Unveiling Different Types Of Dart Boards: A Comprehensive Guide

By Tavish Archer
Edited On

When it comes to family-friendly indoor recreational activities, darts have always held a special place in my heart. My own journey with this game began at home as a simple way to bond with my sister and cousins during childhood, but over time, it grew into a genuine passion.

Now, if you’re considering adding a dartboard to your setup, you’re likely pondering over the best choice. Drawing from extensive experience with different types of dart boards, and their advantages & disadvantages, I’m here to guide you in making the right selection.

1. Wooden Dartboards

  • Suitable For: All Ages
  • Durability: High
  • Maintenance: Moderate
  • Self-Healing: No
  • Price Range: $20-$300

When it comes to darts, the classics never go out of style, and wooden dartboards are living proof of that. My first-ever board was crafted from birch wood, but poplar, beech, and cork also exude a timeless, elegant charm.

What truly enamors me about wooden dartboards is their ability to capture the essence of the game. The satisfying ‘thunk’ as the dart meets the wood, leaving behind a mark of your progress and skill, is an experience like no other.

Wooden Dartboard

If you, like me, appreciate the allure of old-school charm, a wooden dartboard can be a delightful addition to your personal space. Their adaptability shines as they seamlessly blend into formal settings, making them a versatile choice for your new dartboard.

Now, here’s the scoop from personal experience: wooden dartboards are good for their appearance and durability, but they do require some extra care. I’ve learned this through years of use. Regular oiling and waxing are necessary to prevent the wood from drying out and developing cracks. It’s a small price to pay for the enduring allure of wooden dartboards and the stories they hold.


As long as you don’t slack with maintenance, good-quality wooden dartboards can be extremely durable.

The classic look and feel really add to the aesthetic value of the space.

Nothing beats the satisfying sound of a dart thwacking into the wood – it’s just a better experience overall.


Wood has poor self-healing capabilities, which means the holes will remain visible even after you remove the darts.

Depending on the wood, the dartboard may have high maintenance requirements.

High-quality wood is expensive.

2. Electronic Dart Boards

  • Suitable For: All Ages
  • Durability: High to Moderate
  • Maintenance: Moderate to Low
  • Self-Healing: N/A
  • Price Range: $40-$5000

Imagine a game of darts where safety and entertainment converge seamlessly. That’s the world of electronic dart boards, originally designed to offer a safer alternative for children but now captivating competitive players, arcades, and clubs with their dazzling LED displays and immersive sound effects.

Unlike their wooden boards, these digital marvels are crafted from high-quality plastic, creating a barrier that darts can’t pierce. Instead, the board boasts hundreds of tiny pores that trap the darts. To play on electronic boards, you’ll need darts with tips made of rubber or plastic, often referred to as soft-tip darts.

Yet, the true gem of the soft-tip electronic dart board lies in safety. These darts, with their plastic or rubber tips, pose minimal risk compared to the sharp steel-tipped alternatives. In fact, I invested in the best digital dart board precisely for this reason—I can enjoy the game without worrying about my nephews’ safety during our spirited matches.

electronic dartboard

Personally, I’ve played on electronic dart boards at my home and gaming arenas. While they may have some limitations, I can’t deny the allure of the automatic scoring feature, a game-changer that saves me valuable time.

These digital dart boards are treasure troves of advanced features, offering various scoring options and built-in games, making them far more versatile than traditional darts. When my cousins come over, it’s a guaranteed afternoon of laughter and darting fun in my game room.


The automatic scoring saves both the time and the hassle of calculating the scores manually.

Soft-tip darts are very unlikely to cause any injuries unless you hit someone in the eye.

The various inbuilt games make these dart boards pretty fun to play with.

I love the cool LED lighting and sound effects that come with electronic dart boards.


These dart boards are more expensive than traditional ones.

Though this doesn’t happen too often, darts may bounce away on soft-tip boards if they don’t land in the holes.

Electronic boards are incompatible with steel-tipped darts.

3. Bristle Dartboards

  • Suitable For: Adults and Professionals
  • Durability: High
  • Maintenance: Moderate
  • Self-Healing: Yes
  • Price Range: $30-$500

When it comes to dartboards, the undisputed classic that’s held its ground through the ages is the bristle board. It’s not only the top choice in professional tournaments but also a personal favorite for players like myself who value its timeless appeal.

Now, you might wonder about the name – “bristle” dartboard. But here’s the inside scoop: it’s not actually made from bristles. Instead, the name comes from the unique brush-like surface that’s designed to trap dart tips. This special surface is typically crafted from either animal or vegetal hair, with the latter being the go-to in modern boards.

Back in the day, animal hair ruled the roost, but its smooth texture made dart gripping a bit tricky. Among vegetal fibers, sisal, and hemp are the standout choices for crafting these traditional boards.

Bristle Dart Board

Drawing from personal experience, sisal fibers are the true champions for creating the ultimate bristle dartboards. Derived from the Agave Sisalana plant, these fibers offer both durability and sustainability. They provide an exceptional grip and can easily handle the impact of heavy steel-tipped darts – a must for any serious enthusiast.

What sets these sisal dart boards apart from their electronic counterparts, in my view, is their reliability. With those boards, you can say goodbye to frustrating bounce-outs, ensuring that every throw counts.

But here’s the real magic: it’s the self-healing nature of these boards that truly seals the deal for me. The fibers move back into the holes, erasing any trace of the dart’s impact and readying the board for the next thrilling showdown.


I find bristle dartboards very easy to maintain.

Both animal and plant-based hairs are eco-friendly.

The traditional steel-tipped darts add a more “authentic” feel to the game.

High-quality bristle dartboards last for a very long time.

The holes created by the darts close up as soon as you pull them out.


Getting accidentally hit by the steel-tipped darts can cause serious injuries.

These sharp darts are far from the safest choice for children.

Newbies might find it a little difficult to play on bristle boards due to the weight of the steel-tipped darts.

4. Magnetic Dart Boards

  • Suitable For: Kids and Teens
  • Durability: Low
  • Maintenance: Low
  • Self-Healing: No
  • Price Range: $10-$100

If you’re looking for the safest dartboard for kids, you should consider checking out magnetic dartboards. My own childhood memories include countless hours of fun with one, although as I matured, I eventually transitioned to an electronic board.

So, how does a magnetic dartboard work? Well, the boards are made of a magnetic material – usually a metal plate lying under a cloth or cardboard surface. The darts are tipped with magnets, allowing them to stick to the board. Unlike traditional or even soft-tipped darts, they don’t have a pointy end. Instead, the magnetic tips are completely flat so that they can attach firmly to the dartboard.

Magnetic dart board

Let’s get one thing straight –a magnetic dartboard offers nowhere the same playing experience as a traditional or electronic board. The darts simply don’t fly the same way, stick to the board the same way, or even recreate the “real” game properly. However, with no pointy tips to worry about, they’re a great way to help children get started with darts.

Among all the different types of dartboards, magnetic ones are the easiest to set up and maintain. They are also pretty cheap and are available in a number of sizes, including miniature dartboards that you can take with you while traveling.


These simple dartboards are very pocket-friendly.

Magnetic dartboards are really low-maintenance.

The blunt magnetic darts are the safest choice for beginners and children.

I find these to be the most portable dartboards, thanks to their lightweight design and availability in different sizes.

You don’t have to throw the darts hard as there’s no need to penetrate the board’s surface – you just have to hit the right spot.


Playing on a magnetic dartboard doesn’t feel very realistic.

I don’t like the distinct metallic sound made when the darts hit the magnetic board – it can be quite irritating to those around you.

Magnetic dartboards aren’t great for practice if you’re aspiring to be a professional player.

5. Cork Dartboards

  • Suitable For: Beginners
  • Durability: Low
  • Maintenance: High
  • Self-Healing: No
  • Price Range: $20-$60

Back in my childhood days, cork dartboards were all the rage, but over time, their fragility led to a decline in popularity. Crafted by bonding multiple layers of cork sheets, these boards can be mistaken for bristle dartboards due to their appearance.

Some even come with a superficial layer of sisal on the surface but trust me, they are very different and nowhere as awesome as the bristle dartboards preferred by professionals.

Cork dartboards do have one major selling point: they’re incredibly budget-friendly. This makes them a practical choice for occasional players or beginners who prefer a material that’s forgiving and easy to pierce.

Cork dartboard

However, I’ve learned through experience that cork can crumble into pieces within just a few months of use. This means you’ll find yourself needing a replacement much sooner than you would with a soft tip or a bristle dartboard.

Moreover, the cork material lacks density and strength, often allowing darts to pass right through the board. Unlike their other types, these dartboards also lack the invaluable self-healing quality. Holes created by the darts remain as permanent reminders of every missed shot, giving them a character that isn’t necessarily desirable in the long run.


Cork dartboards are cost-effective, both in terms of price and maintenance.

The lightweight material makes these boards very portable.

Installing a cork dartboard surround is relatively easy.

Cork has natural sound-absorbing properties, which can help reduce the noise generated when darts hit the board.


Cork is fragile and might not even last a year.

The holes created on a cork dartboard are permanent.

Darts may pass through the board and potentially damage the wall.

6. Coiled Paper Dart Board

  • Suitable For: Kids
  • Durability: Very Low
  • Maintenance: N/A
  • Self-Healing: No
  • Price Range: $10-$50

Coiled paper dartboards are precisely as their name suggests—sheets of paper are tightly wound into large coils to create these boards. They are undeniably economical and readily available, but let’s face it, paper isn’t the sturdiest material out there. Can we really expect durability from paper?

In my experience, coiled paper dartboards fall short, primarily due to their rapid wear and tear. These boards are designed to capture dart tips within the layers of paper, but even the slightest burr on a dart’s tip can lead to paper shredding, leaving behind permanent holes.

Paper dart board

I’ve never quite warmed up to coiled paper dartboards because they tend to deteriorate at a brisk pace. While they might suffice for occasional play or as a one-time addition to a house party, I find it hard to justify their worth, regardless of their affordability. Even if you’re considering darts as a casual pastime, you’ll likely find a more satisfying experience with an electronic dartboard.


Coiled paper dartboards are very cheap – you can get one for only $10 to $20.

These dartboards are lightweight, making them easy to hang and transport.

These boards tend to produce less noise when darts hit the board compared to other variants.

Coiled paper dartboards are often recommended for beginners or casual players.


Even the best coiled paper dartboards aren’t durable in any sense.

These dartboards offer poor value for money since you need to replace them so frequently.

Because of the softer surface, coiled paper boards may not work well with certain types of darts, such as steel-tipped darts.

7. Velcro Dart Board

  • Suitable For: Kids and Teens
  • Durability: Moderate to Low
  • Maintenance: High
  • Self-Healing: No
  • Price Range: $8-$30

Allow me to introduce the seventh contender in the arena– Velcro dart boards. These boards offer a twist that’s sure to grip your attention, making them an ideal choice for unforgettable family game night fun.

Velcro dart boards boast a distinctive design, featuring a surface covered in an army of tiny loops. What’s the twist? Instead of the conventional sharp-tipped darts, they come with small Velcro balls that cling to the fabric upon impact. No sharp points, no worries – safety is guaranteed for dart enthusiasts of all ages.

Velcro dart board

What truly sets Velcro dart boards apart is their exceptional safety profile. They serve as the perfect gateway for introducing kids to the game, eliminating any chance of accidental injuries while preserving all the excitement of hitting the bullseye. Plus, say goodbye to concerns about unsightly wall damage – Velcro darts don’t leave a mark.

While Velcro dart boards may not fully replicate the traditional darting experience, they offer a fantastic way for the entire family to revel in the game without any safety concerns. So, if you’re on the hunt for memorable, bonding entertainment that sticks with you, consider adding a Velcro dart board to your lineup of indoor games.


Velcro dart boards are safer than steel-tip boards as they eliminate the risk of sharp darts causing injuries or damaging walls and furniture.

These boards can be used in various settings, including homes and schools, without worrying about safety hazards- GREAT FOR KIDS and BEGINNERS.

They make less noise when hitting the board compared to steel-tip darts, making them a quieter option for indoor play.


Velcro dart boards may wear out faster than traditional boards, especially if they are used frequently.

They lack the feel and challenge of traditional dartboards.

Those boards are not typically used in professional or competitive darts, limiting their appeal to serious players.

Our journey through the types of dart boards reveals a vast array of options, each tailored to suit unique preferences. From timeless wooden boards to durable bristle boards known for their professional qualities, dart enthusiasts enjoy a wealth of choices. And for those who embrace modern technology, electronic dartboards offer high-tech excitement with various games and score tracking.

But wait, let’s not forget cork and coiled paper dartboards; they have their own charm. Whether it’s the lightweight convenience of cork boards or the budget-friendliness of coiled paper boards, these options cater to diverse tastes. On the other hand, for introducing kids to darts safely, magnetic boards are truly an excellent choice.

Ultimately, the right dartboard aligns with your style, space, and tastes. Explore these options, test them out, and find the one that elevates your dart-throwing adventure. Cheers to future hours of darting delight!

Tavish Archer

Tavish Archer

Tavish Archer is a Recreational Gamer, Author, and Co-Founder of ThrilloGaming. He holds a degree in Sports Management from Mississippi College (MC), United States. His experience and proficiency in the field allow him to provide winning strategies, creative ideas, and expert advice.

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