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What to Look for When Buying Darts

Buying darts is not as difficult as you think. To make things simple for you, this story has provided a checklist that will help you when you go to buy your set of darts.
Malvika Kulur

Quick Tip!

If you are passionate about darts and are planning to take your game to the next level, you should buy darts from a certified sporting goods shop, or a place that specifically sells darts. Never buy your darts from the local supermarket.
To avoid making a purchase you will regret later, have a look at the points covered in this Plentifun write-up, and then make your decision on purchasing the dart set of your choice.

Guidelines for Buying Darts

Dart Types

The material used in making the dart determines its type. Darts made of tungsten, wood, nickel, silver, and brass are usually the best choice.
» Most dart throwers prefer tungsten darts as they last longer and have better grips. High-density tungsten darts are an ideal choice for those looking for slimmer barrels, as it allows a tighter hold. This, in turn, reduces bounce backs from the board.
» Another advantage that tungsten darts have over wooden, brass, silver, or nickel darts is that the knurling pattern on the barrel lasts longer even due to exposure to oil secreted by the skin, and friction with other darts during storage.
» Although brass, silver, and nickel darts do not last as long as tungsten darts do, they are still a very good option. Wooden darts are the ones you should avoid purchasing, as they may look good, but they are neither too sturdy, nor do they last long.

Dart Weight

» Darts are available in various weights ranging from 12 to 50 gm. Always try darts of different weights before settling down for one set.

» Usually, the speed at which you throw your dart is the determining factor for the weight of the dart you would choose. For lighter darts, you would have to use more strength while throwing, and vice versa.
» Apart from this, even the distribution of the weight is an important factor. You have darts that have more weight in the front, whereas some have more weight towards the back. So, try out both varieties before making your choice.
» When you have selected your dart set, weigh them in the shop, because on very rare occasions, darts are not in the same weight range. All darts in a set should be within 2/10th of a gram.
For example, if you are buying a set that weighs 20 grams, then the acceptable weight of the darts in the set can be 20.1 gm, 20.2 gm, and 20.3 gm, but they cannot be 19.8 gm, 20.0 gm, and 20.2 gm.
Anatomy of a Dart
Understanding the anatomy of a dart is very important before choosing one.

Dart Barrel Grips

» Barrel grips are the next thing you should consider after deciding the weight of your dart. There are darts that have heavy as well as smooth knurling (criss-cross patterns).
» Typically, darts with a heavy knurling are preferred as they give a good grip, but if the knurling is too heavy, there are chances of your fingers sticking to it, or your aiming accuracy being hampered.
» Smooth knurling is not usually chosen, because it gives little to no grip while holding the dart. So, if you are choosing a set suitable for you, choose one that has enough grip, but does not affect the way you throw your dart.

Dart Shafts

The shaft of the dart can be made of many types of material. Depending on the material used, the shafts have been categorized below.
Composite shafts have plastic bases which are combined with metal alloy or aluminum tops. These shafts are durable and do not detach due to vibrations from the barrel.
Carbon-fiber or carbon-composite shafts are good for those who are looking for lightweight and durable shafts. They are priced slightly higher than plastic or nylon shafts.
Aluminum shafts are very rigid, but there is no beat to them where durability is concerned. These darts probably just have one disadvantage, which is becoming loose due to vibration. They may also bend due to impact, but that can be rectified by just straightening the shaft.
Plastic or nylon shafts are not heavy on the pocket and are available in many colors and patterns. They are made from nylon or polycarbonate, but are easily breakable.
Spinning shafts take care of the problem of one dart coming in the way of another, as they align the flights in such a way that they do not cause any obstruction to the other dart. Due to these shafts, it is possible to accommodate tighter groups of darts, without causing damage to them like tearing of the flight or deflections.

Dart Flights

» When you look at dart flights, there are so many different types that you might get confused. Dart flights are very important as they have a direct hand in determining your speed, direction, and overall game.
» Try out different flights before zeroing in on one particular variety. Standard, slim sizes are the most popular ones, but choose the shape and size that suits your style of throwing the best.

Dart Tips

There are two basic types of dart tips: (i) Soft tips; and (ii) Steel tips.
  • Soft-tip darts are usually used in bars, and amateur games, whereas, steel tips are used in professional leagues.
  • Steel tips are generally long-lasting, but are fixed to the barrel. On the other hand, soft tips are detachable and are generally used for electronic boards.
Take your decision wisely, after trying out multiple darts with varied barrels, shafts, tips, and flights. Never rush into your decision, and take advice from someone who knows about darts to help you if you are confused. Remember to choose a dart that goes with your style of throwing, and one that you are comfortable with.