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Which Type Of Dart Should You Use For Your Board?

Written By: John Dart

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Darts is a classic game that fans all over the world love.

It stands out as a precision sport and fun activity. There are as many different types of darts as there are players.

Type Of Dart

Type Of Dart

Knowing the differences between these types of darts makes playing more fun. It also gives you a better understanding of the culture behind darts. Darts, a timeless game enjoyed by people of all ages, has evolved over the years. There’s a wide array of dart types available. They include the classic steel-tip darts and the modern soft-tip darts. Each type offers unique features and benefits.

Get your darts ready and aim well. Let’s start an interesting journey through the different types of darts.

Different Types Of Dart

When we think about dart types there are two types of dart:  steel tip and soft tip dart.  There are so many differences between these two types of darts,  so let’s talk about ench and out of all darts. 

Steel-Tip Darts: 

Steel-tip darts are the quintessential choice for traditional darts. Steel-tip darts have a sharp metal point, made of tungsten. These dartboards are designed for use with the sisal fiber. 

Designers create steel tip darts for use with bristle or paper dart boards. Using them on electronic dart boards can cause damage and void the warranty. The barrel of the steel tip dart is made from lightweight wood (the Widdy Dart). It can also be made from Brass, Nickel-Silver, or Tungsten. The barrel material dictates the length, width, weight, and cost of the dart. For competitive dart players, tungsten is the recommended barrel material. 

STEEL TIP DARTS

Steel tip darts can weigh up to 50 grams. Most dart player’s darts weigh between 20 – 25 grams. The weight of a steel tip dart is for the barrel and tip only (excludes the shaft & flight). 

Since the early days of the sport, players have been using steel tip darts to play the game. The precursor game to darts was a military pastime. Soldiers threw metal spearheads or arrowheads.

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. It gives dart tips more strength and keeps fabrication costs down. Hard steel tips will rarely snap and rarely bend. They only bend if thrown at hard surfaces. This strength will add to the longevity of your dart. Durability will ensure you get your money’s worth of your investment. 

Here are some key characteristics of steel-tip darts:

  1. Tungsten is the best material for steel-tip darts. It is so dense that it lets the darts be thinner without losing weight.
  2. Steel-tip dart barrels come in many shapes and sizes. Examples include straight barrels, torpedo-shaped barrels, and scalloped grips. They can fit a range of throwing styles and tastes.
  3. You can use steel-tip darts with a variety of flights. These include normal, slim, and kite-shaped flights. The type of flight affects how steady and straight the dart flies.

Soft-Tip Darts: 

People refer to darts made of plastic instead of steel as “soft-tip” points. The term, but, takes on a larger scope than the name implies. Since their advent in the early ’80s, soft-tip darts have redefined the way the sport is played. Also, soft tips are the best darts for beginners because these are generally lighter.

The big draw for soft-tip dart players is the electronic games. Owning these can be quite expensive. Darts enthusiasts encounter them in bars and other venues. A large cabinet-like stand fixed on the board. To play a game, players insert a coin, usually 25 cents, into a coin slot.

They then select one of several games to play, including x01, cricket, and baseball. Each playing wedge section has an impact sensor. This includes the double, triple, and bullseye, as well as the external non-scoring area. It signals to the electronic system where the dart has landed. The player totals the score when darts enter the board. This makes maths skills unnecessary.

Soft-Tip Darts

Steel tip darts have the largest weight of 52 grams per dart. In contrast, soft-tip darts have a much lower weight, 16 or 18 grams. This limit is due to the fragility of the moulded plastic dartboard components. The limit is also due to the impact sensors located therein.

Soft-tip leagues have become very popular in the United States. In some areas, the lack of steel tip leagues or venues is so pronounced. Soft-tip darts are also becoming popular in Western Canada and Europe. Germany has an especially large soft-tip following. The machines have a coin operation. This makes soft-tip darts a valuable asset to manufacturers and operators.

So there are several big-money tournaments drawing players from all over the world. The top steel-tip players in the world profess to prefer the traditional game. But, they have made the top soft-tip tournaments an annual stop in their tour.

Players use soft-tip darts on soft-tip dartboards. They are a safer and more family-friendly option to play a fun game of darts! A soft-tip dart has a flexible plastic tip. You throw it at a soft tip board consisting of robust plastic with pre-molded holes. Players of all ages use soft-tip darts. The plastic points make it an ideal introduction for youngsters to the world of darts. In many Asian countries, soft-tip darts are the most popular type of darts to play. Darts Corner carries a huge range of soft-tipped darts suitable for players of all levels. They come in different sizes, grips, and colors. 

Plastic soft-tip darts are a recent addition to the sport. Yet, they have become popular in some dart-playing communities. Manufacturers use molded soft plastic to make soft-tip darts. This makes them the obvious choice for player safety. The price for entry for an at-home setup is a little steeper. But if your maths skills aren’t quite up to par, an automatic scoring system is ideal. The lighter dart and design of the board make soft-tip darts more prone to bounce out. But, most digital dart boards will still record your score if this happens.

Here’s what sets soft-tip darts apart:

  1. The manufacturers use flexible plastic to make the tips of soft-tip darts. These tips are less likely to rebound and break than metal tips, which makes the game more fun.
  2. Soft-tip darts have barrels usually made from brass or nickel-silver. This spreads the weight for better aim and control.
  3. You can use soft-tip darts with electronic dartboards. The dartboards keep score. They offer different game modes and features for more fun and involved play.

STEEL TIP DARTS VS. SOFT TIP DARTS

STEEL TIP DARTS VS. SOFT TIP DARTS

PROS CONS OF SOFT TIP DARTS

Pros

  • They work best with digital boards. One main reason to choose soft-tip darts is that they are compatible with digital electronic boards. This is also to clear safety measures. Most people enjoy the built-in computer that offers an automatic scoring system.
  • As we mentioned earlier, security is one of the primary reasons why people opt for soft-tip darts. When using soft-tip darts, you are almost guaranteed to not cause unnecessary accidents.
  • Ideal for beginners. The soft-tip darts are compatible with the electronic boards. This makes them offer better learning opportunities for beginners. The electronic dartboard helps the players to perfect their throws and even learn how to count points according to the segments hit.
  • Relatively light in weight. Compared to steel-tip darts, soft-tip darts are somewhat lighter. Hence, soft-tip darts can be easier to use for beginners as they will be able to aim and hit their targets with confidence.

Cons

  • Wear and tear. Soft tip darts are made of lighter materials such as plastic and nylon; hence they are more prone to wear, bending, and breaking.
  • They lack accuracy. Soft-tip darts are very light. So, they tend to lack the accuracy and precision you would usually get with steel-tip darts. Also, these darts can’t keep up with the wind during freight. That means you can miss the target since the darts can be diverted from their initial trajectory.
  • Increased rate of bounce-outs. The soft-tip darts are also more prone to bounce outs. The fact that the darts are very light in weight, they have a hard time sticking on the dartboard. That can be annoying as it will be a hassle recording your scores.

PROS CONS OF STEEL TIP DART

What we like

  • The steel tip darts have higher durability as compared to the soft tip darts. Steel is an alloy of carbon and iron. So, you are assured of extra strength and longevity while using the steel tip darts.
  • Accurate Throws. The significant benefit of using steel tip darts is the level of accuracy and precision you will achieve in your throws. The steel tip darts are heavier than the soft tip counterparts. Professional players will attest that the heavier the dart, the more you are likely to achieve an accurate throw. So steel tips are the best darts for professionals
  • Low Bounce Outs. If you are fed up with the high rate of bounce-outs that come with the steel tip darts, then you might consider the steel tip darts. Steel tip darts are not only heavy but also sharp. So, the darts penetrate the dartboards with a higher level of precision. Thus, there is a lower chance of the darts bouncing out.

What we don’t like

  • For most beginner and inexperienced players, steel-tip darts tend to be more cumbersome. So, if you are playing darts for recreational purposes, you may consider switching them for soft-tip darts. But if you are a professional player, you might have to adjust to the weight of the steel tip darts.
  • Steel tip darts are sharp and are likely to cause accidents. So, these darts can never be the ideal choice if you want to play with your kids. Also, the steel tip darts tend to damage walls and equipment they fall on. 

Brass Darts

Players who prefer to throw a dart with a larger barrel often choose to use brass darts. This is because brass darts need to increase in size to add extra weight to the dart. So, the barrel will become fatter as the dart becomes heavier. The dart will take up more room when in the dartboard and this can be a disadvantage when attempting to group darts. But, if using brass darts means they land more on the board, there is no reason to stop using them.

This being said, brass darts are more suited for beginners, due to their cost-effectiveness. For example, it’s possible to buy four sets of brass, steel tip darts, complete with flights and aluminum shafts, for around $10. The great thing about getting a set like this is they all have different weights. This provides a cost-effective way of testing various dart weights explained at home or out with friends. It won’t be long until players have a preference on which weight of darts they prefer.

When purchasing an individual set of brass darts, the best option could be to find a local darts store. Try out the different sets they have available. Or at least feel them in your hand. But, as the main benefit of buying brass barrel darts is the cheap price, it’s also possible to order them from an online darts store.

Some of the top darts players in the world, such as Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright, are still releasing sets of brass darts with their name on it. The greatest player the world has ever seen, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, also has many brass darts on the market. His ‘Power Bolt’ series is usually available for under $10, which is a bargain for a set of darts endorsed by a legend.

Brass is a soft alloy. It is made of copper and zinc which are well-known metals. Since brass is the lightest of the three it is easy for the manufacturers to transform brass in different shapes. It is also convenient to work with brass-made objects. The brass darts are supposed to be the lightest among the rest of the metallic darts such as nickel silver darts, tungsten darts, and steel tip darts.

The flights and shafts may have a variation in these brass darts. These sets of brass darts have barrels of brass. The aluminum shafts in these brass darts are great for beginners. The weight of each brass dart is 16 to 20 grams and has a packaging wallet. These also include extra dimple tips and come along with black grooves. These darts have easy-to-throw compact barrels, these darts have well-positioned knurling.

Due to these features, it has been supposed to be a popular soft-tip dart over the years. Brass barrels and black-coated knurled darts are custom-cut by these brass darts. The combination of brass barrels and knurled darts makes it exclusive and one of the best-selling darts. You get extra tips with a set of these brass darts.

Grip and control of brass are important. That’s why back-knurled and ringed barrels are created. They give you a good grip and control over the dart. Black-coated brass darts having finished barrels provide a contrast to the grip made by the grooves and knurls.

Brass dart guns have a unique look and feel, and they also have many benefits:

Brass darts aren’t too expensive, so they’re a good choice for people who are starting or who are watching their pennies.

  • Durability: Brass dart guns are known for being strong and resistant to damage, so they will keep working well even after a lot of use.
  • Customization Options: Brass darts are cheap. They come in a lot of different styles and weights. Players can find the perfect one for the way they play.

Tungsten Darts

Before getting into darts, let’s talk a little bit about tungsten as a chemical element. Tungsten, also known as wolfram, is the 74th atomic element on the periodic table. Tungsten is a rare earth metal with many uses. It’s used in wedding rings, filament wires for lighting, military applications, and darts. This is because of its incredible durability and resistance to corrosion.

Tungsten Darts

Tungsten ranks between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, this means it’s as tough as emeralds! Tungsten also has one of the highest melting points of any known element at 3,422 °C, which is 6,192 °F. That’s about three times hotter than lava!

Tungsten is one of the top ten densest metals. For those of you who need a refresher, density is a measurement of mass divided by volume. Tungsten’s density is 19.35 g/cm^3, which might not mean much to you, but that number means that tungsten is more dense than both uranium and gold.

Tungsten is a non-reactive metal. It doesn’t react to water, it’s unaffected by most acids and base chemicals, and won’t react to oxygen unless it becomes red hot.

The few chemicals it does react with aren’t going to be found lying around. Even if you did manage to somehow come across them, tungsten doesn’t react unless heated to high temperatures.

Longevity

For starters, tungsten darts will last much, much longer than brass or nickel-silver darts. Most of our Viper tungsten darts come with lifetime barrel guarantees because of how strong the tungsten is.

Durability

Tungsten’s non-reactive properties are also perfect for darts. The oils from your hands and anything else that might get on your darts aren’t going to degrade their quality. Coupled with its natural durability, this means the grip on a tungsten dart won’t wear down or smooth out. If you ever notice your tungsten darts don’t have as good of a grip as they used to, it usually means you need to clean them.

Slimmer Barrels

Tungsten’s density also makes it ideal for darts because it allows for slimmer dart designs. The bullseye, triples, and doubles are small, narrow spaces. So if your darts are too fat, they will block off precious space and make it harder to get high scores.

Tungsten Percentages

One thing to keep in mind when looking at tungsten darts is that they are always marketed as a certain percentage of tungsten. , this percentage falls between 80% and 97%. This is because, despite all the benefits, there is one shortcoming of pure tungsten: it’s brittle.

A 100% tungsten dart would break if put under stress. This is why tungsten is combined with nickel to make a tungsten alloy that won’t break. A 95% tungsten dart is going to be around 5% nickel, while an 80% tungsten dart will be around 20% nickel. You might be thinking that a 95% tungsten dart must be better than an 80% tungsten dart, but this is a common misconception!

A higher percentage of tungsten means the dart will be more dense and thus a little slimmer. If you had two 24-gram darts with the same shape, but one was 80% tungsten and the other was 95% tungsten, the 95% tungsten dart would be smaller. You might think that this proves that the higher percentage is better, after all, we said how great slim darts are.

And while it is true that slim darts have their advantages, what’s most important is that the dart feels comfortable when you throw it. So, some tungsten darts are made with lower tungsten densities. This way, people who prefer larger darts, or have bigger hands, can find a comfortable dart. Different tungsten percentages mean more options for players to try.

TUNGSTEN VS BRASS DARTS: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Body:

Material Density and Weight Distribution:

  • Tungsten Darts: Tungsten is a dense, heavy material, allowing for a slimmer profile. This density means that tungsten darts can be heavier while maintaining a slimmer shape. This is beneficial for tighter groupings. Higher density also translates to better durability.
  • Brass Darts: Brass, being less dense than tungsten, results in thicker darts at the same weight. This can be a disadvantage for players looking to achieve tight groupings, as thicker darts take up more space on the board.

Grip and Feel:

  • Tungsten Darts: The grip on tungsten darts can be more designed due to the material’s hardness. These darts often feature various textures, offering players a more customized grip.
  • Brass Darts: Brass darts have a smoother finish due to the softer nature of the metal. This might result in a less firm grip compared to tungsten.

Price Point:

  • Tungsten Darts: Generally, tungsten darts are more expensive. The cost is due to the material’s higher quality and durability, as well as the more complex manufacturing process.
  • Brass darts are more affordable. They are often recommended for beginners or casual players who are not looking to invest.

Skill Level and Usage:

Tungsten darts have higher quality and performance benefits. Professional and serious amateur players often favor them.

Brass Darts: Ideal for beginners, casual players, or those playing on a budget, brass darts offer an accessible entry point into the sport.

Durability and Longevity:

Tungsten Darts: Tungsten is hard and durable. It resists wear and tear, so these darts maintain their form and balance longer.

Brass Darts: Brass is softer and more susceptible to wear, dents, and bends, leading to a shorter lifespan.

Tungsten vs Brass vs Steel Darts: Which Should You Choose?

If you’re in the market for a new set of darts then one of the first decisions you need to make is what material you want them to be. Tungsten darts are denser than brass or steel darts. The density of tungsten means you can make a same-weight dart with smaller dimensions. Tungsten darts can fit more together on the board. Tungsten darts are also more durable than brass or steel darts.

Tungsten darts are denser than brass or steel darts which allows you to achieve the same weight but with a smaller dart when using tungsten. This is useful because it gives you more room on the board to fit your darts, and less drag when they travel through the area.

Tungsten is roughly twice as dense as stainless steel and brass. 

Stainless Steel Density: 7.9 g/cm³

Brass Density: 8.7 g/cm³

Tungsten Density: 19.3 g/cm³

This means that tungsten darts are usually a lot smaller than brass or stainless steel darts, even when they have the same weight. Check out this table comparing the different materials and the average dimensions of a 22g dart.

You’ll notice that you can get different percentages of tungsten. This is because tungsten darts are not made from pure tungsten and are instead made from an alloy. 

This alloy usually consists of nickel and tungsten. Nickel has a much lower density than tungsten (8.9 g/cm³ compared to 19.3 g/cm³) so the higher the percentage of tungsten, the smaller the dart will be. 

What are the benefits of having a smaller dart? 

  • Smaller darts have less drag so are faster and have a straighter and more stable flight path
  • Smaller darts fit into smaller areas

It’s the second point that’s most important here. Having a narrower dart gives you more room on the board to fit many darts. This is very useful in tighter areas such as the trebles, doubles, and bullseye.

It’s not only the weight of tungsten that helps in this regard, but also the feel of it. 

Tungsten darts are less “springy” compared to brass and stainless steel darts. This means that when the tungsten dart brushes past another dart that’s already in the board, it’s less likely to bounce off it. This again helps you to fit many darts in a small space.

Which are the Most Durable?

The barrel of a dart will wear down over time due to the friction created by your grip. The durability of the dart will depend on the frequency you use it, how you grip it, and also the material it is made from.

Tungsten darts are tougher than brass and steel darts, which are softer. This means that tungsten darts are more durable. Also, the grip is less likely to wear down. 

Good quality tungsten darts (over 80%) should last several years before they need replacing. Brass and stainless steel darts may need replacing within a year, depending on how often you play. 

Using dart grip wax can help maintain some grip when the barrels on brass and stainless steel darts have worn down. But, it’s not the best long-term option. Have a look at my guide to grip wax for info on how to use it.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Much Do Darts Cost?

Brass Darts: $5-$25
Stainless Steel Darts: $10-$25
60-70% Tungsten Darts: $25-$50
80-90% Tungsten Darts: $30-$100
90%+ Tungsten Darts: $30-$200

Which Metal Should You Choose?

This depends on your budget. If you are willing to spend $40 on a set of three darts, go for 85%+ tungsten darts. They will fit into smaller areas on the board than brass or steel darts, and they’re more durable. But, there’s nothing wrong with getting some brass or stainless steel darts if you have around $10-$20 to spend. 

Cheaper darts are good for getting started, and cheap to replace if they’re broken or lost. That’s why many bars and pubs use brass darts because it’s not the end of the world if they need a new set.

Do different darts make a difference?

Of course! Your game can be greatly influenced by darts. Using the proper grip, weight, and material can:

Help the dart fly straighter to increase accuracy.

You can throw more consistently if you improve your technique.

Make yourself more comfortable, which will make throwing easier

Conclusion: 

In conclusion, the world of darts is very large and varied. It offers many choices for players of all skill levels and tastes. Different kinds of darts can make your gaming experience better. Whether you like the classic style of steel-tip darts or the modern ease of soft-tip darts. By learning about the pros and cons of each type of dart, you can make an informed choice. This will help you improve your accuracy and fun of the game.

Both experienced and new darts players must understand the differences between the types of darts. There are many types of darts, from the traditional steel-tip darts to the newer soft-tip darts. This means that there are darts for everyone’s tastes and playing style.

As our look into the different types of darts comes to a close, it’s clear that each one has its benefits and draws to a different group of players.

Remember to try out new types of darts and different styles as you continue to learn how to play. Also, remember to get better with each throw. As long as you know what you’re doing and are passionate about it, there are endless opportunities in the world of darts.

Whether you’re trying to hit the bullseye or getting better, may your darting adventures be full of fun and friendship. May you feel satisfaction as you hit your goal—one dart at a time.

About the author

Written By

John Dart

John Dart

Introducing the powerhouse behind Dartboard Hub! Leading the charge is John Dart, our 54-year-old Principal Author, and a true dart virtuoso. With a string of victories in competitive dart games, John brings unparalleled expertise to the table, ensuring top-notch insights for players of all levels. John’s journey is a testament to his exceptional skill and expertise in the world of darts.

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