Whether you’re a casual player or a hotshot pro, picking the right dartboard is essential if you’re trying to improve your game, or just trying to impress your friends.
In this article, I’ll be giving a brief review of the Winmau Blade 4 Dartboard (WB4), sharing my thoughts as to how it stands out from other dartboards on the market.
Features of the Winmau Blade 4
WB4 is the fourth installment in the Winmau Blade series. It was first released back in 2010, then 3 years later another version called WB4: ‘Dual Core’ was released.
Now, you might be wondering what Dual Core could possibly mean in for a dartboard. Well, it’s not embedded with a microprocessor if that’s what you’re thinking. We’ll clarify exactly what this means later on in the review, so keep reading!
The WB4’s dimensions are 18” x 18” x 1.5” (46cm x 46cm x 4cm) with the Kenyan Sisal fiber being approximately 1” deep.
#1 Staple-Free Wiring
In earlier versions of the Winmau Blade series, the wiring was held down by the use of staples, which effectively reduce the playing area, while also effecting the boards aesthetics.
However, the WB4 proved to be the innovator of it’s series by introducing completely staple-free wiring. Instead, the wires are attached integrally to the board.
#2 High-Visibility Dense Kenyan Sisal
The Winmau Blade 4 has a particularly good feature in terms of it’s fiber. As it’s made up of one of the best fibers in terms of durability and recovery, known as Kenyan Sisal.
This particular fiber helps to significantly improve the rate of recovery across the face of the board, reducing the risk of holes or bubbles forming overtime, which of course can lead to a great percentage of bounce-outs.
The only noticeable downside we’ve found is that Sisal can be prone to wear and tear after prolonged periods of constant use; especially if you have a particularly aggressive throw!
#3 It’s Rotatable Board
The ability to rotate a dartboard helps greatly in extending the lifespan of any dartboard face. As, if your aim is on point, the ’20’ scoring zone is going to take a hammering.
In the Dual-Core series version, Winmau implements the concept of a rotatable board, coining the term ‘Rota-Lock’. Not only does it allow for rotation of the the board, but it’s also adjustable against uneven walls.
#4 Double-Sided Board
In addition to the classic dartboard, some editions of the Winmau Blade 4 have another side that consists of numbered concentric circles with alternating colors (usually black and white).
Main Drawbacks we Found
According to Amazon reviews of others who bough the WB4, the board isn’t great for excessive use, as we stated earlier in the review. Though the fiber might look good and work as intended in the first couple of weeks and month (depending on the amount of use) the Sisal fiber might develop bubbles and lose its density.
One way to avoid this is to remember to regularly rotate the board, to spread the wear and tear evenly, prolonging the lifetime of the face of your board.
Alternatively, you could opt for buying the Dual-Core version (sometimes also known as ‘Diamond Plus’ version) which offers extended longevity. It’s definitely worth the extra couple of dollars/ pounds since it’d theoretically last longer with you even with regular use.
What Makes the Winmau Blade 4 Special?
Winmau had one thing in mind when developing the next iteration in the Blade series, and that was to reduce the rate of bounce-out as much as possible. So, all of it’s distinct characteristics deal with minimizing bounce-outs in one way or the other.
Dual Core Version
So! I’ve been teasing the Dual Core version of the Winmau Blade dartboard for virtually the whole article. But, what makes it so good?
Well, this version of WB4 introduced a brand new technology called Dual-Core, which utilizes an inner core and an outer core, with the goal of improved performance.
On the one hand, the inner core, with its high compression fiber, allows darts to stick to the board because of the fiber being condensed together while absorbing the excess kinetic energy of the dart. That in turn, reduces the pressure on the outer-core.
On the other hand, the outer core, with its lower compression, provides higher visibility for clearer shots. It’s also less resistant from penetration so that the darts can reach the inner core much more easily.
50% Thinner Dynamic Sector Wiring
One of the unique things that you have to appreciate about this board is the new wiring profile Winmau dubs as ‘Dynamic Sector Wiring’ (DSW). One of the improvements introduced to this profile is the wires being 50% thinner.
This dramatically reduces the number of bounce-outs due to aiming at the steel-wiring. That way your average score might slightly improve.
With that in mind, you’re not trading off the board’s durability for precision. The board doesn’t lose stability in favor of a smaller margin of error. In fact, the DSW profile is as strong as the previous versions of the Winmau Blade series, if not tougher.
Another unique trick Winmau implemented in WB4 is that the wiring has a 90° angle from both sides. On top of the 50% thinner wires, triangular wiring causes the dart to deflect into the fiber if it’s hit.
So unless you’re extremely unlucky, it’s less likely that your darts will bounce-out.
To wrap up, we feel that the WB4 offers great longevity and a clean look, especially with the Dual-Core version. With it’s fine Kenyan Sisal fiber, and staple-free DSW and thinner wiring profile, it’s worthwhile upgrading to Dual Core.
Overall, if you’re looking to significantly reduce those annoying bounce-outs from your game, the Winmau Blade 4 may be the right dartboard for you.
If you enjoyed this review, then you may also be interested in checking out our recent review of the Winmau Blade 5.