Brass is the lightest of the three common metallic darts. It is a soft alloy (copper & Zinc) allowing it to be easily machined. Disadvantages include that they have larger barrels which contribute to more bounce outs and are typically softer and less durable, making it the best for beginners.
Nickel Silver Darts
Nickel Silver is an alloy consisting of nickel, copper and zinc. It does not contain silver it merely refers to the colour. Similar to brass, it can be machined but is approximately twice the price of brass and half the price of tungsten. Ideal for players with some experience looking to improve their game.
Tungsten is a very heavy and dense metal. Tungsten itself is a powder and is typically mixed with other metals like nickel to form a tungsten dart barrel. It is harder to work with but will typically last longer than brass and nickel-silver darts (especially the knurling). On average, a 24 gram tungsten dart will be 1/2 the diameter of a 24 gram brass dart which will allow for tighter groupings on the board. Best for skilled players who demand the very best in their darts.
Flights & Shafts
The size and style can impact scoring in a dart player's game. Flights generally are supplied in three shapes.
Standard is the most popular and provides stability for the dart once thrown and in flight. Pear and kite shapes are smaller and are faster through the air and their smaller size allows for better grouping and player scoring.
Specialist flights like dimpled and embossed surfaces will slow down and help stabilise darts but will not allow for as tight grouping as a standard surface making them great for beginners.
The bristle dartboard is the most popular and is of competition quality. They are made up of compressed sisal fibres (beware of imitation materials) glued to a backing board, with the edges held by metal banding. The main advantage of this type of construction is, when you remove a dart by twisting from the board, the whole will close behind it. This means bristle dartboards tend to last a lot longer than paper coil dartboards. Wear will eventually occur to your bristle dartboards, so look for a removable number ring that will allow you to rotate the most popular areas so you get even wear on the board.