There is a joke in darts. It goes like this “New darts won’t help, you’re $#!+.” It’s funny yes, but is it true? Definitely not. Darts come in all shapes and sizes, grips, weights, lengths, materials, and more.
Contrary to the joke above, buying the right dart gear can go a long way to improving your game, even if you are new. Think it doesn’t matter?
Could you shoot the same game with these darts?
How about on these dartboards?
Ok, while these examples may be the extremes, it does prove the point that equipment does actually matter. As you get higher up in quality the differences may be more subtle but I want you to understand, you are not looking for the best darts, you are looking for the best darts for you!
Before we break down what to look for when buying darts, I want to stress 2 important things:
- What’s right for someone else may not be right for you. Everyone has different needs, find the darts that feel right for you.
- Cost is not always an indicator of quality, and you don’t need to break the bank to get good equipment.
A basic set of high percentage tungsten darts are good enough for the average player and can be had for relatively cheap. As you get better and know a little bit more about what you need you can move up to the next level but I do not recommend spending a whole lot on your first set.
If you already have darts, don’t worry. We are going to be covering all dart related equipment in this buyer’s guide. Maybe even some things you didn’t even know you need.
Table of Contents
Buying The Right Darts
This is probably the hardest item on the list. Darts a very personal item and are unique to the user. Here are the most important things to consider when buying darts.
Weight is probably the most important factor when choosing a dart. The weight of your dart is going to be directly related to the strength and angle of your throw.
Heavy darts need a little more oomph but tend to fly straighter, while a lighter dart will have more of an arch. Around 20 grams, give or take 2, is where most people fit in.
Length & Shape
The length and shape of your dart should complement your grip type. Do you rest your finger on the point? Maybe you want longer points, Only using 2 fingers? A longer barrel might not be so important.
Like length, the grip texture of your dart depends on how you grip and release the dart. Some darts have heavy knurling, or fine grooves cut at every angle imaginable.
The most important thing is that the dart has the proper grip where you hold it. If you hold the dart at the front, knurling at the back isn’t going to matter much, and vice versa.
I am going to make this one easy. Most players will want a dart that is composed of 90% tungsten or more. Tungsten is used to make darts because it is denser than other common materials. This allows manufacturers to make darts thinner and still allow it to maintain its weight.
Thinner darts allow for tighter groupings and tighter groupings allow for higher scores. If by chance you want a bigger fatter dart, they are out there too. There is no problem going for a nickel or brass alternative if that’s what you prefer.
Ok, But How Do You Choose?
If you are looking for a set of darts, I suggest just asking around. Most people will be happy to let you try out their darts for a few rounds. Pay close attention to the shape, the grip type, and weight so you can figure out what you like.
If you are at a complete loss for what to get I will point you to these Cuesoul Darts. This is my recommended dart set for beginners. They are 95% tungsten, come with a case, extra shafts, flights, and more. It is an all in one kit for a great price.
- 28 Grams 95% Tungsten Barrel , Center Weighted for Easier Controlling
- 11 Hand Painted Rings Grooved, 4 Small Knurled Barrels Grips in Front 95% Tungsten Barrel
If you are looking for something a little higher up the ladder, I recommend checking out this article about what darts the pros use. You will find a variety of darts in all shapes and sizes with a proven record of success.
So now you have a nice fancy set of darts, you can’t just put them in your pocket. You need a nice fancy dart case to put them in.
You really shouldn’t cheap out here as there is a big gap between a high-quality case and the cheaper ones. There are a few key things to look for in a dart case:
You want a dart case that is durable. The case should not only protect your gear, but it should also be sturdy enough to take a beating and not fall apart. A good dart case should last you several years.
A good dart case should hold your darts with flights intact. If your case can not fit your darts without you having to take them apart, you don’t want it. You want to be ready to go as soon as you open the case.
Also removing and reattaching your flights every time you play will cause unnecessary wear on those parts, forcing you to buy replacements more often and costing you more in the long run.
Your dart case should be large enough to store any extras you need on hand. Everyone has different needs. A couple of extra flights, shafts, and a sharpener are the bare minimums.
If you are like me, you have multiple sets of darts and a full case of emergency supplies. Know what you need before you buy.
Dart Case Recommendations
For a quick grab and go type case I recommend the Harrows Ace Case. It fits everything you need for a fun night of darts.
If you are looking for something larger, go with the Legion 9. But be warned, when people see your case, you will quickly become the go-to guy when they need a last-minute replacement.
- Tough Aluminum Shell - Aluminum is the perfect case material as it provides strength in a lightweight, easy to carry package.
- Holds Nine Darts - Enough storage space for nine darts, three complete sets!
- Expanded Storage - Tons of additional storage space for everything else you need at a dart outing: twelve pockets for extra flights and ten mini pockets for shafts and and large pocket for bigger needs.
- Additional Compartments - Additional plastic compartments provide additional protection for smaller accessories like extra soft tips.
If you are looking for a bristle dartboard, I’ll save you some time. Get the Blade 5. There are some good alternatives but just about every review you find will agree, the Blade 5 is the best board out there. I can not recommend it enough.
- Professional bristle dartboard with exclusive British Darts Organization (BDO) endorsement
- Increased scoring area with 14% thinner wiring system than the previous generation Blade 4 for higher scoring potential
- Reduced bounce-outs and improved dart deflection with 30-degree reduction in razor wire angle
- Triple Wheel lock-and-level system easily secures the dartboard to virtually any surface
Dartboard Cabinet or Surround
There are two commercial options for protecting your wall from darts. While a surround offers protection for the area immediately around your board, the best dart board cabinets have the added benefit of holding supplies, doubling as a scoreboard, and protecting your dartboard when not in use.
Whichever you get depends more on preference, style, and space. This Winmau surround is the most popular out there and pairs well if you have a Winmau Blade 5 dartboard.
- Winmau Printed black dartboard surround
- Suitable for all Winmau bristle dartboards
- Perfect for home or club use
- 43.6cm Inner Diameter, 67.5cm Outer Diameter
If you are looking for a dartboard cabinet, that really depends on your style preference and budget. They range from cheap $50 pressboard ones, up to hundreds of dollars for a full wood one. And when it comes down to it, the difference is just the material and appearance. A cheap cabinet has all the same features of a high end one, it just might not be as pretty.
- Premium 18" self healing board with a staple-free bulls-eye target
- Removable steel number ring increases the durability of the dartboard
- Built-in LED lights to illuminate the target
- Dual easy wipe cricket scoreboards on each side of the cabinet
Beyond The Basics
The item listed above are the basics that every dart player should need. But if you have the money and are looking to pimp out your dart corner, there are always things you can get to improve the experience.
Here are a few that I can suggest
Oche And Floor Mats
|Viper Shadow Buster Dartboard Cabinet Mounted Display Light, with AC Adapter,Black.
|Check Today's Price
|Target Darts Corona Vision Dartboard Lighting System
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Darts On The Go
What do you keep in your darts corner? Is there something that you have that is an absolute must? Let me know and maybe I will add it to the list.