Updated: May 23, 2015

Best Drafting Tables:

drafting table Drafting tables are often referred to as drafting boards, drawing tables, or architects table. They are really a multipurpose desk or table that are great for drawing, sketching, or writing. You will often see architects using these tables for precise illustrations. With the technology behind computer aided drafting and design (CADD or CAD), drawing tables are slowly disappearing in homes and offices. Although they are losing popularity we wanted to review the top drafting tables on the market to see what features they currently offer and what brands are selling most. The best brands are Alvin, Mayline, SMI, Safco and Bieffe drafting tables. High end Mayline tables cost upwards of $700 while you can still buy a quality Alvin drafting table for around $300. We visited Amazon, IDraftingtables.com, and Artsupply.com to research the newest and latest drafting tables and read what consumers were saying about them. Please see below for the "best of the best".


Alvin drafting tables are the most popular on the market with a variety of prices and styles. Their Craftmaster is an expensive best seller while the professional design of the Work Master and DesignMaster are other favorites. Alvin also produces the Minimaster, Pavillion, Titan, Reflex, and the new Craftmaster II Deluxe. The most popular is the Alvin Onyx Design Station ($155) - it's a complete creative center with a lamp, table caddy, pneumatic chair, and adjustable drafting table. The melamine tabletop and heavy duty cylindrical steel frame make this a winner in all respects. Another top Alvin table is the Alvin Workmaster Table ($230) with a warp free board and shelf. The other top selling drafting tables are made by Mayline (Ranger). They are notorious for having the strongest drafting tables that are both durable and stable. Most of their drawing tables come with tool and reference drawers and a tilting work surface (up to 50 degrees). The Mayline Ranger III Drafting Table ($530) is a consumer favorite that gets great reviews for its adjustable top, solid steel frame, and attached plan and tool drawers. The Mayline Ranger IV Drafting Table is another top seller for $850 - unbelievably sturdy design with 4 solid posts and lots of features. Doubles as a nice flat top desk when needed. The SMI Wood Table w/Plan & Tool Drawer ($570) is a top tier drafting table with convenient drawers for storing artwork, blueprints and tools. The Safco drafting tables are great for putting computers on as well and the Bieffe drafting tables are the best portable drafting tables we have seen with a collapsible base that folds flat and makes for easy moving or storage. As a final buying piece of advice, we suggest going with any of the Alvin drafting tables as all the reviews we read on them were positive. You can browse the top selling drafting tables online here.

Antique Drafting Tables - Hamilton:

As we mentioned above, the modern day drafting tables are slowly losing market share to computers. Yes, even tables are going digital as technology has given architects, artists, and draftsman software that duplicates what they used to do on drafting and drawing tables. If you are a diehard and want a good, quality drafting table, then we suggest looking for the antique tables, perhaps a Hamilton drafting table. Although we could not find a site that consistently carries antique drafting tables, we do suggest trying Ebay.com or GoAntiques.com as we found those sites have a few to choose from. The 2 antique drafting tables we saw online were offered for $400 and $500 respectively.



Drafting Supplies:

Once you choose a table, you will need to buy drafting supplies to go with it. Draftingequipment.com has filing systems, drafting chairs, calculation devices, drafting paper, and trimmers. A comfortable drafting chair can make all the difference in world when you are working long hours over your latest plans. We really like the Safco Metro Extended Height Drafting Chair for $163. The contoured back and cushioned seat provide enough comfort for a solid days work without the aches and pains. Nationwidedrafting.com is another excellent source for drafting and drawing supplies online. They carry board covers, chairs, cutting mats, drafting kits, lamps, pens, pencils, rulers, scales, and cutting tools.