Steel or soft tip dart?
Steel or Soft Tip darts – what’s the difference?
While checking out the world of darts, you’re probably starting to come across a bit of jargon. Especially around the darts themselves. Flights, barrels, knurls… And one bit of darts terminology that might be causing some confusion is steel tip vs soft tip. What do these words mean, and how to tell which one is right for you? Read on, my friend and all will be revealed.
Basically, these terms refer to the dart’s tip and relate to the dartboard being played with. Steel tip or soft tip describes the point of a dart. Steel tip darts are the traditional darts you’ve probably seen and played with. They have a very sharp steel point to stick in the fibre of a bristle or paper dart board.
Soft tip darts on the other hand, have flexible plastic tips and you throw them at a plastic board with moulded holes in it, which hold onto the point of the dart. These darts are commonly used on electronic machines, which score automatically.
Steel tip darts can only be used on electronic dart boards if they have Bristle Tech surfaces. Soft tip darts are usually more lightweight than steel tip darts, with the balance weighted differently to steel tip darts.
Convertible darts have interchangeable tips to play both steel tip and electronic darts. Buy a soft tip set and convert them to steel tip – it’s the best of both boards, so you’ll never get bored! (Sorry, couldn’t resist the puns there.)
What about switching darts between soft tip and steel tip? Some darts are only sold as steel tip versions not soft tips, and vice versa. The other key difference is in weight. For example, a steel tip version of a dart may be 23g while the soft tip version is 18g – so you’ll need to adjust how you throw if you regularly switch from one to the other. You could try out a heavier weighted soft tip dart, and change things up with steel conversion points, to even out the weight difference.
There’s also the option of adding tungsten weight in the hollow portion of the soft tip darts to get the added weight. This is called ‘Add a Gram’. Shot Darts offers this option in the Raven Modular Dart Set – so you can experiment with your best weight.