Darts – Sharp Vs Rounding


You could really be good at throwing darts. You could have fantastic scores. However, it wouldn’t really matter if your darts keep bouncing off the dart board, if they don’t stick. After all, if they don’t stick, what’s the use, right?

Sharpening or rounding darts for sport or competition is a good skill to develop, especially if you are a player. Dart tips aren’t actually meant to be sharp, although they may be when you first buy them. Who would have thought? Sharp dart tips ruin a dart board by cutting the wires, permanently damaging them. Interestingly, they will make the darts bounce off the dart board quite regularly. It’s not good at all. And the sharp tips won’t stay sharp for long. Tips will often bend or roll on impact.

Many times a burr will form on a pointed dart after it is struck. This very small and very thin wire coming out of the tip will cause the fibers of the target to loosen when you remove them from the board. Burrs are the enemy of darts. To check for burrs, hold the dart with the point up. Run a fingernail along the side of the tip. If there is a burr, your nail will catch. If this happens, a dart sharpener or sandpaper can easily be used to remove burrs. Remember that it is a fingernail and not a fingertip to use. A burr is an incredible splinter to have to remove.

So if you don’t want it sharp, then what? Facing up, the tip of a dart should be rounded. Like a pen. Rounded tips do not damage a target. They will go through the wires instead of cutting them. There is no indentation and therefore no burrs will form. Interestingly, round tip darts will stick to a dart board much more than sharp tip darts. What about that? Don’t fight it. Is that how it works. And when you loosen the dart, the fibers of the target will not be released. Even better.

Some dart players believe that the tip of a dart should not be sharp or round. They really think that darts need no maintenance whatsoever. Keep playing! This is not OK. Oh no. A maintenance-free dart tip will not stay round, it will go flat. This flat tip dart will simply bounce right off the dart board, whether it hits the wires or the fibers of the board. And because the flat tips compress the fibers of the dart board upon impact, repeated use will ruin the dart board, making it very difficult for the darts to stick.

When the tip of a dart starts to flatten, we just want to sharpen the tip enough to round it for use. There are hollow and cylindrical dart sharpening stones that can be used to sharpen the tip of the dart. These concave stones make great dart sharpeners. Small flat rectangular whetstones for darts are also available. If you don’t have everything else, use very coarse sandpaper. Just wrap the sandpaper around the tip, pinch firmly, and twist the tip until the dart becomes sharp.

Now that the tip is sharp, you will want to round it off. Place the point down on a whetstone or sandpaper as if pointed. Rotate the dart slowly in place until the tip has blunted a bit. Now tilt the dart down slightly and twist it again just a handful of times. And now you are done. If you don’t trust yourself to keep the dart still while spinning it, place the rock and the dart, or your hand holding the dart, flush against a wall, or a stationary solid structure, and then circle the dart.

If your darts are dirty, clean them with mild soap and water. Dry them completely. Now they can be stored without worrying about rust. But, if they do rust, the sandpaper will work easily. Lubricate the points with oil, dry them as much as possible and then save them. If you take care of them constantly, your darts, and not the flights, could last a lifetime.

Remember to keep your darts rounded. It is definitely not sharp and surely not flat. It will only take a couple of minutes of your time to keep them in their best condition. You can improve your score and it will surely extend the life of your target. Good luck!

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