What Is the Difference Between Heavy and Light Darts?

What Is the Difference Between Heavy and Light Darts

Key Takeaways

  • Steel tip darts typically weigh between 16g–40g, with the average weight being 21g – 26g.
  • Soft tip darts typically weigh between 12g–20g, with the most commonly used weights being 16g-20g.
  • The weight distribution of a dart can be front-loaded, rear-loaded or balanced, which has an effect on how you hold and release the dart.
  • Heavier darts weighing between 23g–24g are better for beginners because they require less force when being thrown, allowing players to focus more on their aim.
  • Light darts are typically those that weigh less than 20g and are better for players that tend to throw with more force.

The Weight of Darts

For any newcomer or amateur dart player, it can be a challenging task to select the right type of darts, considering the variations in weight from one dart to another.

A darts weight can range 12 grams to 50 grams, however the average weight most players throw with are between:

  • 21–24 grams when using steel tips
  • 16–20 grams when using soft tips

Typically, 26 grams or above is considered a heavy, while 20 grams or fewer is considered light. 

One thing to bear in mind, the right weight for each player can depend on things like:

  • Your experience levels
  • The type of grip you have
  • Your throwing technique 

So ultimately it ends up being more about personal preference, how you feel throwing the dart and your throwing style, than one specific weight being better than the rest. 

Much of it comes down to trial and error, however there are pros and cons to using either light or heavy darts.

Heavy Darts vs Light Darts: The Pros and Cons

Heavier dart pros

  • Less bounce outs, as the heavier weight sticks firmer in the board
  • Allow players to throw easier, as less power is needed to throw a heavy dart
  • More beginner-friendly

Heavier dart cons

  • Difficult to group heavy darts with a thick barrels
  • Weight distribution of the dart is typically front or rear loaded
  • The heavier weight may drag the dart too low on the way to the dartboard

Lighter dart pros

  • Suited for more accurate throws among players that use more force
  • Favored by the professionals
  • Weight distribution is usually balanced
  • The lighter weight allows better control over the dart for experienced players

Lighter dart cons

  • Light darts can sometimes struggle to stay in the board
  • Novices can struggle with the lighter weight
  • Can be unstable as it travels towards the board and may land at different angles

Are Heavy or Light Darts Better?

If you are a beginner, heavier darts are better to start with, preferably within the average range of 21–26 grams. 22g – 23g works best, because they are neither too light nor too heavy.

Heavier weighted darts are easier to throw if you are new to the game because they require less force. Lighter darts need more power behind a throw, or else they tend to drop too low by the time they reach the board.

It’s the reason most beginners struggle with lighter darts, because the development in their overall technique is not there yet.

  • Experienced players understand, the effect that heavy or light darts have on their throw and how they compliment their style while playing darts. 
  • Players that put more force into their throw, tend to use lighter darts and a type where the weight distribution is balanced.
  • Beginners struggle to find accuracy and consistency with a light set of darts

Heavier darts allow players new to the game to work on the mechanics behind their grip and release.

Professional dart players tend to play with lighter darts, typically between 21–24 grams, because they allow for more accuracy.

Gradually Test Different Darts

With a little experience and developing a better understanding of the technique that works for you, trying different dart weights, either heavier or lighter, will help you find the ideal weight.

  1. Begin with a standard weight dart, ideally around 22–23 grams.
  2. Gradually increase the weight by 1–2 grams until you reach the best weight.
  3. Try out various barrel sizes
  4. Avoid adding or removing more than one variable at a time. For example, don’t change both the weight and barrel size simultaneously

What Is the Difference Between Long Barrel and Short Barrel Darts?

It is hard to talk about which is best between light and heavy darts without mentioning the barrel.

The type of barrel you choose will have an impact on the stability of the dart as it moves through the air. Therefore, shorter darts require more power, just like lighter darts do.

Long Darts Barrels vs Shorter Darts Barrels

  • Lighter darts with shorter barrels are favored by players with hard throws, and beginners will often struggle with this set of darts.
  • The type of grip a player has will also be a factor in barrel length.
  • Long barrels are more popular with players that have a big, wide grip and use lots of fingers.
  • Small barrels have less room to hold the dart if you like to use lots of fingers.
  • Long thin barrels are easier for tight grouping
  • Small bulky barrels are harder to group

Dart Weight Distribution

The distribution of a dart’s weight can confuse things a little further, new players when they choose a dart to throw with. The stability of your dart is also affected by the way the weight of the dart is distributed.

Barrel length can play a big role in how the weight is distributed. The weight of the dart is either front loaded, rear loaded or balanced in the center.

  • Players that like to grip towards the front of the dart, usually prefer front loaded barrels.
  • Players that grip from the back, prefer rear loaded barrels.
  • These kinds of darts are usually bulky to either the front or the back, making grouping of darts harder. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Constitutes a Heavy Dart?

A heavy dart typically weighs between 24 and 30 grams, although some can be even heavier. The weight is determined by the material and design of the dart.

What Constitutes a Light Dart?

A light dart usually weighs between 12 and 20 grams. Like heavy darts, the weight is influenced by the material and design.

How Does the Weight Affect the Dart’s Flight?

Heavier darts tend to have a more stable and straight flight path due to their weight. Light darts, on the other hand, might float more and can be influenced more by external factors like air currents.

Is It Easier to Play with Heavy or Light Darts?

It’s subjective and depends on the player’s preference. Some players find that heavy darts give them better control, while others prefer the feel and flight of lighter darts.

Do Professionals Prefer Heavy or Light Darts?

Professional players use a range of dart weights. The preference is based on their playing style, grip, and the type of board they play on.

How Does the Dart’s Weight Affect Scoring?

A heavier dart might stick to the board more reliably, reducing bounce-outs. However, the accuracy of scoring is more about the player’s skill and technique than the dart’s weight.

Can I Switch Between Heavy and Light Darts?

Yes, players can switch, but it might require an adjustment period to get used to the new weight and how it affects the throw.

Which Dart Weight Is Best for Beginners?

Many coaches recommend starting with a mid-weight dart, around 21 to 23 grams, as it offers a balance between control and stability. From there, beginners can experiment to find their preference.

How Do I Choose the Right Dart Weight for Me?

It’s essential to try different weights to see which feels most comfortable and improves your game. Factors to consider include your grip, throwing style, and the distance you stand from the board.

Are There Any Regulations on Dart Weight in Competitions?

Yes, some competitions have weight limits. For example, in many professional tournaments, the maximum allowed weight is 50 grams, though most players use darts much lighter than this.




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