Looking for a dart board? We got you covered. I am going to break down the top 10 dart boards on the market and let you know what makes them so good.
If you are not ready to read all of this and just want to know what is the best bristle dartboard you can buy, we recommend the Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core (link to Amazon). The Blade 5 is already a great board, but the addition of a second layer of sisal takes it beyond the rest.
Dartboards can be made from many materials such as wood, coiled paper, cork, plastic, and even magnetic dartboards for kids or the office. In this list, we are only going to be covering bristle dartboards that are to be used with steel tip darts. If you play with soft tip darts, we recommend an electronic dartboard made exclusively for soft tips.
Our Top Pick For Top Dartboard
The Blade 5 Dual Core is still the best dartboard on the market. While there are other boards that offer a similar look and feel, the extra layer of sisal grips the darts better and prolongs the life of your board.
- The world's most advanced dartboard with exclusive British Darts Organization (BDO) endorsement
- Fewer lost darts and best-in-class durability with the patented Dual Core Technology
- Increased scoring area with 14% thinner wiring system than the previous generation Blade 4 Dual Core for higher scoring potential
- Reduced bounce-outs and improved dart deflection with 30-degree reduction in razor wire angle
If the Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core is too pricey for you or you prefer the look and feel of another brand, keep reading because there is an option to suit every player.
How We Chose The Best Dartboards
There are several factors to look at when choosing a dartboard and all of them are important. The biggest consideration is quality, followed by variables such as material, wire size, color contrasts, and durability.
Price does not play a big factor in our decision making. When it comes to dart boards, you get what you pay for. If you want one of the best dart boards out there, you are going to have to pay for it. That is not to say we didn’t find a few cheaper options that provide a good low-cost buying alternative.
The Contenders For Best Dartboard
Most manufacturers have entire lines of dartboards, so there are 100s out there to choose from. These are the 10 that will be getting our reviews.
The 10 Best Dartboards (for Steel Tip Darts)
Winmau Blade 5
Winmau is synonymous with high-quality craftsmanship, so just by name alone, you should know what to expect from this bristle board.
The Blade 5 has been one of the best selling dartboards since its introduction. When you choose the Blade 5, you are choosing high-quality with a distinctive design and consistently superb performance.
Here is why that is:
The Blade 5 offers an increased scoring area, with an impressive 14% improvement over the last generation Blade. This is done by using a thinner wire with a cross-section that permits a higher scoring potential.
The Blade 5 manages to reduce annoying bounce-outs through its above-average dart deflection protection. This is achieved by a 30-degree reduction in the wire angle.
Speaking of wire, the Blade 5 sports stronger steel thanks to a new carbon diffusion technology.
Another fantastic feature to note is the fact that, like all modern Winmau boards, The Blade 5 comes with the Rota-Lock triple wheel mounting system that allows for easy mounting to any wall.
All in all, you simply cannot go wrong with the Blade 5. This is a top-tier professional dartboard that will serve both pros and casual players alike. The British Darts Organization seems to agree, as it currently endorses professional use of the Blade 5.
Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core
An evolution of the best-selling Blade 5 dartboard, we have another superb offering from Winmau. But, how does the Blade 5 Dual Core differ from the standard model? What does it offer that makes it a worthwhile addition to your wall?
The Blade 5 Dual Core boasts the same reduced-angle wiring as the standard model Blade 5. That means that the Dual Core also possesses a not insignificant 30-degree angle reduction in wiring thickness. As a result, each double section is nine mm2 larger, and each triple section an impressive six mm2 larger.
But, without a doubt, the Blade 5 Dual Core’s greatest feature is its namesake. The “Dual-Core” refers to the two sisal cores that make up the body of the board, which provide an ingenious solution to a common problem.
You see, most bristle boards have a finite number of games in them. The more frequently you use your board, the quicker you will reach that limit, and the sooner you will need to replace the board.
The dual-core solution means that your board lasts for much longer. In other words, dual cores make this new Blade 5 substantially more durable than the single-core model.
Every other feature of the Blade 5 Dual Core is shared between models. So, as the bottom line, the single-core model will be good for most but the dual-core will last you longer and is a better bang for your buck.
ONE80 Gladiator 3+
One80 Darts has been making great dartboards for quite some time now. Their brand has become synonymous with high-quality products. One of these, the best selling Gladiator 3, just got better.
The Gladiator III+ has been designed to stand among the best. It is manufactured using first-grade Sisal fibers, which give the board a very dense and highly durable playing surface.
Speaking to its durability, the Gladiator III+ has been coated with a “fade-resistant” finish to make sure that its bright and bold colors stay like that for a long time.
On the wiring front, just like most elite dartboards on the market, the Gladiator III+ uses what ONE80 likes to call sword-edged wires, to make sure that unnecessary bounce-outs are a thing of the past.
For convenience’s sake, the Gladiator III+ comes equipped with a fully rotatable, matte number ring and “Rotafix” mounting bracket to make wall or cabinet set up easier than ever before.
The GLADIATOR III+ is a great board to get if you value high performance and durability.
Unicorn Eclipse HD 2
From Unicorn, we get one of the best dartboards on the market: the Unicorn Eclipse HD2.
The Eclipse HD2 is special because it has been designed to be one of the slickest and cleanest looking dartboards available.
For example, Unicorn decided to paint the number ring a deep black, using bright white numbers for extra visual contrast.
Following this trend, the board has been cleaned up to facilitate the player’s attention and focus, through the removal of all legs of the spider ring.
As such, the Eclipse HD2 from Unicorn is one of the cleanest and sleekest looking boards on the market.
As with all other modern dartboards, the Eclipse HD2 has focused on reducing the thickness of its wiring. The result? It now boasts thinner wires and a 14% increase in playable area over previous iterations.
This is a professional quality bristle dartboard. It offers a seamless playing surface area that is tournament-ready.
Unicorn Eclipse Pro 2
While the Unicorn Eclipse HD 2 is a fantastic dartboard, the Unicorn Eclipse Pro 2 aims to raise the bar.
If you have seen any televised PDC tournaments, chances are you have seen these boards in action.
The Unicorn Eclipse HD 2 is the definitive bristle dartboard for tournament play. It has been fine-tuned to allow for maximum playing efficiency and player comfort.
If Pro league endorsement is any indication of quality, then the Professional Darts Corporation has certainly vetted the level of quality offered by Eclipse Pro 2.
The Eclipse Pro 2 offers players a seamless, 100% staple-free surface. Moreover, all legs have been removed from the spider wire for a very clean aesthetic.
The highest-grade sisal fibers make the Eclipse Pro 2 highly durable and self-healing making it a perfect board for heavy play.
All the numbers are metal and painted with a high contrast paint that increases visibility and eases eye strain over extended game sessions.
The box comes with a highly convenient unilock leveling system, which allows you to set up the board on most surfaces with ease.
Viper Shot King
The Shot King by Viper is proof that high-quality products do not have to cost an arm and leg. The Shot King bristle board is a very inexpensive board that provides users with substantial value by managing to be greater than the sum of its parts.
While the Viper Shot King will not knock the competition in any one category, it does manage to provide us with a solid package that is worth considering, especially if you are running on a budget.
Let’s see how the Viper Shot King fares:
The Viper Shot King is constructed using Grade-3 sisal bristle fibers. This provides the board with a high degree of self-healing. With the added benefit of a metal compression ring that surrounds the board to keep everything tight.
The Shot King comes equipped with a moveable number ring made of galvanized steel. Rotating the board is easy and will allow you to further extend the useful life of the dartboard.
One minor downside of Viper Shot King is its use of staples to hold the wiring of the scoring sectors. This practice is quite common among the lower end of the price spectrum, so it comes as no surprise. However, this means that, on average, the Shot King will cause more bounce-outs than other similar boards that forego using staples.
All in all, the Shot King by Viper is a great budget board that provides great value, especially as an entry board for beginners.
If you are looking for a Viper dartboard that is a step up, the Razorback is a good option. Viper offers a solid entry-point dartboard with their Shot King model, but the Razorback aims to elevate the bar.
The way Viper improved their Razorback was to develop their weak points and reinforce what was already working.
For example, one of the Shot King’s weakest points was the inclusion of staples to hold the spider. The Razorback is a completely staple-free dartboard. This means that it causes significantly fewer bounce-outs from hits on bulging staples.
Additionally, Viper has improved on the wiring front and used galvanized wires with a reduced surface area.
The next implementation was to use higher quality fibers in the core. As a result, the Razorback is made with Grade-4 sisal fibers. The increased grade allows Viper to pack their bristles more tightly, thus improving the durability.
One final feature worth mentioning is that this time around, Viper has made the removable number ring from a low-glare material. So, no matter where you hang your Razorback, you will have a cleaner look.
The result? Extreme durability, and a board that can withstand the test of time, even after thousands of games.
The Viper Razorback is good enough for official tournaments; so, if you are one of the casual players looking for a worthy board to use at home, this is one you should consider.
The dartboard market is crowded and, let’s be honest, for the most part, quite boring. There are dozens of products, and many of them are virtually identical. That is why GLD has introduced a new and exciting addition to the Viper family of products.
The Viper Chroma.
The Viper Chroma dartboard offers the same high-quality build and craftsmanship we have come to expect from the Viper line of products, such as a high-grade sisal fiber core that has fantastic self-healing capabilities.
It also boasts highly galvanized triangular spider wire and a staple-free bullseye, for optimum play and reduced chance of bounce-outs.
But what makes this bad boy more fun than the countless other dartboards in the game is its color scheme.
The Viper Chroma features a coating with high-definition colors that are both bold and bright, and there are no other dartboards like it. Its Galaxy Black, Cerulean, and Emerald screen printing will look beautiful hanging on any wall or wooden cabinet.
Nodor Supawire 2
Nodor is, without a doubt, one of the most trusted brands in the world of darts. Their products are consistently endorsed by the world’s leading darts organizations, and the Supawire 2 dartboard is no exception.
The Nodor Supawire 2 sisal dartboard is a fantastic option, from the pub to the man cave, this regulation-size board offers the complete package.
As a premium product, the Nodor Supawire offers the same staple-free surface you have come to expect from the best boards on the market. Everything on this board, from the bands to the dividers, has been designed to reduce the probability of annoying bounce-outs.
As for the durability of the board, the Nodor Supawire 2 is made using high-grade sisal fiber, so expect excellent healing and dart retention. This is, of course, fantastic news when you consider that the Nodor Supawire 2 features an increased target area
This is not a board that will break down on you after a few months of play; even the most hardcore and avid veterans can get a long useful life out of this bad boy.
Nodor is so confident that the Supawire 2 is a top-tier product that they have included a full year of warranty against any defects.
Winmau Blade 4
While considered an “older” model, the Blade 4 is still a solid choice for a dartboard. Especially since they can be found on clearance just about everywhere that sells dartboards.
The Blade 4 is a top-notch bristle board that continues the tradition of excellence set by Winmau so many years ago with the first Blade board.
What makes the Blade 4 stand out in a market that is crowded with dozens of sisal boards, all claiming to be the best?
As with all Blade boards, the Blade 4 boasts a few inventive perks that elevate it among its competition.
One of these perks is the triangular-shaped wiring on the board. While most wiring systems used on bristle boards are round or flat, Winmau features the use of an angled wire.
What this does is create a smaller surface area for the darts to hit; in other words, having angled wires will result in fewer bounce-outs because the wires themselves will guide the darts in towards the board.
While blade wires, in general, expose more of the playing area and promote higher scores, Winmau tells us that the Blade 4 has a wiring system that is 30% thinner than previous models. That is quite impressive when we consider the fact that the Blade line of dart boards already enjoy very thin wires.
The Blade 4, was one of the first to focus on heavier sisal density. Every board I’ve ever owned has had a rough time towards the end of their useful life. However, the more densely packed that the fibers are, the more durable your board will be.
So, when you purchase a Winmau Blade 4, you are paying for longevity. It is not uncommon to see the older Blade 4s in pubs and clubs everywhere simply because they have not worn out.
Final Thoughts About Buying a Dartboard
Dartboard technology has changed a lot over the last few years and the big names in the game have all done a good job of keeping up.
While my pick is still the Blade 5 Dual Core, you really can’t go wrong with any of the above.
All the boards listed here are excellent choices and the decision you make is likely going to come down to budget and personal preference.
Don’t overthink it, stick with your gut instinct. Buy the board you think you will like, you will enjoy it, I promise.
Last update on 2023-02-01 at 12:57 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API