Joseph works as an editor in one of the magazines dedicated to video games. Here, at RecRoomPick, he’s given the opportunity to enjoy the reverse of the medal – the no less engaging world of offline games.
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Last updated: March 26, 2021
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A dart board cabinet can be a great addition to your games room, or pretty much any other room of your home. Buying the best dart board cabinet can make sure you end up with something which is reliable and well-built rather than a flimsy product which needs replacing after a couple of months. Choosing a dartboard with the cabinet already attached is a good way to keep everything enclosed and store your darts and other accessories. Also, many have inbuilt scoreboards to allow you to keep track of the score, which is necessary even if you’re just playing with friends. Having a cabinet attached also looks far better than a standalone model and can make more of a statement piece for people who visit.
In this article, we’ve compared many of the top models out there for you, and looked at the features of both the board and the cabinet itself. For instance, we have based our reviews on both the overall dimensions of the cabinet, the diameter of the board itself, and the weight and construction quality of the cabinet and board. We’ve also looked at extra features such as lights and scoreboards, which can be very helpful.
Our research was carried out by looking at other reviews and seeing the dartboards in use, as well as first-hand experience of the boards and cabinets. Our findings are presented as a simple-to-view table showing the strengths of the models, in-depth reviews and also a buying guide to help you to understand the features and their importance.
This is a full-sized tournament quality dartboard which comes in its own cabinet with a brilliant, classy look. It is perfect for putting in your games room or bar area and gives a rustic look to your home. The American Heritage Billiards Cavalier Dart Board Cabinet has some great additional features, too.
The cabinet is made out of solid wood and MDF with veneer, and comes with six darts included and a space to keep these darts. There is also the benefit of two chalkboard style scoreboards to keep track of your games (it even comes with an eraser). Generally, this model fits the bill in terms of offering what most of us are looking for from a cabinet like this.
The Z-Brackets which come pre-mounted on the back make it pretty simple and straightforward to mount, and keep it secure in spite of the 29 lbs of weight.
The darts equipment itself is pretty good too. The board is a bristle style, and though it isn’t 100% as good as some of the PDC-approved boards it still has plenty of quality for use at home. The steel-tipped darts are also good quality and come included with their own holders.
When you hear the name Jack Daniels you don’t instantly think of darts or gaming, you think of whiskey! There are a few brands who make bar games, as well as the drinks and Jack Daniels are one of these. This is not just a novelty product either and it actually provides a great quality board for your games room or bar.
The design is very cool and this is a sturdy and well-made cabinet. The only criticism some people have had is when discussing closing the cabinet, the doors don’t always easily shut and line up perfectly. This isn’t a problem for most of us, though.
This product provides a bristle dartboard, which doesn’t have a traditional look to it as the bullseye as well as the doubles and trebles are in black and white, so this is a totally greyscale design. This might well work with the design you have gone for in your bar or games room!
The accessories are good, too. As well as a decent quality of board, you also have six darts included and a drywipe scoreboard. As well as a classy design, this has more than enough reliability for most casual players.
What we liked:
Good accessories including darts and drywipe board.
Classy design and black and white color scheme.
Sturdy cabinet which is rugged and should last years if treated right.
What could be better:
Doors don’t always totally line up when closing.
Not as easy to install as some other products on the list.
Dart board is not as good as some of the PDC recommended models.
The Viper has made our list due to being the best dart board cabinet with an inbuilt light, which means that you can illuminate during your playing for a more professional feel, and don’t have to worry about getting the lighting perfect in the room before installing the dartboard.
At a full 18 inch size, this is suitable for getting players ready for tournament play. As well as having a quality bristle board, it also features plenty of accessories besides the cabinet and light, with a scoreboard, darts, drywipe marker and eraser all included. This helps to ensure you don’t have to buy any extras, just purchase the dartboard cabinet and you are good to go.
The board itself is made out of the sisal fibers which so many dartboard brands are opting for due to the self-healing properties, so you can rest assured of the quality that is on offer here and the fact that your dartboard won’t get damaged too badly with casual wear and tear.
The cabinet itself is also built out of hardwoods and offers plenty of durability under a barrage of darts.
The few areas of criticism this dartboard sometimes comes across are the fact that the back of the board is plastic and doesn’t attach perfectly to the cabinet sometimes.
What we liked:
Quality, full-sized board with sisal fibers.
Comes with a light to illuminate the playing area.
Quality scoreboard and wooden cabinet.
What could be better:
Accessories aren’t the highest quality.
The back of the dartboard is a little flimsy and made out of plastic so may be tough to attach to the cabinet.
The Thornton Premium Quality Bristle Dartboard is similar to the Viper Stadium Cabinet mentioned above, but not quite as high in quality, and has the disadvantage of not having closing cabinet doors.
This comes with plenty of accessories as well as a simple mounting kit and instructions. Even if you aren’t the most DIY savvy, you can probably figure out how to install this dartboard.
The accessories include a cricket style scoreboard, six darts with their own holders and even an LED lighting system to brighten up the playing area.
In spite of being a much cheaper model than many of the best cabinets on the list it is still made of quality Sisal fibers and is full professional size at 18 inches which means that you can learn to play in an environment similar to the pros without spending a huge amount of money.
Another huge advantage is the fact that you can rotate the score ring which means that the areas which see the most use can be changed, giving time for those areas to heal and wear more slowly.
Of course, the main thing that attracts people to this is the price, and if you’re looking for something under $100 the Thornton is worth considering.
What we liked:
Rotate the board to get more wear out of it over time.
Our budget pick for dartboard and cabinet combos is the EastPoint Sports Belmont Bristle Dartboard and Cabinet Set. This is a good quality dartboard, but not quite up there with tournament quality. There is an element of “you get what you pay for” here as this is the cheapest product we’ve recommended. It is good for casual players and hobbyists looking to complete their home bar or games room, but isn’t really for aspiring pros.
The board itself is decent in quality, and though it may not last years, it is suitable for a realistic gaming experience and is staple-free to reduce bounce outs. Though this claims to have self-healing properties, it doesn’t do the job as well as some of the other boards to make our list.
The accessories are impressive. Six darts, a scoreboard and eraser are included as well as a wall template and holders for the darts.
The cabinet itself is strong and hard-wearing, and some have even said that they have purchased a different board to go in the cabinet.
If you’re casual and relaxed about playing darts and don’t care too much about purchasing something that gives a professional feel, then this could be the perfect hobby board and cabinet for you, without breaking the bank. If your board is going to see heavy use it might be worth spending a little more just to get the next level up in terms of quality.
What we liked:
Good quality, sturdy cabinet.
Plenty of accessories even though it is low in cost.
What could be better:
Not as durable as some of the other boards.
Self-healing abilities aren’t as good as many of the best boards.
Things to Consider
Working out which dartboard to buy can be tricky, and if you’re choosing a cabinet with the dart board built in there is plenty to think about before you take the plunge. In our buying guide, we talk you through many of the features you might want to consider and which type of cabinet might be best for you. This is based on the quality of the product but also on what your needs and ambitions as a player are. If you want to become professional, you may need a different cabinet to some of the more casual players.
Reasons to choose a dart board cabinet
Buying a dart board on its own can be risky business. Often, standalone boards don’t come with accessories. The cabinet means that you will have all you need to get started including a scoreboard, darts and sometimes even lights and other accessories. A cabinet can also mean you don’t have to mount straight on the wall, which means you can protect your wall from any wayward darts which can damage your paintwork or even cause holes in drywall.
Most people are in agreement, also, that a dartboard cabinet looks far better than a board mounted on its own. Models such as the Jack Daniels Dartboard Cabinet are a wonderful example of how the cabinet can be for decorative purposes as well as being very functional and protecting your wall
Features you need consider when selecting a dart board cabinet
The following are the key features you need to consider when you’re considering buying a dartboard and working out which might be the best for you.
The diameter of the board itself should always be considered.
Some boards are smaller and designed just for fun and practice play, but if you want to learn how to play in a more serious way, or prepare for competitive play, you will need a full-sized dartboard.
This means a diameter of 18 inches, which is the standard size for tournament play set by the BDO and PDC darts organizations.
What will you be using it for?
This is definitely one of the key questions you need to ask yourself before buying. If you think it might just be for 30 minutes of messing around once a week with some friends then you might not want to invest in one of the top models out there. However, if your use is going to be getting ready for playing in tournaments or even with dreams of becoming professional, an elite product such as the American Heritage Billiards Cavalier Dart Board Cabinet can ensure a realistic experience and prepare you better for playing competitively.
If you’re going to be playing against someone at home then having a scoreboard can also help you to keep track. Even the friendly games need to be scored!
Type of dartboard and construction
The choice you have regarding dartboard type is basically whether you are going to buy a bristle dartboard or an electronic one. Electronic dart boards are popular as they don’t get damaged as easily or need to be rotated or replaced as much. Bristle boards are very popular as they are the type used by the pros. Their design has come a long way in recent years, for instance, most modern boards are staple-free. This means fewer bounce-outs and allows for higher scoring matches.
Wiring is one of the areas that have been hugely improved in recent years as design has become better.
The wire can now be just as strong but thinner, and this means that the darts are less likely to hit the wire and bounce out.
This is the same as the reasoning behind choosing models with no staples in the design, something that used to be commonplace and very frustrating. Thin yet strong wiring is desirable, and all of the models we’ve included on our list fit this bill, the Viper Stadium Cabinet especially.
You need to consider a couple of different things when it comes to the overall dimensions. It is definitely worth marking out the area where your dartboard will go with masking tape to check you have room to mount on the wall and that it will have enough space.
Don’t just think about the space when closed, once you have opened the doors your cabinet will be significantly larger, and not having room to fully open can mean you don’t get to use the scoreboards which are normally on the inside of the doors.
The wooden cabinet and the dartboard itself are the features that can always be expected (obviously) but many of the brands out there have included extra features to make their products more useful to people. Features which are often included are:
Scoreboards to allow you to keep track of the matches you play
Scoreboard markers and erasers.
LED lights to light up the playing area effectively for an easier and more professional experience.
Most also come with some darts, and though you may want to graduate to more professional darts and different flights at some stage, it is worth having the included darts.
The variation in terms of prices is pretty considerable. Again, this is definitely something you should think about in relation to your own ambitions when playing darts. If your budget is under $100 then you can find options, such as the Thornton Premium Quality Bristle Dartboard Cabinet, but these may not exactly be up to professional standard. At the top end of the market, you could spend up to $300-400 on a dartboard cabinet. For this money you should be able to expect the very best.
How to install your dart board cabinet
Installation varies quite significantly depending on the cabinet you end up purchasing. One of the best for installation is the American Heritage Billiards Cavalier Dart Board Cabinet, which is the highest rated product on our list. This comes with brackets already installed which make it super easy to attach to the wall. Most of the options out there have mounting hardware as well as full instructions to walk you through the installation process.
If you are just playing for a bit of fun then electronic boards might be the best choice for you. A bristle dartboard is closer to what the professionals use, and offers more reliability when buying a dartboard and cabinet. A lot of these come with sisal fibers which are known to be self-healing.
Official regulations are that the height from floor to bulls eye should measure 5 feet 8 inches. Try and get to as close as this as possible when mounting. You can mark out the space with masking tape and then work out where the bullseye will be. Use this as a frame of reference when mounting and ensure that it is level.
Naturally, this will vary from model to model. However, don’t expect to be spending much more than an hour on assembly and hanging your cabinet, especially if you know your way around a toolbox already.
Our highest rated cabinet at 9.9/10 is the American Heritage Billiards Cavalier Dart Board Cabinet. This looks great, with a hard wood finish and also a huge amount of excellent accessories. This is also one of the easiest to install out of all the products we’ve featured, with a pre-mounted bracket on the back of the cabinet.
Our second most recommended is the Jack Daniel’s Dartboard Cabinet Set. If looks are important to you then this could be the best dartboard cabinet for you. The black and white design and decent level of quality mean we have rated this 9.7/10. It could be slightly better quality in terms of the board itself but it looks good.
The Viper Stadium Cabinet is also a very highly rated dartboard at 9.5/10. It has an LED lighting system to illuminate the playing area, and comes with loads of accessories. This is a great balance of value and quality.