Until 1990s, the steel tip darts were considered as the originals, which most people used. It is also one of the common choices for all the big money tournaments, such as the Las Vegas Classic and the British Lakeside competition. Although, there are some animosity between soft tip darters from the traditional darters, who believe that true darts game involve steel tip darts and Sisal dart boards.
Steel darts are made of steel with a sharpened point so they can stick into sisal or a wooden dart board. Over the years, the steel tip has undergone some innovations, like the Bottelsen No Bounce out darts, whereby the tip of the darts can retract into the object and absorb the sharp impact allowing a forward momentum for the dart to pass and stick into the board.
Another dart used is the Black widow darts, which follows a similar system called a movable point. This form of darts had the added advantage to swivel around the tip and had the same effect as spinning shafts.
These days darts are being manufactured from different materials. Tungsten is considered to be the current demand for material of the dart. It has a superior density with less weight as compared to traditional brass, which increases the chances of hitting three in a bed and scoring 180.
Although, the tips of the dart varies, but the other parts like the shaft, flights etc remains the same. Another difference between darts are their weights. For example, steel tip darts weighs around 18 - 28 gm range, but soft tip darts only weighs upto 20 gm to protect the delicate electronics.
To keep the steel tips darts well maintained, be sure to rub the tip on some grinding paper or use the shaped carborundum stone to keep steel tips sharp. If you want to make them really flash, then try the battery-operated sharpeners, which also guarantees the correct angle to your point.