Regardless of whether you're a skilled darter or just a beginner, you will want to invest in a high-quality dartboard that will serve you for the years to come. But with so many different types of dartboards to pick from, it can be hard to narrow down your options.
One of the best types of dartboards I recommend for players of all skill levels is a bristle dartboard. Not only are they high-quality and affordable, but they also offer increased longevity thanks to the self-healing abilities of their materials.
Interested? Let’s see what bristle dartboards can offer and what you need to look for to get the best one. And also let’s have a look at 10 bristle dartboards that we and many others think offer the best value for the money!
Winmau Blade 5
Viper Aim 360
Best for Beginners
Viper Shot King
DMI Sports Bandit
Top 10 Bristle Dartboards of 2019
Here are our picks for the best bristle dartboards of 2019:
1. Viper Shot King Sisal/Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard
Viper Shot King is a pretty nice choice if you are going to play darts just casually. It has the main features that you need with dartboards for a pretty good price.
The board of the Shot King is tournament-size, measuring 18” in diameter and 1.5” in depth. The bullseye is staple-free and features a thin profile to reduce bounce outs.
The thin sphere-shaped wiring is also designed to prevent bounce outs, but it has staples, which could result in occasional bounces.
2. Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard
If you are after the best quality, Winmau Blade 5 dartboard might be the right choice. It is rather pricey, but Winmau made sure that it is worth it!
Both the wiring and the bullseye of this dartboard are sharp for superior prevention of bounce outs. In fact, you should know that sharp wiring works better than sphere-shaped ones, like the wiring on Viper Shot King.
In addition, the bullseye is made from stronger steel to increase its durability. The rotatable number ring is of course also here to allow for better longevity. What’s also remarkable about the Blade 5 is three-wheel lock system, allowing for easy setup, rotation, leveling, and position locking.
3. Winmau Blade 4 Bristle Dartboard
Winmau Blade 4 is slightly more affordable than the Blade 5, and it thus lacks some of its features. Still, it is a great board for intermediate and advanced players.
The wiring and the bullseye have the familiar sharp design of the Blade 5, though the wiring of the Blade 4 is around 14% thicker.
In terms of materials, the Blade 4 is identical to its elder brother: its wiring and bullseye are made from high-tensile steel, while the board is crafted from extra-dense Kenyan sisal. The rotatable numbers are also here to help you maintain the board’s integrity.
4. Nodor SupaMatch2 Bristle Dartboard
Nodor SupaMatch2 Bristle Dartboard is especially praised by experienced darters, so if you are a skilled player and want something good, go for it! It would be also a nice choice for beginners who want great quality!
SupaMatch2 dartboard measures 17.75” in diameter and 1.5” in depth, which makes it a tournament-size board approved by the World Darts Federation. It features staple-free, thin, and sharp bullseye and wiring to significantly reduce bounce outs.
The SupaMatch2 also features a movable ring to help extend the longevity of the board. Overall, this dartboard is a great board with pretty much no downsides, so it might be the ideal board for you!
5. Ignat Games Professional Dartboard Kit
If you are a beginner and want to get a complete darts kit, then Ignat Games Professional Dartboard Kit is just for you!
Of most interest to us is, of course, the dartboard, which is made from super-dense and quality Kenyan sisal board. The dartboard features staple-free and slim wiring and bullseye to reduce bounce outs, as well as a rotatable number ring to extend the lifetime of the board.
While the dartboard itself is a solid product, the steel-tip darts included in the kit are more of a beginner’s items: they won’t be very suitable for advanced darters. As for the included measuring tape and darts guide, they could be very helpful for beginners.
6. Unicorn D1179403 Eclipse Pro Dart Board
Unicorn Eclipse Pro Dart Board is very similar to Winmau Blade 4 dartboard, but this one is slightly cheaper, so it might be a better choice if you are on a budget.
Eclipse Pro has everything a good dartboard needs: staple-free and sharp wiring and bullseye to prevent bounce outs, a rotatable number ring, and durable materials. Apart from that, according to Unicorn, this particular bristle dartboard is consistently highly rated by players from all around the world, which is pretty telling.
The main downside of Eclipse Pro Dart dartboard is its somewhat unfinished look, which may be an issue for some people.
7. DMI Sports Bandit Staple-Free Bristle Dartboard
If you are looking for the best experience of darts, DMI Sports Bandit bristle dartboard is a perfect choice. It is so high-quality that it has been the official World Cup dartboard since 1999!
Apart from that, the Bandit has the easiest-to-read numbers of all the dartboards we reviewed today. That’s because there is a minimum of logos and graphics behind the numbers on the board, which is often the case with dartboards. That’s a huge plus in our book.
As for the rest of the features, the Bandit has everything you might want from a pro-grade dartboard. Its sisal is quite dense though, which could make sticking darts in the board a bit challenging.
8. Winmau Diamond Plus Dartboard
Winmau Diamond Plus is identical to the Blade 4 and 5 in terms of material quality, but it is less suitable for those darters who want to avoid bounce outs as much as possible. That’s because the wiring of this dartboard isn’t completely staple-free, which could result in occasional bounce outs.
Otherwise, the Diamond Plus doesn’t differ that much from the other Winmau dartboards we examined. It has the same great self-healing ability and the rotatable number ring to make it serve a bit longer. But also keep in mind that its wiring isn’t as thin as it is with Blade 4 and 5.
9. Viper League Pro Sisal/Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard
League Pro bristle dartboard by Viper is a great choice if you want to set up a competition with your friends: this dartboard comes with a cricket scoreboard with a chalk and eraser to help you keep track of the score. 3 steel-tip darts are also included in the kit.
The wiring of this dartboard is a bit thick and round, which may result in not as great bounce-out prevention performance, as it is with higher-grade dartboards. Apart from that, the wiring of the board isn’t staple-free.
However, other necessary features of bristle dartboards like a movable number ring are still there. Overall, the League Pro would be a nice choice if you aren’t after much precision and plan to have fun with your friends.
10. Viper AIM 360 Sisal/Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard
And the last bristle dartboard we will be reviewing today is AIM 360 by Viper. This bristle dartboard will be ideal for those who want to perfect their aim, hence the name of the product. Skilled darters will also be satisfied with the quality of this dartboard.
AIM 360 greatly reduces the frequency of bounce outs thanks to its thin and sharp wiring, which also doesn’t have any staples. Apart from that, this dartboard features diamond-shaped markers in doubles and triples to help you focus better on the harder-to-hit areas.
Viper also included three aiming circles that can be attached anywhere on the board to work as mini bullseyes to help with working on the weakest areas.
Do you want to perfect your aim? Then AIM 360 will probably be a perfect choice!
Bristle Dartboard Buying Guide
In case you are dealing with dartboards for the first time, you might need to know more about them in order to make the right choice. Let’s see what bristle dartboards are and what features of theirs you should be looking for.
Types of Dartboards
There are three main types of dartboards:
A bristle dartboard is the best kind of dartboard you can find: built from sisal, they offer increased durability thanks to the self-healing capability of the compressed sisal.
Paper/cork dartboards don’t have such capabilities, making them less long-living, though they are cheaper.
Lastly, electronic dartboards, which are capable of keeping track of the score, have plastic boards with tiny holes, through which the dart triggers the inbuilt computer to add points to the score.
Another difference between these types of dartboards is that bristle dartboards are designed to work with steel-tip darts, while the other two types work with soft-tip darts.
To put it simple, bristle dartboards offer much better longevity compared to other types of dartboards.
The self-healing capability of a compressed sisal makes them ideal for installation at bars, use at competitions, or just for those who want the most value for the money.
And on the other hand, bristle dartboards are much more expensive compared to other types of dartboards.
Apart from that, you won’t find such features as auto scoring in them, but you could think of it as a minor payment for the huge advantages of bristle dartboards.
Features to Look for in Bristle Dartboards
Size of the Dartboard
Bristle dartboards typically have a diameter of 17.75” – 18” and depth of 1.5”. These numbers coincide with the requirements of various darts federations, so you should be looking for a dartboard in that range if you will be competing.
And even if you do not plan to compete, get a regular tournament-sized dartboard because it will make it easier for you to transition from one dartboard to another in the future.
Wiring and Bullseye
There are several things that should be taken into account with the wiring and the bullseye.
- Staples: In cheaper bristle dartboards, the wiring and the bullseye are attached to the board with staples. Hitting the staples results in a bounce out, so if you don’t want that, look for more expensive dartboards with staple-free wiring and bullseye.
- Width: Thinner wiring and bullseye make it much more unlikely for you to hit them and not score due to a bounce out. If you want to reduce the chance of bounce outs as much as possible, look for a bristle dartboard with thin wiring and bullseye.
- Sharpness: The majority of bristle dartboards have sharp wiring and bullseye, which directs the dart towards the scoring area even if it hit the wiring. Some dartboards have rounded wiring, which doesn’t work as good as sharp wiring, so you might want to look for the latter.
Rotating Number Ring
A rotating number ring is a common feature with modern bristle dartboards, though some could not have it. The idea of the rotating number ring is to rotate the dartboard every once in a while for more even wear, as well as to allow the frequently used areas of the board to heal.
If you want your dartboard to work as long as possible, look for a bristle dartboard with a rotating number ring.
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