Updated: October 12, 2015
Dart Board Reviews:Dart boards are a fun way to spend time with friends or family. Having a dart board in your house means you don't have to hang around smokey bars and you can play in the comfort of your own home any time of day. Darts is a game of skill and precision and has been around since the Middle Ages of England. The game is played with a mounted dart board that is traditionally made of tiny bristles that form the pad/board. The dartboard is circular in shape and has numbered regions (1 to 20) not including the center bullseye. Dart games vary by # of players and by version, but instructions/manuals with most dart boards come with about 27 game variations including 301, 501, 701, 901, Cricket, Scram, Cut Throat Cricket, Count up to 300, High Score 8 Rounds (9 & 10 rounds too), Round the Clock singles (doubles, triples), killer, Forty One, Shanghai 1, Shanghai 10, All Fives 51 (61, 71), and Golf 9 holes (18 holes). Darts is still more popular in England than in the United States. Prices range from under $50 to well over $200
So you are looking to buy a dartboard, what type should you select? There are electronic dart boards, bristle dart boards, dart boards built into cabinets, magnetic dart boards, and cork dart boards. The top dart board brands include Halex, Piranha, Bottelsen, Arachnid, GLD, Winmau, Unicorn, Power Point, DMI, Nodor, Viper, Accudart, Shot King, and Widdy. Some dart boards have themes like sports, Harley Davidsons, John Deere, NASCAR, Armed Forces, TV Shows, Music, or beer companies like Budweiser or Guinness. We went to Dartboards.com and Amazon.com to find the latest and best dart boards available to consumers. We read customer reviews and looked at key features to determine which ones are the "best of the best" in various categories. The best selling dart boards are the DMI Bandit Pro ($53) - staple free bulls-eye for less bounce outs, high-grade sisal fibers for self healing playing surface, and a movable number ring to the board will wear evenly, the Halex Bristle Dart Board ($35) - you get 6 deluxe chrome barrel steel tip darts for free, great for intermediate players, the Halex CricketView Dart Board Package (Bristle Tech) ($160) - 5 bright LED scoring displays, surface is great for soft tip or steel tip darts, 37 games with 210 variations, can play against a computer, and includes 6 soft tip and 6 steel tip darts. The electronic dart boards are more expensive than the bristle boards and help in keeping score. The Arachnid electronic dart boards are the most popular of the bunch and they provide the best performance to dart players. Lastly, you have the cabinet dart boards which look great, but get less than ideal reviews from users. You can browse the top selling dart boards online here.
Best Bristle Dart Board:If you are looking for a great dart board that will last years and comes with all the supplies you will need to get a game of darts started right away, then check out the dart boards listed here. The first one is the Winmau Blade IV Bristle Dartboard ($50) - great for a game room or home bar, it's a competition quality bristle dart board with a staple-free bullseye. Mounting hardware comes with the package but darts are not included. The reason this board is #1 rated on Amazon is because of the lack of "bounce outs" you get. I own the Shot King Bristle Dart Board ($45) and although I have to keep score manually, the board plays great and the 6 darts that came with the board work fine. When it comes to owner reviews, it's hard to beat out the DMI Bandit Staple-free Bristle Dartboard at roughly same cost as the Winmau. Features powder coated number wiring and a solid 1 year warranty. It's made in New Zealand.
Electronic Dart Board:All right, so you want to play like the pros from the comfort of your home. We suggest the Arachnid Galaxy II Commercial Electronic Dart Board for $3999.99. Arachnid is the leader in commercial grade arcade style dart boards and this one won't disappoint. It's the same electronic dart game you see in bars with real coin operation (keep it free), missed dart detector, a fully lit target area illuminated from both sides, auto player change, 15 inch color monitor, handicapping, full tournament capabilities, and selectable bull. RECOMMENDED - Want something a little less expensive, then go with the Arachnid Cricket Pro 800 - features Nylon tough segments so that the board is durable and playability is top notch. This tournament quality electronic dart board works for up to 8 players and has the option to play up to 40 games with 179 variations. Some owners like the interactive talking the machine does when someone gets a good or bad shot. It's one of the few talking dart boards on the market. You can see all the top rated electronic dartboards listed online here.
Dartboard Cabinets:Lots of dartboards are placed in garages or basements on a spare wall where no one cares if darts hit it. Some homeowners prefer the cleaner look of a dartboard cabinet when mounting up their dart boards. Accudart is one of the few manufacturers along with Viper that get good customer reviews. Most of the other brands (such as Halex) get pretty bad reviews when it comes to cabinet dartboards. Most range in price from $60 to $200. The biggest complaint that owners had with dartboard cabinets was the hardware and installation instructions that aren't always easy to understand. Unless you absolutely need the cabinet, we say put up a regular bristle board in an area where you don't care about some damage. Darts do miss the board and often hit the wall or fall to the ground.
Mounting a Dart Board:If you are going to place the dart board in your garage or basement (2 common spots), consider how the board will be mounted to the wall and make sure you take into account all the missed shots that don't even hit the dart board. I've seen peoples garage walls that are peppered with holes created by errant darts. The best way to avoid this situation is to attach the dart board to another piece of plywood that is roughly twice the size of the dart board. That way any wayward shot will still hit the protected area. Many owners mentioned that they covered the piece of protective wood with black fabric so that is looked stylish still. If you buy an electronic or magnetic dart board then you will have no worries since darts for those types of boards don't do any real damage to walls. The board needs to hung exactly 5 feet 8 inches from the floor to the center of the bullseye. The throw line should be placed 7 feet 9 1/4 inches from the dart board.
Get detailed information on specific brands - Arachnid Dart Board Reviews