What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts? a Clear Guide

The dart shaft you use will influence how the dart moves through the air. Understanding the differences between dart shaft types is therefore critical. However, the distinction between types of dart shafts is not easily explained.

Choosing the best dart shaft is trickier than it appears. But don’t worry; this simple article will quickly teach you everything you need to know about the different dart shaft types.

To understand the different types of dart shafts, you need to look at four factors: the material the shafts are made of, shape, length, and the distinction between locked vs spinning dart shafts. Once you master all of this knowledge, you can decide what dart shaft is best for you.

Thanks to this article, you will discover all the different types of dart shafts, including the different materials, lengths, and shapes. After reading this short and clear article, you will understand the different dart shaft types, and you can decide which one you really need.

P.S. Explore “Dart Equipment 101: A Quick-Start Comprehensive Guide” on my site. I detail dart gear essentials, from picking the right items to their upkeep. Elevate your dart prowess with this essential read.

What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts a Clear Guide - Thumbnail

What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts

As you could read in the intro, it takes a lot to understand the different types of dart shafts. I discuss each part in depth so that you can understand what it is all about when choosing the right dart shaft.

Dart Shaft Materials

A first and important point to understand is what material the shafts are made of. The type of material will have a major impact on the journey to the dartboard. There are 4 types of dart shafts you need to know:

  • Nylon shaft
  • Aluminum shaft
  • Carbon fiber shaft
  • Titanium shaft

Plastic dart shafts are the cheapest, but the least durable and therefore very sensitive to damage. Aluminum dart shafts are stronger than plastic, although they can bend over time. Carbon fiber and titanium shafts are both the strongest, but also the most expensive. The only difference between them is that carbon fiber is a much lighter material than titanium.

Which Is the Best Dart Shaft Material?

Plastic/Nylon shafts
Plastic/nylon dart shafts are very popular with novice dart players because they are cheap. This gives you the opportunity to experiment with different dart shaft lengths and find the dart shaft that suits your throwing style. However, the disadvantage of plastic shafts is that they are quite brittle and break easily.

For experienced darts players, a set of plastic shafts will usually break faster because these players are better at grouping darts in tight spaces. The darts will hit each other faster and then break

What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts_ - Plastic _ Nylon dart shaft
What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts? – Plastic/Nylon dart shaft

Aluminium shafts
Aluminum dart shafts are more expensive than plastic shafts, but a lot more durable. They are much stronger and less likely to break if hit by another arrow. The only other downside to aluminum shafts is that, in addition to being more expensive, they tend to bend.

What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts_ - Aluminium dart shaft
What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts? – Aluminium dart shaft

Carbon Fiber shafts
Carbon fiber dart shafts are expensive, but very strong and durable. They don’t tend to bend like aluminum shafts, nor will they break like plastic shafts. They are also lightweight, which is useful for players who want to keep the overall weight of their darts quite low.

What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts_ - Carbon dart shaft
What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts? Carbon dart shaft

Titanium shafts
Titanium dart shafts are quite expensive, but in terms of strength they are comparable to carbon fiber darts in that they do not break or bend easily. The problem with titanium shafts is that they are quite heavy, which is good if you want a heavy dart. Keep in mind that a heavy shaft will also have an influence on the choice of barrel. Using a lighter barrel will likely shift the balance point too far back and the darts will hang down into the board.
Related article: 6 Types of Dart Barrels

What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts? - Titanium dart shaft
What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts? – Titanium dart shaft
DurabilityWheightPriceLevel
Plastic / nylon shaftLowLightLowBeginner darts player
Aluminum shaftProne to breakingAverageAverageHobby dart player
Carbon Fiber shaftProne to bendingAverageHighExperienced / Pro
Titanium shaftHighHeavyHighExperienced / Pro
What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts? – Overview of the different types of materials of dart shafts

Dart Shaft Shape

When you look at dart shafts, you will notice that they come in a variety of designs. The regular straight shaft is the most common type of shaft.

These are the shafts that are most commonly found in recreational dart players or in public places such as bars. If you’re new to darts, this is a great place to start. Straight stems are highly valued due to their efficiency and convenience.

There are also shafts that provide a better grip and firmly lock the flight. Super grip shafts are the type of shafts commonly used by professional players. They have visible rings that ensure the flight is securely attached to the shaft. You get a consistent and accurate flight because of the firm grip.

What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts_ - Straight (left) & Supergrip (right) dart shafts
What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts? – Straight (left) & Supergrip (right) dart shafts
ShapeGripLevel
Straight shaftNormalHobby dart players / beginners
Super grip shaftsHighExperienced / Pro
What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts? – Overview of the different shapes of dart shafts

Dart Shaft Lengths

One of the main features that distinguish dart shafts is their length. Dart shafts can also be divided into 6 types of dart shaft lengths:

  • Micro
  • Extra short
  • short
  • Intermediate/ Interim
  • Medium
  • Long

What Effect Does Dart Shaft Length Have on Dart Throwing Performance

What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts_ - Different dart shaft lengths
What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts? – Different dart shaft lengths

When choosing darts shafts, you should first consider their length as it affects the center of gravity of the dart, which affects your performance.
Long shafts place the center of gravity of the dart towards its end, while micro shafts bring it closer to the front.

One of these shafts may benefit you depending on how you hold the dart. Longer shafts will provide better performance for those of you who are used to holding the dart closer to the back. Short shafts, on the other hand, will give you better results if you usually grab the arrow from the front end.

Because everyone is unique, you will have to experiment with this.
Plastic shafts are recommended because they are inexpensive. Once you’ve determined which length provides the best performance, you can move on to the type of material you require.

The length of a dart shaft also determines the position of your darts on the board. You can tell that a shaft is too long if after the throw the flight is lower than the tip. The arrow then hangs on the board, as it were. If the arrow is too far back up, the shaft is too short.

GravityGrip
Short shaftsMore gravity to the end of the dartFor people who like to hold the dart from the front end
Long shaftsMore gravity to the front of the dartFor people who like to hold the dart closer to the back
What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts? – Overview of the different dart shaft lengths

Locked Vs Spinning Dart Shafts

Dart shaft mechanisms are classified into two types: locked and spinning shafts. When hit by another arrow, spinning shafts cause the flight to spin, reducing the amount of damage that can occur.

Dart shafts, both rotating and locking, can be made of plastic/nylon, aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber. Spinning flights are significantly more expensive than standard locked dart shafts.

What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts_ - Spinning dart shaft
What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts? – Spinning dart shaft

Which Is Better, Locked Vs Spinning Dart Shafts

Be aware that rotating dart shafts can cause vibration and instability during flight. Some shafts rattle more than others, so it really depends on the individual shaft’s quality.

PriceAdvantage
Locked dart shaftsCheap More stable
Spinning dart shaftsExpesiveLess prone to flight damage
What Are the Different Types of Dart Shafts? – Difference between Locked vs spinning dart shafts

What Kind Of Shafts Do Pro Dart Players Use?

Most professional dart players use medium-sized plastic or nylon shafts. The length of the shaft depends on the throwing style.

Some professional dart players will use spinning shafts, but most of the pros will not.

Everything largely depends on your personal throwing style, so don’t compare too much with pros and find what best suits your way of playing darts. Experiment with cheap parts and once you have found a good shaft length and shape you can take the following steps in selecting the dart shaft that suits you. I am sure that through this article about the different types of dart shafts you have now gained a better understanding and the selection of the perfect dart shaft for you personally will be an easier task.

Eager to delve into the world of darts? Navigate “Understanding Darts and Their Parts: The Best Starting Guide” with me and discover the intricacies of each element.

Frequently asked questions

What are the main factors to consider when choosing a dart shaft?

Length, material, weight, and grip play a crucial role in selecting a dart shaft that suits your throwing style.

How does the material of a dart shaft affect its performance?

Material affects the weight, durability, and flexibility of a dart shaft. For instance, carbon fiber offers lightness and strength.

Which type of dart shaft is best for beginners?

Beginners often prefer medium-length and durable nylon or aluminum shafts that provide balance and consistency.

Are plastic/nylon dart shafts more prone to breaking?

Plastic/nylon shafts are less prone to breaking due to their flexibility. They are designed to absorb impact and prevent damage.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of aluminum dart shafts?

Aluminum shafts offer lightweight, durability, and rigidity but are susceptible to bending and loosening over time.

How do carbon fiber dart shafts differ from titanium dart shafts?

Carbon fiber shafts provide lightweight and strength, while titanium shafts offer durability and a slightly heavier feel.

What impact does the length of a dart shaft have on dart throwing performance?

Shorter shafts offer greater stability, while longer shafts provide better balance and flight control, but it depends on personal preference.

How can I determine the right length of dart shaft for my playing style?

Experimentation is key. Start with a medium-sized shaft and adjust based on your throw’s stability and the grouping of your darts.

What is the difference between locked and spinning dart shafts?

Locked shafts provide a fixed flight position, while spinning shafts allow the flight to rotate, reducing deflection and enhancing accuracy.

What type of dart shafts do professional players typically use?

Professional players often use a combination of materials like carbon fiber or titanium, customized to their preferences for optimal performance.

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding the different types of dart shafts is essential for selecting the best one that suits your playing style and preferences. The material of the shaft, whether it’s plastic, aluminum, carbon fiber, or titanium, has a significant impact on durability, weight, and price. Plastic shafts are great for beginners to experiment with different lengths, while aluminum, carbon fiber, and titanium shafts offer increased strength and durability for more experienced players.

The shape of the dart shaft, whether straight or super grip, also plays a role in your performance. Straight shafts are commonly used by recreational players, while super grip shafts with enhanced grip are favored by professional players for their accuracy and consistency.

The length of the dart shaft affects the center of gravity and can be categorized into micro, extra short, short, intermediate, medium, and long. Finding the right length depends on your throwing style, with longer shafts favoring a back-end grip and shorter shafts benefiting front-end grip players.

Lastly, dart shafts can be either locked or spinning. Locked shafts offer stability and affordability, while spinning shafts reduce flight damage. The choice between the two depends on personal preference and playing style.

Remember, the selection of the perfect dart shaft is a personal journey, and it’s important to experiment and find what suits you best. By understanding the materials, shapes, lengths, and mechanisms of dart shafts, you can make an informed decision and enhance your dart-playing experience.

A dart shaft is only one of several components. There’s a lot more to tell them, which I’ve discussed in previous blog posts. To learn more, read my article, Parts Of A Dart & Their Functions (A Quick & Easy Guide).