For many people, buying a dartboard for the first time can be quite confusing because there are so many cheap dartboards on the market and it is not always easy to sort out the good from the bad.
To make it easier for yourself, if you are a new player of the game or are buying a dartboard as a gift for a new player I would always recommend considering a board at the lower end of the budget.
It is easy to start out with one of the cheap dartboards.
If you take to the game and become very enthusiastic then you can always buy a better dartboard later on. Even if you buy one of the cheaper boards it should last you several years of moderate daily usage.
To help you decide here’s a list of the seven best cheap dartboards under $100 you can buy right now.
You don’t need to splash the cash too much to enjoy this wonderful game!
1. Viper Shot King Dartboard
The Viper “Shot King” dartboard is a best-seller on Amazon and for very good reason: it’s a great dartboard.
It is a bristle dartboard made from compressed and reactive sisal fibers.
These fibers spring back when the darts are taken out, meaning that the holes are “self-healing”.
The board is not entirely staple-free (unlike the Winmau Blade 5 – see further down) but the smallest target on the board (the bullseye) is staple-free, meaning that bounce-outs are far less likely in the bull region.
To reduce those dreaded bounce-outs…
….the wire attached to the board is thin and rounded, which encourages incoming darts to glance off the wire into the bristle rather than back out and on to the floor.
The wire ring is moveable which means you can rotate the numbers around the board and distribute the board’s wear and tear evenly. This is an important feature and not every board has it.
If you want your board to last at least a few years then this makes the Viper Shot King a good bet.
The Viper Shot King board is supplied with six darts (two sets in total) and all the mounting hardware you need to get playing straight away.
All in all, this is an excellent entry-level dartboard that has many good reviews on Amazon and comes highly recommended.
2. Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core Bristle Dartboard
Late 2016 saw the launch of the eagerly-awaited Winmau Blade 5 dartboard, the next chapter in the Winmau Blade series and the first since the launch of the Blade 4 in 2010.
The big question on everybody’s mind was whether Winmau could improve upon the Winmau Blade 4. If they could then it would be some achievement because the Blade 4 would take some beating.
As it turns out, the Blade 5 has managed to surpass the excellence of the Blade 4 and Winmau have pulled out all the stops to bring a dartboard to the mass market which is quality through and through.
It’s price is very reasonable and it should give you many happy darts-playing years. It will suit young and old, professionals and amateurs alike.
You need to consider that there are two versions of the Blade 5 – the dual core and single core. If you want excellence then go for the dual core for the extra money. However, fans of the single core Blade 5 will not be disappointed because this is quite simply an excellent dartboard.
The Blade 4 saw a wiring profile triangular 90 degrees with the point facing outwards. This means any chances of the dart tip hitting the wire and bouncing back out are minimal because the wire profile will encourage the dart tip to go right or left and embed in the board – not bounce straight back out.
With the Blade 5 this angle has been reduced to just 60 degrees, meaning that the very small chances of bounce-outs are now even smaller.
On top of that, Winmau have managed to reduce the thickness of the dartboard wire further still. The Dynamic Sector Wire (DSM) forming concentric rings around the bullseye has been reduced in thickness by as much as 20%.
The radial wire (leading out from the centre of the bullseye to the edge of the board) has been reduced in thickness by 10%. With thinner wire and a more acutely-angled wire face, the chances of suffering wire hits and bounce-outs as a result have never been so small. This really is a very well engineered wire profile. The wiring on the Blade 4 had previously been a 50% reduction in thickness from its predecessor Blade 3, so over the years the wiring has got thinner and thinner. Regardless, it is still very visible and creates a solid boundary.
All in all, your chances of hitting the double or treble have never been better. The double area has increased by 9mm squared in area and the treble area has increased by 6mm squared – all thanks to this clever, thin wiring system.
Added to the mix are the high quality sisal fibers and the “rota-lock” system, which means you can mount this anywhere and get a stable fix to the wall.
Buying a Winmau dartboard means you are getting a quality dartboard with a brand name you can trust. If the BDO (British Darts Organisation) are endorsing it then you can’t go far wrong.
3. Unicorn Eclipse Pro Bristle Dartboard
The Unicorn Eclipse Pro dartboard has been around a long time now but it is still a very popular board for people with reasonably low budgets.
If you buying a cheap dartboard it makes sense to spend no less than $50 because the quality at that price is a lot better that a $30 board.
Here, the Unicorn Eclipse Pro gives you a championship quality board endorsed by the PDC, which should be enough reassurance for many people.
Paying more for a board like this gives you staple-free construction and a contoured wire ring, designed to reduce those annoying dart bounce-outs.
The Unicorn Pro boasts an ultra-slim segmentation system and high tech wiring design which maximises the target areas. You want your darts on the board scoring points, not on the floor.
The bristles on this board are good quality and self-healing, so they shouldn’t let you down.
The only real negative reviews given for this board concern various manufacturing faults, so those people have just been unlucky and that shouldn’t put you off because everyone buys a “dud” product once in a while and you can easily return for a replacement.
There is nothing about this board that people have raised consistent negative concerns about, so everything augurs well in that department.
The Unicorn Eclipse Pro Bristle Dartboard is without doubt a solid choice if you are buying a cheap dartboard.
4. DMI Sports Brittany Bristle Dartboard
The DMI Brittany dartboard has many parallels with the old TG Champion dartboard.
To begin with, it is a bristle dartboard which can easily handle steel-tipped darts.
The bristle is composed of densely-packed sisal fibres which are designed to close and heal the holes between them when the darts are removed.
This is a key feature for any semi-serious or recreational player.
An 18 inch diameter board carries a movable wire which can be unpinned in four places and rotated to ensure that there is even wear over the numbers.
This is not a tournament board so it does not have the two key features you will find in more expensive boards. To begin with, the wire is held to the board by staples and, further, the wire is not super-thin or pitched at an angle.
The net result is that there is more metal on the surface of the board and it is therefore more likely the darts will strike this from time-to-time and bounce out.
That said, it probably won’t happen enough to spoil your game but with a board of this nature it is worth keeping in mind that you will have to pick your darts up from the floor a little more often than you would with a more expensive board.
Overall, the DMI Brittany dartboard is a decent board for the money and if you are on a limited budget looking for cheap dartboards then it will suit your needs just fine.
5. Viper League Pro Dartboard
The next one on the list is the Viper League Pro dartboard.
This is at the upper end of the budget price range but still manages to sneek in to our list of best cheap dartboards.
Made from high quality sisal fibers this dartboard promises self-healing of the dart holes.
Generally, this stands up to the claim.
The board can be played using both steel-tip and soft-tip darts which is a big plus point, because some boards (like the DMI Sports Brittany) will only take steel-tip darts.
As is a common theme with the cheaper dartboards, the wire frame is held to the board with staples, although the bullseye (if you can hit it) is staple-free.
The chances of suffering bounce-outs are higher because of the staples but it is hardly a deal-breaker. The wire is advertised as being thin…so every little helps.
The wire frame is removable and can rotate around the board which evenly distributes the wear and tear for a longer board life.
Supplied with the board is one set of three steel-tip darts (rather oddly there is not two sets which is a shame), as well as a mounting bracket (which you would expect).
The reviews of the board hold up very well at Amazon and the Viper League Pro dartboard does not disappoint. A big bonus with this is that it is shipped with a scoreboard for playing the darts game “cricket” (see how to play the darts cricket game in our darts games guide).
If you can stretch your budget to a fraction higher then the Viper League Pro is for you! This also compares well with the Viper Shot King dartboard mentioned above.
6. Winmau Diamond Plus Tournament Bristle Dartboard
You can’t really go wrong with a Winmau dartboard and this Winmau Diamond Plus tournament bristle dartboard is a very solid and capable performer.
Whether you are looking to play some recreational darts in your Man Cave or maybe having some competitive tournament action, you won’t go far wrong with this.
As with the Winmau Blade 5 it is designed mostly for steel-tip darts and is officially endorsed by the BDO.
The wire is angled to give a sharp projecting facing corner which is designed to deflect darts into the bed either side, rather than rebound out.
A staple-free bullseye helps with bounce-outs in this area, but beware that the rest of the wire is stapled so bounce-outs are more likely in all the other scoring areas.
As you would expect, the wire ring is movable and rotatable so this will prolong the life of the board as you move the numbers round.
The supplied metal brackets allow easy hanging to the wall, or you can of course mount this to one of the dartboard surrounds (see our guide to crafty dartboard surrounds for inspiration in this regard).
This is a heavy dartboard weighing 10 lbs and is very robust. By all accounts it repairs the damage of dart impact extremely well. That’s all down to good quality sisal fibers which self-heal very effectively. That also means when a dart hits the board it embeds quickly and stays embedded.
The staples may put some people off and who may opt instead for the Winmau Blade 5 but they don’t appear to be a big issue. The angled wire shape more than compensates and bounce-outs are reduced to a fraction because of this excellent feature alone.
7. Hey! Play! Dartboard Game Set
The key thing to keep in mind here is that this is a budget dartboard for those people not wanting to shell out lots for a better quality tournament dartboard.
For the money though, what you get here is quite impressive.
For starters, Hey! Play! boast this dartboard has self-healing fibers, a slim wire spider and a staple-free bullseye. The latter is certainly true but the effectiveness of the others is perhaps open to debate.
To start with the positives, you get a sturdy, cheap dartboard and two sets of darts. Hang it up and you can start playing right away.
This is a reversible dartboard, meaning that you can turn it around and you have a different game to play should you decide that the a regular dartboard isn’t offering you enough games (there’s at least 21 darts games you can play however!).
If you are looking to put a dartboard in your Man Cave for a bit of fun every now and again, then this board will fit the bill if you don’t have lots to spend (maybe you splashed out too much on a pool table!).
On the negative side, don’t expect a tournament quality dartboard that will last for years. You can’t turn the wire ring around and this is not a bristle dartboard, so there is a trade-off in what you are paying for.
Since the dartboard is not bristle, you could find the dart tip fails to penetrate it easily, meaning more darts on the floor than you would like.
The claim to “self-healing” may also be a little far-fetched and in reality your experience of that might be something else. It will probably start showing its wear and tear more quickly than other boards in this guide.
But let’s not be too negative though. If you are not sure how much use you will get from a dartboard and are just starting out then this will be the ticket. If you play more and more then of course, an upgrade later to a better dartboard would make a lot of sense.
So, there you have our rundown of the 7 best cheap dartboards on the market right now.
When we say budget, we mean under a $100. The hands-down winner for us is the Winmau Blade 5 dartboard but all of the boards featured here have many plus points, depending on what you are looking for.
If you have had any experiences with these dartboards that you want to share then leave your comments below.