Precision compass, how to choose the right one?

November 2, 2021

The compass is one of those must-have tools on your school supply list when you hit high school. We all once had one or still have it. Made of different materials, some with accessories, it has always been accessible to all of us.

This instrument is part of that family of geometric tools such as the ruler, the square or the protractor, which are used to take precision measurements in the perfect and correct drawing of lines. In this article we will talk about what the precision compass is, its origins, what it is for and the professionals who use it the most.

What is the precision compass?

It is a geometric instrument that can be used to make a perfect circle , a circumference or an arc without mistakes .

Origin of the compass

According to historians, the compass has its origins in the Greeks, thanks to its inventor Perdix . This one was Daedalus’s nephew. Perdix, at first made it similar to a scissors, having two arched tips. At the top, it was shaped like a rhombus and at the arched tip it had a ball that allowed it to grip. Perdix is ​​known for various inventions such as the saw and the pottery wheel, most of them for carpentry use, that is why it is associated that the compass was created in order to work with crafts or pottery. After this, the tool has been perfected until today we know what the precision compass is.

For what do you use it?

As we have already said, it is used to make perfect circles or arcs of circumference; However, these are not its only uses, therefore, the precision compass can also be used to:

  • Take distances on maps.
  • Copy the dimensions of the sculptures or carved stones to make exact reproductions.
  • It is also used to move or take measurements .

Precision Compass Parts

It is an instrument made in a simple way that consists of two arms that are joined by means of a hinge that serves to adjust the size.

In one of its arms, it has a metal tip , to be fixed to the surface to be traced.

The other arm is the part of the pencil, with it you will make the marks of the circle or the desired circumference. This arm can also be found with an opening to place our own pencil, marker or pen. It has a handle for adjusting our graphite and the idea is that they remain at the same height, the point fixed with the part where the pencil is.

How is the preaching compass used?

Its use is very simple and in school you probably made the first strokes, but if you do not remember it, we will explain it here, because it does not require prior knowledge or difficulty.

To make circumferences

To draw a circumference, we just have to take a pencil and mark the point where the arm will be fixed with the fine tip, that will be our center mark or guide of the circumference. After placing it, with the help of the index and thumb fingers, we take the compass by the handle and we rotate it so that we elaborate the entire circumference. When we are working on this last step, it is advisable to tilt the compass a little , this will allow for better mobility; In addition, you start measuring or plotting from the bottom side in a clockwise direction.

To make circles

First we must have the desired measure established. In traditional way, this is determined with the help of a ruler or other measuring instruments. Some modern precision compasses have an indicator to show the exact length of the radius. Once this step is done, the arms are opened or closed at the hinge, adjusting the length of the spoke .

The arm with a fine metal tip, we fix it to the center of the circle that we are going to draw. The other tip, gently, we begin to rotate around the arm of the fine tip. The process will be completed when the entire line is fully connected.

Who uses the precision compass?

  • At primary education levels , it is used for some cases.
  • In high school students it is a fundamental piece of their measurement tools.
  • Students of technical drawing .
  • Students of mathematics .
  • Architecture students .
  • Engineering students in any of their specialties.
  • Graphic design students .
  • Any professional who graduates from the aforementioned specialties.
  • It can be used by seamstresses or tailors.
  • People who make piñatería or areas related to the creation of ornamental pieces.
  • The carpenters .
  • Although this trade is already rare, stonemasonry uses a precision compass for its measurements.
  • General public who need to make exact and precise circumferences, circles or arcs.

Precision Compass Types

The compasses can be made of various materials. At the primary or secondary educational level, the most widely used are plastics due to their flexibility and inexpensive materials. In the levels of superior studies, labor field or specific areas, it is usual to find them in metal ; this material provides firmness, precision and elegance to the user. Their cases, even if only for storage, are aesthetic and elegant to look at; some have accessories for part exchanges.

In addition, beyond their materials, there are different types of precision compasses, only that their construction or functionality is different.

Stroke compass or mine

It consists of two “arms” that allow its regulation. An arm ends in a iron tip to secure the instrument on the surface that is desired stroke, and the other arm with a mine for plotting the curve of their choice.

Mustache or baluster compass

It consists of two arms, one to fix to the piece and another to make the line (same as the previous one), but this one has a screw so that the opening radius can be changed to your liking and need. It is widely used to draw circles of smaller size and of equal radius. A variation of this compass is given with the crazy mustache compass , which is used to make small circles or circles.

Bar compass

This type of precision compass is used contrary to the mustache compass, that is, it is used to make large circles and arcs.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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