Last updated: September 7, 2020

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Drawing tables are fundamental tools for students, professionals and fans of illustration. Those who practice drawing know that working several hours on a horizontal table can be exhausting. Drawing tables that recline help to avoid fatigue, facilitate drawing, and help improve concentration.

There is a wide variety of drawing tables: glass, for technical drawing, for artistic drawing or for children, among others. Some have shelves and supports specially designed to place drawing tools. Being a highly demanded item, you will not have problems finding a drawing board that best suits your needs.

Key Facts

  • Drawing tables are essential tools for designers, architects, engineers and illustration professionals. However, they are also acquired by people who only seek to develop their artistic skills. There are also some for children, designed to awaken an early interest in drawing.
  • There are tables specifically designed for technical or artistic drawing, as well as others for multipurpose use. There are models with a glass surface, ideal for tracing drawings or plans using a lower light source. Most include accessories such as rulers, drawers, and organizers for drawing supplies.
  • When considering your purchase, you should be clear about how you are planning to use your drawing table. You will also have to consider its dimensions and its maximum angle of inclination, key aspects that we will delve into in the last section of the guide.

Our Selection: The Best Drawing Tables on the U.S. Market

The great variety of drawing tables is due to the fact that they are demanded by many types of people. Architects, engineers, illustrators, interior designers or students are just some of the people who often use drawing tables. However, there are also people who only use them to unleash their artistic self. Our recommendations are aimed at both professionals and amateur cartoonists.

Best Drawing Table With Drawers

This drawing table by Studio Designs provides a comfortable work space and keeps your craft and art supplies easily accessible. The table top’s angle adjusts up to 40 degrees and includes a 24’’pencil ledge that slides up and locks into place when needed.

The set also features three adjacent storage drawers, a wide shelf under the table top and a padded stool. The durable heavy gauge steel construction includes six floor levelers for stability. Main work surface: 36’’W x 23.75’’D. Overall dimension: 50’’W x 23.75’’D x 29.5’’H

The Best Drawing Table with Blue Glass

With the 50-CS01 craft station, OneSpace takes artist and draftsman functionality to a higher level. It keeps your supplies intact when raised to any angle because its removable supply trays on each side fit more securely. For easy access storage, there are 2 spacious drawers.

Its ample working surface is made of blue tempered safety glass. At the base of its heavy-duty steel frame are 4 casters for smooth rolling mobility (with 2 that lock). Not only is it sleek and adaptive to any décor or space, everything is within convenient reach for enhanced productivity.

The Best Drawing Table for Kids

If you are looking for something for your little one, then this drawing table by Step2 might be perfect for you. This kids desk features a large work surface with molded-in compartments and hinged dry-erase writing surface that wipes clean easily.

The desk comes with one New Traditions Chair perfect for preschool kids and toddlers. It also includes a push-button light, and its raised shelf keeps art supplies organized, along with the four large bins to hold your kid’s art supplies within easy reach.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Need to Know About Drawing Tables

The purpose of our guide is to help you choose the best products by making you aware of all the aspects that you must take into account in your purchasing decisions. When it comes to drawing tables, it is essential to know aspects such as their manufacturing materials, accessories or adaptability to the user, among others.

Two people studying at a wooden table

There are tables specifically designed for technical or artistic drawing, as well as others for multipurpose use.
(Source: Kachmar: 92357527/ 123rf.com)

What is a drawing table?

Traditionally, drafting tables were simply a wooden recliner mounted on a leg frame. Over time, these items have evolved and today you can find a wide range of models. Normally, they have a metal frame, with a work surface that can be made of wood, glass, methacrylate or plastic material.

Today’s drafting tables include numerous accessories, such as removable trays for extra space, organizers and drawers. Certain models have wheels, although it is normal for the legs to have rubber protectors to prevent unwanted movements. In addition to tilting, many models are also height adjustable.

Why use a drawing table?

The first — and most important — reason to use a drafting table is to prevent neck and back ailments and injuries. Drawing on a horizontal table forces you to adopt unhealthy postures, something that you can avoid with a tilting drawing table. Its ergonomic design largely avoids these discomforts, allowing you to draw more comfortably.

There are very simple drafting tables, with just a tilting table with four legs. [/ su_pullquote] However, there are models with multiple accessories that make drawing easier. Many come equipped with drawers, shelves, and organizers for placing drawing instruments. This way, you can always have everything necessary for drawing at hand and organized.

Another advantage of drawing tables is that they do not take up too much space. Some even have lockable wheels for easy movement. What you should avoid is using your drawing board for activities other than drawing, since you could damage it. Tables with glass and methacrylate tops, for example, are not capable of supporting too much weight.

Image of a person drawing

Drawing tables are fundamental tools for students, professionals and fans of illustration.
(Source: Motizov: 52458624/ 123rf.com

What types of drawing tables are there?

There are two types drawing tables: the simple ones, consisting of a tilting board with legs and little else; and those that include various accessories.

  • Tables for technical drawing. Nowadays, most of the design projects are carried out with computer programs. However, in universities, students are still required to learn to draw using these types of tables. Some professionals even prefer them to the computer.
  • Artistic drawing tables. Normally, they are used by students of fine arts and professionals in drawing and illustration.
  • Tracing tables. The tracing technique is used by many artists, hence they use drawing tables with a transparent glass or methacrylate base. Most usually include a light source at the bottom. They are also called light tables.

What should a technical drawing table include?

The technical drawing tables are used by designers, engineers, architects and students. Therefore, they must include certain essential accessories, such as a good paralex. This consists of a ruler attached to the table using a system of threads or guides. It is used to draw parallel lines with the help of the square and the bevel.

In addition to the paralex, technical drawing tables also incorporate a technical graph. [/ su_pullquote] This tool consists of a pair of right-angle rulers attached to a rotary goniometer that allows you to select the degrees of inclination. With the technograph you can easily and quickly draw lines and different angles allowed by the set square and the bevel.

Normally, technical drawing tables are larger than artistic drawing tables due to the paper format used. Some also have clips to hold the paper to the table, essential to avoid possible mistakes.

What differences are there between a drawing table and a drawing board?

Sometimes the terms “drawing table” and “drawing board” are used interchangeably. However, there are certain differences. The boards are usually smaller than a drawing table, are portable, and can be placed on any horizontal surface. The minimum size of a drawing board allows you to work on A3 format paper (297×420 mm).

However, there are larger drawing tables, for formats A2 (420×594 mm) and A1 (594×841 mm). For work in formats A1 (594×841 mm) and A0 (841×1189), fixed drawing tables are usually used. Drawing boards are mainly used for technical drawing, so they are usually equipped with paralex and other accessories.

A woman looking at blueprints on a wooden table

Over time, these items have evolved and today you can find a wide range of models.
(Source: Belchonock: 95148046/ 123rf.com)

What characteristics should a children’s drawing table have?

Adult drawing tables are not intended for children’s use. Therefore, there is a wide range of models on the market designed for little ones. These tables must have a series of basic characteristics that we will detail below.

  • Cheerful design and colors. Children’s drawing tables should have rounded shapes and bright colors, far from the seriousness of those designed for adults. This is designed to awaken the child’s interest.
  • Adjustable height. Children grow very fast, so you want to make sure that the drawing table is height adjustable. This way, you will make sure that the table is useful to them for the duration of their childhood.
  • Drawers and organizers. The table should have spaces and drawers for kids to keep their drawing tools tidy and close at hand. Of course, you should have a stop or groove at the bottom of the table to keep paper and pencils from falling to the floor.
  • Drawing table and desk. There are children’s desks that can be turned into drafting tables as their tops can recline. They are not exactly drawing tables, but they perfectly fulfill their function if the child is not going to use it intensively for drawing.
A woman working at a wooden table

Another advantage of drawing tables is that they do not take up too much space.
(Source: Shironosov: 64831683/ 123rf.com)

Buyer’s Guide

Now that you know what a drawing table is and the different types that exist, it is necessary to ask yourself a series of questions before your purchase. The essential purchase criteria are, basically, the height of the person who is going to use it and how they are going to use it. But there are more factors, such as the ones we review below.

How You Are Going to Use It

There is a wide variety of drawing tables, each designed for a specific artistic or professional activity. If you are going to use it sporadically, we recommend a simple table, not very bulky and that you can place in any corner of the house. If, on the other hand, you are going to give it a professional use, you should choose a quality table and, therefore, a bit more expensive.

Drafting tables for professionals —both technical and artistic drawing— do not usually include drawers or accessories, which are common in other cheaper models. They are simpler models, but more stable and robust than the tables for non-professional use. Some manufacturers even offer the possibility of separately purchasing the tabletop and legs.

A man working at a wooden table

(Source: deklofenak: 104900869/ 123rf.com)

Height of the Person Who Will Use the Table

When buying a drawing table you must keep in mind height. If you choose a table that is too low or one with drawers, you may have difficulty adopting a comfortable posture. This problem generally arises when the person is very tall. In this case, you should make sure of the maximum height of the table.

An architect working at a wooden table

Adult drawing tables are not intended for children’s use. Therefore, there is a wide range of models on the market designed for the little ones.
(Source: Marctran: 97766320/ 123rf.com)

Size of the Table

Size is a key factor if you don’t have a lot of space to put it. Therefore, we advise you to make sure of the measurements of the place where you want to install it. Fortunately, there are tables of varying sizes, from the smallest, which barely fit an A3 format, to professional tables suitable for A1 and larger formats.

Maximum Weight it Supports

Drafting tables are not made to support a lot of weight. The basic rule is not to use them for anything other than drawing. Some models have a maximum weight of just 15 lbs, while others – the higher quality ones – can hold a bit more. In addition, the lifting mechanism can be damaged if you put a lot of weight on it.

Inclination

The main reason for buying a drafting table is precisely because of its ability to be reclined. Thanks to this, you will avoid having to bend your back and neck when drawing and you will avoid fatigue and possible injuries. However, not all drawing tables offer the same degrees of tilt.

Many models offer the possibility to adjust the incline up to eight positions. This way, you can raise its surface from a few degrees to almost reach verticality. The more tilting positions offered by the table you are going to buy, the better.

image of an architect working with blueprints

Inexpensive drawing tables still often include organizing trays and drawers.
(Source: Pelikh: 119822083/ 123rf.com)

Accessories

Non-professional drawing tables — especially technical drawing tables — are usually fairly sparse in design, just a table supported by four legs. In contrast, those intended for professional use often include accessories such as canvas drawers, and drawing tool organizers.

If you are left-handed, you should consider the possibility of attaching the organizers and drawers where they are easier to access. This is not possible on some models. When it comes to technical drawing tables with rulers, you must verify that these can be mounted so that they can also be used by left-handed people.

Mounting

Most drawing tables that are purchased online require assembly. Normally, they are easily assembled, although it will always depend on the number of parts and accessories, as well as the weight of the materials with which it is manufactured. If you are going to buy it online, look at the comments of other buyers about its ease of assembly.

Some models, such as those with a tempered glass surface, are especially difficult to assemble. This is due to the weight and fragility of this piece, so it is advisable to ask another person for help when assembling it. Before assembling any kit, verify that all the parts are there.

Summary

Drawing tables are no longer just tools of professionals. Today, there are countless models on the market, not only for designers or illustrators, but for anyone who just wants to express their creativity.

In addition to our recommendations, we have tried to clarify everything related to this type of product. Knowing the existing types and their basic characteristics are essential factors in choosing the right drawing table. We hope that our small buying guide has been useful to you!

If our article has been useful and entertaining, help us spread it by sharing it on your social networks. And if you think you have something to contribute, such as any questions or your own experience as a drawing board user, you can do so in our comments section.

(Source of featured image: Belchonock: 83276730/ 123rf.com)

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