If you’re an artist, then you likely know the importance of using the right things, ranging from thick, high-quality paper, to the best drawing instruments you can get your hands on. Architects are similarly cautious about the equipment that they use to get their job done.
There is a product that bridges these two disciplines: the drafting table.
A drafting table provides the user with an adjustable workspace that allows them to save time and effort while working. If an artist or an architect were to work on a flat table, then they would have to hunch over and move around the table so that they can get the best angles, but a drafting table solves that.
Drafting tables can usually be adjusted in one of two ways, and the first option is changing the angle of the table’s surface.
Some drafting tables can be brought up to almost vertical, and nearly all of them can be completely flattened out as well. Up next, you can adjust the height of the drafting table so that you can work comfortably.
Today, we’re going to present five reviews in search of the best drafting table on the market.
We’ve split the article into three different categories: the best drafting table for architects, the best drafting table for artists, and the best portable drawing table. We’ll be presenting two tables in the first category, two products in the second, and a single, highly-mobile option in the third.
After our reviews, we’ll go over some of the most important features to look out for when you’re buying your new drafting table, and this will be particularly helpful for first-time buyers. Without any further delay, let’s get right to our best drafting table reviews.
Best Drafting Table For Architects
Best Drafting Table For Artists
Best Portable Drafting Table
If you're looking for a relatively affordable, high-quality drafting table, then you needn't look any further than this product from ZENY.
While this model may not be loaded with features like high-end drafting tables, it's still convenient and reliable enough to provide you with your money's worth.
The tabletop is made out of P2 MDF, which is a durable material that won’t scratch or get any indentations in it, even after extended use.
In addition to being durable, the work surface is also smooth enough to ensure that your lines are clear and they don’t get disrupted, even on thinner paper.
Unlike other budget drafting tables, this ZENY model is designed to be as durable and as long-lasting as possible, which means that it can end up saving you money in the long run. The legs on this table are made out of powder-coated iron, which ensures that they remain stable and resilient.
At the feet, you’ll find padding with a dual purpose. The first is to ensure that your floor doesn’t get scratched or scuffed while you’re working at your drafting table. The second benefit of the padded feet is that they help keep everything as stable as possible, even when your weight is pressing against a corner.
You'll also find that this drafting table comes included with a range of helpful extras, like a pair of drawers right under the work surface. As for adjustability, you can change both the height and the angle of this drawing table to suit your needs, and the maximum 45-degree tilt was impressive.
This model even comes included with a free stool that is relatively comfortable, but nothing too impressive. Overall, we’d argue that this is the best drafting table for architecture students or anyone else who works in a field where they’ll have to do plenty of precise work.
Our runner up in the artist drafting table category is this model from Studio Designs, and it's another reasonably affordable choice that still offers a variety of features.
While it may not be as heavily reinforced as the ZENY table, you'll find that the Eclipse Craft Center is durable enough to last a long time.
This durability is partly due to the heavy gauge steel construction of the frame, which has very little flex and seems like it can put up with plenty of abuse.
There is also a stool that comes included with this drafting table, and it shares the same kind of construction, so if you don’t have a chair, then you’re in luck.
The work surface provides you with enough area to work on a wide range of projects, ranging from tiny sketches all the way to full-size drawings. This drafting table is also equipped with a variety of storage options, including a shelf that’s positioned under the desk, and a trio of fabric drawers.
While the fabric construction of the drawers may not make them as durable as the rest of the drafting table, they’re still relatively difficult to puncture, even with the point of a sharpened pencil. This means that you won’t have to worry about what you store in the fabric drawers, as damage will be unlikely.
The inclusion of a floor leveler per leg means that it’s easy to keep this drafting table at the proper orientation. Of course, you can also adjust the tilt of this table, and it can go from flat to 40 degrees, which is close to the best angle for drafting table design. Unfortunately, the height can’t be adjusted on this table.
There’s also a spacious pencil ledge near the bottom of this drafting table, which gives you a convenient place to keep your writing instruments. If you’re looking to save money on your new drafting table, but you don’t want to compromise, then this option is a great runner-up to the ZENY model.
The Studio Designs Vision Craft Station is the best drafting table for comic artists or anyone else who creates visual art on paper.
With a spacious area on which to work, you won’t have to worry about your projects hanging off the edge of this drafting table, and despite its size, it is still relatively portable.
This mobility is made possible by the inclusion of four casters mounted on the legs of this table, which allow you to move it around the house without needing to pick it up.
When you find the spot that you want to work, then you can simply lock two of the casters, and the table will no longer move.
The Studio Designs Vision Craft Station is the best drafting table for comic artists or anyone else who creates visual art on paper. With a spacious area on which to work, you won’t have to worry about your projects hanging off the edge of this drafting table, and despite its size, it is still relatively portable.
This mobility is made possible by the inclusion of four casters mounted on the legs of this table, which allow you to move it around the house without needing to pick it up. When you find the spot that you want to work, then you can simply lock two of the casters, and the table will no longer move.
Even though only two of the casters lock, the table remains completely stable when stationary, and if you're planning on staying in the same spot, you can even take the casters off entirely. The work surface itself is made out of tempered blue safety glass, making it much more resilient than any other kind of glass.
This drafting table can also reach extreme angles that range from flat all the way up to 70 degrees, so if you work with your table nearly vertical, then this may be the right choice for you. It also comes with a pencil ledge that can hold your writing instruments whether the table is horizontal or nearly upright.
There's also plenty of storage room on this drafting table, as it features a set of three molded plastic drawers that can be positioned on either the right or left side. Beyond the drawers, this model also comes with four trays that can be lined up along the edges of the drafting table, but they're entirely optional.
Thanks to this drafting table’s heavy gauge powder coated steel construction, you also won’t have to worry about the frame getting bent out of shape or otherwise damaged. Overall, the Vision Craft Station is a reliable and mobile drafting table that you can move to any part of your home or studio.
Our second drafting table for artists is the OneSpace 50-CS01 Craft Station, and this product is only slightly more expensive than the previous product.
This drafting table from OneSpace is similar to the Vision Craft Station in a few ways, including its blue tempered glass work area.
The main advantage of this drafting table is that it is larger than the previous choice, with a work area of 38.5 x 26 inches.
However, to maintain a similar price with a larger work area, the OneSpace drafting table makes a few key sacrifices, and that’s what resulted in it coming out as runner-up.
For example, this model comes with only two fabric drawers instead of the three that are common in drafting tables. You’ll also find that this product is marginally less durable than other drafting tables in its price range, and it can only hold a max weight of 130 pounds before its integrity may be compromised.
Aside from these few minor faults, this drafting table still has plenty of advantages that have earned it its place among the best choices in the product category. The casters on the ends of the legs are smooth-rolling, so you won’t have to worry about janky movements when you’re trying to position the table properly.
When you’re done using the casters to reposition this drafting table, you can lock two of them, and it will be as stable as one with traditional legs. The tilting work surface on this drafting table is another impressive feature, and it’s one that makes it suitable for architects, as it can reach an angle of 62.5 degrees.
The side trays that come included with this drafting table are of slightly higher quality than the ones on the Vision Craft Station, but they’re still optional. This is an excellent choice of drafting table if you don’t mind sacrificing a few additional features so that you can get a larger work surface.
This model from Martin is our best fold away drafting table, but it doesn't feature a traditional design.
Instead of the work surface itself folding, the whole thing folds up off of the base so that you can still angle it, which is something that is rarely possible in drawing boards, making this a mini drafting table.
One thing to note is that this may be a portable model, but it is still relatively large, with a work surface that’s equivalent to many of the other options on this list.
Despite its large size, this drafting table is designed to be as portable as possible, and its lightweight construction means that it only weighs ten pounds.
This model from Martin is our best fold away drafting table, but it doesn't feature a traditional design. Instead of the work surface itself folding, the whole thing folds up off of the base so that you can still angle it, which is something that is rarely possible in drawing boards, making this a mini drafting table.
One thing to note is that this may be a portable model, but it is still relatively large, with a work surface that’s equivalent to many of the other options on this list. Despite its large size, this drafting table is designed to be as portable as possible, and its lightweight construction means that it only weighs ten pounds.
The key to attaining this light weight is the high resin particle board that was used to build the body of this drafting table. Despite being so light, the high resin content of the particle board means that it’s durable enough to put up with extended use, but it will start to show wear and tear eventually.
Another element that is designed to be strong and lightweight is the aluminum straightedge, which is also meant to be resistant to warping. This straightedge gives you a convenient way to make straight lines, and it features two adjustment knobs that rotate smoothly and reliably.
With a maximum angle of 30 degrees, this portable drafting board can be used in either graphic art or architecture equally effectively. There is also a locking mechanism that helps keep the work surface in place when you’ve found the desired angle, ensuring it won’t break free while your pencil is on the page.
Since this drafting table is only three inches thick, it's also possible to find a suitable carrying case without too much difficulty if you're worried about it getting damaged. Overall, this is the best professional drafting table for customers who move around a lot or who often need to be on-site while work is progressing.
The first thing that you're going to want to consider when looking for the right drafting table is the size. The most crucial measurements are those of the work area, as that will determine what kind of projects you can complete on it. If you usually just work on smaller sketches, then you can save some money by opting for a smaller model.
Beyond the size of the working area on top of the drafting table, you’ll also want to look at the table in its entirety, as that will help you determine whether or not it will fit in your studio. Be sure to measure the area that you have available if you’re unsure whether or not a drafting table will fit.
When looking for the best choice products drafting table design is a crucial aspect to consider, mainly how far you can adjust the table and in which ways. One of the fundamental design elements of a drafting table is the ability to change the angle to suit your needs.
Architects will usually need a steeper angle to work with than artists, and their tables will usually tilt to around 65 to 70 degrees. On the other hand, artistic drafting tables have a more restrained tilt, generally topping out at about 30 to 40 degrees.
There are also drafting tables that can have their height adjusted, though this is rare in cheaper models.
When looking for the right drafting table, you’re always going to want to account for build quality, as that will determine how long it will last and whether or not it’s worth the money. A key part of ensuring that a drafting table is durable enough to last is going over the materials involved in its construction.
You'll typically want the frame to be made out of a resilient metal like heavy gauge steel, as the frame supports the rest of the table, and if that fails, the whole drafting table is usefulness. The drawing surface of a table should typically be made out of a hard material that won't retain indentations.
When choosing your drafting table, you'll have to determine how important portability is to you, as there are both stationary and portable drafting tables. Stationary models usually have standard or height-adjustable feet, and they will often be larger than portable variants.
There are also some drafting tables that are meant to be used in a studio but come equipped with casters for extra mobility. Finally, the most portable options are essentially drafting tables without the legs that you can carry around. These models are usually made out of lightweight materials so that you can carry them with relative ease.
A quality drafting table won’t only perform well, but it will also be user-friendly when it comes to assembly. The best drafting tables will come included with detailed instructions that will give you both written and visual guides to assembling everything properly.
You'll also want to be sure that the drafting table comes with all of the parts and tools that are needed for assembly. If a product doesn't come included with the required tools, then you're going to need to be sure that you already have them. Nobody wants to go out and pick up some new tools just to assemble a single drafting table.
Finally, you should also look at how long the warranty on your drafting table lasts, as that will determine whether or not it will be suitable for long-term use. The best choices will usually come with an extended warranty since factory defects can linger for a long time before they cause a malfunction or become apparent.
The length of the warranty can also give you a clue as to the quality of a product, as manufacturers who have faith in their drafting tables will provide a longer warranty. Keep in mind that some sellers will offer extended third-party warranties on drafting tables, but they’ll usually cost extra.
Whether you’re an artist, an architect, or anything else, a drafting table can make your job much easier. We hope that this guide has managed to do the same thing for the buying process. Feel free to leave us a comment or a question about any of the products down below.