The Different Types of Darts: An Equipment Guide

There is no such thing as a wrong answer when deciding the weight and style of your darts. In your first year of throwing, you can most likely adjust darts, but don’t waste too much money until you have a better idea of which dart best suits your style. 

In the end, it’s just about what makes you feel more at ease when standing at the throw line. Before you go out and buy a top of the line new set of darts, check out the following rules.

Different Features of a Dart

Darts come in various materials, including wooden darts, brass darts, nickel silver darts, and tungsten darts. The tungsten dart is by far the most common dart among professional players.

When purchasing tungsten darts, pay close attention to the percentage of tungsten in the dart barrels. The stronger and more costly the dart, the higher the tungsten percentage is. Darts made of brass and nickel silver are softer and less expensive due to the relatively cheap metals. 

The knurling on these darts will wear down quickly compared to tungsten darts due to skin oils, friction, and interaction with other darts. However, even with these disadvantages, brass and nickel silver darts remain a cost-effective alternative to tungsten.

The Weight

Darts are available in weights ranging from 12 to 50 grams; even though darts heavier than 30 grams are very rarely seen, most dart organizations accept darts up to 50 grams. 

Visit a shop that sells darts near you and try out the same dart in different weight classes, to test your preference. The weight you chose will be determined by the pace at which you throw the dart. The lighter the dart, the faster it is to throw and the more difficult it is to aim. The weight’s position on the dart barrel is also crucial. 

Many darts are heavier toward the front of the barrel (front-loaded), and others are heavier in the back (rear-weighted). You’ll get a sense of what fits well for you if you try them all.

The Barrel and Grip

The next move is to experiment with various barrel grips in the weight you’ve picked. Some dart barrels are knurled heavily, while others are flat. Knurling is when a barrel has small, rough grooves on it to increase friction. Often times a barrel with more serious knurling is easier to grip. 

This is not always a good thing, lots of knurling on a barrel can cause darts to adhere to the fingertips, leading to accuracy problems. Some dart barrels will fit the average dart player, and some are only for highly skilled players. Just make sure to choose the one that looks the most comfortable.

Different Dart Grip Styles

Darts is an unusual game in that even a simple act of throwing can become very complicated. However, there are three popular grips to throw a dart. The 3-finger dart grip is the most common form. This is when you have your thumb under the dart and your index and middle finger on top of it.

Other grips are the 4 -finger dart grip and 5 -finger dart grip. There is also a very rare grip know as 2 -finger dart grip, which is just your thumb and index finger. This, however, gives you less control over the dart’s trajectory.


Flights come in a variety of sizes and textures, including flat and dimpled surfaces. Your game will be influenced by the scale and style of your flights. For example, dimpled flight surfaces can aid in the slowing and stabilization of your darts.

Experiment with different dart flight sizes and shapes until you’re satisfied with your final setup. But don’t be afraid to try new things as time goes by, like you might want more or less stability as you get better. Standard and slim are the most common shapes.


The barrel (at the front of the dart) is connected to the flight (at the back of the dart) by the dart’s shaft. As a result, the shaft is a crucial component of the dart; you’ll therefore need to think about what kind of shaft you want for your darts. When it comes to selecting the ideal shaft, you have many facets to consider, including weight, yarn, and form, to name a few.

Plastic or Nylon

Plastic and nylon shafts are cheap and come in a variety of colors, but they often tend to crack pretty quickly. Most players will be fine with these shafts when they’re first starting out. If you start tossing close groupings and potentially hitting your previously thrown darts, then these will likely start to wear down pretty quickly and it would be time to upgrade to a better quality shaft.


Aluminum shafts are more robust and durable than plastic or ceramic shafts. They come in various bright colors, even with decorative engraved stripes, flutes, or spirals. 

They can sometimes vibrate erratically, particularly with heavy darts. As a result, most modern aluminum shafts come with rubber O-rings mounted between the shafts and barrels of your darts to counteract this. 

The slots at the back end of the shaft might need to be pried open slightly with a dart tool or knife blade when used with heavy flights, such as diplex or nylon. When struck, it will usually bend rather than break; simply straighten it out for further use.

Carbon-Fiber, Carbon-Composite

Carbon-fiber shafts are inherently lighter than aluminum and more resilient than plastic or nylon shafts. Top-quality carbon dart shafts provide aluminum dart shafts’ longevity without the risk of loosening or bending in the barrel. These are the best material you can use for a shaft, so they’re more expensive, but also provide the best accuracy and stability in flight.


When hit by another dart, several shaft types are now available that spin and allow the flight to turn out of the way. Spinning shafts do not add to the dart’s stability or accuracy through the air, but they do allow closer groupings by aligning the flights. Broken flights, “robin-hooded” shafts, and deflections will all be significantly diminished with these kinds of shafts.


Some modern shafts are composite shafts with plastic bases that thread through the dart. These are often well made shafts that are very robust and do not vibrate loose from the muzzle as readily as metal shafts do. For economy and comfort, most come with replaceable tops.

Tips (Soft Vs. Hard Tips)

Steel tip darts, in a nutshell, are darts with metal tips that are designed to be used on bristle-based dartboards. Soft tip darts, on the other hand, are constructed of soft rubber. Soft tip darts can be used on a bristle dartboard, although they are far more prevalent on electronic and plastic dartboards.

Soft Tip Darts

When you remember how long steel tip darts have been around, soft tip darts are a relatively new change to the world of darts, though they have made a very large impact in a short amount of time.

Soft tip darts are made of soft rubber, and while caution can always be exercised, they are usually a better choice for less experienced darts players. Their safeness, and the ability to use soft tip darts on electronic dartboards are their biggest selling point. Electronic dartboards are a much more innovative way of playing, and they often have a variety of built-in games and functions. 

Soft tip darts do have drawbacks, though. Since soft tip darts are much more easily broken than steel tips, it’s a good idea to have any spare tips on hand at all times, so you don’t have to stop playing. 

Since they are made of lighter plastic, they can take some getting used to if you have previously used steel tip darts. Soft tip darts also have a higher bounce-out risk due to the darts’ quality and the dartboards on which they are used.

Steel Tip Darts

Steel tip darts have been used for about as long as dartboards have existed. They are usually heavier than soft tip darts, weighing 20 to 30 grams for the most part (though heavier weights are available). This makes for a more precise throw. They are also considered to be much more resilient, and when used in the right setting, a well-made dart can rarely crack.

Different Types of Darts

Wooden Darts

Wooden darts are very rare, and would never be found in any professional or even amateur setting. They are usually very old, and are seen as more novelty collector items rather than real darts to play with.

Brass Darts 

Brass darts are the most affordable kind of dart. Brass is a somewhat dense metal that is reasonably cheap and simple to deal with. Unfortunately, since it’s so delicate, the machined grip can easily dull and corrode, altering the darts’ feel. Due to their low price and being easily replaceable, brass darts are frequently used as house darts in several bars and taverns.

Nickel Silver Darts 

This is a very dense product, similar to brass, that is reasonably inexpensive and simple to manufacture. Since nickel silver is softer and more stable, the knurled grip does not wear away as quickly. Otherwise, it’s close to brass darts, but has a higher quality floor, and therefore it’s a good pick for budget-conscious darters.

Tungsten Darts 

There are several different varieties of darts on the market, but tungsten darts are by far the most common, especially among professionals. Tungsten is a hard, dense metal that is very suitable for darts, making it the go-to barrel choice for professionals and those looking to play a lot of darts.

Tungsten has been used to make darts since the early 1970s because it is twice as dense as brass, thus resulting in a dart that can be half the width of a brass counterpart. This means a dart player would have a better time having a tight grouping of darts in a smaller field, like at the bullseye or treble areas.


There is no such thing as a wrong answer when deciding the weight and style of the darts. Usually, after your first year of throwing, you can change darts, so don’t spend too much money until you have a better idea of which dart suits your style. In the end, it’s just about what makes you feel the most at ease when playing darts.

Darts come in various materials, including wooden darts, brass darts, nickel silver darts, and tungsten darts. The tungsten dart is the most common dart among league throwers.