A set of darts is a personal choice by the dart player. Quite often when hanging out at a friend’s house, the player will use whatever darts are laying around and available to use. However, this never feels quite right and doesn’t deliver the best results.
Each dart feels different in the hand. Some are heavier and others are lighter. The barrels are thin and tapered with the lighter darts and thicker and more bulbous when significantly heavier. For players with skinny arms and small hands, a lighter steel tip dart is likely to be their best choice. With players who possess more muscular arms or have bigger hands, a thicker barrel with a greater, distributed weight is likely going to be the way to go.
When playing with friends and not owning a set of darts that suit your sensibilities, preferences or taste, the throwing game will be a little “off.” Each time a match is played, the weight of the dart won’t be consistent to the dart used when the previous game was played. The issue will affect dart flight and player accuracy. Anyone serious about playing matches should have their own pair of darts.
Darts fall into two distinct groups: Plastic soft tip and steel tip darts. Electronic dart boards and plastic ones both require the use of a set of soft tip darts. Using a steel tipped dart on these dart boards will ruin the dart board and likely make it unusable. Not a great way to win friends! Steel tipped darts get thrown at cork dart boards only. Their additional weight is required to strike the board and penetrate it successfully enough so that the dart doesn’t get dislodged and fall to the ground.
Steel tipped darts weight between 20 grams and 50 grams. The usual weight range is closer to 20-30 grams with most darts for sale.
The barrel of a steel tip dart is composed of brass, tungsten or steel. Brass, which includes nickel and zinc in its composition, tends to be the lightest of the bunch. The nickel-silver dart has a good balance to it. A tungsten dart is the most flexible because the mix of tungsten to nickel is balanced with a 90/10, 80/20 or 70/30 split being the most common.
The barrel, the part of the dart where the player grips before throwing it, usually is made from a composite material that aids grip. Ridges are used in barrel designs sometimes to help the grip further, and each dart model and manufacturer have their own take on smart design tweaks.
The flights for a pack of darts are intended to make a statement. No one wants to play with an unimpressive-looking pair of darts. Players enjoy comparing different darts to see how accurate and straight they fly and how they feel in the hand, often buying a set for themselves later on.
Flights are one of the components of a real dart that is changeable. What flights look suited to the dart’s original design depends on how particular the design is and what colors match it. Not all flights will look right, so anyone who prefers to change out their flights, for ascetics or improved flight accuracy, should consider what flights will match their steel tip dart of choice.
A package of steel tip darts will contain the steep tips, the plastic shaft, the flights, and usually a cloth carry bag.
What to Know
The most important decision when buying any dart is whether it should be a soft plastic tip or a steel tip variety. When playing in different game settings, it may be necessary to own both types to be safe.
The next decision is what weight will be best for the arm and hand. Darts that are too light or too heavy are harder to control. Heavier barrels tend to drop more in flight than thinner, lighter ones, which affects play during the game too.
Anyone who wishes to swap out their flights on a regular basis should buy several sets of flights. They’ll all fit on steel tip darts without a problem.
Check with your playing partners to see what darts they already own. Try out the darts they use to get a sense of weight distribution and comfort when playing with heavier or lifter darts in invaluable for making a good purchase later on.
Make sure that you do not use the same darts on the same flights as other friends are already using because it will cause confusion during a game. Different flights are also a way to express individuality too.
- Viper is a darts brand from GLD Products. Viper makes dart flights, steel tips darts, soft tip darts, and oak dart cabinets.
- Cuesoul is a brand focused on playing billiards and darts. Considerable effort is expended in keeping the brand fresh and exciting with regular product releases.
- Harrows Darts makes steel tip and soft tip darts. The brand also markets dart cases and darts scorecards.
- Leegoal markets a broad range of products including sporting goods and lightweight darts.
What Consumers Say
Taking a look at consumers’ reviews, these are a few of the opinions most often voiced by buyers:
Soft tips: Soft plastic tips are not interchangeable with steel tip darts. They are produced differently and do not connect properly. Furthermore, plastic soft tip darts are significantly lighter than their steel tip counterparts.
Plastic: Cheap plastic darts using inexpensive metal often come apart when striking the dart board. Always buy a respected darts brand to ensure durability. No one wants to look cheap when their dart separates on impact and only having other darts from the same packet available to continue to the match.
Customization: Darts available in the same model often include extended band, triple band, and grooved barrels. The level of select-ability within a brand’s Darts range is a sign that the darts manufacturer knows what their customers want and aims to deliver.