Best Darts

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You have quite a few decisions to make when you're ready to buy a set of darts but there are two types out there, steel-tip and soft. The difference between the two is obvious in the points. Steel-tips are sharp and intended for use on sisal fiber or hard surface boards. Soft-tips on the other hand are made of nylon or plastic, and used primarily on electronic/bristle dartboards. You can't use one for the other; steel-tips will damage a board intended for soft-tips, and soft-tips will likely bounce out easily on a densely-woven fiber board. Add in factors like barrels, grips, weights, and flights, well you have a lot to think about when looking for the ideal dart set. Fortunately, we’ve provided a buyer’s guide below which will help you in your search. 

Best Steel Tip Darts:

Sharp and unyielding, steel tip darts are best suited for consumers without young children as they can be dangerous in small hands. Steel tips work best on sisal fiber or bristle dartboards and come with either fixed or moveable points. Most of these types of darts have fixed tips, but you can find them with moveable points which are most effective with older or harder surface boards. The moveable point is flexible so it prevents the dreaded bounce-out in case the tip hits a wire or just doesn't penetrate the hard surface well enough.

You will find steel tip darts made of three types of metal which are brass, nickel-silver, and tungsten; the one to choose is up to you. Each of these metals will affect the weight of the dart, with brass making them lighter and tungsten making them heavier. Tungsten is the most preferred for by professional players, but don't let that affect your decision. You might want something lighter to start with, especially if you're still learning how to play the game effectively. The typical weight of a standard steel tip dart is usually 20-25 grams, but you can definitely find heavier.

Bottom line, see if you can test-drive a few brands and models to see which ones fit your game. Start with these five best picks below, each one chosen along the following criteria including their construction materials, as most darts are made of tungsten, brass, or nickel-plated silver, each selection offers distinct weight advantages and resist the wear and tear that comes with repeated use. Tungsten is lighter and offers a higher quality dart, while brass and nickel-plating can be heavier and wear down easier. These darts also represent some of the best barrel shapes and grips currently available, providing consumers with a variety of options that allow them to find the style they prefer the most.

Finally these darts all have excellent throw response, offering a variety of weight balances where the heaviest load is located in the front, the back, or the center. Each one responds well when thrown at the board, but it's important to remember that every player will have a different preference of how they like their dart balanced. The player who likes the weight at the back of the dart may throw differently than the player who likes the dart weighted forward. It's important for consumers to try out some models first and then decide which is the best dart for them and these picks are a great place to start.

Winmau Stratos Dual Core 24g Steel Tip Darts

Winmau's Stratos uses dual Tungsten alloy infused barrels for improved weight balance and a more stable center of gravity. The result is a steel tip dart with true trajectory aerodynamics and airflow so each throw you make produces the best possible result when that tip hits the board. A lot of science and technology went into the manufacturing of this dart, but all you need to understand is that these perform beautifully when you're staring down that bullseye. Read Full Review

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    Winmau Stratos Dual Core 24g Steel Tip Darts

    Harrows 59204 Voodoo Brass Steel Tip Darts

    Harrows make the list with their Voodoo Brass dart, a steel tip combining ebonite brass with a speedline shaft to produce a dart that offers excellent control and trajectory. Available in four weight options, the Voodoo also provides strong grip that some players may prefer while others might not enjoy as much. Read Full Review

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      Harrows 59204 Voodoo Brass Steel Tip Darts

      Piranha Razor Grip Steel Tip Darts

      Made almost entirely of tungsten, the Piranha has a tempered steel point and one of the best feeling grips on the list. It has a non-slip cross-hatch surface that ensures a firm, steady grip on the dart. The small diameter of the shaft is deceiving compared to how heavy it is. Read Full Review

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        Piranha Razor Grip Steel Tip Darts

        Powercore Competizione Mugello Steel Tip Dart

        Named after the famed race track in Tuscany, these darts from Italian company Powercore have a dual-grip barrel and racing sport flight aesthetic. This is a medium-length dart with a sleek, torpedo-shaped tungsten alloy barrel that will appeal to amateur and professional shooters alike, because of its top quality construction and high performance. Read Full Review

        Powercore Competizione Mugello Steel Tip Dart

        Cuesoul Archer 20 Grams Steel Tip Brass Barrels Grid Nickle Planting Darts

        Most consumers who are reading this probably aren't professional players taking these darts on tour, instead they're looking for a dependable dart that they can use at home or with their friends at the local pub. Considering such factors, this set from the folks at Cuesoul fits the bill perfectly with brass barrels, aluminum shafts and a minimal amount of grip, making them suitable for anyone to play with in a casual game. Read Full Review

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          Cuesoul Archer 20 Grams Steel Tip Brass Barrels Grid Nickle Planting Darts

          Best Soft Tip Darts:

          Much like a steel tip dart, the soft tip version is manufactured out of brass, nickel-silver, or tungsten. The biggest difference, obviously, is the tip. Soft tip darts have a plastic or nylon rounded point that isn't as sharp or damaging as their steel counterpart. These darts are primarily for use with electronic or bristle dartboards where the tip doesn't need to penetrate the surface as it does on a standard board. Be careful though, these tips can still injure if thrown at someone so always use caution around young children.

          When you're looking for the right set of soft tip darts, you'll want to try a few different brands out. Examine these five best picks below, each one chosen along specific criteria, starting with their construction materials, as most darts are made of tungsten, brass, or nickel-plated silver. Each selection offers distinct weight advantages and resist the wear and tear that comes with repeated use. Tungsten is lighter and offers a higher quality dart, while brass and nickel-plating can be heavier and wear down easier. It's a dense metal that is fragile, so the more of it you find in your dart, the denser the dart will be. This means you can have a slimmer barrel than brass or nickel, but it will weigh the same as one of those other materials, just without the bulk.These darts also represent some of the best barrel shapes and grips currently available, providing consumers with a variety of options that allow them to find the style they prefer the most. One other thing to keep in mind, which also played into our decision, the preferred weight of most soft tip darts is 18 or 16 grams.

          Finally these darts all have excellent throw response, offering a variety of weight balances where the heaviest load is located in the front, the back, or the center. Each one responds well when thrown at the board, but it's important to remember that every player will have a different preference of how they like their dart balanced. The player who likes the weight at the back of the dart may throw differently than the player who likes the dart weighted forward. It's important for consumers to try out some different options first, then decide which is the best dart for them; however, these picks are a great place to start.

          Target Carrera C11 Soft Tip Darts

          Target's Carrera line of soft tip darts utilizes an innovative grip design for better handling and accuracy on the barrel, and combined that with a resilient high-performance shaft for unyielding durability. They've also slapped one of the best points in the industry on the business end of this thing to craft one of the best darts on the market at the moment. Read Full Review

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            Target Carrera C11 Soft Tip Darts

            Harrows Black I.C.E Arctic Soft Tip Darts

            The folks at Harrows have named this dart aptly. It's a slick piece of work that flies straight and hits the target with sharp accuracy. A lot of technological manufacturing processes have gone into the making of this dart; while there are a lot of fancy words in their product description, it seems to have all come together well in the final product. Read Full Review

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              Harrows Black I.C.E Arctic Soft Tip Darts

              Viper Black Magic 6-Ringed Soft Tip Darts

              Viper's set comes equipped with 2BA tips and an aggressive knurled grip pattern for the player who likes having plenty of texture on the barrel when they're staring down that bullseye. These come in 18 gram weights only have Viper's glittery flights on their tail end, for a dart that flies clean and looks slick. They're also affordable enough to take along with you to the local pub or for use when guests come by the house to play in your den. Read Full Review

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                Viper Black Magic 6-Ringed Soft Tip Darts

                Cuesoul 18 Grams Tungsten Soft Tip Darts Set 85% Tungsten

                Cuesoul's 85% Tungsten soft-tip brings an awesome combination of high quality and total affordability in an 18 gram dart that's perfect for intermediate players who have gained a firm grasp of the nuances of the game. This set comes with interchangeable shafts and extra steel tip conversion points, making this the ideal dart for use with traditional and electronic boards alike. Read Full Review

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                  Cuesoul 18 Grams Tungsten Soft Tip Darts Set 85% Tungsten

                  Elkadart Turbo Soft Tip Darts

                  Elkadart makes the list with a dart that comes in a variety of weights ideal for just about any type of player. Aluminum shafts, knurled grip barrels and 100 micron extra strong flights come together to make the Turbo. The combination of weight and control you get here is well suited for intermediate and advanced players alike who want great quality at a great price. Read Full Review

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                    Elkadart Turbo Soft Tip Darts
                     

                    Darts Buyer's Guide

                    Some believe the dart originated in the 14th century as eighteen inch long arrows that were trimmed to the length and size of which we are more accustomed to now. Others believe the true origins of the dart lie within the 16th century with a game called Puff and Dart in which small, sharpened projectiles were launched through a tube-like device at a target. Yet it wasn't until the 1800's the game we’re most familiar with today gained popularity. The modern dart offers a myriad of options for players of all skill levels. Though you can sometimes find darts packaged with the purchase of a dartboard, this is not always the case and some consumers may even find those stock options woefully insufficient for playing the game effectively.

                    Dart Types

                    Steel Tip Darts
                    Steel tip darts are best suited for consumers without young children. These darts can be dangerous in small hands because they’re sharp and unyielding. Steel tips work best on sisal fiber or bristle dartboards and come with either fixed or moveable points. Most of these types of darts have fixed tips, but you can find them with moveable points which are most effective with older or harder surface boards. The moveable point is flexible so it prevents the dreaded bounce-out in case the tip hits a wire or just doesn't penetrate the dartboards hard surface.

                    Soft Tip Darts
                    Soft tip darts have a plastic or nylon rounded point which isn't as sharp or damaging as their steel counterparts. These darts are primarily for use with electronic or bristle dartboards where the tip doesn't need to penetrate the surface as it does on a standard board. They have two different width measurements related to the size of the dart barrel, having little to do with how they impact the board. 1/4" and 2ba offer varying degrees of width, and one will be better suited than the other to the specific dart you've chosen to purchase. 2ba is the most common (and narrower) of the two. These tips can still injure if thrown at someone so always use caution, especially around young children.

                    Dart Components

                    Barrels
                    Steel tip darts made of three types of metal: brass, nickel/silver, and tungsten. Each of these metals will affect the weight of the dart, with brass making them lighter and tungsten making them heavier. Tungsten is the most preferred for by professional players, but don't let that affect your decision. Brass barrels tend to run thicker, while tungsten affords you a much slimmer dart, allowing you to crowd the darts much more effectively. The higher the percentage of tungsten in your barrel, the narrower it gets. You might want something lighter to start with, especially if you're still learning how to play the game effectively.

                    Weights
                    The typical weight of a standard steel tip dart is usually 18-32 grams, but you can definitely find heavier options if you prefer. Lighter darts require more force behind your throw, while a dart with more weight offers improved power. Beginners will want to stick to something in the 20-25 grams range, so the dart isn't too light or too heavy as to lack control or accuracy.

                    Keep balance in mind as well, as different darts keep the majority of their weight in different areas of the barrel. A front-loaded dart throws differently than a barrel which keeps most of the weight towards the back. Soft-tip darts are most commonly offered in 14, 16, 18, or 20 gram weights. You can find 25 grams as well, but if you're just starting out, you'll want to stay between 14 and 20.

                    Grips
                    You have plenty of choices here. This one comes down to personal preference as to how it feels in your fingers. Examples of exterior textures include a ringed surface, knurled grip, and shark fins to name a few. Each type of grip provides increased control and accuracy on your throw. The more texture you have, the easier it is to hold the dart in position. However, too much grip can be detrimental to a clean throw as your fingers may stick to the barrel.

                    Shafts
                    Different shaft materials offer assorted levels of consistency and resilience with respect to strength. Nylon or plastic are your entry level substance, usually found in mass produced darts and suitable for use by beginners; they’re the most susceptible to breakage. From there, you'll find shafts made of resin, aluminum, carbon fiber, and carbon-composite materials, each more reliable than the last. Prices, of course, increase with the additional durability and the amount of weight inherent with said material.

                    There are also considerations beyond comparing the shaft materials. The length of the shaft will go a long way to influencing how the dart flies. Much in the same way that the position of weight plays a role in the barrel, the center of gravity of the dart is affected by the length of the shaft. Some players may opt for a spinning shaft which utilizes a mechanism which turns the flight and minimize deflections in the event your dart comes in contact with another already on the board.

                    Flights
                    If you thought you had loads of options so far, then just wait until it comes time to pick a flight. These are the little fins at the tail-end of the dart and there are hundreds of styles and sizes to consider. They're available in six overall shapes: standard, teardrop, kite, lantern, slim, and number six.

                    Much like the other previous components, each has certain advantages affecting speed and lift. They also come with textured surfaces to improve accuracy. Just like all the other factors, this is based on personal preference and skill level.

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