How to Choose a stem

How to choose Darts Stems/Shafts

Stem lengths:

Down the local pub many an argument has occurred over what stem size and material is the best!? Now the best answer to this is simply player preference! There is no right or wrong choice.

There are some basic rules which will suit most players such as; the heavier the dart the longer the stem should be, so for darts over 23g-24g a medium stem is going to suit most players. However, there will be plenty of people reading this that use 26g darts with extra short stems because it works for them.

We said there are no fixed rules, just guidelines. The best thing to do is just try lots of different lengths with a research pack, which has a selection of stem types and lengths. You can find what suits you best personally, and the aim is to keep the darts flying smoothly and straight in the air. If your darts are doing this then you have the right stems.

Just because James Wade uses short stems with his 20g darts does not mean that short stems will work for you in the same dart.

Darts companies all make their own stems and the majority call the stems mini, extra short, short, and medium. Please note companies like Cosmo number their stems and there is a wider range of sizes, so it’s best to know what the average sizes of these stems are so you can always find the right length stem that you like from any company. Here is a list below of the standard lengths of modern dart stems.

  • Mini stems are 12.8mm not including the thread.
  • Extra short stems can range from 26mm to 35mm not including the thread.
  • Short stems can range from 33mm to 36mm not including the thread.
  • Tweenie stems can range from 39mm to 42mm not including the thread.
  • Medium stemscan range from 44mm to 48mm not including the thread.

Cosmo Shafts come in the following sizes:

Stem materials:

Nylon Darts Stems

Nylon plastic stems are by some distance the most popular stems used by darts players either beginner or professional. There are some good reasons for this. Firstly, they are very cheap and unless you're very unlucky and snap or split one in your first throw (which can happen) you will get your money’s worth out of them a few times over.

They are also just about the right weight for most players so they keep the dart perfectly balanced.

The draw backs are that they can break very easily and they can bend, but because they tend to be so cheap it’s not the worst thing in the world to carry replacements.

Alloy Darts Stems

Heavy, strong and durable just about sums up alloy aluminium dart stems. They are not overly expensive and they last much longer than standard nylon plastic shafts.

They are a lot heavier than nylon plastic shafts as well, so they can alter the balance of the dart. This needs to be taken into consideration if you’re thinking of giving them a whirl.

You don’t often get alloy stems ‘snapping’ but they can bend without you noticing, so the best thing to do is before every game is to just roll your dart along a flat surface on its side and this will show you if your stem is bent or not.

Carbon Darts Stems

The perks of carbon shafts are simple. Carbon is an ultra-strong material and it’s also very, very light! The down side is that carbon stems tend to be a tad on the expensive side but at least you will get your money’s worth out of them.

Because they are so lightweight they can have a massive effect on the balance of a dart. If you have been using alloy stems and have then decided to try carbon you would have noticed the dart feels like a completely different object and the dart becomes very front weighted.

These types of stem are not for everyone, but if you’re looking for that little something else that’s missing from your setup these types of stems could be right up your street.

Titanium Darts Stems

Titanium stems fit into that category of ultra-strong and ultra-lightweight. These types of stems cost more than your standard alloy stem but they are ultra-tough and very rarely bend or break.

Keramic Darts Stems

Keramic stems are unique to Harrows and have very similar properties to normal alloy shafts. They are made out of a specialist aerospace material.

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