Most of you that have been playing darts for years know have grown accustomed to the weight, style, and overall grip of a dart. You know what fits you and what makes you feel comfortable during the game.
However, many players start playing the game without learning the ropes and the mechanics behind it, while solely relying on intuition and comfort. In this case, we'll talk about the anatomy of darts and how they all differ from each other.
Stay tuned and prepared for an extensive list of the crucial dart parts. The information may surprise you and help you improve your win rate.
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A Bit About The Manufacturers
Before we dig into the main topic of this article, you should know that the size, construction, and the overall quality of the darts is not always the same, especially when it comes to the individual parts.
Manufacturers often experiment and put forward innovations that change the overall outlook of expectancy and create brand-new customer favorite sets. Here are some of the manufacturers that you should pay attention to.
If you've ever played darts or been around someone who has, you have undoubtedly heard this name. They've been a well-established name in the industry for a long time now and continue to dominate tournaments and individual sponsorships.
They produce both boards and darts with utmost efficiency and high-tech innovations that professional players cherish each day.
Speaking of quality darts, you have got to try the Harrows collection. They regularly dish out quality dart sets with different additions, including soft and steel tip darts and various versions of dartboards to accompany them.
You'll also recognize this manufacturer's darts by their sleek and thin design that features a variety of colors and styles. It's an eye candy that you'll appreciate.
If you're looking for the old-reliable, this is the manufacturer for you. This company has been around on the market since 1976 and still dominates it. Some professionals claim that this is the best company that you can rely on always to fulfill your expectations.
You can choose among the abundance of sets, styles, and variations of darts, some of which have rooted themselves as the standard in the world of darts. If you watch a tournament or two, you'll undoubtedly notice this manufacturer.
No matter what board you're using and what brand your equipment is, your darts will usually consist of four parts: tip, barrel, shaft, and flight. Even though some of these parts don't seem quite vital individually, when you combine them, you get a perfect combination for a well-designed dart.
Let's dig in!
1. Point (The Tip)
As you can deduce from the title, this is the top part of every dart that sticks into the dartboard. Depending on the type of board, the tips will usually be made from plastic or metal. The most common and durable tips are made of metal, and they are used on bristle dartboards, but you can also use plastic ones, although it's not recommended due to the build.
However, you're not supposed to use steel tips on soft-tip dartboards to cause permanent damage. Next to this, you should also know that some darts have removable points, while others are fixed. This is quite handy with plastic darts and soft-tip boards because the impact force can break or deform the tip, so you can always remove it and replace it with a spare.
Similar to this, tips can also be moveable or fixed. The manufacturers have constructed darts in this manner due to the impact force that makes it possible for darts to bounce off the board. Usually, electronic boards will feature darts with moveable tips that retract upon impact and allow further movement.
Some will probably claim that this is the crucial part of a dart, and in many cases, they won't be wrong. The barrel is the most substantial factor in the weight, length, and the overall balance of a dart. Due to the different sizes and textures, darts can be divided according to the barrel material - wooden, plastic, brass, tungsten-steel, or brass, and tungsten.
Because of the high demand for high-quality darts, wooden and plastic barrels are now considered obsolete in contrast to metal ones. Brass barrels are usually durable and not that expensive, but they are susceptible to corrosion in time, so if you're looking for more durable darts, your best option is the tungsten-steel.
It is the priciest, no doubt, but tungsten-steel is preferred due to its chemical composition. It's used in heavy-metal alloys, the number one component for cutting steels. It has fantastic resilience when it comes to corrosion, and the size-weight ratio is perfect for dart players.
You should also know that tungsten barrels are not made from 100% tungsten, but they usually range between 80-90%. The formula is straightforward - the higher the percentage of tungsten, the thinner the barrel can be. This is vital for all players since the best results come from darts that are thin and yet heavy.
If tungsten-steel barrels are too expensive for you, a lot of players opt-out for nickel-silver barrels. It is a stable alloy that is more potent and durable than brass, but it's more affordable than tungsten. If you're looking for a medium-price dartboard set, this is the one you'll get.
3. Shaft (The Stem)
When it comes to length, the shaft is the most crucial part of a dart. Depending on the texture and material, the dart's length will affect your performance in combination with your grip. In layman terms, this means that shorter shafts are a perfect choice if your dart is heavy and tends to "fish-tail" and longer shafts are preferred to reduce crowding and increase the stability in flight for lighter darts.
Based on this, we can divide darts according to shafts into ones with short and extra-short shafts, medium shafts, and longer shafts.
Medium-sized shafts are the most common pick for all players as they are neither too short nor too long, and successfully minimize crowding effects while also allowing the user to maintain a firm grip even if the dart is heavier.
Still, based on the type of game you're playing and the dartboard itself, you might want to choose a shorter or longer shaft based on the criteria above.
Your choice will also be impacted by the shaft material, which is usually boiled down to plastic, nylon, aluminum, and titanium.
Most players tend to go for the aluminum shafts as they offer the optimal weight and stability, no matter the length.
Also, a good thing to know is that the connection between the shaft and the barrel may loosen up in time, which will cause your flight to become unstable. If this occurs to you, you can use the so-called "rubber o-ring," strengthening their connection and preserving the dart.
Finally, the last dart part that should be of interest to you is the flight. It's located at the back of a dart and serves to cut the airflow and stabilize your flight. Based on this, they can be divided into smaller, larger, and specialized flights.
The formula is dull - darts with thin barrels and lighter weights will usually go with smaller flights and vice versa. Moreover, this is not always the case, as some players tend to go off the grid and mix them in a unique way that fits them.
In essence, smaller flights have less drag to them and enable the dart to pierce through the air faster. Still, they will not be preferred if you need more variations in the angle of your throw. In contrast, larger flights are preferred in this case, yet their flight will be slower and will demand less force in the throw.
Usually, beginners often start with darts with larger flights as they are easier to throw and don't demand much skill, then they move on to smaller flights in time.
We've also mentioned custom-made flights that come in different forms and sizes. They are constructed in a personalized manner and have no real rules regarding the trajectory of the flight, as they are only known to the user.
Conclusion - Final Thoughts
As you can observe for yourself, there are various aspects to understanding the game of darts than just exercising and playing every day. To master it, you'll need an extensive understanding of the dynamics behind each set, dart parts, and, sometimes, its science.
Have these things in mind the next time you're playing darts, and try to recognize these elements to improve your game and find the right darts for you.