Why Are Dart Tips Pointed? (How to Sharpen Your Darts)

Why Are Dart Tips Pointed

Key Takeaways:

  • Pointed dart tips decrease the likelihood of bounce outs.
  • Properly pointed tips help with dartboard longevity
  • It takes 10–20 seconds to sharpen a dart tip using a darts sharpener

Why Are Dart Tips Pointed?

Darts have a very specific shape to them and are made up of four different parts:

  1. The flight
  2. The shaft
  3. The barrel
  4. The point (tip)

Each part works together, and the function of a dart wouldn’t work without each individual design function.

So why are dart tips pointed?

Dart tips need to be pointed as they allow for improved aerodynamics and precision in throwing. The pointed tip design helps the dart move efficiently through the air.

  • Pointed tips generate less resistance to airflow, increasing their speed and reducing the amount of time they take to get to the board.
  • They help in maintaining the stable flight of a dart with less friction, making it more likely to hit a particular segment on the board.
  • A pointed tip makes contact with the board at an angle that helps a darts stick more easily into the dartboard. When darts enter at different angles, it will cause them to bounce out.

How Sharp Does a Dart Tip Need To Be?

This is an important question when talking about pointed tips. 

Believe it or not, dart tips can be too pointy and sharp as well as too dull and blunt. A properly sharpened tip, should be pointed but rounded off at the end.

The best way to do this is with a darts’ sharpener, which I will explain further down.

There are a couple of reasons why dart players take care with their tips, ensuring that they’re not too sharp or too blunt.

Dart tips that are too sharp

When a steel dart lands in a traditional dartboard, it effectively separates the sisal fibers and rests in between them.

After the darts are removed from the board, the fibers move back and close in, provided they are undamaged.

  • When the points on a dart are too sharp, they pierce the fibers, as opposed to nestling beside them.
  • This prevents them from ‘self-healing’ from the damage of being pierced by the dart.
  • The next time a dart lands on the damaged sisal, there is more chance of it bouncing back out.
  • Overtime the damaged fibers can start to bulge which is one reason why your dartboard might be starting to swell.

Dart tips that are too blunt

You will have similar problems if your dart tip is too blunt, which will wear out the board much quicker than expected.

  • When the points are too dull, they will again have the problem of separating the fibers in the board.
  • Instead, they will effectively just bang straight down on top of them with the blunt point, which damages the fibers’ ability to close back in.

The Spider Can also be damaged

It’s not just the fibers that can get damaged, but the spider as well, with both sharp and blunt tips.

  • Instead of gliding off the rounded metal ring, sharp pointed tips dig into it.
  • This will leave the spider with little dents and knicks allover it.

A similar problem exists if the points are too blunt.

The dull end will just smash straight against the metal ring, which will cause the dart to bounce straight back out.

How to Sharpen Darts?

Using a Dart Sharpener

Sharpening your dart tips couldn’t be easier using a darts’ sharpener tool. Luckily they are not very expensive and there are plenty to choose from.

They pretty much all do the same job, so you can’t really go wrong with the one you choose.

How to sharpen darts using a dart sharpener:

  1. Place the tip of the dart inside the sharpener
  2. Rotate the tip inside the sharpener in a circular motion while pressing down lightly.
  3. Do this for 10–12 seconds
  4. Check the tip is pointed into a rounded end
  5. Repeat the above steps until the tip surface is smooth, and all burs have been removed

Checking and Replacing Tips as Needed

Regular maintenance of your dart tips is crucial for maintaining their longevity and performance.

The following are some tips to help you keep your dart tips in top condition:

  • Regularly check dart tips: It’s essential to monitor and check your dart tips for signs of wear and tear.
  • Check for bent tips: Keeping the tips straight is necessary because bent tips can damage the board by pulling the fibers when removed from the board
  • Replace when necessary: If you notice that your dart tip is dull and not being rounded by a sharpening tool, it’s time to replace it with a new one.
  • Inspect soft-tipped darts: Soft-tipped darts require regular maintenance, too. Inspect them for damage such as scratches or tears which impact their accuracy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are the Tips of Darts Sharp?

The sharp point of a dart ensures that it can penetrate and stick to the dartboard effectively. A blunt tip would bounce off or not stay in the board.

What Purpose Does the Pointed Tip Serve?

The pointed tip allows the dart to maintain a trajectory and provides the necessary force to embed itself into the dartboard, ensuring accurate scoring.

Would a Dart Work with a Blunt Tip?

A dart with a blunt tip would have difficulty sticking to a traditional sisal or bristle dartboard. It might not provide consistent results and could lead to more bounce-outs.

Are Soft Tip Darts Also Pointed?

Soft tip darts, used for electronic dartboards, have a more rounded tip compared to steel tip darts. However, they still have a slight point to interact with the electronic sensors in the board.

Is There a Risk of Injury with Pointed Darts?

Yes, especially with steel tip darts. They are sharp and can cause injury if not handled properly. It’s essential to ensure safety, especially around children.

Do Professional Players Prefer a Specific Type of Point?

Many professional players have preferences based on their playing style and the type of board they use. Some might prefer a more extended, sharper point, while others might opt for a shorter, slightly rounded tip.

Can the Point of a Dart Be Re-Sharpened?

Yes, there are dart sharpeners available that can help maintain or restore the point of a steel tip dart. Regular maintenance ensures optimal performance and reduces bounce-outs.

Why Don’t Darts Have Flat Tips Like Arrows?

Darts need to stick vertically into a dartboard, while arrows are designed to penetrate targets horizontally. The design and purpose of each are different, leading to variations in their tip shapes.

Do Pointed Darts Damage Walls?

If a dart misses the board and hits a wall, it can cause damage, especially if it’s a steel tip dart. It’s advisable to have a protective surround or backboard around the dartboard to prevent such incidents.

Are There Any Regulations on Dart Tip Sharpness?

While there isn’t a universal standard, many dart leagues or tournaments might have specific guidelines on the acceptable length and sharpness of dart tips to ensure fair play.




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