Upgrading Your Dart Shafts - Dart Shaft Types & Materials

Written by: Heather Cister


dart shaft types plastic aluminum and carbon fiber

Most dart players start out throwing darts with standard plastic dart shafts. Most dart players also deal with many broken plastic shafts, having to replace them frequently. Upgrading your dart shafts to a stronger shaft material may be confusing at first with so many dart shaft types to choose from, but we've laid out the difference between all types for you right here in this blog. Keep reading to find out why and how to upgrade your equipment to the best dart shaft types.

Why Should You Upgrade Your Dart Shafts?

Let's face it: while they're cheap and affordable, plastic shafts just aren't the strongest dart shaft types out there. They're fragile, soft and prone to breaking. Bounce outs and robin hooding easily cause your plastic shafts to snap at the thread, leaving you with a pesky broken dart shaft to remove. 

broken dart shaft in dart barrel

If you're tired of replacing broken plastic shafts, go stronger with more durable dart shaft types like carbon fiber or aluminum. These dart shaft materials are reinforced with stronger material makeups, giving your dart shafts a longer lifespan than plastic. Not only will you have to remove your broken dart shafts way less often, but you'll also save a lot more money since you won't need to buy replacement shafts as often.

This is especially important for more serious dart players who play darts frequently. Breaking your dart shaft is the last thing you want to happen in the middle of a tournament, so protect your equipment with stronger dart shaft types. Not swapping out your dart shafts often and having a reliable product during competition is a huge underappreciated advantage.

How to Remove a Broken Dart Shaft

Stuck with a broken dart shaft and not sure how to remove it? Watch our video where we demonstrate how to remove a broken dart shaft from a dart barrel using various extractor tools. 

For more methods and tips, you can also read our blog on removing a broken dart shaft. Just click the button below:

Dart Shaft Types

To give you the best bang for your buck, we recommend upgrading from plastic to either of two dart shaft types: aluminum and carbon fiber. In this section, we'll go over dart shaft types and their differences so you can determine which upgrade will best suit your needs.


Plastic dart shafts are the most basic and affordable dart shaft types available. They're usually made of either nylon or polycarbonate, both plastic-based soft materials. 

Plastic shafts are the most prone to breakage of all dart shaft types due to the weaker material. They're great for beginners who play casually because of their low entry cost, but bounce outs (the number one culprit of broken dart shafts) are most common with beginner players. You'd be sitting on a mountain of broken shafts the longer you play and the more serious you get about darts. They're just not built to last.

On the other hand, plastic shafts are the best dart shaft types for beginners who are still experimenting with their darts setup. They're cheap and easy to play around with as a newbie, plus they come in tons of cool colors.

Shot Eagle blue inbetween plastic dart shaft


Of all the stronger dart shaft types, aluminum dart shafts are the most cost-effective upgrade that still offers the vibrant color variety of plastic shafts. Most aluminum dart shafts are only a few dollars more expensive than plastic shafts, making them the middle ground of all dart shaft types in terms of cost and durability. 

Because of the metal makeup, aluminum shafts are way less likely to break than plastic. If you're starting to get more serious about the game and practice frequently, try upgrading to aluminum dart shafts over other dart shaft types for the most practical upgrade. 

Red Dragon Astro aluminum red dart shaft

Carbon Fiber

For maximum dart shaft strength, carbon fiber dart shafts rank high on the list of dart shaft types. Despite their high durability, the price of carbon fiber shafts is the biggest drawback. The average cost of carbon fiber shafts ranges around $30, the second most expensive material of all dart shaft types after titanium. 

Unless you're absolutely certain of your optimal darts setup and throw at an intermediate level or higher, we don't recommend upgrading to carbon fiber shafts over other dart shaft types. There's a huge disparity between the increase in shaft strength and the increase in cost — in other words, you're only getting slightly more durability from aluminum compared to the steep increase in the price of carbon fiber shafts. 

However, if you have the money for this major upgrade, feel free to treat yourself! The durability of carbon fiber definitely rivals that of other dart shaft types. 

Shot Tao Carbon inbetween dart shaft

Which Dart Shaft Material Should I Choose?

It depends. Are you just getting into darts as a complete newbie, or are you a seasoned player looking to upgrade their signature setup with stronger dart shaft types?

Newbies get along just fine with plastic shafts. With plastic dart shaft types, you'll have the freedom to experiment with different lengths, sizes, colors, etc. If you're ready to get more serious about the game, aluminum is the next best upgrade suited for all players. It's less likely to break due to the metal makeup, lasting you through more bounce outs and preventing robin hoods better than plastic.

Luke Humphries aiming a dart
Stageside Photography of Luke Humphries and Gerwyn Price by A-Z Darts during the PDC US Masters in New York 2023

For seasoned dart players with confidence in their setup, carbon fiber is the ultimate upgrade of all dart shaft types. We only recommend carbon fiber for experienced players because of its high cost — they're not worth the money for players still experimenting with their setup.

There are even more dart shaft types that we didn't cover in this blog, including titanium, but their cost heavily outweighs the additional benefit you'd get from using them. If you want to read more about all dart shaft types, check out our blog on everything you need to know about dart shafts:

Final thoughts

Upgrading your dart shafts doesn't need to be hard, even with all the possibilities and dart shaft types. We hope this article helped you understand the difference between dart shaft types and why upgrading your equipment is important. Don't forget, you can always shop with A-Z Darts whenever you're ready to make the next step with your dart shafts!

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