1. Top10.Today
  2. »
  3. Categories
  4. »
  5. Products
  6. »
  7. Arts & Entertainment
  8. »
  9. Hobbies & Creative Arts
  10. »
  11. Arts & Crafts
  12. »
  13. Art & Crafting Tools
  14. »
  15. Craft Measuring & Marking Tools
  16. »
  17. Drafting Compasses
  18. »
  19. Top 10 Best Drawing Compasses

Top 10 Best Drawing Compasses

- July 2019

Results based on 2282 Reviews

Score
1
Mr. Pen- 15 Pcs Compass Set with Swing Arm Protractor (6), Geometry Set for Students, Geometry Set for School, Divider, Set Squares, Ruler, Protractor, Compass Math, Compass and Protractor, Eraser Mr. Pen
Mr. Pen
Mr. Pen- 15 Pcs Compass Set with Swing Arm Protractor (6"), Geometry Set for Students, Geometry Set for School, Divider, Set Squares, Ruler, Protractor, Compass Math, Compass and Protractor, Eraser
View Product
2
Geometry Compass Set by Ferocious Viking, Combination Compass Set for Solid and Plane Geometry Precision Tool for Drawing, Drafting, Math and Geometry with Beam Extension Bar Ferocious Viking Products
Ferocious Viking Products
Geometry Compass Set by Ferocious Viking, Combination Compass Set for Solid and Plane Geometry Precision Tool for Drawing, Drafting, Math and Geometry with Beam Extension Bar
View Product
3
OFFIZEUS Professional Compass for Geometry with Extra Lead Refills - Makes 10 Inch Circle - Math Compass, Drawing Compass - for Drafting, School, Woodworking - Metal Precision Bow Compass with Lock OFFIZEUS
OFFIZEUS
OFFIZEUS Professional Compass for Geometry with Extra Lead Refills - Makes 10 Inch Circle - Math Compass, Drawing Compass - for Drafting, School, Woodworking - Metal Precision Bow Compass with Lock
View Product
4
Staedtler Comfort 2 Pc Metal Quick Setting 6 Compass Set, 552 01 Staedtler Inc.
Staedtler Inc.
Staedtler Comfort 2 Pc Metal Quick Setting 6" Compass Set, 552 01
View Product
5
Big Horn 19251 8 Precision Compass Pencil Holder/Spring Divider/Scriber Big Horn
Big Horn
Big Horn 19251 8" Precision Compass Pencil Holder/Spring Divider/Scriber
View Product
6
OFFIZEUS Professional Bow Compass for Geometry - Makes Circles Up To 10 Inch Diameter - Top Quality Metal Drawing Compass with Extra Lead Refills - Perfect Math Compass for School OFFIZEUS
OFFIZEUS
OFFIZEUS Professional Bow Compass for Geometry - Makes Circles Up To 10 Inch Diameter - Top Quality Metal Drawing Compass with Extra Lead Refills - Perfect Math Compass for School
View Product
7
Science Purchase Large Marking Wing Divider Pencil Marking Compass Circle Maker Scriber Electronix Express
Electronix Express
Science Purchase Large Marking Wing Divider Pencil Marking Compass Circle Maker Scriber
View Product
8
Rotape Tape Compass Brat Manufacturing Inc.
Brat Manufacturing Inc.
Rotape Tape Compass
View Product
9
Mr. Pen- Professional Compass with Lock and Free Life TIME Lead Replacement, Compass for Geometry, Spring Bow Compass, Precision Compass Math, Drafting Compass, Compass Drawing, Metal Compass Mr. Pen
Mr. Pen
Mr. Pen- Professional Compass with Lock and Free Life TIME Lead Replacement, Compass for Geometry, Spring Bow Compass, Precision Compass Math, Drafting Compass, Compass Drawing, Metal Compass
View Product
10
Stanley FMHT16579 FATMAX Chisel Compass, 16 Stanley Tools
Stanley Tools
Stanley FMHT16579 FATMAX Chisel Compass, 16"
View Product

About Top 10 Best Drawing Compasses

Best Drawing Compasses Product Reviews

 

Having the best tool for the job is essential for completing a task correctly. Here at Top10.today, we know the value of finding the right tools for the job. To help you out, we're reviewing some of our favorite compasses. If you'd like to learn even more, hop on down to our in-depth buying guide below.

 


 

Best Value

 

The Mr. Pen 15-piece Compass Set is perfect for most geometry students in the United States. This handy kit should have the tools you'll need, including multiple compasses and protractors. It comes with both inch and centimeter settings, so conversions should be easy to handle. If you're looking for a great beginner's kit to cover the bases, it would be hard to go wrong here.

 

SHOP NOW

Pros

 


 

Best Bow Compass

 

The Comfort 2-piece Metal Quick Setting 6" Compass Set from Staedtler is great if you're looking for a quality bow compass. With an efficient design, this compass should stay sturdily in place while you go about your work. The included universal adapter will allow you to use almost any writing instrument with this device. The only limit is that it can only extend up to 6 inches. If you don't need to draw anything larger, though, this tool should work out well.

 

SHOP NOW

Pros

Cons

 


 

Best Beam Compass

 

The Rotape Tape Compass is great if you need to draw or draft something larger. This tool lets you create shapes anywhere from 3 1/2 inches to 72 inches (6 feet)! The measuring tape lets you lock it in place while you work and easily retracts when you're done. If you have a larger area you need to work with, this could be the tool for you.

 

SHOP NOW

Pros

Cons

 


 

Drawing Compass Buying Guide

Throughout the history of humanity, needs-based inventions have helped people and society progressively succeed. At times, it may seem as though technology has a will of its own, causing everything to change faster than most of us can keep up with. However, there are some inventions that have stood the test of time. One of those inventions is the drawing compass.

 

See also:

 


Designed to perform all sorts of arithmetical and geometric calculations with the greatest of ease, this tool today remains a device that assists in a wide range of functions, including:

Why the Drawing Compass is Still Useful Today

If people exist, then there will be technology. Even with the advent of computer-assisted drawing (CAD system), the drawing compass still holds a place of prominence in the hands of architects and engineers, students of geometry, artists, and designers. The compass is currently used in:

 

In its simplest function, it is the perfect tool to draw the perfect circle. It's a pretty fluid process from laying down the first lines of an idea or concept to communicating those ideas clearly and quickly. A compass is a required tool, not a luxury, to aid in this process.

Materials

There are a variety of compass tools that we use in many applications today. Referred to as a pair of compasses, or simply a compass, they are usually made from metal or high-impact plastic. Old World compasses have been made of wood with leather binding, brass, aluminum, steel, German silver, and other metals.

How It All Works

A bow compass draws a graphite circle next to paperclips

 

Consisting of two arms/legs, a drawing compass is connected by an adjustable hinge that permits the user to change the radius of the circle. One arm is called the shoulder needle, which holds the position of the compass on the paper. The other arm holds a graphite lead, pencil, pen, or other writing instrument; it is used to make the markings on the paper. There are also locking wheels on the arms to both adjust and replace the lead. Other instruments may feature brake legs that make it possible to set the compass straight down for ease of use and accuracy.

 

At the top of the compass is a handle that makes it easy to pivot the arms. To draw precision arcs and circles with a compass, you adjust the width with a wheel housed on a spindle. The width refers to the spread of the distance between the two arms. Adjusting the width allows you to dial in precise measurements.

 

How to Use a Drawing Compass

It is best to lean the compass in the direction you are drawing and apply consistent pressure on the middle of the instrument to keep it grounded. If that pointer leaves the surface, you will need to reset its position and risk a line that will not meet upon its completion. Using a compass may be challenging at first, but do not become discouraged. Technical instruments require practice to perfect their use.

 

How to Use a Drawing Compass to Find Diameter

To determine diameter, you want to draw using either a ruler or a scale. Place the shoulder needle at the center point or where two lines intersect. Then, rest the arm that holds the lead on the paper. Finally, rotate the compass by twisting the top between your thumb and forefinger.


Choosing Pencils for Drawing Compasses

Keep your lead points sharp using either a miniature lead pointer or sandpaper to achieve an even marking and to avoid interrupting your drawing. Generally, the use of soft lead like F or HB allows for object lines dark enough to see without needing to apply excessive pressure.

The Bow Compass

The bow compass is the instrument most people are accustomed to seeing. As previously described, it is comprised of two legs, one fitted with the centering spike and the other with the lead for drawing. They may have different hinges at the top, either a flat piece or a spring bow. A flat piece you can press between your fingers when drawing. A spring bow looks like a metal ring or circle at the top of the arms. Both types of hinge house the safety handle at the top. The safety handle is generally about ½ inch long. Users usually grip the handle between the thumb and forefinger to spin the compass.

 

The hinge may have a spindle that you can use to dial in precision settings. However, just be cautious of the potential slide that can occur in the direction of dialing. If dialing out to a wider position, it is best not to dial backward, as this can allow for a slight slide or movement. This movement may further adjust your measurement while in use. If your compass allows for interchangeable drawing instruments, you may need to use those that are shorter than the spindle track arm. Why? To avoid interference, which may impede your accuracy. Without a spindle, the hinge will have a set screw to hold the arms in position. You should be able to adjust the tightness for desired stiffness. The tighter the adjustment, the more accurate the performance of the compass.

 

Bow compasses can draw the smallest possible circles. Some kits include an extender that can be fitted to the drawing arm. This adjustment allows you to draw larger diameter circles. 

The Beam Compass

Need to draw or divide circles that are larger than those made by a regular pair of compasses? Use a beam compass. A beam or bar—usually made of wood or metal—allows you to slide sockets, or trammel points, to larger measurements. Sometimes, a measuring tape with sockets can also function as a beam compass.


This variety essentially appears as a straight edge that may have a fixed arm at one end and a socket slide that moves along the beam. Some configurations allow for both trammel points to be adjusted. Typically, trammel points are connected by a wooden or timber beam; they may or may not be included in the purchase. However, a woodworking store or local lumberyard can supply pieces that are readily available to fit. Alternatives include a metal beam or pipe that can be used as rods. 


The draftsman's version comes with a set of points and holders. These are mounted on a rod that may be plated brass, aluminum, silver, or something else. Again, one end is typically fixed (locked down) and the other end has either rough or fine adjustments. The fixed point holds a needle for the center of the radius. The other end may hold either a lead clutch or an inking nib. This type of beam may be extended by adding a lockable rod connector. 


When using a beam, the purpose may be either to scribe a circle or transfer measurements. Depending upon the length of the beam, you may experience a limitation in the rigidity. In such a case, it is possible to support the beam with a roller to eliminate any sagging. Transferring measurements may be performed through precise repetition. This can get quite extensive by rotating the beam 180 degrees along a line or large circle repeatedly until the desired division is achieved.

A Wide Choice of Instruments for a Variety of Uses

A compass and drawing compass lie on a map


There is quite a selection of compasses on the market. Deciding what to buy depends on how you plan to use them. A good compass is consistent in completing a perfect circle each time you use it. AS you finish, you should find that you are arriving at the exact point where you started. That means you need a superior hinge that maintains a steady hold while using the compass. Beyond this level of performance, your next advantage is a tool that allows you adaptability, specifically the ability to accept different drawing instruments. After all, you need your pen or pencil and compass to be compatible or your utensil will slip out, causing an imperfect circle.



The artist especially needs the ability to go from an initial layout of marking as the setup, or guidelines, to the next phase of tracing, or making the markings permanent. This is the stage where lines are emphasized to bring out essential details. Further, it is helpful to have the ability to extend the compass. Some art projects need to go beyond the edges of A4 paper. Rather than ending up with several instruments to compensate for limited diameter, it is helpful to have a compass that includes an extender to increase the size of circles with the same instrument. 


You are better off selecting a product of high quality that can provide sturdy performance. There are school compasses specifically designed for youngsters with extra-safe blunt safety needles. A precision geometry compass for school or technical drawing should be made of sturdy plastic, metal, or solid metal and include a spindle guide with a center wheel and a spring-bow head. Some models feature a push-button mechanism. There are also practical compass sets for drawing mandalas that feature a quick-setting compass with the necessary accessories for making intricate patterns using a variety of drawing pencils, fine liners, and more.

 

Final Thoughts

With all that is available, there is something to suit every need whether it is a drawing compass or a drafting compass, a bow compass or beam compass, for school, college, technical drawing, geometry, and more.

 

Disclaimers
Manufacturers have not independently verified the information on this page. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and are not necessarily reflective of the views of the site owner or the companies or brands mentioned here. Items are in stock at Amazon and prices and ratings are correct at the time of writing.


Share with your friends:

ARTICLE RATING:

5 / 5


7 Users Voted

ADD YOUR RATING: