Bandit Board Picture 1

The DMI 'The Bandit' Dartboard

Note: This review is on the older Bandit board. To read the review on the new & improved Bandit Board, click here

Here's the reasons the manufacturer has on the box that states why you should buy this board:

  1. Eliminates bounce outs (no staples and the wires are thin knife-edge steel bands embedded into the bristles)
  2. Increased the playing surface 10%
  3. Increased board life up to 40% longer than traditional boards
  4. The number ring has been specially powder-coated white to increase visibility and reduce glare
  5. Top quality sisal
  6. Segments will not bend or move

This board is definitely different from any other board I have owned. The wires are super thin (at least 1/3 the width of wires on most boards) and are imbedded into the board such that you can run your hand across the board and can barely feel where the wires are. This is the first board with this type of wires, but I strongly suspect that it won't be the last.

Pros:

  1. Thin wires and no staples can only mean fewer bounce outs.
  2. It may sound simple, but I like the White number ring. Even though people that have been throwing for a long time know where the numbers are, it's still a nice touch and is easier to read.
  3. The colors do not ooze over into neighboring numbers like they do in some of the cheaper boards.
  4. No 'dead' zones (at least I haven't found any yet). What I'm referring to are those places nowhere near a wire that a dart simply will not stick it. It's very annoying when your dart hits dead center into the number you were aiming at and simply falls out of the board.

Cons:

  1. Thin wires. I know, how can they be both good and bad? Because the wires are so thin, it is sometimes difficult to see which number your dart is in when it is right against the wires. Unless you have a scorekeeper, you will have to move to see what you have scored. I have found this to be especially true when your dart lands in a corner of a triple ring. But hey, I'd rather take a second to look than see it bounce off the wire and fall on the floor. The wires are also painted white, this does make it easier to see.
  2. It costs a little more than your standard bristle board.

Recommendation: This is one of the best boards I've ever bought or played on. I've had two people tell me that after extensive use the sisel starts to 'bubble' and fall out. I have not experienced this but I always replace my board once it starts showing heavy wear & tear. If you have experienced this problem, I'd like to hear from you. Personally, I really like this board!

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My Testing Results: I will be evaluating this board, and others, over the next 6-12 months. After each week of usage I will post the results on this page. I will be looking at a number of items such as wear and bounce outs (if there is something else you think I should look for, just let me know). My definition of a bounce out is a dart that bounces off the board. Now, having said that, this is what a bounce out is not:

  1. A dart that does not stick due to contact it made with another dart that was already in the board
  2. A dart that does not hit the board point first (flight fell out or just very poorly thrown)
  3. A dart that bounces off the metallic number ring.

The board will be rotated prior to being used on any given night. I rotate the board so that the 14 becomes the 20. Below are the most current results. I have annotated the bounce outs that Earl (a good friend of mine) has had. Because of the way he throws, he always has more bounce outs than anyone else (he could throw a dart at a fully inflated balloon and bounce it out).

Week 1: 10 hours of use & 0 bounce outs!!
Earl had 12 bounce outs including 4 out of the bull (only Earl!)
Week 2: 11 hours of use & only 1 bounce out (not the bull)!!
Earl had 4 bounce outs including 2 out of the bull
Week 3: 8 hours of use & 0 bounce outs!!
Earl had 3 bounce outs including 1 out of the bull
Week 4: 9 hours of use & only 1 bounce out while shooting at the bull
Week 5: 11 hours of use & only 1 bounce out while shooting at the bull
Week 6: 10 hours of use & only 2 bounce outs, 1 while shooting at the bull
Earl had 4 bounce outs including 2 out of the bull
Week 7: 16 hours of use & only 3 bounce outs, 1 while shooting at the bull
Earl only had 1 bounce out (loaned him a set of 25g darts, seems to stick better than the 21g ones he was using)
Week 8: 6 hours of use (I was sick) & only 1 bounce out, it was shot at the bull
Week 9: 13 hours of use & only 3 bounce outs, all 3 while shooting at the bull.
Week 10: 12 hours of use & only 5 bounce outs, 3 while shooting at the bull.
Week 11: 11 hours of use & only 9 bounce outs, 7 while shooting at the bull.
Earl had 4 bounce-outs, 3 while shooting at the bull.
Week 12: 14 hours of use & only 11 bounce outs, 10 while shooting at the bull.
Earl had 5 bounce-outs, 3 while shooting at the bull
Week 13-14: 22 hours of use & only 15 bounce outs, 13 while shooting at the bull.
Week 15-16: 21 hours of use & only 23 bounce outs, 17 while shooting at the bull.
Earl had 8 bounce outs, all while shooting at the bull

NOTE: Since I started throwing with Black Widows MP darts in December, I've had a total of 3 bounce outs. The rest were shot by friends using different darts.

As you can see, the bull on the board is starting to wear. I have a hard throw and throw with moveable point Black Widows and am not having any real problems. But friends using fixed-point darts and a softer throw are experiencing a few more bounce-outs. But considering the board has had over 100 hours of use and cricket/wild mouse are the two games most played (more throws at bulls as opposed to 501), it's still in better shape than any other board I've owned over the same period of time.

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Here's an email I received from Gary Dyer (it was posted with his permission):

The Bandit is by far the best Bristle board on the market. I have owned 3 of them and satisfied with every one. Yes they do seperate from the backing (buckle out) after about a year of very heavy use but all dart boards wear out eventually. We beat the bulls eye out of a Nodor in about 3 months so where is the real value. Anyone considering a Bandit should definately get one.

You can find this product at
Big River Darts Logo

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