Darts is fasting becoming one of the best social sports to play with friends. You don’t need a whole lot of equipment to start playing and for beginners just starting out this can be relatively in expensive to buy.
Having originated in the UK it is today played extensively throughout Europe and North America. Laid out in its simplest form, you get three chances to score the most points you can against your opponent and you do this by aiming at where you want your darts to land on the dart board.
However, the fact you’re here tells us you already know a little about the game and are looking for the best dart board for your home or games room. In this guide we take an in-depth look at the different types of boards to look out for, brands to bear in mind and wrap the post up with our top 10 dart board reviews.
With its growing popularity, there are now a number of different types of dart boards that can be used by players of all ages and skill level.
As the popularity of darts has grown, the number of those of us playing at home has also increased. There are a number of reasons for this, you may be tired of visiting your local bar just to fit in a few sets of your favorite game, or you’re just looking for another fun game to add to your apartment. In which case purchasing your own dart board to play in the comfort of your own home makes a lot sense.
Below we examine the different types of dart boards available in the market and review them in detail to help you find the right fit for your needs. If you’re still new to the game we recommend you check out our up to date guide covering the rules of darts so you can make sure you’re learning to play correctly.
Know The Different Types of Dart Boards Before You Buy
As mentioned above, there are many different types of dart boards available.
How exactly they differ will be explored here and we hope the details given can help you choose the best dart board for your needs.
Bristle Dart Boards
Bristle dart boards are the most widely used type of board and if you have played any form of darts before it is likely the board you used was a bristle style.
First developed by Nodor during the 1930s, the bristle dart board grew considerably in popularity after 1970s when televised darts became more common and the uptake of the game grew.
Bristle dart boards are considered as the standard dart boards for major tournaments and thus these dart boards enjoy unrivaled popularity around the world for serious and social players alike.
Traditionally, darts was played on a board made of elm before the popularity of bristle changed the way they were manufactured.
The main reason for the switch came about because Dutch elm disease had devastated Britain’s wood supply and therefore people started using bristle dart boards instead, once the difference in quality was noticed bristle made boards stuck.
Bristle boards are prepared by compressing sisal fibers and gluing them to create a target. They usually come with a metal edge because the metal binding is used to perk up the durability of these boards.
These types of boards have grown in fame because as you remove the darts, the hole fills automatically. Therefore, bristle dart boards are recognized to be extremely long lasting, perfect if you intend to use the dart board regularly.
Bristle dart boards are available at both expensive and cost-effective prices depending on your budget. It is recommended you invest your money in a top-quality bristle dart board because tightly packed bristles will offer long-lasting service meaning you won’t have to continually replace your board.
Bristle boards also allow you to practice perfectly for competitions because these high-quality boards are built according to tournament standards.
Electronic Dart Boards
There is just something about the game of darts that makes everyone passionate about it, particularly amateurs new to the sport.
If you’re a beginner and looking for your first board then an electronic dart board may not be the worst purchase you can make.
Electronic boards are seen as a great way to improve performance and have replaced many bristle boards in bars and clubs because of their convenience.
Electronic dart boards are also referred to as soft tip dart boards because you play with soft tip darts on these boards.
Arachnid Company invented these dart boards and now many brands are producing them, with their ease of use attracting more and more players.
Soft tip darts do not penetrate the surface of electronic dart boards as there are many tiny holes on the playing surface, which electronically show the points acquired by the scorer.
Electronic boards offer enlarged targets to improve people’s interest in this game which is great if you’re only just starting out.
You can find a number of models of electronic dart boards, which are built specifically for home use. Suppose, your plan is to learn the game and play in a league, then you should buy a 15.5” electronic dart board which will only help your progress.
You can also search for electronic boards with extra thin segments which offer more holes in the target areas. In addition, some electronic dart boards also offer the dart averaging feature that stores details regarding how you are performing which is great for dart players looking to improve as this data can be a great help to improving your game. As electronic dart boards also automatically calculate your score they are a great option for players who don’t want to have to worry about adding up scores after each round of darts or would rather just player for fun.
Coiled Paper Dart Boards
If you are planning to buy a dart board only for the recreational purposes then a coiled paper dart board may be the best choice for you.
This is a dart board that you can present to young kids as a gift and an excellent way to introduce them to darts without having to worry about making an expensive purchase or overall safety.
These dart boards are very cost-effective although one downside is that they can be damaged easily.
Paper dart boards comprise a thick layer of paper which allows the darts to stick but also be removed easily. The paper will hide the hole automatically and you can go for another chance, allowing quick play. Even though the holes may get hidden, coiled paper dart boards are prone to damage and to avoid this you should always remember to twist the darts before removing them. The reason this type of dart board may get damaged quickly is if you just throw and pull out the darts quickly.
Buyers may take an interest in coiled paper dart boards if they don’t intend to play darts all that regularly or if they’re looking for a cost-effective dart board to introduce them to the game which they can then upgrade later. However, if you want to spend a reasonable amount and buy a dart board for long-lasting entertainment then we do recommend you try one of the alternative types of boards described throughout this guide
However there are still renowned companies in America that produce top-quality coiled paper dart boards and all are available at affordable prices. You can improve the durability of these dart boards by moving the frame to target new areas which is great if you still want a paper board but don’t want to have to replace it after just a few games.
Wooden Dart Boards
When people first started playing darts there of course were bristle or electronic dart boards. This meant only wooden dart boards were used, which were often prepared from elm wood or poplar wood.
Today, although there is still some interest in wooden dart boards this type of board is not as popular as it once was purely because other alternatives offer better service. Wooden boards may dry out quickly, allowing them to crack easily. This means you will have to soak the wooden dart board to keep it in the best condition. One cool fact is that it is assumed that the modern clock style layout of the dart boards originated from the appearance wooden dart boards would give off once they naturally developed radical cracks and rings that appear like the modern style dart board layout.
Many people choose bristle or electronic dart boards for their features and wooden boards are famous only in traditional American style dart competitions. There are some famous companies that still produce wooden dart boards and these manufacturers often do not use hard wood planks to prepare the wooden darts. The modern manufacturers prepare this type of board from the pieces of end grain basswood. The American wooden dart boards are very unique because you can rotate the round scoring area according to your demands.
Cork Dart Boards
Even though cork dart boards are not as prevalent as electronic or bristle dart boards, you can still find them. These boards are very cost-effective but often not quite as durable as modern dart boards. If you’re looking to play darts seriously or planning to learn the game, even aiming to become a pro darts player then we do still recommend a bristle dart board.
People often make the mistake of thinking bristle dart boards and cork dart boards as the same thing but you shouldn’t make the same mistake. Cork dart boards wear out quickly in comparison to bristle boards meaning you won’t get the same length of service. You can still buy cork dart boards for kids and newbie players, who use soft tip darts to learn the game but anyone else should pick one of the alternatives on this list.
Magnetic Dart Boards
Magnetic dart boards are often seen as a fun alternative to many of the boards examined in this guide so far and should not be a serious option for anyone who wants to learn darts and become a serious player.
Magnetic dart boards come with darts that comprise flat magnetic tips. These dart boards are good for small kids, who get excited by watching others and want to play themselves but are maybe too young to handle real darts. This makes magnetic dart boards a great gift for young kids to let them enjoy their time without having to worry about injury.
Dart Board Cabinets
If you’ve found a great set of darts and a dart board that you just can’t resist, to complete the set you need a dart board cabinet to house your new purchase in. A cabinet is a great addition to any home in which you still want a dart board to play on occasionally but don’t always want it to be on show. With a number of multi-purpose cabinets available we have looked at a range of stylish options, helping to find the right fit for any modern home.
Many of the dart boards we review in this guide do already include a cabinet. We have tried to include a mix of those with a cabinet and those without depending on your needs and the style of dart board you’re looking for. Dart board cabinets have a number benefits, these include acting as an excellent storage facility when your dart board isn’t being used and also opening up to include score boards and an area to keep darts when you want to play.
If you don’t want to invest in a large cabinet but still want a layer of protection around your dart board you can go for a dart board wall protector instead.
Why Use a Dart Board Cabinet?
As already mentioned above investing in a dart board cabinet has many benefits. It means you can store your dart board away safely and also means you can house your dart board in a room that is often used for activities but doesn’t have to be on show at all times.
Buying a dart board cabinet will also mean you have a larger target to aim for and will stop walls from being damaged rather than just having a dart board which can often mean the wall directly around the dart board is ruined. There are a number stylish dart cabinets available and we have reviewed some of the best below.
Dart Board Brands Comparison
There are many famous brands that manufacture dart boards. Some of the leading brands specialize in bristle dart boards while some brands focus exclusively on producing high-quality electronic boards, we compare the best dart brands below to help you make the right choice.
Bristle Dart Board Manufacturers
- DMI Sports
- Viper by GLD Products
Electronic Dart Board Brands
- Viper by GLD Products
- Regent Sports
The above brands are those that produce high-quality dart boards in all the categories for both newbie players and professional so are worth bearing in mind when it comes to buying your new dart board.
Top 10 Best Dart Boards
The World Darts Federation (WDF) has approved Bandit as the world cup dart board supplier and we are finally seeing a supplier rival the dominance Winmau and Nodor have had over bristle dart boards for far too long.
This innovative dart board effectively reduces the chances of bounce outs by offering a cutting-edge wiring system. This comprising interlocking bristle embedded thin steel bands rather than using the wire spider, the chances of deflection are effectively reduced.
We found this to be a great addition as one of the most annoying aspects of darts when you first start to play is darts that drop out after you’ve thrown them or bounce off a wire that has been designed to be too thick for the board you’re playing on.
This is not the case with this DMI staple free board and you can simply enjoy playing darts without any of the other hassles that go with playing on a low-quality board.
- This dart board is completely staple free
- Top quality sisal fibers and razor-thin spider wire
- Provides 10% extra playing area
- Power coated numbers
- One year warranty
- Another dart board that is hard to come by negatives, great for soaking up moisture this board can also be used outside so there may be better indoor alternatives around
The Supawires 2 is a Nodor tournament dart board that comprises Superwire bands as well as being staple-free.
Made in the UK, this dart board is always listed as one of the best selling bristle dart boards across the world and we found the performance to be nothing less than you would expect from such a product.
It features moveable number rings which extend the lifespan of this dart board and it really was difficult to choose between the top three boards in this list.
- Regulation-size bristle dart board. It is the best for playing darts in the tournaments, home, and tavern.
- The American Dart Organization promotes the use of Nodor dart boards for their quality and performance.
- This durable dart board is 100% staple-free and features SupaBull bulls-eye with an additional scoring area.
- The occurrence of bounce-outs is very low because Nodor Supawires2 provides Supawire bands to provide deep penetration.
- Nodor is a reliable bristle dart board manufacturing brand and above 80% have offered top ratings to the Nodor Supawires2 because it has no noticeable downsides.
Arachnid is now famous as the best electronic dart board manufacturing brand, mainly for producing the Bullshooter Crickettmaxx 1.0 above.
The bullshooter comes with a cabinet and a set of six darts, meaning you have everything you need to get going as soon as it arrives. The cabinet also means you can close the doors and hide the dart board away when you’re not playing with it.
We found this board to be extremely durable and thoroughly enjoyed trying to play all of the 34 dart games included. In fact, we tested the board flat out for days and literally didn’t complete them all so really is long lasting entertainment!
- Unlike other electronic dart boards, the Bullshooter Crickettmaxx 1.0 offers a door mounted X/O display.
- This dart board provides 183 level variations along with 34 different games, which you can play anytime you want.
- This dart board also has the solo play and heckler features.
- The cabinet is equipped with dart holders and an AC adapter.
- This electronic dart board doesn’t offer extra lighting, only the score display lights up.
When it comes to choosing the best dart board with staple-free bullseye, many buyers choose the Viper Shot King Dart board.
This board was built in a way that effectively prevents bounce-outs, remains tough in all sorts’ weather conditions and provides a long-lasting service. Of course, it meets the demands of buyers by offering all the innovative features.
- Produced by using self-healing sisal fibers to offer exceptional durability and long-lasting service.
- It comprises staple-free bullseye that reduces the occurrence of bounce-outs.
- It has a movable number ring that prolongs the lifespan of the dart board.
- This is an official tournament size dart board that measures 18 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches D.
- You get two sets of steel tip darts for free with this dart board.
- It is prepared by using thin wires that help the darts in landing safely on the target area.
- This dart board is the best for throwing both steel tip and soft tip darts.
- Some buyers agree that this dart board is not the best for high-quality darts because the darts hit hard aluminum when you miss the scoring surface.
Many buyers agree that the Gameroom Dart board is a reliable option for dart playing beginners.
This board will not see you break the bank and also offers a cabinet and free darts. It works great, and if you play with soft tip darts it should be your first choice because many people also consider it as the best soft tip dart board. This dart board has fixed numbers, which are painted on the board surface.
- Equipped with a durable cabinet.
- Best for the beginners, who use steel tip darts because it offers six steel tip darts for free.
- This dart board comprises chalk and eraser.
- It features magnetic door closer along with door mounted cricket chalkboard.
- The numbers are painted over the dart board, so there would be no harm to your darts if you miss the throw.
- This dart board is not for pro darts players. In addition, hanging the dart board inside the cabinet would be a tricky task. It does not stay firm because the dart board hangs over a hook and it swings freely.
The Winmau Blade 4 Bristle Dart board is another great dart board produced by the world famous Winmau Company.
This dart board is for the serious and professional players who want to improve their performance by practicing their throws daily at home. Almost 90% buyers have offered this dart board 5-star rating, which means it is a reliable choice.
- Winmau has built this dart board for the pro darts players.
- This is a staple-free dart board.
- It reduces the occurrence of bounce outs by featuring 50% thinner dynamic sector wire.
- This dart board comprises super-dense and high-visibility Kenyan sisal fibers.
- The triangular wiring construction deflects the darts towards the target area so that you can score every time you throw the dart.
- High-tensile steel wiring is used to improve the durability, scoring, and performance.
- You cannot leave this dart board in an open area as the cold climate works as a threat to this dart board.
Yet another impressive dart board built by Trademark Games. Yes, it is also a good choice for the beginners as well as those already used to the game of darts.
You can also gift it to kids, who want to try their hand at the game without having to pay too much up front. It is a good choice because this bristle dart board costs an inexpensive price like the cork dart boards, but features better durability and performance.
- This 18”x1.5” bristle dart board is a durable choice for the novice players.
- It is renowned for prolonged service.
- The built-in standard wire spider helps you in scoring more often.
- It is equipped with staple-free bullseye that improves the quality of this dart board.
- It is a wall mounting dart board with no cabinets.
- As a beginner, you would like to get some free darts with the dart board, but TG Champion Bristle dart board doesn’t offer free darts.
An impressive choice for those who spend a long time throwing darts on the entry level dart boards and now want something better.
The Viper Hudson Bristle Steel Tip dart board comes with a mahogany finish. The cabinet door hangs over the bronze hinges and the dart board is designed with solid pine. It should be on your list of the best dart boards, if you want to become a pro darts player.
- The cabinet doors are equipped with a built-in chalkboard. You can use the chalk and eraser to mark the scores and remove when the game is over. The cabinet doors also offer mounting hardware to hang the eraser and marker.
- This dart board measures 41.5” L x 21.25″ W x 3.5″ in diameter.
- It has staple-free bullseye and the self-healing sisal-bristle fibers ensure long-lasting performance of the dart board.
- It is a tournament size dart board and it equips a movable number ring to offer a long-lasting service.
- You don’t get the top-quality darts for free with this dart board. In addition, some buyers do not agree that the Viper Hudson Sisal/Bristle Steel Tip Dart board can serve for a long time.
Hathaway is a famous wooden dart board manufacturer in the USA. The Centerpoint Solid Wood Dart board is a durable dart board produced by this company. It comes with a cabinet set and 2 sets of three darts.
- Built by using ½” thick yellow poplar hardwood.
- It is a standard tournament size dart board that comprises sisal fibers and a removable outer ring.
- It can effectively prevent the bounce outs.
- You get 2 sets of steel tip darts for free.
- It is not a right choice for throwing soft tip darts.