Darts has fast become one of the most popular social sports there is. Whether you’re looking for a fun and exciting game to play at home with children, or a competitive sport to play at the bar with friends than darts may well be the game you’ve been looking for.
When starting out beginners usually start the set most readily available at their local bar. These have normally been used for years, contain a worn away grip and flights that seem to pop out after every throw.
If this sounds familiar it’s probably time for an upgrade and the following guide is here to help.
To ensure you find the best set of darts we have broken down the different components that make up each individual dart, how these differ between particular brands and finally offer reviews of the best steel tip and soft tip darts depending on the board you’re playing on.
The basics of the game are simple, players taking it in turns to score points by throwing darts (see where the name comes from now?) at a circular board (called a dart board…you’re picking this up quick!). Dart boards are divided into different scoring segments numbered 1-20 with double and triple points also on offer for each number as well.
One of the surprising things about the game of darts for those playing for the first time is just how difficult it is. You may have watched on TV before and wondered just how hard it is to get triple 20 every time but that soon becomes apparent when you’re the one with the darts in your hand.
But whether your hand-eye coordination just isn’t quite there yet or if you still need a bit more practice, the darts you use to play can make a huge difference.
If you also want to improve your performance by using high-quality darts, then you’re in the right place, our experts have put together the following guide to help you when it comes to buying the perfect darts to improve your game.
This post will give you a complete insight into what to consider when buying a new set of darts, whether you’re new to the sport looking to buy your first set or if you’re a darts veteran and already know your flights from your barrel.
To provide a comprehensive review of the best darts available we start by looking at the components of a set of darts and then review a number of leading brands and products in detail below. At this stage, we’re already assuming you have a good idea about the different types of dart boards available, however, if you don’t we recommend checking out our dart board guide first.
How to Choose the Best Darts
It may be surprising to discover just how many different types of darts there are.
What should be a simple choice when purchasing a new set of darts is made a whole lot tougher purely because of the sheer amount of choice available.
However this isn’t a bad thing, the competition between brands and dart manufacturers means quality is high and prices remain relatively low.
When it comes to actually choosing the right set of darts for your game, only you can decide which darts suit your style most. This is because it obviously depends on how seriously you play the game as well as how often.
However, there are a few factors we can help you with when it comes to finding the best set to improve your game, whether you have joined the local league or simply looking for a set of darts for your sons birthday.
Hopefully, we have broken down the following section enough for you to follow along. Both beginners and experts require different types of darts and it can be tough to decide which darts are the best for you because even the worlds best darts players can’t decide which is the best brand to use.
Steel Tip Vs Soft Tip Darts
When it comes to choosings between steel tip and soft tip darts it will likely come down to what type of dart board you’re currently playing on. Steel tip darts are designed predominately to be used on bristel dart boards, those used by professionals, and the most common type of board found in public places such as your local bar.
Soft tip darts therefore are more likely to be used when playing on an electronic dart board, which have grown in popularity considerably in recent years. The ability to play hassle free without having to calculate any of the scores (the dart board does it for you) and the variety of games available have contributed to this growth.
Soft tip darts are also ideal for introducing youngsters to the game of darts. They are far safer than steel tip darts and usually made of plastic, sometimes containing a magnetic ‘tip’ depending on the board they are designed for.
Here is a head to head comparison of the two main types of darts:
Steel tip darts work the best on bristle or sisal fiber dartboards. These darts are available with both movable and fixed points offering you flexibility and customization.
If you’re slightly worried about where you play, you should avoid using steel tip darts if you have kids at home and are unable to create a closed-off space to safely play darts as these sharp and unyielding darts can be very harmful if young children somehow get hold of them.
However, if you are choosing a set of darts to be used in an adult’s-only games room or in a different environment with friends than steel tips are definitely the recommended choice.
Used by professionals at all major World Dart’s Championships you can find the exact models used by the likes of Michael van German, Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson.
Many dart manufacturers produce steel tip darts with fixed tips. However, using the steel tip dart with movable points would be the best on hard surface boards.
One of the biggest advantage of high-quality steel tip darts is that they do not bounce out meaning even when the tip strikes with a wire, their durability and strength can find a way to penetrate the board.
A number of the best steel tip darts are reviewed in the following product comparisons below and you can find this type of dart to buy immediately if you’re looking to get playing quickly.
Steel tip darts are most likely to leave a mark in your games room if you accidentally miss the dart board and hit your wall. For this reason we recommend investing in a dart board wall protector.
As is clear from the name soft tip darts come with soft tips made from a plastic or nylon rounded point.
The tips of these darts are not sharp enough to cause any serious damage so are a great alternative for dart players with children. These darts are not built for penetrating traditional bristle dart boards as their steel counterparts do and are best when used on electronic or magnetic boards.
Soft tip darts usually have two different width measurements depending on the size of the dart barrel. We have reviewed some of the top rated soft tip darts for you so buying the best soft tip darts should be easier than ever.
Both steel tip darts and soft tip darts are the two most popular types of darts meaning you should also stick to one of these two dart types if you’re looking to improve your performance.
What to Consider
When choosing the best set of darts to suit your game you need to make a number of considerations. As already outlined above, darts can vary considerably by the brand and type of darts you require. Whether you are in need of steel tip or soft tip darts here are our key considerations when it comes to choosing a new set.
Weight is the most important factor to consider when buying new darts with the normal weight of steel tip darts lying between 18 to 32 grams.
Lighter darts are often preferred by those who know how to maintain the balance while throwing darts with more force.
On the other hand you do not need to apply extra power when throwing heavier darts and if you’re new to the game we recommend buying darts of around 20 to 25 grams in weight. These are great if you’re a beginner and want learn how to become more accurate and are becoming frustrated with failing to connect with the board properly
You should not forget about balance when considering the weight of darts.
Many dart manufacturers distribute the weight in different sections of the barrel with some brands providing darts that place most of their weight towards the front side and some designing back-loaded darts.
Choosing between front-loaded or back-loaded barrel darts ultimately depends on personal preference and what most suits your unique throwing style.
Always consider how you hold the darts and how you throw to pick the best from the reviewed list of darts below.
Soft tip darts can be available in 14g, 16g, 18g and 20-gram weight classes. These darts are often a great choice for beginners.
You only need to take a few throws to recognize the best grip to suit your hold.
However, if you aren’t able to try darts out before being them check a few descriptions given below to recognize the dart grip most suited to your playing style:
- A dart with a shorter or stocky barrel would be the best for you if your grip is the three-point grip. The front-loaded dart should also be considered.
- The pencil style grip is the best for throwing the darts with cylindrical barrels.
- The scallop would be the best for you if you grip the dart from the back.
- The light grip is ideal for throwing narrow barrel darts.
- The ghost grip or light knurling grip is suited to players who have naturally dry hands.
- You should search for the darts with large barrels if you have large hands.
You can grip a marker pen or a pencil to recognize the best grip and then choose the dart grip accordingly.
Every dart consists of small fins at the tail-end and these fins are called flights with different dart manufacturers developing various flight styles.
Finding what type of flight are most suitable for your darts can sometimes be tricky to recognize.
However, most of the top-rated dart players often stick to six main types of flights, these are Kite, Standard, Teardrop, Slim, Lantern, and the number six.
A great way to choose your flights is to once again consider your dart throwing style.
Flights can affect the speed and angle at which you throw the dart so are hugely important and beginners should also take some time to recognize the best type of flight for them as it can have a huge impact on overall accuracy.
Now shafts have already been considered in the steel vs soft tip section above. This is because it is normally the case the case that whatever a dart’s tip is made of the shaft will be constructed of that material as well.
However, because it is such a big component of choosing the right set of darts for your style we will revisit it again here.
Many different materials are used to prepare dart shafts.
Plastic or nylon shafts are the best for beginners and are often the most mass produced making them perfect for newcomers to the world of darts.
You can also find dart shafts made of aluminum, resin, carbon composite material and carbon fiber if you’re an intermediate to advanced player. If you’re new to the sport it might be a good idea to use plastic shaft comprising darts when learning the game and then switching to carbon-fiber or aluminum shaft darts when you have had some practice and feel familiar in your throwing style.
The plastic or nylon shafts are prone to breakage and accidents may occur during the learning days so these cheaper alternatives are great if you’re looking to start without spending too much on your first set.
It is difficult to pick out just one brand of darts above the rest.
Many companies are producing darts, dart boards and other materials related to the game and all are specialists in their own way.
Many brands claim to offer the best dart which is, of course, no surprise, however, you can shortlist the best brands by evaluating their darts – which as you don’t want to purchase more than one set yourself we have done for you already.
By evaluating all the factors mentioned in this guide we have looked at brands producing both plastic or soft tip darts as well as those that manufacture steel tip darts.
It should not be assumed that the more expensive the set of darts the more likely they will be to improve your game.
As already expressed throughout this guide, finding the right set of darts for you has a lot to do with your unique style and throwing balance/speed.
However, that isn’t to say you shouldn’t invest in a high-quality set of darts if you want to start to take the sport seriously.
The cost of a set of darts is usually done by factoring in the type, material, grip, and brand.
We don’t recommend beginners invest large amounts in the first set of darts, instead use cost-effective darts to learn how to play and if you like the game enough you can always upgrade later.
Soon, you will recognize the best grip, type, weight, and shaft for your style and then you can invest in a more expensive set.
Not every darts buff wants to take part in competitions. You may be one of those individuals who want to buy darts merely to improve at your chosen hobby or for learning the game, so in that case paying out a lot of money on a brand new, professionally crafted darts doesn’t make much sense.
We have reviewed the best darts available this year. These are the best for both professionals and beginners meaning if you wish to improve your game then carefully check the best dart reviews below and you will find the set with the appropriate grip, weight and flight style for you.
To help you choose the right set we have broken our reviews down into Steel Tip and Soft Tip Darts. This saves you time and make sure you aren’t having to crawl through review after review for steel tip darts if you only own an electronic dart board.
All reviews are below.
Best Steel Tip Darts
By now you hopefully have a good understanding of the different components of steel tip darts and the correct type of dart board to use these with.
Steel tip darts are most widely used with bristle boards and below we compare the best sets of steel tip darts we found online.
Renowned for offering an exceptional balance and styling, the Centaur 6 pack steel tip darts comes with top quality steel barrels that are perfect for players of all abilities. A huge bonus with this set is that you get six darts and each dart weighs in at only 20 grams. These darts also have strong 2BA aluminum dart shafts that provide them with incredible durability.
- You get polypro dart flights with these darts. These flights are designed specially to offer the player with better speed and decrease the drag. The flights look impressive due to their laser effects.
- These are heavy darts and therefore you get better stability and the chances of hitting the target increase.
- The Centaur Darts are designed for professionals, who want to perform better in the competitions. However, newbie darts players may not find these darts effective.
The unique brass pro grip barrel offers a charming and snakeskin like feel to the King Cobra Strikes Darts. These darts come with a sleek design and the grip is perfect for entry-level players who want to improve their performance.
- These darts provide you with the brass knurled snake grip rings for better control and exceptional accuracy during each throw.
- Chances of hitting your target are increased when you hold 24-gram strike darts
- These steel tip darts offer impressive balance with 48mm aluminum shafts and thick heavy duty PET flights.
- The King Cobra Strikes Darts are designed for both professional and entry-level players.
- These darts have robust brass metal barrels, aluminum shafts, steel tip and PET flight. Each dart weighs-in 24 grams, which means better balance and no extra power needed to hit the target.
- The shaft may get squeezed as you insert the flight and the manufacturer is trying to fix this issue.
The Bottelsen HammerHead Steel Tip darts have grown in popularity due to their tungsten barrels and heavy weight. The manufacturer has used tungsten to produce these darts because they wanted to provide the users with slimmer and sleeker darts.
- 95% virgin tungsten is used to produce the barrels and that’s how these darts gain better balance.
- You buy these darts with coarse, smooth and edge knurling grip that increases the chances of impressive performance in competitions.
- These steel tip darts weigh 23 grams and the tungsten steel barrel offer an effective balance during each throw.
- You can get two set flights with the aluminum shafts.
- The Bottlesen HammerHead steel tip darts have received top ratings from all buyers. Even professionals have praised the features and durability of these darts making a down point hard to come by!
When it comes to choosing the most impressive darts, the new redesigned Black Mamba Strikes Darts is the first choice of many people. These darts come with eye-catching black coated barrels and you get metal pro grip with each dart, helping you to perform better.
- Ergonomic design that helps you in hitting the target every time you throw the darts. These darts offer impressive grip to control the dart and hit the bull’s eye.
- Scientifically crafted knurled grip ring offers an exceptional grip for better handling. Many professional players have used these darts in the competitions and got impressed with the balance and control provided by these darts.
- These 22g fixed tip darts will force you to leave the old darts in the storeroom.
- The dart size is suitable for those, who have large hands. People with small hands may like to use smaller darts.
Providing outstanding balance and styling with nickel silver plated barrels, the Viper Sure Grip soft tip darts can become your first choice.
Every barrel of these darts offers tactically installed grooves below the rubberized barrel sleeves. Consequently, the user gets some gripping points to hold and throw the darts.
- Nickel silver plated barrels with rubberized gripping for better balance and control.
- Providing a tighter fitting with diamond-cut aluminum shafts that comprise the locking holes. You will not retighten the shafts during the play and take your shot quickly.
- These darts are equipped with top-quality flights that provide the darts with better speed, balance and reduce the drag in the air.
- These darts are not for the entry level players as they may not be able to hit the dartboard with every throw.
The Fat Cat Bulletz steel tip darts offer robust barrels, prepared from tungsten and nickel. Of course, the balance would be exceptional with slim and stylish looks of the darts.
- Strategically placed knurled bands, rings and grooved for better grip points.
- Lighter convex nylon shafts offer tighter fitting and reduce the demands of retightening the shafts.
- You get an extra set of nylon shafts, wrenches, and flights.
- Each dart weighs 23grams.
- You get these darts in a stylish and hard-shell case.
- There may be some issues with the extra shafts and flights as the additional shafts may not hold the flights accurately.
Best Soft Tip Darts
Below you will find reviews of the best soft tip darts we trialed. All performed capably when used on the lastest magnetic dart boards so we are happy recommending all of them.
These darts offer professional grip shafts along with vision flights. The manufacturer is offering a lifetime barrels guarantee with these darts that also have axial and radial milled cuts making them very special. The Carrera Titanium darts also offer a unique grip because the barrels comprise both horizontal and vertical cuts meaning you can grip each dart effectively before throwing. These unique cuts also prevent the tear and wear meaning these are a long last set of darts.
- These darts are equipped with Bi-directional grips, which are common in the soft tip darts. This grip improves the strength with each throw.
- The flights spin as you throw the dart towards the target. The impressive looks and perfectly engineered flights improve your capability of hitting the target with each throw.
- These are soft tip darts, which weigh only 18 grams. These are quite light and therefore not suitable for the entry-level player.
The manufacturer has used 90% tungsten to produce the Bottelsen GT III soft tip darts a huge advantage to players used to playing with darts of this type in the past. These darts are only 2” long and offer a smooth cut grip great for aiding an accurate throw. These darts also come in a metal case when you buy online, perfect for storing and transporting your new darts.
- You will always strike the target if you are a skilled thrower because Bottelsen GT III comes with a well-balanced design. Unlike many other soft tip darts, the GT III darts do not bounce back from the dartboard due to exceptional balance.
- You get these darts in impressive “Croc” case that improves the charm of GT III darts. Every competitor and spectator will turn towards you when you will walk in with the deluxe “Croc” case.
- The shafts have O-rings along with GT brand screw. Therefore, the shafts look pretty cool and improve the overall appeal of the darts.
- The flights may come off if you throw these darts carelessly. There is no other downside of impressive GT III.
Black Widow is a renowned brand in the market and it has got fame for its steel tip darts. The Black Widow soft tip darts also offer impressive performance as their steel counterparts. Prepared from tungsten metal and therefore these darts are robust and durable. The manufacturer has built it to provide a durable choice in the soft tip darts, which is quite rare to find in the market.
- The Black Widow soft tip darts come with powerful spider leg shafts.
- These darts have an innovative barrel and black oxide coated tip that increases the friction on the dartboard.
- It is capable of improving your performance exactly like the steel tip darts do.
- These darts are more expensive than other soft tip darts available in the market.
The Elkdart Razor darts offer exceptional balance with their slim and stylish design. These steel tip darts are prepared from 80% tungsten and 20% nickel. The barrel is equipped with deliberately crafted knurled bands, rings and deep grooves that together offer a perfect grip during each throw.
- Slim and impressive design with an outstanding balance.
- These darts have knurled bands along with rings and deep grooves for a better grip.
- Consistent hand placement.
- Floaty aluminum shafts have locking holes. The requirement of retightening reduces with these holes.
- Equipped with high-quality flights that reduce the drag, improve the speed and help you in hitting the target with each throw with perfect accuracy.
- You get a hard-shell case to store and protect the darts.
- These darts are designed, assembled, and manufactured in England.
- These are heavy darts that weight 21-25grams. Not available as a lightweight darts.