Darts has fast become one of the most popular social sports played by friends, work colleagues, or just as a solo activity to pass the time.
It is easy to see why, you don’t need a whole lot of equipment to start playing and for beginners just starting out this can be relatively inexpensive to buy, that is of course, if you make the right purchase first time around.
The Best Dart Board we Reviewed [TL;DR]:
- Bristle: Winmau Blade 5 – This professional level dartboard is endorsed by the British Darts Organization (BDO) and used at the annual World Championships held in London. For such a high-quality product this dartboard is extremely reasonably priced and perfect for just about any games rooms.
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 activity to be able to play at home with family and friends.
In which case purchasing your own dartboard to play in the comfort of your own apartment or games room makes a lot of sense.
In this guide, we explore the different types of dart boards available and examine them in detail to help you find the right fit for your needs.
If you’re still new to the game we do 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.
Below we review some of the best professional bristle dart boards currently available.
Best Dart Boards – Bristle
- Winmau Blade 5
- DMI Bandit
- Nodor Supawires 2
- Viper Shot King
- Trademark Dart Board
- Winmau Blade 4
- TG Champion
- Viper Hudson
- Hathaway Centerpoint
The World Darts Federation (WDF) has approved Bandit as the World Cup of Dart’s board supplier and we are finally seeing a supplier rival the dominance that Winmau and Nodor has had over bristle dartboards 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, meaning 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 dartboard 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 dartboard 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 dartboards 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 dartboard and it really was difficult to choose between the top three boards in this list.
- Regulation-size bristle dartboard. 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 dartboard manufacturing brand and above 80% have offered top ratings to the Nodor Supawires2 because it has no noticeable downsides.
When it comes to choosing the best dartboard with staple-free bullseye, many buyers choose the Viper Shot King Dartboard.
This board was built in a way that effectively prevents bounce-outs, remains tough in all sorts’ weather conditions and provides 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 dartboard.
- This is an official tournament size dartboard that measures 18 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches D.
- You get two sets of steel tip darts for free with this dartboard.
- It is prepared by using thin wires that help the darts in landing safely on the target area.
- This dartboard is the best for throwing both steel tip and soft tip darts.
- Some buyers agree that this dartboard 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 Dartboard is a reliable option for dart playing beginners.
This board will not see you break the bank and also offers a cabinet unit and comes with free darts – although we do suggest upgrading these if you’re serious about improving your game.
Overall the board works great, and if you play with soft tip darts it should be your first choice as many darts players we spoke to also consider it as the best soft tip dartboard.
This dartboard 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 dartboard comprises chalk and eraser.
- It features a magnetic door closer along with door mounted cricket chalkboard.
- The numbers are painted over the dartboard, so there would be no harm to your darts if you miss the throw.
- This dartboard is not for pro darts players. In addition, hanging the board inside the cabinet would be a tricky task. It does not stay firm because the dartboard hangs over a hook and it swings freely.
The Winmau Blade 4 Bristle Dartboard is another great dartboard produced by the world famous Winmau Company.
This dartboard is for the serious and professional players who want to improve their performance by practicing their throws daily at home. Almost 90% of buyers have offered this dartboard 5-star rating, which means it is a reliable choice.
- Winmau has built this dartboard for the pro darts players.
- This is a staple-free dartboard.
- It reduces the occurrence of bounce outs by featuring 50% thinner dynamic sector wire.
- This dartboard 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 dartboard in an open area as the cold climate works as a threat to this board.
Yet another impressive dartboard 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.
- This 18”x1.5” bristle dartboard 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 dartboard.
- It is a wall mounting dartboard with no cabinets.
- As a beginner, you might like to get some free darts with the dart board, but TG Champion Bristle dartboard doesn’t offer free darts.
The Viper Hudson Bristle Steel Tip dartboard comes with a mahogany finish and the dartboard is designed with solid pine making it a fine choice for just about any setting.
The cabinet really doesn’t look out of place even in the most sophisticated of settings and that is what we really did love about this board.
- 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 dartboard 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 dartboard. In addition, some buyers do not agree that the Viper Hudson Sisal/Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard is long-lasting, however, we haven’t reviewed the board for long enough to find this out just yet.
Hathaway is a famous wooden dartboard manufacturer in the USA.
The Centerpoint Solid Wood Dartboard is a durable dart board produced by Hathaway and we found that overall the quality of the board was Ok.
Added bonus: this dart board comes with a cabinet set and two 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.
- No the right choice for throwing soft tip darts.
Why Choosing the Right Dart Board is so Important
When it comes to darts, the board you choose to play with really can make or break your enjoyment. Anyone who has ever played on a poor quality board will know just how true this is.
There is nothing more frustrating when it comes to playing darts and every time you throw a dart, it bounces straight out. At first you might think its the darts, they’re just too heavy for the board, but in reality, the low-quality bristles mean the board just isn’t strong enough to hold steel-tipped darts. So although you might think you’re getting a bargain, in reality, you get what you’re paying for with a cheap dart board.
There is a reason many of the brands reviewed above are used at the biggest darts tournaments in the world.
Another important aspect of many of the best dart boards we reviewed is that they have larger scoring zones. If you have taken the time to read the in-depth reviews listed (if you haven’t just yet we suggest you do so) then you will have noticed that this is a feature of many leading boards. This means the beds are slightly larger, leading to fewer bounce outs, more points being scored, and overall more fun being had.
How Much Does a Dart Board Cost?
This is the question we’re asked most often and quite simply, it depends.
It depends on the brand of dart board you choose, with leading manufacturers such as Winmau rightly charging higher prices than less premium suppliers. It also depends on the series or age of the dart board you’re buying with manufacturers constantly looking to improve the quality of the dart boards that they produce meaning newer ranges will cost more than older models.
Overall you can still expect to purchase a high-quality dart board for less than $100, which we believe is great value.
Alternatives to Bristle Dart Boards
If you’re not quite sure that a bristle dartboard is the right choice for you there are other options available.
In the list below we take a look at other popular choices, but we must warn you, many don’t quite measure up to the high quality of a traditional board. If you’re looking for an alternative to the bristle boards used by the pros than we highly recommend taking a look at an electronic dart board.
Coiled Paper Dart Boards
If you are planning to buy a dartboard only for the recreational purposes then a coiled paper dartboard may be a good 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 dartboards 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 dartboard 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 are great if you still want a paperboard 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 dartboards 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 dartboards 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 dartboards for their features and wooden boards are famous only in traditional American style dart competitions. There are some famous companies that still produce wooden dartboards and these manufacturers often do not use hardwood planks to prepare the wooden darts. The modern manufacturers prepare this type of board from the pieces of end grain basswood. The American wooden dartboards are very unique because you can rotate the round scoring area according to your demands.
Cork Dart Boards
Even though cork dartboards are not as prevalent as electronic or bristle dartboards, you can still find them. These boards are very cost-effective but often not quite as durable as modern dartboards. 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 dartboard.
People often make the mistake of thinking bristle dartboards and cork dartboards as the same thing but you shouldn’t make the same mistake. Cork dartboards wear out quickly in comparison to bristle boards meaning you won’t get the same length of service. You can still buy cork dartboards 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 dartboards 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 dartboards come with darts that comprise flat magnetic tips. These dartboards 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 dartboards a great gift for young kids to let them enjoy their time without having to worry about injury.
Setting Up Your New Dartboard
If you’ve gone ahead and purchased a new dart board it’s now time to set it up correctly.
When hanging the board it is important that the bullseye is directly 1.73meters from the floor. It is also recommended that you use a mat of some sort, extending from the dart board to the throw line (2.37 meters from the board) in order to protect your floor or cabinet.
For even more information on how to set up your board, as well as maintain it check out this guide here.
Dart Board Cabinets
If you’ve found a great set of darts and a dartboard that you just can’t resist, to complete the set you need a dartboard 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 occasion 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 dartboards 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 dartboard you’re looking for. Dartboard cabinets have a number benefits, these include acting as an excellent storage facility when your dartboard isn’t being used and also opening up to include scoreboards 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 dartboard you can go for a dartboard wall protector instead.
Why Use a Dart Board Cabinet?
As already mentioned above investing in a dartboard cabinet has many benefits. It means you can store your dartboard away safely and also means you can house your dartboard in a room that is often used for activities but doesn’t have to be on show at all times.
Buying a dartboard 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 dartboard is ruined. There are a number of stylish dart cabinets available and we have reviewed some of the best below.
Best Dart Board Brands to Consider – Professional Standard
There are many famous brands that manufacture dartboards to professional level. Some of the leading brands specialize in bristle dartboards 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.