Darts is a game of focus, accuracy, and patience. Obviously, to get better in the game, you need hours and hours and hours of practice to build the right technique and muscle memory. But you also need the best darts by your side to effectively train and practice.
Darts with higher tungsten content and steel tip are more or less considered the standard, but there is more to it than meets the eyes.
There are several factors to consider while choosing darts.
Your skill level will determine what material (steel/tungsten/brass) and type of darts you should go for. How you hold your dart will determine the best size and weight distribution you need. Texture and grip also play an important role, and preferences can change for each player over time. Darts don't come in one weight either. There is a range to choose from. Finally, you need to decide what price is in your budget as darts can range from $30 dollars all the way up to a couple hundred dollars or more. So much to think, isn't it?
But don't worry, we've got you covered. In this guide, we've rounded up 5 of the best steel tip darts for the money. Whether you're a beginner or a professional, casual or serious player, young or old, there is a dart for you. We've also included a buyer's guide to help you make an informed decision.
Our Top Picks for the Best Darts (Tungsten with Steel Tip)
- Harrows Predator 90% Tungsten Steel Tip Darts - Pro Pick
- Target Darts Vapor8 Black Steel Tip Darts - Editor's Pick (best for most)
- Shot! Darts 9Ti 2 Series-Steel Tip Dart Set - Budget Pick
- IgnatGames Steel Tip Darts Set "Mega Blast" - Best darts for beginners
- CC-Exquisite Steel Tip Darts Set- Budget darts set
1. Harrows Predator 90% Tungsten Steel Tip Darts
- What's included: 3 x dart barrels, 3 x supergrip fusion midi, 3 x prime predator flights, 3 x tip protectors, 1 x hard dart case
- Weight: 21/22/23/24/25/26 gm
- Material: 90% tungsten
- Length: 50 mm
- Barrel diameter: 6.9 to 7.4 mm
- Shape: Straight tapered
- Grip: three zone ultra traction grip
Harrows makes some of the finest darts - Period! And with Harrows Predator, they've certainly hit a bulls-eye. This professional-quality steel tip dart comes with a 90% tungsten barrel, plays excellent, and is built durably with exquisite attention given to detailing. Tungsten rods make for a great choice because of its high weight to volume ratio. It resists repeated use, and gets you a slimmer barrel overall.
The neutral grip and the close-to-center balance point makes these darts ideal for most players. The dart has three gripping zones across the barrel to accommodate different grips. So, whether you're a front, middle, or rear gripper, you'll definitely feel home with these darts. However, in the default configuration, the dart is slightly front-heavy, which you can adjust by changing the stems or flights. The tapered ring sections are medium grippy, nothing too aggressive, giving a good overall feel and control.
The dart has a bull-nose and comes with a slim and parallel barrel with slight tapering at the center. The barrel is roughly 7mm in diameter. The black titanium nitride coating on the darts enhances the grips and protects the barrel from chipping.
By default, the predator dart comes with fitted with Supergrip Fusion shafts and Predator flights. It's a great combination, and the darts fly really well with minimal wobbling.
Who is it for: This is an excellent steel tip dart set for new and serious players alike. The biggest draw beside the great quality construction is certainly the grip. The grip is a step above the competition and will make a big difference for new players and pros alike in their overall control. Dollar for dollar, this is the best tungsten darts with steel tip currently in the market.
2. Target Darts Vapor8 Black Steel Tip Darts
- What's included: 3 x dart barrels, 3 x pro grip shafts, 3 x Vapor8 flights, 3 x pixel tips, 1 x dart wallet
- Weight: 21/22/23/24 gm
- Material: 80% tungsten
- Length: 52 mm
- Barrel diameter: 7.1 mm
- Shape: torpedo
- Grip: axial cuts
Target has always been known for its high-performance darts. No wonder, you will find a lot of PDC players using the Target darts. The Vapor8 Black Steel Tip Darts is more of their budget offering, giving a nice blend performance and pricing.
The dart is straight, even-weighted, made of 80% tungsten, and comes with a tapered nose allowing for a tighter grouping. Precision milled axial cuts of varying degrees are put across the length of the barrel for a comfortable grip, and the dart is overlaid with Black Titanium Nitride coating for enhanced protection. It measures 54 mm in length, 6.85 mm in diameter and is available in three weight options - 21 gm, 24 gm, and 26 gm.
The radial grooves have a high-medium grip from front to middle and low towards the rear. This obviously means it's designed for front and middle grippers and may not work well with rear grippers. This kind of grip will be comfortable for most beginners, but the quality of this dart set is the kind pros are looking for. These darts are a touch gripper than our top pick Harrows predator.
Due to the lower tungsten content, the dart is slightly larger and thicker than the costlier ones, but the difference is marginal. The dart comes along with Black Point tip, Target Pro Grip shafts, Vision Ultra flights, and a dart wallet. The wallet is particularly handy to keep and store the darts safely.
The darts are perfectly balanced and fly stable. These darts are built durably, so you can expect them to last for a really long time.
Who is it for:
The Target Darts Vapor8 is ideal for most players, be it professional or beginners. The barrel design makes it suitable for front to middle grippers. Excellent design and superior construction while still being reasonably priced make this steel tip darts an ideal choice for most players.
3. Shot! Darts 9Ti 2 Series-Steel Tip Dart Set
- What's included: 3 x barrel with steel tip, 3 x Shot! flights, 3 x Laro shafts
- Weight: 24 gm
- Material: 90% tungsten
- Length: 47.63 mm
- Barrel diameter: 7.14 mm
- Shape: Straight
- Grip: three grip zones
Shot! Darts 9Ti is a center-weighted dart that comes with a straight barrel made of 95% tungsten. These darts made it into the list purely because of the immense value it offers. Priced just under $40, it's the cheapest 95% tungsten darts you can currently buy.
The dart comes with a traditional, even rings across the barrel. The uniform grip, along with center balance point, makes it ideal for most darters. The grip is medium throughout, and the radial rings have a unique feel to it.
The barrel is further coated with Titanium Nitride (TIN), which reduces glare for easy visibility and prevents the dart from scratches and chipping. The barrel is quite thin, and of medium-sized, that allows for tighter grouping on the board. The dart comes fitted with Laro shafts and Shot! Standard 100 micron flights. The sizing of the flights is in the range of small standard shape giving max lift and stability in play. The shafts are made from poly-carbonate material to ensure strength. The steel tip measures at a length of 35 mm - A standard for pro darts.
Coming to the flight characteristics, the dart tends to fly straighter with minimal loop. The darts feel solid in hands, and as you would expect, it is superbly built.
Who is it for:
Shot! Darts 9Ti is a professional quality dart offering excellent performance while still being affordably priced.
4. IgnatGames Steel Tip Darts Set "Mega Blast"
- What's included: Four full sets of darts, 16 poly flights, dart sharpener
- Weight: 18/0/22/24 gm
- Material: Brass
- Length: 49.5 mm
- Barrel diameter: 7.14 mm
- Shape: shark fin
- Grip: grooves with axial cuts
For the true beginners, we have the IgnatGames steel tip "Mega Blast" set. Grip and weight are two factors that are very important to any player. The problem is both these qualities rely heavily on personal preference. The only way to honestly know what you need is practice. That is what makes this set so amazing.
You will get four unique sets of darts for a total of 12. Each set has its own weight: 18, 20, 22, and 24 grams. The brass barrels of each of the darts have a different grip engineered to it. If you are looking for the best way to figure out what style you are most comfortable with, this is your best bet.
Also included is a foam protected case for your darts, as well as extra flights, O-rings, and sharpener. Further, this set is backed by a 10-year warranty to top things off! Unique to this offering is an included eBook that shows step-by-step methods with illustrations on how to perfect and improve your game.
Included in the set are 12 Brass Barrels, 12 Unbreakable Aluminum Shaft with rubber O' rings, 16 Poly Standard Flights, and a dart sharpener. A magnetic case is provided to store all the items in one place.
If you're just starting out, we highly recommend getting a feel for the game through this set. The price is just about twice that of a normal set but with a whole lot of extra value. This is another great choice too if you have a group of friends who want to learn with you. A set of 4 darts means a group of 4 is ready to play!
5. CC-Exquisite Steel Tip Darts Set
- What's included: two full sets of darts, 12 aluminum shafts, 12 O-rings, 12 flights, dart tool and case
- Weight: 23.5/22 gm
- Material: Brass
- Length: 35/48 mm
- Barrel diameter: 6 mm
- Shape: Pencil shape
- Grip: grooves with axial cuts
For our last pick and also the cheapest on the list is the CC-Exquisite Steel Tip Darts Set. It's a set of 6 darts ideal for beginners and casual players for home use and as house darts. The barrel of the dart is built from medium weight brass. The grip provided extends along the entire barrel, which gives you some options for how and where to grip.
You also get a set of 12 aluminum shafts and 12 rubber O-rings. The O-rings go onto the shaft to keep things tight and prevent possible loosening during play. Between the 12 shafts, you have 6 of each length: 35 mm and 48 mm, weighing 1 gram and 1.5 grams, respectively. This gives you more control in your preference for sizing. And if that wasn't enough customization, you also get two different sizes of flights - 6 of the standard size and 6 of the slim size. Choose the shape that fits your particular play style the best.
On top of the great dart set, you also receive a stylish case, dart sharpener, and a multi-use tool. The tool will help you tighten flight slots, close the flight system, and act as a bottle opener.
This is a great starter darts set for new or seasoned players looking to experiment with different darts configuration. The price point is very reasonable as well, at just around $23. Of course, the build quality isn't the best. It's made out of aluminum which may dent easily, but considering the price, it's a steal.
For newbies who aren't sure they are ready to commit to a proper tungsten set and need to save some money, then you can't ask for better than CC-Exquisite's Steel Tip Dart Set.
Buyer's Guide to Darts
There are literally millions of different darts configurations. Short shaft, long shaft, heavy barrel, lighter barrel, there is no end to how much you can customize your dart. These customizations are important because every player has different preferences and styles. What might work for you may not work for someone else. So how do you choose the best darts?
There is no one dart that fits all. That said, you can start with a middle-of-the-road dart, and as your skill develops, you can choose a darts that suits your style. That said, tungsten darts with steel tip is the best choice in terms of performance.
While all the steel tip darts that we've recommended are best in there segment but if you would like to know how we selected those, this buyers guide is for you. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about the darts and ultimately help you choose the right set for you.
Types of Tips:
The first decision you need to make is what type of tip you intend to play with. You have two options: Steel tip and soft tip.
Steel tip darts are the most common type of darts. The professionals use it, and so do most recreational players. The distinct advantage of steel tip dart is that they are durable, easy to maintain, and have a low chance of bouncing off the dartboard. However, they do risk damaging the wall should you miss. If you have kids playing, be cautious, as steel tips can be hazardous if not handled properly.
Soft tip darts, on the other hand, are primarily used with electronic dartboards. However, newer soft tip darts are even compatible with bristle boards. The benefit of the soft tip is that they're safer. On the downside, the soft tips tend to break off easily.
There is not much of a difference between soft and steel tip darts in terms of playability and technique. They weigh almost the same and have a similar design. For the last couple of years, more and more players are shifting towards using soft tips.
In all, you can't really go wrong with steel tip darts. They have been the preferred choice by most players and there is no reason you shouldn't choose them.
Your Skill Level and Intended usage
Do you intend to play darts seriously, or you're just looking for a dart set for casual games? Are you a beginner or an intermediate player?
Answering these questions will help pinpoint what type of darts you should go for and how much you should be spending.
Casual games: If you intend to play casually, I recommend going for a set with 12 or darts. Don't spend anything over $30.
Beginner: If you're just starting out but intend to play seriously, I recommend going for an 80% tungsten dart, 21 to 23 gm weight, medium grip, and length of around 50 mm. You should be focusing more on your technique rather than the equipment. Don't spend anything above $40. As you develop your game, you can opt for a more dedicated setup. Once you have a feel of what you like, then you can consider investing in a pro set. Otherwise, you might buy an expensive pro set only to realize the grip, weight, or length isn't for you!
Intermediate+: If you fall into this category, that means you have been playing darts for quite some time. You should look for a pro-quality dart, something in the range $50 to $80. Look for 90% tungsten darts with the grip and shape of your preference.
How do you Grip?
Not all darts are the same and neither they should be. When choosing a dart, it's important to consider the shape and grip of the darts. This decision is based on how and where you grip the darts.
Where do you hold the dart when you throw? If you hold the at the front of the barrel, you should choose a front-heavy cue. If you hold at the back of the barrel, look for back-weighted darts. If you're unsure, just choose an evenly weighted dart.
When selecting a shape, try picking up a dart first and see how you hold it. Depending on how you hold and throw the dart will determine the shape you should choose.
Are you holding the dart in the back or the front? Or do you hold it in the middle? You'll want a front, back, or center-weighted dart depending on what feels comfortable.
Here is a list of common shapes to choose from:
- Front Loaded: teardrop shape with thicker barrel
- Torpedo: papered at both ends but thicker in middle
- Pencil: Long thin barrel
- Scalloped: comes with a notch for finger
- Stubby: short and compact, typically lighter
Take your time and practice with a variety of dart shapes. If you are unsure where to start, then choose the pencil shape. This has the most "classic" dark look to it. If you can find a set that includes multiple options for shapes, all the better. Sets that allow you to customize your shape between darts will be particularly valuable to new players finding their niche.
Don't be afraid to branch out either. Many pros have won competitions with a variety of styles and weights. Your preferences might change over time, and you could find yourself performing better with an all-new type of dart. Keep experimenting when you can, even as you start to reach a pro-level in your skills.
There are four main parts to a dart, as you may already know. The point, barrel, shaft, and flight at the end. The barrel typically comes in 3 choices of material: tungsten, brass, and nickel silver. So, which is the best dart material?
Tungsten is favored for its high density and better weight to size ratio. Tungsten is the gold standard when it comes to darts, and if you're any serious about darts, you should prefer a tungsten barrel. As tungsten is a heavier metal than steel, brass or aluminum, it results in a small profile for the same weight. And smaller or thinner darts allow you to group the darts tightly.
You will find darts with as low as 80% to as high as 95% tungsten content. Higher tungsten content is an indicator of better quality but not necessarily a drastic change in performance. Darts with a higher percentage of tungsten are more durable and robust but are also costlier. For most players, 80 to 90% tungsten darts should suffice.
Brass is inexpensive and a good choice for new or casual players. Nickel silver has very similar properties but is much more resistant to all forms of corrosion. Both of these are not as durable as tungsten but will cost you much less. Tungsten is actually more resistant to fractures than even diamond and is significantly harder than steel. However, pay attention to tungsten percentages in darts. Tungsten is often mixed together with other metals as filler. Higher percentages will represent a higher quality dart.
For dart weights, the range is between 18 - 40 grams. Most popular darts come in the weights 18 to 23 gram range or up to 26 grams with the denser tungsten. Technically, the current regulation limit is set to 50 grams. An important distinction between the steel tip and soft tip is how the weight is measured. For steel tip, the weight point and barrel is only counted. Soft tips are measured by weighing the whole dart body.
20 to 25 gram is the most common weight of steel tip darts. 21 to 23 gram darts is a good sweet spot and an excellent option for beginners. However, a few grams difference here and there would not drastically change your game.
Darts can range from 40 mm to all the way up to 50 mm with 6 to 7 mm barrel diameter. Anything above 50 mm is quite long and not commonly used. Similarly, smaller darts like 40 mm are quite light and wobble through the flight. An ideal range to look for is 45 to 47 mm.
The type of grip you choose is completely up to you. Finding the right texture will take some time and practice. After some trial and error, you can invest in customized grips to your liking. A common type is knurling. This is a cross-hatched style that is etched along either the front, back, or sometimes the whole barrel. This grip is popular as it provides the most options when gripping the dart.
Other common styles include smooth grips, dimpled grips, razor cuts for a tactile feel, or the unique shark fin style that uses wide grooves and angled edges. While some grips really work but quite a few of them are just a cosmetic addition.
There is no best grip out there. The real best grip is the grip that fits you the best. There are plenty of styles to choose from, so if you don't like one, move on to the next. If you're still confused, I would recommend choosing medium grips like the ring or axial cuts.
If you can't find that right grip, then you can always make your own. Regulations on grip types are not enforced, so you have some freedom to build the best dart for yourself.
The trajectory of the dart depends a lot on the length of the shaft. The shorter shaft is excellent for players who like to throw with power and pace. Medium length shafts offer a balance between control and power and are suitable for most players.
Longer shafts result in stable throws and are suitable for players who like to throw in projectile rather direct. Generally, longer shafts are great for beginners to get the feel of the game.
Flights are the wing of a plane, which helps to make the dart more aerodynamic. They come in different shapes, sizes and can be made of various materials. The common shape is standard, which is used for steel darts and slim, which is commonly used for soft darts.
Heavier and larger flights travel slowly through the air in a curved trajectory. In contrast, smaller flights travel direct and faster through the air. That's why steel tip darts come with larger flights as compared to soft darts.
If you use a heavier dart or long shaft, you should choose a larger flight for more controlled throws. Dimpled flights are getting popular lately. They help you slow down the dart in the air and thus improve control.
Darts come in all price ranges from $5 to as high as $200. If you're shopping for your first set of darts, don't spend anything over $30. You can get a super competitive grade dart set under $70. Avoid cheaper darts as they're not built to regulation and, more often than not, result in random trajectories.
Fine Tuning Your Darts
As you get a better idea for what you want, you can start to fine-tune your dart selection by adjusting the shaft and flights. When selecting a shaft length, you have six different options. When starting out, it is best to stick with the three most traditional and industry common lengths: medium, short, and extra short. You can find these lengths readily available.
Shaft lengths are important because it is better as a player to build the dart around your natural throwing style, rather than to change your technique to fit the dart.
If you notice your throws wobble a lot, you can often fix this by switching to a shorter shaft length. If the standard 3 sizes are not working out, there is also mild and micro length. You can usually find sizes in between all of the above at a specialty store. In recent years, spinning shafts have also been developed for tighter grouping and to prevent damage to the flights and the darts.
Flights are the other factor you can adjust to reach your perfect dart. There is an even wider variety of flights to choose from. For the sake of new players, you should focus on buying either standard or slim flights. A simple rule to remember is that heavy darts will need more lift. Larger sized flights will help achieve this, and for lighter darts, you can use a slimmer flight with a lesser surface area. You can choose from many designs and thicknesses for your flights. There are around 12 common shapes of flights to choose from. Experiment carefully when trying a new flight, as each shape will have a drastic impact on your throw.
To get to the best darts configuration, which compliments your skills, will take lots of trials and errors. So, be patient and keep practicing until you get the right fit.
Summing Up the Guide
Choosing the best darts is very important, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned professional. A quality steel tip dart will let you practice and work on your game while being durable enough. It goes without saying, settling for a below-par or substandard dart may very well kill your interest in the game.
The five darts that we've recommended are best in their segment and have been extensively tested by our in-house team. So you can rest assured and pick any of them based on your skill, needs, and budget.
We sincerely hope this darts buying guide was helpful, and you could pick the right set. If you've any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below.