Matthew Edgar darts review Loxley

The arrows of choice, for a ‘Prime Time’ player. Today I take an in-depth look at the new Matthew Edgar darts, from Loxley. Utilising two popular styles of grip, as well as stylish painted groves, these darts have every reason to become an instant classic.

Moulded to the exact specifications required for Matthew Edgar, Zachary Thornton, along with the Loxley design team, have created a dart that suits Matthew perfectly – as well as an extremely wide range of amateur and semi-professional players alike! With a subtle, thinly grooved ring grip at the rear, coupled with a more deeply cut dual-ring grip towards the front, the darts utilise both indistinct and aggressive cuts, resulting in a near universally usable dart – perhaps the darts of choice for a future PDC title holder?

The darts are currently available in both Matthew’s match-weight, 21g, as well as his former match-weight, 23g. Both barrel weights are produced from a 90% tungsten billet, providing the perfect balance of density and durability. This ensures the darts are as thin as possible to increase your scoring, but resilient enough that with darts clattering into each other in the treble bed, the grip stays true and will not begin to chip-away or dull, as seen on lower grade tungsten barrels. Both weights are 50.7mm in length, with the 21g measuring in at 6.1mm in width, compared to the 23g, which measure at 6.36mm.

The darts arrive in a plastic outer casing, with the Loxley graphics on the front, detailing both the dart, and the player they were made for. The graphics employ the use of Matthew’s preferred colours of pink and blue, as seen on his shirts, flights and barrels, allowing the consistent theme to prevail from product to product. On the rear of the casing, more graphics have been added, with the logo from Matthew’s YouTube channel, ‘EdgarTV’, in centre view.

Inside the packaging is a simple black darts case, designed to lock the darts in while transported in order to prevent darts from coming loose. The darts come in a standard black point protector within the case, and come equipped with a set of Loxley intermediate nylon stems. The case further contains a set of standard Matthew Edgar dart flights, with one flight being ready fitted to the stem of the centre dart. While aesthetically pleasing, this can cause the issue of the flight becoming distorted, as the outer plastic casing presses down on the assembled flight, meaning that for the duration of transport, the flight is slightly bent out of shape, which can lead to the dart flying slightly off course if not properly straightened out. The darts come ready fitted with a set of 32mm silver points, which, while enhancing the look of the dart, can lead to some darts falling out of the board as the smooth points simply cannot grasp the fibres in the board. For this, you may need to rough the points up with sandpaper regularly, to ensure every dart stays firmly lodged in the board.

As a natural rear gripper, I found myself wishing I could flip the dart around, as you can with soft tip darts. I’ve always preferred an aggressive grip, and so for me, the front grip of the dart seemed perfect! While the rear grip was noticeable, I found darts had a tendency to slip from my fingers when propelling from the rear, though this was a rare occurrence. Holding from the front, I found I had a lot more control over the dart, with the front grip offering a high level of both grip and comfort; with some darts, a high level of grip can feel as if they’re shredding your fingers, but I found that with these, I never felt any discomfort.

I found that visually, these darts were unbelievable! The two grip styles both contrast and complement each other simultaneously, with the more refined rear grip enhancing the feel of the front grip when switching over, while the rear grip offers a unique level of control, thanks to the thinner grooves helping the dart to seem thicker to hold, and thus easier to manipulate in your fingers. The darts feature painted, rather than coated groves as I initially thought. The rear groves are painted blue and white, while the front grip has been painted a unique metallic pink – something I’ve never seen on a dart before! The groves inside the dual-ring grip feature a very fine strip of black paint, which I feel helps the front of the dart to blend in seamlessly with the black segment of the 20 bed, allowing you to stay focused on your intended target. After speaking to co-designer Zachary, I discovered the front section had been hand-painted rather than through a machine, presenting the dedication and precision that the team at Loxley displays in ensuring every product they sell is in perfect condition.

After experimenting with different styles of throw and grip, as well as stem and flight combinations, I found that by holding the front and using a similar setup to Matthew himself, with shorter stems and a set of slim flights, I was able to stack the darts in similar fashion to how Phil Taylor used to stack his darts during his early days with Unicorn, while still using thinner barrels not too dissimilar from the Loxley darts I’m reviewing. By throwing from the front (an unnatural position for me), I found myself throwing the dart harder, and so by using the slimmer flights, I had more control over the dart, thanks to the smaller surface area in comparison to the supplied standard shape flights. By using shorter stems, I managed to shift the centre of balance further forward towards where I was throwing, which again allowed me further control, and helped to alleviate any unnatural feeling with the rear of the dart beginning to pull down as I prepared to release. I also found that the preferred setup of Matthew’s rival and friend, Glen Durrant, worked very well, with the pear flights slowing the dart down in the air, heightening my control over where the dart was thrown.

Final Thoughts:

Appearance: 10/10 – Faultless. With the striking use of painted groves, Loxley has created, in my opinion, one of the best looking darts on the market to date. In Matthew’s words, they “are quite a sexy looking dart”, and combined with the vibrant Matthew Edgar flights, as well as the recently reviewed Matthew Edgar dart shirts, Matthew has established himself as a true idiosyncratic character within darts, and these barrels define both him, and his character on and off the oche.

Balance: 8/10 – I felt these darts had a very slight front weight while throwing, which helped in more ways than one. While throwing from my natural position (from the rear of the dart), the front weight helped my darts sit high in the board – the perfect angle for me. When throwing from the front, coupled with the shorter stems, I found I had more control over the dart, as I was throwing directly on the centre of balance. While for me, the balance worked perfectly, the slight front weight could cause problems for those who throw from the rear while using a shorter stem, and so some tinkering with equipment may be necessary to ensure you get the best results using these darts.

Grip: 8/10 – The front grip had a pleasant, yet aggressive grip that for me, was perfect. The raised dual-ring grip felt sharp and precise, offering a high level of control when I needed it, while allowing for a smooth and consistent release. The rear grip felt very smooth, likening it to the nano-grip utilised on the Target Stephen Bunting darts. While noticeable, I felt darts begin to slip from my grasp while throwing from the rear, and so if like me, you prefer a high level of grip from the rear of the dart, these may not be the best choice for you.

Quality: 9/10 – As with my review of the Loxley Robin darts, the only let down for me was the centre flight in the packaging, and the way it had been compressed during transport, resulting in distortion when opened. In terms of the darts themselves, I couldn’t find a fault. Every cut of the intricate front grip had been manufactured to perfection, resulting in a consistent feel when holding the dart. The painted groves showed no signs of overlapping, with the care and precision clear to see from the Loxley team.

Value for Money: 10/10 – The darts are available for £54.95 including tax, direct from the Loxley website. While expensive in comparison to some darts on the market today, for a player branded dart with two contrasting styles of grip, these fit right in. While I personally feel that the darts would be best priced around £40-£45, for a dart used by the ‘Prime Time’ player himself, Matthew Edgar, it’s a price worth paying. For quality and appearance, you’d be hard pushed to find a dart that can beat them – they’ll certainly turn heads wherever you throw them!

Update: Loxley have reduced the prices of all their products to help people out struggling with the lockdown crisis. The Matthew Edgar darts are now retailing for £49.95, Kudos!

Thank you again to Loxley for sending these amazing darts out, I really enjoyed taking an in-depth look into the darts used by PDC professional Matthew Edgar, and discovering just what he required from his barrels in order to achieve as much as he can in the game – I can’t wait to see what’s next for him! Best of luck to Matthew in the upcoming PDC Winter Series! Thank you again to Zachary Thornton for his input into the design of the darts, and congratulations to both him and the design team at Loxley for the successful creation and release of these works of art!

Author – Joe Reid

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