“O” rings, also called dart washers, are small, rubber rings, that are placed on the threads connecting the barrel and shaft of the dart, preventing them from getting loose and ruining your shot.
Do you find yourself often missing shots due to a wobbly dart, or having to tighten your dart shaft between every throw?
It is possible that the o-ring on your dart is worn out and needs to be changed. A worn out o-ring can cause all of the symptoms above.
Why Are “O” Rings Important and How Do They Affect Your Dart Throw?
Due to the constant impact of the dart with the dartboard, it is normal for some parts of the dart to come loose.
Darts have four main parts:
- The dart point, which is the front tip of the dart and is the part that enters the board;
- the barrel, which is the main part of the dart and is the part that is held when the dart is thrown;
- the shaft (or stem), which screws into the back end of the barrel and vary in type and length for customization;
- and the flights which are attached at the back end of the shaft and keep the dart stable during flight.
Although looseness can occur at all joints, it is particularly common at the connection between the barrel and the shaft. Not only is it annoying, and disruptive to have to tighten your dart in between shots, but a loose dart can wobble, causing deviations from the dart’s trajectory.
This means your dart will not go where you aim. As any good darts player knows, an accurate shot is of utmost importance.
“O” rings are beneficial to beginners and experienced players alike, as they not only prevent the barrel and shaft from coming apart, but they also eliminate vibrations and other movements that can disturb your throw, allowing for improved accuracy.
These tiny, rubber rings provide just enough extra grip inside the joint to ensure a tight seal.
Can “O” Rings Be Used on All Darts?
Yes! “O” rings can be used on all dart types, but they are most useful for metal darts. Metal darts loosen much easier and faster than plastic darts, making it essential to use an “O” ring on them. Although plastic darts are less likely to loosen in the same way as metal darts, adding an “O” ring can provide extra reassurance and stability.
As “O” rings are generally inexpensive and come in large packs, they are a great, reliable investment that can significantly improve your game.
How to Apply “O” Rings Onto Darts
Due to their fairly small size, “O” rings can be a bit challenging to put on but don’t fret, we’ve got you covered! There are several methods for “O” ring application, listed in order of easiest application to hardest.
Before beginning, it is recommended to apply “O” rings above a solid, light-colored surface, such as a blank piece of paper, so that if you drop your “O” ring you can easily spot it and re-try.
We recommend using an o-ring kit like this one. It comes with o-rings, as well as an applicator tool which aids in putting on o-rings.
Using an “O” Ring Applicator
- The “O” ring applicator is a small tool that resembles a bowling pin, thick on one end and thin on the other. Some applicators come with a set of “O” rings, although in some cases they may need to be purchased separately.
- Place the “O” ring onto the thin end of the applicator tool.
- Align the thick end of the tool with the threads of your dart shaft.
- Roll the “O” ring along the tool and onto the threads.
- Pop the “O” ring into place on the uppermost end of the threads and tighten the barrel of your dart onto the shaft.
Rolling the “O” Ring on From the Shaft
- With the dart flights removed, place the “O” ring onto the shaft of the dart from the back end.
- Roll the “O” ring down the shaft and onto the threads.
- Pop the “O” ring into place on the uppermost end of threads.
- Tighten your barrel onto the shaft and make sure it fits well.
Applying the “O” Ring Directly Onto the Shaft Threads
- Position one end of your “O” ring onto the threads of the dart shaft and hold it down.
- With your other finger, gently stretch and guide the loose end of the “O” ring onto the shaft. This can be tricky and may take several attempts.
- Once the “O” ring is on the threads, slide it down to the base of the shaft, pop it into place, and screw on the barrel.
If you have to tighten your dart shaft between each throw or even between each game, it is more than likely that you have a worn out o-ring.
Changing out your o-ring is a simple task. All you need is a new rubber 0-ring and some type of applicator to help you put it on.
O-rings are also great to use if you are trying to do soft tip to steel tip conversions as this solves the issue of a loosening tip and dart shaft.