The Anatomy Of A Dart

The Anatomy Of A Dart

Steve Reed |

A beginner’s guide to the different parts of a dart

A dart is made up of four parts: the point, barrel, shaft and flight. Each element has its own function and understanding how they all work will help to find the right setup for you.

Here is a guide to all of the parts that go into a standard set of darts, as well as other accessories that can be added on.

The Anatomy Of A Dart - Different parts of a dart

Steel Tip Points

Dart points, also known as the tip, is the part that enters the dartboard and keeps the dart stuck in. The graphic above is of a steel tip dart, which has a steel tip point and is used for steel tip dartboards (also known as bristle dartboards) which you'd commonly see in a pub.

When playing steel tip darts, it is important to keep your points sharp to avoid bounce outs, which is when your darts fall out of the board, and prolong the life of your board. Read our how to sharpen your darts guide and have a look at our wide selection of darts sharpeners here.

Points can be removed and replaced with different types and colors using a repointing tool. Check out our range of dart repointers here.

If you are a beginner you might start off with a smooth point on your dart, before deciding you need a point with more grip to help have more control when throwing. The Mission Sniper Lunar Dart Points are a popular choice at the moment for players looking for a grippier point. These points provide extra finger grip, and also significantly reduce darts falling out of the board. Watch the video below for more information.

Soft Tip Points

Soft tip points differ from steel tip points in that they are made of plastic instead of steel. These points are used for soft tip (electronic) dartboards only.

Soft tip darts is more family friendly as the points are made of plastic and are less dangerous. Many soft tip dartboards also come with a built-in electronic scoreboard, so they will automatically calculate your score for you. There is also the option to connect online and play against someone from another part of the world too!

Check out our soft tip darts guide here.


The barrels are the main part of a dart and come in all shapes and sizes, with different materials and grips. Some players prefer a heavier dart as opposed to a lighter dart, while others may favor a grippier barrel instead of a smoother barrel.

Barrel weights mostly range from 16g to 30g, but lighter and heavier darts are available. The most common materials used for barrels are tungsten, nickel-silver or brass. Tungsten is the most expensive, but is the best quality.

At Darts Corner, we have thousands of steel tip darts available and you can use the filters to find the set that is right for you, narrowing down to your preferred weight, material, shape, grip and color. 

The barrel is where most players will hold the dart with their fingers and grips include smooth, ringed and knurled to cater for your own personal preference. If you want to have more of a grip when throwing your darts, take a look at our range of wax and grip-help products here.

Check out our darts barrels guide for a more detailed look at the different barrels and materials that are available.

Watch the video below with PDC professional Alan Soutar for his tips on choosing the weight of dart for you.


Darts shafts, also known as stems, is the part that attaches to the barrel and at the other end holds the flight in place. Shafts also come in a variety of materials, lengths and styles and can affect how your dart flies through the air.

Nylon, plastic and aluminium are the most popular materials used for the shafts. Mission’s shaft sizes are: short, tweenie, tweenie plus and medium, while some other manufacturers may vary in lengths and the number of options available.

Cosmo have the widest range of shafts with eight different lengths. Read our how to choose a stem blog for more of an in-depth guide on picking the shafts that are right for you.

It is important to try different types and lengths of shafts to find out what works best for you. Why not try out a Mission Stems Research Pack to experiment with a range of different shafts?  

Below is a video showcasing the Mission Sabre Shafts which are made from Polycarbonate material.


Darts flights are an essential part of the dart as they are what helps the dart to fly through the air. The flight slots into the end of the stem and keeps the dart stable while in motion.

Flights are also available in many different shapes and designs, while you can also alter the thickness and material of them to suit your own game. Molded flights are more expensive, but last longer and stay at 90-degrees to help improve the consistency of your throw.

The most common flight shape is standard (No. 2), but there are other sizes available including pear, kite and slim. A larger flight is typically used with heavier darts, while a smaller flight tends to work better with a lighter dart.

Try out a mix of different flights with a Mission Flights Research Pack.

Find out more about the various flight shapes and sizes with our how to choose a darts flight guide here.

Now that you know the four parts that make a dart, there are lots of other items you can add on to customize your set up.

Other darts accessories

Darts accessories, including flight protectors, springs and add-a-grams, all serve their own purpose to help refine your set up.

Flight protectors are small items that slot onto the end of the flight. These are useful in looking after your flights, as when another dart hits your flight it will protect them from being damaged.

Springs are a popular accessory and are used on nylon shafts to help keep the flight in place. The spring slots on to the top of the shaft and squeezes the four prongs together, creating a tighter grip for the flight.

Similar products to springs include slot lock rings, which require a dart flight hole punch, and provide a stronger grip between the flight and the shaft.

O-rings are used on metal alloy shafts and are designed to stop them coming loose from the barrels during play. Check out our range of darts springs and rings.

Watch this video below to find out more about the Mission F-Lock Pro Flight Punch. This pocket-size tool can punch a hole in your flights where you can place a ring/spring to then attach the flight to your stem, creating a stronger grip.

Add-a-grams, as the name suggests, are small weights which are used to increase the weight of the dart. These items screw into the rear of the barrel and the shaft then screws into the back of the add a gram.

With all of these accessories, it is down to player preference whether you use them or not as they will all have their own small affect on how the dart flies in the air. Take a look at our darts accessories guide here.

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