Some dart board packages come with darts but some don’t. Also, some darts that come with the purchase of a dart board are not always sufficient for an effective game play. Improving your game in darts would require using darts that are appropriate for your skill level and your board. And finding the right darts for your game would require having basic and adequate knowledge on the different types of darts, and its components, which we’ve lined up here to serve also as a buying guide for dart enthusiasts. Make sure to also check out our Electronic Dart Board Reviews.
Types of Darts.
Steel Tip Darts Steel tip darts are best used on bristle or sisal dart boards. Most steel tips have fixed points while some come with moveable points, which work best on harder or older playing surfaces. The flexibility of steel tip darts with moveable points allow for reduced bounce-outs since the tip moves when it lands on a wire or fails to penetrate the hard playing surface. These types of darts have sharp tips and can be hazardous so they’re not recommended for use in households with young children.
Soft Tip Darts
These types of darts have rounded tips made of plastic or nylon. They’re not as sharp as the steel tip darts so they’re safer for use in households with young children although they can still cause injuries and should be used with caution. They’re intended to be used on electronic or bristle dart boards and are not designed to penetrate a standard board’s playing surface. Unlike steel tips where the difference is in the action of the point, soft tip darts differ in the width measurement of the dart barrel’s opening. There are two options – the ¼” and 2ba. The ¼” is the wider of the two but 2ba is more common.
Barrels Steel tip darts are made of either brass or nickel/silver or tungsten, and a dart’s weight would depend on the type of metal it’s made of. Brass darts are soft and light and they’re generally more affordable. They also get a little bulky as the weight increases. Nickel/silver darts are slightly heavier than brass and they don’t wear out as easily as some other darts do. Tungsten darts are typically dense and are usually mixed with some amount of nickel for increased durability. As the percentage of tungsten increases, the narrower the dart gets, and slimmer darts let players crowd the darts more effectively. Most professional players prefer tungsten to other types of material but for beginners, something lightweight may be more advisable.
Weights A steel tip dart’s standard weight ranges from 18 to 32 grams although there are other available options for those who prefer heavier darts. When throwing lightweight darts, you’ll need to exert more force. Heavier darts, on the other hand, offer greater power. Darts weighing 20 to 25 grams are best for beginners as they allow for better control and accuracy. Balance is also something you should consider when looking for darts as different darts have most of their weight concentrated on different parts of the barrel. Darts with most of the weight loaded on the front would throw differently from a barrel that has most of the weight loaded at the back. Soft-tip darts normally weigh 14, 16, 18 or 20 grams. There are also darts that are available in 25-gram weight.
Grips When it comes to grips, you’ll have plenty of options. Depending on your preference, you can choose among an array of textures such as knurled grip, shark fins or a ringed surface, and many others. Grips generally allow for better control and accuracy on your throws. However, too much texture might cause your fingers to stick to the barrel and negatively affect your throw. Different exteriors would feel differently on your fingers, and the more texture a grip provides, the better you’d be able to hold the dart in position.
Shafts Different shaft materials would perform differently in terms of consistency and resilience in relation to strength. Nylon or plastic shafts are most recommended for beginners and are normally used in mass produced darts. However, they also tend to be least durable compared to shafts made of other materials like resin, carbon fiber, aluminum and carbon-composite materials. The heavier and more durable the material used for the shaft is, the higher its price would be. Apart from the material used, the shaft’s length, which determines the dart’s center of gravity, can also affect the dart’s flight just as the concentration and position of the weight in the barrel can affect your throw. Some players prefer using a spinning shaft, which not only turns the flight but also allows for minimal deflections in case the dart gets in contact with another dart on the board.
Flights Apart from the barrel material, weight, grip and shaft, a dart’s flight is another thing you should consider when you check out your options. Flights are the tiny fins you’ll find at the dart’s tail-end. They come in several styles and sizes but they’re available in only six shapes namely slim, standard, kite, teardrop, lantern, and number six. Just as with the other components, flights can affect your dart’s speed and lift as well as the accuracy of your throw. Your choice would also depend primarily on your personal preference and your skill level.
Before making a purchase, be sure to consider all the factors mentioned above so you can easily narrow down your options and not waste your money on something that could break easily, won’t match or help improve your skill level or is not appropriate for your board. There’s so much to think about but the satisfaction you’ll get from finding darts that are durable and reliable, would complement your skill and perform to your expectations will surely be worth the time you’ll give to weighing your options. Check out different models and brands for a better purchase decision.