When you first came to the thought that you wanted to buy a dartboard, you probably didn’t realize that there were so many options out there and that boards are made of all kinds of different materials and so are the actual darts. Especially if you are new to darts, you probably don’t have much of an idea of the things you should look for in a dart board and what makes for a good and a bad dart board in general. Below is a breakdown of some dart board features to better inform you about the types of things that you should be looking for.
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Dartboard Buying Guide
Design is most definitely important and can have a fairly large impact on the overall price of the dart board. The nice thing about a dart board is that you can find something that is of regulation size and that still has a nice design on it to look at, rather than just some colors. If you are a competitive player you will still find that there are plenty of plain dart board’s out there so that you don’t get distracted.
You will notice that when you are looking around the market, some dart boards come inside of a dart board cabinet. You may wonder why this is, especially if you have never played darts before. The cabinet is not only a holder for the darts when you aren’t playing, but it also is used to help protect your wall and other valuables from damage when you are playing. Throwing darts is not easy, especially if you have never played before. It is important to take some precautions so that you don’t end up puncturing holes in your wall. If you decide to not get a dart board with a cabinet, it is a good idea to either place your dart board on a wall you don’t care about, or to make your own cabinet/ board to put behind the dart board.
You will notice variances on the dartboards you look at, as to how the board sections off the scores on the board itself. Although this is likely not going to be too large of an issue for you if you don’t play darts competitively, it can be nice to have at least something separating the numbers in order to settle disputes. A good quality dart board will be sectioned off into the numbered areas by means of a bent piece of metal, a cheaper quality dart board may have nothing that separates the numbers or some kind of cheap plastic ring.
One thing you will likely notice is that a lot of the dart boards on the market come equipped with a score board, especially if the dart board comes with a cabinet. A scoreboard is an essential tool for the game of darts because scores get to be high at quite a fast pace once you become good at playing. It is important to take under consideration the extra value of things like a scoreboard and a cabinet into your purchasing decision because these are things you are going to want to have anyway in order to play properly and safely.
Believe it or not you are going to see a lot of different darts that come with dart boards and they will range in things like material and appearance. The best quality darts on the market and the ones used in competitive darts are going to be made up of steel. You will find that some dart boards do come with things like plastic or magnetic darts depending on the type of dart board you are looking at.
This is something that you should definitely think about, especially if you are just playing darts for fun. If you have kids around your house or things like pets or a lot of valuables, you may want to consider purchasing yourself a dartboard that doesn’t have regulation darts. This means looking at options such as magnetic darts or plastic tipped darts. Although you can still easily injure yourself with these types of darts, the injury is likely to be a little bit less severe than if you were using some type of steel dart and an injury were to occur. Not to mention you are much more likely to break something if your dart has a harder tip on it if you were to hit something valuable.
Price is always a good place to start when you are looking at purchasing a dart board. Factors you need to take into account include things like your income, how much you play darts, how long you want your dart board to last, and whether you want to meet your local dart regulations at home. It is important to set your budget taking into account all of these factors and it is important to remember that price doesn’t always reflect quality. It is also important to have a look and see the actual materials that went into the manufacturing process as well.
This is another aspect of a dart board that you are going to want to keep your eyes peeled for. If you do not look at the dartboard warranty you may find yourself wishing you did after the dart board arrives at your door. It can take several days and several games of darts before you notice some kind of manufacturer defect with your board and something like a good return policy or a manufacturer’s warranty can help give you some peace of mind about your purchase.
Generally speaking if you are just playing darts for fun, it is recommended to have at least a space that is 5 feet wide by about 11 feet long in order to have proper room to throw. If you are a competitive player you may want to look into your own regulations, but generally speaking hard tipped darts (steel) are thrown at 7 feet 9 and a quarter inches. While soft tipped darts are thrown at 8 feet. Regulation height for a dart board is five feet eight inches from the floor to the center of the bullseye which is something that you may also want to consider.
When you are looking around at different dart boards you will notice that dart boards come in a variety of sizes. This won’t matter as much if you are just playing for fun. A regulation dart board normally sits at 18 inches in diameter which may be a number that you want to look for. Remember that if you have never played darts before, it doesn’t hurt to buy yourself something that is a little larger until you get better.
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Winmau has continued to evolve each year as it ups the game with new boards. The Blade 5’s new wiring system allows for 9mm2 extra scoring area in the doubles and 6mm2 extra scoring area in the trebles, with a 14% reduction in web surface area than the previous generation Blade 4 for higher scoring potential. The Dynamic Sector Wires are 20% thinner and the Radial Wires are 10% thinner for the greatest scoring potential of any dartboard ever made. The Blade 5 has optimized the razor wire angle, reducing the blades by 30 degrees to increase dart deflection in the scoring bed.
Not only does this Winmau have the thinnest wiring available, but the Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) of the dynamic sector wire has also been increased by 20% to ensure that dart points glide past the wire and into the scoring bed. A new bullseye and 25 ring feature carbon diffusion technology for an ultra-hard surface and improved performance and durability. The new Blade 5 now features Rota-Lock, triple wheel lock-and-level system, creating perfect radial alignment and leveling and enabling easy rotation to increase the life of the board.
- Lots of new features other boards lack
- While not terribly expensive, it is pricier than some other models on our list
This dartboard is a very good price and brings a ton of features to the table. The board comes in a very nice cabinet that is available in both an oak as well as a cherry finish. The dartboard itself is regulation size and comes with a total of six darts. One awesome feature about this dartboard is that it comes with both a chalkboard on the left side of the cabinet as well as an electronic scoreboard on the right side of the cabinet depending on what you prefer. The dartboard has its own dart holder located on the bottom shelf underneath the dart board. A very stylish unit that will be very hard to beat at such a low price tag.
- Cherry or oak finish available for the cabinet
- Two scoring options available
- Six darts come with your purchase
- The manufacturer offers a one year warranty
- Hard tipped darts
- Some people may not want a cabinet
Another great dartboard offered in the average price range that can also be upgraded to contain some nicer features. The standard set comes inside of a cabinet that is crafted from pine and has a mahogany finish. The cabinet comes equipped with two different scoring options including a chalkboard as well as a dry erase board depending on your preferences at least you have some options. The dart board is of the regulation 18-inch size and the cabinet has a built-in storage area for your darts when they aren’t in use. Your purchase will come with a dry erase marker as well as six darts so that you can start playing immediately after setup.
- Average price range
- Cabinet crafted from pine and with a nice mahogany finish
- Regulation size
- No electronic scorekeeping ability
- Some users may not want a cabinet to keep their dartboard in
This dartboard is of a pretty simple design and definitely in the average to low price range for a dart board that comes without a cabinet. The dartboard itself is two-sided and therefore has a longer lifespan than a one-sided board. The board comes with a total of 6 different steel darts and has wire fasteners and a wire numbered ring around the outside of the board to increase durability. On one side of the dartboard, you will find the classic English 20 point dart game. While on the other side of the dartboard there is a standard bullseye dartboard design.
- The two-sided board makes for added durability
- Wire numbers and fasteners make for a long-lasting, secure board
- Two games available thanks to the two-sided design
- No cupboard
- No electronic or manual scoring method is included
This dartboard is in the very low price range especially considering the fact that it comes within a cupboard that has a nice mahogany finish on it. The dartboard itself is of a regulation size and offers two dry erase boards to keep track of scoring on either side of the cabinet. This dart board has its own dart storage built within the cabinet and the purchase comes with six steel darts. The numbers on the board are in the dartboard fabric, but there is steel wire separating out each of the sections within the dartboard itself.
- Very affordable price tag especially considering the cabinet
- Two dry erase boards to track your scores
- Steel wire sections and dart storage area within the cabinet
- No electronic scorekeeping option
- The dartboard numbers are not made of metal and will get punctured and worn over time
This dart board has a fairly expensive price tag considering it doesn’t come with a cabinet or a scorekeeping method. The board itself is made from a high-quality bristle board that is built to last for a long time. Minimum metal is used in the design to make for a larger target to aim at. This dartboard is of a regulation 18-inch size and comes with a metal numbered ring for added durability. Although some users have had issues with mounting the board, this is a nice looking board that brings a bit of an authentic look to it.
- This board is of the 18-inch regulation size
- Metal numbered ring adds extra durability
- Authentic look appeals to a wide audience
- High-quality bristle board was used in the manufacturing process
- No cabinet is included with the board
- Some users had issues with mounting the board properly
This dartboard is a bit above most of the other dart boards for price, but it is still fairly affordable for what you get. The dartboard comes in a cabinet that is built out of American yellow poplar hardwood meaning you are going to get long lasting durability from the cabinet compared to softwood cabinets. The dartboard itself is of regulation 18-inch size and has a metal numbered ring for added durability. The cabinet comes equipped with two different dry erase scoreboards so that you can easily keep track of your score and it also includes six steel darts. Each door of the cabinet has its own built in dart holder in order to separate you from your competition. Things like a dark cherry finish, stainless steel hinges and a removable outer ring help to differentiate this board from its competition.
- stainless steel hinges and a removable metal outer ring add aesthetic appeal
- the cabinet is made out of yellow poplar hardwood for increased durability
- regulation 18-inch board
- No electronic scoring method
- Some users may not want a cabinet
This dartboard is a little bit more expensive than a lot of boards on the list but it features some very nice things that help to make up for the high price tag. The board itself has a 15.5-inch face which is regulation size for soft tipped darts most of the time. The board incorporates an electronic scoreboard that is capable of keeping track of the scores of up to 16 players at one time. Built into the design of the electronic scoreboard are 57 games and a total of 307 gaming options so that you don’t get bored. The cabinet itself has built-in dart storage on each door and the center cabinet below the board displays a bright LCD with your scores on it. Six soft tip darts are included with your purchase of the unit and the board doesn’t require batteries to be used.
- No batteries required
- Don’t have to manually keep track of your score
- 57 games and 307 options available on the electronic display
- 5-inch regulation size board
- Some players may not want a cabinet
- Will have to plug the board in, in order to take advantage of electronic features
- Soft-tipped darts
This dartboard offers a very cheap price tag and is a great overall board for someone new to darts. The board itself is a bit below regulation size at 16.5 inches in diameter and offers a double sided design. The board comes with a total of six playing darts that are made of brass and plastic which is quite good for this price range. The board itself is made of paper wound into a ½ inch thick board. The numbers on the board are directly on the paper and there is wire used to divide up the different segments of the dart board so that you know what kind of a score you got.
- Wire sectioning improves eye appeal and durability
- Comes with six different brass darts
- Double-sided design
- Does not come in a cabinet
- Darts are not made up from steel
- Paper wound board is not that high of quality
This dartboard is in the low price range category for a dart board that doesn’t come with a cabinet. The board itself is close to regulation size and measures up at about a 19-inch diameter. The board has wiring sections to separate each individual score and it is also constructed from wound paper. The board comes with a total of six different darts and they are made up from brass which is not bad considering the price of the dart board. The board is double sided and features a very unique baseball game on the back of the board which is great for all ages.
- Double sided board adds extra playing options
- Six brass darts come with the dart board
- Baseball game is unique and family friendly
- Does not come in a cabinet
- Doesn’t come with a way to keep track of scoring
- Numbers on the board are in the paper rather than metal
Conclusion & Recommendations
A dartboard seems like it should be an easy purchase but it really is not. With so many brands of dart boards available on the market it can be quite hard to narrow down what kind of a dart board you should get and what kind of features it should have. It is a good idea to compare a few brands to get a good overview of what is available before making your purchasing decision. It is also a good idea to check into things such as a manufacturer’s warranty and return policies in case you end up having some issues. It is always important to set yourself a budget and try and stick to it, remembering when you set your budget how often you play darts, or if you are playing competitively that you may want to set yourself a bit higher of a budget. Best of luck finding a nice dart board. Hope this list opened your eyes to the many features that are available and maybe even pointed out a dart board that works for you.