Darts Buddy

The Dart Surface Grip
When I started playing darts again I had questions about various dart barrel grips, or textures, available, their names, and what their advantages are.
Frankly, I found the available information confusing or non-existent.
So like a good researcher I scoured the Internet looking for and gathering information and here is what I found.
When I started I had no idea what Purist meant, I could guess at Shark and smooth.
It does not matter whether the barrel is brass, tungsten or some other metal; the various cuts are made on a cutting machine either CNC controlled or manual. The process is called “knurling”, not to be confused with the knurl pattern! Some say that smooth hands need a smooth grip and rough hands a rough grip but frankly this is a personal preference and you need to develop your own feel and preference.
Some people find that a smooth dart slips when gripped and thrown others find that a more aggressive grip catches on the skin when thrown, both can lead to a poor release and missed shots.
With some darts, such as the copper tungsten the smooth finish can become more ‘grippy” with time and use. Other “grippy” darts seem to wear down with use. I don’t think your skin really dulls them it is more the acids from your skin that corrodes even the best metal. And really only gold does not corrode.
Some darts are referred to as “skin rippers” with good cause!
There are also various coatings available such as variations of titanium vapour deposition in black, silver, gold, or multi-coloured hue. Gold darts are not real gold except in the odd case. These finishes can also prevent wear even though the coatings are micro thin. Cheap ones will chip and flake easily.
These surface finishes also impart a different grip either more or less grip. These finishes add to the cost.
Try a few different types and find one that suits you.
You quickly realize that there are several barrel shapes, the main ones being: cylinder, ton, and torpedo with variations in between; tapered to the front and/or back, fat at the front, bullet shaped, bomb shaped. The list goes on.

The barrels can be shaped and have scallops machined into them; players find these useful for finger positioning. Some barrels have a number of different cuts or textures machined on different areas for the same reason. Then there is barrel weight; what do you prefer?
Another thing to consider is balance, is the dart front-, centre-, or rear loaded? How do you prefer to hold the dart? How do you throw it?
But the question was about the grip.

Main Grip Types
• Smooth, self explanatory perhaps but this does not necessarily mean slippy.
• Knurling (cross-hatching of the surface).
• Ringed Grooves, various thicknesses and spacing.
• Pixel grip, look at the Target Taylor and Carrera models. Tiny cuts made into the surface.
• Razor, or micro grip - small cuts that might look smooth, often placed at the front of the barrel, useful for those who hold the dart at the front.
• Shark Fin, wide grooves with edges angled towards shaft end.
• Unidirectional, like Razor and shark fin combined (small groove shark)
• Purist, a series of narrow rings of various depth of cut. Lots of discussion on this one and not much general agreement on definition. Look at the Unicorn darts Phase 1 through 6 to see what I mean.
• Scalloped, usually smooth surface and this is often used for thumb or finger placement, or to push off the dart when throwing.

There are more, or variations on a theme. But the above list covers many darts.
Ok, so now we have some definitions but what do they look like?
Well, the list is not definitive but below I have used the Unicorn pictures. (Permission applied for). If you want a specific dart finish or cut you can always say that you want one like xxx model. People on this forum are helpful and will point you in the right direction. Just remember everyone has their own preference and opinion.
I am sure I am missing some, no smooth in the pictures for sure.
Head on over to Unicorn to see a variety of different darts. Other companies have some good graphic information and descriptions whilst some are just not helpful.
I hope this helps. Happy hunting and good arrers!
Firstly here are a few of mine to show different types and barrel size:
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Very good read ! Cheers mate Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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Wow fantastic post mate, very informative and helpful for new members (and older ones too!), a well deserved +1 from me mate Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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Thanks guys, I should have posted this to the beginners thread. Maybe a mod can move it?
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Great post and +1 from me... so many grip variations and you've covered most of them , well done Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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(04-19-2014, 07:14 PM)speszel Wrote: Thanks guys, I should have posted this to the beginners thread. Maybe a mod can move it?

Good idea - I'll move it now.
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If anyone would care to add to this "body of work" please do so. I know there are more variations out there and more sources to quote from but I think there is enough experience, and opinions in this fine forum, and enough open minds that can add to this.
Have away!
You don't mess with The Voice of Reason. You have the right to be wrong.

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Yup, very nice. What did you think of the Carrerea 10's?

+1 from me as well!
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(04-19-2014, 08:34 PM)redhedkev Wrote: Yup, very nice. What did you think of the Carrerea 10's?

+1 from me as well!

The Carrera is an interesting dart, and I have neglected mine since I got the Sigmas.
It is a nicely balanced beast, very front loaded though. And if you hold it at the rear or have your fingers on the nose as well it throws very well.
If you grip it tightly it does not want to leave your hand and will frustrate you. Hold it lightly and it behaves.
I am thinking of having a dart made to the same specs yet smooth. I think the shape is enough and I don't need the grip. We'll see.
I am sure there is a cheaper version available but I have not searched it out yet. These darts are staying in my stable. Just to look at if nothing else.
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Excellent post Stephen, very informative, +2 from me, well done! Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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Hi Speszel,

What a great reference article for the Darts Beginner or someone considering a change.
Well done for being so thorough and communicating your thoughts so clearly.

Take a + 2 from me.

Thank you,

Cheers,

Dorian
Dorian
Son of Merlin

Caerleon - Wales

(Mission "KURO" M4 rear taper design- 23GmYellow Kite Shape Flights 100 micron & Solid Brass Stems)

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My father Merlin, once told me that "You should end up pointing to what you were aiming at when you've released the Dart."




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(04-20-2014, 11:31 AM)Getagrip Wrote: Excellent post Stephen, very informative, +2 from me, well done! Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

Thanks, Grip, means a lot coming from you. The feedback helps make this forum enjoyable.
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Thank you Dorian. That was my intent. I know I spent quite a bit on "unsuitable" darts when I started way back in December. Now at least I know what I don't like. I hope it helps.

(04-20-2014, 02:26 PM)Dorian Wrote: Hi Speszel,
What a great reference article for the Darts Beginner or someone considering a change.
Well done for being so thorough and communicating your thoughts so clearly.
Take a + 2 from me.
Thank you,
Cheers,
Dorian
You don't mess with The Voice of Reason. You have the right to be wrong.

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(04-20-2014, 02:29 PM)speszel Wrote: Thank you Dorian. That was my intent. I know I spent quite a bit on "unsuitable" darts when I started way back in December. Now at least I know what I don't like. I hope it helps.
Trying darts is no different than dating. You fall in love quickly, but things can turn quickly as the relationship starts to show its true colors. Then you move on to someone else. Or you know on the first date that they aren't for you. Sometimes you know it isn't quite right but you battle through it for the good moments. All the while you figure out what parts and features you like best... knowing better what to look for next time.

Hopefully you don't leave your dates in a drawer when you are done with them though.
-Milky

Keeping dart retailers in business since 2012.
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(04-20-2014, 03:25 PM)Milkysunshine Wrote:
(04-20-2014, 02:29 PM)speszel Wrote: Thank you Dorian. That was my intent. I know I spent quite a bit on "unsuitable" darts when I started way back in December. Now at least I know what I don't like. I hope it helps.
Trying darts is no different than dating. You fall in love quickly, but things can turn quickly as the relationship starts to show its true colors. Then you move on to someone else. Or you know on the first date that they aren't for you. Sometimes you know it isn't quite right but you battle through it for the good moments. All the while you figure out what parts and features you like best... knowing better what to look for next time.

Hopefully you don't leave your dates in a drawer when you are done with them though.

I can relate. Met my first wife, got married 4 weeks later. 24 years of marriage. Met my second wife, got married three weeks later, 15 years. Nothing left in the drawer. Honeymoon period even better than the dart's ones.
Trouble with the dating analogy, as one gets older the selection of available choices seems to resemble the old knurled brass darts with feathers, when you really want to get your hands on the nice, fresh, newer, shapely models.
The above remarks are not intended to be sexist, ageist, dartist, or other offense causing -"ists".
You don't mess with The Voice of Reason. You have the right to be wrong.

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