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Well here it is the first detailed review of the new Winmau Blade 4 Dual Core dartboard Smile

This board has kind of come out of the blue quite quickly as there was no hint of a new board until Winmau announced there 2014 collection, but what a board it is!

Lets start at the beginning then, unless you have already watched my film length review that is LOL!

The board has a RRP of £44.90 which I guess is a fair bit more than the current Blade 4 can be bought for but is still relatively cheap, if the board last only 12 months then that's about 86p a week, so not bad if you think of it in those terms. I suspect the price will likely drop though as I am sure they will phase the current Blade 4 out, maybe?

Here is the box:

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As you can see on the back of the box it explains the 2 main features of the new Blade 4 Dual Core. First is the 2 layers of sisal making up the board, the first under layer is a denser layer of sisal and then a less dense layer is fixed on top. The other main feature is the new Rota - Lock system which helps to level and lock the board in place on any surface.

In the box you are supplied with a booklet explaining the game of darts and are given a small pocket sized check out chart. There is also the instruction for setting up the board and it also has the heights and measurements for wheelchair users too, which is a good addition. The instructions explain the new Rota - Lock system too, so its worth a read.

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You may notice above that the screw has a flange fitted to it, this is to make sure the board allows space for the Rota - Lock wheels to move when its fitted to the metal bracket.

Pics of the board:

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As you can see the board has the new Dual Core and Rota - Lock logos. The other feature of the board is the new inks used, the colours are very deep and vibrant and the ink is supposed to prevent the fibres from clogging together and also stop the transfer from the black segments into the natural segments, which I noticed on my old Blade 4 by the appearance of little black spots.

The board has the usual white painted number ring held firmly in place by the plastic brackets:

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The fourth feature of the Blade 4 Dual Core is the vein free surface of the top layer of sisal, as you can see in the pics below it is very clear and smooth:

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The Bullseye is nice and central which is always a good sign, nothing I hate more than a bull that is off centre Smile

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The metal band round the board is nice and neat and has 2 areas where it is screwed in like the pic below. I was very tempted to unscrew the band to see if I could see how the 2 layers of sisal are joined together, there is also nails in the band so that put me off doing that and maybe its not such a good idea anyway Smile

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Some measurements of the parts of the board, the bull, the treble segment, the double, and the width of the big segments:

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The Rota - Lock System:

Supplied with the board is 3 plastic wheels with threadbolts. There is three points on the back of the board with threaded holes pre-inserted which the wheels screw into. You need to screw them in so they are flush with the board. As you can see in the pic below when they are flush with the board they sit level with the flanged screw in the centre of the board:

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The flanged screw in the back of the board:

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I was going to use my usual rotating bracket but because the board is using the Rota - Lock system I thought it best to play safe and use what was supplied, here is the metal hanging bracket attached to the board on my dart stand:

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The final result, the board proudly hanging on the bracket. I thought when I first placed the board up that I had missed the bracket because it went on so easy and I was unsure of whether to let go or not, but it was so easy to do and very secure.

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One problem with the backboard on my stand is that it is not plumb, so any board that is attached to it has a slight angle, this is where the Rota - Lock system comes into is own and it allowed me to make sure the board was hanging plumb. The other great thing about it is how it locks the board in place, I was really quite surprised at how effective such a simple idea is but it works beautifully and I was very impressed with it!

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A close inspection of the board revealed only one slight blemish, that looked like a machine cut, probably the machine that cuts the sisal biscuits, but it was in the same area and not really worth pointing out but I only show to show how good the surface is if this was all I could find to pick on!

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If you have read about the dual sisal layers you will know that is the main feature of the board but does it work?

I have no idea how the 2 layers are joined but the idea is the softer layer helps to dissipate the energy of the dart while the denser under layer holds it in place and thus helps to prevent bounceouts and dropouts. As I pushed a dart into the board it has a nice soft sensation before it gets to about 7 or 8 mm in then you can feel more resistance and it feel like it is grabbing the dart point. I think in the short time I have been throwing at it it does what it sets out to do. But one thing I noticed is the holes seem to heal up very well, in most case I could just rub my finger over the holes and they disappeared!

The one thing I cant comment on yet is the durability of the board, I will need to do an update on that to see how it wears.

The Rota - Lock system is simply brilliant! It is so easy to use, you just rotate the wheels clockwise to push them out and it levels the board and locks it in place, its such a good idea its hard to believe it was not thought of sooner.

I did think that maybe a new form of hanging system should be introduced on new boards as the old type seems dated now, but they have slightly changed the bracket and screw to mesh with the Rota - Lock and its tried and tested and it works so I'm not complaining too much about that.

The surface of the board is lovely and clear and as I said above virtually free from any blemishes.

The colours are very deep and vibrant but one problem I noticed which was a bit puzzling is that all the green segments are harder to penetrate than the black, red and natural parts? Quite a strange one that so not sure what the reason is, I can only guess is that the green ink is a little different than the others but hopefully will soften up.

When the darts hit the board it has a nice quite thump and it is uniform all over the board which was very pleasing.

Its still a Blade 4 and not a Blade 5 because it is still using the excellent Blade 4 spider and unless they change that it will always be a Blade 4 at heart, the spider is what gives the board its name after all Smile

So do all these extras make the Blade 4 Dual Core my new favourite number one?

Well I am very impressed with it so I would say quite probably!

The one unknown factor is the longevity of the board, I had 5 months to play with the Prototype G2 and only had a few days with this so I cant give a verdict on its wear as yet. I will have to update this in a couple of months with info in that respect.

From what I have seen so far I am very impressed, so for now its a definite 10/10! Smile

Progress update September 4th 2014:

Wow nice review mate Big Grin now im gonna view the video Big Grin
Another great review. It really is a beautiful looking board. My Blade4 is a mess now only after a few months and not heavy use. Still does what it is supposed to and I love the spider on it (no bounce outs yet). Think I will need to build 2 more stands, 1 for this board and 1 for when the 180 gold board comes out.
This board looks beautiful... I love my blade 4 boards. But I wish the bull rings weren't hollow. I also worry about the layers on the dual core board holding up over time. I would hate to have the board start to delaminate before it has really seen its share of arrows.
Thanks for the Review.
This is the problem with a hollow bull ring. (At my local bar.) Granted, people throw darts that are too sharp. This board is 10 weeks old. I ordered just after this fall session started.

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Milkysunshine, I think that board has had it, lol.
It looks that way. After 10 weeks. Sad.
Fantastic review as always grippo! +1
(12-12-2013, 09:19 PM)uncle poop Wrote: [ -> ]Milkysunshine, I think that board has had it, lol.

Overall, it isn't in bad shape. The bull is roached. And we usually play x01 where the bull isn't pounded like the lipstick.
Great review -- thanks! And brilliant photography as always.

The Rota-Lock system looks great. Now cave-dwellers have no excuse.
great review. Loved the intro on video
LOL cheers Mac!

Thanks for he comments guys. If I do get tempted to remove the ring and check on the layers I will update with pics, I don't know if doing that will make the band twang off though?

Going to be fun testing this board over the next few weeks though Smile

I do wonder the same as Milky on whether the top layer has the potential to separate though?

The board will be used at the BDO 2014 World Champs though so I'm sure Winmau must be confident in its ability.
Another good indepth review Darren +1.
Deffo like the look of the vein less finish, and nearly as smooth as your baldy head too.
One would think that while they had the threaded insert they would have put one in the center to accommodate the hanging screw, as I have seen these fail in the past, and with an over tightened rotor lock applying more pressure only time will tell. Better yet as you suggested a U-Holder, Cant see a problem with a patent on the U-Holder as I have seen two versions of these in different colours that doth fit into each other, then again maybe whoever made the white ones sold out.
Maybe just a variant on it like a decagon shaped disk to keep things in line.

Milky's post has me a bit skeptical though as I would have thought that even though we shouldnt over sharpen our darts, the wire would be hardened enough to withstand a point strike, I suppose you would start having trouble with being too brittle then and is probably a good lesson to us to sharpen our darts properly.
Could you possibly post a pic to compare the G2 bull against Milky's B4 bull? I do understand that Milky's board is hung in a pub and the bull has seen a lot more traffic than yours would have (leaving this one for someone else lol) and will take that into account.

BTW drunk apprentices, NOT GOOD!

(12-12-2013, 09:16 PM)Milkysunshine Wrote: [ -> ]This is the problem with a hollow bull ring. (At my local bar.) Granted, people throw darts that are too sharp. This board is 10 weeks old. I ordered just after this fall session started.
[Image: https://www.dartsnutz.net/attachment.php?aid=624]
For ten weeks old abit high traffic that is disappointing (pardon the pun). I didnt know that the outer ring was hollow, it must be shaped much like a C-section or rater V-section to accommodate the checkout of the boarder wires and hide the little tab at the ends, eliminating that cog look in the 25 segment, I think WINMAU should look at hardening the bullring and this particular section a bit more as they are both thicker wires and should withstand a hit even though the extra hardness will make it more brittle.
The outer and inner ring are both hollow. I've had to use needle nose pliers to fix some of the holes that you still see above. I agree this is something that should have been addressed with the dual core.
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