Best Dart Board
You love playing darts but you're sick and tired of heading out to the bar in order to play. Too many drunks want their turn at the board and most of the time they have no clue what they're doing. No sir, you want a more civilized game and it seems the only way to make that happen is to go out and buy your own board. Do a little research and you can decide whether to go the traditional route with a bristle board or choose a high-tech electronic dartboard. For more information on choosing a board best for you, take at a look at our buyer's guide below which explains the difference between bristle and electronic boards as well as the other essentials of this addictive game.
Best Dart Board Overall:
Long considered one of the most enduring games of skill, the dart board is still a popular fixture in recreation rooms and bars all around the world. The premise couldn't be simpler; players throw a set of darts at a round board bi-sected into 20 sections by a thin metal wire, and that one board can be used to play multiple games where the method of scoring varies drastically. There are also numerous options for buying a dart board, ranging from electronic versions to magnetic styles. But for those who want something that looks and feels more like the classic version that we all remember, the bristle dart board is definitely the way to go.
You'll notice I didn't say “cork” as manufacturers have moved onto using sisal fibers to produce dart boards as this material is more resilient, holds its shape better, and doesn’t suffer the long-term effects of constant dart impact. These small fibers are notoriously strong and when compressed tightly together, the tip of a dart splits them apart instead of puncturing them. So when the dart is pulled back out of the board's surface, the fibers simply reattach and no permanent hole is left behind. Sisal fibers have become the industry standard because of their reliability and now bristle dart boards are widely used for official tournament play.
Each of these selections truly demonstrates the benefits of choosing a traditional dart board for your home, office, or dark pub. These picks for best dart board are manufactured to offer you long-lasting reliability, board surfaces which heal quickly and hold your darts firmly with fewer bounce-outs, as well as laid out to offer diverse gameplay options beyond just traditional darts.
If you're looking for a professional grade board that will take hours of punishment and still look like it just came out of the box, look no further than the Blade IV. High-quality, tightly woven fibers and razor thin wires make this board a joy to play with. Read Full Review
Nodor is the company that invented the bristle dart board, so you can be sure their products will be among the best of the best. Their Supawire board uses super thin, rounded dividing wires to keep bounce outs low and scoring high. Read Full Review
Viper's League Pro is aptly named, offering league regulation playability on an affordable board made of high-quality materials to ensure it continues to look and play as well as the day you purchased it. A combination of premium sisal fibers, curved wires, and a lack of staples will make it a popular addition to your recreation room. It's also great for the young ones as the surface accommodates soft and steel tip darts. Read Full Review
You may not be familiar with the Hathaway name, but their Centerpoint dart board cabinet set is an absolute workhorse. Among the heaviest of the boards on our list and one of the most versatile for durability, this board offers all of the essentials you need for hours of regulation play. It's one of the more expensive picks on the list, but you're getting a terrific package for the price. Read Full Review
The last pick on our list is currently the best and most popular version of magnetic-style dart boards. DoinkIt's magnetic board is perfect for players of all ages using highly powerful magnets for game play on a playing surface designed and crafted to imitate the look of a real bristle dart board. Read Full Review
Best Electronic Dart Board:
You like throwing darts across a crowded room, but the simple thunk of that sharp point hitting cork has grown a bit stale. Maybe you're looking for a little more pizzazz in your game, maybe you're just tired of writing down the score yourself. Lucky for you, we live in a modern age where technology has enhanced even a simple game of darts. That's where the electronic dart board comes in.
Typically made of plastic or nylon instead of cork, these boards use special soft-tip darts that register your score digitally when they hit the board. Most boards have a wide variety of games built into their systems and score your game for you with flashy LED displays and sound effects. Those are just a few of the things you should factor into your purchase. These boards are also great for beginners who are just learning how to play darts and they can be good teaching tools to build one's skills.
Whether you're outfitting the man-cave or looking to buy a game for Family Night, check out our list before you make your purchase, each suitable for platers of all ages and skill levels. These best electronic dart boards were chosen because of their low bounce-out rates, the large variety of games pre-programmed into the units, and their special interactive features like sound and light-up displays.
You want the convenience of an electronic dart board but with the authentic playability of a traditional board that uses steel tip darts instead of soft; fortunately, this board brings the best of both worlds to one product. Regent's Bristle-Tech board has features a typical bristle surface with an electronic interface that does the scoring for you. Even better, it comes inside a beautiful wood cabinet for protective and storage purposes. Read Full Review
Arachnid makes the top of the list with their Inter-Active 6000 dart board. It pretty much does everything for you but throw the darts, and if you do that poorly it'll let you hear about it. The board also had the least amount of bounce-outs among many of the brands on this list. Read Full Review
Dart boards don't get much more electronic than one where the surface segments light up resulting in some unique games exclusive only to a dart board that has a lighting system within. Sure it's kind of gimmicky, but it's certainly a conversation-starter. Luckily, it's got great playability for young and old alike. This version comes inside a decorative cabinet that hides the playing area, scoreboard, and storage for darts inside when the doors are shut. Read Full Review
Viper's board has a wide variety of gaming options, among the most of any pick on the list, and its wide target face makes it easier for players of all ages to enjoy. It can even accommodate those who have a hard time hitting the target with an outer catch ring for those errant throws. Battery operated with just 4 AA batteries lets you take it with you anywhere you want to play a nice game of darts. Read Full Review
Dart Board Buyer's Guide
Darts began as a weapon of war used by the Macedonians which has since evolved into a popular contest of skill enjoyed in bars and recreation centers worldwide. Even the common dartboard finds its origins in the standard archery target, with soldier’s once aiming at the segmented playing surface to hone their aim. Now, it's a great source of entertainment which can be enjoyed by all ages in the comfort of a living room. Buying a dartboard is actually pretty simple as long as you understand how classic and electronic types work and what each can offer you in terms of game-play.
Dart players who are a little more serious about their gaming might want to go with a bristle board that uses real darts and emulates tournament play. Bristle dartboards are made of tiny sisal fibers which are self-healing after the dart penetrates their surface. For the most part, bristle boards are relatively inexpensive and suitable for all skill levels. These options are usually the tournament regulation size of 15.5 inches.
Bristle boards often include a set of stock darts which aren't always the best quality. As your playing skills evolve you may find yourself purchasing a separate set. For bristle boards, you want steel-tip darts as they’re designed to penetrate the sisal fibers and stay imbedded in the playing surface.
Also carefully consider the type of barrel you want to use. Brass or tungsten are the most common choices with each one offering playing advantages in overall thickness and accuracy.
You’ll also find a wide variety of weights and grip styles available to make the choice even more specific to your skill level and personal preferences. Be advised, errant darts will damage walls and doors so choose a safe place where the board will be mounted.
This is a wire overlay which segments the dartboard for scoring purposes. Available in a variety of widths and shapes, a wire spider will be super thin with either a rounded or angled shape. Angled is preferable as it reduces the amount of bounce-outs sustained on a throw. If a dart hits the wire, the angled edge will help guide it into the board whereas round wire is significantly less reliable.
Blade Strip Dividers
These are embedded within the fibers of the board to help minimize bounce-outs. Stapled-on dividers are the cheap way to go while pricier models featuring staple-free construction or even blade strips inside the playing surface.
Electronic dartboards are designed with the same divided segment organization of a bristle board and available in a range of sizes, including the regulation 15.5 inch diameter board. These high tech options feature a playing surface perforated with hundreds of tiny holes so when you a dart is thrown, the tip sticks in the playing surface. In addition to automatically keeping score, these models come with a large number of pre-programmed games.
Until recently, soft-tip darts were the only choice on an electronic board but that’s changed. You can now find electronic versions which accommodate steel-tip darts to proivde players with a more accurate feel for the game. However, the soft tips on plastic darts won't harm the surroundings unlike steel-tipped options.
Some electronic dart boards are pre-programmed with over 100 different games such as the ever-popular cricket. Some games can accommodate multiple players at once while others allow you to take the machine on in head-to-head competition.
These high tech boards feature electronic scoreboards with LED lights and a library of sounds to make gameplay even more engaging and exciting. Be warned, the more bells and whistles an electronic dart board has, the more expensive it will end up being.
You'll find bristle and electronic boards which include their own stylish gaming cabinet. These cabinets provide a sophisticated visual aesthetic to your home or office while protecting the board and darts when they’re not in use.
Prices vary greatly and are often affected by the materials used in the manufacture of the cabinet. For example, cabinets made of metal or particle board are going to be far less expensive than those made of fine woods such as oak, elm, teak, and mahogany.