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Yes, you can achieve perfection. A drawing template enables you to create exact circles, squares, lines, arcs, and more without reaching for a compass, ruler, or protractor. It’s a necessary tool for executing clean-lined blueprints, sketches that demand precision, or crisp compositions for bullet journals. But which should you buy? Although templates are available in metal, we’re partial to classic plastic—their translucency lets you know exactly where you’re placing the template every time. Browse our selection of the best options below to find the tool best suited to your task.
1. Westcott Technical All Purpose Drawing Template
A versatile tool that can be used for drafting or doodling, Westcott’s template features an inch scale and a range of die-cut shapes—circles, squares, hexagons, rectangles, and triangles—in different sizes. Circles and squares are handily labeled according to their diameter, and lines marking the center of each shape’s sides offer additional guidance for accuracy. There’s a balanced amount of information on this sturdy green tool: While professional drafters can make use of the basic measurements, others won’t be overwhelmed by numbers and can enjoy the simple act of tracing shapes.
2. Staedtler Technical Drawing Template
More technical and specialized than our top pick, this German-made pocket template is equipped with more than a few measurements to draw circles, squares, triangles, and hexagons. Architects will appreciate that the shapes are annotated with both fractional and decimal inch measurements as well as millimeter notations and tick marks marking center lines. Made of a pleasing green plastic that is impact resistant, this template won’t quickly wear down even with daily use.
3. Learning Advantage Geometry Template
This basic template feels flimsier than the competition, but it’s well suited for young artists who need to get a feel for geometry. It’s stripped down to feature cutouts of dozens of shapes, from pentagons to rhombuses, each labeled with its midlines. A centering scale, an edge for inches and another for millimeters, and a protractor top it off. Use it to trace shapes without the distraction of the dense numbering found on more technical tools.
4. Mr. Pen Landscape and Architectural Templates
If your projects involve landscape design, choose this pair of thoughtfully laid out templates. They feature lots of well-cut openings for drawing precise features such as shrubbery, spotlights, and flagstone walks. Items are clearly labeled, with dimensions provided for certain objects including fenceposts and lawn chairs. Constructed of durable clear plastic with enough flex to wrap around a curved surface, these templates are tough to beat.
5. Pickett Circle Master Template
A good circle template can be hard to find. End your search with Pickett’s product, which features dozens of precisely cut circles for seamless tracing. Each is labeled with its diameter—ranging from 1/16 inch to 3 inches—both in inches (shown as fractions and decimals) and in millimeters. What makes it stand out from most of the competition are the integrated risers that subtly elevate the smoke-gray plastic (made of partially recycled materials) to prevent smudging if you’re drawing with ink.