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What are dart boards made of




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Key Takeaways:

  • Dartboards can be made from a variety of materials including sisal fiber, paper/wood pulp, plastic, cork, wire, polyurethane, and kenaf.
  • Sisal fiber, derived from the Agave plant, is the primary material used in high-quality bristle dartboards due to its durability and dart retention properties.
  • Electronic dartboards use durable plastic with electronic sensors to automatically score and track games.
  • Traditional dartboards often have a wire spider framework to divide the board into scoring sections.


    It’s natural to be curious in the materials used to construct game of darts, if you’ve ever thrown darts. Is the cork all that there is to it, or is there more to it? Well, you’re in luck, since the materials used to construct striking surface dart boards have been thoroughly explored here.

    From the types of materials utilized to the manufacturing techniques employed, a comprehensive understanding of “What are dart boards made of” will soon be at your fingertips.

    Dart boards are usually made of sisal, a kind of plant fiber. They can also be made of cork or paper. The sisal helps the darts stick when thrown. Around the board, there’s metal wiring to divide the scoring areas. Some boards might have electronic parts too!

    What are dart boards made of?

    Dartboards may be crafted from a variety of materials, including sisal fiber, cork, plastic, and so on. History of Dart boards are often made of the following materials:

    What are dart boards made of

    Sisal fiber 

    This natural fiber from the Agave plant is bundled and compressed to make the sisal dartboard, which is the traditional bristle board. Because of its durability and ability to avoid irreparable damage, sisal is the standard for high-quality dartboard manufacturing.

    Paper/Wood pulp     

    Often seen in paper dartboards, these boards are crafted by compressing pulp fibers. Though less expensive, they’re also less durable than sisal boards.


    Electronic dartboards, sometimes referred to as electronic dart boards, like the Arachnid Cricket Pro, are made from durable plastic equipped with electronic sensors to keep track of the dart games and scores.


    Some bulletin-style boards use a cork dartboard with a bristle or plastic front face. The cork adds strength and durability.


    Wire spider boards or catch boards use wire scoring segments stretched across a frame to catch darts. These can be used for practice when dart retrieval is important.


    Materials like dense foam polyurethane are used for portable dart boards and kids’ boards. Polyurethane is soft enough for safety but can withstand repeated punctures.


    This plant fiber is an eco-friendly alternative to sisal dartboards. It has similar durability with added environmental benefits.

    So, sisal fiber, paper/wood pulp, plastic, and cork are the most common materials used in modern bristle, electronic, and bulletin dart boards. Each material offers specific benefits depending on the target quality and purpose.

    Factors to consider when making a dart board

    Here are some factors to consider when making a dart board:

    • Core material – The core material (sisal, cork, plastic, etc.) affects the durability, dart retention, and feel of the board. Natural fibers like sisal provide good grip but less durability than cork or plastic.
    • Wire – The thin wire separating board segments needs to firmly hold darts but not bend or damage dart tips. High carbon steel wire is often used.
    • Segment arrangement – Standard boards have a 20-segment radial pattern with scoring bands from 1 to 20. Other patterns and games may require different layouts.
    • Dimension – Regulation tournament boards are 17-18 inches in diameter. Recreational boards range from 15-20 inches. Weight is also a factor.
    • Rotating mechanism – High-quality boards, like the Winmau Blade, have mechanisms that allow them to rotate, ensuring even wear across the board.
    • Surface finish – A smooth surface is crucial as it prevents darts, especially steel tip darts and soft-tipped darts, from bouncing out. Some sisal dartboards feature coatings that improve both durability and dart retention.
    • Backboard – Essential for durability, the backboard ensures the double segment and other scoring sections hold firm despite countless dart impacts.
    • Cost – Materials and production methods determine cost. A quality product High-end tournament boards with advanced rotating mechanisms can cost over $100.
    • Aesthetics – Vibrant colors and printed graphics make boards visually appealing for home recreation. Simple single-color boards are preferred for tournaments.

    The goal is to balance durability, playability and cost when engineering a quality dart board. Careful material selection and design is crucial.

    How is a dartboard made?

    1. Sourcing Materials

    • The core sisal fibers are sourced from East Africa or Brazil. Adhesives, fillers, and dyes are also obtained.

    2. Blending and Compressing Fibers

    • The sisal fibers are blended with adhesives, fillers, and dye. This mixture is compressed under high pressure into circular molds.
    How is a dartboard made?

    3. Shaping and Drying

    • The compressed fiber sheets are removed from the molds, stamped into circular boards, then left to air dry.

    4. Segment Dividing

    • Thin wires are strung across the board to divide it into segments and create the scoring zones.

    5. Numbering and Finishing

    • The colored numbering and graphics are silkscreened onto the board face. A final clear coat may be added for protection.

    6. Assembly

    • A metal ring is fitted around the board edge to protect it. The board is screwed onto a backboard with a rotating mechanism.

    7. Testing and Packaging

    • Each board is tested for balance, wire tension, and scoring function. Quality boards are finally packaged for shipping.

    8. Distribution

    • The packaged boards are distributed to dart equipment retailers or tournament organizers for sale and use.

    So, in summary, dartboards require strong natural fibers, precise compressing and shaping, careful wiring, and thorough testing to ensure a quality and playable board for the consumer.

    Are most dart boards made of horse hair?

    In the earliest dartboards, horse hair was a primary material. Today, the most prevalent materials are sisal fiber for bristle dartboards, cork, plastic, or nylon. Some boards may use tungsten darts and other specialized materials. Soft tip darts often find their match with electronic boards, while steel tip darts are common for traditional sisal or cork boards.

    The most common materials used now are:

    Sisal fiberThe predominant material used to make bristle dart boards is sisal fiber. Sisal comes from the Agave plant and provides good durability and dart retention. Cork – Dense cork sheets are used to make cork dart boards. Cork is a resilient material that withstands dart impact well.
    Plastic/nylonBoards made from plastic or nylon fibers offer consistency and durability, but less dart grip.
    Paper/compressed fibersSome cheaper boards use paper or tightly compressed wood/plant fibers. So, while horsehair was historically used, the inconsistencies in this natural material made it less than ideal. The shift to using sisal, cork and other synthetic fibers has improved quality and performance. These materials allow for standardized professional-caliber dart boards suitable for tournaments and recreational play
    How is a dartboard made

    However, some novelty boards may still use horsehair for an “old fashioned” look. But for serious play and durability, boards made with sisal or cork are preferred over horsehair these days.

    What are bristle dart boards made of?

    Bristle dartboards are primarily made of sisal fibers, which are compressed and bonded together. The resilience of sisal boards makes them a favorite among players, especially in professional tournaments.

    Bristle dartboards are primarily made from sisal fibers. Sisal is a natural fiber derived from the agave sisalana plant, which is native to Central America. The sisal fibers are tightly packed together to create a dense and durable surface that can withstand the impact of dart tips.

    The manufacturing process of a bristle dartboard involves compressing and bonding these sisal fibers together under high pressure to form the board’s main playing surface. This construction makes the board self-healing, as the sisal fibers have the ability to close up around the holes created by dart tips. This means that over time, the dartboard’s surface remains relatively smooth and intact, even after numerous darts have been thrown at it.

    What are bristle dart boards made of?

    The manufacturing process of a bristle dartboard involves compressing and bonding these sisal fibers together under high pressure to form the board’s main playing surface. This construction makes the board self-healing, as the sisal fibers have the ability to close up around the holes created by dart tips. This means that over time, the dartboard’s surface remains relatively smooth and intact, even after numerous darts have been thrown at it.

    A bristle dartboard’s scoring sections are delineated by the metal wire frame that surrounds it and divides it into segments and rings. These wires are often fabricated from steel or similar strong metal.

    The classic feel, resilience, and self-healing capabilities of bristle dartboards make them a favorite for serious players at all levels of the game.

    While a homemade board takes work, it can be a fun weekend project. Just don’t expect tournament quality. Focus on a smooth, durable surface with consistent dart retention. And make sure any wires or fasteners are secure and safe for playing.

    Can I make my own dart board at home?

    Yes, Making a wooden board or any dartboard at home is feasible, but achieving the quality of a professionally made board might be challenging. When attempting a DIY project, focus on securing a smooth, durable surface with consistent dart retention.

    • Core material: Use a sheet of compressed cork or many layers of tightly packed cardboard as the core. This simulates the dense fiber core of a bristle board.
    • Segment dividers: Cross thin metal wires, nails or sturdy string across the board face to create segment boundaries. Spacing should follow standard patterns.
    • Numbers/markers: Design and paint/glue on the outer scoring bands and segment numbers. Stencils or a printout can help make neat lines.
    • Backing: Mount the board on a thick piece of plywood or particle board, making sure it is level and smooth.
    • Rotation: Add foam spacers underneath to allow manual rotation for even wear. No need for fancy rotational mounting.
    • Surface: Add polyurethane, resin or lacquer layers to coat and protect the board’s face after assembly.
    • Testing: Throw some darts to test for bounce-outs, durability, and if wires/segments stay in place. Adjust as needed

    FAQ: Why is sisal used in dart boards?

    Sisal fiber is commonly used as the bristle material in dart boards for a few key reasons:
    Sisal fiber is popular in professional tournaments because of its natural dart retention capabilities. Its resistance to permanent damage, moisture resistance, and consistent feel make it a favorite. Moreover, it’s a sustainable choice compared to plastic dart options or others. Durability: Sisal is a very strong natural fiber derived from agave plants. It maintains its stiffness and structure well over time compared to other natural fibers.

    Final Thoughts

    Dart boards are typically crafted from high-quality materials to ensure durability and optimal gameplay. The most common material used for traditional sisal dartboard, like those used in professional settings and tournaments, is sisal fiber, derived from the agave plant. What are dart boards made of? Sisal’s dense and fibrous structure allows it to self-heal, making it ideal for withstanding the impact of plastic dart throws.

    Modern dartboards such as electronic dartboards, often consist of a combination of plastic and electronic components. These boards feature a matrix of tiny holes that can detect darts’ impact and calculate scores electronically.

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