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  19. Top 10 Best Drawing Compasses

Top 10 Best Drawing Compasses

#1 Best Product
Editor's Choice
#3 Best Product
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 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 Offizeus Professional Compass for Geometry with Extra Lead Refills - Makes 10 Inch Circle - Math Compass, Drawing Compass - Metal Precision Bow Compass with Lock - for Drafting, School, Woodworking
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 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 Offizeus Professional Compass for Geometry with Extra Lead Refills - Makes 10 Inch Circle - Math Compass, Drawing Compass - Metal Precision Bow Compass with Lock - for Drafting, School, Woodworking
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Table of Contents

Scores calculated from 2257 reviews

Top Choice
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- 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- 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- 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- 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- 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- 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- 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- 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- 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
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Mr. Pen
EAN: 0644558757063
UPC: 644558757063
Model: GC15
Part Number: GC15
Height: 0.4 inches
Width: 4 inches
Length: 6 inches
Editor's Choice
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

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Ferocious Viking Products
EAN: 0712038401512
UPC: 712038401512
Model: FBA_JF16105629
Part Number: FBA_JF16105629
Height: 1 inches
Width: 4 inches
Length: 8 inches
3

Offizeus Professional Compass for Geometry with Extra Lead Refills - Makes 10 Inch Circle - Math Compass, Drawing Compass - Metal Precision Bow Compass with Lock - for Drafting, School, Woodworking

  • Offizeus Professional Compass for Geometry with Extra Lead Refills - Makes 10 Inch Circle - Math Compass, Drawing Compass - Metal Precision Bow Compass with Lock - for Drafting, School, Woodworking
  • Offizeus Professional Compass for Geometry with Extra Lead Refills - Makes 10 Inch Circle - Math Compass, Drawing Compass - Metal Precision Bow Compass with Lock - for Drafting, School, Woodworking
  • Offizeus Professional Compass for Geometry with Extra Lead Refills - Makes 10 Inch Circle - Math Compass, Drawing Compass - Metal Precision Bow Compass with Lock - for Drafting, School, Woodworking
  • Offizeus Professional Compass for Geometry with Extra Lead Refills - Makes 10 Inch Circle - Math Compass, Drawing Compass - Metal Precision Bow Compass with Lock - for Drafting, School, Woodworking
  • Offizeus Professional Compass for Geometry with Extra Lead Refills - Makes 10 Inch Circle - Math Compass, Drawing Compass - Metal Precision Bow Compass with Lock - for Drafting, School, Woodworking
  • Offizeus Professional Compass for Geometry with Extra Lead Refills - Makes 10 Inch Circle - Math Compass, Drawing Compass - Metal Precision Bow Compass with Lock - for Drafting, School, Woodworking
  • Offizeus Professional Compass for Geometry with Extra Lead Refills - Makes 10 Inch Circle - Math Compass, Drawing Compass - Metal Precision Bow Compass with Lock - for Drafting, School, Woodworking
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Offizeus
EAN: 0689855862225
UPC: 689855862225
Part Number: 0001
4

Staedtler Comfort 2 Pc Metal Quick Setting 6" Compass Set, 552 01

  • Staedtler Comfort 2 Pc Metal Quick Setting 6 Compass Set, 552 01
  • Staedtler Comfort 2 Pc Metal Quick Setting 6 Compass Set, 552 01
  • Staedtler Comfort 2 Pc Metal Quick Setting 6 Compass Set, 552 01
  • Staedtler Comfort 2 Pc Metal Quick Setting 6 Compass Set, 552 01
  • Staedtler Comfort 2 Pc Metal Quick Setting 6 Compass Set, 552 01
  • Staedtler Comfort 2 Pc Metal Quick Setting 6 Compass Set, 552 01
  • Staedtler Comfort 2 Pc Metal Quick Setting 6 Compass Set, 552 01
  • Staedtler Comfort 2 Pc Metal Quick Setting 6 Compass Set, 552 01
  • Staedtler Comfort 2 Pc Metal Quick Setting 6 Compass Set, 552 01
  • Staedtler Comfort 2 Pc Metal Quick Setting 6 Compass Set, 552 01
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Staedtler Inc.
EAN: 0735899697573
UPC: 743183111032
Model: 552 01 ST
Part Number: 552 01
Size: Zirkel
Warranty: n/a
Height: 0.87 inches
Width: 4.13 inches
Length: 8.66 inches
5

Big Horn 19251 8" Precision Compass Pencil Holder/Spring Divider/Scriber

  • Big Horn 19251 8 Precision Compass Pencil Holder/Spring Divider/Scriber
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Big Horn
EAN: 0766565192511
UPC: 733353041030
Model: 19251
Part Number: 19251
Size: 8"
Height: 1 inches
Width: 6 inches
Length: 1 foot
6

Science Purchase Large Marking Wing Divider Pencil Marking Compass Circle Maker Scriber

  • Science Purchase Large Marking Wing Divider Pencil Marking Compass Circle Maker Scriber
  • Science Purchase Large Marking Wing Divider Pencil Marking Compass Circle Maker Scriber
  • Science Purchase Large Marking Wing Divider Pencil Marking Compass Circle Maker Scriber
  • Science Purchase Large Marking Wing Divider Pencil Marking Compass Circle Maker Scriber
  • Science Purchase Large Marking Wing Divider Pencil Marking Compass Circle Maker Scriber
  • Science Purchase Large Marking Wing Divider Pencil Marking Compass Circle Maker Scriber
  • Science Purchase Large Marking Wing Divider Pencil Marking Compass Circle Maker Scriber
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Electronix Express
EAN: 0728639374117
UPC: 728639374117
Model: 78PENCOMP
Part Number: 78PENCOMP
Height: 1 foot 1 inch
Width: 5.4 inches
Length: 0.8 inches
7

Rotape Tape Compass

  • Rotape Tape Compass
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Brat Manufacturing Inc.
EAN: 0860948000001
UPC: 860948000001
Model: RT111
Part Number: 860948000001
Height: 1.4 inches
Width: 4.7 inches
Length: 4.2 inches
8

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- 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- 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- 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- 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- 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- 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
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Mr. Pen
EAN: 0860941000497
UPC: 860941000497
Part Number: GLPP
Size: 1 Compass
9

Stanley FMHT16579 FATMAX Chisel Compass, 16"

  • Stanley FMHT16579 FATMAX Chisel Compass, 16
  • Stanley FMHT16579 FATMAX Chisel Compass, 16
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Stanley Tools
EAN: 0076174165791
UPC: 076174165791
Model: FMHT16579
Part Number: FMHT16579
Size: 16"
Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
Height: 1.75 inches
Width: 4.79 inches
Length: 1 foot 4 inches
10

Charles Leonard Ball Bearing Compass with Golf Pencil, Metal, Up to 12 Inch Diameter, Silver (80360)

  • Charles Leonard Ball Bearing Compass with Golf Pencil, Metal, Up to 12 Inch Diameter, Silver (80360)
  • Charles Leonard Ball Bearing Compass with Golf Pencil, Metal, Up to 12 Inch Diameter, Silver (80360)
RATINGS
Durability
Value
Overall
Specifications:
Manufacturer: Charles Leonard Inc.
EAN: 7487993718229
UPC: 809099104626
Model: 80360
Part Number: LEO80360
Size: 1-Pack
Warranty: Varies by Item
Height: 1.5 inches
Width: 4.38 inches
Length: 6 inches

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 are 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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Pros

Cons

 


 

Drawing Compass Buying Guide

If you've got a project, you need to get the job done right. To do this, you'll need the right tools for the job. Whether you're a carpenter, geometry student, or artist, one tool you'll need is a compass.

 

See also:

 

What Can You Use a Compass For?

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. Specifically, a compass is great for:

 

Even with the advent of computer-assisted drawing (CAD system), the drawing compass still an invaluable tool in the hands of architects and engineers, geometry students, artists, and designers.

 

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 tool on the paper. The other arm holds a 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

1. Secure your writing utensil and set your preferred radius.

2. Place the shoulder needle where you want the center of your circle to be.

3. Lean the compass in the direction you are drawing and apply consistent pressure on the middle of the instrument; this will keep it grounded.

4. If that pointer leaves the surface, you will need to reset its position.

 

Using a compass may be challenging at first, but do not become discouraged. Technical instruments require lots of practice.

 

How to Use a Drawing Compass to Find Diameter

To determine diameter, you want to draw using either a ruler or a scale.

1. Place the shoulder needle at the center point, or where two lines intersect.

2. Then, rest the arm that holds the lead on the paper.

3. Finally, rotate the compass by twisting the top between your thumb and forefinger.


How to Choose 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.

 

How to Use the Bow Compass

If you think compass, you're probably thinking of the bow compass. As previously described, it is has 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. 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 hinge may have a spindle that you can use to dial in precision settings. 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.

 

How to Use 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 you to adjust both trammel. Typically, a wooden or timber beam connect the trammel points; they may or may not be included in the purchase. If that's the case, a woodworking store or local lumberyard can supply the right pieces.


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 another metal. 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 on 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.

The Best Tool for the Job

A compass and drawing compass lie on a map.


Which compass is for you? Answering that depends on how you want to use the tool.

 

Remember: A good compass should complete a perfect circle each time you use it. To achieve this, you need to practice and find a tool that has a superior hinge. This hinge maintains a steady hold while you use your compass. You should also consider whether you want to change drawing instruments often; this can help you narrow down your options. Artists might also need to extend their compasses. After all, some art projects need to go beyond the edges of A4 paper. If this sounds like something you might encounter, look for a  compass that includes an extender to increase circle sizes.

Final Thoughts

Whether you need a drawing compass or a drafting compass, a bow compass or beam compass, there's sure to be a tool out there that can handle your projects.

 

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.

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