Most of us associate the game of darts with fun, maybe drunken memories of playing with friends and family in your local dive. It’s a simple game that’s been around for more than 150 years. It’s a type of game that just about anyone can play and enjoy – perfect for your apartment, man cave, or business. Of course, buying a dartboard isn’t as easy as playing on one (unless you really have very bad aim). There are several kinds to choose from and you’ll want to make sure you get one that’ll last a good few years worth of memories, at the very least. If you’re in a hurry to get that dartboard all set up for your games, below is a list of the best dartboards we’ve found in the market today.
Top 10 Dartboards of 2018 Reviewed
1. Winmau Blade 4 Bristle DartboardBest Dartboard To Buy
This is a professional-level bristle dartboard that is made of super dense Kenyan sisal for increased durability. The Winmau Blade 4 is staple-free with 50% thinner wire that’s triangular in shape to reduce bounceback and increase scoring potential. In addition, the wire is made of high-tensile, galvanized steel which also increases durability. Plus, the number ring can be rotated to increase the lifespan of the board. However, the instructions for mounting the dartboard weren’t really clear and the pictures didn’t help at all. It’s also more expensive than another bristle dartboard out there. Also, the numbers aren’t easy to read.
- Staple-free design
- Triangularly shaped wiring
- Rotating number ring
- Poorly written instructions
- A bit pricey
- Numbers aren’t easy to read
2. TG Champion Tournament Bristle DartboardBest Budget Dart Board
The TG Champion Tournament Bristle Dartboard is made of self-healing bristle with a staple-free frame and an ultra slim wire spider to help reduce bounce off. You can use both steel tip and soft tip darts with this dartboard. The price is incredibly cheap. And in case you’re wondering, this dartboard has a tournament level design and will fit inside most dart cabinets. However, the darts that come with this board feature plastic shafts which makes them prone to breaking due to frequent use. The color of the dartboard does fade quite easily.
- Can use steel tip or soft tip darts
- Ultra-slim wire for a reduced bounce off
- Very affordable
- Darts easily break
- Color fades easily
3. Viper Shot KingBest Dart Board For Beginners
The Viper Shot Dartboard is made up of sisal bristle fibers and features a movable number ring which enables you to prolong the life of your board. It uses thin, rounded galvanized wires and a staple-free bullseye to prevent bounce-off. Instead, the radial dart guidance system (the wire sphere shape) ensures that the darts will slide inward whenever they hit the wire. Like our previous pick, this dartboard also accommodates both steel tip and soft tip darts. It does come with 2 sets of steel tip darts along with mounting hardware. However, the plastic shafts of the darts are easily broken and the numbers are hard to read.
- Radial dart guidance system
- Can accommodate steel tip and soft tip darts
- Movable number ring
- Included darts are easily broken
- Numbers are hard to read
4. Viper Hudson Collection All-In-One Dart CenterBest Dartboard Cabinet Set
If you’re the kind of player that likes everything in its place, this dartboard bundle from Viper should be right up your alley. It already features a dartboard cabinet made of solid pine with a mahogany finish. Inside, you’ll find bristle dartboard, an out-chart board, dry erase scoreboard, and a dry erase marker. Plus, 2 compact door stoppers to ensure the doors don’t slam shut while you’re playing. The dartboard used inside is the Viper Shot King which we are in the #3 spot of our list. However, some buyers have reported receiving dartboards with mold on it. The numbers are still hard to read. And there is no storage area for the darts.
- Solidly constructed cabinet
- Movable number ring
- Scoring board included
- Some users report mold on their dartboard
- Numbers are hard to read
- No storage slots for darts
5. DMI Sports Bandit Staple-Free Bristle Dartboard
The DMI Sports Bandit Dartboard has been the official World Cup Dartboard since 1999. It is made of high-grade sisal fibers with very vivid colors, powder-coated numbers for better visibility, To reduce bounce-outs, the board features interlocking, ultra-thin steel bands embedded into the board to create the segments. These wires also increase the strength and durability of the board. The dartboard performs beautifully. However, it doesn’t come with instructions on how to mount it. The sisal doesn’t heal as quickly as we’d like. And this is made in China now, no longer New Zealand.
- Very vivid colors
- Rare bounce outs
- Official World Cup Dartboard
- No mounting instructions.
- Doesn’t self-heal as fast as expected
- Made in China
6. Viper Razorback
The Viper Razorback is another bristle dartboard that features high-grade, self-healing sisal fibers; a staple-free spider; and a movable number ring. You can use both soft tip and steel tip darts on this board. The razor-thin wire shape (hence, the name) ensures that your darts rarely bounce out. The colors – red and evergreen – are quite bright. However, the numbers are still hard to read from a distance. The embedded wires in the segment sections start to pop out after several months of use which are hard to put back in.
- Reduced bounce outs
- Movable number ring
- High-grade self-healing sisal fibers
- Numbers are hard to read
- Embedded wire pops out after several months
7. Hathaway Centerpoint Dartboard Cabinet Set
The Hathaway Centerpoint Dartboard Cabinet Set is another all-in-one set for the avid player. This features a cabinet made of thick North American yellow poplar hardwood with a dark cherry finish. Inside, there is a dual dry erase scoreboards plus dart holders. The hinges are made of high-quality stainless steel. The sisal fiber bristle dartboard features a removable outer ring which increases its lifespan.
However, the included darts are not that great. The plastic shafts make them easily breakable. And the wires used in the dartboard are a bit on the thick side which can cause bounce outs. Also, the dark cherry finish is a bit more reddish orange in color which might not be to everyone’s liking.
- Solid construction
- Dual dry erase scoreboards
- Dart holders
- Cheap darts
- Thick wireframe
- Reddish orange color finish
8. Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic DartboardBest Electronic Dartboard For The Money
If you’d rather just keep throwing darts and leave the math to the experts, then you might be more interested in getting the Arachnid Cricket Pro 800. This tournament quality electronic dartboard features nylon tough segments for increased durability and micro-thin segment dividers for reduced bounce outs. It’s highly responsive sensors ensure that all your throws are recorded.
It comes with a 4-Player Jumbo X/O LED Score Display that is very easy to read from afar and has a current player indicator so you know who should be throwing darts at any point in the game. Plus, it even comes with a 3-level heckler feature which harasses you when you make bad throws and claps for you when you make good ones. However, the buttons are a bit sticky and hard to press. The darts that come with the board aren’t all that great. And they can be hard to pull out.
- Easy-to-read LED Score Display
- Many games to choose from
- Easy to use
- Cheap darts
- Hard to pull out darts when stuck on the board
- Sticky buttons
9. Fat Cat 727 Electronic DartboardBest Cheap Electronic Dartboard
The Fat Cat 727 Electronic Dartboard is a no-frills electronic dartboard for the beginner or casual player who’d rather practice the game instead of his math skills. The dartboard features a 13-inch target face, an LCD display screen, an automatic shut-off feature, and a catch ring for those times you miss the board.
It contains 18 games for you to choose from as well as 96 different options so you can mix things up whenever you feel like playing something different. And it’s very portable since it only runs on 3 AA batteries (not included). However, the LCD display is very small and hard to read from afar. The darts are pretty cheap. And the instruction manual is hard to understand.
- Very affordable electronic dartboard
- Easy to use
- The instruction manual is hard to understand
- The LCD screen is too small
- Included darts are cheap
10. Marky Sparky Doinkit DartsBest Family Dartboard
If you plan to let your kids play with the darts or you want to ensure everyone’s safety when your drunk selves play darts, then this magnetic dartboard from Marky Sparky is just the thing. Instead of tips that can pierce your wall (or yourselves), these darts feature powerful neodymium magnets that will keep the darts stuck on the board once thrown. The materials used in making the dart body is light and virtually indestructible as well as very balanced. However, the board often comes off the wall when you’re pulling the magnetic darts off it. The board is smaller than traditional dartboards.
- Very strong magnets
- Balanced, durable darts
- Perfect for kids
- Small sized dartboard
- Hard to pull off the darts without the board coming off the wall
Dartboard Buying Guide
Darts is a leisure game that only a handful of people can’t play. And that’s probably because they have an incredibly bad aim. Seriously though, darts is a game that just about anyone can play AND have fun while doing it. Plus, it comes with several health benefits. Whether you just want to have a nice game for get-togethers at your place or plan to earn bragging rights the next time you’re at the bar, getting a dartboard isn’t going to be that simple.
Obviously, you’re going to want the best that your money can buy. Since there are tons of dartboards to choose from, you’ll need to get to know the different makes and models before making your final choice. This handy little guide should help you learn more about dartboards and pinpoint which one will hit the bullseye.
Types of Dartboards
There are three main types of dart boards available and these are categorized based on the material used to make the board.
This is the most common type of dartboard and the one you probably spent hours playing on in your local bar. The dartboard is made of a material called sisal which is a bristle-like fiber (hence, the name) that is often used in rope, twine, paper, cloth, carpet, hats, and other items. The Winmau Blade 4 Bristle Dartboard is one of the best bristle dartboards in the market today.
One reason why these boards are so popular is due to the fact that sisal is a “self-healing” fiber; the fiber automatically mends itself by filling in the holes made by a dart after you remove it. This “self-healing” ability ensures that the dartboard is going to last a very long while. Take note that bristle dartboards will still degrade over time; it’ll just take years or even decades before you need to start looking for a replacement.
Another reason for their popularity is the fact that these dartboards are often very budget-friendly. They’re also user-friendly and won’t easily break down on you, unlike electronic dartboards. Plus, bristle dartboards are usually made according to tournament standards which makes this an ideal choice for individuals who want to practice for competitions.
Unlike bristle dartboards, this type is mostly made out of plastic and features tiny holes. Within the board is some sort of circuitry. Once a dart sticks into any one of the tiny holes, it’ll send a signal to the internal computer which will record and calculate your points as well as display your current score on an LCD screen. This is a great option if you’d rather not get inconvenienced with adding up scores yourselves and instead focus on just having fun.
Some electronic dartboards like the Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard come with extra thin segments which means more holes. Others will feature a dart averaging feature which helps you track your performance over time – a feature that will be beneficial to players who plan to improve their game, whether for casual play or competition.
In general, the darts that come with electronic dartboards have plastic tips though there are some that come with steel tips to make the game feel more genuine.
This type of board comes with darts that feature flat magnetic tips which should stick to the board once you throw it. This is an ideal choice if you’re planning on introducing little ones to the game without having to worry about injuries. The Marky Sparky Doinkit Darts is a magnetic dartboard.
Coiled Paper Dartboard
This type of dartboard is made of a thick layer of paper and is less expensive than a bristle one. However, paper dartboards are easily damaged, especially if you just pull out the darts quickly. You’ll need to twist the darts before pulling them out to avoid damaging the board. If you’re not planning on using your dartboard much (recreational purposes only), then this is a cost-effective option.
Another cost-effective choice for those who don’t plan to play often. Because this often comes with soft tip darts, this is another good option for kids or newbies who want to try the game out.
Let’s talk about wires
The wiring of a dartboard plays a critical role in your gameplay. The wires are used to separate the different scoring sections which measure between 1/8 and 1/16 of an inch. Now, the wire and the staples holding it in place, while essential, can be hit by your darts which could then cause your dart to bounce off. Not only is this a frustrating event for any player, this “bounceback” can be a safety hazard. If you want to avoid bounceback, you’ll need to look for extra thin wires and/or staple-free wires like the DMI Sports Bandit Staple-Free Bristle Dartboard.
How about the numbers?
The numbers are located along the outer border of the dartboard. These numbers can be painted on or part o the outer wire frame. Some like the Viper Razorback will have a removable, low-glare number ring which can help the dartboard last longer. This is because you can rotate the number ring which will place them on a different section, allowing some sections that were hit frequently time to heal. However, this metal frame design can be a source of a possible bounceback.
Other buying tips
- If you’re buying a bristle dartboard, look for food grade eco inks because these penetrate deeper into the sisal which gives it color strength, higher visibility, and low glare.
- Look for a dartboard that’s easy to mount or hang and won’t fall down accidentally which means good quality brackets.
- Metal-tipped darts are typically made of nickel-steel or tungsten. Nickel-steels are easier to throw because they’re lighter while tungsten lasts longer because of their weight. Plastic-tipped darts are the least durable because they will eventually crack or snap off due to repeated use.
- Dartboard cabinets like the Viper Hudson Collection All-In-One Dart Center are perfect for those who want all things dart-related in one place. Not only will you be able to store your darts in the cabinet, this typically features scoreboards which makes playing even more convenient.
Whichever dartboard you do end up choosing, it’s important that you never forget about taking safety precautions. You’ll want each experience to be a happy one.