This might be the hardest thing to do in darts...
When selecting a dart, there are numerous factors to consider. Whether you are purchasing your first set or simply seeking to update, if you are considering purchasing some darts and are unsure where to begin, this list will assist you in making the best decision possible.
Steel or soft tip?
Before you even begin looking for a new set of darts, you must choose whether you require steel or soft tip darts. Most people don't have to think too hard about this decision. It will be determined by where you throw your darts. Whether you're playing at home, in a pub, or in a league, you should purchase the darts that are appropriate for your board and stick with them.
The price is an important factor to consider when picking which set of darts to purchase.
This is difficult because the cost will not be the main determinant of the quality of your experiences. In other words, spending more money does not always correspond to having a better experience or becoming a better player.
Nonetheless, while more costly darts are often better built and made of higher quality materials, the key question is whether the increase in price is worthwhile. This is where you must study and examine your own circumstances to determine whether you are willing to invest $30 or $300.
The more costly end of the spectrum may offer thinner and more durable darts, which can improve your level of play and the longevity of your investment. But you will also discover “flashy” darts that demand a premium based only on looks, with no added cost-benefit. On the cheaper end, you'll find darts that aren't as consistently made, which can hamper your precision to some extent.
Purchasing less expensive sets can also provide you some financial breathing room and allow you to purchase more darts, which is always a good thing. In fact, we advocate owning two sets of darts because your styles will change from night to night.
The main conclusion is that your ability as a player will ultimately be judged, not how deep your funds are.
Many experts choose less expensive darts, and there is no shame in doing so. In any case, there are fantastic possibilities at both ends of the pricing spectrum, so take your time in making your decision.
The material utilized to manufacture the barrel should also be considered in your decision. The material is important since the composition of the barrel will determine other important aspects like as weight, size, sturdiness, and feel. Brass, nickel, tungsten, or a mixture of metals are the most typical materials utilized in the construction of dart barrels.
— Brass barrels are often the least expensive alternative, although they are not very durable.
— Nickel barrels are normally more durable, but they are more expensive.
— Tungsten barrels are preferred in professional circles due to the metal's distinct physical properties.
Tungsten is a fairly dense metal, which allows producers to create narrower barrels that allow for closer groupings without reducing the weight of the dart itself. Unless you prefer the feel of a larger dart, most people will go with tungsten.
One of the most variable and personal aspects influencing your performance is the weight of your darts. Each player must carefully select the weight of his or her dart to match his or her distinctive dart throwing style.
Heavier darts will often fly straighter in the air. Players who are more experienced or advanced should utilize heavier darts because they require more precision. Lighter darts, on the other hand, fly in a more parabolic trajectory, making them an excellent alternative for beginners who place less emphasis on precision.
In any case, none of this is fixed in stone, and experts may prefer lighter darts while amateurs may prefer heavier darts. The simplest way to pick what weight darts to buy is to spend a few minutes playing few games with various weights until you feel satisfied with your selection.
Dart weights typically range from 16 to 26 grams; however, recent rules allow darts to weigh up to 50 grams.
Ideally, you should start with darts weighing roughly 20 to 24 grams. These are the most frequent and will allow you to go to heavier weights or decrease to smaller weights. If you have a habit of throwing darts too high, you should definitely use heavier darts, and vice versa.
Length and shape
As with weight, barrel length and shape is another personal choice. Darts come in all shapes and sizes from short torpedo style to long slim cylinders. How big your hands are and how you hold a darts will affect the size of the barrel you choose. Generally the more fingers you use with your dart grip, the longer a barrel you will want. Unless you like to grip with your fingers resting on the tip.
Choosing a longer barrel will give you more space to grip the dart, while shorter barreled darts will limit your grip options.
The shape of your dart plays a significant role in weight distribution, which is a factor in how your darts fly. The shape of your dart will affect whether the dart is balanced or more front heavy. Pro players generally use a slimmer barrel as it is easier to squeeze more of them in a tight space. As your grouping becomes tighter over time, this is something you will need to consider. For now, I would say go with what feels right.
Because the barrel serves as the point of contact between your fingers and the dart, the grip should be carefully considered.
As you learn more about darts and the numerous nuances of the game, you will discover that some dart barrels are smooth and others are extensively knurled. This is due to the texture of the dart barrel providing the essential friction for a proper grip.
Dart makers will add grooves, cuts, ridges, and bumps to make a dart easier to hold and reduce slippage.
Generally, the heavier the knurling, the better the grip. Knurled rings provide the best grip by providing a very rough surface; however, heavy knurling can sometimes cause the dart to stick to your fingers at the moment of release, throwing your game off significantly.
Shafts (also called stems) are the parts that connect the barrel to the flight. The length of the shaft is especially important because it provides stability to the dart as it travels through the air.
In general, the longer the shaft, the more unstable the dart's flight path. Long shafts, on the other hand, significantly limit the risk of crowding the dartboard as well as the possibility of bounce-outs. Shorter shafts, on the other hand, allow for more steady throws but increase the likelihood of bounces.
Shaft variants with varying lengths and even spinning ends are available from dart manufacturers. Shafts are simple to replace, allowing more experienced players to customise their experience and adjust their strategy on the go.
The spinning bodies are a clever little engineering accomplishment that allows players to form tighter group clusters by reducing friction at the time of impact. The spinning shafts can easily glide past each other, increasing the likelihood that your dart will land on the board.
Plastic, aluminum, and different metal alloys such as tungsten can be used to make shafts. The substance of your dart shaft has less to do with flight and more to do with how your dart reacts after impact.
The material you choose here will have a significant impact on the overall longevity of your dart. Plastic and nylon alternatives are commercially available, although they are more delicate and prone to breaking. Metal shafts, on the other hand, are much more resistant and durable.
Another important element to consider when selecting the best dart set for you is the flights you use with your darts. Dart flights are similar to traditional arrow fletching; these are fins, or vanes, formed of various materials that offer aerodynamic stabilization to the dart during flight.
It is critical to have a form of flight that complements your dart throwing style because the type of flight employed will have a big influence on your dart's route through the air after it has been launched.
Flights can be broadly classified into two types: fast flights and slow flights.
Fast flights will be smaller and longer than slow flights, resulting in a lower total surface area and more aerodynamic force to cut through the air more efficiently. Faster flights will benefit players who like faster pitching by giving more precision and stability at high speeds.
Slow flights, on the other hand, typically have a higher surface area ratio and are typically shorter. The flight can create slightly higher air resistance across the surface of the dart by having a marginally bigger surface area, forcing the flight to travel a longer course through the air. Slower flights are often preferred by players with a more controlled pitch.
There is a lot of variation in flight lengths and sizes on the market. Finding an alternative that is well suited to your specific throwing style should not be too difficult if you take the time to do some research. Again, practice is the best method to learn this; play a few games of darts with flights of various widths and lengths to determine which kind works best with your style.
The last item on this list is sometimes ignored, but purchasing accessories along with your darts will save you money in the long term. There are numerous accessories to choose from, and what you require will be determined by the sort of dart you purchase.
If you opt to buy any steel tip darts with screw-on shafts, you will need a sharpener for the points and a tightening tool. Similarly, if you use nylon shafts, you'll need to buy metal dart ring grips to protect the flights from shifting during the game.
Your darts should also be stored in a secure location to prevent them from warping or cracking unnecessarily. Consider investing in a high-quality protective case.
Choosing a dart set is a very personal decision, and there are so many alternatives that it might be daunting. Of course, some of the items on this list, such as flights and shafts, are easily adjusted if you make a mistake or your style changes. If you're looking for a new set of darts, or even your first set, these McKicks Premium Black darts are the best darts to buy as a beginner set.