The third company that makes darts for use on an American style board is Apex. They make several different types of darts, and have even made several different types of wooden boards that are a complete departure from the "normal" numbers-based American and pub boards.
You can find Apex darts in either the No. 1 style or their No. 2 style.
The number ones are the darts that you would use on the traditional American boards in tournament play. They are 5 3/4" long, so that puts them at the same length as the Widdy and Darto offerings.
The barrel of an Apex No.1 is slightly smaller than the Darto and Widdy darts, coming in at roughly 1 1/2" around the thickest part. This gives them a different feel than the other darts.
The barrels are often hotstamped. Mine are hotstamped with Official No.1 - "APEX" Norristown - Penna.
The flights on an Apex are cut into the sharp-edged form, unlike the rounded edges of a Widdy. And, Apex is open to the idea of using as many colors as they can to decorate their flights. You can find Apex darts with . . . Yellow, Purple, Green, Blue, Red, Orange, Pink, Black, White, and combinations. Mine are "Pittsburgh Steeler" darts, with a white/yellow/black feather combination.
The feathers flights are also smaller than those found on a Darto or Widdy dart, giving the dart a more streamlined profile.
The band between the barrel and the flight sections of the dart is red. That band is actually a piece of thread these days, glued into place, rather than a plastic band.
The barrels themselves are made of white birch.
The lead insert that binds the steel tip to the wooden barrel is different on an Apex than on any other dart. It is "taller" than the others, so instead of being flat and fat it is thinner and reaches more towards the sharp tip.
Besides their No 1 series, they offer a bigger dart for use in playing dartball, their No. 2 dart. Those darts are 7 1/4" long. The No. 2 series comes in three or four feather flight configurations.
If you're looking for a set of darts for the traditional American board play, choose the No 1 series.
Apex darts are more expensive than the other American style darts. Because of that, you are more likely to find Dartos and Widdys at a place like your local tavern. Still, there is a loyal crowd of dart shooters that swear Apex darts are more accurate than either the Widdys or the Dartos.
About The Company
Apex was founded in 1912 by Charles High. Originally, they made ladders. That didn't last long, and within a decade of being formed, the company turned it's efforts towards the manufacture of dartboards and darts.
In 1946 the company was sold to Robert Glass, who ran operations until he passed away in the mid 80's. Now (2008), Robert Glass Jr. is at the helm, and they're still turning out hand-made darts and boards.
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