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What are the different shapes of plumb-bob?

Shop for Plumb-Bobs

different types of plumb bob tool plumb bobs wonkee donkee tools DIY guide how to use a plumb bob Plumb-bobs come in many different shapes and can be highly decorative items. Some collectors of these fundamental tools estimate there to be over 10,000 different shapes of plumb-bob! Below are a few of the most common:

Natural shapes

Various naturally shaped plumb-bobs, plumb bob, marking tools, plumb line, wonkee donkee DIY guide how to use a plumb bob Usually named after fruits and vegetables, the most common naturally-shaped plumb-bobs are:

  • Turnip
  • Apple
  • Carrot
  • Pear
  • Egg (or “oval”)
  • Acorn

Geometric shapes

geometric shaped plumb-bobs, plumb bob, marking tool, wonkee donkee tools DIY guide guide how to use a plumb bob There are many geometrically-shaped plumb-bobs. Some of the most common are:

  • Cone
  • Sphere
  • Cylinder
  • Tapered cylinder
  • Pencil
  • Ice cream cone
  • Bullet

Formal shapes

Formally shaped plumb-bobs, plumb bob, marking out tool, wonkee donkee tools DIY guide, how to use a plumb-bob Some of the most common formally-shaped plumb-bobs are:

  • Chalice (or “cup”)
  • Door knocker
  • Barrel

Which shape should you choose?

different types of plumb bob tool plumb bobs wonkee donkee tools DIY guide how to use a plumb bob There are many different shapes of plumb-bob and most of them work just as well as others, though some may be suited better to certain tasks depending on their individual shape.

However, the material they are made from, their symmetry and how balanced they are is perhaps more important than their shape.

Accuracy, plumb-bobs carrot cone pencil wonkee donkee tools DIY guide For precision marking, it is advised to choose a plumb-bob with a fine tip such as the “carrot”, “cone” or “pencil”. These would be ideal for jobs where you need to accurately transfer points from one place to another.
Line If you are simply using the plumb-bob’s line as a reference, then the shape of your plumb-bob is perhaps less important. As long as it is heavy, it will keep your line taut and straight.

If you have to get really close to your workpiece then try using a flat plumb-bob for accurate marking. For more information on flat plumb-bobs, see the page entitled: What are the different types of plumb-bob?