Dart shafts are an essential component of darts, and getting the right ones can be the difference between hitting a plateau or being able to take your game to the next level. But, given the rising popularity of darts, the market is becoming saturated with options, and figuring out which dart shafts are good has become a bit of a chore.
Lucky for you, I’ve done all of the legwork. You can jump right into the list here, or continue reading to find out a little more about how shafts affect performance.
Dart shafts have a direct and quantifiable impact on a dart’s speed and stability as it flies through the air towards the dartboard; but,
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What Are Dart Shafts?
Dart shafts are the connective component between the dart’s barrel and the dart’s flight on the end. Being screwed firmly in place, the dart shaft anchors the heavier barrel and provides a sort of counterbalance point which stabilizes the whole thing.
As a result, changing qualities such as the shaft’s length, build, and weight will directly alter the way the dart flies.
Having a quality dart shaft can improve your accuracy and precision and, thus, make you a better player.
What Is The Different Between Aluminum And Plastic Dart Shafts?
Aluminum Dart Shafts
Aluminum dart shafts are a great option for players of all skill levels. They are relatively inexpensive and provide great value due to their higher-than-average durability and resistance to normal wear and tear.
Additionally, aluminum dart shafts tend to be a bit heavier than similarly sized stems made out of other materials, so they are a bit easier to control.
Nylon/Plastic Dart Shafts
Nylon or plastic dart shafts are even more popular than aluminum shafts because they are cheaper. Nylon shafts are so cheap, in fact, that they are extremely easy to replace. If one breaks or snaps, you can just get a new one to replace it with because they can be bought in bulk for relatively little money.
Another big advantage of nylon or plastic dart shafts is that they come in a larger variety of colors and textures since plastic is easier to mold than metals such as aluminum.
Nylon or plastic shafts are a perfect entry point for newer players, or for practice/travel sets.
Now that you know what a dart shaft is and why it is so important, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. I’ve considered things like performance, pricing, durability, etc. To make things easy, I’ve separated the list into two different sections based on the stem material: aluminum and nylon/plastic. Here are my current picks for the
10 Best Dart Shafts
5 Best Aluminum Dart Shafts
Red Dragon Coated Aluminum Shafts
As expected, Red Dragon offers yet another high-quality product.
These coated aluminum shafts (from Amazon) are extra grippy on the flight. Additionally, they provide great value and bang for your buck as each pack contains 2 full sets of dart stems (6 stems in total).
As with all Red Dragon shafts, these guys give ample control so you always feel confident when playing with them.
Target Darts Phil Taylor Power Gen 8 Titanium Darts Shaft
Endorsed by one of the game’s greatest ever, Phil Taylor, these premium dart shafts have been expertly engineered to be good enough for a champion.
These bad boys are some of the sexiest dart shafts on the list. The deep matte black finish, combined with the stylish golden G8 logo, and deep knurling near the tail end, give these stems an overall menacing outline. But, it’s not all about looks because these shafts offer a solid performance worthy of tournament play.
The shafts have been coated with a high-quality titanium nitride layer to reduce drag and increase durability. These things will take a beating before they begin to show any signs of wear and tear. Additionally, the computer-controlled “high-precision” milling gives the shafts a fantastic feel in the hand and a top-notch grip.
Viper Spinster Aluminum Dart Shaft
Viper has been a top contender for my favorite dart accessory brand for many years now because their knowledge of what the players want shines through in every single one of their products.
As their name implies, the shaft has a rotating mechanism that allows free rotation of the dart flights as they fly through the air and after they have made contact with the dart board. As a result, you will experience far fewer bounce-outs and deflections with these shafts than with other more traditional types.
As for their durability, these shafts have been manufactured with high-quality aluminum, which means that you can expect them to be tough and resilient to damage, while also being lightweight.
If you are at all interested in spinning shafts, these Viper Spinster Aluminum dart shafts are well where you should start.
Viper Carbon Plus Ultra Light Dart Shaft
Another entry from Viper provides superb performance at a very affordable price.
These shafts are manufactured with an ultra-light carbon-graphite composite material that makes them both incredibly strong and surprisingly light-weight, without making them feel floaty.
This is achieved by designing a unique front-loaded weight distribution. As a result, these shafts are optimized for consistency and precision.
These are a great alternative for players who like the look of the Spinster but don’t want a spinning dart shaft. The Viper Ultra Light feels very tight when assembled with any barrels and flights.
RED DRAGON Laser Etched Aluminum Medium Dart Shafts
Red Dragon Darts is one of the world’s fastest-growing darts brands for a reason. Their products commonly see play in the sport’s biggest tournaments, and they’re certainly good enough for the average darts player.
These laser-etched aluminum dart shafts are a work of beauty and a perfect fit for a large variety of dart kits out there, making a smooth transition between the stem body and the barrel, regardless of your preferred dimensions.
Like all other options on this list, these dart shafts are made with high-grade aluminum which makes them very durable and lightweight.
5 Best Nylon Dart Shafts
Target Darts Pro Grip Dart Shafts
Target darts is one of the newer brands on this list, but they have quickly risen to the top of the market because their products are top-notch quality.
These nylon dart shafts have been designed with professional-level gameplay in mind, to be as precise as possible, but without sacrificing style. The body of the shaft is expertly molded to provide players with a smoothly contoured surface, and this makes them very comfortable to use, even after long sessions of play.
A cool feature is the inclusion of a handy little nib that allows the flights to be attached to the shaft petals with relative ease.
On the durability front, the nylon compound used by Target Darts is very high-quality and quite flexible, which means your dart shafts will last longer than you might expect under normal circumstances.
Red Dragon VRX Medium Shafts
Here we have another entry from Red Dragon, this time it is a multipack of colorful medium nylon shafts.
While these aren’t the best set to use if you are any sort of heavy user, they are a great option for newer players looking for a solid shaft with thoughtful design and adequate performance.
The folks at Red Dragon have managed to pack quite a lot of value into this pack. For a very good price you get not 1, but 4 sets; each a different color of transparent, high-quality nylon polymer.
These are great shafts to use during practice and when on the road. If they break, bend, or get lost, you won’t really mind because they are so cheap.
Winmau Prism Force Dart Shafts, Force Grip Zone Stems
Winmau is one of the leading brands currently operating in the world of darts, and here we have a product from their superb line-up. We couldn’t expect anything less from Winmau.
Their Prism Force dart shafts are designed and built with one thing in mind: control and accuracy. This is why they have been fitted with what Winmau calls the Force Grip Zone.
The Force Grip Zone uses high-grade nylon polymers to provide the player with more control, precision, and accuracy.
Like most Winmau products, these dart shafts are very stylish. They have a sleek build, and the Force Grip Zone adds some very aggressive lines to the shaft. One of my favorite-looking shafts on this list, without a doubt.
Performance-wise, these shafts are a solid option for most players, regardless of skill level. They are on the shorter end of the spectrum, which makes them lightweight and quick.
Art Attack Harrows Supergrip Dart Shafts
These Supergrip dart shafts from Harrows offer very respectable performance due to their strong, polycarbonate build and the inclusion of polished, machined rings.
The shafts will pair well with just about any set of dart barrels available on the market. They measure in at around 40mm and are well balanced for precise gameplay. The machined rings make these shafts very secure by ensuring that the flights stay tight through repeated gameplay, thus providing even more stability to your throws.
While their design is very straightforward, the shafts are well balanced and have a very natural, easy-to-grip contour.
RED DRAGON Crossfire Carbon Stems
The final set of nylon shafts on our list of the top 10 best dart shafts comes from the folks at Red Dragon, and they are another solid option for those in need of well-made, affordable nylon dart shafts.
The design is very traditional, with an all-black “carbon fiber” body, tapered towards the back. This gives the shafts a centered weight distribution. The 47 mm length is also well suited for most players.
There’s nothing too exciting about these shafts, but they perform well and hold up well enough after extended play. This is another great value buy from Red Dragon.