Can You Put Steel Tips on Soft Tip Darts?

Can You Put Steel Tips on Soft Tip Darts

Key Takeaways 

  • Soft tip darts are designed for use on electronic dartboards, while steel tip darts are designed for use on traditional dartboards.
  • Electronic dartboards have a plastic surface with small holes that the soft tips can easily stick to.
  • Traditional bristle dartboards have a sisal fiber surface that allows steel tip darts to stick securely and less bounce outs.
  • Soft tip darts are generally lighter than steel tips and weigh only goes up to 18 grams
  • Soft tip darts are often used in home or casual settings, as well as in electronic dart leagues, and are more child-friendly.
  • Steel tip darts are commonly used among players that play regularly on traditional boards at home, in pubs, clubs, and compete in leagues or tournaments.

What are Soft Tip Darts?

  • Soft tip darts are made from plastic or nylon materials that are designed to be safe and reduce the risk of damage to surfaces and individuals.
  • They are typically used with plastic dartboards, that have pre-built holes that allow the dart tip to stick to.

Plastic dartboards that are played on with soft tips, are often electronic boards that do the calculations instantly, so if counting fast is a problem, this can help keep the games fun and engaging.

What are Steel Tip Darts?

  • Steel tip darts are used on the traditional style dartboards made with fibers.
  • The pointed steel tip can stick because the sharp end is able to penetrate the fibers by wedging itself in the middle of a bunch of fibers.

On cheaper boards, the dart holes on the face of the board remain visible when they are removed. Typically, bristle dartboards, are often referred to as self-healing, because the sisal fibers have the ability to close back in.

Steel tip and bristle boards are the professional standard, which you will be familiar with on televised tournaments.

Key Differences Between Soft Tip and Steel Tip Darts


Soft tip darts are lighter than steel tips, and 18 grams is the maximum weight a player can get. Which is not so good if you are used to heavier steel tips.

  • The lighter plastic tips require more power behind a throw and are generally harder to play with, but are great for beginners, children and recreational players starting out.
  • On the other hand, steel tips are much heavier in comparison and can weigh as much as 40 grams.
  • However, most players throw with a dart between 20–30 grams on average.

Steel tip darts are usually made of brass or tungsten alloys, giving them a more substantial weight than soft tip darts.


Darts is not a dangerous sport, however freak accidents can occur from the likes of stray darts or bounce outs, particularly when using steel tip darts.

Playing on quality traditional boards, with thin spiders, will see less bounce outs than plastic boards.

However, darts bouncing out are part and parcel of the game, which needs to be considered if you are playing with your young children.

  • A safe playing environment is essential, and soft tip darts are ideal for this.
  • As I’m sure you can imagine, rounded, plastic tips, are less of a risk of injury compared to the pointed tips made of steel that have a sharp ends.


The molded plastic, used to manufacture the soft tips, have a relatively short lifespan.

As a plastic material, it is not very hard to snap them entirely or bend them out of shape.

Soft tip dart players tend to go through much more tips than steel tip players ever do, because the steel is unlikely to break like plastic. If longevity and durability is important, steel tips offers much more than soft tips.


The traditional set-up, comprising a bristle dartboard, a set of steel darts and a backboard, is less expensive than the soft tip set up.

  • Electronic dartboards with automatic scoring displays are more expensive than dartboards made of sisal fibers.
  • Soft tips will have to be replaced more frequently than steel tips


There is also another thing you will have to consider, and that is your walls, especially if you don’t want them littered with dart holes.

If you are a beginner, there’s going to be lots of inaccuracies throwing darts and plenty going astray.

Mostly, it will be the wall or door behind your hanging dartboard that will take the brunt of the impact.

  • If you are worried about damaging your walls, soft tips are the better choice over steel tips as they will not penetrate the wall.
  • Steel tips, on the other hand, will leave tiny holes that need to be patched up.
  • Get yourself a protective backboard, or surrounding protective enclosure to prevent damage to walls if you use steel tips. 

Can You Put Steel Tips on Soft Tip Darts?

It’s not directly possible to just screw steel tips onto soft tip darts due to design differences, however conversion tips make it possible.


Soft tip darts and steel tip darts are designed differently.

Soft tip darts are typically made to be used with electronic dartboards, while steel tip darts are for traditional sisal or bristle boards.

The threading and design of the tips are different, so they aren’t directly interchangeable.

Conversion Tips

There are “conversion tips” available in the market.

  • These are steel tips designed to screw into soft tip dart barrels. By using these conversion tips, you can effectively turn a soft tip dart into a steel tip dart.
  • This is useful for players who want to use the same dart barrel for both electronic and traditional boards.

Weight Considerations

Keep in mind that adding a steel tip might alter the weight and balance of the dart slightly. This could affect your throw and accuracy.

It’s always a good idea to practice with the converted darts to get a feel for them before playing in any serious matches.

  1. Safety: Steel tip darts are sharper and can cause injury if not handled properly. Always ensure safety first, especially if children are around.
  2. Dartboard Damage: Never use a steel tip dart on an electronic dartboard. It can damage the board and its electronic components. Conversely, using soft tip darts on a sisal board won’t provide the same experience, as they might not stick well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Directly Use Steel Tip Darts on a Soft Tip Dartboard? 

No, steel tip darts are designed for traditional sisal or bristle boards and can damage electronic dartboards.

Why Can’t Steel Tip Darts Be Used on Electronic Dartboards? 

Steel tip darts are sharper and can damage the electronic components of a soft tip board. They can also ruin the surface, making it less responsive to soft tip darts in the future.

Are There Any Darts That Can Be Used on Both Types of Boards? 

While no dart is truly universal for both boards, there are conversion tips available that allow soft tip dart barrels to be fitted with steel tips. This lets players use the same barrel for both types of boards.

Do Conversion Tips Change the Weight or Balance of the Dart? 

Yes, adding a steel tip can alter the weight and balance slightly. Players should practice with converted darts to adjust to the change before playing competitively.

Is It Safe to Use Steel Tip Darts Around Children? 

Caution is advised. Steel tip darts are sharp and can cause injury. Always store them out of reach of children and supervise any play.

Can I Use Soft Tip Darts on a Traditional Sisal Board? 

You can, but they might not stick well or provide the same experience as steel tip darts.

Are Conversion Tips Expensive? 

The cost of conversion tips varies based on brand and quality. However, they are generally affordable and can be a cost-effective way to use the same dart barrel for different boards.

Will Using Steel Tip Darts on a Soft Tip Board Void Its Warranty? 

Most likely, yes. Using steel tip darts on an electronic board can cause damage, and manufacturers typically do not cover such misuse under warranty.

How Can I Tell If a Dart Is a Soft Tip or Steel Tip? 

Steel tip darts have a sharp, pointed metal tip. Soft tip darts have a rounded, plastic tip designed to interact with electronic boards.

Do Professional Players Use Conversion Tips? 

Some might, especially if they play on both electronic and traditional boards. However, many professionals have separate darts tailored for each type of board.

How Can I Increase the Weight of Soft Tip Darts?

If you want to increase the weight of soft tip darts, you can add tungsten weight in the hollow portion or consider purchasing heavier weighted soft tip darts.


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