Existing knowledge about Scherrer constants is reviewed and a summary is given of the interpretation of the broadening arising from small crystallites. Early work involving the half-width as a measure of breadth has been completed and Scherrer constants of simple regular shapes have been determined for all low-angle reflections (h2 + k2 + l2≤ 100) for four measures of breadth. The systematic variation of Scherrer constant with hkl is discussed and a convenient representation in the form of contour maps is applied to simple shapes. The relation between the `apparent' crystallite size, as determined by X-ray methods, and the `true' size is considered for crystallites having the same shape. If they are of the same size, then the normal Scherrer constant applies, but if there is a distribution of sizes, a modified Scherrer constant must be used.