Non-professional dartboards come in smaller sizes compared to commercial-grade boards, which are noticeably bigger.
According to specifications outlined by the World Dart Federation, a full-size professional-grade dartboard should measure 18 inches in diameter and have a thickness of 1.5 inches.
However, keep in mind that different tournament competitions will specify different dartboard sizes, so make sure the board you are getting suits its intended use.
The big commercial dart boards can accommodate as many as 15 players at a time.
Dartboards can be made from sisal, wood, paper, straw, cork, or Bristle. There are also magnetic and electronic dartboards.
Commercial dartboards are always made using Bristle, which is the fiber that’s cultivated from the sisal plant. The numerous tiny fibers are bound together tightly, then glued to the back of the board.
Bristle boards are preferred for their minimal maintenance and the fact that the surface heals quickly, therefore guaranteeing the dartboard’s longevity.
At the same time, Bristle allows the food-grade inks used on the board to penetrate deeply.
Dartboards feature three colors: red, black, and green.
Commercial-grade dart boards require ink that has high visibility and low glare. Additionally, the ink should be environmentally friendly (preferably food grade) and have ample color strength.
Color strength means that the ink used should be non-fade, but at the same time, the bright colors shouldn’t be tonally distracting either.
If a board isn’t deep enough, it won’t hold the darts for a long time. As a result, the darts bounce back and fall on the floor, instead of piercing the board and staying put.
Look for boards that are no less than 1.5 inches deep.
Bristle dartboards comprise thousands of tightly-packed Bristles stuffed into the board. This provides a dense surface that decreases bounce-outs of the darts.
At the same time, the density of Bristle dartboards is what gives it such impressive self-healing capabilities.
See, these tightly-packed Bristles essentially ‘move out of the way’ when a dart comes at them, then they close up again once the dart is removed.
Unlike other materials, no hole is left in a Bristle board, so this type of board will take the longest before it eventually gets damaged.
A medium-packed board would be perfect for players with a lighter throw, and the board would be best suited for humid climates.
On the other hand, a hard-packed board would be ideal for players who have a heavier throw. This board is best suited for dry climatic conditions.
Having the inner and outer bullseye razor-bladed would further eliminate the bouncing rate of darts thrown, thereby giving players a higher scoring rate.
On a dartboard, the spider refers to the wire scoring ring that separates scoring sections.
Firstly, a thin wire would be less obtrusive, hence allowing for higher visibility and lower glare on the board.
At the same time, this micro-thin divider segment would dramatically reduce the rate of bounce-outs.
Secondly, super-thin wires shaped like triangles are preferred to cylindrical wires.
This is because triangular wires will guide the dart into the board instead of enhancing bounce-outs, as is the case with thick cylindrical wires.
Thirdly, how is the wire attached to the board? While less expensive boards employ stapling, top-end commercial-grade dartboards have staple-free spiders.
A staple-free design is preferred because it reduces the amount of metal on the board (that can take up much-needed precious scoring spaces).
Also, staples make it harder to adjust the spider, which means that damage on the board cannot be evenly distributed for uniform wear.
Movable Number Ring
Owing to the nature of the game, it only makes sense that some sections of the board will be hit more often than others. And this is why you need to get an adjustable spider.
Removing the spider easily means that you will be able to rotate the board, thereby putting less damaged sections in the spots where darts are more likely to hit the board.
This design allows you to distribute damage on the board more evenly.
Composite Board Edging
Composite edging will allow the number ring to rotate well, thereby contributing to the dartboard’s longer lifespan.
At the same time, it provides a clean and finished, which is just what you want when buying a commercial dartboard.
For safety reasons, it is never advisable to hang a dartboard directly on the wall. Instead, buy a dartboard that comes with a wall bracket.
A wall bracket offers a more straightforward, stress-free way to hang the board. Also, this way, you can conveniently rotate the number ring without needing to remove the dartboard.
Commercial dartboards are relatively expensive, and you could end up splurging quite a good amount of money on a board.
Pricing of these boards will vary widely depending on the dartboard brand, the type of dartboard you want to buy, and the intended purpose of purchasing the dartboard.
Provided you know which features to look out for, you can make a wise decision that will put your money to good use, rather than splurging without really knowing precisely what you are paying for.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what you need and what you are willing to pay for.
How to Maintain A Commercial Dartboard
To ensure the durability of your dartboard, the main factor to consider would be the lighting of the room in which you intend to play.
Bright lights could fade the ink on the board.
Moreover, the heat generated from these lights could cause the board to dry out over time. When this happens, the Bristles become brittle and less effective at closing up upon removing a dart.
To curb against such damage, pay attention not to mount the board in direct sunlight. Also, don’t put spotlights on the board even though this might seem like the logical thing to do to enhance visibility.
FAQs About the Best Commercial Dartboards
Why Do My Darts Keep Falling Off the Board?
If you are experiencing frequent bounce-outs while throwing your darts, the problem may be your dartboard, your darts, or you – the player.
Your Bristle dartboard may be too old or, the high target spot areas could be chipping off fast.
To solve this, start first by rotating the board. If that doesn’t fix the issue, your board will need to be replaced with a new one.
If your darts are the issue, they might require sharpening, or it could be that they aren’t heavy enough for a solid throw. Heavier darts penetrate the board more deeply compared to lighter darts.
Suppose you are the problem, then it could be that you are a light thrower or tend to throw the darts at an angle that can cause bounce-outs.
How Long Do Dart Boards Last?
Commercial dartboards are designed to be very durable, standing up well to maltreatment.
Nevertheless, how long your dartboard lasts will depend on its quality, how frequently you play, and your style of play.
With heavy use, Bristle boards have a life expectancy of about 3-4 years. This can be increased significantly if you play using sharp darts and pay attention to rotate the board regularly.
Commercial dartboards don’t always have to be used in leagues or tournaments. You may only be getting one for home use.
Whatever the intended use, just keep in mind that commercial-grade boards are naturally more expensive than regular home-use boards.
They are built to last, using superior quality materials and intricate procedures that guarantee nothing but the very best dartboard for your money’s worth.
I'm a financial analyst, ping pong lover and an enthusiast father. I'm 30. I have one little boy. Whenever I'm not stuck in numbers, you'll find me in my game room chilling.