Dartboards are a great way to let off some steam, enjoy playing a game with your friends or family, and use while you’re alone and looking for something fun to do. Dartboards really offer a little bit of something for anyone and everyone. This guide has been put together for anyone who has never bought a dartboard or done any research on buying a dartboard. We’ll cover everything you’ll need to know – from the why you should buy a dartboard all the way to dartboards reviews.
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Table Of Contents
- Dartboard Buying Guide
- The Benefits of Buying a Dartboard
- What to Consider Before Buying a Dartboard
- How to Choose the Best Dartboards for Your Needs
- What Else You Need to Know About Dartboards
- Dartboards Reviews
- Doinkit Darts Magnetic Dartboard
- Viper Shot Bristle Steel Dartboard
- DMI Bristle Dartboard
- Winmau Blade 4 Dual Core Dartboard
- Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard
- The Final Verdict
Dartboard Buying Guide
The Benefits of Buying a Dartboard
For most, a dartboard is for enjoyment and fun more than for practicing skills to go into the circuit of professional dart players. If that’s the case for you as well, some benefits of having a dartboard for personal use include:
Typically, to play darts you have to go down to your local sports bar and share the dartboard with other people, which makes it difficult to play with even a small group of people. When you buy a dartboard playing darts can easily be incorporated into your day to day life as a family activity. However, it’s also a great thing to play at parties or gatherings.
When you have access to a dartboard for personal practicing 24/7 you’re bound to become much better than your family and friends. And, let’s face it, being good at something makes it way more fun to do! We’re not saying it’s nice or polite to brag – but it sure can be fun.
It’s a great hobby
While most people don’t realize that there are some professional dart player leagues out there, if you find that you really enjoy playing darts you can actually join a league and play semi-professionally (much like a bowling league.) You have the opportunity to travel, have fun, possibly make some money, and meet great people who could potentially become life-long friends.
On the topic of fun, having a dartboard is supposed to be about having fun. It’s a great way to unwind after work or, if you work from home, during work! It can also be a great way to incorporate a new family tradition that doesn’t center around the already-chaotic-enough holiday season.
What to Consider Before Buying a Dartboard
There are a barrage of things to look for in a dartboard (and we’ll cover all of them) this section lists some important factors to look for in every dartboard and why they’re important.
Even if you intend on buying cheap dartboards, how long it will last you is an important factor none the less. If you buy a cheap dartboard that breaks once a month and needs to be replaced it’ll end up being more expensive in the long run anyways. This isn’t to say that all cheap dartboards will break on you, but if the reviews all claim that they break too soon, it may be a good idea to consider a dartboard that has a more expensive and well thought out construction behind it.
The extra features it offers
Many dartboards offer extra features like a score counter, rotating board (to help prolong the life of the board), and darts that come included to name a few. Really, this is all up to personal preference and what you’ll be using the dartboard for most. If you intend to use it by yourself there is probably little need for a score counter. However, if that’s what you want then it’s important to look at those features.
The type of dartboard
Dartboards can be made out of a variety of materials and each material has certain advantages and disadvantages (which we touch on more below.) However, this is another area where it’s a matter of preference and type of use.
How to Choose the Best Dartboards for Your Needs
What you plan to use it for
If you intend on using it for groups, parties, or friendly competition it’s probably a good idea to look at a dartboard that has a heftier construction to it. However, if you plan to use it by yourself very seldom, the construction is probably a less important factor. With that said you still want to make sure that it won’t disintegrate on you, but we have you covered there too with dartboards reviews below.
What kind of darts you prefer
Certain dartboard can only be used with certain types of darts. If you have no preference on the type of darts that will have to be used with the board that this is probably a less important factor. However, if you’re semi-experienced when it comes to playing darts and you already have a preference for which type of dart you’d like it’s important that you make sure you buy a dartboard that corresponds with that dart type as some types of darts will damage boards that weren’t built for them.
Who will be using the dartboard
If you plan to let your child play with the dartboard you may want to consider getting a dartboard that has child-friendly darts to avoid accidents with them. Even if you don’t plan to let your child play with the darts but there is a chance they could get ahold of them it may still be wise to consider a more child-friendly dart to use.
What Else You Need to Know About Dartboards
As we touched on above, there are a variety of materials dartboards are commonly made out of. Each type of material has its own pros and cons, and while this isn’t a thorough examination of each type of material it is meant to be a solid starting point for you to consider which material may or may not be best for you.
Bristle dartboards are very common for a few reasons. One main reason is that the holes made from the darts will “heal” (close up when you remove the dart) so your board will last a lot longer than many other types of dartboards. Bristle boards oftentimes do offer a scoring system built in as well. Bristle dartboards are the most popular, easiest to use, and recommended dartboards regardless of why you’re going to use it.
Electronic dartboards are becoming increasingly popular in sports bars and arcades because they usually offer a score counter that makes group playing easier. Electronic dartboards need soft-tip darts for playing so the complex electrical equipment doesn’t become damaged.
Coiled paper dartboards
These dartboards are usually cheaper than the rest due to their construction. They break or fall apart relatively easily so it’s advised to purchase one of these dartboards only if you’re experimenting with dartboards or if children will be using the dartboard. However, there are some coiled paper dartboards out there that do make higher quality dartboards.
Wooden dart boards have a heavy construction, so the damage to them doesn’t usually come from the dart themselves. Since wood does have a tendency to dry out and crack so they have to be soaked in water overnight to help prevent the wood from cracking. Wooden dartboards have become a rarity since the invention of bristle dartboards.
Cork dartboards also tend to be cheap dartboards that fall apart relatively quickly when compared to other dartboards. They’re usually hard to find like wooden dartboards and they’re not recommended for a heavy player or someone who thinks they may want to become serious about playing darts.
Magnetic dartboards: magnetic dart boards can only be used with magnetic darts that will stick to the dartboard. Often times the darts don’t stick like they were intended to and they’re not meant for anyone who thinks they will play darts frequently or someone who thinks they may want to become serious about playing with darts.
Phew, now all of that information is given, let’s look at some quality dartboards for your recreational or semi-professional usage.
Doinkit Darts Magnetic Dartboard
The Doinkit dartboard is safe for children 6 and up and the darts are virtually indestructible, so it’s safe for the whole family to play darts together. Elegant in design with classic features, the Doinkit has many prominent features including the following:
- Comes with 6 virtually indestructible darts
- 16-inch dart board
- Magnetic darts and dartboard
- Magnets are fully enclosed in the darts
Breakdown of the Features
The magnets in the darts are fully enclosed so there’s no need to worry about them falling apart of coming out while you or your child are playing. The darts are also fully flexible and virtually indestructible so there’s also little to no need to put them up out of reach or hide them away. The high-quality darts allow even your strongest of friends to play with their full strength and potential, without you having to worry about the bending of the dart. With magnets fully enclosing the darts, you can safely play without breaking said darts. Overall, the quality of the darts are fantastic.
Pros of The Doinkit dartboard
The darts and the dartboard are incredibly durable so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy it with your family – or by yourself! In addition, practically anyone and everyone who comes over will be able to play with this dartboard, so it’ll be a great game for any family gathering!
Downsides of The Doinkit dartboard
Some disadvantages of this dartboard are the fact that the darts will not be as accurate since they’re magnets. If you plan to use it in order to practice for a serious dart competition it probably wouldn’t be the best option. However, if you’re like most casual dart players, this shouldn’t matter all that much as the darts don’t have to be super accurate for you to enjoy using a dartboard.
Viper Shot Bristle Steel Dartboard
The Viper Shot dartboard was made with both the casual hobbyist as well as the practicing pro in mind. It’s earned 4.1 stars out of 5 on Amazon from over 400 customer reviews (at the time of writing this article.)
- Staple-free bullseye
- Super durable bristle construction
- Can use both steel and soft tipped darts
- Official tournament size
Breakdown of the Features
The construction of the Viper Shot dartboard was made to be as similar to regulation standards on a budget as possible, which is great if you’re not sure if you’re going to like playing darts but think you may want to get serious about it. The Viper Shot dartboard offers the best of both worlds in one dartboard.
Pros of The Viper Shot Bristle Steel Dartboard
The staple free bullseye reduces the amount of darts that are bounced out due to hitting a staple, which makes your scores more accurate. It also offers the ability to use one of two types of darts, which is great if you have a preference on dart type. In addition it’s also regulation size, so if you think you may be interested in trying your hand in the pro circuit you’ll already have a firm foundation at aiming on a regulation size dartboard. Some additional advantages of the Viper Shot dartboard is the construction is super durable, so you’ll be able to use and reuse it for a long time to come.
Downsides of The Viper Shot Bristle Steel Dartboard
This board was made for someone who is just starting out and/or is considering if they want to play seriously. If you’re 100% sure that you want to get serious about playing darts, this probably isn’t the board for you. However, with that said, if you’re like most who just want a hobby or to play casually then this could potentially be the board for you nonetheless.
DMI Bristle Dartboard
The DMI bristle board comes with everything you need to start playing darts and then some. Attractive features of the DMI Bristle dartboard include the following:
- Oak cabinets to store everything and hide the dart board
- Regulation size dartboard
- Sisal bristles “heal” themselves
- Darts and score-keeping chalk included
Breakdown of the Features
The oak cabinets function as a storage unit, dartboard hiding place, and score counter. The regulation size dartboard also makes this an option for people who think they may want to become serious about darts, and everything you need to get started playing darts with a group of people comes included. Being regulation sized, you won’t have to worry about changing your play style come tournament time. While playing darts is a very retro sport, it’s widely played throughout the country (and world) professionally today. The Sisal bristles “heal” themselves, so you’ll be receiving an extra high-quality product that won’t break on you anytime soon. With darts and score-keeping chalk included, you can take it out of the box and go.
Pros of The DMI Bristle Dartboard
One big advantage of this dartboard is that the cabinet also functions as a wall-protector from stray darts that may have found their way into your wall otherwise. The sisal bristles automatically “heal” themselves to extend the life of your dartboard so you’ll be able to use it for years to come. In addition the cabinets offer an attractive hiding place for those who don’t want the dartboard constantly exposed on the wall (or those who may want to hide the dartboard from younger children.)
Downsides of The DMI Bristle Dartboard
Like all of the above dartboards, this dartboard is made for someone who thinks they may want to become serious about darts, but they’re still leaning more towards the hobbyist’s side of darts. While it’s a regulation sized board, this isn’t exactly a “high-end” dartboard that someone rich would buy. Great for the price, we’d still recommend due to its longevity and perfection for recreational use.
Winmau Blade 4 Dual Core Dartboard
The Winmau Blade dartboard is an entirely staple-free dartboard (which is awesome!). Beyond this, features that the dartboard boasts include the following:
- Staple-free construction
- Regulation playing size
- Lower compression outer core increases dart penetration
- Higher compression inner core increases durability
Breakdown of the Features
The staple-free construction reduces the amount of bounced darts. Similarly, the increased dart penetration that the outer core allows for reduces the amount of bounce rates from darts as well. However, they did make the inner core harder to penetrate which does increase the durability and longevity of this particular dartboard, which is great for someone who likes regularly playing darts as it’ll last for a long time.
Pros of The Winmau Blade 4 Dual Core Dartboard
The staple-free construction and dual core features of this dart board all aim at one central goal: reduce the bounce-out rate of darts. Because there is almost nothing more frustrating than darts constantly bouncing out of the dartboard on you. This makes this dartboard more geared towards someone who would like to become serious about darts, but still a great choice for someone who just wants to get started.
Downsides of The Winmau Blade 4 Dual Core Dartboard
One disadvantage of this board is that it’s not made for pros, so while this dartboard can be used while you’re honing your skills for a regulation game of darts, you’ll outgrow it at some point. However, the point that you’ll outgrow this dartboard will be a ways down the road if you have the intention of going pro in the dart playing circuit.
Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard
The Arachnid Cricket pro is an electronic dartboard that has a variety of different features and game play options for someone who is looking for more versatility in the game play. Some features include;
- 39 games with 179 different variations
- Electronic scoreboard
- Allows up to 8 players
- Regulation size board
Breakdown of the Features
With 39 different games available, a digital score tracker, a heckler feature, and up to 4 players, this dartboard allows for endless combinations. This dartboard offers incredibly versatility to combat boredom. Allowing up to 8-players at a time, you won’t find something as fun as this at your local bar. Throw a party in your basement or game room and don’t worry about leaving anyone out, as the Arachnid gets its name from the spider’s eight legs, providing fun to eight people at once! Another regulation sized board, you don’t have to worry about not being able to play if you have two semi-pro teams practicing at your house. Although, we want an invite!
Pros of The Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard
Thin dividers reduce the bounce out rate which, as I’ve said, increases the amount of fun! This dartboard is definitely designed with the heavy players or group play in mind, which makes it a great option if you want to frequently gather with friends or family for a round of darts.
Downsides of The Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard
One disadvantage of this dartboard is that it’s certainly not made with serious players in mind. It’s certainly helpful, however, if you want to get serious about darts but don’t know the exact game you’d want to play or which game you enjoy the most- in which case you can experiment away with this dartboard. While a disadvantage, it’s certainly not affecting the performance of the dartboard.
The Final Verdict
Even though all the dartboards on this list are good dartboards – scratch that- great dartboards, there can only be one that we conclude is the best dartboard on this list. Hands down the winner on this list is the Winmau Blade dartboard.
The staple-free construction reduces the amount of bounced darts, which increases the amount of enjoyment you can get from using this dartboard. Similarly, the increased dart penetration that the outer core allows for reduces the amount of bounce rates from darts as well, which just shows you how much they care about making sure the dartboard does what it’s actually supposed to do. In addition the construction of the inner core allows for heavier game play and more use, meaning it’ll last longer. And at the price it’s certainly a dartboard that can’t be beat!