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Why Should You Have More than One Drawing Compass?


Ok, I get it! I know you are thinking “why should I spend my hard-earned money in more than one drawing compass?”.

I was there. When I started studying Islamic geometry back in 2016, I spent 22€ on my first compass. It was a really high price for me, but I knew it was worth it.

I used that compass for circles from 1cm to 25cm radius and although the accuracy was really poor compared to my accuracy now, I was happy I wasn’t spending money on what I thought to be unnecessary things.

I didn’t know about the importance of using more than one compass until 2019 when I found out about these three secrets.



This is also my nr.1 rule for accuracy in the “3 steps to accuracy” blog post.

Once your compass is set, the best thing to do is to leave it as it is and never change the radius, unless you know that you are not going to use that radius anymore in the drawing.

Fact is that once you change the radius, it’s difficult to set the compass back to it. You might think it’s the same but believe me, it’s not. Especially when you draw small designs as I do, even a 0.01mm of difference can affect the whole drawing. The best thing to do is to use at least 2 compasses.



We talked about the different types of compass in one of the previous blog posts.

Every compass is different and has a different purpose. For big circles (larger than 20cm diameter) the best compass is the beam compass. For extra-small circles (smaller than 1cm diameter) the drop bow compass is the best. It all depends on the dimensions of the drawing.



Imagine you are travelling and you’ve brought your compass with you. The airline company has accidentally lost your luggage. What now? If you really need the compass, you will have to buy one in an art shop, and I can’t guarantee that you will find a good-quality one.

I always travel with more than one compass because I don’t want to risk to be left without it. I put them in separate bags of course so that if one goes missing, I still have the other one.

This doesn’t apply only to travel but to many other situations that may occur during your life, and it will happen when you are in a hurry or have no money, that’s for sure.

Better safe than sorry, am I right?


Why Should You Have More than One Drawing Compass?

May 7, 2020

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  1. Kimia says:

    Yes u r right. All 3 reasons should be cosidered.

  2. Marzieh says:

    I was thinking you can write a whole book about compass!!!
    Thanks for sharing your tips!

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I’m an artist, self-taught designer, and educator who is hell-bent on teaching everyone how to get started with Islamic geometry.
I've been in the game since 2016 and trust me when I say that one year from now you will wish you had started today.

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