As the popularity of the dart game increased, and the electronic score-tracking dart boards became common in bars, so did the need for a dart type that would be gentle to the board and safe to use in crowded bars. Soft tip darts are intended for use with electronic or plastic dartboards. Their tips are mostly made from plastic or other soft materials. They are not sharp and are much safer than the steel tip darts. Because their main purpose is to be used with sensitive electronic dartboards, they are much lighter than steel tips, and because of that they usually come equipped with slim flights.
Although a relatively new addition to the game, compared to steel tip darts, they quickly became very popular. And attracted by the profit, the manufacturers rushed to provide the players with more and more new models. So now we have plenty of models. Ant that is great, having so many darts to choose from. But it can be hard work trying to figure out which one to buy.
We are going to look at 10 of the best selling soft tip darts. They range from home-use class to competition standards.
GSE Games & Sports Expert Soft Tip Darts for Electronic Dart Board
These cheap 16-gram darts are designed with brass plated barrels with knurled bands, deep grooves and rings that provide a good gripping point. Plastic shaft and flights are integrated. The dart set has 4 colors (black/red/blue/green), so you can split up to 4 teams. The set Includes 12 complete darts set, 4 of extra shafts and flights, 60 of nylon replacement soft tips and a black velvet storage bag.
Most complaints are about the quality of the plastic parts.
- Pros. The price.
- Cons. The quality. Just for home use, not suitable for anything serious.
Viper Bobcat Adjustable Weight Soft Tip Darts
Interesting design and an “Add-a-gram adjustable weight system” are the most distinguished features of these darts along with the high-speed flights and precision engineered grip. You can choose one of the 4 color patterns. Set includes three darts, extra flights, nylon shafts, tips, flight protectors, a dart wrench and add-a-grams. All that is placed in a deluxe Dart Pal case.
Of course, all that comes with a price. Another problem that users report is that the plastic tips are not really engineered for additional weight. Sometimes they break on impact.
- Pros. Adjustable weight system, the design, luxury case, a lot of accessories.
- Cons. The price. Tips are not strong enough
Sametop Soft Tip Darts Set 12 Packs Darts 16 Grams
These 16grams, affordable darts, are equipped with aluminum shafts for extra durability, upgraded soft tip that is stronger and less brittle and a rubber O-ring to make shaft tightened even if it falls on the ground. Well placed knurls and grooves give a good grip point.
In the box, you will find 12 darts, 15 dart flights, 100 dart soft tips, and 1 dart multi-use tool.
Users are unhappy because although they get 100 tips, it is very difficult to replace them. When the tips break, they break in the place where it is very difficult to pull out the tip remains out of the shaft.
- Pros. The price. Aluminum shafts
- Cons. The tips break in a way that is difficult to be replaced.
Bullout Professional Soft Tip Darts Set,12 Pcs 18g
These affordable, but not professional darts are made in weight of 18 grams. They have deep grooves and knurls, so the grip is good. In the packaging, you will find 12 metal barrels, 12 aluminum shafts, 12 rubber rings to prevent loosening and 24flights in 6 different styles and 60 black dart replacement Nylon tips.
Most complaints are about the quality of the tips. They break easily and can be difficult to replace.
- Pros. The price. Aluminum shafts
- Cons. Build quality
Viper Atomic Bee Soft Tip Darts, 16 Grams
This is a small and somewhat chubby dart. The barrel is made out of brass, so slimline is out of the question here. It is interestingly designed, and have decent grooves and knurls, so the grip is good. The micro shafts are made out of aluminum and have locking holes. The packaging is pretty slim for that price. You get only three darts, without extra shafts, flights, and most important- tips.
The largest objection is the high price for just three darts.
- Pros. Good quality. Aluminum shafts
- Cons. The price
Wolmund Soft Darts, 12 Pc 18g
The darts are with brass barrels, weight is 18grams. Deep grooves and well-placed knurls provide good grip. Aluminum shafts and set of standard and slim flights are a nice feature. The package comes with 12 packs complete darts set, 24 anti-loosening rings, 48 dart flights (12 slim flights, 36 standard flights), and 120 dart replacement safety nylon tips.
Problem with these darts is that the tips are short and wide, so the dart pretty often falls from the board.
- Pros. Price. A lot of accessories.
- Cons. Short tips, break in a way that replacing them is difficult.
CyeeLife 15PCS-Soft tip Darts 18g
The manufacturer of these 18 grams darts offers 3 different types of tips, and if you see that the darts will not stay in your dart board, or having trouble getting in, you can email them and get another set of tips in a couple of days. That is an interesting service provided. The material for barrels is brass, and the shafts are aluminum. In the box, you will find 180 Tips, 15 Barrels, 30 Flights, and 15 Aluminum shafts with rubber rings, which is a lot for the money. The grip points are well designed, with grooves and knurls, so they won’t present a problem.
What will present a problem is that the tips break inside the barrel, and it is difficult to pull out the remains.
- Pros. The price. Plenty of accessories. Good after-sale service
- Cons. Tips break in the way that it is difficult to replace them.
Sanfeng Soft Tip Darts Set 18/20 Grams W/O-Rings
These well-designed darts come at two different weights that you can choose from, 18 and 20 grams. They come with durable aluminum shafts, and a set of short and log tips, so you can change to whichever suits you the best. You can also choose a preferred design and color scheme since the manufacturer offers 4 different interesting alternatives.
Deep grooves on the barrel should provide good grip. In a premium case, you will find 15pcs replacement 2BA universal soft tip points, 3pcs nylon white dart shafts and 3pcs another style flights.
Complaints are mostly about tips and flights. Tips tend to break easily, and the flights sometimes fall off because the slots for the flights weren’t cut down the whole way so they have difficulties to stay in.
Viper Sure Grip Soft Tip Darts
The rubberized grip makes them one of the most interesting darts on the list. Beneath the deep rubber grooves is a silver –plated nickel barrel, which is good material for making the dart look slimmer and for tighter grouping.
Aluminum shafts have locking holes, so there is no need for retightening during the game.
Unfortunately, the dart wrench doesn’t come with the package, so you will have to buy it separately.
Most customer complaints are about the tips not being strong enough, and that dart feels a little bit flimsy.
- Pros. Interesting design and a rubber grip. Aluminum shafts. Not expensive.
- Cons. Tips often break. No extra tips in the package. Nothing extra in the package.
MAXMAU 18 pcs of Soft Tip Darts 10g Slim
These brass barreled darts come in the package of 18, for a relatively low price. The barrel is grooved, and provide good grip. The shafts are made from nylon, not aluminum, but you cannot expect much more for that price and quantity. They have a standard 2ba screw thread, both soft tip, and shaft. The packaging contains 6 different designs, so you can split your friends into that much teams.
Most complaints are about quality, the tips breaking, and the flights falling off.
- Pros. Good price for the quantity
- Cons. Tips breaking. Shafts falling off. Medium to low quality.
When choosing darts you should consider:
- The weight
- The materials. We will look at them separately for the barrel, the shafts, and for the finish)
- What are your needs?
There is also the matter of the price, but that is subjective, and only you know how much money are you willing to spend.
The Darts Weight
Soft tip darts are made in different weights, from 14 grams to 20 grams. Some heavier darts are also introduced, but they are rare. The weight of the barrel would probably be a challenge for plastic tips. Most commonly used is the weight of 18 grams. They are a good compromise and a suggested weight for beginners.
The light darts need more power and arm and wrist work when throwing, in order to fly straight. That may cause some pain in the arm or shoulder.
The heavier darts rely on their weight and inertia to fly straight. They are well suited for people with a more “relaxed” way of throwing. They don’t require tight grip as the lighter ones.
The heavier darts are recommended for larger men, the lighter for women and children. But there are always exceptions, so it is recommended that you try different weights.
There is also a difference in the way that the weight is distributed, front or back. The front-loaded darts will fly with an arch-shaped trajectory.
The Soft Tip Darts Barrel Materials
The basic materials from which barrel are made are brass, nickel, and tungsten
- Brass is the most common, as it is the cheapest. Mostly used for home sets, and sometimes in bar sets. Because it is lightweight and soft material the grip points tend to wear too fast, and the weight might shift to one side. The dart will lose the possibility to fly straight. Naturally, that takes time.
Another drawback is that the brass barrels are wider compared to nickel or tungsten barrels darts. That minimizes the chances for tight grouping on the board. That might not be important for home use, but it will present a problem for a competition of any kind.
- Nickel is much stronger and heavier than brass. That makes the barrel thinner and less susceptible to wear. Also enables tighter grouping on the board. They are a good compromise between quality and the price.
- Tungsten is the best material for the barrels. The hardest and the densest of them all. Tungsten is heavier than lead. That enables the manufacturers to make the barrel very thin. Thin barrel enables the dart to fly faster and in a straight line. Also enables tighter grouping on the board.
The barrels are constantly exposed to pressure from griping and holding. Tungsten will endure much more of that than brass or nickel. So it is less likely to wear off, and the flight pattern will be unchanged for a much longer period. These barrels are recommended for everyone who is interested in the results, no matter if it is for home use or competition. A higher percentage of tungsten is better but makes the darts more expensive.
The Soft Tip Darts Shaft Materials
Most common materials are nylon (plastic) and aluminum.
- Nylon is lightweight and cheap material. It is also susceptible to breaking and bending. It makes the darts look and feel flimsy. Most often it will not hold the flights very well and they might come off during the flight. Not the best possible solution if you want results. For home use, it will suffice.
- Aluminum is lightweight, but strong and durable compared to nylon. It is always a better choice. Gives balance to the darts, rigidness during the flight and less wobbling action when hitting the board. Also gives better hold to the flights, so they don’t come off easily when flying.
There are many materials for the finish coating of the barrels titanium, silver, rubber, etc. Titanium, naturally, is the best of all. It protects the barrel beneath, keeping it safe from the corroding effects of sweat, oils, and everything else that we carry around on palms of our hands.
What are your needs?
If you are planning to play just for fun, at home with your kids and friends, then you probably will not get much from paying large amounts of money for a set of tungsten titanium coated darts. But if you are result oriented player, you will need result oriented equipment.