Darts anatomy: parts of a dart
What are the parts of a dart?
There’s plenty of variation with each of the parts of a dart. But they will all have four basic parts in common. In this article, we’ll walk you through the basics of what each part is, and does.
Point - either sharp steel or plastic (aka soft tip)
Barrel - the heavy metal centre of the dart
Shaft - attached to the barrel, notched at the end to hold the flight
Flight - these come in different shapes and weights
The point. There are two main differences in dart points, but these will determine the kind of game you play and the type of dartboard you play with. Steel tip darts are ‘traditional’ darts with metal points, usually thrown at a bristle dartboard. Soft tip darts have flexible plastic tips and are thrown at a plastic board covered in moulded holes, which hold the point of the dart. These darts are most commonly used on electronic machines, which score automatically.
The barrel. Dart barrels come in truckloads of different lengths, weights, diameters, balance points and different textures to provide grip. The metal used in the dart barrel (usually an alloy of brass and tungsten) will affect its weight and width. To stop the atmosphere and sweat or oil from fingers corroding the barrel, better quality darts will have a protective titanium or PCT coating. The Shot Darts cinder grip™ is a light, non-slip coating that adds traction and control without weight or bulk.
The shaft. It may seem a bit less important than the other parts of a dart, but this little piece of nylon, aluminium or polycarbonate will affect how your dart flies. Generally, a short shaft will move the centre of gravity towards the front end of the barrel – great if you grip your barrel near the front. A longer dart shaft will do the opposite, and suit you better if you prefer a rear grip.
The flight is designed to keep your dart flying straight on its more or less horizontal path towards the target. Quality darts will be perfectly symmetrical – to ensure the fins of each flight precisely divide the airflow, to centralise and stabilise the dart in flight. The flight’s weight and thickness should offer no resistance to the dart’s aerodynamics or slow it down in flight.
Flight protectors are optional and sit at the very top of the flight for added protection.
And that's our anatomy lesson, now you can read about which dart to choose.