Which dartboard is best?

Many people think of darts as a fun game played among friends in a local bar. However, darts is popular in many other places, such as game rooms, offices and converted garages. A dartboard can be set up almost anywhere there is room to throw darts safely.

Dartboards have evolved. They now feature both soft tip and hard tip darts as well as board designs that limit deflections and promote more consistent game play. For its durability and ease of use, the best dartboard is the Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard.

What to know before you buy a dartboard

Where will you be throwing darts?

It’s important to consider where you’re putting the dartboard when deciding which one to purchase. Are you using the dartboard in a place where you won’t mind the walls occasionally getting punctured with a wayward dart, such as a garage or game room?  Or will you be in an office or bedroom where you’d like the look of the walls and surrounding items to remain unblemished? 

What kind of darts are you using?

There are both soft tip and hard tip darts. Soft tips are a newer innovation intended to increase safety. They are typically used by new players or when you are in a location where you don’t want to leave marks or risk something nearby getting broken. Soft tip darts don’t feel the same as hard tip darts, but they should still encourage competitive play. 

What kind of board is best for you?

Depending on where you are playing and what kind of darts you are using should help you decide the best board. Paper boards are inexpensive but wear out quickly over time. Cork is more of a novelty item now but can still be found in certain places. Plastic dartboards are popular with children and new players, and they use tightly formed synthetic hairs to trap the darts. Bristle dartboards made of sisal are the most familiar and popular style. These boards repair themselves after a dart has been removed, which increases longevity.

What to look for in a quality dartboard

Rings

A standard dartboard contains multiple rings. The two center rings are the bull’s-eye, and the ring halfway between the bull’s-eye and the edge holds the trebles that offer triple scoring. There is also an outside ring for double scoring. Look for dartboards with clearly marked rings since these are often what you will be aiming for.

Spider

Dartboards have a wire harness called the spider that separates the colored sections. The main purpose is to make it clear where a dart has landed when it is on the border between sections. Thick spiders can cause darts to bounce off the board if the spider is directly hit. Thinner spiders are better because darts are less likely to hit them. Higher-end dartboards usually have thinner wires.

Endorsement

Many dartboard manufacturers make claims about being of tournament quality, but there is no such standard. Instead, if the quality is your priority, look for boards that have been endorsed by dart associations in the United States or Europe.

Backing

If you are still worried about new players hitting your wall with errant throws, investing in a protective backing can save your wall from hundreds of small holes. You can use thick backing to place behind the dartboard or a protective case with side doors that open to provide barriers against ricocheting. 

How much you can expect to spend on a dartboard

Basic dartboards with less sturdy darts are available between $20-$30, while plastic dartboards are $40-$60. Professional-grade dartboards with premium darts run from $60 to over $100.

Dartboard FAQ

How long will a dartboard last?

A. It varies depending on the type of material and how often you use it. Bristle dartboards, even though self-repairing, will eventually wear out after several years of regular use. Plastic boards also will last a long time with proper care, but they can be broken with extended use.

Are two-piece darts better?

A. Yes, they are better in several ways. One-piece darts break easily and do not fly through the air consistently. Two-piece darts are more expensive, but they fly better. Most players prefer these in serious matches where placing darts close together in the rings is important.

What’s the best dartboard to buy?

Top dartboard

Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard

Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard

What you need to know: An innovative design increases the scoring area on this best-in-class durable dartboard.

What you’ll love: Endorsed by the British Darts Association, this dartboard has wide scoring areas from thin wiring. It uses durable and sharp darts. A 30-degree reduction in razor wire angle reduces deflections.

What you should consider: There were some reports that the sisal surface on the dartboard was uneven.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top dartboard for the money

Funsparks Magnetic Dartboard

Funsparks Magnetic Dartboard

What you need to know: This affordable dartboard is a great option for beginners and children, and it uses magnetic darts.

What you’ll love: The darts will not damage walls, and they consistently stick to the dartboard. It comes with 12 colorful darts for easy identification. This set is perfect for game rooms, offices and bedrooms.

What you should consider: The game board is slightly smaller than standard dartboards, which may be an issue for more serious players.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Nodor SupaBull2 Bristle Dartboard

Nodor SupaBull2 Bristle Dartboard

What you need to know: This dartboard is perfect for people learning the game that don’t want to spend the extra money on professional sets.

What you’ll love: Endorsed by the American Dart Organization, this board features a self-healing sisal surface with a staple-free bull’s-eye. The lighting system is bright and colorful. Scoring is simple with easy-turn steel numbers.

What you should consider: Bounce-outs are more common since the wiring is thicker and not angled.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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