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Guest blogger Adam Dawson is on a graduate programme with sports retailer Sports Direct!

Which dart is right for you? Brass v Nickel v Tungsten

Posted: 07.08.13 in Darts Performance Centre Blog category

Guest blogger Adam Dawson is on a graduate programme with sports retailer Sports Direct!

Darts come in a variety of materials, weights and grips; here I will talk about the different materials used in the production of darts, particularly the main three metals used: brass, nickel and tungsten. Darts will generally consist of a set of three dart barrels, points, shafts and flights which help to stabilise the flight of the dart when thrown; although it is the material of the barrel that is concerned here.


Brass darts are the most commonly seen types of darts because the inexpensive metal makes them popular in pubs, taverns and at home. Darts made of brass are usually aimed at beginners and are of low cost, therefore making brass a good choice for darts players who have either rarely or even never played darts before. Brass is a softer and less expensive metal than either nickel or tungsten and the drawbacks that come with this include any knurling on the brass grip has the potential to wear down quickly; as well as brass darts having a thicker barrel, because of the lighter metal, which can increase the number of bounce-outs and makes close grouping more difficult.


Nickel darts are similarly inexpensive, although do generally cost a small amount more than brass. Darts made of nickel are usually the best choice for beginners who plan on playing relatively frequently because they are made of a harder metal and are therefore more durable than brass because the grip will not wear away as easily.


Tungsten is an extremely dense metal, considerably more so than brass or nickel; this increased density allows more weight in a smaller (thinner) barrel, making close grouping easier while maintaining the weight and minimising bounce-outs. These high-density tungsten darts resist wear far better than brass or nickel. Tungsten darts are recommended for all darts players who have played competitively at some point and are the darts used by all professionals because having all of the darts mass concentrated into such a small, thin area vastly enhances the control of the dart. When buying tungsten darts, it is important to pay attention to the percentage of tungsten in the dart barrels because it is central to the quality of the dart; in general the higher the percentage the better, and more expensive, the dart.

To find the right dart for you, it would be a good start to analyse yourself and your skill level; for example, if you are a beginner and you have never, or very rarely, played darts  before, then brass is probably the right dart for you. If you have occasionally played darts before, although no more than socially, then nickel darts would probably suit you best. If at any point you have played darts competitively before, or play it quite frequently and are looking to improve your game, then you should look to buy tungsten darts with a higher percentage of tungsten depending on how many competitive games you have played or plan to play.

This guide should help you with following and answering the questions to the flowchart below:

Author: Adam Dawson

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