One of the worst mistakes I made when I first started playing darts was picking up the cheapest pack of darts I could find at Walmart.
As a beginner, I figured all darts were pretty much the same so it didn't really matter which ones I picked. Looking back, I couldn't have been more wrong.
The darts you choose, even as a beginner, play a huge role in how well you play and even how much your skills will develop. The darts I started with were so crappy I started to think maybe the game wasn't for me and I should probably find another hobby.
Every time I threw those cheap darts into my board, they'd bounce out. A couple of them even broken when I tried to pull them out. Needless to say, I've learned my lesson. And I want to help you avoid the same mistake.
So I put together this guide on the best darts for beginners. It's pretty much everything I wish someone would've told me when I was shopping for my first dart set.
In this guide, you'll learn:
Parts of a Dart
Before getting in too far, I suggest familiarizing yourself with the different parts that make up a dart. Each part is equally important and each can make a big difference in terms of your performance.
- The Flight: The flight is the back portion of the dart. The style and size of the flight can really make a huge impact. Some flights can add stabilization to the dart, while others can slow its speed.
- The Shaft: The shaft connects the flight to the grip. Shafts come in a wide array of materials, including plastic, nylon, aluminum, and even carbon-fiber.
- The Grip/Barrel: As the name suggests, the grip is the portion of the dart that will rest between your fingers. Some grips have smooth knurling, while others are rigid and rough. Weight is also important in terms of knurling. For beginners, I strongly recommend a heavier knurling, as this will make the dart much easier to grip.
- The Point: Finally, you have the point. This is the sharp tip of the dart that is propelled into the dart board. Steel tips are recommended for sisal boards, while plastic tips are good for electronic boards.
Types of Darts
There is a broad array of darts available on the market, making it difficult for beginners to choose just one type. However, the steel tip and soft tip darts are the primary types.
To help you make the best decision, I have broken each type down and included advantages and disadvantages of each. One of the most important things to remember is that the type of tip or point utilized in the construction is how darts are identified.
Steel Tip Darts
The steel tip dart is specifically designed for bristle dartboards. The dart’s sharpened steel tip will penetrate the board with ease. When the tip wears down, it can be sharpened or replaced to prevent the need to replace the entire dart.
Soft Tip Darts
The soft tip dart is suitable for use with electronic boards. The reason for this is because the dart has a lightweight design, ranging from 14 to 16 grams. It also has a tip that is constructed of durable, high-quality plastic.
All darts bare the same design for the most part, but different materials are utilized to create the barrel. The material utilized in the construction of the barrel distinguishes the darts apart.
For instance, the brass dart has a barrel that is designed from brass material. While these darts are extremely popular, they are not designed for professional competitions.
The dart’s soft grip tends to cause it to wear down more quickly than the nickel silver or Tungsten darts.
I prefer the brass dart for playing in bars, because they're cheap and accessible.
The nickel silver dart is similar to the brass dart, with the same density. However, this dart is slightly more expensive and with its machined grip, it will endure the test of time.
In fact, the nickel silver alloy will last at least twice as long as the brass. When I first started throwing darts, I was steered by my friends to invest in the nickel silver dart. I found it an excellent choice for my budget and needs.
Tungsten darts are extremely popular as well, and it's what most professionals use. The tungsten dart is high-density and durable, so it will resist wear when exposed to friction, skin oils and play.
However, to get the most out of your money, you must choose a dart with a higher percentage of tungsten. While you may end up spending more for the higher percentage of tungsten, the higher quality barrel will be smaller, decreasing bounce outs when throwing in tighter groupings of darts.
Dart Shaft Recommendations
Dart shafts are available in various materials. Plastic and nylon tend to be the most affordable.
Trust me here. You’ll want to spend more to ensure that your dart is actually going to withstand the test of time. Much better alternatives include solid aluminum, carbon-fiber, and composite.
For beginners, I would recommend either carbon-fiber or composite. Both materials tend to be incredibly durable and affordable to replace.
Also, these materials experience less vibration so they will not loosen from the barrel easily.
Choosing Dart Flights
The flight of the darts is another consideration that many pros take into account when choosing the perfect dart. Professionals often base their flight choice on the weight of their dart and the speed of their throw.
For me, I like to throw fast and quick, so I always opt for a smaller and more slender flight. This basically means that my dart will reach its target quickly, making it less susceptible to the environment and air movement.
Any player that likes to throw slower will want to opt for a larger flight, which will provide the dart with stability as it reaches its target.
Best Dart Weight for Beginners
There are numerous characteristics that set darts apart from one another. Material and price are important, but I often tell others that weight is even more vital.
Beginners will often ignore this factor and it may create problems in the future. Most players will be fine with darts ranging from 16 to 20 grams.
These weights tend to be the most common, but I always recommend experimentation. If the weight does not feel right, you should try something else.
Never limit yourself to this specific range simply because it is popular.
When it comes to darts, you should always be willing to experiment and try new things. With additional experience, you will ultimately be able to find the weight that suits your playing style and preferences the most.
Still, 16 to 20 grams is generally a good starting point for newbies.
How Much do Good Darts Cost?
When scouring through the market, you will likely be taken aback by the sheer number of darts available. Many beginners mistakenly believe that spending excessively is always best.
Let me tell you from experience, you really get what you pay for.
This doesn’t mean that you should feel obligated to pay a couple hundred dollars for a set of darts though. You’re a beginner after all and should select darts that best accommodate your skill level.
Most cheaper darts will not possess the same quality of craftsmanship or quality as their more expensive counterparts.
Nevertheless, beginners should be fine with a set costing as little as thirty or forty bucks.
A word of warning: Ignore dart review websites that suggest buying the most expensive set on the market.
There is a good chance that they’re trying to lead you astray for their own benefit. I promise that you’ll be just as satisfied with a moderately priced set!
Always Buy Darts Separately
It can be very convenient to purchase the dart board and darts in a singular package. It sounds appealing because it's convenient and usually cheaper. But the darts will usually be very low quality.
The tips will probably dull out rather quickly as well. When instructing new players, I always recommend that they purchase the darts separately. Standalone darts (at least the ones I recommend) are typically much higher quality, and you have more control over which ones you choose.
Take my advice and do yourself a favor. Buy the darts separately and pay a little more. You'll thank me later.
A Quality Dart Board is Equally Important
The darts themselves are incredibly important, but it is also vital to obtain a high-quality dart board. As a golden rule, quality is equally important across the board.
With a lower quality board, there is a good chance that the darts will not stick and you’ll begin experiencing longevity issues very early on.
Also keep in mind that your dart board of choice should be compatible with your darts.
For example, if you have an electronic dart board you'll need soft tip darts. And steel tip darts work best with a bristle board.
Check out my guide on the best dartboards to learn how to choose one and see my recommendations.
Cheaper dartboards will have bristles that are not packed as tightly so they’ll show their wear much earlier. I wholeheartedly agree with most other veterans that sisal is the best fiber for dartboards.
Brands, such as Unicorn and Winmau, are good options. Just make sure you opt for a board with an affordable price tag. You don't need to spend $300 on a dart board.
The Best Dart Brands
Throughout my search for the perfect darts, I quickly discovered that there are tons of different brands available. With that being said, there are a few brands that stand out above the rest.
Whether you are just starting to learn the game or you have been playing for years, getting familiar with these brands and learning about them will not only improve your knowledge of the game, but it might make you a better overall player.
Bottelsen: Bottelsen has been around for decades, and I love that they make their darts in the U.S. The quality speaks for itself and they have a ton of options to choose from.
Viper: Viper darts are one of the more popular options for darts because you can get some for very cheap, without sacrificing too much quality. They sell both steel and soft tipped darts, so you can find one for whatever your preference is. They also make dart boards and other dart accessories as well.
Cuesoul: I'd be lying if I told you I didn't have a bit of a preference for Cuesoul darts. They make products for pool and darts, and have a focus on quality. For mid-priced, high quality darts, it's hard to go wrong with Cuesoul.
Phil Taylor Target Darts: Phil Taylor is a name that's pretty familiar to most dart aficionados, as many consider him one of the best players around today. These tungsten style designed darts are a go-to item for many players. The Phil Taylor brand caters more towards professional dart players or advanced hobbyists, and the pricing reflects it.
Unicorn Darts: Unicorn is another popular brand that offers a variety of different ranges of darts. One of the most unique things about this brand is that they offer the average player the same exact styles and designs that are available to the pros. Probably their most popular design is the Sigma Dart, which was specifically designed and engineered for balance and accuracy. Along with this, the weight and serial number of each Sigma Dart is etched into the barrel of the dart to provide authenticity.
That's just a very short list though. There are dozens of other dart brands like Arachnid, VDarts, Shot! and others. I'll recommend my favorites a little further down, but always be open to trying new brands.
What Dart Brands Do Professionals Use?
It really doesn’t matter what your skill level is when it comes to darts, every player is shooting at the very same target, which is located 5 feet, 8 inches from the ground, and 7 feet, 9-½ inches from the player.
This is of course the very center of the bull’s eye. Unfortunately, this is where the equality ends and the skills, along with the type of darts kick in. So, what types of darts give the pros the ability to hit the target more often?
Professionals are just like other players when it comes to choosing the perfect dart. They must first experiment with length, weight, and shape to find which darts allow them to consistently hit their target.
Most pros will start out with darts that feel good in their hands and go from there. However, I have found that since you want the dart to enter the board at the straightest angle possible, the weight, shape and length of the dart must match your delivery.
For instance, front-loaded darts are designed to be heavier towards the tips of the dart, whereas even-loaded darts are evenly shaped and weighted. I discovered that the length of the dart you choose really depends on where you prefer to place your hand when throwing.
Some barrels will even come equipped with different grooves and grips to aid players. I personally find the grooves a bit tacky, but some players prefer them and swear that they have improved their game.
As far as weight goes, most professionals will go with darts that weigh anywhere from 20 to 24 grams.
With that being said, there are a few exceptions to this rule, because some professionals prefer darts that weigh as little as 14 grams.
Best Darts for Beginners
Now that you have a better understanding of how to choose darts, here are my recommendations for the best darts for beginners:
CUESOUL 30/28/26 Grams Tungsten Steel Tip Darts
For beginners that are serious about perfecting their skills, I strongly suggest checking out the CUESOUL 95% Tungsten Steel Tip Darts.
These darts are the perfect combination of quality and a fair price.
The kit comes with a lot of extras, including six flights, a point sharpener, six shafts and a case. This combination will keep you content for many years, until you’re ready to upgrade to a better set.
The weight is right on the money. Plus, the darts are center weighted. This makes them so much easier to control and that is why I recommend them for all beginners
Overall review: The CUESOUL 95% Tungsten Steel Tip Darts are so easy to recommend to beginners. They’re the most well-rounded darts and their price is right on target. These are the darts that I would most recommend to the newbies I instruct personally.
Viper Blitz 95% Tungsten Steel Tip Darts
The Viper Blitz Tungsten Steel Tip Darts possess all of the characteristics that make a great dart for a beginner.
They’re available in all of the right weights and they’re manufactured with the highest quality tungsten.
The darts are also equipped with locking holes to ensure tighter fitting. In return, this can improve stability and enhance your performance.
Now, they're a little more expensive, so I'd only recommend them for beginners looking for the best of the best, or if you have a bigger budget.
Overall review: The Viper Blitz Tungsten Steep Tip Darts are perfect for beginners. I believe that their ability to fly precisely makes them a good choice for pretty much any newbie. But they're not the type of darts you get just for casual play or to use in bars.
CUESOUL 22/24/26 Grams Tungsten Steel Tip Darts
For beginners that prefer to save money, I recommend the CUESOUL Tungsten Steel Tip Darts.
They’re slightly less solid and accurate than the first darts I mentioned, but they’ll still satisfy most.
These darts come with everything you need, including six shafts, 3 kite shape flights, 3 standard flights and a case. The grip is very rigid making it very easy to newbies to maintain a precise grip on the dart from start to follow through.
Overall review: The CUESOUL Tungsten Steel Tip Darts aren’t the best, but I still recommend them for beginners on a budget. The darts are durable enough to last for a while and they’re fairly accurate. They’ll definitely help you perfect your game and that makes them well worth the low price.
Viper Jaguar 80% Tungsten Soft Tip Dart
If you are looking for a quality, soft tip dart, you should look no further than the Viper Jaguar Tungsten. This dart is designed with a barrel constructed out of 80% tungsten and 20% nickel.
This design ensures durability and longevity, making it the perfect option for long-term and professional throwers.
The barrel is uniquely designed with deep grooves, rings and knurled bands to ensure superior grip for consistent accuracy and hand placement.
The shafts are constructed out of diamond-cut aluminum, which is lightweight and durable. However, these shafts are very unique as they have locking holes to provide a tighter fitting. This design not only decreases the need for retightening during play, but also improves stability.
Overall review: The Viper Jaguar Tungsten Soft Tip Darts are perfect for throwers who desire accuracy, stability, firm grip and longevity. The unique design provides all of these qualities, plus so much more. The included accessories are just an added bonus to a great set of darts.
Ignat Games Steel Tip Darts
There are so many different steel tip darts out there. But one that I think doesn't get talked about enough is the Ignat Games Professional Dart. While this steel tip dart was designed with the professional in mind, it also keeps the casual player in mind, so just about anyone can take advantage of everything that this dart has to offer.
With the strategically knurled brass barrels and medium weight design, this dart offers the perfect grips and comfortable feel for any player looking to win.
Overall review: At the end of the day, I can’t see how anyone can go wrong with the durable, unique, and stylish Ignat Games Steel Tip Darts. When you consider all the accessories that are included in the package (flights, sharpener, carrying case and a book with tips), you are truly getting more than your money’s worth with this investment.