Geometric Tools: Description and Uses

Geometric tools are the instruments used to draw different types of geometric shapes. In Maths, geometry is the most crucial topic, where we learn about shapes of objects. To draw these shapes there are different types of tools with different names used while solving problems based on geometry. We come across a number of shapes in our day to day life. You are already aware of a couple of them such as triangles, squares, hexagons, circles, parallelograms and so on.

Different figures have characteristic properties such as length, breadth, diameter, etc. which set them apart from one another and are parameters to produce the figures on paper. Practical geometry or Euclidean geometry is the most pragmatic branch of geometry that deals with the construction of different geometrical figures using geometric instruments such as rulers, compasses and protractors.

Geometric Tools and Their Uses

The early geometers studied figures such as points, lines and angles which required the use of rulers and compasses only. With the advent of more geometric designs, other geometric tools were invented. Some of the most commonly used geometric tools are:

  • Ruler
  • Compass
  • Protractor
  • Divider
  • Set-squares

The Ruler

Also known as the straightedge, a ruler is used to construct straight lines and measure the lengths of a line segment. It is a straight edge originally used only for drawing straight lines. However, for our convenience, it is graduated into centimetres and millimetres on one side, and into inches on the other.

The Compasses

It is a ‘V’-shaped tool which holds a pencil on the one side of the ‘V’ and a pointer on the other side. The distance between the pencil and the pointer is adjustable. It is used to trace arcs, circles and angles. It is also used to mark equal lengths.

Protractor in Maths

It is a semi-circular disc used to draw and measure angles. It is graduated from 0 to 180 degrees and can be directly used to measure any angle within its range. It has two set of markings, 0 to 180 degrees from left to right and vice versa.

The Divider

It looks similar to the compasses with its ‘V’-shaped structure. However, it has pointers on both ends of the ‘V’. The distance between them is adjustable and it is used to measure and compare lengths.

The Set-Squares

These are the triangular pieces of plastic with some portion between them removed. There are two kinds of set squares available in the market. One has the angles 45, 45 and 90 degrees at the 3 vertices while the other has 30, 60 and 90-degree angles. They are used to draw parallel and perpendicular lines.