Best dart boards: don't just hit bullseye on any old circular piece of cork

Bring this classic pub sport home with our round up of the best dart boards

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Darts is a game best enjoyed with several beers and a couple of mates down the pub, but you can bring the fun home with you if you don’t fancy spending twenty quid on a couple of rounds each time you wanna practice your triple twenty. 

While we can’t guarantee a raucous Friday night atmosphere to get the adrenaline going, we can promise you a decent quality board to practice on so you can thrash your friends the next time you’re on the lash after a stressful week in the office.

So is there anything specific you need to be looking out for when buying a dart board of your very own? Most dart boards are one of same; there are subtle differences, of course, but unless you’re planning to become the next Adrian Lewis and start calling yourself The Jackpot, you don’t need to be too concerned if the wiring features staples or not – note, if you’re looking to get serious, staple-free is the best way to go for the least chance of bounceback. 

Aside from that, think about where you’re going to place your dart board. They make the perfect addition to man caves, but there are certain limitations if you’re looking to play by the official rules; for example, the distance between the board and the toeline should be 7 feet 9.25 inches (don’t ask why the couldn’t have just rounded that up).

Anyone looking to place the board in an area of the house frequently used for other activities, such as the kitchen, may want to consider buying a dart board with a cabinet - that way, the surrounding wall may turn out relatively unscathed each time the team come round for some cheeky midweek beers. If you’re looking to introduce the kids to the game, traditional dart boards are probably best avoided altogether, unless you want random holes dotted around the room. 

We’ve put together a round up of the best dart boards from retailers such as Amazon and Argos, with competition quality, traditional and magnetic boards included. 

Best dart boards 2018

Best dart boards

1. Winmau Blade 4 Bristle dart board

A traditional, professional level board for serious sessions

Specifications
Best for: Value
Board type: Traditional
Material: Bristle
Wiring: Galvanised steel
Reasons to buy
+Staple-free+Made from high quality materials
Reasons to avoid
-Less life expectancy for regular players

Anyone looking for dart board that offers the best quality for the price should think about the Winmau Blade 4. First off, the wiring has been designed for minimal hinderance, with thin triangular dynamic sector wire to reduce bounce backs and deflect darts into target area if hit. Secondly, it’s made from high quality materials, including Kenyan sisal for durability and longevity.  Reports from professional players say the board will start bulging after consistent use, so it’s certainly built for casual evenings with mates, rather than for professional practice. 

Best dart boards

2. Unicorn Eclipse Pro Dart Board

A cost-effective board perfect for casual play

Specifications
Best for: Casual play
Board type: Traditional
Material: Bristle
Wiring: Galvanised steel
Reasons to buy
+Value for money+Decent quality
Reasons to avoid
-Not as refined as our first pick 

Cheaper than our first pick, the construction isn’t quite as refined, with the wiring only being 20% thinner than conventional boards, rather than 50%. Having said that, the manufacturers claim that this is a championship standard, and the drawbacks can only be spotted by those that play professionally. For a casual evening with friends, this is more than ideal for the price but as with the first pick, anyone looking for a board to practice on extensively may need to bump up their budget.  

Best dart boards

3. DMI Bandit Staple-free Bristle dart board

The official World Cup dart board should provide an exceptional experience

Specifications
Best for: Professional play
Board type: Traditional
Material: Bristle
Wiring: Galvanised steel
Reasons to buy
+Professional level quality+Vivid colouring
Reasons to avoid
-Not recommended for outside use 

Before you recoil at the price, a professional quality dart board doesn’t come cheap. The exact dart board used in the World Cup, you can expect exceptional quality when it comes to putting in the practice hours. The wiring is embedded in the bristles for minimal chance of bounce back and 10% more playable surface compared to standard boards. The high quality bristle has a quick recovery time and allows for vivid colouring to showcase its superiority over other boards. If you’re looking for a casual board to get out at parties, go for the Unicorn or Winmau. For those looking to get serious, this board means business.  

Best dart boards

4. Viper Shot King Sisal/Bristle Steel Tip dart board

A refined dart board for casual players looking to make the team

Specifications
Best for: For amateurs
Board type: Traditional
Material: Bristle
Wiring: Galvanised steel
Reasons to buy
+High quality bristle+Includes darts
Reasons to avoid
-Stables increase chance of bounceback 

If you’re a casual player looking to become an amateur, this quality board could fit the bill. Featuring self-healing sisal bristle fibres, this board should certainly be able to take the hit of regular practice sessions. When practicing, some parts of the board receive more hits than others, so the moveable number ring allows you to switch up the targets so you don’t pummel just one area. The downside is the staples, which do increase the chance of a bounceback, however that may only make you strive for greater accuracy! The bonus is this board comes with darts and mounting equipment, so you have everything you need to play as soon as it arrives.  

Best dart boards

5. Winmau Lakeside World Championship Set

Everything you need for the ultimate home set up

Specifications
Best for: Complete set
Board type: Traditional
Material: Bristlel
Wiring: Galvanised steel
Reasons to buy
+Includes cabinet, darts, chalk and duster+Staple-free
Reasons to avoid
-Darts aren’t the best quality 

The perfect choice if you like to get mates round for a game of darts, this board with cabinet not only provides the proximity with protection but gives you somewhere to keep the scores when the competition heats up. The design of the wiring has been optimised for minimal bounce back, while the bristle is of a professional standard, offering a superior experience for casual players.  This set offers a fair bit for the cash but don’t expect the best quality when it comes to the performance of the darts. Even so, there’s everything you need to get going as soon as it’s delivered, so you better get ringing around ready for an awesome weekend.   

Best dart boards

6. Marky Sparky Doinkit Darts Magnetic Dart Board

Avoid nasty accidents and dashes to the hospital with this magnetic dart board

Specifications
Best for: Kids
Board type: Magnetic
Material: Plastic, metal
Wiring: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Nothing sharp+High quality magnets
Reasons to avoid
-Sizing isn’t traditional  

Whether you’re looking to develop their hand–eye coordination or you simply want to start them off early, this magnetic dart board is the perfect choice for parents looking to avoid potential accidents or extensive damage. This isn’t a board for those that want to get serious, though it could help you improve your hand–eye coordination for when you eventually play on a real board. Due to careful design, Marky Sparky promise that the dart will fly perfectly true and thanks to their strength, should remain firmly in place upon contact, too.