There are multiple components that make up a darts set and one of the most important is the dart shaft. These small, lightweight items provide the foundation for which darts can glide through the air – when combined with a streamlined dart barrel and dart flight of course.
As shafts are such an important part of a dart, choosing a set that complements your individual grip, throw, and dart set are crucial. Therefore, below I’ll be rounding up 5 of the best dart shafts on the market to give you a good starting point when looking for a new set of shafts.
These are tried and tested products and any one of the shafts will benefit your game, so in each section, I’ll tailor the product to individual requirements so you know what to look for.
What are Dart Shafts
Dart shafts connect a dart flight to a dart barrel to provide balance to the dart, distribute weight, and shift the center of gravity. Why are these points important in darts?
The main reason is that they help the dart to essentially fly better. Some people modify the dart shaft to shift the center of gravity depending on where you hold the dart, whereas some even use part of the shaft when gripping a dart.
Regardless of what an individual aims to use a dart shaft for, its number one priority is to allow the dart to fly towards the dartboard with the correct trajectory. This is done to increase both your accuracy when throwing a dart as well as consistency.
5 Best Dart Shafts
Dart shafts come in a range of sizes, shapes, materials, and designs so below I’ve made a shortlist reviewing some of the best dart shaft options available.
This list takes into account price, longevity, design, functionality, and overall rating to truly round up the best dart shafts on the market.
|1||Viper Spinster Aluminum Dart Shaft||9/10|
|2||Viper Carbon Plus Ultra Light Dart Shaft||7.5/10|
|3||Target Pro Grip Dart Shaft||8/10|
|4||Wolftop 2BA Thread Aluminum Dart Shafts||8.5/10|
|5||CUESOUL Integrated Dart Shaft and Flights||8.5/10|
(Most Popular Pick)
Quick Review: The Viper Spinster dart shaft uses a new manufacturing technique to create a shaft that allows the flight to spin. This means fewer bounce-outs and better scoring.
Our Rating: 9/10
The Viper Spinster Aluminum Dart Shaft is a market leader in a new line of dart shafts. It’s one of the most bought and reviewed shafts on the market which is an indicator of both its value in terms of price and functionality.
The spinning shaft is the key feature of this product. It allows the shaft/flight to spin freely when in the board meaning it can avoid contact from incoming darts, reduce bounce-outs, and ultimately increase your scoring and darts averages.
Despite having a more intricate and specific design, the price point on these stems is very affordable and you’ll find them priced similarly to other aluminum shafts.
The one downside to these shafts is that the extra component in terms of spinning functionality provides a weak point compared to standard aluminum shafts. This means these shafts won’t last as long as a standard set of aluminum shafts – though they are still priced well enough to justify this.
Overall, when you consider the number of people buying these shafts combined with the high ratings and reviews, it’s clear to see that they are a top-quality product and are an ideal option for those wanting to test out a spinning shaft set.
- Rating – The Viper Spinster is the most bought, reviewed, and highest-rated dart shaft option on the market.
- Spinning Shaft – The spinning shaft allows the shaft/flight to spin freely when in the board meaning you’ll get reduced bounce-outs allowing for higher scoring and averages.
- Price – The price range is still very much affordable and most people are happy to buy multiple sets at once due to a relatively inexpensive price point.
- Limited Size Options – There may be a production shortage at the time of writing this but the Viper Spinster dart shafts are only available in small or medium sizes.
Quick Review: This carbon graphite dart shaft is an ultra-light yet durable option that is becoming increasingly favored by pro players.
Another solid option in the Viper range is the Viper Carbon Plus Ultra Light Dart Shaft. Carbon graphite dart shafts are becoming the go-to option for pro players because of the combination of durability with lightweight material.
The key selling point with these dart shafts is durability. They are made from “aircraft-grade” aluminum for added durability and longevity. This is great for practicing with the same set but also provides good value for money.
Arguably the best feature of these shafts is the weight. Pro players often favor nylon shafts because they are lighter but the Viper Carbon Plus combines a durable material whilst also being lightweight meaning that players get the benefit of both the aluminum and nylon shafts without the drawbacks of either.
One point I’d add is that there are some mixed opinions when it comes to how long these shafts last. Some players say they hold up well whereas others say they’ve had issues with them breaking within the first few weeks so this is something to keep in mind if considering this set.
- Durability – The key selling point is durability with this product and the aircraft-grade aluminum demonstrates the solid material used.
- Weight – Despite being designed with durability at the forefront, the carbon graphite material still ensures that these shafts are still lightweight.
- Price – While still a very good price when considering longevity and overall value for money, these shafts are still in the higher price range for a set of 3.
(Best Nylon Pick)
Quick Review: Nylon dart shafts are lightweight and inexpensive and the Target Pro Grip is the best option when it comes to a nylon shaft.
The Target Pro Grip Dart Shaft is the best in class when it comes to nylon dart shafts.
In terms of features, the Target Pro Grips are lightweight, have a nib to easily insert flights, and are a go-to option among many top-level and pro players.
It’s worth pointing out that the main selling point with this product is the price. You’ll get 3 sets (9pcs total) for an affordable price that is less than what you’d get for a single set (3pcs total) of any other material type.
With this lower price comes longevity though which is an issue. 9pcs are definitely a good backup to have but due to the material of these shafts, you’ll find them to be less durable or long-lasting when compared to other shaft materials.
Overall though, when you consider the brand, price-point, lightweight structure, and ease of use, the Target Pro Grips are a solid option for anyone that prefers nylon flights.
- Popularity – The Target Pro Grip is one of the most popular and widely used dart shafts, this wouldn’t be the case if people didn’t rate them high enough!
- Price – Despite being a branded product, these are still some of the most inexpensive dart shafts on the market.
- Included Rings – The metal rings included to keep the fingers tight and locked in place are not very sturdy, most players have needed to buy their own separately as a result.
- Longevity – An issue with all nylon shafts is longevity and the Target Pro Grips are no different. Any robin hoods or close collisions will result in the fingers snapping easily.
(Best Value Pick)
Quick Review: The Wolftop aluminum dart shafts are a value option designed for the beginner-intermediate player. You’ll get great longevity and value for money from this set.
The Wolftop 2BA Thread Aluminum Dart Shafts is a value for money option and would be a good starting shaft set for beginner players.
Aluminum shafts by their nature are hard-wearing and durable meaning a basic set can still be considered to hold good value. This Wolftop set comes with 8 sets of shafts (24pcs) making it a long-term purchase that should last most beginner players 6 – 12 months easily.
As you’d have seen from other products on this list, weight is a key component when it comes to dart shafts in order to properly balance the dart trajectory. Unfortunately, these stems are on the heavier side so won’t be a preferred option for players that are meticulous when it comes to their dart setup.
Overall, this product ranks highly when it comes to the best pick option simply because of the combination of value for money and longevity/durability with the purchase. There’s also a 100% money-back guarantee making it a relatively low-risk purchase.
- Value for money – This bundle set provides 24pcs whilst also coming in at an inexpensive price making it a great value for money option.
- Longevity – The solid aluminum shafts are durable and due to the large pack size, this set could easily last most players 12 months or more (depending on frequency).
- Weight – These are not specially made and the weight is therefore on the heavier side when it comes to shafts.
(Best Integrated Pick)
Quick Review: An integrated dart shaft and flight make for a more streamlined dart for a better (and flatter) trajectory. These are a unique dart shaft design and once you test them you may never go back to another type!
The CUESOUL Integrated Dart Shaft and Flights are a one-of-a-kind design that combines the shaft and flight for a more streamlined dart which ultimately provides a better trajectory for increased accuracy.
With an integrated shaft and flight, the Cuesoul shafts arguably provide better value for money than any other shaft on the market. This is because they are priced similarly to other standalone dart shafts but you don’t need the addition of extra flights.
A strange point to make with these shafts is durability. As they are one integrated piece, there are fewer parts that can become damaged which ultimately means they are a very durable option. The issue is that with close grouping, the flights can start to become worn and damaged and cannot be swapped out.
Finally, the design for these shafts can really make your darts stand out. There is a range of designs available and while some players would like to see more customization, your darts will still stand out when using these.
- Integrated – The 2-in-1 shaft and flight combination means you’ll get a better trajectory for your dart and also have no instances of your dart flights coming off
- Value for money – A shaft/flight combination means you don’t need to buy as many accessories and can save money in the long run when using integrated dart shafts.
- Design – The Cuesoul integrated dart shaft range features a variety of colors and designs to customize your darts.
- Flexibility – As the shafts and flights are integrated, you can’t experiment or make adjustments to your darts setup.
- Customization – Similar to the above point, with integrated shaft/flights you can’t further customize your darts for visual aesthetics or design.
If you’re a beginner and not sure about the type of dart shaft that you’ll need, then this section is designed to be a helpful buyer’s guide.
I’ve tested a lot of dart shafts prior to settling on my current setup (medium length, aluminum shafts) and have a good idea as to what you should be looking for when choosing your own dart starts.
Dart Shaft Size
Arguably the most important factor when choosing dart shafts is the length. The length of the dart will influence the center of gravity of the dart and will also heavily impact its trajectory.
When deciding on a dart shaft length, there are two factors to consider:
- Dart barrel size and weight
- Type of dart flights used
The dart shaft is used to offset the weight of the dart and create a balanced distribution. A wide and long dart barrel weighing 35g will need a longer dart shaft to help balance the weight. Otherwise, the dart will be too front-heavy and hit the board at too steep of an angle.
In contrast, a small and light dart barrel using a long stem will result in a rear-weighted dart that drops at the rear when traveling towards the dartboard. The aim when throwing a dart is for the dart to land on the board at a relatively flat angle and the dart shaft length will be a huge factor in this.
The type of flight you use will also impact the dart shaft of choice – or vice versa. A small and slim dart flight will not be able to balance a heavier dart with a long stem during flight, much like a standard flight will be too large for a 16g dart using XS shafts.
Some mixing and matching will be required to find the ideal balance of size and weight when combining dart barrels, shaft, and flights.
Dart Shaft Material
Another important consideration is the material used for the dart shaft. In this article, I tried to give a balanced option in terms of material used but couldn’t cover them all (otherwise it would be the 20 best dart shafts and no one has time for that).
The most common types of material used for a dart shaft include:
- Nylon (plastic)
- Composite (nylon/aluminum blend)
- Carbon Graphite
The material of the shaft is not quite as important as the length but it still plays an important role in how the dart feels and travels. Nylon shafts are by far the cheapest option but that doesn’t mean they are the worst! Professional players mostly prefer a nylon shaft because they are lighter and don’t come loose as much during a throw.
The downside of course is that they are more prone to damage so don’t last as long, especially for good players who group their darts and have frequent dart collisions.
Aluminum shafts are slightly more expensive than nylon shafts but last much longer. Over time they do split and these dart shafts also have a habit of coming loose but for durability, they provide excellent value for money. The only reason more players don’t use them is that they are heavier.
Specialty shafts like titanium and carbon graphite are newer products in the more premium price range. They are built for longevity and are becoming more popular with pro players.
Dart shafts are an important part of a dart and provide the balance needed for proper trajectory. If you don’t use the correct shaft for your darts or throw, chances are you’ll be significantly impacting your accuracy and consistency.
While there are countless dart shafts available, you’ll want to narrow your search down to a specific shaft length and material. Above, I’ve covered almost all options with the best product available in each category.
Whether you need a short or long shaft, nylon or aluminum, or a newer option entirely, then one of the products listed above will be an ideal starting point. To summarise, the best dart shafts are:
- Viper Spinster Aluminum Dart Shaft
- Viper Carbon Plus Ultra Light Dart Shaft
- Target Pro Grip Dart Shaft
- Wolftop 2BA Thread Aluminum Dart Shafts
- CUESOUL Integrated Dart Shaft and Flights