Dart accessories can serve two purposes:
- Solve an issue
- Enhance your game
A darts flight punch is a tool that is used to solve and issue – that issue is dart flights falling out.
A dart punch also has some other benefits but the main purpose is to reduce flights falling out.
In this quick guide we’ll explain what a darts flight punch is, how to use it, and why you need one!
Table of Contents
What Is a Darts Flight Punch
A dart flight punch is a dart accessory that is used to punch a hole in a dart flight. They work in a similar way to a regular hole punch whereby you insert the flight and press down to “punch” a hole into the dart flight.
The reason for this is quite simple, to stop your dart flight from falling out. This is one of the most annoying things that happens to any dart player, more annoying than bounce outs and more annoying than robin hoods.
Having nylon stems/shafts that are loose are usually the key culprit here but it can also happen when you’re an accurate player that is capable of grouping your darts well. The closer you group your darts, the more collisions they will have with each other as a result.
These collisions will either lead to a dart bounce out or a dart flight popping off.
Aluminum shafts are quite good at holding dart flights in position (one of the reasons I prefer aluminum shafts along with durability) but they come with other drawbacks – mainly the additional weight to the rear of the dart.
See also – Best dart shafts roundup
By punching a hole in your flight and using a shaft locking ring however, you can secure your flight much more firmly to the dart shaft to significantly reduce instances of flights popping out.
I don’t think there’s any research but it’s a fair assumption that you reduce dart flights falling out by 90% or more!
How Does a Dart Flight Punch Work
A flight punch literally punches a small rectangular hole into a dart flight near the bottom of the flight. This allows you to insert a locking ring so that you can securely attach your flight to a dart shaft.
How to Use a Dart Flight Punch
Step 1- Get Your Equipment
To use a dart flight punch you’ll need the following items:
- Dart flight punch
- Dart flight
- Dart shaft locking ring
- Nylon dart shaft
Step 2 – Insert a Dart Flight
Insert the bottom of your dart flight into the flight punch. Most flight punches will have a guide that it slides securely into.
Step 3 – Punch a Hole
Press down on the end of the flight punch to punch a hole into the flight.
Note – you should feel the resistance initially and the release once you’ve punched through the flight.
Step 4 – Inspect the Hole
Check to make sure you’ve cleanly punched a hole into the flight.
Step 5 – Insert a Shaft Locking Ring
Place a shaft locking ring into the hole. You’ll need to hold this and the flight simultaneously and make sure you do this in a well lit area because it can be quite delicate trying to position the ring.
Dart Flight Locking Rings
Shaft rings, dart flight locking rings, or slot-lock rings (they use different names) are the rings used in conjunction with a darts flight punch in order to secure your dart flights to the shaft and prevent movement or pop-offs.
If you’re going to punch a flight, you’ll have to use a flight locking ring in order to secure the flight to the shaft. Many people use they over the top of a nylon shaft with the dart sitting on top but the most effective way to use them is in conjunction with a flight punch.
Step 6 – Fan out the Flight
Fan out the dart flight into a fully open position so that all edges are at a 90 degree angle.
Step 7 – Insert Into Dart Shaft
Place the flight into the dart shaft pressing it right into the end of the shaft. The ring should automatically cover the outside of the shaft and lock it into position.
A dart flight punch is one of those cheap accessories that you never thought you’d need but once you’ve used it for the first time, you’ll wonder how you ever played without one!
The amount of time I’ve spent bending down to pick up a dart flight after it’s fallen out is ridiculous. A dart flight punch takes around 60 – 90 seconds to punch all three flights and insert them onto your shafts and once you’ve done the initial 90 seconds of work, you’re then set up for a long time.
Honestly, if you’ve read this because you’ve been debating whether or not to get a flight punch, just get one… It seems like a simple or unnecessary luxury but it makes your darting life 100x easier.
I personally got a Red Dragon flight punch (UK) but any of these options will do the exact same job: