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.
Ryan knows everything when it comes to gaming, both online and offline. Since his early years he’s been in love with arcades, air hockey, and foosball. Finally, he’s given the opportunity to share his knowledge and opinion on the hobby of his life (and even get paid for it!).
Last updated: May 27, 2021
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Darts have been in vogue for long as a popular pub game, but its demand continues to increase worldwide as both a professional sport and a fun addition to social activities. You only require minimal skills and equipment to start competing with your peers while improving your accuracy and hand-eye coordination. Dartboards come in different types made of coiled paper, wood, cork, bristle, electronic, or magnet.
When picking the best dartboard, you will need to factor in important features such as the type of dartboard, diameter, playtime, weight, dimensions, material and game options, among others. We first analyzed the different types available and their construction material as well as the diameter for an ample playing surface. Next, we evaluated the playtime to ensure we only recommend the models that would be a durable investment with countless hours of play. We also assessed the available game options which may include preprogrammed games and voice prompts, and the ability to set skill level and track scores. Lastly, we considered the weight and dimensions for their effect on set up, storage and portability of the dartboard.
Based on these key features and feedback from buyers on the best dartboard, we came up with a list of the top recommended models, which have been ranked in the comparison table below. You will also find an in-depth review of the features, pros and cons of each model, and a comprehensive buying guide with useful information on the key features and benefits of a dartboard and tips on maintenance. Our review is summed up by an overview of our top three picks.
You only need to look at this model to realize the revolutionary changes the dartboard has gone through since its pre-World War wooden version. This high-tech version stands out from other electronic boards by using the DARTSLIVE-200S iOS and Android app to tabulate scores and rate your performance based on a range of statistics in the built-in rating system which allows you to track your gaming progress on your mobile phone.
The dartboard connects to the app via Bluetooth and uses a USB cable or 3 AA batteries for power. The cable is included in the package, along with two sets of soft tip darts totaling 6, 10 extra soft tips, 5 screws and 5 anchors for easy installation.
More exclusive games have been added to this model to keep you preoccupied for hours while the intensive “CHALLENGE” training mode sharpens your skills in hitting BULL or Triple 20. Up to 8 players and up to 4 teams can play at once.
The minimum system requirement for this electronic dartboard is OS 7 for iPhone and iPad, 4.0 or later for Android devices and 3.0 for Bluetooth HID profile. Unfortunately, it does not include online play option where you compete against other dart players over the internet. Neither does it work on laptops or computers.
A great advantage of owning the best dartboard with cabinet is the provision of additional protection and storage. This is particularly important if you are using darts that have been tipped with weighted steel, as is the case with this 29-pound model. Whenever you miss the dartboard, the darts hit the cabinet instead of the wall which could damage them. However, you do have to worry about this because there is a distance of 14 to 14.5 inches between the bullseye and the top of the cabinet which provides enough clearance. The handcrafted cabinet also keeps dust and moisture away, thus prolonging the durability of your dartboard.
The dartboard is made of dense sisal-fiber bristle while the cabinet is made of solid wood and warp-resistant MDF with mocha veneer which adds sophistication to your dartboard. The package includes a tournament-quality board, a dual set total of 6 darts, an eraser and 2 black scoring chalkboards located on each of the side panels. It equips you with everything you need to get started on the game right away. The pre-mounted Z-brackets on the back ease the mounting process for a quick set-up.
The darts are great as a starter option but they could be better, so you may need to upgrade them. They also tend to unscrew after repeated throws. Customers suggest investing in rubber o-rings to fix this.
Harley-Davidson, widely known as a motorcycle manufacturer, has incorporated the classic roar of their engine into this electronic dartboard. The revving sound goes off each time you hit the bullseye or win the game.
This model takes your play to another exciting level with lights, sound, multi-player capability and a vast range of gaming options which increases its appeal as the best electronic dartboard for both kids and adults.
You can enjoy countless hours of competitive fun with your family and friends because this dartboard is integrated with 48 different games, including cricket and 01, and accommodates up to 8 players at once. The target area meets the 15.5 inches requirement of regulation boards while the 4 color LCD scoring panel lights up and flashes to give you a clear vision of the scoreboard from the throw line. Automated features include scorekeeping and automatic advancement to the next player.
This is a compact dartboard, weighing a portable 6.6 pounds. It features a diamond-edged design and the traditional Harley-Davidson orange and black colors. As an electronic dartboard, it only works with soft tip darts; 6 darts are included in the package along with additional spare tips, a game manual and an AC adapter. The darts are made of a plastic tip and flight, an aluminum barrel, and a shaft made of plastic and aluminum. A couple of buyers found the quality of these darts wanting.
Playing darts in pubs is a popular pastime for many people, and while beer goggles may not affect the throwing accuracy of a habitual darts player, they can make it much harder to accurately tabulate the scores. With the best electronic dartboard with cabinet, you don’t have to worry about drinking and deriving because it automatically records the scores for you. For this model, the scores are presented on a large LED display, and you can view the statistics of up to 4 players at once by using the “PLAYER/PAGE” button on the control panel.
The dartboard comes with plenty of gaming choices to keep boredom at bay. It features 27 integrated games with 195 different variations which can be played by up to 8 players simultaneously, and an option for cyber play comprising of 5 skill levels which allow both amateurs and professionals to play with a computer opponent according to their individual expertise.
Bounce outs are minimized by the concave segment holes and ultra thin spider which improve sticking of darts while the large catch ring around the target face provides a safe landing zone for the 12 starter darts when you miss the shots, therefore protecting both the darts and your wall from damage. Since starter darts can easily break, an additional 40 soft tips are provided for quick replacement.
Other features include automated voice announcer with adjustable sound volume ranging from 0 to 7 and a sturdy cabinet with built-in slots for storage of darts and other accessories, such as the manual and power adapter.
If you are looking for the best dartboard cabinet at an affordable cost, look no further than this model with wooden doors and built-in dart holders which will keep your darts and accessories safe from dust and other weather elements and also protect the surrounding wall from damage caused by missed shots.
It comes with 38 pre-installed games and 167 variations which can be played by people of all skill levels. Up to 8 players can participate at a time. Alternatively, you can select the solo play option to compete against a computer opponent.
The single in/out or doubles in/out X/O scores of up to 4 simultaneous players are automatically tallied and displayed on a scoreboard which is brightly-illuminated for legibility from the throw line. Owners of this model laud the maximum visibility resulting from the 9 large LED-backlit scoring windows which has allowed them to set up this dartboard in places which may have insufficient ambient light, such as garages and basements.
Another popular feature with customers is the interactive heckling option which adds a fun and lively element to your overall experience by rapturously applauding you when you make an impressive score and mocking you mercilessly for errant throws. You can opt out of it by pressing the button twice before selecting the game.
An AC adapter and 6 darts are included in the package. Considering Arachnid pioneered soft tip darts, it’s ironic that the main customer complaint is the darts which stop sticking on the dartboard soon afterwards.
Winmau has been implementing additional features and upgrades to its successive models to retain its reputation as the best dartboard brand. After reducing the dartboard wire to 50% in Blade 4, they further reduced it by 14% in Blade 5 single core version which was launched in 2016. The wiring profile triangular was also reduced from 90 degrees in its predecessor to 60 degrees in this model for less outward deflection. These changes were engineered to optimize your chances of scoring by minimizing bounce outs and increasing the double and treble surface area to 9mm2 and 6mm2 respectively.
The dartboard is made of high-density sisal fiber which is popular for its stretching ability and tensile strength. This makes it durable by improving penetration by darts and instant reattachment and healing of the fibers when you pull out the darts from the board. The lifespan of this model is further extended by the steel reinforcement of the bullseye ring using carbon diffusion technology.
Multiple installation options are availed by the triple wheel lock-and-level system with adjustable points which support rotation of the dartboard and align perfectly to secure it to any surface, including uneven ones. Customers advise acquiring a piece of cork slab to protect the wall when mounting your dartboard.
Unfortunately, you have to purchase darts separately because they are not included in the package. The manufacturer recommends steel tips for this model, but adds that you can also use any 3/16-inch soft tip darts.
Bring the tournament to your tavern and upgrade your skills to world class levels with this Championship quality bristle board model which has been the dartboard of choice for the Professional Darts Corporation world tournaments for more than 9 years. It has also received endorsement as the best type of dart board by verified buyers and giant retailers, such as Amazon.
The staple-free construction has proven to be a hit with consumers because it heightens their scoring chances by increasing the target area, particularly in the double and treble zone. The absence of staples means there are fewer obstructions to hinder and deflect darts when you aim for the bullseye which translates to less bounce outs.
Another outstanding in the construction of this model is the high technology wiring design made of thin spider wires with high tensile strength which prolongs the life of your dartboard. It also increases the surface of the scoring area and directs the dart into the scoring zone to maximize your hits.
High scores are also optimized by the highly compressed sisal fiber with self-healing abilities. This promotes deeper penetration of darts to prevent bounce outs, and automatic repair and closure of the holes made by darts. It accomplishes this too well that it has caused sticky issues for a couple of buyers who reported that they struggled to pull out the darts.
A checkout chart with a combination of scores to hit when playing the 01game is also included in the package, along with mounting tools for easy installation.
Visibility is very crucial when playing darts, both as a determinant of your performance and as a safety measure against accidents from the steel-tipped darts. By using high resolution diamond markers in the doubles and triples, this dartboard improves visibility of the scoring zone for more accurate shots, and adds a classy touch to your board.
A number of optimal features have been incorporated in this model to increase your scoring opportunities by lessening bounce outs, enlarging the target surface and enhancing dart penetration. These features include a staple-free unobtrusive bullseye, razor thin spider wiring system and high-grade compressed sisal fibers which can automatically repair themselves.
Aiming accuracy is the main focus of this dartboard, so it would greatly benefit beginners who are in need of the best bristle dartboard with movable targets which can be customized for training. It can be used for a long while before upgrading to a more advanced model because the movable number ring can be rotated to strengthen the board by avoiding concentration on one side of hitting surface which could speed up deterioration.
This model is reasonably-priced and durable, although one of the buyers noted white patches from poor dye saturation.
Featuring extra-dense sisal fibers from East Africa which have been woven tightly to instantly repair dart holes and reduce bounce outs, you can be assured of a durable investment when you purchase this bristle dartboard. It is, therefore, unsurprising that it boasts of an endorsement from the American Dart Organization and has become a common fixture in the U.S., especially in Dallas bars.
Although the bullseye does not have staples which could block or slow down the darts, there are SupaWire bands and thin dividers around it which have been angled to smoothly deflect the darts into the scoring area and maximize your scores.
The regulation-sized model is equipped with an adjustable number ring which ensures that the board wears out evenly. This extends its life by protecting scoring areas with a high volume of shots from fast deterioration.
For quick installation, a full mounting kit and instruction manual are included in the package. The kit consists of three tension bars and a center screw which is connected to the wall mount bracket, and which facilitates board rotation.
Customers have mainly been impressed by the lifespan, the low bounce out rate and the high-quality sisal board which allows the darts to stick, with only a couple of buyers reporting legibility issues due to the positioning of the wires on the number ring.
This dartboard does not have the cabinet which provides protection against natural elements and qualifies its electronic counterpart as the best outdoor dartboard, but both models share important features, such as a low bounce out rate, durable construction and the instantly-recognizable Harley-Davidson colors of black and orange.
The traditional bristle board is sturdily made with a matrix of high tensile steel wires and dense African sisal fiber which is famous for self-healing capacity, long lifespan and even distribution of dye. The tightly-woven fibers provide better penetration by darts and close up as soon as you pull out the darts. Since there are no staples on the bullseye, there is minimal hindrance on the scoring area and fewer bounce outs of darts after hitting the mark.
This model weighs 10 pounds, and has a thickness of 1.5 inches and a diameter of 18 inches. Owning it allows you to compete with your family and friends using a high-quality dartboard which meets the international tournament standards for dimensions and quality. Gaming rules and mounting instructions are provided upon purchase for easy navigation and installation. However, you will have to acquire the darts separately.
This is an intriguing dartboard. It boasts of the lowest pricing and weight in our list of the best bristle dartboards yet has a similar or larger number of features than some of the costlier models.
This includes premium self-healing African sisal, a staple-free bullseye which prevents bounce outs and galvanized wire which has been rounded to reduce deflections and made thinner by 50% to increase the target surface by 14% for higher scores. The wiring system is resistant to rust and corrosion while the bullseye is fortified with carbon diffusion technology for additional strength.
Other optimal changes include a 30-degree reduction in razor wire angle which directs the darts to the scoring area to maximize hits.
The removable number ring is made of steel for durability. Adjustment of the ring delays deterioration of the board by allowing segments with a high numbers of hits to heal.
In addition to the compact size and low weight of 5 pounds, an extra benefit of owning this dartboard is the ability to set it up on any surface using triple wheel lock-and-level system. Wall mount brackets, screws, anchors, and protective bumpers are included in the package for secure installation of the board to walls or cabinets. Darts are purchased separately.
What stands out?
Compact and light
Thinner galvanized wires
Removable number ring
Triple wheel lock-and-level system
Mounting kit included
What cons did we manage to find?
Darts not included
Things to Consider
This section examines the most important features to take into account before acquiring a dartboard, the benefits of owning the best dartboard, and how to maintain it to make it a durable investment. A useful FAQ segment has been included at the end of this guide for additional insight into the most common questions.
Benefits of having a top-quality dartboard
You do not need advanced skills or equipment to start play darts.
It is a fun and enjoyable pastime
It improves focus, accuracy and hand-eye coordination.
You develop confidence, teamwork and social skills.
There are plenty of games and variations to choose from.
Customizable skill level and sound.
Features to consider when choosing your perfect dartboard
To determine the best type of dartboard for your needs, you will need to factor in the following key features.
They are the most common type of dartboards, both in tournaments and casual settings.
Although a few of these boards use hemp, compressed African sisal is the most popular material in bristle dartboards due to its tensile strength, color clarity and minimal glare which translates to high visibility of the board, and self-healing ability which automatically fills up the holes made by the steel tip darts.
The boards are long-lasting and require little maintenance. They also have fewer bounce outs. Their drawback is the lack of automatic score keeping.
They are the best type of dartboards for kids because they use magnetic flat-tipped darts to stick to the board instead of the sharp dart tips needed to penetrate the other types of dartboards. You know that drunken uncle who enjoys throwing drinks – hic -darts with you? This would be the best type of dart board to keep both of you dry and safe during your gaming sessions.
Magnetic models also tend to last much longer because there is no deterioration from darts sticking into the board although they may lose their magnetic power with time.
Also known as soft tip dartboards, they are just as popular as bristle dartboards. They come with multiple preprogrammed games and variations.
Their main outstanding feature is the automatic recording of scores each time the dart hits the board. This is convenient in pubs and parks where there are several people clamoring to play. Some of the boards also allow you to track your performance based on your previously recorded statistics so you can analyze your progress.
Another advantage is the cabinet featured in the best outdoor dartboards which protects the dartboards from natural elements and serves as storage for your darts and accessories.
A frequent complaint on electronic dartboards is deflection and bounce outs of darts. They also require electricity to operate, and can only work with soft tip darts to protect the delicate board.
Wooden Dart Boards
They are the original mainstream dartboards which became popular before the World war, with Elm and okay being the preferred wood. They are now rarer since the other types of dartboards are more convenient, have less or non-existent odor and require less maintenance. The wooden darts do not help their case, either. However, there are still quite a number of traditionalists who consider recent models inferior and who wouldn’t have it any other way.
Coiled Paper Dart Boards
As the name indicates, they feature coiled paper framed with plastic or steel. These disposable boards are suitable for kids and recreation because they aren’t fancy and the cheapest and most basic type of dartboards.
Game and level options
Electronic models feature a vast range of pre-installed games with several variations and gaming options, including voice prompts for navigation and extra fun, automatic tallying of scores, performance analysis, well-lit LED displays for visibility, movable training target, solo feature option, multi-player capacity, online play, and adjustable skill level and sound output.
Dartboard diameter and thickness
The thickness of a dartboard is directly related to its density and the depth of dart penetration. A dense board allows deeper penetration so darts can stick into position and bounce out less. This, in turn, increases your chances of high scoring. A thickness of 1.5 inches for bristle dartboards should suffice.
On the other hand, the ideal dartboard diameter depends on your skill level and intended usage.
The diameter of a dartboard meant for recreational purposes may be selected based on the number of players it can accommodate at once, but professional dart players should get a board with the right dimensions for their league or tournament because it does not make sense to train with the wrong board.
The approved measurements could either be the regulation-size dartboard with a diameter of 17-3/4 and 15 inches for steel-tipped darts and soft tip darts respectively, or the Champion dartboard with a diameter of 13 inches for both bristle and electronic dartboards.
What will you be using it for?
As stated above, you will need to establish the intended purpose of your dartboard, whether recreational or for training for official competitions, so you can look for the best dartboard brand which adheres to international dimensions in case you are a professional player. Some of the models on our list have been endorsed by the international governing bodies which organize these tournaments. They would be a great place to start because they are already approved.
If you are buying it for kids, coil paper, cork and magnetic models would be an ideal choice because they do not use sharp-tipped darts which can cause accidental mishaps.
But if you will be playing darts in the backyard, you will need an electronic dartboard with a cabinet for protection against dust, rust and natural elements.
Where will you be using it?
This should play a role in the size, type and features of your intended models. Outdoor play will require a cabinet for additional protection and a portable dartboard, parties and friendly competitions will necessitate multi-player capacity, and family gatherings may need a magnetic board to prioritize safety for kids.
Staple/ staple-free construction
As evidenced by all our recommended bristle models, bristle-free construction maximizes your chances of hitting the double and treble area by minimizing obstructions which could deflect darts and increase bounce outs.
Thinner wire reduces outward deflections and increases the size of the target area to improve your high scores. In some models, the wire is angled to direct the dart into the scoring area and fortified for extra strength. For instance, the wiring profile triangular in Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard has been reduced to 60 degrees for fewer bounce outs and the bullseye steel ring has been reinforced with carbon diffusion technology.
High-grade bristle, such as the sisal fibre featured in our recommended list of the best bristle dartboards, optimizes density for deeper penetration and heals quickly after piercing by darts. The instant repair increases the lifespan of your dartboard.
These include pre-installed games featured in electronic dartboards, mounting kits with triple wheel lock-and-level systems for securing the dartboard on any surface, removable number rings to prevent uneven wear of the board and extend its lifespan, voice prompts for a lively game, automatic score keeping, app compatibility, movable training targets, and a storage cabinet for protection.
Check that the dartboard you choose has all the extra accessories that you may need, especially a installation / mounting kit – this will make it easy for you to get the dartboard up and ready to use as soon as you receive it!
According to the Darts Regulation Authority, the regulation size dartboard has a diameter of 17 3⁄4 inches for hard tips darts and 15.5 inches for soft tip darts.
Wrapping It Up
The Soft Darts Board DARTSLIVE-200S, American Heritage Billiards Cavalier Dart Board Cabinet and the Harley-Davidson Electronic Dartboard made it to our top three choices, not just because of their individual features, but also because they encapsulate the beauty and diversity of dartboards. In these three models, we have technology in the modern app compatibility, automatic and manual tallying, scorekeeping chalkboards, large multi-player LCD display, soft-tipped and steel-tipped darts, optimal wiring technology with reduced thickness for higher scoring potential, mounting brackets for quick installation, high-grade compressed sisal fiber which promotes dart penetration and quick self-healing, and of course the beautiful cabinets which add a classy touch to this competitive list.
We hope the whole review has been a reassuring eye-opener that confirms that you can always get the best dartboard for your budget and the best dartboard brands for your training, such as Winmau and Unicorn, which bear a stamp of approval from the relevant governing bodies.