Are you trying to pick the best dart board but don’t know where to start?
There are such a variety of different boards, and different types out there. It’s so important to make sure you pick the right board, to ensure you get the most out of your darts experience.
Darts is also a great way to train your kids, an easy game to pick up that increases hand-eye coordination, along with basic motor skills. Of course, you want to pick a board to makes it fun for them. No point buying the best world-class board for kids when you can get an easy to use magnetic board to teach them the basics.
We road tested some of the best dartboards available in the marketplace to find out just how bad I am at darts, and just how amazing some of these boards are.
Research You Can Count On
We’ve done the research to make sure you don’t have to! We’ve talked to some darts professionals and found out which boards will bring you the best dart related joys!
Best Items Table
|Product Name||Image||Best Feature||The "But"||Overall Rating||Details|
|Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard||Endorsed by British Darts Organization||Nothing of note||10||Check price|
|ActionDart Soft Tip Darts and Dart Board Set - Great Games for Kids - Leisure Sport for Office||Easy to play, and has a long life||Chance of bounce outs may deter the more serious darts enthusiasts||9.5||Check price|
|Gran Board 2 Bluetooth Electronic Dartboard||Scores and tracks statistics via the app||Nothing major of note||9.5||Check price|
|Winmau Blade 4 Bristle Dartboard||High-quality Kenyan sisal fibers||Heavier to mount||9||Check price|
|DMI Bandit Staple-free Bristle Dartboard||Official World Cup Dartboard since 1999||Colours aren’t as vibrant as on other bristle boards||9||Check price|
|Nodor Supawires 2 Bristle Dartboard||Endorsed by the American Dart Organization||Heavier to mount||9||Check price|
|Doinkit Darts - Magnetic Dart Board||Great for learning and for kids||Not to be used for the more hardcore darts players||9||Check price|
|TG Champion Tournament Bristle Dartboard (Multicolor, 18 x 1.5-Inch)||No heavy advertising around the rim of the board||Staples on the wiring increase chance of bounce outs||8.5||Check price|
|Soft Darts Board DARTSLIVE-200S||Functional and enjoyable app for scoring||No network or internet play yet available||8.5||Check price|
|Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard||Heckler mode can be hilarious in group play||Odd shape can prove harder to mount||8.5||Check price|
|Viper Razorback Sisal/Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard with Staple-Free Spider||Rim is compressed for durability||Manufacturer advertising on all four sides of the board||8||Check price|
|Better Line Magnetic Dart Set with 16 Inch Dartboard and 6 Darts||Strong magnets help hold the darts to the board||Board’s body dents easily with each throw||8||Check price|
Ready To Start Shopping For A Dart Board?
Despite what you may believe, that dart board in your local bar may be very different to the dart board you see at the local sports store. You may also be making darts harder for yourself by picking that one up.
Don’t worry. We spoke to three professional dart players and a dart board maker to give you the 12 best dart boards money can buy.
Think all dart boards are the same?
Depending on what you’re using the dartboard for, there are several different things to consider. For kids, you may want to shy away from those dangerous and sharp edges on the darts. If you’re playing competitively, or perhaps your friends may be overly competitive themselves, a competition standard dart board may be more your thing.
Types of Dart Boards
Regardless, it’s important to know the different types to ensure you are buying the right board to meet your requirements.
Magnetic Dart Board
Starting at the beginner or junior level, the magnetic dart board is often one you’d find mixed up with a range of other kids’ toys. You may have had one yourself while growing up! These are pretty much classified as toys. The dart board itself is magnetic, and the darts have magnetic tips on them.
In theory, the darts will stick to the board, however, anyone who has played them will know how notorious for they are for not sticking!
Cork Dart Board
Once commonplace in pubs and homes everywhere, the cork dart board has slowly been phased out by more durable types. Cork does wear out quite easily, so if you play often you’ll find yourself replacing them more often.
It’s important to note the term ‘cork dart board’ is often incorrectly tagged. The more durable and common ‘bristle’ dart board shares a similar appearance at times to a cork dart board.
On an American style board, the bullseye is called the cork, sometimes misleading. Make sure to read carefully on the actual type of dart board and its construction.
Wooden Dart Board
One for the antiques collectors or old school players, a wooden dart board is more a homage to a bygone age. Once made of elm or poplar, boards made of wood tended to dry out and crack, requiring them to be soaked overnight to keep them in top condition.
In fact, it’s even believed the ‘clock’ layout of a modern dart board comes from the rings and cracks that developed on older boards. There’s some nice history for you!
Wooden dart boards have continued to find a use even today in American style darts. While not made from one piece of wood, they are usually now made from pieces of tilia.
Coiled Paper Dart Board
Popular with those looking for basic recreational play, or for the kids, the coiled paper dart board is more for those looking for a professional looking board.
This style of board effectively uses layers of paper, which the dart enters when thrown. Ideally, when removing the dart, the paper effectively heals itself.
This type of board can damage easily, and careless removal of the dart can severely damage the paper causing it to not heal itself.
Electronic Dart Board
A much more recent invention, electronic dart boards are finding its way into more households, and bars. There are a few different types of electronic dart boards and it’s important to know which one you’re buying to ensure it meets your requirements.
The first type is the electronic dartboard, with soft-tip darts. Just as it sounds, the darts themselves have a soft tip, allowing for a soft impact against the board. The board is covered in heaps of tiny holes, and on impact, the score is automatically recorded.
It’s important to remember with some of these types of dart boards, they’re sometimes enlarged. However, this can be a positive thing, making it easier to play and thus better for kids or casual players to enjoy the game.
The second type uses steel tip darts. The appearance of this type will be similar to that of a bristle board but will have automatic scoring.
One benefit of electronic dart boards are some models allow connection to the same board type on the same network so you can play against others for league play.
Bristle Dart Board
We’ve probably already mentioned this type a few times, but this is the most common and popular variant of dart board in the marketplace.
This type is made of compressed sisal fibers glued to a backing board, held together with metal edges. When the darts are removed from the board, the fibers will close the hole behind them.
The metal edges also mark out the different scoring sections of the board. There are a variety of types of bristle dart boards with regards to quality, some with a lower density of fibers, some with a different type of fiber altogether. The better density and sisal fibers will last longer than other types.
The 12 Best Dart Boards We Tested
With the glowing exclusive endorsement of the British Darts Organization, the Blade 5 is a high-quality bristle board with the latest in dart board technology and design.
Compared to the Blade 4, the previous iteration of the Winmau Blade (and also reviewed by us below), the Blade 5 has a thinner wiring system. The board is staple free, meaning an increased chance of hitting the scoring areas.
The wiring is angled, meaning less chance of bounce outs and increased deflecting into scoring areas. The wiring has extra strength, meaning better deflection rates. While we’d love to directly test the wiring and note its deflection ability, we simply weren’t that good at darts. Having said that, we did notice many of the shots in testing that did hit the wires tended to deflect well into the scoring areas.
The Blade 5 has a high-quality mounting system, and we found it to be one of the easiest to use. It can be easily set up on surfaces with an angle, due to the triple-wheel lock system. We noticed when mounting on tougher surfaces, we had very little movement of the board.
The fibers are well compressed and very strong. They heal well upon removal of the dart, and the quality of the sisal fibers is very apparent when you look closely at the Blade 5 and Winmau logos on the top and bottom of the board.
The number ring is movable, allowing you to preserve the more trafficked parts of the board, prolonging the already durable board’s lifespan.
- 8 x 17.8 x 1.5 inches
- 7 pounds
- Bristle dart board
- Sisal fibers compressed for easy healing
- Rota Lock Advantage mounting system
- Stronger wiring and better angling for fewer bounce outs
- British Darts Organization Endorsed
Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard
- High-quality bristle board
- Strong, compressed sisal fibers
- Easy to mount
- Strong wiring and better angling for fewer bounce outs
- Endorsed by British Darts Organization
- Nothing of note
While magnetic dart boards are targeted at kids and home play, the ActionDart Soft Tip Darts and Board set is another great alternative for those looking for the step up from magnetic darts action.
Branded as a safety dart set, this kit makes for a great addition for kids or say the office. The board features raised bumps, creating tiny holes for the darts to affix themselves to. The soft tipped darts enter these and sit very well on the board.
The darts aren’t like most soft-tipped darts, as they have thicker tips for safety. It’s easy to install and put it, it comes with a metal support bracket to easily place on a table top. It also comes with a reinforced hole at the top, allowing you to easily hang it on a hook or nail.
The darts also do not make any dents on the walls on impact if used as they should be. The segments are divided by the colors of the bumps and surprisingly make for a very easy to look at the board. The numbers are well marked and easy to see and read.
There is the risk of bounce outs, with plastic dividers, and a weak throw may lower the board’s ability to hold the dart, but all in all this board makes for a great casual board for home, office, or kids room.
- 5 x 16.1 x 1.2 inches
- 8 pounds
- Soft tip dart board
- Safety darts with thick soft tips
- Metal support and nail hole for easy install
- Easy to install
- Soft tips are thick and safe
- Easy to read and use
- Easy to play, and has a long life
- Chance of bounce outs may deter the more serious darts enthusiasts
Scoring while playing darts can be an arduous affair, and cause some arguments over where the dart hit before bouncing out.
Thankfully, the electronic dart board takes out the guesswork and lets you enjoy the joyful art of darts.
This electronic board, from Gran Board, also features app and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing easy score management on a high-quality screen.
The first feature that caught our eye was the Smart TV connectivity. The app is compatible with iOS and Android, and now your TV. This really piled on the pressure as everyone in the room could see the scores. For once testing felt like a proper competitive tournament.
The scoreboards and apps are easy to read and use. Your statistics too are scored and saved on the server, allowing you to track your progression and see if you’ve improved in ability.
The board comes with soft tip darts, and each scoring segment is padded with foam, decreasing the sound that comes with a solid dart throw.
The board runs on two AA batteries and does not come with a main power supply or cable. You may be worried the batteries may deplete mid-game, however, we didn’t find that to be true during our rigorous testing.
The board connects to your device via Bluetooth, and during testing, we didn’t have any dropouts in connection.
But that’s not all we loved about this board…
The board can also be used to connect and play others over the internet, friends, or even random Gran Board players. As long as they have the board and the app, you can play them.
- 8 x 23.5 x 2.6 inches
- 11 pounds
- Scores via app compatible with iOS, Android, and Smart TV
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Online internet play capable
- Soft tip electronic dart board
Gran Board 2 Bluetooth Electronic Dartboard
- Can play online against other players
- Scores and tracks statistics via the app
- Bluetooth connectivity is strong
- Easy to use and play
- Nothing major of note
One for the more competitive, this Winmau dart board is constructed with super dense sisal fibers and is marketed as a professional level dart board.
Featuring the highest-grade bristle fiber type, Kenyan sisal, this dart board is designed to last long and maximize scoring.
Bounce outs can be the most frustrating part of darts, but the wiring along the outskirts of each scoring sector are triangular in shape, increasing the chance of the dart embedding into the target areas.
The first thing we noticed after taking this one out of the packaging was the lack of staples holding the wiring down. The benefits of this mean more board area to score, and less chance of bounce outs.
We found the board’s construction to be very solid, with very durable sisal fibers, which seal itself well when removing a dart. We also found the board to hold weak shots, and even work with soft tip darts.
Having said that, this is best combined with steel tip darts for maximum game efficiency. The darts tend to stick in well, and the board heals itself quickly, giving us great assurance of a durable and long-lasting dart board.
- Bristle dart board with Kenyan sisal fibers
- 8 x 17.8 x 1.5 inches
- 10 pounds
- Professional standard
Winmau Blade 4 Bristle Dartboard
- Long lasting and durable board
- High-quality Kenyan sisal fibers
- Repairs well and quickly
- Holds darts well, even weak shots
- Heavier to mount
If you are looking for a splash of officialness, the DMI Bandi is the way to go. This board is the Official World Cup Dart Board since 1999, and definitely one for those looking to relive those classic World Cup Darts moments.
This board features extremely thin wiring, and with no staples, lowers the chance of those dreaded bounce outs. The sisal fibers heal well, and steel darts have no problem attaching to the board.
One of the most notable differences with this board over other bristle boards is the powder coated number ring which makes it more visible and brighter.
Speaking of the numbers ring…
This one is moveable, giving you the ability to prolong the board’s lifespan.
The mounting system is very easy to use and makes installation a breeze. All in all, in testing we found this board to be very solid, and easy to play. The sisal fibers feel more solid. The steel wiring is embedded into the bristles, ensuring that structural stability is sound throughout the entire board.
- 3 x 18.3 x 1.8 inches
- Official World Cup Dartboard since 1999
- Bristle dart board
- Sisal fibers
- 12 pounds
DMI Bandit Staple-free Bristle Dartboard
- Officially recognized by darts governing body
- High-quality sisal fibers
- Powder coated number ring for visibility
- Thin wiring for reduced bounce outs.
- Easy to mount
- Colours aren’t as vibrant as on other bristle boards
Endorsed by the American Dart Organization for tournament use, this bristle dartboard from Nodor is another great option for the bar or man cave.
Much like most professional standard bristle dartboards, the divider wiring is triangular and thin to prevent bounce outs, and is staple free, allowing maximum target area for your shots.
The Nodor Supawires 2 features a movable number ring, which allows you to move the more ‘trafficked’ areas of your board around, to maximize and prolong the life of the board.
In testing, we discovered the board to be sufficient in healing after removing the dart, and the sisal fibers appear quite dense.
In person, the board looks professional and has a great feel to it. The wiring was nice and thin–we rarely had any bounce outs in testing.
- Bristle dart board with dense sisal fibers
- 8 x 17.8 x 1.5 inches
- 4 pounds
- Endorsed by the American Dart Organization
Nodor Supawires 2 Bristle Dartboard
- Long lasting and durable board
- Dense sisal fibers
- Repairs well and quickly
- Movable numbers right to prolong board life
- Heavier to mount
A great option for the kids, this dart board from Doinkit Darts features all the fun of darts, with added safety.
The kit comes with a 16-inch dart board, a set of six magnetic darts (three of each color). The board has a hook allowing you to mount it anywhere in the house and is designed to match the specifications of your standard competition dart board.
It even has fake cracks to simulate the look and feel of an everyday run-of-the-mill board. In comparison to other models, this board is lightweight. The darts are also light and easy to throw. They’re small pieces of plastic with a magnetic head.
The tails on the darts are flexible and can contract/expand at will for easy storage.
But, we must stress…
This is a great option for kids, but don’t expect competition standard results!
- Six magnetic darts
- 16-inch dart board
- 2 x 15.8 x 1.5 inches
- 1 pound
Doinkit Darts - Magnetic Dart Board
- Designed to look professional and stylish
- Magnetic board and magnetic darts
- Darts are compactable and easy to store
- Great for learning and for kids
- Not to be used for the more hardcore darts players
Another bristle dartboard option, this time from TG Champion. Like most bristle boards, it’s construction is sisal fibers, allowing active healing of holes after removal of the dart.
It features a wider frame than some of its competitors, measuring 1.75 inches as opposed to the common 1.5 inches. This will lower the chance of bounce outs.
Unfortunately, one drawback is that the wiring does have staples holding it in, with the exception of the bullseye.
After opening the box, one of the first things we noticed was how clean the board is in appearance. It doesn’t have the logo of the manufacturer all over the front of the board. Because of this, it has a very nice, classic and appealing look.
The wiring is rather thin, giving you a higher chance of hitting the target areas, despite the fact it does have staples. In testing, after a few games, we had limited bounce-outs and found the bristles healed as advertised.
The board is very sturdy and is a great option for those looking for an entry level bristle dart board.
- 8 pounds
- 18 x 18 x 1.75 inches
- Bristle dart board
- Sisal fibers
Doinkit Darts - Magnetic Dart Board
- Fibers heal well
- Easy to mount the board
- Thicker than many other bristle boards
- No heavy advertising around the rim of the board
- Staples on the wiring increase chance of bounce outs
Looking for a high tech darts option?
The Dartslive-200S may be the board for you.
Taking advantage of safety and tech, this board makes a great addition to your man cave or for your children.
The dart board comes with two sets of soft tip darts (six in total), additional soft tips, a USB cable, screws, and anchors.
The first thing you’ll notice when unboxing this one is how the board has thousands of little holes. When you throw your dart, the holes will register your shot and score accordingly.
With many electronic dart boards, scoring can be quite painful, with the screens often hard to read or decipher. This board differs by making you download an app (available for both iOS and Android) which manages the scoring for you.
Our testing proved the app to be easy to use and understand. There’s even a range of stats to analyze your gameplay and rate your performance.
The board connects via Bluetooth. It does require power but uses a minimal current through the provided USB cable. It can be powered by a computer, TV, or the mains.
The board is quiet, making it easy to play night or day.
We did find a drawback though…
You cannot connect and play others via a network or over the internet, which some electronic boards provide.
If you’re feeling particularly daring (or have too much money to spend), you could do what we did in testing, and mount an iPad next to the board as a live, high-quality score screen.
- 45 x 20.87 x 1.63 inches
- Comes with board and soft tip darts
- Ten spare tips to prolong dart life
- Electronic board
- Connectivity, scoring, and statistics through DartLive App
- Functional and enjoyable app for scoring
- Darts hold well in the board
- Quiet gameplay
- Spare tips for the darts
- No network or internet play yet available
While it may have the word ‘Cricket’ in its name, don’t be fooled. This board is an electronic dartboard with 40 different games and 179 variations.
It features a large scoreboard, keeping track of scores for all the games on offer. The segments are ‘NylonTough’, which the manufacturer boasts will increase durability and playability over the long term.
The segment dividers are very thin, increasing your chance of scoring on the board. It comes with six soft tip darts, and additional dart tips if you damage any.
The board has a number of great features we had a lot of fun with in testing. There’s a bounce out amend feature if you’re feeling forgiving to your friends. There’s a solo play feature if you’re just practicing at home. There’s also the hilarious heckler feature, with three different levels.
The board will harass and heckle a bad shot and applaud a great score or shot. It adds another dimension and can be a lot of fun. Thankfully, you can turn it off if you don’t want it on, or say if someone gets a bit angry.
The board also provides some statistics, with an average point per dart statistic at the end of every game, allowing you to keep an eye on your ability and evaluate your dart game.
- 30 x 22 x 3 inches
- 10 pounds
- Electronic dart board
- Six soft tip darts with replacement tips
- 40 different games and 179 variants
- Heckler feature
- Post-game analysis (points per dart)
Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 Electronic Dartboard
- Very easy to use and fun to play
- Lots of different electronic features
- Heckler mode can be hilarious in group play
- Comes with replacement tips
- Score analysis can be helpful to track improvement
- Odd shape can prove harder to mount
The Razorback from Viper is a bristle dartboard that works with both steel tip darts and soft tip darts. With a movable number ring combined with the healing properties of the sisal fibers, the board has a long and durable lifespan.
One of the first things of note is the very thin wiring dividing each segment.
In fact, one of the thinnest we encountered during testing.
This drastically increases the surface area and reduces bounce outs.
The wiring does not contain any staples across the board, again a big tick of the box when looking for a high-quality tournament ready dart board. The board also comes with a range of mounting screws, a bracket, and dampeners to easily affix to a wall or cabinet.
In testing, the soft tip darts did work very well with the board, and we rarely had a bounce out while using the steel-tipped darts. The wiring was triangular, again increasing the surface area for scoring.
Viper boasts their compressing ring system, compressing the sisal fibers even more so than standard. When assessing two bristle boards side to side, the Viper proved to have the best healing after the removal of darts and several games.
What really shocked us was…
While we found this board to work the best with steel-tipped darts, we were pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness of the soft tipped darts, as in most cases they tend to perform far less than anticipated.
- Bristle dartboard
- Sisal fibers
- Compressed rim for durability
- Moveable numbers ring
- Super thin wiring
- No Staples
- 4 x 19.2 x 0.5 inches
- 05 pounds
Viper Razorback Bristle Dart Board
- One of the better healing bristle sisal fiber boards
- Rim is compressed for durability
- No staples along the board
- Numbers ring is moveable to protect and prolong lifespan
- Manufacturer advertising on all four sides of the board
There’s nothing safer than a magnetic dart board, and this next option from Better Line is no different.
Another great option for the casual player or for the kids, this dart set features a magnetic 16-inch board, with six darts in total. The board is incredibly simple to install, with a keyhole slot on the back to easily mount to a hook.
The strength of the magnets on the darts impressed us.
They held well and in most cases, did not slip down the board.
Having said that, we were slightly disappointed at the quality of the board. After a few hours of use, dents became increasingly visible in the body of the board. While it may not get much heavy use (as they’re designed for casual players or kids), we were disappointed they weren’t stronger.
Nonetheless, still a great option for those looking for a low-use board for kids, with strong magnets.
- 16-inch dart board
- 5 pounds
- Magnet Dart Board
- Comes with six darts
- Strong magnets help hold the darts to the board
- Easy to set up and install
- Great for kids to play or casual play at home
- Board’s body dents easily with each throw
The best dart board can really come down to personal preference and desired usage.
For kids consider the magnetic and soft tipped dart board variations. These are a great learning tool for the art of darts. The forgiving nature and easy to throw darts make it easier for your kids to improve and increase hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
If you’re a budding pro, or just like having the best of the best, there’s a big variety of bristle dartboards available, giving you the look and feel of the professionals.
Want the best of both worlds?
If you like the fancy high-tech stuff, the electronic boards give you the best of both worlds. Whether you want automatic electronic heckling or more dynamic scoring thanks to the provided apps in some versions.
Make sure to carefully consider the type.
As a beginner or young child, trying to score on a high-quality bristle dartboard is a sure fire way to disillusion them and end their enjoyment of the game.
Can I use soft tipped darts on a bristle dartboard?
You can in most cases. Just pay attention to the instructions for the board. It depends on the tips of the darts. Steel tipped darts tend to stay sharper than the soft-tipped plastic and will continue to be effective on the bristle boards. The soft tipped darts can reduce in sharpness and thus effectiveness on a bristle board.
Can I set up my dartboard outside?
Maybe for a very short period of time. However, for almost every type of board, it’s best to keep and store them inside, away from the elements and direct sunlight. As with most products and toys, the paint and colors can fade if left in direct sunlight from too long, and the heat or cold can reduce the quality of the bristles on higher quality boards.
How do I look after my dartboard?
This depends on the board you own. If you have a bristle dartboard, take care in moving, cleaning and playing with the board. The fibers can be damaged if mistreated or if you use blunt tipped darts. In most bristle boards, you can rotate the number ring, allowing you to move away from the areas often hit with the dart. This can prolong its lifespan. Keep the board out of the elements, and excessive bright lights. If you have the board in a cabinet, close it when you’re not using it.
We simply could not look past the Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard. Endorsed by the British Darts Organization for good reason, the Winmau Blade 5 brings all the best technology and design in the darts world.
With ultra-thin wiring, angled for fewer bounce outs, and high quality compressed sisal fibers for easy healing on the board, this is a professional board for those who want to really want to hone their darts game.
The easy to mount system makes it easy to set up, and the board’s quality is just stunning.
Did you have a better dart board preference? Let us know in the comments below which one is your favorite, and who knows, maybe we’ll see you on the TV in the World Darts Championships.