Instruments Used in Engineering Drawing -its Uses and Importance

What is Engineering Drawing?

In engineering drawing, engineering related objects like buildings, walls, electrical fittings, pipes, machines etc. are represented with specifications like size, shape, materials etc.
Several engineering drawing software with more accuracy are available. But, drawing on paper is still being used in some areas and for small constructions.
Instruments Used in Engineering Drawing

Importance of Engineering Drawing

Drawing plays vital role in the engineering and construction works. The drawing requires no language any one can read it. So, drawings of other countries structures can also be studied easily.
The drawing improves the imagination and new inventions can be developed. The estimate for the project can be done using the details provided in the drawing.
The structure can be analyzed completely before construction by using drawing. So, every engineering construction department especially civil engineering requires drawing to start a project.

Importance of Engineering Drawing

Instruments Used in Engineering Drawing

The instruments used in engineering drawing are:
  1. Drawing sheet
  2. Drawing board
  3. Mini drafter
  4. T square
  5. Compass
  6. Divider
  7. Set squares
  8. Clinograph
  9. Protractor
  10. French curves
  11. Templates
  12. Pencils
  13. Eraser

Drawing Sheet

Drawing sheet is a white paper on which an object is drawn which is available in various sizes. The sheet used for engineering should be of good quality. It should be white in color with uniform thickness with must resist the easy torn of paper. The surface of sheet must be smooth.
Various sizes of drawing sheets recommended by Indian standards are listed below.
Drawing Sheet TypeDimensions (Length X Width) (mm)
A0841 X 1189
A1594 X 841
A2420 X 594
A3297 X 420
A4210 X 297
A5148 X 210
Drawing Sheet

Drawing Board

Drawing board is generally made of soft wood and it is in rectangular shape. It is used to support drawing sheet, so, the size of board is made according the size of the drawing sheet.
The wood portions are joined by tongue and grove type joint to prevent cracks. At the edge of board, straight ebony edge is provided for the T-square usage.
Different types of drawing boards and their sizes according to IS classification are listed below.
Type of Drawing BoardLength X Width X Thickness (mm)
D01500 X 1000 X 25
D11000 X 700 X 25
D2700 X 500 X 15
D3500 X 350 X 15
Drawing Board

Mini Drafter

Mini drafter is an instrument which can be used for multiple functions in drawing. It contains two arms which is adjustable to required angle and at the end of the lower arm a scale set is attached.
The scale set contains two scales connected perpendicular to each which cannot be separated. This instrument is fixed to the drawing board at one edge with the help of screw provided for the drafter.
Mini drafter is used for drawing horizontal lines, vertical lines, inclined lines, angles, parallel lines, perpendicular lines etc.
Mini Drafter


T square is used to draw horizontal and vertical lines on drawing sheet. It made of wood or plastic and in T shape. The vertical part of T is called as blade and horizontal part of T is called as head.
The edge of head is uniform level and attached to the edge of the board. The working edge is used to draw lines anywhere on the sheet by moving the instrument top to bottom.


Compass is used to draw an arc or circle with known dimensions on engineering drawing. It is generally made of steel and consists two legs. One leg contains needle at the bottom and other leg contains a ring in which a pencil is placed.
The needle tip is placed at the respected point and pencil tip is adjusted to the height at least 1mm just above the tip of the needle. The gap is nothing but the paper thickness.


The divider looks like a compass, but the difference is the two legs of divider are provided with needles. This is used to divide a line or curve into equal parts. It is also used to check the measurements.

Set Squares

Set squares are used to draw lines with an angle between them. In most of the structures, 30, 45, 60 and 90-degree lines are most common. So, set squares make the work easier for this type of drawings.
Generally, set squares are of two types. One is 45 degree set square and another one is called as 30 – 60 degree set square. Both are required in the drawing. 45 set square has a side of 25 cm while 30-60 set square has 25 cm length on one side.
Set Squares


Clinograph is an instrument used to draw parallel lines to the inclined lines. It contains one adjustable wing or strip which can be adjusted to required angle. So, it can be termed as adjustable set square.


Protractor is used to draw and measure the angles of lines in the drawing. It is transparent and made of plastic. It is in the shape of semi-circle, and the edge of semi-circle part consists reading with one-degree accuracy.
The bottom line joins the 0o to the 180o. The center of this bottom line is marked as “O” or “C” from which the angles are measured.

French Curves

French curves are made of plastic and they are in irregular shapes. Sometimes the drawing requires irregular curves or shapes or arcs which cannot be drawn using compass. In that case French curves are suitable.
Generally French curves are more suitable for small curves and for long curves splines are used.
French Curves

Drawing Templates

Templates are nothing but plastic or wooden boards which contains spaces of several shapes or letters. Non-dimensional shapes or variety font letters are drawn by using templates which makes drawing easier and perfect.
Drawing Templates


Pencil is used to draw on the paper. Any type of pencil is not suitable for drawing. There are some limitations, the drawing appearance should be very neat and understandable.
Every line of the drawing should indicate its importance. It depends upon the hardness of pencil.
Based on the hardness quality pencils are classified into 18 grades and they are
Grade of PencilHardness of Pencil
6H, 5H, 4HExtremely Hard
3HVery hard
HModerately hard
HBMedium hard
BModerately soft and black
2BSoft and black
3BVery soft and black
4B, 5B, 6BVery soft and very black
Out of the above 18 grades of pencils, following grades are used in engineering drawings.
Grade of PencilUsed to Draw
3HConstruction lines
2HDimension lines, center lines, sectional lines, hidden lines
HObject lines, lettering
HBDimensioning, boundary lines
Grades of Pencil


Eraser is used to remove the lines or spots which drawn by mistake or with wrong measurements. The eraser used should be of good quality and soft. It should not damage the paper while erasing.

Paper Holders

When the drawing sheet is placed on the board it may not be in fixed position. To fix the drawing sheet to the board paper holders are used.
Generally used paper holders are thumb pins, spring clips, stick tapes etc. Care should be taken while removing the clips or tapes otherwise the sheet may tore.
Paper Holders


Another critical issue to bear in mind is the scale of your room. You want to make certain that the ground you select is the proper length for the room.

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