Last updated on September 14, 2017
Most of the dart versions that I am aware of have the same rules. Each player holds three darts and then take turns in throwing all three at the dart board. Advancement on the core rules is many different games that involve darts, dart boards and aiming for the bull’s eye. Baseball, round the world, 51 by 5’s and Shanghai are the few names that come into my head when I hear of the word darts. What differentiates the kind of darts that players are going to use is the type and nature of the board. They are either electronic or bristle, but the rules don’t change.
Before I explain the different types, let’s see what a dart is made of when you dissect it.
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It is made up of four primary parts: Tip/Point, barrel, shaft, and flight. Barrels form the main body, and they come in different materials. Flights and shafts can are replaceable and varying shapes, and sizes define a player’s playing style. All darts are made the same way despite the material used. So, what makes them distinct from each other?
Different dart types and their use
Darts are differentiated by the tip in use. Types of tips include steel tip and soft tip.
Steel tip darts
They are designed for bristle dart boards. The best dart boards are made of sisal where the fiber is tightly sewed to make the board rigid but can still be penetrated by steel tip. These tips are what you will find in most of the places where dart games rock the fans. Their weight range is 20-30 grams, and the tip is simply a sharpened steel at its piercing end. The tips are either fixed or moveable.
- Fixed types: Solid and permanently fixed. It’s the most common type of dart used.
- Moveable tips: Not so common but still in use. The moveable tip is designed that way to pave the way for better sticking on the board rather than bouncing off. I find such tips better than the previous type since I can replace the tips if they become blunt, worn out or somehow bent.
Soft tip darts
The electronic boards favor these types since you can’t use the above on them. They are lighter than those made of steel with a weight range of 14-16 grams. The tip is plastic made.
Materials used in construction
Despite the same darts’ structure, various materials are used to construct the barrel. They include:
They are the cheapest of all with a moderate density, and they are easy to handle. However, the grip is soft which causes it to wear down quickly hence changing the feeling as you hold it. They are mass-produced, so the quality and consistency vary significantly. To keep the costs down, most of those who play in taverns and bars will have the darts with brass material.
The density is comparable to that of brass, but they are pricier than brass darts. Despite having almost the same density, Nickel-silver alloy is more durable. The machined grip will stay for longer periods since wear and tear will take some time before getting noticed. They are also an excellent choice if you are a beginner with a budget to mind about.
The best darts are made of Tungsten. It is the denser material of them all and it’s also more durable than the above types. Due to the high density, tungsten darts will serve more playing sessions before wearing down since the grip is always there. When they were introduced in the market, the tungsten used was minimal with an average of 40-50% of the barrel material. It has since increased to currently reflect 80-95%.
High technology is involved here in binding tungsten particles to Nickel. They are denser than Nickel-silver and brass darts. The barrel diameter is smaller than the above types, and the feel favors the pros who like this type. Since tungsten is durable, the grip doesn’t wear down quickly when compared to the first two.
The dart board dictates the kind of dart in use. Other factors such as the material used determine the durability, heaviness and the grip feeling. Softer metal darts do not stay for long since the gripping roughness wears down faster due to the skin’s acid, friction and drumming with other darts.