While the game of darts was long played with steel tips (now sometimes known as hard tips), plastic soft-tipped darts now predominate in both homes and bars. The reasons for this change and the advantages of each type of dart are described below.

Triangle Home Gamerooms provides Raleigh-Durham area dart players with professional dart boards and accessories, including both of these common types of darts.

Steel-tip Darts

The steel-tip darts have a large and loyal following in the dart community. Advantages of these harder-tipped darts include:

  • Tradition: Because the game of darts was played with steel tips historically, some die-hards see them as the real way to play the game. While this argument isn’t convincing to everyone, tradition is part of what makes darts a great sport.
  • Weight: Darts is a game that is played by feel. A small change in the balance and weight of the dart can have a big impact on the player’s accuracy. Steel-tip darts are heavier than plastic ones, with weights usually over 20 grams (rather than under 20 like soft-tip). Steel-tip enthusiasts say this bulk prevents their throws from floating on them.
  • Durability: A steel-tip dart is as strong as…well, steel. They are not likely to snap in pieces if a particularly hard throw hits the board wrong. Soft-tip darts are known for having their plastic tips break much more frequently.

Soft-tip Darts

Plastic soft-tip darts are a more recent introduction to the dart world, but they have surpassed steel-tip darts in popularity. A few of the reasons for their appeal are:

  • Safety: Families who consider investing in a dart board quite often go with the plastic soft-tip darts due to safety. A steel-tip dart thrown with any strength can indeed cause some damage. Unless a plastic tip hits directly in a child’s eye, the likelihood of injury is much less.
  • Wall damage: How good of a shot are you? How good of a shot are your friends after a couple of beers? Unless you are pretty confident in the ability of you and your friends to keep the darts on the board, plastic-tip darts are a much better bet. That is unless one of your friends is also a drywall guy.
  • Electronic scoring: The most likely reason for the switch to plastic darts, though, is the fact that they allow for electronic scoring. This feature helps if you do not want to do the math for the whole night. The darts are guided into small holes when they hit the board, which sends signals to an electronic scoring system. Hard-tip boards can now be found with this function, as well, but they are less common.

Soft-tip vs. Hard-tip

Which one is right for you? There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so it will depend on your preferences and needs. If you want to discuss this issue more thoroughly and see a few different examples of both, drop by Triangle Home Gamerooms in Raleigh or call us at (919) 661-2738. We’ll be happy to help!