How to choose the best dart weights for your style
There have never been more options when it comes to buying a set of darts. It can be overwhelming for a newcomer to the sport choosing from the vast array of darts available on the market. Darts come in different materials, weights and lengths, which makes the decision on which set to buy more difficult.
In this guide, we will look through the different darts weights to help you understand what to look for and, ultimately, how to choose the best dart weight for you. We will delve into the various weights of darts available on the market, what each means in terms of playing style, and how to select the one that will fit your specific needs.
Steel tip or soft tip darts?
There are two types of darts, steel tip and soft tip. Steel tip darts have sharp metal points that will be used on a bristle (Sisal) dartboard, which is what you will regularly see being played on television by the professionals. Soft tip darts have a tip made of a plastic material and will be used on a soft tip dartboard, which is often electronic and comes with an automated scoring system. Check out our what are soft tip darts blog for a closer look at this version of the game.
The barrels for steel tip and soft tip darts come in different materials including brass, nickel-silver or tungsten. The weight of a steel tip dart ranges from around 12g to 48g, while the scale for soft tip darts is usually between 14g and 24g. The weight of a dart will affect its performance with the most common weights for steel tip darts being 22g, 23g and 24g and for soft tip 18g and 20g.
Which part of a dart impacts weight the most?
A dart is made up of four parts: the tip (point), barrel, shaft and flight. Each element has its own function, as our the anatomy of a dart guide explains. The barrel will have the most impact on the throw of the dart as it is the heaviest part. You can customise your darts by changing the flights, shafts and points, swapping them for lighter or heavier or different size and shaped options, but the combined weight of the dart is mostly dictated by the barrel.
The type of material your dart is made of will also have an impact on its weight. For example, tungsten darts come in different percentages, relating to the percentage of tungsten in the barrel, so a dart that is ‘90% tungsten’ will consist of a barrel made of 90% tungsten and 10% nickel. A higher tungsten percentage makes for a higher quality dart, as tungsten is a dense mental and will be more durable. The density of tungsten means that the higher percentage of tungsten in the barrel will give you a heavier dart but without the mass of a brass or nickel-silver equivalent.
As the diagram above shows, a tungsten dart barrel is slimmer and smaller in diameter than a brass barrel. This lends itself to better play as a slimmer barrel will cover less of the target if you are trying to group several darts in the same area of the board. The cost of a tungsten dart will be more expensive than a brass dart, owing to the superior quality of materials and engineering work used to create the darts.
The most popular darts weights
When it comes to choosing the best weight for darts, there is no right or wrong answer. For many players it can simply be a case of trial and error to work out what is best for them. It is not uncommon even at a professional level for players to tinker with the weight of their darts to try and find an extra percentage improvement in their game. An example of this was at the 2023 World Matchplay when Ryan Searle switched from a 32g dart to a 34g dart before the tournament started!
A look at the weight of steel tip darts used by the world’s top players, based on the rankings at the start of 2023, shows that 23g is the most popular weight with five professionals (Gerwyn Price, Danny Noppert, Dimitri Van den Bergh, Dirk van Duijvenbode and Damon Heta) all opting for this weight. James Wade and Jose De Sousa use the lightest weight of darts at 20g each, while the aforementioned Ryan Searle started the season with the heaviest dart by far at 32g.
The most popular weights on the Darts Corner website for steel tip darts are 22g, 23g and 24g and for soft tip darts 18g and 20g. We stock an extensive range of darts, with steel tip weights ranging from as light as 12g to as heavy as 48g! Our soft tip darts selection ranges from 14g to 24g.
Which darts weights are best for beginners?
There are conflicting answers to this question, as the most popular darts are not necessarily the best for absolute beginners!
We believe that a dart that weighs around 28g is the best weight of steel tip darts for a beginner, and 22g for soft tip darts players. This is a preferred weight to start with as it will give you better consistency the quickest. A lighter dart will be more difficult to control in the air and would usually require a lot more practice.
Ultimately, every player is different, so working out which darts weights are best can be a trial and error process. As you spend more time practicing, you can then decide if you need to switch to a lighter (or heavier dart) depending on your playing style.
We have a beginners darts collection which includes a selection of hand-picked darts that are perfect for players who are just starting out on their darts journey. You can also check out our how to find the perfect dart for you blog for more advice on choosing a set of darts.
What weight of soft tip dart is best?
If you are playing soft tip darts for the first time, then we would recommend 22g as the best weight darts to use. Darts Corner has a huge array of 22g soft tip darts to choose from. Our Top 10 Soft Tip Darts collection features the ideal choices when it comes to choosing your next set of soft tip darts.
Soft tip darts tend to weigh much lighter than steel tip darts, as you are throwing with plastic tips and at a board made of plastic materials. An 18g dart is a wise choice when it comes to playing on a soft tip dartboard.
What weight of steel tip dart is best?
The majority of steel tip darts will come in a range of different sizes, mostly between 20g and 26g. The best weight of darts for a beginner is 28g, but if you have played a bit and are planning to experiment with different darts then go for a dart around the 23-24g mark.
As mentioned earlier, 23g is the most popular weight used by the leading professional players, which means it will be an easily accessible weight to pick up a set of darts for. Darts Corner stocks a wide range of darts at this weight including the Mission Occult and Unicorn Gary Anderson Special Edition darts.
A 24g dart is the most popular dart on the Darts Corner website, with more than 500 different options available. A 24g dart is also the best darts weight for the 2023 PDC World Champion Michael Smith, who uses a Shot Signature dart in this weight and started the 2023 season as the world number one!
Some more unusual darts weights…
Most players tend to throw with a weight of dart between 20g and 26g, but there are some notable exceptions. A look at the professional circuit and you could see a match with Stephen Bunting throwing with 12g darts and his opponent could be Ryan Searle using 34g darts!
BUNTING BATTLES THROUGH! 💪— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) March 25, 2023
For the second straight day, Stephen Bunting comes through a deciding-leg tussle in Leverkusen!
The Bullet fires in a 13-darter to see off Ryan Searle in a topsy-turvy affair!
📺 https://t.co/YyBPPwoMK8 | #ET2 pic.twitter.com/ey1m9RfH7i
Under the Darts Regulation Authority (DRA) rule book, there are rules on the length and/or weight of darts that you can play with. In the DRA’s general playing rules, it states: ‘Players shall provide their own darts which shall not exceed an overall maximum length of 200mm nor weigh more than 40 grams and shall consist of a metal point and a minimum of a barrel, stem and a flight.’
How dart weight impacts your throw
Finding the best weight darts for you can depend on how your dart flies through the air. For example, a heavy dart (26g and above) will be more suited for you if your dart flies straight. This is because the heavier weight will make sure the dart’s trajectory remains as straight and stable as possible. Phil Taylor, the 16-time world champion and considered to be the greatest player of all time, used a 26g dart that were adapted to his own playing style.
If you find that your darts are flying more indirect, like in an arc lamp shape, then a lighter dart (22-24g) will be more ideal for your style. By using this weight of dart your darts will fly straighter through the air, as there will be less effort used to throw them and it will lend itself to more consistent play.
While changing the flights, shafts and points will make a slight change on the overall weight and trajectory of your darts, it is the barrel which has by far the biggest impact and more than any other component of the dart.
Which darts weights are best for intermediate players?
Many intermediate players will experiment with different weights to find something that suits their style of play. Although there is no ‘best weight’ for every player, changing the weight of your darts can be the answer to unlocking an extra few per cent in your game.
If you find that your darts are dropping low on the treble 20, you might want to consider throwing with a lighter dart. On the other side, if you are throwing at a treble 20 and finding your darts are nearer the double 20, then opting for a heavier dart would be a wise choice. You might want to look for a different dart depending on where you grip the barrel. Check out our top 10 darts for rear grippers and top 10 darts for middle grippers pages for our best selections.
At Darts Corner, we have a Mission Precision darts fitting experience with ex-professional Andy Cornwall, who will help you find the right darts for you. This one hour one-to-one session will involve you trying out lots of different darts and our ex-pro will make sure you leave with a set of darts tailored to your own personal preferences.
Which darts weights do professionals use?
To demonstrate that there isn’t a universal ‘best weight’ of darts to use, a quick glance at the darts used by the professionals shows a range of different weights. Based on the PDC rankings at the start of the 2023 season, almost all of the world’s top 16 players use darts that weigh between 20g-27g. Ryan Searle is the outlier in the group and uses much heavier darts, weighing in at 32g. In fact, at the 2023 World Matchplay, Searle added 2g to his darts to make them even heavier at 34g!
The 2023 PDC World Champion Michael Smith uses a 24g dart, while former major champions James Wade and Jose De Sousa both opt for a lighter weight of 20g for their darts. A 23g dart is the most popular weight among the top players, with five of the world’s top 16 using this weight, including Dirk van Duijvenbode and Damon Heta. Meanwhile, Michael van Gerwen is more exact with his dart weight, using a 21.5g dart.
Can I change the weight of my current darts?
Once you have chosen a set of darts, it is possible to alter the overall weight of the darts afterwards. The weight can be amended by changing the flights and shafts for other options which are move heavier.
For example, flights are measured in microns and a flight that is 150 microns will weigh more than a flight that is 75 microns. Although only a small change, this can have an effect on how the dart flies through the air. A thicker flight is more durable and will last longer and can actually make a dart travel flatter in the air, due to more air resistance.
To change the weight of your darts you can also screw on an add a gram to the barrels. As in the name, this item weighs exactly one gram and when added to your dart will increase the overall weight by one gram.
Now you know exactly how to choose the best darts weight for your game
Choosing the darts weight for your game is a personal preference and there isn’t a singular ‘best’ weight for someone to play with. It can take time to find what’s right for you and for some players it can be a quicker process than others, but it will be a fun experience trialling different darts to discover what works best!
The world’s top professionals use a variety of different weight darts, ranging from a lighter dart at 20g to a heavier dart at 34g, but all of these players will have experimented with other weights to find out the right dart for them and their own individual style.
For soft tip darts, 18g and 20g are the most popular weights on the Darts Corner website, while for steel tip it is darts weighing 22g, 23g and 24g. When you are trying out your new darts, why not pick up one of our darts research packs and you can test out loads of different accessories, including various shapes of flights and stems, to see what you prefer.