There is a surprising amount of gear and descriptive terminology in the game of darts. It might seem a bit intimidating if you’re just starting on building your stash and equipping your board. Corkboard, electric board, steel tip, soft tip, what’s the difference?
Turns out, there’s a big difference. Can you use steel tip darts on an electric board? Yes you can use steel tip darts on an electronic dartboard, but only if the board has a Bristle Tech surface.
This article will discuss the main differences between soft tip and steel tip darts and the ideal boards to use them with.
Types of Darts
Steel tip darts are well-weighted in the hand and feature solid metal points. In contrast, soft tip darts are made out of plastic, often lighter in weight, and have flexible tips. From those definitions alone, you can see that the two darts differ quite a lot.
Steel Tip Darts:
This is how it all began. Historically, the game has been played with metal darts and they remain the preferred choice among elites and hardcore connoisseurs today. Because they weigh more than plastic darts, a player can tune in more precise play.
Benefits of steel darts:
- Heavier, for more accurate throws
- More durable
- A nod to tradition
- Used professionally
- Low bounce-out probability
Disadvantages of steel darts:
- More expensive
- Could cause injury from a bad throw
- May damage walls on a board miss
- Unsafe with some populations (kids, beginners, etc.)
Ideal board: Bristle boards. May be used with an electronic board, only if it features a Bristle Tech surface.
Steel tip darts work by piercing the surface of the dartboard. The board surface needs to be able to function in this way, or steel tip darts just won’t work at all.
Soft Tip Darts:
Though steel tip darts seem to be the ideal tool to play the game, there are circumstances where soft tip darts are ideal. For instance, in a setting where extra safety is needed, like in the home with kids and pets or even wobbly beginners.
Benefits of soft tip darts:
- Safer to use and won’t damage walls
- Allows you to use a digital dartboard
- Ideal for casual home play
Disadvantages of soft tip darts:
- Less durable
- Lighter, which might lead to less accurate throws
- More prone to bounce-outs
Ideal board: Digital dartboard
You’ll only be able to use soft tip darts on a digital dartboard. These can be a great game setting for ease of use and built-in score keeping! No more losing count when you’ve downed too many beers. In that case, maybe you should switch to playing pool anyway.
What Are Steel Tip Dartboards Made Of?
Steel tip dartboards are specially made out of bristle. These are otherwise known as bristle dartboards. What makes a bristle dartboard special is that it has a self-healing effect.
When steel tip darts penetrate a bristle dartboard, the bristles are pushed out of the way. When you properly remove the steel tip dart by twisting it as you pull, the dartboard will slowly retain its original shape.
Electronic dartboards are made differently. Only specialized electronic dartboards are able to support the use of a steel tip dart.
Check to See if Your Electronic Dartboard Supports Use of Steel Tip Darts
The only type of electric board that can accommodate steel tip darts is that with a Bristle Tech surface. Even then, a Bristle Tech board might specify that it should only be played with soft darts. Be sure to check the board’s specifications to ensure it’s ok to use steel tips. This electronic dartboard on Amazon has two options. One for use with steel tip darts, and another for use with soft tip darts.
You can browse through user reviews to see how other players judge the board’s ability to use both dart types. A Bristle Tech board might work for both but fail at being efficient with one or the other. Mostly, soft tip darts lag.
If you’re shopping for game setups, look for boards that will accommodate both steel tip and soft tip darts. It’s best to get used to playing with both types, as if you’re wanting to hit the friendly competition scene, you never know what dart type you’ll come across.
Setting Up Your Ideal Dartboard at Home
Think of what your goal is, perhaps to have fun or get competitive? It depends on what your intended use is for which darts will suit you best.
If you’ve got a house full of kids, a soft tip is a great choice for you. They generally cause less damage if they hit a window or a wall. They are also a lot safer to use.
If you plan on playing darts for hours on end training to become a professional dart player, then using a standard bristle dartboard with steel tips would probably suit you best.
Now that you know the differences between the soft tip and steel tip darts and their ideal game boards, you are better set to make the decisions in your home dartboard setup.
Whether you are using soft tip or steel tip darts, always be sure that you are using the right type of board.
Remember to check for which dart type your board will accommodate and don’t try to use the wrong dart! When it comes to electric dartboards, you’ve got to have Bristle Tech to use those steel tips.