The Best Dart Boards to Buy in 2020Home > Dartboards Updated: This website is reader-supported. We may earn a small fee from qualifying purchases through product links.
There are hundreds of dart boards available today, most of which look identical to the untrained eye. A dart board should allow you to practice under the same conditions you will play in elsewhere, or to put it more bluntly, having a good dartboard is key to developing a consistent throw.
I’ve tested dozens of dart boards to help you choose one that will stand the test of time. I think the Winmau DWIN500 Blade 5 Dartboard is the best dart board available today because it is super durable and offers excellent value for money.
Keep reading to find out which other bristle dart boards I recommend.
The 5 Top-Rated Dart Boards
|Best Overall||Winmau DWIN500-5 Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard||$$||5|
|Runner Up||Unicorn Eclipse Pro Bristle Dartboard||$$||4.8|
|Best Budget Buy||Viper Shot King Bristle Dartboard||$||4.5|
|Premium Dart Board||Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core Bristle Dartboard||$$$||4.3|
|Best Dart Board Set||Viper League Pro Bristle Dartboard||$||4.3|
The first thing I’ll ask a player who I’m coaching for the first time is what dart board they have at home. If they have a cheap board from an unknown manufacturer, I’ll insist that they buy a good quality regulation size dart board from a well-known manufacturer instead.
Top dart board brands make their boards from high quality sisal fibers that last longer and stop darts bouncing out. Winmau, in particular, uses Kenyan sisal for their bristle boards, and it offers best-in-class durability.
A good dart board makes an enormous difference when you practice at home. If you’re not using one of the best dart boards at home, you’re not practicing under the same conditions you’ll be playing in elsewhere. Because of this, your scoring will suffer.
The Best Dart Boards to Buy in 2020
1. Winmau DWIN500-5 Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard — Best Overall Dartboard
The Winmau Blade 5 bristle dartboard is by far the best dart board to buy today. The previous model, the Blade 4 board, was used in almost every darts major tournament and competition at one point, and the Blade 5 is even better.
The dual-core technology stops bounce outs better than any other dart board on the market today. It does this by increasing point penetration while also absorbing extra energy once the dart has landed to stop unnecessary wear and tear. This combination improves durability far beyond what other dart boards at this price level offer.
Winmau use high quality Kenyan sisal that provides best in class durability and stops bounce outs. Because of the high density sisal, the Winmau Blade 5 board is the best dart board for steel tip darts. Players with softer darts tips may need a board with lower sisal density.
I highly recommend this dart board to players of all levels. The difference with this board compared to a cheaper dart board is very noticeable. It’s one of the best boards ever made.
Winmau DWIN500-5 Blade 5 Dartboard Key Features:
- Best in class durability
- Stops bounce outs
- Used in major tournaments
- Blade wiring system is genius
- Clean and clear scoring areas
2. Unicorn Eclipse Pro Bristle Dartboard — Runner Up
The Unicorn Eclipse is another example of a dart board that is used by professionals. In fact, the British Darts Organization currently uses this bristle dart board in their tournaments.
One of the things I love about Unicorn dart boards is the visibility of the scoring ring and scoring area. This is not a dart board that sacrifices visibility in any way, making it one of the best dart boards for players who struggle with their eyesight in any way.
Despite it being slightly less expensive than the Winmau boards, it is still extremely durable. When cared for correctly, you should expect this dart board to last as long as any other dart board available today.
From a buyer’s perspective, the Unicorn is an affordable championship quality dart board that delivers in every area. I highly recommend it as a close contender to the Winmau Blade 5.
Unicorn Eclipse Pro Bristle Dartboard Key Features:
- Staple free bullseye construction
- Championship quality board
- Endorsed by major darts organizations (PDC, BDO)
- Excellent visibility
- Durable construction
- Very well priced
3. Viper Shot King Regulation Bristle Dartboard — Best Budget Dartboard
I’ve rated the Viper Shot King as the best budget dart board around. Viper is well known for making incredibly durable boards that offer the best value for money.
You get a whole lot of bang for your buck here. The Shot King is an official tournament bristle dartboard, measuring 18 inches in diameter.
The bristle fibers used in Viper’s boards are very well compressed and offer extraordinary durability. This board is perfect for steel tip and soft tip darts, and even comes with 2 sets of steel tip darts which is a nice bonus.
The Shot King’s wire spider is rounded to help reduce the chance of bounce outs. A rounded wire isn’t as effective at stopping bounce outs as the blade style wire found on the Winmau Blade 5 board, but it strikes a great balance between effectiveness and visibility.
As with all high quality dart boards, the number ring on the Shot King can be rotated to help avoid wear in the hotspots such as double 20.
Viper Shot King Bristle Dartboard Key Features:
- Best budget dartboard
- High quality sisal fibers
- 1.5 inches depth
- Official tournament size dart board
- Steel tip darts included (two sets!)
4. Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core Bristle Dartboard — Best Premium Dart Board
The new and improved Blade 5 Dual Core featured here has better dart deflection to reduce bounce outs. It also has an increased scoring area designed to improve averages.
The spider wiring system is a whole 14% thinner compared to the previous generation board meaning there’s more room to score and less of a chance of bounce outs.
This tweaked version of the original DWIN500-5 Blade 5 (which I recommend as the overall best dart board available) comes at a premium cost.
Whether that cost is justified depends on your budget. In my opinion, it’s unlikely any amateur darts player will feel $20+ of benefit in this board compared to the standard Blade 5 board.
Despite that, I still think this is the best premium dart board available if you don’t mind spending a little extra for a board that is truly top of the range.
Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core Bristle Dartboard Key Features:
- Thinner wires increase scoring area and scoring potential
- Best steel tip dartboard available today
- Tournament sized 18 inches board
- British Darts Organization (BDO) approved
- Staple-free bullseye
5. Viper League Pro Regulation Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard — Best Dartboard Set
This Viper League Pro Dartboard Set is the best dartboard set for beginners. Not only do you get an official tournament size board that is well constructed, but also a chalk scoreboard and steel tip darts.
Usually, the darts packaged with dartboard sets are awful. But I was pretty impressed by the quality of the steel tip darts included here. They are more than good enough for a beginner to get started with.
Viper’s League Pro board has a staple-free bullseye and mountain hardware that makes setup a breeze. Since it comes equipped with a decent set of darts, this set is all you need to be playing darts within minutes of delivery.
The sisal bristle construction is of extremely high quality, and rounded wires increase scoring potential by reducing bounce outs very effectively.
All in all, this is one of the best quality dartboard sets I’ve ever picked up – and I’d recommend it highly to beginners who need more than just a dartboard to get them set up for a game of darts. It’s also super affordable.
Viper League Pro Bristle Dartboard Set Key Features:
- Comes with steel tip darts
- Best quality dartboard set
- Play darts within minutes of delivery
- Perfect set for a game room
- Very cheap
6. IgnatGames Professional Dart Board
This one surprised me a little because I’d not seen too much of IgnatGames outside of budget darts sets. Despite that, this is one of the best quality boards available today.
It has a super thin wire spider that helps increase the scoring area regardless of which tip darts you use. The self-healing sisal which is the same Kenyan sisal used by Winmau results in a board that is durable without being too expensive.
One small complaint I have is that the IgnatGames branding can make the scoring ring a little hard to see for beginners. That’s something that shouldn’t affect experienced darts players though.
This is a great dart board that comes with two sets of steel tip darts and a measuring tape to help you fix the board to the wall correctly.
IgnatGames Professional Dart Board Set Key Features:
- Great value for money
- Improved scoring area
- Regulation size
- Made with self-healing sisal
- Comes with measuring tape for easy mounting
- Professional feel to the board
7. Viper Dead-On Tournament Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard
I love the Viper Dead-On board’s triangular spider wire so I had to include it in this list. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that if I were looking to buy a budget dart board as a gift for a new dart player, it would be this one.
The visibility of the wire is great and bounce outs are still very rare. From experience I find that having a clearly visible wire helps new players aim for certain segments and improves their scoring.
The self-healing sisal used to make this dart board is brilliant. It’s perfect for steel tip darts and soft tip darts alike. It also comes with mounting hardware that makes installation easy.
There’s no doubt in my mind that this is one of the best budget dart boards to buy today.
Viper Dead-On Tournament Bristle Dart Board Key Features:
- One of the best quality budget dart boards
- Great visibility
- Perfect for steel and soft tip darts
- Mounting hardware included
- Personal favorite cheap bristle dartboard
8. Nodor SupaBull2 Bristle Dartboard
Nodor’s SupaBull2 Bristle Dart Board is a great quality board that rivals even the most expensive ones available.
It has a staple-free bullseye and uses self-healing sisal fibers that ensure it lasts a long time. I’d personally recommend you use this board with steel tip darts rather than soft tip darts.
The thing I love most about the Nodor SupaBull2 is how it is to rotate the number ring. It’s super easy to turn and allows even novice players to take good care of their bristle dart board.
The SupaBull2 is marketed as an entry-level dart board that is endorsed by the American Dart Organization, but don’t let the “entry-level” label fool you. This is a brilliant that will serve you well in to the future.
Nodor SupaBull2 Bristle Dartboard Key Features:
- Easy-turn steel number ring
- 1.5 inches thick
- Approved by American Darts Organization
- Staple-free bullseye
- Relatively affordable
9. Unicorn Eclipse Pro 2 Bristle Dartboard
Another great dart board from Unicorn. The Eclipse Pro 2 is currently used in some of the biggest darts tournaments in the world.
It has a brand new Spider2 radial wire that gives a clean and clear playing area. That means a super thin bullseye surround that will make hitting those bulls much easier.
The Eclipse Pro 2 promises next generation bristle technology, and it delivers on that promise. I think this is probably one of the best bristle dart boards ever to be made.
As with the Winmau Blade 5 boards, for novice players, the Eclipse Pro 2 doesn’t offer a noticeable improvement over its predecessor the Eclipse Pro. If you can pick up the Eclipse Pro 2 at the same price as the Eclipse Pro, then you should, but otherwise I’d recommend you stick with the older model until prices come down.
Unicorn Eclipse Pro 2 Bristle Dartboard Key Features:
- Next generation bristle dartboard
- One of the best dart boards ever made
- Board comes with super thin spider wire
- Finest grade sisal construction
10. Viper Slash Official Bristle Dartboard
The Viper Slash Bristle Dart board is definitely the coolest looking dart board around. You can expect all the same quality you usually find with Viper’s excellent boards, but with two sweet magnetic dart holders that extend off the board like wings.
Viper’s Slash board uses only the best African sisal which is world renowned for its self-healing capabilities. Staple-free bullseye construction and super thin wires provide large scoring segments.
High density sisal compression makes this one of the best dart boards for steel tip darts. Higher density boards suit sharp heavy tips better and this is certainly true of the Viper Slash board.
I really like this board and the magnetic dart holders look amazing. They provide some of the benefits of a dart cabinet without the extra bulk.
Viper Slash Official Bristle Dartboard Key Features:
- Amazing magnetic dart holders
- African Sisal bristle is very durable
- Thin steel wires and staple-free bullseye
- Great scoring ring visibility
What to Consider When Buying a Dart Board
Dart boards are generally very affordable and offer great value for money. The best dart boards can last upwards of 6 months even with extensive daily use.
Players who practice occasionally but not daily can expect a dart board to last far longer than that.
Even though dart boards aren’t that expensive, it still pays to get a good one. Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a dart board.
Size of the Board
The most important thing is to buy a regulation size dart board. Having a dart board that matches the sizes of dart boards used in tournaments, competitions, and in general darts venues is critical in making sure your practice at home pays off.
Standard dart boards are generally 17.75 inches in diameter and around 1.5 inches deep. These figures can change slightly according to the standards of different organizations.
Most organizations allow for some margin of error. For example, the highly respected British Darts Organization requires that dart boards are 451mm, give or take 3mm in either direction. To save you having to Google it, 451mm is 17.75 inches.
Board Bristle Materials and Density
If you want my honest advice, forget about buying any standard dart board other than those made of high quality sisal fiber.
Not only does sisal fiber make for very durable dart boards, but sisal fiber has self-healing properties that will actual repair the dart board over time. Amazing right?
High density sisal bristle boards are best for steel darts because they keep the dart in the board tightly once it has landed.
Lower density sisal boards are fine for soft tip darts. Soft tip darts often struggle to penetrate the high density sisal fibers that steel tip dart boards are made for.
Scoring Ring and Spider Wire Visibility and Rotation
Here’s something that many new dart players don’t know: you should regularly rotate the scoring ring of your dart board to avoid excessive wear on frequently hit areas.
Frequently hit include the 20 segment and typically your favorite double. Rotating the scoring ring will spread wear evenly and give frequently hit segments a chance to self-heal.
Apart from making sure that the dart board you buy allows you to easily rotate the scoring ring, you should also check for visibility.
Experienced darts players are fine with a barely-visible spider wire and scoring ring because they operate based on muscle memory.
Novice players, in my experience as a darts coach, benefit from a highly visible scoring ring AND spider wire. It’s a lot easier for new players to aim for a well defined segment than a general area of the board.
The Different Types of Dart Boards
This article focuses on bristle dart boards because they are the best type of dart boards to buy. Despite that, there are plenty of other dart board types that exist in the wild, so lets quickly cover a few.
Bristle Dart Boards
Bristle dart boards are the gold standard of dart boards. They’re the dart boards you see in TV tournaments as well as in pubs and bars.
Bristle boards are made with sisal fiber which is highly durable and requires next to no maintenance.
If you want to practice darts and become a better dart player then you should buy a bristle dart board.
Electronic Dart Boards
Electronic dart boards are great for fun games and make a good addition to a games room.
Electronic boards work by having hundreds of little holes into which soft tipped darts penetrate and record a score. The better the electronic dart board, the more holes it’ll have. More holes equals fewer bounce outs.
There are some really good electronic dart boards available today which are really fun to use. The best electronic dartboards offer a similar experience to the traditional bristle board but tend to cost a lot more.
I wouldn’t personally recommend electric dart boards for players who want to improve their darts scoring, because I’m a firm believer that you should only practice under the same condition you’ll play in competitvely.
Electronic dart boards also do the counting for you. While this is great for casual party games, it won’t help you when it’s time to play on a real bristle board and you can’t work out your scoring.
Magnetic Dart Boards
Magnetic dart boards are similar to electronic dart boards but are much cheaper. Magnetic darts are used, which have flat tips.
As you can imagine, flat tipped magnetic darts are aerodynamically totally different to regular darts. Because of this, magnetic dart boards are definitely reserved for fun party games where consistency and accuracy don’t matter.
The best magnetic dart boards can count scores just like an electronic dart board, making them great fun at parties.
Cork Dart Boards
Often mistaken for bristle boards, cork boards take a similar appearance to the traditional dart board but are generally considered to be poor in terms of durability.
They’re cheap and might be an acceptable novelty dart board for a games room, but shouldn’t be considered as a replacement for a good quality bristle dart board.
Wooden Dart Boards
Before the days of bristle boards, wooden dart boards were the most common kind.
Unfortunately, darts don’t penetrate wooden dart boards as easily as they do sisal fiber boards. When they do penetrate, they leave holes that never heal.
This means that wood dart boards require constant maintenance and are very poor compared to modern day dart boards.