Black Widow/Eagle Movable Point Darts
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Black Widows & Black Eagles are both manufactured by LaserDarts and work the same way. The difference between the two are that the Widows are front-loaded weight wise and the Eagles are center-loaded (the same width from front to back). I throw with Black Eagles.
- The points are inserted into the dart from the back of the barrel as opposed to 'screwing' in the front (see graphic above). This has a number of advantages:
- They do not come 'unscrewed'. You do not have to by washers (O rings) for them.
- There are no addition parts to replace, all that's there is the point itself.
- There's absolutely no rattle.
- You don't have to buy a dart tool to replace/tighten the points.
- Since they are movable point, I find that my number of bounce-outs are greatly reduced.
- I do not like spinning shafts, this replaces the function that they serve. These darts spin very freely once they are in the board.
- Points come in five different lengths ranging from 2.3" to my favorite, 3.2" (spears are how my friends refer to them).
- The barrels come in a variety of grips so you can pick one you like (heavily knurled for me).
- They're black (hey, what can I say, I like black)!
- As well as being the best on the market (in my opinion), they are also one of the most expensive darts on the market. Even when you find them on sale somewhere, they're still over $100.
- Because the point actually makes contact with the shaft when it hits the board, you can not use metal shafts with these darts. The constant hammering the shaft would take could damage the threads inside the barrel. You are limited to using either nylon or plastic shafts (I use Alamo shafts with mine).
- After using these darts for awhile, the points will start to 'gum' up and will not move as freely as they should. You can fix this with some isopropyl alcohol and pipe cleaners. You clean the points with the alcohol, and then clean the inside of the barrel with a pipe cleaner. It does make a significant difference.
Recommendation: I'm not sure that I'll ever change to another steel-tip dart again. If you throw on a regular basis and have the money, you won't be disappointed. If you're buying your first set of darts and are wanting these, I would seriously recommend that you throw with other darts for awhile to find out what weight you like. These are a little expensive to order to just find out a few days/weeks later that you would like a heavier/lighter dart.
Since Scott and I share different viewpoints on these darts, I'll list his starting with the 'cons':
- In addition to the requirement on plastic shafts, the EL-C point system can actually cause the shaft to snap off in the dart due to the repeated pounding on the shaft. This might not happen too often, but it certainly can be stressful to try to extract the broken shaft from the dart in the middle of a big match. This is most likely to be a problem with the heavier darts, but I did have this problem with my 22 gr. model.
- Because the Widows are 97 percent tungsten, they are very short and thin for their weight. Someone who is used to throwing a 90 percent 22 gram dart, for example, will
find the 22 gram widow to be much smaller than the dart they are currently throwing. This is a problem that I struggled with. The Widows that were large enough to fit my hand were too heavy, and the ones that were the right weight were to small to fit comfortably in my hand.
- The special coating on the Widows may not work for everyone. Personally, I didn't like it and found the grip to be problematic. In any event, the Widow has a different feel. Some
may like it, but others may not.
- On the positive side, the darts are guaranteed for life, and I have heard that Laserdarts is very good about replacing a broken or chipped dart. Apparently, they can chip or even break when hitting a hard floor since the high percentage of tungsten makes them more brittle than other darts
My 2 cents worth: I've never had a shaft break inside these darts, so I can't comment on that (if 1 does break, I'll post the information here). Scott is 100% right about the barrel being shorter than darts of the same weight but different percentage of tungsten. So whether or not this is a problem will depend on your grip/personal preference. As far as the coating goes, I never really noticed, so it must not bother me. :-)
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