Dart Buying Guide

The History of Darts

It is believed that darts as a sport evolved from many forms whether it be martial arts, archery etc, the first dartboard was probably a tree!!! It was played in the 1800s and it was around the 1900's that rules for darts began to settle and layout of boards etc were standardised. Today darts are played around the world and is enjoyed by all. Not only is it fun but it also assists with mental agility, hand eye coordination and arithmetic. It is relatively low cost to set up making it a great sport to get into.

Parts of a dart

As shown in Diagram A, there are 4 basic parts to a dart:  the point, the barrel, the shaft and the flight.


The point - either steel or plastic known as soft tip.
The shaft - attaches to the barrel and holds the flight.
The flight - these come in different shapes and weights
The barrel - the most essential part of the dart comes in many length, diameters, balance poitns and with varying grip.
 

    What material are darts barrels made of? 

 

  Brass

Brass darts are the best choice for a beginner or for a family as they are cheaper. The thickness of brass barrels can crowd out following darts, preventing tight groupings and high scores.

  Tungsten

The higher the % of tungsten the narrower the dart can be as Tungsten is alloyed with nickel to give it strength. The higher the percentage of tungsten in the barrel, the better the dart and the greater the scoring potential.

  70% Tungsten: Entry Level Darts

  80% Tungsten: Ideal for aspiring darters.

  90% Tungsten: Top quality darts for anyone serious about dart and professional dart players.

 

 

  Difference between Steel tip and Soft tip darts?

The difference depends on the darts points or tips and the dartboard they are playing with.

Steel Tip Darts - Are traditional darts with metal points most commonly thrown at a bristle dartboard.
Soft Tip Darts - Are darts which have flexible plastic tips and are thrown at a plastic board with moulded holes in it, which accept and hold the point of the dart. These darts are most commonly used on electronic machines, which score automatically.

Dart Weight

Try different dart weights to see what suits you each person has their individual preference.
 
Suggested dart weights for beginners:
22gm or 24gm weight for steel tip
18gm for soft tip.
 
Shot! Start has been designed for the beginner darter in steel and soft tip darts,  view darts here
 
If you throw with quite an arc you are often best with a lighter dart and if throw reasonably straight then you are more suited to a heavier dart.

Dart Finish

Painted - Many darts are painted providing interesting appeal.
Titanium -  The titanium finish is only 1 micron thick has virtually no impact on the existing grip of the barrel or the playing weight, while ensuring the grip is protected under contact when the darts are subjected to high grouping. The Titanium coating prevents the tungsten underneath from tarnishing or corroding due to deterioration from salts, oils in your skin and dirt and grime build up. This same unique and innovative finish is used by deep sea divers with their knives which in the past corroded very quickly in the salt water - now they last.   Titanium finish will not colour fade, corrode, dissolve or flake off and has a melting point well above 450°C.
 

Improve your darts game - sharpen your darts

For steel tip darts you need a dart sharpener this will reduce bounce outs and extend your dartboard life.  Dull darts will not stick in the board no matter how perfect your aim is. So improve your game by taking care of your equipment.
 
How to sharpen your darts:

1. Hold the dart parallel to the sharpening stone and lightly rub the dart’s end across the stone’s surface, rotating the dart to properly sharpen all sides evenly. Check the tip continuously to ensure that it is sharpening properly and adjust sharpening accordingly.

2. Perfectly sharpened dart tips are not pointed; they have a slightly rounded tip which help them stick in the dart board. If the tip gets a point on it, lightly rub the end on the sharpening stone in circles until it is rounded.

Tips:

  • Don't overdo it. Darts sharpened to a point are too sharp.
  • Use regularly Check the tips of darts before throwing them.

Dart Care - Clean your darts

Perspiration from your hands can cause your darts to corrode to extend the useful life of your darts, clean them regularly. Do this by using any mild cleaner that can remove oil: moist towelletes (wipes) are great use alcohol based ones not the ones that contain hand lotion! Cleaning your darts will also restore the grip by removing the slippery feeling and the particles filling-in the hollows.