Owning the best bristle dartboard allows you to enjoy the best pro-quality dart game possible, right in the comfort of your own home. The game of darts has quickly become one of the most popular sports played at your local bar, pub, rec center, and homes all over the country. It’s easy to see why, since you don’t need to buy a lot of equipment to enjoy playing this game right in the comfort of your home. There are many types of dartboards to choose from these days, but there’s nothing quite like using a bristle dartboard to enjoy a totally pro experience.
Finding the right model for home use can be a challenge since many manufacturers offer several models to choose from of varying quality. But if you’re looking for a board that can provide the same type of playing experience that you normally enjoy at your local bar, then there are many factors you’ll need to consider before you hit that buy now button. This buyer’s guide will discuss all the essential features to look for, how to determine whether or not a board offers the total pro experience you’re looking for, and which models are currently crushing the competition.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes six models that made it onto my top six list, their best features, and how they rated.
Bristle Dartboard Comparison Chart
Viper Shot King Dartboard
This board by Viper Shot is made out of sisal fibers that have been compressed, providing an impressively durable board that comes with a staple-free bull. This design will prevent bounce-outs, as will the movable number ring, which is designed to further extend the life of your board. This is a tournament sized board that measures in at eighteen inches in diameter. The spider consists of galvanized rounded wires that allow the dart to slide off the wiring, landing in the targeted area. This model comes with two sets of darts, for a total of six steel tip darts. However, this model can also accommodate soft-tipped darts, which are sold separately.
- Removable number ring
- Thin spider
- Includes two sets of darts
- Staple-free bullseye
The latest model by Viper Shot is turning heads, thanks to its tournament-style design complete with a staple-free bull, two sets of steel tip darts, an ultra-thin spider, and an overall design that promotes fewer bounce outs. This set is a great choice for players of all skill levels, especially those who are looking for that classic tournament setup. The board itself comes with everything you’ll need to get started, can be used with both steel and soft-tipped darts, and is a great buy for the family who loves to throw together.
Hey Play Bristle Dartboard
This durable board can fit inside most styles of dartboard cabinets and it’s made out of top of the line bristle fibers, which makes it more durable than competing wound paper and cork boards. The board features the popular staple-free bull design that helps to minimize the chances of bounce out, as will the ultra-thin spider that helps to reduce dart deflection. The playing surface comes in at eighteen inches and includes an easy to read number ring that features the twenty target sections.
- Ultra-thin spider
- Staple-free bullseye
- Board designed to minimize bounce out
- Segment is not movable
- Does not come with darts
This tournament size board features a design that minimizes bounce out, which will be a huge plus for players of all skill levels, especially beginners. Unfortunately, this board does not come with darts, which must be purchased separately. The board’s easy to read number ring, self-healing surface, and durable build will ensure this board lasts for years, with proper care and maintenance.
Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard
This board is endorsed by the British Darts Organization. It features an increased scoring area that comes equipped with a spider that’s said to be fourteen percent thinner compared to competing models. The board is designed with reduced bounce-outs in mind, thanks to the thirty-degree reduction in wire angle. The wheel lock and level system makes installation a cinch and will secure the board to any type of flat surface. For a more durable design, the manufacturer has used carbon diffusion technology in the bull ring.
- Spider is fourteen percent thinner compared to competing models
- Board design reduces bounce-outs
- Carbon diffusion technology for improved durability
- Endorsed by the British Darts Organization
- Does not come with darts
The board’s new wiring system makes this model pro-quality all the way. The radial wires are ten percent thinner, with the dynamic sector wires coming in at twenty percent thinner, providing better than average scoring potential. The optimized wire angle reduces the blades by thirty degrees, which increases dart deflection in the board’s scoring bed. The use of twenty-five ring carbon diffusion technology provides an ultra-hard playing surface for improved durability and performance. Basically, this board is a must-have for the pros and will make a great board for the beginner to learn on.
Unicorn Eclipse Pro Bristle Dartboard
This beginner-friendly board is built tough, offers a design that helps you land your shots, and works to minimize bounce out, an issue that can occur due to a spider that’s too thick. The larger playing surface will also improve your chances of scoring big. This tournament-style bristle board features a high technology wiring design, with a construction that’s completely staple-free. The increased target area improves shooting accuracy and scoring, especially in the treble and double areas. The spider has an ultra-slim design that helps to minimize bounce out. Steel tipped darts must be purchased separately.
- Ultra-slim spider design
- Larger playing surface
- Increased target area
- Regulation size
- Does not include darts
This board is durable, features a design that helps to improve your chances of landing a shot, and offers a regulation-sized playing surface that will allow you to practice your shots for an upcoming tournament, play a variety of dart games, and provides the perfect setup for the beginner who’s just learning the ropes. I’d recommend this board for both the newbie and seasoned player in need of a durable board that can withstand heavy-duty use.
IgnatGames Professional Dartboard Set
The board’s design will reduce bounce out, allowing for a higher score. This is due to the board’s staple-free design that increases the board’s scoring area by as much as fifteen percent. The board is made out of high-quality Kenyan sisal, for improved density, dart penetration, and durability. The board also has a numbers ring that’s movable, which will allow you to move the ring around in order to ensure the board’s surface wears evenly. An unevenly worn board can have a negative impact on your playing experience and can increase the chances of bounce out. This design will also extend the life of your board.
- Movable ring
- Made out of Kenyan sisal
- Comes with six steel tip darts
- Can be difficult to install
The board comes with a total of six steel tip darts that feature aluminum shafts that are designed to improve the dart’s flight. The board itself is made out of high-quality materials, features a denser playing surface that improves dart penetration, and comes with a movable number ring that will allow you to adjust it to promote even wear and a longer lifespan.
Viper Dead-On Tournament Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard
This model boasts a design that’s staple-free. This type of design works to increase the target surface space, which helps to reduce the chances of shot deflection. This model is made out of high-density fibers that are self-healing and will close back up once you remove the dart from the playing surface. The low-glare number ring is moveable so the playing surface will wear evenly. This helps to extend the life of your board. The board is also compatible with both steel tip and soft-tipped darts.
- Removable ring
- Thin spider
- Staple-free design
- Some players have complained of a high bullseye bounce out
This versatile board is designed to last. The removable ring will ensure even wear on the playing surface, for a board that’s durable, beginner-friendly, and one that can last for several years. The unique spider design will provide a larger playing surface while minimizing the chances of bounce out. This is a huge selling point for players of all skill levels since this is a common problem many players come across with low-quality boards.
Bristle Dartboard Buyer’s Guide
There are many different types of dartboards to choose from, including paper and electronic. But if you want a solid board you can use to practice dart drills, then you’ll need to go with a traditional bristle dartboard, which is the most common type of board and one that’s used in competitions. As the popularity of the game continues to grow, so do the number of boards that are produced each year. Many dart enthusiasts will purchase their own board, once they realize how affordable this type of setup is. Others may simply be tired of waiting in line at their local bar to throw a few rounds. Whatever the reason, you can afford a pro-quality setup for your home, even if you don’t have much space to work with.
When you’re shopping for a new dartboard, pay attention to the following features including:
- Movable number ring
- Low bounce out rating
A bristle dartboard, also referred to as a cork or boar bristle board is the most popular option. With this type of board, you’ll use steel tip darts, however, some players will choose to play with soft-tipped darts.
Bristle refers to the type of fiber that’s cultivated from the sisal plant, and it’s what many pro-quality boards are made out of. The surface of these boards consists of many tiny fibers that have been bound together. This is a self-healing board, which means the fibers will close back together once you pull out a dart, adding to the longevity of the board.
Below, I’ll go over many of the must-have features to look for in a high-quality bristle dartboard, and how using this style of board can take your throwing game to a pro level.
Moveable Number Ring
Over time, some segments of the board will begin to show signs of wear, which is why most of these boards will come with a moveable number ring. The moveable ring allows for even wear on the board’s surface because you can rotate the number ring once in a while, to promote even wear. This will help to keep your board looking great, for longer.
When a dart’s thrown it can hit a wire or another type of hard surface on the board and will bounce right off the surface. This dart is still counted as one of your throws, however, you won’t earn any points. This issue is enough to drive some dart players crazy, and it can be a common problem if you have a board that’s prone to bounce out. Because of this, it’s important that you look for a board that has a good rating and is designed to prevent bounce out from occurring.
The board’s wiring is what will separate the point segments. This wiring is commonly referred to as the spider. While it may not seem significant, the quality of this wiring will have a major impact on your board’s playability.
Low-priced models will come with a rounded or tubular wire that separates each of the board’s segments, while a high priced board will feature angled wires or the wires may be embedded into the bristle, or they’ll be extremely thin. The point of the embedded or angled wiring is to prevent the darts from bouncing off the surface of the board, which can commonly occur if the dart hits the spider.
Many boards will come with a set of darts. Steel tip darts are usually the dart of choice for bristle boards. The quality of the darts can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The dart features four components: flight, shaft, barrel, and tip. The tip is the most important part and it’s the one that will pierce the surface of the board. The barrel of the dart is where you grip it while throwing, while the shaft and flight help to aid in how it travels from your hand to the board. Some models of soft-tipped darts will feature an all in one piece design for the flight, shaft, and barrel.
Darts are also available in different weights. Some models can range from ten up to twenty grams for soft-tipped, while steel darts will feature a weight ranging from fifteen up to twenty-eight grams. Make sure you take this into account if you want to order more darts for your board. The difference of a couple of grams can have a big impact on your performance.
The big drawback of the steel tip darts is the fact that they’re considered more damaging and dangerous than soft tips and can cause damage to your walls and any objects or surfaces that surround the board.
If you want the exact same type of playing experience you’re used to when you’re at your local bar or rec center, then you’ll want to go with a traditional sized board.
According to dart rules, a regulation-sized board measures in at eighteen inches. You can find boards with a playing surface that comes in at eighteen inches, but you’ll more commonly find models with a playing surface that measures in at sixteen inches. These boards are fine for home use, but if you’re training for an upcoming competition, I recommend purchasing a full-sized board.
The bigger the playing surface, the higher the price tag. You’ll come across many different boards available in a variety of price brackets. The board you choose should not only work for your budget, but it should also work for your playing goals. Entry-level boards tend to be smaller and may have larger spiders that can cause bounce out. Higher-priced models will come with better quality darts, a larger playing surface, and a thinner spider. You can expect to pay twenty dollars up to two hundred, for a pro-quality setup.
The best bristle dartboard will provide that type of pro-quality setup that all dart enthusiasts are looking for. These boards are durable, built tough, and come loaded with all the right features that are designed to prevent bounce out and ensure you enjoy a challenging round of darts with your family and friends. Each of the boards that I’ve included here is designed for players of all skill levels. Additionally, I’ve included boards that are available in a variety of price brackets, so you’ll be sure to find a model that will work with your budget and your playing needs.