Updated December 2018
If you’re looking to buy soft tip darts, the way to go about finding them is to understand your play style and apply that to your purchase. Knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are helps you to choose the darts that are going to play to your talents and keep helping you get better. Ultimately, any sporting equipment is there to limit your weaknesses and push you toward improvement, so you should keep that in mind when choosing your darts.
Vopa 17 Grams 12 Pack
These are pretty solid beginner darts for a decent price. The convex nylon shafts are going to be a little more reliable than a standard plastic one and probably last longer since they make more room for other darts, thereby being less likely to crash into one another at high speed.
One of the more interesting elements of this is the Vopa Grip barrel which uses a number of tiny cuts in order to create a natural, secure hand-feel. I could tell that the texture was there, but I didn’t feel like it was gripping me back, which was nice.
If you are getting these, though, I would avoid hard floors. The nylon shafts will stand up to regular play, but they’ll likely snap if they impact on a hard surface and break the part that holds the flight in place. If you’re on carpet, however, I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
All in all, these are not the darts you will have for the rest of your life, but they’re still fine.
Fat Cat Darts in a Jar
If playing darts is a major part of your entertaining, having a jar of darts around can be a good thing. They’re convenient, there’s a bunch of them, and they’re not bad quality. In fact, the nickel silver plated barrels are very well balanced and have great knurling with deep grooves and well textured rings. The whole dart has a nice hand feel to it and flies decently.
The problem, however, is one of packaging. While there are technically 21 darts in this jar, the process of shoving a handful of darts with their flights attached into a jar means that two to five darts are going to have those flights damaged in transit and have to have them replaced immediately. It’s not like flights are expensive or difficult to get, but it would make a lot more sense to ship those unattached and let people put them together themselves. They might still shove the assembled darts back in the jar, but then it would be their fault, not Fat Cat’s.
Viper Sure Grip
Viper is a great brand for beginners that want to start taking their steps into the wider world of darts, and the Sure Grip series sits very firmly in that place. While not perfect quality, the aluminum shafts and nickel silver barrel are much more reliable than a nylon shaft could ever be.
The rubber grips on the barrels, while unique, are also a bit strange. I’m not saying that they’re bad or even ineffective, but rather that they just don’t feel like a dart. I suppose I could get used to them in time, but for now I would prefer if there was a way to remove them and just use the otherwise excellently shaped barrel to throw.
The flights that come with these are pretty good slim models and will help them fly straight, but they’re also not the best out there. Given my druthers, I would change out the flights immediately for something a little better. That’s a pretty minor complaint for an otherwise great stepping stone set of darts.
Viare 18 Pcs 6 Styles Soft Tip Darts
It’s genuinely hard to say anything about this set because it is very, very middle of the road. Nothing particularly stands out about it and the only real adjective that makes any sense is “average.”
At 17 grams they’re decently weighted for beginners and some intermediate players. The knurling on the nickel silver plated barrels is comfortable for most people and has a pretty typical design. The weight is balanced with maybe a touch of front loading that is compensated for with the poly pro flights which are advertised as being “specifically designed to help increase speed and reduce drag” but are basically the same flights that you find on any comparably priced soft tip dart set.
This isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with them. It’s important to keep in mind that every dart is somebody’s perfect dart, but other than some interesting designs on the flights there’s nothing special about these specific ones. Buy them if you want to have more darts sitting around for parties.
Differences Between Soft Tip and Steel Tip Darts
Here’s a great video showing you the differences between steel tip and soft tip darts when thrown at a dart board. It’s worth a watch so that you can understand which ones you may want to buy.
Tips on Choosing Darts
Below we cover some key things to consider if you’re looking for the best soft tip darts.
Which Darts Should I Get?
Try several out and get the one that feels the most comfortable. While darts is a skill that can be learned, it’s not a complex strategy game. The edge you get from a good dart is that it compensates for your flaws until you overcome them. You’ll know when you’ve found a good set because you enjoy throwing them and they hit the target you want more often.
One of the best things about soft tipped darts is that there are a number of brands out there specifically made for people at various skill levels. They’ve been designed to address the common problems that people have at those levels and keep you improving.
For example, Viper Super Thunders are actually excellent beginner darts for most people. They’re lightweight, easy to throw, and are pretty simple to track on targets. On the other hand, if you find that you’re having trouble controlling your throw, you might consider a dart with some tungsten in it to add weight like the kind that Unicorn puts out.
Don’t be afraid to go onto dart forums and ask for advice, either. You’ll get a number of different options to try out and people are generally happy to help out.
Test Them Out Before Buying
You can buy darts online and in local retail stores. Both have their advantages. For example, the advantage of a local place is that you can try out darts in some of them or at least hold them and speak with experts. It’s absolutely worth the effort to build a report with the people who sell darts near you since they can not only help you to get more involved in the dart community in your area, maybe even point you toward a few leagues, but they can also help you improve your game.
That being said buying online has its own advantages as well as often the prices can be cheaper. This is especially true if you’re buying lots of different things that only a very large online retailer keeps full stock.
Either way definitely make sure to buy the best soft tip darts for your playing needs.