If you play darts in the UK then chances are you’re only familiar with steel tip darts. Steel tip darts played on a bristle dartboard are the traditional way to play darts and it’s also how the game is played at the professional level. Any other type of dart is usually considered to be a “toy”.
Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, the global emergence of soft tip darts has seen the category for electronic dartboards and soft tip darts explode. It was always popular in America but the UK and Europe are now also seeing the soft tip game increase in popularity.
These darts are no longer a kid’s game with leagues popping up all over allowing for a different way to play the game. If it’s something that’s caught your interest then read on.
As soft tip darts aren’t as popular here, it’s difficult to know what a good set of soft tip darts looks like so we’ve rounded up the best soft tip darts for UK players covering all budgets. If you want to get started with soft tip darts, this roundup is the best place to begin!
What are Soft Tip Darts
Soft tip darts used to be a cheap darts product and were mainly manufactured cheaply with the concept aimed to be a safe game for children.
Well, with the popularity of soft tip darts overseas, the product quality has improved significantly over the years and soft tip darts now have products that are just as good as the steel tip equivalent.
The only difference now between a soft tip dart and a steel tip dart is – as the name suggests – the dart’s point/tip. A soft tip dart has a screw-on, plastic tip made specifically for a soft tip dartboard.
While a soft tip dart can be used on a bristle dartboard, it’s not recommended or designed for this purpose. Soft tip darts should be used on a soft tip dartboard (typically electronic) which has a plastic webbing with holes that hold each dart in place in the board.
Other than the tip though, soft tip darts are manufactured to the same quality as steel tip darts but you will of course get some darts that are noticeably better than others – that’s what we’re here to filter through so that you don’t have to!
7 Best Soft Tip Darts for the UK
As a quick disclaimer, we’re not rating the best of the best soft tip darts for professional players here as that’s not our reader base. Instead, these are the best options for competitive players and those new to soft tip darts which is why the recommendations are under £50 despite being labeled as the best.
1. RED DRAGON Pegasus Soft Tip Darts Set – Best Overall
Quick Review: The best overall soft tip dart from a reputable UK manufacturer. The slim dart has multiple grooves along the barrel for a firm grip and potential for heavy scoring.
Our Rating: 9.5/10
|Weight||18g or 20g|
RED DRAGON Pegasus Soft Tip Darts Set is one of the best sets of soft tip darts in the UK and an ideal starter dart for the competitive player.
To get right into it, the real benefit to this dart is in the design. Sure, it’s generic-looking but the 80% tungsten barrel allows for a slim barrel design with a great grip as a result of the machine-turned rings spanning the length of the barrel.
Both these factors combine to offer a better grip with reduced slipping during a release along with better grouping to promote higher scoring on trebles – provided you are accurate enough in the first place!
They are manufactured by a reputable brand in the UK which is known for producing good quality darts and as a result, the quality of each set is always great regardless of the price. These darts are match weighted to within 0.1g of the stated weight allowing for a consistent and accurately weighted set.
There really aren’t too many downsides to this dart set which is why they are our pick of the options. They are affordable, have a solid design and build quality, and are one of the best soft tip sets available in our opinion.
- Match Weighted – The darts are match weighted to within 0.1g of the stated weight for a consistent set and produced by a reputable UK manufacturer and brand
- Great Grip – The barrel is turned with multiple rings for enhanced grip. It’s not an aggressive grip but easily reduces darts slipping during a throw
- Slim Barrel – The streamlined and slim barrel is ideal for grouping darts and promoting heavy scoring
- Generic Design – As you move up the price ranges the darts have more unique designs, and the Pegasus is definitely one that is more generic looking
2. Target Darts Orb 12 – Best Looking Soft Tip Darts
Quick Review: The Target Orb set provides a visually stunning dart with electric blue grooves contrasting with a white tip. The high tungsten quality and slim barrel combine for a great performing dart set.
|Weight||18g – 21g|
Target Darts Orb 12 is part of the Target Orb range which has varying barrel designs but all following the same original concept for the series.
Getting a set of soft tip darts to suit your steel tip preferences can be challenging but the Target Orb series offers a great level of variety to make a smooth transition over to the soft tip game.
The Target Orb 11, 12, and 13 provide different weight and barrel shapes to suit all players but as mentioned above, they all follow the same concept design.
This design is based on a high-quality 80% tungsten barrel that is precision milled with radial grooves for enhanced comfort and grip – something most soft tip dart manufacturers fail to facilitate.
The standout feature is probably the design which features an electric blue and contrasting colours throughout so that your dart stands out in matchplay situations.
We’ve not personally tested this set like others on the list but it’s a popular set in the UK and you can check out a more detailed review here:
- Excellent Grip – The radial grooves provides an enhanced grip that is comfortable and not too aggressive
- Appearance – The electric blue streaks of colour throughout the dart combined with the contrasting white tips provides a standout visual appearance with this dart set
- Variety – With the different barrel options to choose from, the range will cater to most dart players individual barrel preferences
- Accessories – While the design is unique, you’re kind of locked in to buying the original flights and stems so customisation is quite limited
3. Viper Astro 80% Tungsten Soft Tip Dart – Most Popular Set
Quick Review: The Viper Astro is one of the most used and highest-rated soft tip dart sets on the planet. A go-to option for most seasoned soft tip players.
Viper Astro 80% Tungsten Soft Tip Dart is the only set on this list that comes from the USA but it’s worth pointing out that Viper products are specialist options and lead the soft tip dart market in North America. The Viper Astro is the most popular set of the range.
With this in mind, the high rating and global use (especially in areas that mainly play soft tip darts over steel tip) make this a trusted and reputable dart set. The main reason we like it is that it’s trusted and you know it will be money well spent rather than a gamble.
One of the reasons why it’s a solid set is because it’s genuinely well manufactured. The 80% tungsten barrels have a slim profile to enhance your dart grouping and the knurled barrel with diamond-cut etchings allow for a superior grip compared to other options.
This means it’s more comfortable to hold and you’ll have a reduced chance of the dart slipping during a throw. This is especially important for those new to soft tip darts where the darts are noticeably lighter (more on that later).
Overall, these aren’t a flashy set of darts and don’t have very many downsides to speak of. The only thing we’d point out is that the set you order might differ in style due to importing and international delivery sometimes causing confusion.
The set will always be the same specifications and style though so for that reason these are definitely one of the best options for a soft tip dart player.
- Rating – Internationally these are one of the highest-rated and most popular sets of soft tip darts
- Grip – The knurled and diamond-cut barrel allows for an aggressive and firm grip for minimal slip during the release
- Great Accessories – Spare tips, a dart tool, and even a good quality dart case are all welcome additions to complement the darts
- International Shipping – Available in the UK but the design can often differ from what you’ve specified. The set will still be the same though
4. Target Darts Rob Cross Silver Voltage – Best Entry Level Soft Tip Dart
Quick Review: The Rob Cross Silver Voltage is an affordable dart set with a surprisingly slim barrel considering they are made from brass. A solid entry-level set of soft tip darts.
Target Darts Rob Cross Silver Voltage soft tip darts are an entry-level dart set specifically made for players new to soft tip darts (or darts in general).
The obvious standout with this product is the price. It’s a very affordable set and
The silver-coated brass dart has a slim profile which is great for grouping darts and allows for heavy scoring and to be honest, it’s not something you usually see with a brass set. Having said that, the barrel is quite smooth in design and doesn’t offer the best grip, especially compared to pricier models.
The main thing we’d say to keep in mind is that the darts don’t come with any spare soft tips. For a budget set, the initial amount won’t last too long so keep in mind that the initial cost will be a bit higher when you factor in accessories needed.
Overall, this is a good entry-level set of soft tip darts, ideal for a beginner new to the game and even for someone moving from steel tip to soft tip and just looking to test out a cheap set.
- Price – The main selling point to this set of darts is that it’s one of the cheapest sets on the market without being “cheaply” manufactured
- Slim Barrel – Despite the brass material, this dart set still maintains a slim barrel ideal for grouping darts and heavy scoring
- Grip – The barrel has a relatively smooth profile with limited knurling or grooves so won’t provide a good deal of grip for beginners
- Accessories – The darts are certainly a budget price but you’ll need to load up on spare soft tips (not included) which will increase the initial cost
5. Target Darts Phil Taylor Power 8-Zero Black P8Z3 – Best for Dart Fans
Quick Review: This visually impressive dart set endorsed by former World Champion Phil “The Power” Taylor is a premium dart set with a similar feel to a steel tip set.
|Weight||16g – 20g|
Target Darts Phil Taylor Power 8-Zero Black P8Z3 is a set we’d recommend for a competitive player looking for a good quality soft tip dart set.
Firstly, the set is endorsed by one of the greatest dart players of all time – Phil Taylor. This means the design is based on his own personal preferences and expert knowledge into what makes for a good dart and this certainly translates to the soft tip option.
The dart is manufactured to a high-quality and once it’s been machined from a dense 80% tungsten billet (allowing for a slimmer dart) it is then coated in black titanium nitride and re-machined.
This process means the dart has a unique and intricate grip ideal for minimising slipping or poor releases due to sweaty hands and it also creates a visually impressive dart as a result of the black coating.
You’ll also find that as a result of the manufacturing quality, the end-product doesn’t feel too different from a steel tip set of darts ideal for players making the transition to the soft tip game.
It’s not really a downside but it’s worth pointing out that this is a pricier product and will offer similar performance to some other options on this list.
Overall though, if you are looking for a more professional set of soft tip darts, these will definitely be a good option for a competitive player.
- Product Quality – 80% tungsten with a black titanium nitride gives for a great feel and look to this dart set, definitely a standout option
- Performance – Due to the impressive manufacturing quality, this darts set doesn’t feel too different from a steel tip alternative
- Grip – The unique and intricate grip is noticeable on this set
- Price – These are the priciest set on the list and while we’ve not gone into the high-end price options, these are still a relatively expensive set
6. Sanfeng 18 Grams Soft Tip Darts – Best Budget Soft Tip Darts
Quick Review: Sanfeng soft tip darts provide everything you need to start playing darts at a budget price. A great entry-level set to learn the game before an upgrade is needed.
Sanfeng 18 Grams Soft Tip Darts is a budget option soft tip dart set ideal for getting started with the game. Why are these darts making the list?
Well, they are the only option under £10 that I think are useable, and to prove this point, it’s the set I bought to test out soft tip darts on an electronic dartboard! I’ve been using them for a few weeks and while they’re not great practice darts, they are definitely usable and don’t feel like a cheap generic set.
Each set includes 3 darts, 50 x spare plastic tips, 6 x flights in 2 patterns, 3 x nylon shafts, 50 x rubber O-rings, and a dart case. For all these parts, the set provides excellent value for money regardless of your budget.
Let’s not get carried away though, despite the price they are not a set you’d be comfortable competing with so our recommendation would be to get these darts if you just want to test out soft tip darts without committing to a branded set (like we did).
- Price – The cheapest soft tip darts on this list, you get everything you need to test out soft tip darts
- Accessories – The number of accessories included means that you really do get great value for money with this set
- Entry Level – These darts are not practice or competition darts and are best used for fun when learning the game
- Quality – The feel of these darts can be quite generic with no noticeable barrel designs or enhancements but they’re not made to be a professional standard so this is to be expected
7. Unicorn Core Plus Blue Rubberised Brass Dart Set – Best for Beginners
Quick Review: A budget-friendly soft tip dart set with a rubberised grip that is ideal for learning to hold a dart. One of the best options for beginner dart players who have never played before.
|Material||Brass (Rubber Coated)|
Unicorn Core Plus Blue Rubberised Brass Dart Set is a set ideally suited for someone that’s never played the game of darts before. In our opinion, they are the best set for beginners for a number of reasons:
- Affordable price
- Easy to hold and grip
- Slim Barrel
The price is matched by a few others on this list but it’s about as cheap as you’ll get for a “decent” set of soft tip darts (and even then you’re pushing the boundaries a bit).
The rubberised coating on the barrel is something that we like in particular. You won’t see any pro players using a set like this but the key benefit is that you can learn to grip and hold the dart much better with this rubberised barrel.
On that, the actual dart is not groundbreaking and you can tell it’s in the budget category for a reason and won’t last too long before you want an upgrade but if you’re looking for a budget-priced set of darts as a beginner, you could do much worse than this set!
- Rubberised Barrel – The rubberised barrel sleeve allows players to get a better feel for the dart which is ideal for beginners
- Price – As with a few other options on this list, the £10 price range is a great affordable range for any beginner or entry-level set
- Beginner Only – You are unlikely to see these darts used in a competitive game as most people will upgrade to a tungsten set
- Longevity – This isn’t the most durable set of darts and the rubber sleeve will become damage after a few months of heavy use
Buyers Guide – How to Choose Soft Tip Darts
Most reading this will be new to soft tip darts and there are some factors that you need to consider before choosing a set. We all know our preference for steel tip darts but when it comes to the soft tip variation, you need to be aware of a few key differences.
Soft Tip Darts Weight
The key thing to be aware of if you are used to playing with steel tip darts is that soft tip darts are noticeably lighter. A steel tip can add anywhere from 2g – 5g to the weight of a dart and when switching to a soft tip dart, the overall weight when using a soft tip is noticeably lighter.
As these darts are also used on an electronic dartboard the weight of each dart will be lighter so that they don’t damage the circuitry of the electronic board. Most soft tip darts are therefore 16g or 18g on average with some options coming in at 20g.
If you use 20g+ darts, it’s likely you’ll need to learn to adjust to a lighter dart. As a final resort, you can also check out our guide on how to add weight to your darts here.
Soft Tip Darts Material
Soft tip darts will typically come manufactured from three barrel materials, each with its own sets of benefits and drawbacks. The materials used are:
- Nickel Silver
Brass darts are the cheapest material and are the best option for those looking for a budget set of darts. They’re ideal for an entry-level set as they won’t cost more than £15 in most instances but keep in mind they break much easier with bounce-outs and are typically quite thick which isn’t ideal in the modern game where heavy scoring is key.
Nickel Silver darts are a great mid-range option and a step up from brass whilst still being relatively affordable (both cheap and premium sets are available). Nickel Silver darts are great for customisation in terms of designs and knurling/grooves on the barrel for varied grip. These are a good option for casual players and even pub players.
Tungsten darts are widely considered to be the best. Tungsten is a dense material meaning you can make a dart in a variety of weights whilst still maintaining a very slim dart ideal for heavy scoring and grouping of the darts.
Tungsten can come in different grades such as 90% tungsten or 97% with the higher grade possibly providing a better overall dart in most instances. Tungsten darts are more expensive but if we’re being honest, they are still affordable for most players and should be the preference for any experienced and serious darters.
Soft tip darts are made to be used on a soft tip dartboard – most of the best options in this area are electronic dartboards specifically made to enhance gameplay with soft tip darts. If you use a bristle dartboard then do not use soft tip darts on this board.
A soft tip dart can be used on a bristle dartboard but not effectively. The darts won’t penetrate the board very well leading to more bounce-outs and lost darts and as the tip is noticeably wider than a steel tip you’ll also cause significantly more damage to your board.
If you’re looking to use soft tip darts but only have a bristle dartboard, we’d recommend not purchasing a set and instead, look to get a decent set of steel tip darts. If you do want a soft tip dart set then look to buy a dedicated soft tip dartboard to accommodate this.
Soft tip darts are definitely something that is new to the UK market in terms of quality and popularity. You’ve always been able to buy soft tip darts but historically they have been cheap products only really made for children.
In the year 2022 though, the quality of soft tip darts is just as good as steel tip options and the entertainment you’ll get from playing soft tip darts is definitely on the rise. If this is something you’ve been looking into then I’m sure one of the above options will appeal to most players.
To round up, our top three options for the best soft tip darts in the UK are:
- Red Dragon Pegasus
- Viper Astro
- Target Darts Orb
As the UK is quite a bit behind on the soft tip game though, you might also want to check out our full roundup of the best soft tip darts with options that you can consider importing (though many are available in the UK)