Before getting into a hobby or a sport, one question needs to be answered—how much will this cost?
There are a lot of different activities; some will cost you little to nothing while others may have extremely high running costs.
If you are reading this, then maybe you are wondering the same thing.
“Is playing darts going to break my bank, and how much money will I have to “invest” in it?” may be some of the questions you have.
Is darts expensive? Darts is not expensive. The majority of high-quality darts and dartboards are fairly inexpensive. What is more, is you do not need to get expensive darts or accessories to play and practice darts—although of higher quality beyond a certain price point, there is little to no benefit.
If you are interested in learning more about the different costs and expenses associated with darts, continue reading below.
What Do You Need to Play Darts?
Several aspects make darts so popular, one of which is the fact that you do not need a lot of equipment, accessories, special clothing, extensive knowledge, or anything that you cannot obtain in a day or two.
To start playing darts, you need two things. The very basics include a dartboard and a set of darts (or three darts in total).
There are different types of dartboards, so you need to make sure you match the right kind of darts with the right kind of dartboard.
- Bristle dartboards (also known as steel tip dartboards) take steel tip darts—soft tip darts will not work on them.
- Electronic dartboards (also referred to as soft tip dartboards) take soft tip darts. You should not use steel tip darts on a soft tip dartboard.
- Magnetic dartboards take magnetic darts.
- Velcro dartboards take darts or balls that have Velcro attached to them.
- Paper dartboards are used in combination with steel tip darts.
This is it. It is really as simple as they come.
Dartboards usually come with all the mounting hardware you will need, and some may even include a set of darts for free. So depending on the board you choose, you can get two birds with one stone.
Of course, there are different accessories that darts players use. But these can be considered optional, especially in the beginning and especially if you are on the budget and just trying to get started.
However, these accessories have their place in your inventory, and I will talk a good bit about that later in this article.
Now let’s take a look at how expensive each of the different things you will need to start playing darts are.
Are Dartboards Expensive?
Now you know that there are a few different kinds of dartboards that you can play on.
The dartboard will usually be the most highly-priced item on your list—but it is also the most important item as well.
How expensive a dartboard is will depend mostly on its type, overall quality, and, in some instances, its features.
Let’s take a look at how much do the different types of dartboards cost:
- Steel tip dartboards are, on average, fairly inexpensive. They cost between $25 and $100. You can expect to be spending about $65 to $85 on a good high-quality dartboard.
- Electronic soft tip dartboards are usually the most expensive of the bunch. They cost between $30 and $300. You can expect to be spending about $200 on a high-quality electronic dartboard.
- Free standing dartboards are usually commercial dartboards that cost between $250 and $4000.
- Paper dartboards are inexpensive and usually do not cost more than $30.
- Magnetic dartboards are usually very cheap and cost between $15 and $35.
- Velcro dartboards are usually intended for kids, so naturally, you can expect them to be relatively inexpensive, costing between $15 and up to about $25.
Are Darts Expensive?
Darts, too, are fairly inexpensive. Well, it really depends on what kind of darts you go with.
Soft tip darts are, on average, a little cheaper than steel tip darts.
With that being said, it is usually not worth going for the most expensive darts possible. A more expensive dart does NOT guarantee you will get a huge—if any—advantage over other players.
A good ballpark is the $20 to $30 range. At that price point, darts are usually of really good quality and going anywhere above that will often not help much to a newer player.
Conversely, or more experienced players buying darts above that price range may be justified in some instances.
Are Darts Accessories Expensive?
Dart accessories are somewhat optional.
Technically speaking, all you need to play darts is a dartboard and three darts, so for some, there would be no more expenses.
However, others may be interested in what will cost them if they decide they want to buy some dart accessories, or what it would cost them if they happen to decide they need some extra stuff later on.
This is why below, I will get into further detail, explaining briefly the great majority of dart accessories worth buying that most players use.
Dartboard Backboard (Surround)
The primary purpose of a dartboard backboard (or a dartboard surround) is to offer protection to the wall behind the board. Steel tip darts, and in fact, even soft tip darts can damage your wall—and this is why having a good quality wall protection is advisable.
Dartboard backboards come in all kinds of shapes, forms, and sizes. And they are usually not very expensive. They cost between $25 and $150. On average, you can expect to pay about $45 for a good quality dartboard backboard.
A scoreboard is not completely necessary, but it can make things like keeping the score while playing the different dart games a lot easier and straightforward. A scoreboard adds a nice touch to the interior design of your game room or dart space, too.
There are different types of scoreboards, like chalk, dry erase, and electronic scoreboards. Many of the high-end electronic dartboards, however, have an electronic scoreboard display built right into them too.
Scoreboards are fairly inexpensive. They cost between $5 and $80 depending on their type and quality. The dry erase scoreboards are the most popular because they do not make any mess and are easy to clean and cost about $10 to $30 on average. You will need to buy the occasional dry erase marker, too.
A dartboard cabinet is similar to a dartboard backboard as it, too, offers wall protection. However, it also provides a useful way to store and protect your dartboard. Dartboard cabinets usually have places to store and keep your darts, and frequently have a scoreboard built into them.
So in a way, dartboard cabinets have many different uses and purposes. And investing in a dartboard cabinet could mean that you will not need to buy other accessories.
Lastly, quality dartboard cabinets just look very stylish and classy, very reminiscent of a bar or a pub.
The cost of dartboard cabinets can vary between $40 and $200 depending on the quality of the materials used, built quality, and more. Many dartboard cabinets may be sold in combination with a dartboard as well, which can make them more expensive.
Throw Line (Toe Line)
We all know that there are strict rules as to how far away from the dartboard we should be when throwing. Thus having the throw line clearly marked is vital, but this can pose a lot of problems as not everyone wants to measure their floor each time they start throwing. On the other hand, not everyone wants to mark in some way their flooring, so what do we do?
A throw line is the way to go.
Throw lines come in various different shapes and forms, all of which are usually inexpensive. The standard throw line markers are between $8 and $20 while the carpet throw line mats can go up to about $120. Laser throw line markers, on the other hand, cost about $25 to $40.
Dart mats are used for floor protection. These mats usually also double down as an oche or a throw line marker.
Their cost will depend on the quality, the materials used, and the thickness of the mat. Dart mats cost between $30 and $150.
Dart cases are used for storing and transporting darts.
Dart cases are usually fairly inexpensive, costing between $10 and $50. The price will depend on mostly the type, build quality and capacity of the case.
The cheaper dart cases usually are meant for storing no more than three darts, while the more expensive ones offer superior protection and are capable of holding several sets of darts.
Dart holders are another neat accessory that can be used to hold and store darts.
The price of a darts holder varies between $12 and $30.
Extra Flights, Shafts, Tips, and Barrels
Dart flights are one of these things that you will most likely be burning through a lot. Dart players, especially the ones that play in leagues and practices for many hours a day, will be changing their flights very often.
It is normal as dart flights are fragile and tend to get easily damaged.
The good news, however, is that dart flights are inexpensive and can be purchased in high amounts.
Dart Grip Wax
Darts grip wax is used by darts players that may have difficulty getting a good grip on their darts. Using a darts wax is a great way to add some extra tackiness and improve your throws.
Darts wax is very cheap, costing about no more than $5 to $10 per wax tablet. Alternatively, there are other cheap solutions like chalk balls.
Steel tip players use dart sharpeners to keep their darts properly sharpened. They add some extra grippiness and lowers the chances of a dart from falling off the dartboard.
Darts sharpeners are very cheap, costing $3 to $10.
Dart tools are useful for fixing your darts.
Dart tools are relatively inexpensive. Their price varies between $5 to $20.
Broken Shaft and Tip Removers
A broken shaft and tip remover is an excellent investment for any darts player. And it costs no more than a few dollars.
Broken shaft and tip removers cost between $5 and $15.
Are There Other Expenses Playing Darts?
Technically speaking, there are no hidden fees or expenses to playing darts per se.
Of course, there could be some exceptions, like the potential of damaging your walls or furniture with a stray steel tip dart. In fact, even a soft tip dart can damage the wall.
Conversely, if you go beyond playing darts as a hobby and join a local league, you may need to spend some extra cash in league fees. League fees are usually not that expensive—about $5 or so, on average—but they are also often paid back in prize money.
One of the things that you may need to spend extra money on is the occasional replacement of your old dartboard.
Darts last a very long time—they can almost literally last you a lifetime. But dartboards, on the other hand, not so much. On average, dartboards last about 2 to 4 years, depending on the quality and maintenance of the dartboard.
Overall getting into darts will definitely not incur extra expenses in the future. This is what makes this game so great!
Is It Expensive to Start Playing Darts?
As you can see, now it is not expensive to start playing darts.
- For no more than 100 dollars, you can get all you need to start playing darts on a high-quality steel-tip dartboard.
- For 250 dollars, you can get some of the best electronic dartboards, including a set of darts, and begin playing right away.
All the other accessories are not mandatory, with the vast majority of them costing a few dollars.
And I am talking about getting the best dartboards that you can get on the market as of today.
If you decide to go the cheap route—something that I do not recommend as it can ruin the game—all these expenses may potentially be cut in one third or even half.