The Best Bristle Dartboards in 2022: Product Reviews and Buyer’s Guide!

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darts

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 playing on some of the best bristle dartboards to feel what it’s like to be a professional darts player!

Finding the right model for home use can be a challenge since there are a handful of manufacturers that each offer tons of models to choose from. And to top that off, each model is only slightly different than the others, both in terms of visuals and in terms of performance. Still, 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 a few factors you’ll need to consider before you hit that buy button.

This buyer’s guide will discuss all the essential features to look for, how to determine whether or not a board offers what you’re looking for, and which models are currently crushing the competition in 2022. Below, you’ll find a brief comparison chart that includes 10 of my favorite models for this year, their most important features, and how they rated.

Bristle Dartboard Comparison Chart

ProductDiameterDarts
Included
Movable
Ring
Rating
Winmau Blade 5
Buy On Amazon!
18-inchesNoYes
Viper Shot King
Buy On Amazon!
18-inchesYesYes
Winmau Diamond Plus
Buy On Amazon!
18-inchesNoYes
Unicorn Eclipse Pro
Buy On Amazon!
18-inchesNoYes
Viper Razorback
Buy On Amazon!
18-inchesNoYes
IgnatGames Dartboard
Buy On Amazon!
18-inchesYesYes
Viper Dead-On
Buy On Amazon!
18-inchesNoYes
DMI Bandit
Buy On Amazon!
18-inchesNoYes
Hey Play Dartboard
Buy On Amazon!
18-inchesNoYes
Rally and Roar Dartboard
Buy On Amazon!
18-inchesNoYes

Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard


Our Rating: (5/5)

The Winmau Blade 5 is one of the most well-rounded and impressive dartboards on the market. The Blade line of products has always been a top-seller and there are a ton of very good reasons for that. For starters, it won’t break your bank, even though it is on the slightly more expensive side of the spectrum. However, it has a world-class spider, barely accounts for any bounce-outs, and has a professional-grade bristle quality to it.

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 make 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 which is typical for the Winmau dartboards.

There aren’t any size or color options with these particular dartboards. Nor will you be getting any extra accessories with it. Another downside that I find particularly irritating is that the Blade 5 is being sold alongside the Blade 6. Granted, there are people that swear by it and are of the opinion that this is all the dartboard that they will ever need. Still, the 6 improves in a lot of tiny areas the 5 could’ve been lacking according to some professional players.

Pros

  • Thin spider
  • Tournament-sized
  • The design reduces bounce-outs
  • Carbon diffusion technology for improved durability
  • Endorsed by the British Darts Organization
  • Wheel lock-and-level system
  • Very durable
  • Good for both beginners and professionals

Cons

  • Does not come with darts
  • Its a bit on the expensive side

Conclusion

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. Additionally, the optimized wire angle reduces the blades’ surface 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. All in all, this board is a must-have for both beginners and professionals and will make a fine addition to any game room!

Viper Shot King Regulation Bristle Dartboard


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The Viper Shot King is another incredibly popular dartboard made by one of the best brands in the industry. The Shot King has been around for some time and it has already established itself as the go-to model if you’re looking for an all-in-one bristle dartboard solution. It comes with all the accessories you will need to start practicing darts or have fun with your friends at home. Another absolutely massive advantage of this particular dartboard is its price. Unlike other tournament-grade dartboards, this one barely costs half what some Winmau or IgnatGames models cost!

The Shot King is made out of sisal fibers that have been compressed, providing an impressively durable board that comes with a staple-free bull. This particular design will prevent bounce-outs, especially since the steel spider is quite thin too. The movable number ring, which is designed to further extend the life of your board, is easy to use and can be rotated in just a matter of seconds. That will help you swap out different zones you’ve been previously targetting and worn out.

This is a tournament-sized board that measures 18 inches in diameter. In terms of accessories, this model comes with two sets of darts, for a total of six steel tip darts. A great feature here is that this model can also accommodate soft-tipped darts, which are sold separately. In addition to all that, you get a mounting hardware set, a throw line, and a throw line measuring tape that will help you quickly set up the game.

Pros

  • Excellent price for what you get
  • Tournament-sized
  • Comes with a throw line and measure tape
  • Rotating number ring
  • Very thin spider
  • Includes two sets of darts
  • Staple-free bullseye

Cons

  • Isn’t as durable as some Winmau dartboards
  • Self-healing isn’t as good

Conclusion

The Shot King model by Viper 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 at a budget price. 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 darts together!

Winmau Diamond Plus Tournament Bristle Dartboard


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

Coming up third on my top 10 list is the Winmau Diamond Plus bristle dartboard. It is a slightly cheaper model from the brand, especially when compared to the flagship Blade models. Still, there are plenty of features that trickle-down from the more expensive models that make the Diamond Plus one of the best all-rounders for the price. In fact, the price point at which this model sits is scarcely occupied by other models from reputable brands, making it a bit difficult to really compare models, especially since this can both compete with cheaper and more expensive bristle dartboards.

Construction-wise, the Diamond uses the patented self-healing sisal fibers that Winmau uses in most of their high-end options. They are good for quite some time and can be used for years without needing a change. If you happen to wear out a specific one that you’ve been targetting, you can use the rotating number ring which will swap positions and let you use the board for longer. In terms of bounce-outs, you have a staple-free bull which is now becoming common in the industry. Moreover, you also get Winmau’s thin spider all over the board which further reduces potential bounce-outs.

The board measures 18 inches across making it tournament-sized. It is also 1.5 inches in depth, allowing it to easily be put in some shallow dartboard cabinets. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of accessories you get with it. In fact, you only get the needed installation hardware which comes as standard with almost all other models in this price class. Since this particular model is a bit more expensive than most mid-tier dartboards, I would’ve loved seeing a set of steel-tipped darts or a throw line.

Pros

  • Tournament-sized
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Rotating numbers ring
  • Staple-free bullseye
  • Good contrasting colors
  • Thin spider

Cons

  • Doesn’t include accessories
  • The long-term build quality isn’t as good as the Blade 5
  • A bit more expensive than other similar dartboards

Conclusion

The Winmau Diamond Plus tournament bristle dartboard is a jack of all trades. However, it really holds true to the saying and is also a “master of none”. It does everything alright but won’t wow you in any specific aspect. Yes, it has thin spiders and rotating number rings but all other models for that type of money have these features too. All in all, it is a great purchase if you’re looking for a safe bet from a reputable brand that won’t break your bank.

Unicorn Eclipse Pro Bristle Dartboard


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

Rounding off the trio of great darts companies, Unicorn is a brand that cannot be forgotten when we’re listing the best in the business. Their Eclipse Pro bristle dartboard is a regulation-sized model that is excellent at nearly everything it does and costs less than the premium competition out there. One of its main features is that it is super thin, allowing for it to easily fit in most dartboard cabinets without causing too many issues.

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 tournament-style bristle board features a patented technology wiring design, with a construction that’s completely staple-free. This specific spider design cannot really be found in a ton of other models, making it quite unique. The increased target area improves shooting accuracy and scoring, especially in the treble and double areas.

In terms of accessories, you only get the necessary hardware to mount this board to your wall or cabinet. Unlike some other models at this price point or cheaper, you aren’t getting darts, throw lines, or other items for free which is a shame. If you’re looking for something even better from the brand, Unicorn offers the Eclipse HD2 which is far more expensive but is a better overall dartboard in almost all aspects.

Pros

  • Ultra-slim spider design
  • Larger playing surface
  • Increased target area
  • Regulation size
  • Decently priced
  • Great for all types of players
  • Staple-free spider
  • Thin design

Cons

  • Does not include darts
  • Weights a lot
  • Can wear out somewhat fast if used for daily practice

Conclusion

The Unicorn Eclipse Pro dartboard 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!

Viper Razorback Official Competition Bristle Dartboard


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The Viper Razorback is another member of the Viper family which is constantly growing and improving its models. While the Shot King is, without a doubt, their best-seller, the Razorback, Chroma, and Aim 360 are part of the “elite” flagship models from the brand. The one way you can distinguish the better models is in the quality of their sisal fibers. The Razorback uses a Grade 5 sisal while the Shot King and League Pro use Grade 3 sisal fibers. That is one of the main disadvantages of the Shot King and this model right here fixes exactly that.

However, it isn’t all great, since the company missed the chance for creating the most well-rounded board out there. What I want to say is that while the sisal is better, they removed the included steel-tipped darts from the accessories bundle. So, tit for tat in that regard, giving the Razorback a few disadvantages of its own. Whether it was done intentionally in order to not compete with the rest of the Viper boards or not I cannot tell but it sure looks like a missed opportunity. Nevertheless, the Razorback has the same staple-free spider and bull which make for bigger target areas and fewer bounce-outs during games.

Like all other models in its price class, this board also has a rotating numbers ring. And in a typical Viper fashion, there are adjustment knobs on the back of the board that help you level it perfectly even if your walls aren’t super straight. In terms of design, it does bring the traditional tournament look to the table, although the brand also offers more interesting models like the Chroma which comes in neon green, black, and electric blue!

Pros

  • Good value for its money
  • Great for all sorts of players
  • Tournament-grade
  • Excellent sisal quality
  • Thin spider
  • Rotating numbers ring
  • Comes with throw line

Cons

  • Doesn’t include steel-tipped darts like other Viper models
  • The board tends to dry up if not held in good conditions

Conclusion

Thanks to its thin spider, high-grade sisal fibers, and tournament-sized dimensions, the Viper Razorback is all the dartboard you will ever need. Granted, it won’t give you the 6 steel-tipped darts you get with other Viper models, but it still is more than good enough to satisfy the needs of both beginners and pros. If you don’t want to spend the extra money for a Winmau or a Unicorn dartboard, this one can be a great alternative!

IgnatGames Assasin Elite Pro Dartboard Set


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

IgnatGames is one of the best darts brands out there for a ton of very good reasons. For starters, they have one of the best track records when it comes to long-term durability. Buying a board from that particular brand ensures that you will have a professional-grade model to practice on for years to come. Moreover, their spiders and build quality are second to none. However, all that comes at a price, literally. They produce some of the most expensive dartboards on the market which are specifically geared towards professionals or people that aren’t on a tight budget.

The Assasin Elite Pro’s design is focused on reducing 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. It also has a numbers ring that’s movable, which will allow you to rotate 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-outs. This particular design will also extend the life of your board, making it good for people that don’t want to swap boards every year or so.

In terms of accessories, there is plenty to talk about here. Not only you’re getting two separate sets of steel-tipped darts colored red and blue accordingly but you also get leather cases for them and a measuring tape. On top of that, the leather is actually vegan which is nice. Dimensions-wise, the dartboard measures 17.75 by 1.5 inches, making it regulation-sized and compliant with WDF tournament specifications.

Pros

  • Professional-grade quality and performance
  • Movable ring
  • Extremely durable
  • Made out of Kenyan sisal
  • Thin spider
  • Comes with six steel tip darts
  • Vegan leather darts wallets
  • Dart oche tape included

Cons

  • Can be difficult to install
  • Very expensive compared to other dartboards

Conclusion

The Ignat Games Assasin Elite Pro is one of the models that are just too good at everything. It has a superb track record for its longevity, its build quality is outstanding, the spider is super thin, and the sisal fibers self-heal quite well. All that is packaged into a tournament-grade option that will set you back quite a lot but in my opinion, every penny here is worth it, no matter if you’re just now starting with darts or are a professional player.

Viper Dead-On Tournament Bristle Dartboard


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

Making it the third Viper product on this list, the Viper Dead-on is one of the cheapest products from the brand. It is also one of the cheapest tournament-grade (and size) dartboards on this list, making it a perfect addition for anyone looking for a stepping stone into the darts world. While the Dead-on is really cheap, it tries not to compromise on too many of its features. It also does a good job at bringing some of Viper’s premium features down from the more expensive boards. For instance, it uses the same professional coloring and compression ring systems from the more expensive models like the League Pro.

Build-quality-wise, it uses slightly lower grade sisal fibers. These will self-heal alright but don’t have the same longevity as the Grade 4 and 5 ones. That means that despite the rotating numbers ring, you will have to swap the board for another one in a few years. One interesting feature of the numbers ring is that it is glare-free. That is something we see more and more often these days, as players have started complaining that it is distracting, especially when you have your light source above the board or inside the dartboard cabinet.

For the spider, the board uses galvanized triangular sector wires. These are great but not as good as the radial ones on the Pro models. Still, there aren’t a ton of bounce-outs happening here, even though the bull can be a little narrower than some more expensive options on the market.

Pros

  • Very versatile
  • Great price for what you get
  • Removable ring
  • Thin spider
  • Staple-free design
  • Ideal for beginners

Cons

  • High bullseye bounce-outs
  • Long-term quality is questionable
  • No included accessories

Conclusion

One thing I absolutely love about this particular dartboard is that it is steel and soft darts compatible, making it good for beginners. That is also great since it doesn’t come with darts of its own, so you can make an easier choice for your new set. In terms of accessories, you get the standard Viper throw line, measuring tape, and mounting hardware.

The Viper Dead-on is versatile and easy to use by all types of players. 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-outs. That itself 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. All in all, if you’re on a tight budget and still want something from a well-known brand, put this on your shortlist!

DMI Bandit Staple-Free Bristle Dartboard


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The DMI Bandit Bristle Dartboard has been flying under my radar for quite some time now. Still, it is superb in almost anything it brings to the table and I couldn’t have made this list without including it. One of the standout features of this model is that it has a solid construction. Moreover, it features premium fibers and a staple-free razor-thin spider all around! While it does cost a bit extra, I think it might be well worth getting it since it will be the perfect training tool for years to come!

One of the best features of the Bandit is its construction. The level of quality here isn’t recognized by enough players out there since the spotlight is mostly falling on the main brands like IgnatGames, Viper, and Winmau. Still, the premium self-healing African conditioned sisal fibers here are as good as you can expect from a top-shelf dartboard. They can absorb countless impacts and will last for a good few years before making you think of changing the board. Additionally, there is a rotating numbers ring here which will further help with keeping the board fresh.

Apart from the sisal fibers, the spider is another good feature. The staple-free design eliminates most of the bounce-outs but what really reduces them here is the fact that the wire is super thin. Traditionally, wires are around 1.6mm thin while the DMI Bandit’s blade is around .6mm in diameter which makes it one of the thinnest spiders in the industry. It is also pointed and not rounded, further eliminating the chance of bounce-outs here. With that in mind, this one truly is a perfect model for beginners since it won’t punish them as hard when they miss their target.

Pros

  • Excellent for beginners
  • Ultra thin spider
  • Staple-free design
  • Premium sisal fibers
  • Very little bounce-outs
  • Meets WDF specfications

Cons

  • A bit expensive
  • Somewhat difficult to install

Conclusion

While I’ve been praising a lot of models on this list, the DMI Bandit shouldn’t be left behind in that regard. It does everything its main competitors are doing, and some things it does even better. While it does cost a bit more than some models in its class, it has a premium construction, simple design, and a world-class spider. All that makes it the go-to model for both beginners and professionals, assuming they are willing to spend the extra money!

Hey Play Bristle Dartboard


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The Hey Play bristle dartboard is a simple model with a traditional approach to things and a very conservative price tag. It is ideal for beginners looking for a place to start their darts practicing. There are a few notable features like the staple-free bullseye but at the same time, there are certain things that we aren’t used to seeing in the more expensive models.

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. However, the spider isn’t completely staple-free which isn’t ideal. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that even despite it being fairly thin it still is thicker than most mid and high-tier models out there.

The playing surface comes in at eighteen inches and includes an easy to read number ring that features the twenty target sections. That same numbers ring can be rotated to keep the surface of your dartboard fresh when you’re been targeting a few specific locations on the board. Something I don’t like about this board is that it could’ve redeemed some of its shortcomings by including additional accessories like some models from Viper. However, it did not. There are no steel-tipped darts, throw lines or other items that you get extra here.

Pros

  • Tournament-sized
  • Very cheap for what it offers
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Staple-free bullseye
  • Rotating numbers ring
  • Fairly good sisal quality

Cons

  • The spider isn’t as thin as some of its competitors
  • The wires are round which isn’t great
  • Does not come with darts
  • Causes quite a few bounce outs

Conclusion

Comparing this model to some of the more expensive Vipers, Winmaus, and Ignats of the world isn’t particularly fair. The reason for that is because it isn’t as expensive as all those other dartboards. It is meant to be a budget alternative to them and it does that great. And while it tries to hang with the big boys, I feel like it is more than adequate on its own and shouldn’t be treated as competition for the mid and high-tier dartboards out there. If you’re on a tighter budget and just want a dartboard to have fun or practice on, you should at least consider this one!

Rally and Roar Dartboard Game


Our Rating: (4/5)

Last and maybe least on our list is the Rally and Roar Dartboard Game. Rally and Roar as a company are now well known for their wide choice of sports and hobby products. And while you might think that they won’t be able to produce a good dartboard, you’d actually be surprised. This particular model here is more than decent and it tries to do everything a good and solid dartboard should. However, due to the extremely high price, it simply isn’t a viable alternative to any of the premium brands out there.

If you just look at this dartboard on paper, it does sound like it can take on some of IgnatGames’ models. However, the moment you test it out, you see where the slight price difference comes from. The sisal fibers don’t heal as well, even though they aren’t too bad either. The stable free bullseye and spider are thin but not quite as thin and well-made as the ones on the Winmau Blade 5 and 6. This theme continues on and on where everything is made with the right intentions but it just isn’t enough for the Rally and Roar board to be truly competitive, at least not on that price.

Still, the dartboard itself is regulation-sized and approved for competition by the WDF. However, it doesn’t come with any accessories, making it even harder to justify its price tag. Perhaps if there was a 20-40% sale on these boards, they would be a great deal but then again that’s never a good point to make in favor of a product.

Pros

  • Decent quality
  • Great for beginners
  • Thin spider
  • Staple-free design
  • Regulation-sized

Cons

  • It is priced too high
  • The long-term quality isn’t stellar
  • The sisal fibers aren’t premium

Conclusion

Perhaps if there is something I can end on is that the Rally and Roar dartboard is just very good at being good enough. If it wasn’t for the high price, I would’ve sung this board’s praises but costing as much as it does makes it very hard to recommend even for a beginner simply because that same beginner could get a Winmau 5 for that price and have a much more reliable and premium experience.

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
  • Wiring
  • Darts
  • Size
  • Price

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.

Movable rings are going to bump up the price a little bit but they are worth every penny. On a good bristle dartboard with a movable ring, you will be able to keep playing for quite a lot more time without destroying certain zones while others still look brand new. This is especially true if you’re practicing for tournaments or training your accuracy.

Bounce Outs

darts in board

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 for it. 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 darts bounce outs from occurring as good as possible.

Typically, the cheaper the dartboard, the more bounce outs it will produce. The reason for that is that the wiring (or the so-called “Spider”) of the dartboard isn’t thin enough. Additionally, some spiders have a beveled edge that further prevents darts from bouncing out when they hit the line between two zones. In fact, good spiders are one of the main reasons better dartboards are more expensive and is the prime reason to spend a little extra and get the best possible experience out of your board!

Wiring

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.

Darts

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.

Sizes

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 Price

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.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Bristle Dartboards

dartboard target

Bristle dartboards have been around for quite some time. For that reason, they have cemented their name as the go-to dartboard. With the rise of technology and better material science, new dartboard types also became quite famous. In order to help you decide which one would fit your needs the best, I wanted to lay out some of the most important pros and cons of bristle models. Here are they:

Pros

  • Bristle dartboards are one of the most long-lasting boards out there
  • They can self-heal and close the holes made by the steel-tip darts
  • They have a wide range of prices from cheap to very expensive
  • These dartboards can typically be set up anywhere you want
  • Bristle dartboards don’t require electricity or any special maintenance needs
  • The steel-tipped darts used with them have a much longer life than plastic darts
  • Most tournaments use bristle dartboards
  • You can train your accuracy better on such a dartboard, contrary to electronic ones

Cons

  • Bristle dartboards with steel-tipped darts have a steeper learning curve for beginners
  • Good models tend to cost quite a lot more than most other dartboards out there
  • The steel-tip darts used here can damage your walls if you aren’t careful
  • Most bristle dartboards require you to buy a dartboard cabinet or backboard for your wall
  • If you don’t have a rotating numbers ring, you will most likely destroy only certain zones of the board

As I mentioned, bristle dartboards typically require less maintenance than other types. However, if you still want to learn a few tricks to keep your board fresh and new, make sure you check out my detailed article on that topic! Now, let’s answer some of the questions that people often have in regards to these dartboards…

Frequently Asked Questions

Are bristle dartboards any good?

Yes, in fact, bristle dartboards deliver the full experience of this sport. Some of the original dartboards a long time ago were made out of cork and these new models mimic the feeling of those old-school cork dartboards pretty well. Another useful feature of this material is the ability to self-heal, which is great when it comes to long-lasting durability of the dartboard.

How long will a bristle dartboard last?

Typically, if you play casually on your bristle dartboard, you should expect it to exceed 5 years. However, if you train professionally or start playing on a regular basis, these boards tend to last around a year. Of course, as with everything else, the higher the price, the better the dartboard will be and the more hits it will be able to endure.

What type of dartboard do professionals use?

Pro dart players use bristle dartboards. However, there are countless tournaments out there which are played on electronic dartboards which are generally more fun but far less accurate when it comes to scoring or hitting different zone combinations. Electronic models also have more bounce outs in general.

Final Thoughts

The best bristle dartboards 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.