Before you start ordering any darts or darts equipment you’ll need to decide if you’re going to play with steel tip or soft tip darts. Whichever you choose will influence the type of dart board and darts that you need to buy, but if you’re new to darts and don’t know which would suit you best, here is some useful information which might help you decide.
Difference between soft tip and steel tip darts
Steel tip darts are designed to be used on a traditional bristle dart board, whereas soft tip darts are primarily used on plastic or electronic dart boards. The plastic dart boards have pre-moulded holes to hold the soft tip darts.
Steel tip darts have been used since the dawn of the sport, whereas soft tip darts only came around in the 1970s in America.
Which are the most popular?
Here in the UK, you will most likely find steel tip darts being used, particularly in pubs. This is not the case around the world however, as soft tip darts are quite popular in the USA and Asia, where you will find soft tip boards with electronic scoring are all the rage.
Whilst many traditional players will never think of playing on anything other than a bristle dart board, the safety advantages of soft tips and the fact that scoring can be digitalised, make it a growing interest.
Advantages of steel tip darts
If you are thinking of playing with steel tip darts here are some of the main advantages:
- Steel tip darts tend to be heavier than soft tip darts and this can help give you a more accurate throw.
- Steel tips darts can be more durable than soft tip darts and less likely to break, snap or bend.
- You probably won’t have to replace your darts as often if you opt for steel tips and you’ll get less bounce outs due to the nature of the steel tip and bristle board combination.
Advantages of soft tip darts
If you are thinking of playing with soft tip darts here are some of the main advantages:
- Playing with soft tip darts is generally much safer as the tips do less damage when they miss the board. This can make them an attractive option in public places such as pubs or for people who want to practice at home, particularly in a home with pets or children.
- Soft tips are great for beginners or those with a less than accurate throw, for example if you want to have friends round to play and you’re worried about stray darts damaging your walls and furniture, opt for soft tip darts and a plastic dartboard.
- Digital dartboards, which are most commonly used for soft tip darts, offer a wealth of advantages, not least the fact that they keep score for you, which is great if your maths is not up to scratch!
Can you switch between the two?
By all means, you can switch between soft and steel tips but it might play havoc with your game. Getting used to a lighter dart and throwing style with a soft tip could mean your aim is completely off when you switch back to the heavier steel tip darts. Plastic boards often have a larger throwing area, so you’ll find it easier to score, but the throw line is 2.75 inches further away from the board.
To help you make the ultimate decision between steel tips and soft tips you really need to ask yourself where you are going to be playing and who with. If you are joining a league you’ll need to stick to whatever set up they allow - probably steel tips and bristle board, but if you’re playing at home with your mates, soft tips and electronic scoring might be just the ticket, particularly after a few beers!
We offer a huge range of darts both steel and soft tip darts from all the major manufacturers and with player endorsed designs. So pick your point and shop today.