How long do darts last? Darts in general can last years even decades. But the grip on the darts can last 3 to 8 months before starting to wear out. How long the grip on darts last depends on its type and design. Frequent playing, tighter grouping and bounce outs can also make darts grip last shorter.
There are a few caveats here, so if you want to know more, check the rest of the article below where I get into more detail about how long darts last.
- 1 How long do the tips of the darts last?
- 2 How long does the grip of the darts last?
- 3 How long do the stems (shafts) of the darts last?
- 4 How long do the flights of the darts last?
- 5 Does the material affect how long darts last?
- 6 Do steel tip or soft tip darts last longer?
- 7 Do expensive darts last longer?
- 8 How frequently you should change your darts?
- 9 How to make your darts last longer?
How long do the tips of the darts last?
The steel tips last a really long time. In fact the tips can last you from several years to at least a few decades.
Generally speaking you do not want your darts to be so sharp that they hit the dartboard backer. On the other hand you also do not need the tip to be so flattened that it will not be able to penetrate the fibers and stick to the board.
If you hit any hard surface with your dart, be it a concrete wall, the floor, or even a wire bounce out, check the dart’s tip. If it shows any signs of wear use a darts sharpener.
With severely misshapen dart tips you may need a more aggressive sharpening which can take parts of the tip. This is why depending on the condition of the tip even re-tipping may be necessary.
With that being said a dart tip that is severely flattened or burred is going to be more dangerous to your dartboard than anything else.
How long does the grip of the darts last?
There is a wide variety of dart grips.
However, the type of grip does have its own lifetime. And this is pretty much the only thing that is of a real concern here.
Although as you now know the dart itself will last years if not decades the grip however is going to be one of the things to wear out first.
There are several aspects that will determine how long the grip on your darts will last. These aspects are mostly related to the way the barrel is designed.
The placement, angle, and type of the cuts. Some that have sharper more precisly cut edges will tend to smooth out or wear out faster.
The more agressive or deep the grip the shorter amount of time it will last. In comparison the less grip the dart has and the smoother it is the longer it will last.
Also the design of the bullsnose of the barrel is important. Certain barrels can wear out faster and even significantly damage other parts of the dart like the shaft and the flights.
The next thing that matters is how tightly you are able to group your darts and how frequently you do it.
The tighter the grouping and the more frequently you do it the faster the barrels will wear out.
And of course the last factor is how frequently you play How aggressively you play will also affect how long the darts will last. In certain cases you can start seeing significant signs of wear and tear on the barrels even after 1 month.
This does not mean that you are losing the barrel, it will still be there, just a little smoother than what once was.
On average you can expect the more aggressive grips to last at least 3 to 12 months; medium grips can last 1 to several years.
How long do the stems (shafts) of the darts last?
The stems of the darts can last a really long time. However, depending on how often you play, and how tight your groupings are, and how often you Robin Hood them they generally last between a few weeks to over an year.
How long do the flights of the darts last?
Flights are one of the most fragile parts in a dart. They will not last a lot of time depending on the type and design of the dart, how often you play, and grouping. Darts flights on average last 3 to 14 days of frequent and consistent play.
How tight your groupings are are going to be one of the most important factors here. If you consistently throw very tight groupings then you may be looking at chaging your flights every week or so. However, for beginners where things may be a little different dart flights may last even a few months.
Dart flights wear out faster by certain types of barrel designs. Right where the tip and the barrel meet some darts have a slight tapered end which can literally destroy dart flights in just a few hits.
Other barrel designs like the storm points are going to be a lot easier on the flights.
Does the material affect how long darts last?
Darts are usually made from a few different materials like tungsten, brass, and nickel. Usually darts are made from a combination of these like tungsten-nickel, and nickel-silver.
Tungsten darts are usually of a higher quality. Tungsten is denser and last longer compared to brass, copper, or nickel which are softer metals which will wear out faster.
Do steel tip or soft tip darts last longer?
This is a hard question to answer. But generally speaking both steel tip and soft tip darts should last for relatively similar periods of time. With that being said, it can be speculated that soft tip darts may be prone to slightly faster rates of wearing out.
The reason why soft tip darts may be at a very slight disadvantage is the dartboard.
When steel tip darts hit the dartboard they tend to stick to the bond firmly and not move a lot. And on soft tip dartboards as the darts hit the dartboard they tend to vibrate and move more while the dart settles in. This can lead to a slightly faster wearing out of the barrels if being tightly grouped as they will brush against each other more.
Do expensive darts last longer?
Expensive darts do not necessarily last longer than cheaper darts. However, expensive darts can be made from higher percentages of tungsten which is a very tough and long lasting material in which case they will last longer.
For more information you can check my other article on do expensive darts make a difference?
How frequently you should change your darts?
With that being said, a few things I feel like should be mentioned. The wearing out of the darts’ barrels may seem a little too nit picky but many dart players (especially pro level ones) can be very particular about the condition of the dart. For them a dart may be unusable after 1 to 3 months due to the loss n the grip level.
For other, newer players this may not be such a problem if any at all.
Conversely, some experienced dart players even enjoy the feel of older darts that have their barrels worn out. It all comes down to personal preference.
You can even see it with the pro darts players. Some like Phil Taylor and Peter Wright, and Gary Anderson will frequently change their darts while others like Michael van Gerwen will use the same set of darts for very long periods of time.
Frequently the problem may be with high level players that seek consistency both weight and grip-wise.
So how frequently you should be changing your darts will depend entirely on personal feel and preference. Some dart players may feel the need to change their darts every few months while other may be perfectly okay with throwing the same set of darts for a few decades.
How to make your darts last longer?
Althouth the process of wear and tear is somehting as normal as life itself, there are some things that we can do to acutally improve the life expectancy of our darts.
Make sure to frequently clean your darts especially around the knurling of the barrels. The best way to do that is by using warm soapy water and a toothbrush. That way you will ensure that your darts are clean and you will be able to remove any dead skin build ups and grease.
Do not keep the darts in damp areas and always dry them with a clean towel after cleaning them.
It is recommended to use adequate wall protection and floor protection in order to reduce the chances of a dart hitting any hard surface which can significantly damage it. A high-quality staple-free dartboard with thin wires will also contribute to your darts longevity as you will be experiencing less bounce outs.
Read Next: What Is a Staple Free Bullseye?