There is nothing more fun than enjoying a friendly yet competitive game of darts your buddies. The pressure, excitement, and struggle to beat everyone else not only livens up the mood and atmosphere in the man cave but also help create amazing memories.
But, like any other social game, you have to invest in a good quality dart board if at all you want to play and enjoy it the way it’s supposed to. There are plenty of good boards out there but the problem is that they come in many different styles and models, and deciding which is which can be a bit confusing.
For this reason, we’re going to take a look at the best 5 dart boards in the market today that are worth considering if you want value for your money. Once you are done going through this review, you will be able to select the best dart board for your man cave without second-guessing yourself. If you also need a dartboard cabinet, be sure to check out this article.
Winmau is a very popular brand and has a great reputation for producing some of the best or rather top quality dart boards. Their Blade 5 model is no different. It’s the best-selling board on Amazon and what really makes it stand out is the fact that it’s the only board on our list that strikes a perfect balance between quality and value for money.
First off, the board is very strong and can stand up to heavy use. It’s made from Kenyan sisal fibres that are woven incredibly tight. Kenyan sisal is a premium quality sisal and is highly durable and flexible too. Even if you play every day, the board will still hold up pretty well.
The tightly woven sisal fibres heal fast when the darts are withdrawn and as such help to prolong the life of the board. So, it will definitely serve you for long.
Another major highlight of this Winmau Blade 5 dartboard is that there are very little bounce outs when playing. The sectors are divided by metal wires which are 50-per cent thinner than those used on other ordinary boards. Thereby, the chances of a dart bouncing off the wires are very low.
Plus the triangular shape of the wiring helps deflect the darts to the targeted sector thereby ensuring optimum scoring potential. It also helps to reduce bounce-outs compared to round framed boards. The wires are galvanized steel, free of staples. They are ultra-strong and will help contribute to the board’s overall longevity.
The score ring is removable and can rotate. This too is a big plus for those who like playing darts on a regular basis. Some sectors tend to get hit more often than others. So, you can rotate the board to ensure even distribution of wear and tear which help extend the life of the board as well as the playing surface.
Finally, when it comes to aesthetics, the Winmau Blade 5 dartboard is not that blunt. The classic look and finish with white anti-glare numbers is quite attractive and can liven up the mood in any game room.
Generally, there is very little to hate about this Winmau dartboard and there are many things to like about it. The whole board is very strong and the playing surface or rather scoring ring is quite flexible and durable too. So, it delivers great quality for the price.
This is a perfect option if you want to invest in a board that can withstand regular competitive games, plays well and can last.
- Very durable, made from premium sisal
- Reduces bounce outs
- Removable score ring and playing surface can rotate
- Triangular wire frame deflects darts to the targeted area
- Looks attractive
- Not suitable for children below 6 years
The Bandit bristle dartboard from DMI is another ideal option for those in the hunt for a competition-level dartboard. It has been the official world cup dartboard since 1999 and as such has a lot to offer.
Like Winmau Blade dartboard, the DMI Bandit is a strong, flexible board that’s built to last. It’s made from dense and vibrant high-quality sisal fibres that self-heal once the darts are withdrawn from the board. Thereby, it will provide long-lasting usability.
However, the key thing that propels this DMI board to the second position on our list is nothing else but its unique wiring system.
Unlike in other boards, the segment dividers of the Bandit are made up of ultra-thin steel bands that are actually embedded into the sisal fibres. They are very thin and provide 10% more playing surface compared to other boards leaving almost nothing to interfere with the darts. So, the board effectively minimizes the chances of bounce outs happening.
The fact that the steel segment dividers have been embedded in the bristles also strengthens the overall structure of the board making it sturdier once mounted on the wall. This means you don’t have to worry much about the board not lasting if you play competitive games regularly.
In general, the DMI Bandit is yet another great dartboard that’s built to remarkable quality. It’s an ideal board for playing competitive dart games with friends or family.
- Strong and well-built
- Chances of bounce outs happening are very low
- Good at soaking up moisture
- Board numbers are powder-coated
- Looks stylish
- Will last for long
- Not ideal for children under 12 years
Taking the third spot is the Nodor Supawires 2 dartboard which is one of the few dartboards whose superb quality has earned them an endorsement from the American Dart Organization. It’s a great choice for any dart enthusiast that wants to enjoy the game at home with the family.
To start off, it’s a regulation-sized dartboard made of extra-dense sisal fibres which are tightly woven to create a firm structure and as well facilitate self-heal after every throw. So, like the other two models above, this too is not going to break down easily with regular use.
However, only the bullseye is staple-free but the rest of the board contains several staples for construction. The section dividers, on the other hand, are very thin which helps to reduce the number of bounce outs in each game.
The wires have round edges, so they are not as effective as triangular shaped ones when it comes to deflecting darts into the targeted space. Nonetheless, they are extremely thin and as such, they will not lead to any bounce outs.
The score ring is also movable like that of the Winmau Blade 4 dartboard. You can rotate it after every game to ensure even distribution of wear and tear so as to prolong the life of the board.
To sum it all, there is very little difference between this Nodor dartboard and the top two above other than that it utilizes several staples and the wires have rounded edges. All the other features are the same and the performance is equally good. In other words, it’s a great dartboard for both professional and casual play. It comes bundled with all the mounting hardware you will need to get it up for playing without much hustle. It’s a board worth considering.
- Thick and well built
- Thin wiring system to reduce bounce outs
- Movable number ring to extend the life of the board
- Will look stylish in any game room
- Ideal for tournament and casual level playing
- Sector dividers have rounded edges
- Only the bullseye is staple free
The Unicorn Eclipse Pro also shares a bit of limelight having been the preferred choice of the PDC for all its televised tournaments around the globe. It’s equally an ideal option for casual evening games with friends.
Coming at a slightly lower price than the other three options above, the Unicorn Eclipse Pro has a quite refined construction. The board itself looks beautiful and feels very sturdy. It’s made from a premium grade sisal that’s packed tightly.
It’s a heavy duty board that doesn’t seem like it can deteriorate every time you pull out the darts, or even with usage over time. The sisal heals quickly with every thrown dart. So the holes close up easily leaving a nice clean look.
Aside from the attractive look, the darts will hardly bounce out on this board. The wires are very thin and not round like that of the Nodor Supawires 2 dartboard.
They seem embedded into the board thereby they cause little to no bounce outs. Plus the darts stick with ease even when softly thrown. You can also easily rotate the score ring of this dartboard every now and then for even wear so as to increase the life of the board.
When you look at all these features, the Unicorn Eclipse Pro is definitely a good, quality board for the price. The playing surface and overall construction are quite at par with that of the other three boards above making it another great option worth considering.
- Sturdy and durable construction
- There are hardly any bounce outs when playing
- The sisal heals quickly closing most holes after every throw
- Score ring can rotate to facilitate even wear and tear
- Mounting pieces seem much cheaper in quality
Measuring 18 inches in diameter, the Viper Shot King is a tournament size dartboard that can handle anything thrown at it. It’s not a high-end board but offers better quality than most of the other options that fall within the same price range.
If you are looking for a starter board or just a good recreational family board but don’t want to spend much, then this is a perfect choice.
It’s thick and well-constructed consisting of tightly compressed sisal fibres that give it a firm feel. So, it’s very sturdy and will hold up nicely over the years considering that the sisal fibres also heal fast after the dart is pulled out. It will certainly take the hit of regular competitive games.
While it always remains tough, the board is also quite flexible and the darts enter easily into the playing surface. They stick pretty well even with minimal force on the throws.
There are staples to help hold the wire spider in place but they are strategically placed such that they won’t cause much bounce-outs. So you get to make your shots with very little obstacles plus the bullseye is staple free, will help minimize bounce-outs.
Like all the other dartboards on our list, the Viper Shot King features a movable number ring which means you will be able to switch up the targets to even out the wear and tear.
If I have to point out a drawback it would possibly be the staples. As much as they are well placed, they still do increase chances of a bounce-back especially if you are still a beginner. Other than that this is a quality dartboard that would fit any bill unless you plan to really serious darts.
- Very sturdy and can last years
- Darts stick easily on the playing surface
- The sisal fibres heal fast once the darts are removed
- Comes at quite an inexpensive price
- Has staples which can increase bounce-outs
Our Final Verdict
Darts is an amazing social game that can provide plenty of entertainment to family and friends. However, you will only get to enjoy it better when you have a well-made board, once that will provide years of fun before you think of a replacement.
The five options listed here offer exactly that and they don’t require you to dig deep into your pocket. They are built to tournament level quality but come at quite a friendly price.
However, as I mentioned earlier, there are many other good options out there but if you don’t want to go through all that trouble, then you consider one of the options listed above. They are more than capable of withstanding countless nights of heated competition with friends.