When it comes to choosing a dartboard, it’s important to be well-informed about the different styles available. This article will give an overview of the various types of dartboards you’ll find on the market and product reviews of popular boards to help you find the best dartboard for your throwing needs.
Types of Dartboards
Bristle dartboards are the most common type of board that you’ll find. They’re made out of compressed sisal fibers that are glued to a backing board. Metal banding is then used to hold the edges together. They are considered one of the longest-lasting types of dartboard because when you remove your darts from the board, the hole closes over. Look for bristle dartboards that adhere to competition standards to ensure that they’re high-quality. Additionally, consider investing in a removable number ring that you can rotate when parts of the board start to wear out. To help prevent bounce-out, look for boards with staple-free wiring with triangular edges. Avoid round wires and staples.
Electronic dartboards are made up of thousands of tiny holes that automatically score your throw once your dart hits one of these holes. For the most part, only soft-tip darts can be used for electronic boards. However, there are some models that accept steel-tip darts. Be aware that boards will break more easily with the constant use of steel-tip darts. Although they’re mostly found in bars, they can also be purchased for competitions or home use.
The best electronic dartboards to buy are regulation-sized (15.5 inches) with very thin segment dividers. Some electronic dart boards can give scoring for 8+ players, or have a dart averaging feature to help you improve your scoring.
Coiled paper dartboards are highly cost-efficient but they can be damaged more easily. In theory, the multiple layers of the paper should not make the holes obvious, but this is not always the case. Your darts must be kept sharp in order to minimize damage on coiled paper boards.
Wooden dartboards were traditionally made out of elm or poplar. They’re not as common as they used to be, but you can still find high-quality, handmade boards. Consider finding a wooden dartboard that has numbers printed on both sides so that it can be flipped over when one side becomes heavily damaged. Keep in mind that solid wood boards can dry out and crack, so they need to be soaked overnight to keep them in good condition.
Other less-common types of dartboards are cork boards and magnetic boards. Corkboards are not recommended for heavy dart play because they tend to wear out easily. They are not as prevalent anymore but consider investing in a sturdier board. Corkboards may be cheap but they will not last long. Magnetic boards are made with a ferrous surface that allow darts with flat metal surfaces to stick. Magnetic dartboards are meant for play, not for serious dart throwing.
Now that you have some insight on the different types of dartboards available, it’s time to take a look at some of the most popular dartboards you’ll find on the market.
WINMAU BLADE 4 BRISTLE DARTBOARD
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The Winmau Blade 4 is a professional-level bristle dartboard that has been used in professional tournaments worldwide. It’s made with Kenyan Sisal that’s super dense, highly visible, and durable. It’s made with high-tensile galvanized steel spider wiring and dynamic sector wiring that’s 50% thinner than their Blade 3 model. Their wires are also triangular-shaped to deflect darts into the target area instead of making them bounce-out. Winmau’s staple-free Blade Technology also helps to increase your scoring potential. Since their wiring system deflects darts into target areas, your bristle board is sure to have a long life. The dartboard weighs 160 ounces.
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UNICORN ECLIPSE PRO BRISTLE DARTBOARD
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Unicorn’s Eclipse Pro is a championship quality board that’s used in tournaments all over the globe. This bristle board uses a high technology wiring design and staple-free construction to maximize scoring potential. Not only that, but their minimal use of metal can minimize bounce-outs and help you improve your scoring averages. It’s made with high-quality sisal that allows your darts to stick easily to the board. The Eclipse Pro also comes with mounting hardware and a free checkout chart. The board weighs 179.2 ounces.
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VIPER SHOT KING BRISTLE DARTBOARD
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The Shot King dartboard is made with self-healing, bristle fibers that are compressed for extra durability. Their high-quality sisal ensures that holes will be closed off after you remove your darts. It’s made with a staple-free bullseye and thin, rounded galvanized wire to help darts slide off the spider. The removable low-glare number ring also ensures that your board will last for a long time. Viper’s Shot King offers you versatility as a dart player because it’s compatible with steel tip and soft tip darts. Included with the dartboard are two sets of steel tip darts, mounting hardware, and a game manual. Its 18-inch diameter is considered an official tournament size dartboard.
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VIPER 800 ELECTRONIC DARTBOARD
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This electronic dartboard is made with thermal resin segments that are durable and tournament quality. The Viper 800 has an ultra-thin spider to help reduce bounce-outs and maximize scoring. The board has a bright LCD display to give you clear scores and statistics. It has 57 games with 307 options and can record up to 16 players. The Viper 800 has been designed with a regulation-sized target face of 15.5 inches. The board can also be purchased with the Viper LaserLite, which is a laser beam that displays an accurate throw/toe line.
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ARACHNID CRICKET PRO 800 ELECTRONIC DARTBOARD
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The Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 has a 15.5-inch target area that’s considered regulation size for tournaments. This electronic board features NylonTough segments and micro-thin segment dividers to help reduce bounce-outs. The holes are square with highly responsive sensors to help maximize scoring potential. It features a large LED scrolling and score display for easy game selection and options menus. This X/O cricket display allows the score of 4 players to be seen, but up to 8 players can record scores. The Cricket Pro 800 also has an average point per dart (PPD) feature, solo play feature, and a 3-level heckler feature for good fun.
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When it comes to choosing a dartboard, it’s important to assess its durability, scoring potential, and the types of darts you intend to use. Once you’ve assessed your dart throwing needs, make sure you research a variety of different dartboards to ensure you invest in the best dartboard available.