How To Buy Darts Guide

How To Buy Darts Guide

In Darting by Jeff Eastman3 Comments

How To Buy Darts Guide – Our Quick Rundown

Whether you are new to the game of darts or are an ardent player, there are several important things to keep in mind when you start looking to buy a set of darts. Its weight, the type of shaft used, the grip and the flight of dart are major factors that are relevant when buying them, as the right set of darts will improve your skill and make the game enjoyable. Here is is a helpful, buy darts guide to choosing the right dart with all the dart terms and information.

Dart varieties

Darts can either be soft-tip darts or steel-tip darts. Apart from their tips, both these varieties of darts are generally constructed in a similar way and with the similar features. However, they find a use for different kinds of boards.

Steel tip darts

These are the most commonly used darts and weigh between 20 grams to 30 grams. As the name suggests, the tip of these darts is a sharp steel point. These are used for bristle boards which are made from a plant fiber, sisal, which is tightly bound and made into a board. The steel tip darts come in fixed and moveable tips.

Fixed tips are fixed and firm and are the most commonly used tips in darts.

Moveable tips or retractable tips can be replaced when the tip is worn out and blunt. Also, these reduce the chance of the dart rebounding from the board.

Soft tip darts

These lightweight tips are made of plastic and darts made out of these used for electronic boards. These darts weigh around 14 grams to 16 grams.

Dart weight

Darts are available in a variety of weights and are weighted differently in different parts of the dart barrel. Some darts are heavier towards the tip, called front-loaded darts and some are heavier towards the grip, called as back-weighted darts. Their weight can also be balanced evenly along the shaft of the dart. The weight of darts is in the range 12 grams to 50 grams. If you are a beginner in the game, you might want to use darts which weigh between 18 grams to 20 grams.

Dart weights are determined by the Tungsten content present in them. More the amount of tungsten, heavier the dart and more expensive it is. Heavier darts require more speed to acquire an accurate flight. Lighter darts need lesser effort and lesser speed for accuracy. Most skilled players use lighter darts as using these gives them more control over the throw.

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Dart grip

The dart grip or the barrel is one of the most important features you should choose carefully. Dart grip is that part which you hold in your fingers. It is more about comfort than performance. These can be smooth or grooved. A Smooth grip is difficult to hold and release, a moderately grooved grip is the easiest one to use and perhaps the most common one used, and extremely grooved grips can cause discomfort and affect the accuracy of the throw. Advanced players use thinner grips to group the darts closer together, and it is the kind of metal which can make the grip wide or narrow. There are three types of grips, and they vary a lot in price.

Brass grips

Darts made out of these are the heaviest and widest, their grips wear down quickly and they are the least expensive.

Nickel-silver grips

Darts made of these are as heavy as the brass ones but are thinner. They are more durable and are moderately expensive.

Tungsten grips

Darts made from Tungsten grips are the most expensive. These are durable, less likely to wear out and are thinner than the other two. The percentage content of tungsten in the grip affects the price of the dart. Depending on the amount of tungsten, there are several sub-categories –

90 percent Tungsten or more in grip makes the most expensive darts, and these are usually used by professional players.

80 percent Tungsten in grip means that the dart offers a balance between affordability and quality. These are suitable for aspiring darters.

70 percent Tungsten in grip makes the dart suitable for people new to the game of darts.


Dart flights

Flights or wings present at the tail of a dart are responsible for its action through the air. These can be smooth, rough or dimpled. Smooth flights assist in an accurate speed of the dart when launched into the air. Dimpled flights lower the dart’s speed in the air increasing its stability in air. Ideally, larger the flight, more stable it is in the air, but advanced users prefer smaller flights as they occupy lesser space on the board.

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Dart shaft

The cylindrical body of a dart which connects the tip of the dart to its flights is called the shaft of a dart. The length of the shaft can vary and that’s why some are longer than the others. For beginners or those who have a straight throw, longer shafts offer more stability when the dart is in the air. These are made from different materials –

Dart shafts made from plastic

The least expensive of all shafts, these are made from synthetic material like nylon and are available in various types. Shafts made from plastic break easily, but they are sometimes good too, as bent shafts can affect speed and accuracy of a dart.

Dart shafts made from metal

These shafts are mostly made of aluminum. They are durable and don’t break easily, but they are more prone to bending thus affecting the accuracy of a throw. They are more expensive than the ones made out of plastic and are recommended for beginners.

Dart shafts made from carbon fiber

These offer more durability, are lightweight and cost more than aluminum, composite and plastic shafts. They have the strength of aluminum shafts without the potential bending, helping you maintain accuracy.

Dart shafts made from metal and plastic
Some shafts are made from a composition of plastic and aluminum. They are highly durable, and their parts don’t come loose easily. They expensive compared to the nylon or plastic shafts and cost almost the same as solid metal dart shafts.

Spinning shafts

Advanced players use these shafts. They significantly enhance the accuracy and stability during flight and are designed in a way to allow the dart to spin away if obstructed by another dart. They are the most expensive type of shafts available in the market.

When it comes to choosing the right weight, flights, shaft, and grip of a dart, there’s hardly any wrong answer. This buy darts guide will help you buy darts which suit your need and experience in the game.

Photo Credits:
Dart on Dart flickr photo by mikecogh shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license



    1. For a beginning dart player, I wouldn’t suggest anything fancy. Your goal should be something that feels comfortable to throw. You can find a good set of Unicorn darts for $20.
      A lot of people shell out money for tungsten only to find out they feel too thin in their fingers. If you’re not sure about weight try to find something in the 17 or 18 gram range.

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