Reviews of the Best Dartboards – 2018

Electronic Dart Board

A dartboard is a great addition to your gameroom. Whether you want to play by yourself, enjoy time as a family, or have fun as a group when you are entertaining friends, darts can provide plenty of entertainment, and competition. On this page you’ll find detailed reviews and rankings of the best dartboards.

One of the nice features about a dartboard is that it will barely take up any space in your gameroom. Just hang it on the wall in an area with some space in front and you are ready to go.

If you’re interested in purchasing a one, you’ll first need to decide which kind you want. There different variations include bristle (the typical, traditional, dartboard), electronic, and magnetic.

Many darts enthusiasts prefer the traditional bristle option, but an electronic dartboard may be a good choice for your gameroom. Electronic dartboards use soft-tipped darts, which will help to protect your walls from damage. The electronic variety can also detect where the darts stick in the board, and they will automatically calculate the score for you (see our reviews of the best darts and best dart flights and best dartboard surrounds).

Below we’ll list some of the specifics of bristle, electronic, and magnetic dartboards, and we’ll provide a review for each of our top-rated options. You’ll see a few of the same brands multiple times because they have established a reputation for quality.

Bristle Dart Boards

Bristle dartboards are the more traditional style, and the most popular. This is the style used in most tournaments and by professionals, and if you are serious about darts this is probably what you want. That being said, they do come in a variety of price ranges, so if you are just looking for something fun to use at home you can still find a great deal.

They are made with compressed sisal fibers and steel-tip darts stick to the board quite nicely (in some cases you can use soft-tipped darts as well). And when you remove the dart the hole will close, which helps the board to last longer. Professional models will be staple-free, meaning the wire frame is held together without any staples. Cheaper models will usually have staples to hold everything together. The down side of having staples is that it increases the chances that thrown dart will hit metal and bounce of the board.

Higher-quality bristle dartboards will also be packed tighter, which helps darts to stick, helps the holes to fill when the dart is removed, and allows the board to last longer. Cheaper boards typically will not be packed as tightly.

Reviews of the Best Bristle Dartboards

#5 – Franklin Sports 18-Inch Bristle Dartboard

[Budget-friendly option] This bristle dartboard from Franklin is an excellent choice if you want a decent dartboard on a limited budget. It is made with quality sisal material, but it is not staple-free. It’s a good option for light use at home. It won’t match the quality of the higher-rated boards we have listed here, but it also comes at a much lower price.

Pros:

  • Excellent price.
  • Good quality for the price.
  • Made with sisal fibers.

Cons:

  • Frame includes staples.
  • Not the same level of quality as the higher-priced boards.
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#4 – Viper Razorback Sisal/Bristle Staple Free Dartboard

If you’re ready to step up a bit in price you can get a really nice quality dartboard with a staple-free frame. The Viper Razorback is still priced lower than many of the tournament-quality options. The tightly-packed sisal bristle fibers are self healing, meaning the holes will automatically fill when you remove the darts. This helps it to last longer and hold up better.

The number ring on this board is movable, so if one section gets worn out you can rotate it to even out the use and help it to last longer.

The frame is staple free and uses thin galvanized wires, helping to minimize darts that bounce out. This board can also be used with either steel-tipped or soft-tipped darts, making it quite versatile.

Pros:

  • Made with tightly-packed sisal fibers.
  • Staple-free wire frame.
  • Thin wire frame.
  • Movable number ring.
  • Good price for a quality dartboard.

Cons:

  • Not quite as high-quality as the boards we have rated higher.
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#3 – DMI Bandit Staple-Free Bristle Dartboard

This is another quality option for a competition-level dartboard. It is made from high-quality sisal fibers that are self-healing for long-lasting usability.

It features a staple-free frame. The wires of the frame are actually embedded in the sisal fibers, and very thin to minimize bounce outs.

An interesting feature is the powder-coated numbers that should hold up longer.

The Bandit is sanctioned by the World Darts Federation and is the Official World Cup Dartboard.

Pros:

  • Made with high-quality sisal fiber.
  • Staple-free frame.
  • Wires are embedded in the sisal fiber to maximize surface area and reduce bounce outs.
  • Reputation for quality.

Cons:

  • Priced higher than the entry level options.
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#2 – Winmau Blade 4 Bristle Dartboard

This board from Winmau is an excellent quality option. It is made with dense sisal fibers that will self-heal and stand up to heavy use.

The thin staple-free frame will help to reduce bounce outs. Another nice feature is the slight triangular shape of the wires, which helps to deflect darts into the scoring area rather than off the board. The high-tensile, galvanized steel will help to contribute to the board’s long life.

Pros:

  • Staple-free design.
  • Ultra-thin and triangular wires deflect darts toward the scoring area.
  • Made with high-quality sisal fiber.
  • Reputation for quality.

Cons:

  • Priced higher than the entry level options.
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#1 – Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard

That brings us to our top-rated bristle dartboard, the Winmau Blade 5. This professional, tournament-quality board will not disappoint. The wire frames are even 14% thinner than the Winmau Blade 4, which has thin wires itself. The angled razor wires help to deflect darts into the scoring area. It is also made with stronger steel for maximum durability.

A unique feature of this board is the rota-lock triple wheel lock and level system. With its help you can easily mount the board to almost any surface, get it level, and lock it in position. If you’re serious about your game, this is a great feature.

Pros:

  • Top-notch quality frame. It’s staple free, extremely thin, and very durable.
  • Made with quality sisal fiber.
  • Rota-lock system makes it easy to mount and keep level.
  • Reputation for quality.

Cons:

  • Price.
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Electronic Dart Boards

Electronic dartboards are an alternative to the traditional bristle version. The electronic dartboard will generally use soft-tip darts, although some do use steel-tipped darts. While tournaments and competitions will use bristle dartboards, many users prefer the electronic version for lighter home use. If you have kids in the house and running around your gameroom, you may feel more at ease with soft-tipped darts as opposed to steel-tipped darts that could do more damage. Aside from being safer for kids, soft-tipped darts are also less likely to cause any damage to your walls.

Another nice perk of the electronic dartboard is that it will typically calculate the score for you. The electronic dartboard will be plastic, covered with many tiny holes. When the dart is thrown it will stick in one of the holes and the score will register.

Pricing will vary depending on features. Most will include several games or variations that you can play, so if you like a specific game be sure that it can be played before buying an electronic dartboard. In general, electronic dartboards tend to be more expensive than bristle dartboards.

Reviews of the Best Electronic Dartboards

Let’s take a look at 5 of the top electronic dartboards available.

#5 – Viper 777 Electronic Soft Tip Dartboard

[Budget-friendly option] If you’re looking for a decent option at an affordable price, the Viper 777 is a good choice. It doesn’t have all of the features of some of the others on this list, but it does come in at a lower price, and still has plenty to offer. It is made with quality materials, and the thin spider frame should help to reduce bounce outs. The outside edge of the board includes an area for catching darts that miss the scoring area.

There are 43 games included, with 320 options. It can be used for games up to 8 players. The score will be automatically calculated and displayed on the LCD screen.

This board comes with 6 soft-tipped darts. Each side of the board includes a dart holster where you can store the darts when you’re not playing.

Pros:

  • Great price.
  • 43 games and 320 options/variations.

Cons:

  • As a budget-friendly option, it’s not as high-quality as the higher-rated boards.
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#4 – Viper 800 Electronic Soft Tip Dartboard

Stepping up a bit in price, the Viper 800 is another excellent option. This board is also made with quality materials, and should hold up well over time. It features the same thin spider frame as the Viper 777. It also has about the same amount of space outside of the scoring area for catching off-target darts.

The Viper 800 includes 57 games with 307 options. It can also support up to 16 players, compared to the 8 players of the Viper 777. So if you are going to be playing with a lot of friends, this could be a deciding factor. The LCD screen for displaying the score is also slightly larger than the Viper 777, and of course, the score is calculated automatically.

You’ll also get 6 soft-tipped darts that can be stored in the holsters on each side.

Pros:

  • An impressive 57 games and 307 options/variations.
  • Up to 16 players (the most of any option on this list).

Cons:

  • Priced a good bit higher than the Viper 777, and not all that much lower than our higher-rated boards.
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#3 – Fat Cat Electronx Electronic Soft Tip Dartboard with Cabinet

This board from Fat Cat includes a cabinet that can be closed when you are not playing, helping to keep your gameroom tidy. The inside of the doors include storage area for up to four sets of darts. This dartboard is well made with durable thermoplastic segments that will last for years.

There are 38 games and 167 options included. The games support up to 8 players or teams. Another nice option is that you can play against the computer with 5 different skill levels (or difficulty levels). This is a great way to play even when no one else is around, or simply to practice on your own.

Of course, it features an LCD screen and automated scoring. It comes with 6 soft-tipped darts, as well as 6 extra tips.

Pros:

  • Includes a nice cabinet.
  • Priced well, considering it includes the cabinet.
  • 38 games and 167 options/variations.

Cons:

  • If you’re looking for a high-end option, we would recommend one of the tournament-quality options from Arachnid.
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#2 – Arachnid Cricket Pro 650 Electronic Dartboard

Arachnid was the leader in the industry of electronic dartboards, and their Cricket Pro 650 is our 2nd-rated option. It’s a little more expensive than the 3 other options we’ve looked at so far, but we think you’ll like it. This is a tournament-quality dartboard made with NylonTough segments for extreme durability and long life. The micro-thin dividers will help to minimize bounce outs.

The Cricket Pro 650 comes with 24 games (5 cricket games) and 132 variations or options. It supports up to 8 players, with 2 sets of LED displays. The computer will prompt each player when it is time to throw.

Pros:

  • Excellent quality and reputation.
  • 24 games and 132 options/variations.

Cons:

  • Higher price than our lower-rated options.
  • Not as many games and variations as the Cricket Pro 800.

You’ll also get 6 soft-tipped darts and extra tips.

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#1 – Arachnid Cricket Pro 800

Our top-rated option is the Arachnid Cricket Pro 800. Arachnid has a reputation for quality, and that’s part of why they hold the top two spots in our rankings. Like the Cricket 650, the Cricket 800 is a tournament-quality board made with durable NylonTough segments. Of course, it also has micro-thin dividers to reduce bounce outs.

This one comes with 39 games (7 cricket games) and 179 variations or options. You can play with up to 8 players or teams. It has a large LED scoreboard that shows the scores of 4 players at a time.

An interesting, and fun, feature is the optional heckler feature. When it is turned on it will harass players for bad throws and applaud for good ones.

It comes with 6 soft-tipped darts and extra tips.

Pros:

  • Excellent quality and reputation.
  • 39 games and 179 options/variations.
  • Heckler feature.

Cons:

  • Highest price.
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Magnetic Dart Boards

Magenetic dartboards use flat-faced darts that will use magnets to stick to the dartboard. You’ll likely experience a lot more darts bouncing off a magnetic dartboard as compared to a bristle or electronic dartboard. For this reason, we don’t recommend them for any type of serious competition. If you’re looking for a fun toy for the gameroom a magnetic dartboard is an option, but in general we don’t recommend them.

How to Choose the Best Dartboard for You

Now that we’ve highlighted the best bristle and electronic dartboards, how do you go about choosing which one you should buy? Of course, there are a few factors that you should consider.

First, we recommend deciding whether you want a bristle of electronic dartboard, and that will immediately cut your options in half. For home use, we recommend electronic unless you are a tournament competitor and you prefer the traditional bristle board. The electronic versions will automatically calculate the score and display it on the scoreboard. Plus, the soft-tipped darts are a lot more practical for a home gameroom.

Next, you’ll need to consider your budget. We’ve included budget-friendly options of each type, so you should be able to find a good option even if you don’t want to spend the money on a tournament-quality board. Regardless of whether you are buying a bristle or electronic dartboard, the price will generally correspond with the quality and durability. But in your gameroom it is likely to get light use, compared to someplace like a bar where people may be playing all the time.

With electronic dartboards you may also want to consider how many different games are included, and how many people or teams can play at once.

After you’ve make your decision, we hope you enjoy your new dartboard and many hours of entertainment!

About the Author Alberto

I live in Pennsylvania with my wife and four children. Time with family is very important to me, so I started Gameroom Vault to help others find fun ways to spend time with their families at home.

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