Last Updated on July 28, 2020 by Jake
Throwing darts is a staple game at countless homes, bars, restaurants, dorms, and offices across the world. Part of the reason that a dart board is so popular is that it’s a super easy game to learn and you don’t need that much equipment other than a dart board and some darts to play.
It’s a fun game to play either competitively (there are many dart games you can play) or leisurely just to pass some time. If you’re looking to acquire a dart board set up for your game room or garage, here are a few things to keep in mind.
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Generally speaking, we highly recommend bristle dart boards made of compressed sisal fibers. From quality to longevity, this type of dart board is hard to beat – there is a reason the pros use this type of board. There are also a few electronic dart boards out there that we like. Here are our best dart boards reviewed:
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks:
|Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core Bristle Dartboard with Increased Scoring Area and Improved Dart Deflection for Reduced Bounce-Outs
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|Viper Hudson All-in-One Dart Center: Classic Solid Wood Cabinet & Official Sisal/Bristle Dartboard Bundle: Standard Set (Shot King Dartboard), Mahogany Finish
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|Unicorn Eclipse HD2 High Definition Professional Bristle Dartboard with Increased Playing Area and Super Thin Bullseye
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|Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard with NylonTough Segments for Improved Durability and Playability and Micro-thin Segment Dividers for ReducedBounce-outs
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|EastPoint Sports Belmont Bristle Dartboard and Cabinet Set - Features Easy Assembly - Complete with All Accessories
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|Viper Shot King Regulation Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard Set with Staple-Free Bullseye, Metal Radial Spider Wire, High-Grade Compressed Sisal Board with Rotating Number Ring, Includes 6 Steel Tip Darts
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Best Dartboard Reviews
Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core Bristle Dartboard
The Joola Midsize Compact Tennis Table is one of the best dartboards you can find with tons of great features. While it is a little bit pricey relative to other boards out there, the extra cost is well worth it in our eyes.
- Dual Core Technology: The board scoring area is comprised of two cores. The outer core is made of lower compression material which reduces surface resistance to allow for increased penetration by dart tips. The inner core is made of higher compression material. This obviously increases resistance and gives the board an element of durability. Most boards are either low or high compression so it’s nice to get the best of both worlds.
- Scoring Area: The scoring area on the Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core is huge. Winmau is always looking for ways to improve their boards and this year they have actually found a way to make the inner wiring system 14% thinner than previous generation models. That might not sound like a lot but it can make a huge difference when you throw a dart that hits against the inner wire.
- Wiring: The razor wire on the dartboard is pointed at a 60 degree angle. Most dart board wires are pointed at 90 degrees or above. Having the sharper angle on the wiring is huge because it will better deflect darts into the scoring areas instead of ricocheting onto the floor.
Viper Hudson Sisal/Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard & Cabinet Bundle
- Comprehensive bundle features the Viper Hudson dartboard cabinet with a mahogany finish; Crafted with solid pine, box joints and bronze hinges
- Open dimensions: 41.5" L x 21.25" W x 3.5" D; Closed dimensions: 23.25" L x 21.25" W x 3.5 D; Interior dimensions 20" L x 20" W x 2-1/4" D
- Includes dry erase scoreboard, out-chart board, dry erase marker and mounting hardware
- Viper Shot King staple-free bullseye dartboard is constructed from sisal/bristle fibers compressed together, providing unsurpassed durability
- Measuring 18" in diameter, the Viper Shot King is official tournament size; A movable number ring further extends the dartboard's life
Joola Midsize Compact Tennis Table makes a really nice dart board. A huge bonus to this board is that it comes with darts and a cabinet together in a bundle. The cabinet features scoring areas on the inside panels so you are ready to play darts from the moment you pull the board out of the box.
- Comprehensive Bundle: The Viper Hudson dartboard comes with a beautiful pine cabinet with a mahogany finish. The cabinet is a really nice feature because it’s easy to install on a wall and will protect your board when it’s not in use. Steel tip darts, a dry erase board, and an out chart are also included with the bundle.
- Laser Throw Line Included: Instead of having to put down cluttery tape for your throw line, Viper Hudson has included a focused laser system which illuminates a throwing line for you. The laser is bright enough that it can be used during day time.
- Staple Free: Extremely thin razors to maximize the scoring area. The dart board is also constructed without staples and with self healing sisal fibers. All of these features lead to a very durable dart board.
Unicorn Eclipse HD2 High Definition Professional Bristle Dartboard
- NEXT GENERATION DARTBOARD FROM THE WORLD LEADING BRAND IN DARTS – Designed with the proven qualities of the Eclipse HD and the Eclipse HDTV, the Eclipse HD2 takes bristle dartboard technology up a level as the next addition to the HD family.
- ALL-NEW 14% INCREASED PLAYING AREA – The Spider2 radial wiring system creates a total clean playing area while the super thin bullseye increases the playing area by 14%.
- THE FINEST GRADE “A” SISAL IS SEAMLESS – The HD2 offers the finest grade “A” sisal, creating a seamless playing area for higher scores.
- INJECTION-MOLDED HIGH DEFINITION NUMBERS – The new injection-molded high definition numbers are highly-visible and easily replaceable with an invisible number rig.
Unicorn designed the Unicorn Eclipse HD2 with best engineering practices from previous models they have developed. What has resulted is an extremely clean and high performance dartboard with tons of features.
- Playing Surface Area: The Eclipse HD2 features a 14% increased playing area when compared to previous generations. In particular, the bulls eye area has increased quite a bit for maximum scoring. The wiring along the 25″ ring has also lead to a 2% increased effect on scoring area.
- Replacable Numbers: If you plan on keeping your board for a long time, the numbers could receive substantial wear and tear. Thankfully, the Eclipse HD2 has injection molded replaceable numbers which can be interchanged as time goes on.
Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard
- Tournament quality electronic dartboard regulation 15.5" target area
- 39 games with 179 variations (seven cricket games)
- NylonTough segments improve durability and playability
- Micro thin segment dividers dramatically reduce bounce outs
- Up to eight Players with four player jumbo X/O LED score display. The ARACHNID trademark is a registered trademark owned by Arachnid 360 LLC and used by Escalade Sports pursuant to license
The Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 is a tournament quality electronic dartboard. The board is set up for over 170 game variations automatically and is a great addition to your game room.
- Electronic Scoring: The Cricket Pro 800 has a game menu of 39 games with 179 variations. The board also features a jumbo LED display for scoring which is very easy to see from the throwing line.
- Target Area: Micro thin segment dividers in the scoring area allow for minimal bounce outs. The board material is a sturdy nylon that will last for years. The target area is also equipped with highly accurate and responsive sensors.
- Heckler Feature: The Cricket Pro 800 has a humorous interactive feature that will heckle you and your buddies for poor throws. It’s not all bad though, the board will also applaud those who make good throws. This setting can be changed from mild to unforgiving or can be completely turned off.
Best Dart Board – Things to Look For When Buying a Dart Board
The centerpiece of a darts game is the dart board. Most people don’t realize that there are actually quite a few types of dart boards out there – and not all boards are created equally. You should consider what type of use and how much use your board is going to receive when deciding which one is best.
Note – you should check out our other resources on darts to complete your game room!
The material used to create a dart board is the single most important aspect in regards to longevity and quality. This should be at the top of your considerations when deciding which dart board you should buy. Here is an overview of a few of the most common types of dart board materials:
Bristle Dart Boards
Bristle dart boards are the most widely used type of dart board and are made of compressed sisal fibers. These types of boards are the standard when it comes to competitive darts and tournaments.
The advantage of dart boards being made with sisal fibers is that the little hole will actually close itself once you remove a dart from the board. The finer the fiber, the higher quality the board is. Some of the finest boards out there actually are composed of around 4 million fibers!
Because bristle dart boards “fill in” their own holes, they can last a super long time. Obviously, this is an attractive feature if you plan on owning a dart board for a long time and playing at least somewhat regularly.
Generally speaking, fine bristle dart boards can be on the pricier end of the spectrum. There are definitely some cost effective bristle options out there, but to me it makes much more sense to buy a slightly more expensive board that you won’t have to replace versus something that will need to be swapped out every couple of years.
That said, if your board isn’t going to get very much regular use, a cheap bristle dart board could be the right fit for you.
Paper Dart Boards
Coiled paper dart boards are a step below bristle dart boards in quality and price, and they make a great option for beginners or youngsters who are just getting into the game.
The downside that comes with a coiled paper dart board is that if you aren’t careful, the board can be damaged easily. Specifically, you should always make sure to use a slight twisting action when you pull darts out of the board. If you pull an embedded dart directly out, the hole in the paper can get bigger and disrupt the flat surface of the board as well.
Even though this is a downside of a paper dart board, they can still be a great option as long as you take good care of your board. One trick that can help the longevity of your coiled paper dart board is to rotate the metal frame of the board every so often.
This way, different parts of the board get even wear and tear over the long haul. If you plan on using your dart board on a regular basis though, we would definitely recommend purchasing a bristle dart board instead.
Cork Dart Boards
Cork dart boards are by in large the most cost effective type of dart board you could purchase. The old adage “you get what you pay for” is very much in play though when it comes to boards constructed with cork.
The problem with cork dart boards is that they dry out way to easily. This is especially true if your board is going to be kept in a non climate controlled space such as a garage or outdoor patio. Frankly, even if you are a beginner we would recommend buying a cheap version of a bristle, coiled paper, or electronic dart board over a cork board.
Electronic Dart Boards
Electronic dart boards have seen a steep rise in popularity over the last decade or so. This is mainly because they are highly convenient and can actually track scores for you as you go.
Electronic dart boards are also played by using soft tip dart boards, so they are a much safer option for beginners and businesses who have darts as a recreational option, such as bars and restaurants.
Soft tip darts don’t actually penetrate the surface of the dart board. There are a ton of little holes on the board and the tip of the dart just plugs into one of the holes when thrown.
As you can imagine, there is a spectrum of prices that one could pay for an electronic dart board. Generally speaking, the more expensive models will have more tiny holes in them to improve performance of the board and/or will have better quality electronic scoring capabilities.
Bristle Dart Board vs. Electronic Dart Board
Should I buy a bristle dart board or an electronic dart board? That’s a great question. More times than not, our recommendation is to find a quality bristle dart board that will last a long time. There is a reason bristle boards are used by the pros and in official tournaments. However if you are a more casual player and maybe on a budget, you really can’t go wrong with an electronic dart board.
Other Factors to Consider When Buying a Dart Board
Density and Depth: An ideal board has the perfect material density and depth. Meaning, the board provides a perfect environment for darts to penetrate the surface and remain stuck in the board. This will lead to less bounce outs and as such more scoring, which is what we all want! Proper density and depth is crucial to longevity of the board as well.
Ink and Coloring: You’ll really want to purchase a board that was colored with high quality inks for a number of reasons. Mostly, for my game room vibe I want a board that looks good and classy and will remain that way for years.
Low quality coloring will lead to a trashy looking board as father time wears on. Additionally, it’s very important for the colors to have low glare and high visibility. Most boards nowadays are made with environmentally friendly inks.
Wiring: When it comes to dart board wiring, there are a couple of things to pay attention to. It’s important for the wire to strike a nice balance of high visibility and low glare for perfect aesthetics. From a practical standpoint, wires throughout the board should be thin as possible and help deflect darts into scoring areas.
Edging and Rotation: The edging of your board should be simple. Most boards have a modern looking, plastic ring around the playing area. The edging should also come with clips that can be undone to rotate the inner wiring of the board. This is a super important feature that will promote the longevity of the dart board.
Brackets: Any good dart board will come with brackets. Pay attention to reviews though because it’s important to have sturdy brackets that will last a long time and are easy to assemble.
Dart Board Cabinets
To truly complete any game room or patio darts set up, it’s almost imperative to acquire a dart cabinet. The functions of a dart board cabinet are both aesthetic and practical. Dart board cabinets provide storage space for darts. Most cabinets have whiteboards or chalk boards for scoring games built in to them.
Most cabinets are made of quality looking wood and allow give you the option to not have your dart board on display 100% of the time. If your board is in the garage or outside, a cabinet will provide a layer of protection as well.
Cabinets provide an ancillary benefit of being a back board for your dart board. This is great news for beginners or intermediate players who will occasionally miss the dart board entirely. It’s a good thing any time the probability of wall damage can be lowered.
Many dart boards come as a bundle with a cabinet. This is perfectly fine and there are many great options out there. If you have a board and are buying a cabinet separately, here are a few of our best suggestions.
Last update on 2022-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API