fact that it's made out of steel, for instance, and that it can be easily carried to different locations is also quite impressive.

30. FlashForge Finder 3D Printers

Our rating: 8 / 10

FlashForge Finder 3D Printers

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Pros:

  • Infused with Cloud based technology
  • Wi-Fi and USB cable connectivity
  • 3D printing with ABS and PLA filaments
  • Auto-leveling probe for hassle-free setup
  • High-quality printing with support for STL and 3MF file types
  • A range of resolutions – up to high-definition printings
  • Easy operation
  • Boasts a one-year warranty
  • The print bed can be removed, stained, and cleaned easily
  • A simple-to-use menu

ABS and PLA filaments included free.

31. DARICE LEVADO 1095-34 608766668047 Retractable Razor Knife Set

Our rating: 8 / 10

DARICE LEVADO 1095-34 608766668047 Retractable Razor Knife Set

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32. BYB E476 Metal Architect LED Desk Lamp

Our rating: 8 / 10

BYB E476 Metal Architect LED Desk Lamp

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Pros:

  • 100% durable metal body
  • Flexible design
  • Multiple settings and light levels
  • Touch button for easy adjustments
  • Limited 1-year warranty

The first place in our list of best architect tools belongs to BYB E476. First off, it's super easy to set up. The lamp screws on around your desk so that you can clamp it at any time. It's also highly re-configurable and you can twist it around to any direction you need. This lamp has all kinds of useful features. It's got touch control, 4 color modes, 6 brightness levels and the convenience of memory function. You can even set the brightness for a certain time and the lamp will switch itself on or off at that time.

It's a very sturdy, yet lightweight lamp, weighing in at about 3 pounds and backed up with a 1-year warranty. It's perfect for any settings.

Out of our 50 top architect tools, this got us the most number of votes and we have detailed this product in great detail. Read our full review below.

33. Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Our rating: 8 / 10

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

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Pros:

  • Great design
  • Combines comfortable design with great noise cancellation
  • The best noise cancellation you’ll find in a pair of headphones
  • Great audio quality
  • Compact, foldable design
  • Comfortable enough for long hours of use
  • Good for travel and excellent in noisy environments
  • Can be paired with an app and more
  • Inline remote with microphone for taking calls on the go
  • Wireless headphones

Cons:

  • Might be too big for some users' taste
  • Ear cups are not replaceable, something potential buyers should know

The Bose QuietComfort QC 20 earphones are on my list of the best cancelled noise earphones in 2020 due to their great noise reduction abilities. These headphones are great for travel and will make your flights and trips enjoyable without having to listen to the usual airplane noises that come with traveling.

Many users have reported that these are one of the best noise cancelling headphones on the market and the headphones are compatible with iOS and Android devices. They are also great for music, gaming, and movies that you can watch and enjoy instead of hearing the noises around you. With the wireless design, you can fold the headphones and easily carry them on a plane or on your travel backpack. You can also choose from a wide variety of colors to match your style.

34. Alumicolor 3000 Series 12-Inch Silver Hollow Aluminum Triangular Engineer Scale

Our rating: 8 / 10

Alumicolor 3000 Series 12-Inch Silver Hollow Aluminum Triangular Engineer Scale

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Pros:

  • Indestructible
  • Produces crisp, sharp lines
  • Wide variety of sizes available
  • Not too expensive
  • Easy to clean
  • Doesn’t rust, bend, and stretch
  • Set contains 12 unique scales

Cons:

  • Triangular-shaped; not ideal for long drawing
  • Heavier than other options
  • Not ideal for soft surfaces
  • Expensive compared to other products

There are countless scales available in the market today for architects to use in designing their next project. When it comes to choosing just one, however, Alumicolor is our best pick for a reason.

The Alumicolor 3000 series is available in a wide variety of sizes, from 12 to 36 inches long. Each scale also comes with a sharp scribe edge and can be colored to meet your graphic requirements. They’re also made from heavy duty aluminum, which makes them really strong and durable.

This makes them perfect for use on soft surfaces, and they don’t rust or stretch over time. Another reason why this scale is our top pick is because it is very easy to clean – just wipe with a damp cloth or mild soap, and it’s as good as new.

35. Alvin, 3298

Our rating: 8 / 10

Alvin, 3298

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Pros:

  • Perfect for myopic architects
  • Saves time on projects
  • Easily fits in your pocket
  • Great value for the price
  • 5-year warranty
  • Satisfaction guaranteed
  • Great customer service

Cons:

  • Can be flimsy
  • Not strong enough for more demanding use
  • Not suitable for left-handed use
  • Not a specialized tool

The Alvin 3298 stainless steel erasing shield is an extremely specialized tool. It’s ideal for left-handed architects, designers, and engineers. It’s a thin sheet of flexible stainless steel that you use to protect whatever you’re drawing on from getting smudged by your hand.

This tool is especially ideal for myopic people and those who have trouble seeing small print. It’s also good for architects, designers, and engineers who get tired of having to re-draw every little detail due to smudges from their hands.

The 3298 erasing shield has a 5-year warranty and is guaranteed to be free from defects. Alvin is an industry leader in conceptual tools, and they make great stuff. If you want a specialized tool that’s simple in design and gets the job done, the 3298 erasing shield is a great choice.

36. PRO ART Drafting Pad

Our rating: 7 / 10

PRO ART Drafting Pad

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Key Points:

  • Excellent paper quality
  • Bright white backing
  • 20 sheets per pad
  • High-quality acid-free, lignin-free paper
  • Thickness: 20 lbs / 80 gsm

Capabilities:

  • Great for pencils, crayons, markers, and inking pens
  • Textured, bright white backing
  • Ultra Elegant – for artistic drawings

37. Modway Veer Drafting Chair

Our rating: 7 / 10

Modway Veer Drafting Chair

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Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Deep wide seat for extra comfort
  • Hydraulic lift adjustable to ensure you're always at the right height for the desk
  • Adjustable lumbar support levels
  • Cool looking wheels and professional-looking black and silver frame
  • Dimensions of 20" x 22" x 45.5"
  • Maximum weight is 250 lbs
  • Assembly required
  • Stylish, soft black mesh to chair
  • Adjustable seat height

38. BQLZR White Unpainted Architectural 1:100 Scale Model Figures Pack of 100

Our rating: 7 / 10

BQLZR White Unpainted Architectural 1:100 Scale Model Figures Pack of 100

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Pros:

  • Ideal for stress relieving
  • Great for imaginative play
  • Perfect for dioramas and other projects
  • Reasonably priced
  • Durable and sturdy material

Cons:

  • While the figures are durable, the packaging isn’t
  • Some are badly painted and look cheap

We will introduce you to a new, unique architect engineering that involves some “playable” activity while you are working or thinking about a new building project. You can just relax yourself and your mind by playing these model figures. The first thing you will pickup is the list of subjects such as natural habitats, animals, and other interesting things. You can build new habitats with these fun creatures and make them so charming home.

The BQLZR White Unpainted Model Figure Pack of 100 is a pack of 100 unpainted 1:100 scale models including animals and other items perfect for dioramas and other projects – like designing new buildings, for example.

They are made out of durable and sturdy plastic and are recommended for children who are at least seven years of age. They’re meant to be played with, and are not intended for children who are older than 36 months.

39. GOCHANGE 3 in 1 Foam Cutter Electric Cutting Machine Pen Tools Kit

Our rating: 7 / 10

GOCHANGE 3 in 1 Foam Cutter Electric Cutting Machine Pen Tools Kit

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Pros:

  • Very durable and long-lasting
  • Great value for the money
  • Designed to be used by beginners
  • Works well in both hard and soft surfaces
  • Fantastic customer support

Cons:

  • Some customer reviews indicate the cutter needs slight recalibration after a while
  • Very heavy

Wall Plug, Patented – Sculpture Modeling Modeling Tool.

If you want to see immediate results while you hone your artistry skills, this is the best foam cutter to get. The GOCHANGE foam cutter has a 3-in-1 design that effectively converts the tool into a cutter, a pen, or a knife.

Its ergonomically-designed handle fits comfortably in your hands, so it won’t tire you out when you’re working on that large piece. Its lightweight design makes it easy for you to maneuver the tool in any direction you want without straining yourself.

40. Alvin, Trig Scale Adjustable Triangle

Our rating: 7 / 10

Alvin, Trig Scale Adjustable Triangle

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Pros:

  • Features an inking edge for marking
  • Great size for basic measurements
  • Very sturdy and precisely made
  • Excellent value
  • Easy to read and calibrate
  • Well-made comes with durable carrying case
  • Provides various angles for more accurate measurements
  • Designed to be a right triangle

Cons:

  • A little on the lighter side
  • Marking can come off over time

This is an excellent 12-inch drafting triangle that’s perfect for any architect or professional builder. It features an inking edge and is calibrated to provide the degrees read on the side where the base meets. It’s perfect for measuring angles and then transferring that data to your drawings.

This is a sturdy professional triangle that’s easy to calibrate and read. It’s also great for measuring angles and angles on multiple surfaces, in which case you’ll need to use double the angle scale.

41. Westcott Professional Dusting Brush

Our rating: 7 / 10

Westcott Professional Dusting Brush

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Pros:

  • Comfortable, angled handle
  • 14” handle offers great reach
  • 6-foot long cord
  • Comes with a 7.5” steel blade
  • Brush material is both soft and durable

Cons:

  • A bit pricey
  • Blade tends to loosen with time
  • Loose bristles tend to get caught on fabrics
  • Handle tends to twist as you sweep

The Westcott Professional Dusting Brush is part of the “Rapid Response” line of cleaning tools from Westcott. Both the handle and the blade are made from high-quality materials and are guaranteed to last for a long time. The brush’s soft bristle material is both soft and durable.

The handle is 14 inches long which makes it very long and comfortable. The brush makes it very easy to clean clothes, curtains, and ceilings. However, the only gripe with the Westcott Professional Dusting Brush is that the blade tends to loosen over time. You can solve this problem by purchasing a handle tightening tool.

42. Alvin, Portable Drafting Boards

Our rating: 6 / 10

Alvin, Portable Drafting Boards

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Pros:

  • Comes with a variety of tools
  • Includes 8 Alvin T-Square
  • Includes 12 Alvin Drafting Supplies
  • Comes with 5 Alvin Tri-Sticks
  • Includes 12 Alvin Drawing Pads
  • Includes 6 Blueline Guidelines
  • Includes 6 Alvin Drafting Supplies
  • 24/7/365 customer service from Alvin

This is a comprehensive set of architects’ tools that will allow you to design and draft projects. The tools are made of high-quality material and are made to last a long time. Do you like having options? This is a kit that will give you unlimited, unlimited, and absolutely no restrictions when it comes to coming up with architectural designs.

The set contains a wide range of items, from drafting pencils to drafting tools. It includes an assortment of drawing aids and tools such as the T-square, triangle and drafter’s squares. The set also includes accessories such as the workbench, construction helmet and light. The set also includes reference books on the basics of architectural design and drawing.

43. Tape Measure

Our rating: 6 / 10

Tape Measure

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Pros:

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Magnetic hook saves your time and wrist
  • Big 25.5-foot tape rule
  • Polypropylene blade
  • Screwed and locked blade

Precision and durability are exactly what you're going to get with the Estwing tape measure. This 25-foot tape measure features a big stainless hook and blade made of nylon-bonded steel. This magnetic hook is one of the main reasons why this tape measure gets our top pick. It saves you from having to juggle the tape measure, and saves your wrist from fatigue.

The ergonomic grip is non-slip for better comfort. The blade is screwed and locked, which helps the tape measure stay at an accurate length and be easy to read. You can also retract the tape by the sliding lock button at the bottom which is another plus.

These are some of the basic features that you normally see in a tape measure. But, Estwing takes it to the next level by adding in some colorful touches that will surely win you over. The company offers an unconditional lifetime warranty on all products.

44. Architectural Graphic Standards

Our rating: 6 / 10

Architectural Graphic Standards

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Pros:

  • Provides all of the information you need to know about modern architectural and interior design
  • Covers up-to-date practices, standards, and codes
  • Contains 3, 000 illustrations in addition to 277 tables and 7, 250 line drawings

This set contains 50 classic books on technical and professional architectural topics.

Covers up-to-date practices, standards, and codes.

Contains 3, 000 illustrations in addition to 277 tables and 7, 250 line drawings. Provides all of the information you need to know about modern architectural and interior design.

45. Excel Blades Small Mitre Box Kit

Our rating: 6 / 10

Excel Blades Small Mitre Box Kit

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Pros:

  • Easily hooked onto just about any cutting board
  • Saw blades contain both Japanese and German steel
  • Good size for precision cuts
  • Sturdy, high-quality frame

Cons:

  • Cannot be loaded with saw blades other than the ones provided
  • The blade carrying portion of the box is a little flimsy
  • Smaller miter hooks can tear up the saw blades

The Excel Blades Small Mitre Box Kit is a great tool to have on hand if you’re cutting a lot of angles. Whether you’re a serious DIYer or a professional, this small miter box has a lot of uses. It can be used for making custom picture frames, cutting and gluing lumber, or cutting tiles and drywall.

This miter saw box comes with 14 reversible Japanese T8 and German 303 saw blades. It also includes 6 saw blade handles so that you can quickly change blades to meet the level of precision you need … whether you’re cutting for a job or for fun.

One thing to note is that the saw blades provided require you to use the miter box in an upright position. This means that you can only use it with a bench or table saw.

46. Midwest Products Hobby & Craft Easy Cutter

Our rating: 6 / 10

Midwest Products Hobby & Craft Easy Cutter

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Pros:

  • Has a good grip
  • Padded handle for comfort
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Blade isn’t very sharp
  • Can be dangerous for kids
  • Poor quality

When you’re looking for the best craft cutting tool, the Easy Cutter from Midwest Products will not disappoint. The Easy Cutter features a spring-assisted blade for quick and easy fruit and vegetable cutting. The handle is padded for comfort and has a good grip so that it doesn’t slip while you’re cutting.

The Easy Cutter can be used for a multitude of fruit and vegetable cutting jobs, ranging from chopping herbs and garlic to cutting fruits into smaller pieces. And you don’t have to worry about cutting yourself since the Easy Cutter features a safety lock that prevents accidental opening.

Plus, the Easy Cutter fits fine on the hand, making it easy to carry around the kitchen as you prepare a meal. The product comes with a money-back guarantee, so don’t be afraid to try it out. We think it’s a reliable option.

47. Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan

Our rating: 5 / 10

Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan

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With the Motion Graphics, Design, and Web Premium add-on option, you get access to 20GB space for your images with Photoshop CC. The plan also comes with Lightroom, the Photoshop Photo bundle, Lightroom mobile, 1TB cloud storage, full versions of Adobe’s desktop and mobile apps for teams, and 24/7 priority access to support.

The plan is avilable for MacOS and Windows.

The basic plan lets you install the programs on two Windows or two Mac computers, while the Production Premium plan allows you to install it on up to three computers.

48. Orion Motor Tech 40W CO2 Laser Engraving Cutting Machine

Our rating: 5 / 10

Orion Motor Tech 40W CO2 Laser Engraving Cutting Machine

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Pros:

  • High-quality, delicate engravings
  • Excellent choice for DIY and educational purposes
  • Long operating time
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • The manufacturers provide misleading information regarding the operating temperature
  • Fire control buttons are hard to reach

This powerful laser cutting machine is a great choice for small-scale users. It is equipped with a linear motor that allows you to engrave different materials, including wood, fabrics, and leather. The machine is suitable for both personal and commercial use.

The device accepts a larger variety of fonts and comes with a wireless remote, which makes it easier to use it. Its repositionable foot and wheels also enable you to reach all the areas you need.

This cutter comes with a 10-year warranty. If there are any problems, the manufacturer will send a replacement.

49. Pitsco Hearlihy Collegiate Drawing Set

Our rating: 5 / 10

Pitsco Hearlihy Collegiate Drawing Set

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Pros:

  • Set includes more than one hundred colors
  • Has a high capacity and is ideal for professionals
  • Draws both dry and wet
  • Good mixing range
  • Smooth flow for easy application

The Pitsco Hearlihy Collegiate Drawing Set is a high-quality, professional watercolors set. This set is ideal for use by both beginners and experts, offering a wide range of colors. The set includes 50 colors, 3 liners, 24 glazes, 6 brights, 6 pastels, a mixing palette, a palette knife, a brush, a square, a flat, and a round brush.

The Hearlihy set comes with a hefty price tag, but it has a wide spectrum of vibrant colors that are great for both beginners and professionals. The set includes a variety of excellent pigmented colors that are easy to apply and blend. Reviewers say the colors are very high quality for the price, long-lasting, mix well with each other, and don’t streak.

The colors also dry quickly and have a good flow for easy application. In addition, this set comes with multiple brush types. They all work just fine, although some reviewers have complained that the bristles on the round brush are too long and curly.

50. PRO ART Drafting Dots

Our rating: 4 / 10

PRO ART Drafting Dots

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Pros:

  • Easy to apply
  • Adhesive glue is included
  • Available in a variety of styles
  • Great for a variety of surfaces
  • Handy set
  • Really cheap

Cons:

  • They’re not the best quality
  • Not suitable for people with oily hands or sweaty palms
  • Design is a little rough

Architectural Decoration Relief Index Arrows Index Arrows

Pro Art Drafting Dots: Architectural Decoration Relief Index Arrows Index Arrows come in a handy pack of 130. These include approximately 1, 60-count sheets of double-sided dots that are designed for architects to draw and mark lines and measure required distances.

The dots in the pack allow users to decorate drawings and scale models without using ink.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What equipment do you need for architecture?

Architecture is one of my passions after learning the basics as a child. Tools for architects include the typical builders items such as nails hammers, screwdrivers, tape, etc. These are just the basics. Then there are some relatively unknown tools that, while not required, could make your life a lot easier.

For instance – the Stanley Steemer ID Tool. This nifty little gadget makes it much more fun to vacuum hardwood floors. Oooh, I think I hear a 'Maaaaybeee' over here.

Another tool that I use a lot in my work is the Rotary Laser Level. It is super helpful in the world of interior design, laying out tile or carpet and other things.

Most tools will be the basics. There are always some items that, while not required, can make life easier. And hopefully this list will give you some great tools to use with your next architecture project.

What do architects use to draw plans?

It’s not uncommon to see an architect use a pencil and paper to make a drawing. It’s unlikely that they would ever use a tablet to make a drawing. There are two main reasons for this.

Firstly, the speed that you can use a pencil to draw a line on paper is much quicker than how fast you can use your fingers to drag a stylus on a tablet. It’s not about being lazy, it’s about efficiency. Using a pencil to make drawings increases the speed at which an architect is able to create drawings.

Where are architects most needed?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest employment of architects is in professional, scientific, and technical services. In fact, most of the top jobs are in private companies in the South and West — California, Florida, Texas, and Nevada.

However, if you have the foresight to go into public service and work for a city/state government, your customers are essentially everyone and you will be involved in almost all projects.

What qualities does an architect need?

An architect should be innovative and creative in the creation of their designs. A good architect will often think of multiple solutions for a problem rather than just one neatly packaged solution.

An architect should be well-versed in art. They should be able to create amazing work in a wide range of styles. They should not just be able to replicate the work of others, but be able to understand the works of others and be inspired by them. Good design is about marrying the many styles that we come across on a daily basis and discovering something new.

An architect should have a technical understanding and use of CAD (computer-aided design). The job of an architect is not to just design the project they are given, but to design the best project possible. The best projects typically do not take the most straight-forward path through the design process but instead the most efficient. One of the most common ways of talking about efficiency is in terms of the number of building elements.

Conclusion

While you might not think of yourself as an architect, a lot of the tools will come in handy in your own home. If you have a list of things that you want to do to make your home better that is as long as your arm, then you need some help. To help you out, we’ve come up with a list of the best tools that an architect would recommend.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Moleskine Classic NotebookBest OverallMoleskine Classic Notebook
Alvin, 3298Budget PickAlvin, 3298
New Apple iPad ProUpgrade PickNew Apple iPad Pro