Buying dart shafts
Buying dart shafts
Another major part of the dart is the shaft (stem). The shaft connects the barrel to the flight and therefore plays a role in the flight of the dart. It is wise to learn a thing or two about shafts in general before ordering shafts on Darts Warehouse.
The vast majority of shafts is manufactured using either Nylon or Aluminium (or a combination of the 2). Both are rather sturdy so the shaft does not move while throwing the dart. A popular aluminium shaft is the Bull’s Simplex shaft, available in different lengths and colours. A famous nylon shaft is the Target Pro Grip shaft, used by for example Raymond van Barneveld. Some material exceptions are the Unicorn Softflex shaft, which is part rubber. This leads to increased flexibility which then again leads to less bounce-outs and better clustering of darts. Furthermore, Darts Warhouse offers various, more expensive Carbon and Titanium shafts, the later used by for example Phil Taylor.
Aluminium shafts usually can be used longer than nylon shafts and are therefore a bit more expensive. A disadvantage to aluminium shafts is the fact that they tend to shake loose while playing. An easy solution to this is putting a tiny rubber ring on the thread before screwing it in the barrel. A disadvantage to the nylon shafts is that they are breakable, for example when a dart bounces out and hits the floor. Sometimes the breaks in a way that it cannot be removed from the barrel anymore. This calls for a handy tool called the shaft extractor. NB, shaft breaking occurs mainly in the absence of a carpet or rubber dart mat, that protects not only the floor, but also the dart.
Many darts players play with a little iron ring around their shafts, which presses the shaft together, which thus has a vast grip on the flight. To even better this grip on the flight players punch a hole in their flights and put the ring through this hole. Punching must be done using a specific tool, the Flight Punch Machine. Shaft rings are available in different sizes, with the spiral ring and the robust Bob Anderson rings as the best known ones.
The length of the shaft is, contrary to the material, of importance for your game. Lengths vary from xx-short to large, so quite a big range. The shaft length best suitable for your game is personal for every player. Luckily, Darts Warehouse offers various shaft testkits to help you determine your favourite shafts. You can play a few legs with each and every shaft to see which one feels comfortable. Darts professors claim that people who hold their dart near the tip will have better results with short shafts, whereas people who hold it near the shaft feel better using longer shafts. But again, personal experience is the key in this.
The Sideloader shaft really is something else. This shaft is manufactured in a way that is surrounds the central axis of the flight, so it not only holds it. An advantage of this type of shaft is the accompanied flight protection it gives. World Champion Phil Taylor has played with these shafts for years; the Unicorn Slikstik. Sideloader shafts are also available in one of our testkits!
Life-span of shafts
A shaft is an essential part of your dart, so when it breaks you should be able to instantly replace it. Since throwing with steel tips at something usually is not good for its maintenance, shafts, like flights, should be replaced regularly. Broken or bended shafts do not have any warranty. When you decide to play with stronger aluminium or even Titanium shafts, you will pay more at first, but you can count on it that these shafts will be of service to you longer than their nylon brothers. On top of this, some of these shafts consist of a replaceable top, that can be replaced separately. Since the top part is the part most likely to be damaged, this replaceable top will decrease your costs greatly in the long run.
Due to the relatively short life-span, shafts, again like flights, are often purchased as a 5-pack, which holds 5 sets of shafts.