This table features 6 different tilt positions so you can quickly adjust to your preference from flat to 40°. The 4 built-in trays can hold a variety of supplies while the handy corkboard and shelf reveal an innovative design.
Like other drafting tables, this one can be a bit troublesome to assemble. Be sure to read all instructions carefully.
Angle of the top is very easy to adjust. Lots of storage space for supplies, thanks to 3 side drawers and a roomy shelf that's conveniently situated under the tabletop. Even comes with a stool.
Assembly is a bit time-consuming, especially when it comes to aligning the pieces of the stool. Some complaints of bent components/misaligned predrilled holes.
Stands out for the weathered oak tabletop and antique-looking brass hardware that combine to give it a classic appearance. Has a spacious work surface and lengthy pencil ridge. Reasonably easy to assemble.
Expensive. On the heavy side, making it a bit awkward to maneuver.
Offers ample easy-to-reach space for supplies because it has side trays, a wide pencil ridge, and 3 bottom drawers. Metal frame has a solid feel. Casters make it very easy to move from place to place.
Although the drawers are roomy, the plastic material they are made of is thin and could crack if not handled with care.
Earns praise for the attractive birch top that is very easy to adjust. Height is also adjustable – you can use the table in a standing position. Steel frame is sturdy. Easy to assemble.
Top is prone to scratches. Rare reports of tabletop arriving damaged. Customer service could be more attentive.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Whether you're into crafting, drawing, painting, or design, a drafting table can be the most valuable tool that you own. A versatile model allows you to work how you want to work while keeping all of your supplies within easy reach, ultimately giving you a creative edge.
The best drafting table for your needs is appropriately sized so you can do your work without being cramped. Additionally, the ideal table has trays and drawers for your supplies, a cupholder or two, and offers several tilt positions. The materials and color are also important because you want your drafting table to fit in with your home studio décor.
If you'd like to learn more about the features to look for in a drafting table and get a few assembly tips, keep reading. If you're ready to buy, consider one of the highly rated options that we've handpicked for you in this guide.
There is a great deal of variety available to the consumer when it comes to drafting tables. In this section, we break down some of those critical options, the ones you need to think about first.
Traditional: When you think of a drafting table, you likely picture the traditional table used by architects. For the most part, that’s what people purchase, but there are two other design options worth pointing out that might work if you have an alternative work situation.
Portable: Individuals who don’t have a permanent workspace, for instance, might be interested in a portable drafting table, one that either folds up or has caster wheels so it can be easily moved from room to room.
It’s essential to consider your workspace before purchasing a drafting table. If you buy one that’s too small, you won’t be able to fit your work on it. If you purchase one that’s too big, it might not fit in the space you have available in your home. You need to know the largest size paper you’ll be working on and measure the available space in your home studio in order to get the drafting table that is the proper size for you.
Purchasing a drafting table of the appropriate height is the key to eliminating ailments such as back and neck strain. However, before considering the table's height, you need to decide if you’ll be sitting down, standing up, or alternating between the two while working. After you’ve made that decision, look for a drafting table that can be adjusted to a suitable height for your needs.
The tilt is what makes a table a drafting table. Ultimately, the angle you work at is determined by what you’re doing and user preference. Unfortunately, unless you already own a drafting table, you won't know what your preferred tilt is. Because of that, it’s best to get a model with an adjustable tilt, ideally something that goes from flat to 35° or 45°. It won't take long for you to figure out what angle is best for you once you begin working at your new drafting table.
Here are some features common to drafting tables, but not all models include all features. If it’s important to you, make sure the drafting table you’re considering has it.
Trays: If you’ll be using your drafting table for artwork, having trays that are built into the top of the desk is a desirable feature. The trays are a convenient place to store pencils, erasers, paint brushes, and markers.
Cupholder: If you'd like a convenient place to set a water bottle or supplies while you work, look for a drafting table with built-in cupholders.
Drawers: Some drafting tables feature a set of drawers attached to the table that can be used for paper or whatever else you'd like to keep inside. Some of the best drafting tables have locking drawers to help keep valuables safe.
Beyond type and style, the materials used in manufacturing your drafting table are important because they determine the unit's overall stability and durability. Lower-end models, for example, might include plastic instead of steel or solid wood and thus not hold up as well under heavy use.
Some drafting tables come as a set that includes a chair, while others include a shelf, a second set of drawers, or an additional table. If any of these features sound appealing, look for a model that offers this type of package.
Inexpensive: When it comes to drafting tables, anything under $80 is likely going to be a no-frills model. It might be set on caster wheels and may not feature the best build quality. Additionally, your design options will be limited.
Mid-range: In the $100 to $150 range, you’ll find the largest variety. These drafting tables feature a better build quality, drawers for storage, pencil tray, and most have a flat to 35° or 45° range when it comes to tilt. This is the best place to start your search.
Expensive: When you move into the $200 and above zone, the drafting tables are manufactured using higher-quality materials with eye-catching designs. Some of these units come with a matching stool or even an additional table.
You don’t have to hold a degree in engineering to own a drafting table, but you might need one to assemble some models. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes time to put your drafting table together:
Set aside the time. It’s possible to spend up to two hours assembling a more complex drafting table. Block out enough time so you can complete the task.
Assemble the table where you’ll be using it. Building your table in the garage and then carrying it to the basement is going to be much more difficult than just building your drafting table in the basement.
Enlist help. There will be times when you need two sets of hands. Rather than trying to do all the work alone and risk breaking your drafting table before you even get to use it, get a mechanically inclined partner.
Double-check the parts list. There's nothing more frustrating than finding out you're missing a piece when you're hours deep into the project.
Gather the right tools. If the instructions call for a Phillips head screwdriver, a slotted screwdriver isn't an acceptable substitution.
Read and understand all the directions first. If there’s a picture on the box, look at it to get an idea of how the fully assembled item should look. If the instructional drawing is unclear and you assemble the legs backwards, you might not figure it out until the last page of the instructions, which could be hours later.
Q. Why is a drafting table tilted?
A. Working on a horizontal surface can alter perspective. For instance, the farther away part of the drawing is from your eyes, the larger you’ll be tempted to make it. It might be subtle, but the end result is an inaccurate drawing, and that’s something you don’t want in drafting in which precision is the main focus. Tilting your drawing surface 35° or 45° allows you to more accurately see what you’re drawing. Additionally, a tilted work surface lets you step back so you can better see the whole picture.
Q. Should I be sitting or standing while I work?
A. Sitting for prolonged periods isn’t healthy. It can cause many issues such as unwanted weight gain, back problems, and decreased energy. However, new research points to circulation issues and other harmful side effects that might be the result of standing all day. If you have a drafting table that’s easily adjustable, you can balance out sitting with standing to give you the healthiest option – at least until additional studies change the health community's stance on sitting versus standing.
Q. What else can I use a drafting table for?
A. Because the tabletop can be flat or tilted and many models are equipped with drawers and other convenient storage spaces, a drafting table can be used for sewing, crafting, model building, quilting, or homework.