dartbase.com - The Dart Thrower

FAQ - Soft and Steel

I have been shooting plastic tip darts (16g) for a while 
now, and I want to switch to steel tips. The leagues in 
this area are all steel tip leagues. My question is should 
I just buy screw in steel tips for my current darts, or 
should i try to buy a set of each type from the same 
manufacturer with matching barrels?? I have an electronic 
board at home.  Also I am in the market for new darts, 
(30-50 dollar range);will the more expensive darts help 
my game ?? Any particular brand recommendations, and or 
retailers that are better than others? 
I also play both soft and steel, and I simply change tips and use the same darts for both. What way you decide to go is your personal decision. E.g. I have faced some problems when I tried switching tips for the first time because of the different weight dirstribution (steel tips are heavier). It needed some time before i could adopt to the different behaviour.

Your 16g darts should be okay for steeltip also. 16g is on the very light side for steel, but it should be no problem. Buying new darts is not really necessary. If you buy new ones, then pricing is not an argument. The cheapest dart can fit you, and the most expensive can be the worst. It just comes down to trying a lot of dart shapes.

The only recommendation I can give you is to focus on darts with movable tips for steeltip because they drastically reduce bounceouts. Many systems out there, I am using the hammer head system. It is easy to maintain and should fit in the barrel of each softtip dart. Only problem is movable tips are even heavier than normal steel tips, so on a 16g dart this could change the weight distribution quite a lot. Again, trying different systems is the only way.

And, for home practicing, you should switch to a steeltip board. It's the better practice when you are throwing both.

This question doesn't have to do with technique, but comes from 
curiosity.  Why is the ochey a different distance from the board 
for steel tip boards and soft tip boards?
The distance has developed over the years. E.g. for a long time the sport which mainly comes from England had no official governing body, so most pubs had their own distance. When the BDO (british darts organization) was founded there was a first step for unification of throwing distance. This leaded to the first standardized distance of 2.44 metres (sorry I don't know what's that in inches). The BDO later (in the early 70s as far as I know) changed the distance to the now official 2.37 m. The reason for this I don't know. The first softtip machines were developed in the late 60s when the offical throwing distance of the BDO was 2.44, and as the BDO changed it the softtip world decided not to change - that's the story.

One interesting fact is that one of the biggest dart tournaments, the 'News Of The World' tournament (steel) which is not a BDO event, was always played at 2.44 until the tournament was staged the last time in the early 80s.