UPDATE: Amazon is no longer carrying the Gladiator III. I have left the article intact but have updated the links to point to the Gladiator II for now.
If you have decided to take the plunge and purchase your very own, personal dartboard, then you have chosen well. There are many reasons why setting up a dartboard at home is a fantastic idea, not the least of which is the convenience of being able to play darts to your heart’s content
If you are looking for a quick answer to who the winner is, the Winamu Blade 5 (link to Amazon) is still my first choice for the best dartboard and is what I use at home.
However, there are a couple of things you must keep in mind when deciding on which dartboard is the best one for you.
First of all, the game of Darts is now a multi-million dollar business, and as such, the market is primed to take advantage. That means that there are multiple brands and thousands of products to choose from.
Second, you should treat your purchase as you would any other high-value investment. Meaning that if you do your due diligence before finalizing a purchase, you will get more value out of your chosen product.
Thankfully, I have plenty of experience buying darts, dartboards, and a variety of other related accessories, so I can help you.
Today we are going to go over three of the most successful dartboards on the market. All three models are fantastic, but each one has its list of strengths and weaknesses.
I have also added a budget option to the chart below. For those who are not looking for the top of the line but still want a quality board at a good price. It also comes with 2 sets of darts so if you are an absolute beginner consider the Assassin Blade Pro.
Let’s get started.
A Quick Comparison
Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core
We will start with the highest-profile dartboard of the three, Winmau’s Blade 5 Dual Core. The name Winmau is synonymous with the highest quality standards in the industry and has been for over 70 years.
Millions of players and numerous professional darts organizations have benefitted from Winmau’s staunch commitment to excellence and innovation.
In my experience, all Winmau products have been characterized by high-quality craftsmanship, a distinctive design, and consistently superb performance.
The Blade 5 Dual Core dartboard is no different and certainly does not disappoint in this regard.
Let’s go over the main selling points behind this dartboard and give you a better idea of why it stands out from the bunch.
- 20% Thinner wires increase the doubles section by 9 mm2 and the trebles by 6 mm2
- The wires also have higher tensile strength and a 30-degree angle reduction making it easier for your darts to glide by, reducing bounce outs.
- Not only does the Blade 5 use high-quality sisal The “dual core” means there are 2 sperate layers of it. This not only grips the dart better, but it will also prolong the life of your board.
- The Rota-lock hanging system not only makes it easy to rotate your board, but it will also allow you to adjust the angle of the board so that it remains perfectly level for the best possible playing experience.
It’s also worth mentioning that Winamau offers a standard Blade 5 as well (without the dual core) So if you don’t plan on putting to much wear and tear on your board and are looking to save a little money offers all the same benefits minus the second core.
Winmau’s Blade 5 Dual Core dartboard raises the bar on virtually every aspect and offers incredible durability to boot. There is a reason why the world’s leading darts organizations, from the UK to the Philippines, consider Winamau a no-brainer choice.
Whether you are a novice or a professional level player, the Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core is a solid option.
- 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
One80 Gladiator III Bristle Dartboard
Established in 2005, One80 Darts has been making great strides in the industry and now stands as one of the top dart board makers in the market. One80 is a Chinese founded company, and we all know that can sometimes mean cheap mass-produced products.
However, early on, One80 Darts decided to stand out and joined forces with one of Europe’s premier hand-crafted brands, Bavaria Darts.
Since then, One80 has been incorporating high-quality German engineering into their line of products, and the results of that can bee seen in their best-selling Gladiator III Bristle Dartboard.
- Very dense sisal fibers. Denser surfaces on a dartboard translate directly to increased longevity
- Paint on the board has been giving a “Non-fade” finish. The colors are very bright and will stay like that for a very long time.
- “Sword-edge” wiring to reduce the risk of darts bouncing out.
- Rotafix fixing bracket to make installation more accessible and hassle-free.
Many people see the Gladiator III and make the mistake of thinking it is just the Gladiator II with some fresh paint, but they would be wrong. Although on the surface, One80 has kept a consistent aesthetic, the Gladiator III is a big step forward.
One80 managed to increase the depth of penetration for the dart by using a more flexible fiber core and now ensure a significantly greater “grip” from the sisal.
Additionally, One80 now uses high-quality, high-tech paint that does not seal over and lets the sisal fibers breathe more easily.
From a manufacturing perspective, this is quite commendable because it takes a complete restructuring of assembly capabilities and logistics in order to offer these changes.
The result is a much-improved performance and durability from the Gladiator III over its predecessor.
UPDATE: Amazon is no longer carrying the Gladiator III. I have left the article intact but have updated the links to point to the Gladiator II for now. Link below is for the Gladiator II
- 💎Official tournament dartboard with BDO endorsement, standard size measuring 17.8" in diameter and 1.5" in thickness.
- 🌈Sword Edge staple-free wire construction with increased scoring area practically eliminating "bounce outs".
- 🔥High density well-combed 1ST grade kenyan sisal. Guarantees that the sisal sits perfectly straight on the dartboard with no knots in it.
- 🏆Using a high absorbent coloring fluid gives the G2 a bright intensive finish and high visibility without hardening the sisal and keeping its high elasticity.
Unicorn Eclipse HD2 Dartboard
The Eclipse HD2 holds a special place in my heart, and it’s because Unicorn made every decision regarding this board around one theme: Focus!
The entire board, from a design perspective on up to its manufacturing, is about focusing the attention on the playing area. The result? The Eclipse HD2 is one of the slickest and cleanest looking dartboards I have ever had the pleasure of using.
- Official dartboard of the PDC. If you want to play like the pros, here’s your chance.
- Unicorn decided to use a black number ring with bright white numbers to increase visual contrast. This might seem like it’s not a big deal, but it looks nice. The black wire of the number ring blends in smoothly with the surface of the board.
- Eclipse HD2 has made strides in the thickness of its wiring and now boasts thinner wires and a 14% increase in playable area.
- Following this theme of cleaning up the board and facilitating the player’s attention and focus, the entire circumference of the spider has had its legs removed.
Some might think this is a purely aesthetic choice, but I can confidently say that a cleaner and more focused playing surface does make a noticeable difference and I hope the other manufacturers follow suit.
This is a quality, championship quality bristle dartboard. It offers a staple-free, seamless playing surface with tournament regulation specs.
- NEXT GENERATION DARTBOARD FROM THE WORLD LEADING BRAND IN DARTS – Designed with the proven qualities of the Eclipse HD and the Eclipse HDTV, the Eclipse HD2 takes bristle dartboard technology up a level as the next addition to the HD family.
- ALL-NEW 14% INCREASED PLAYING AREA – The Spider2 radial wiring system creates a total clean playing area while the super thin bullseye increases the playing area by 14%.
- THE FINEST GRADE “A” SISAL IS SEAMLESS – The HD2 offers the finest grade “A” sisal, creating a seamless playing area for higher scores.
- INJECTION-MOLDED HIGH DEFINITION NUMBERS – The new injection-molded high definition numbers are highly-visible and easily replaceable with an invisible number rig.
Anyone one of these boards is good enough for professional-level play. In fact, if you have seen a game of professional darts on TV over these past few years, you have seen all of these boards put through the wringer.
Darts is a professional sport now, one which inspires millions of people to pick up a dart and start playing.
Because of this, dartboard manufacturers have had to step up to the mark and make sure that their designers and technicians consistently deliver quality, world-class dartboards to the masses.
So which one is best will depend on your particular set of circumstances and priorities.
In my humble opinion, The Eclipse HD2 is the best looking. The Gladiator III is a solid offering, but it doesn’t stand out in any one category, as the other two do.
My preference still leans towards the Blade 5
However I believe the race between industry leaders is so close, you will be happy with any one of the boards mentioned here.
All 3 are quality products with differences so small they are trivial for the most part.
If you need to make a choice right now, go with the Blade 5, but if you have a super good deal on one of the others, grab it while you can.
The bottom line is that you can hardly make a mistake, no matter which board you decide to buy.
Last update on 2021-03-01 at 11:56 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API