Whether you’re planning to make darts a hobby or you’re simply a parent looking for a fun way of getting your kids out of their comfort zone, one of the factors you need to emphasize on when starting out is the type of darts you’re going to invest on. One of the misconceptions most beginners go through when it comes to darts is that this game only involves throwing thin projectiles towards a target. The truth of the matter, however, is that this game has a lot of variables besides playing one of which is deciding on soft tip vs steel tip darts.
If you’re a newcomer in the game of darts, it’s easy to get perplexed when you realize that a game that seemed to be a no-brainer actually has an abundance of choices that have to be made. Since the darts are the main area of focus, choosing between soft and steel tip darts is one area you have to be keen on as each dart type can impact your playing style in a significant way. With that in mind, this short guide will discuss some major differences between the soft tip and steel tip darts as well as highlight some pros and cons of each dart type.
Soft Tip vs Steel Tip Darts: Pros & Cons
If you inspect both of these darts closely, you’ll realize that their differences are quite obvious. Soft tip darts are made of soft plastic tips that are light and very flexible. Due to the gentle design of their tips, these darts are usually used on sensational electronic dartboards that have flocked the market in recent times. They can also be used on bristle dartboards though it’s quite rare.
On the other hand, steel tip darts are made of steel and are usually heavy. These darts are specifically designed to be used on bristle dartboards made of fiber. These darts are specifically considered for professional play so you have to familiarize yourself with them if you’re a beginner learning how to play darts professionally.
Steel Tip Darts
Steel tip darts have been available for quite a long time in history. In fact, even before the game of darts was discovered, a prototype of this majestic sport had already been devised where the military used spearheads and arrowheads to hit stationary targets. Although it was perceived as a way of training while passing time, what they didn’t realize is that they were slowly developing a game that would become a major sport decades later.
Since this game’s humble beginnings involved using spears and arrows, the steel tip dart was born as a result and was automatically promoted to be used in professional environments. Today, the steel tip dart is used for professional play such as the WPD Championship and the PDC World Darts Championship where this sport is treated with a lot of respect.
In fact, the steel tip dart has become so synonymous to professional play to a point where some advanced players will consider it blasphemy if they dared to play darts using soft tip darts. So, with that said, let’s discuss some major pros and cons of using steel tip darts.
- Accurate Throw: So, if you’ve decided to stick to the tradition of using steel tip darts, one of the major benefits you’ll realize with these darts is that they’re heavier than their soft tip counterparts. This is a huge benefit to professional dart players as the heavier the dart is, the more accurate your throw will be.
- Durable: Another benefit of considering a steel tip dart is its high durability. Since steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, these darts have added strength that boosts their longevity while keeping fabrication costs down. At least this way, you’ll see your money’s worth.
- Low Bounce: If you’re worried about your dart bouncing out, then the steel tip variant has an answer to that. Since they’re heavy and extremely sharp, these darts can penetrate through the dartboard with extreme precision that will resist any bouncing out whatsoever.
- Many Variations: Lastly, steel tip darts are available in many variations depending on your choice. They come in a wide array of options with a myriad of models available for you to choose from.
- Bulky: For most beginners and first-timers, the steel tip dart may seem to be quite bulky. If you’re just playing darts for recreational purposes, then you can switch them for a lighter soft tip variant. However, if you’re practicing to become a professional darts player, then you need to adjust to the weight of these darts.
- Quite Dangerous: For those buying darts for their kids, gifting them a set of steel tip darts is not ideal. That’s because the sharp tips of these darts can cause a hazard if they slip off their arms and fall to their legs. Also, these darts can damage your walls and your floor in case they fall on them.
Soft Tip Darts
When it comes to soft tip darts, these ones are a more recent addition in the darts business that has come to offer an alternative to steel tip darts. Just as their name suggests, the tips of these darts are made of soft plastic or nylon material that’s gentler and safer as compared to steel tips.
Although their history cannot be compared to their steel tip counterparts, soft tip darts were discovered sometime back in the 1970s when the manufacture of electronic dartboards became commercial. They’re designed to be used either on electronic or magnetic dartboards and are hence the best for kids and beginners. So, what are some major benefits of owning soft tip darts?
- Safety: One of the major selling points of soft tip darts is the level of safety they offer. If you’re a parent buying the darts for your kids, then getting a set of soft tip darts is one way you’ll guarantee your kids’ safety when enjoying this sport.
- Works Best With Digital Boards: The number two reason, besides safety, that will make you opt for a set of these darts is how they link up with electronic boards. In fact, this is one reason why most players prefer soft tip darts to take advantage of the in-build computer that offers a classic and automatic scoring system.
- Perfect For Beginners: With the help of the electronic dartboard, beginners and those aspiring to become professional dart players can take advantage of the in-built computer to perfect their throw and most importantly, learn how to count the points based on the segments they’re hitting.
- They’re light: Lastly, soft tip darts are lighter when compared to their steel tip cousins. This makes it easier for newcomers to aim and hit their targets with more confidence.
- Prone to Regular Wear: Although soft tip darts have immense benefits, there are some minor concerns you’ll have to bear. One of those is regular wear and tear. Since they’re made of soft plastic or nylon material, these darts will be prone to wear, especially the tip which is prone to bending and breaking.
- Lack of Accuracy: Another major concern, especially if you’re learning how to aim, is a lack of accuracy. You see, due to the featherweight nature of these darts, finding the center of gravity will be quite difficult. Also, during the freight, these darts are unable to keep up with the wind/breeze meaning they can easily be diverted from their initial trajectory causing you to miss the target.
- Increased Bounce-outs: Finally, soft tip darts are prone to bounce-outs as compared to steel tip darts. This is due to the lightweight that prevents them from sticking on the dartboard steadily. This is quite annoying as it can prevent you from recording your scores.
In case this discussion of soft tip vs steel tip darts was a major dilemma and concern for you, then I believe this is no longer an essential question for you anymore. That’s because we’ve discussed some major benefits and drawbacks of each dart set to help you make an informed decision.
In most cases, if you’re enjoying darts with your kids or friends that are terrible players, then choosing a set of soft tip darts will be wise as this will avoid any risk of injuries when playing. On the other hand, if you’re playing in a professional setting where official tournament regulations are followed, then sticking with a set of steel tip darts will allow you to play more competitively.