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Sharpening Darts
How-To, and How NOT-To, Sharpen Darts Points!

A few years ago, in a British televised match, a highly ranked professional darter bounced 6 darts off of the dartboard's wires within just a few minutes of play.

Incredibly, this darts pro never appeared to pay any attention to the condition or shape of his points. Those possibly-winning throws ended up on the floor, perhaps costing him thousands in tournament prize money. All because he simply did not bother to keep his dart points shaped properly, so that they would slide off the wires and stick in the dartboard.

The clear & obvious lesson was:
"It doesn't matter how well you throw your darts,
if they won't stick in the dartboard!"

If you have a set of steel-pointed darts, you should have a Darts Sharpener.
But, don't use it to sharpen your darts!

Yes, that sounds a bit odd, but darts should actually have rounded points.

Sharp points will nick the wires, and bounce out a LOT! Sharp points also "burr" easily, and those little burrs will jerk fibers out of your dartboard when you remove your darts after a throw.

New darts are nearly always way too sharp. Sharp points look sexy in the package, ad are easy to make at the factory. And, frankly, most people expect darts to be sharp and might not purchase darts that appeared dull.

The little "sharpening stone" should be used to remove burrs that occur from the very tip of a sharp point bending over to the side. Also use the stone to round off the point.

A perfect darts point should look just like the end of ball-point pen. Very round, much more so than most people would imagine a dart point be.

Like the tip of a ball-point pen, a rounded darts point will just slide off of the wires, instead of nicking the wires and rebounding. Rounding your darts points will greatly reduce your frequency of bounce-outs.

Some darters feel that they should never "sharpen" or touch-up their dart points at all. Unfortunately, natural wear on darts points will not leave the points round.. they points will become flat on their ends.

A flattened dart point is even worse than sharp points. A flat tip will nearly always bounce off when hitting wires, as they cannot slide to either side. Such a flattened or very blunt point will crush the dartboard's fibers.

Bristle dartboards are made of natural sisal fiber, similar to hemp. The fibers are compressed under high pressure. Basically, a dartboard is like a dense brush.. and the darts easily stick into board by sliding in between the fibers.

However, flat points compress a tiny section of fibers each time they are thrown, so the dartboard soon becomes very hard. Eventually, the entire dartboard is damaged, becoming too hard for darts to stick easily.

Can you imagine a golfer playing with a damaged club, or a baseball player using a seriously cracked bat? In any sport, the condition of your equipment is important, and requires attention & regular maintenance.

Keeping your dart points in good shape will make your dartboard last longer, and improve your scores.  Just remember.. not too sharp, and not too blunt.

Points with very rounded tips are "Just Right"!

So, the next time you see a darts "sharpening stone", remember that it would be better referred to as a "Dart Point Rouder". As that is a little awkward to say, most people stick to calling it a "Sharpener".

Whatever you call that little abrasive stone, be sure to use it often, particularly any time that a dart bounces out, or falls to the floor.

CyberDarts Editor, Rick Osgood




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