If you find that robin hoods keep breaking your stems, or you are tired of picking flights up off the floor, then a flight punch may be the easy and quick solution to your problems. In this article, I’ll explain exactly what a dart flight punch is, the pros and cons and how to actually punch your flights.
What are Punched Flights?
Punched dart flights have a small hole where the flight connects to the stem where a stem ring can be placed inside before fitting it onto the shaft. Punched flights are designed to prevent the flight from falling off and protect the stem from robin hoods. Flight punches are suitable for players who use standard nylon stems and folding flights.
To punch the flights you simply need a flight punch which looks like a mini stapler, to insert the hole into the flight where the stem ring will fit.
Prevents the Flight Falling Off
Using a flight punch and stem ring greatly reduces the chance that the flight will fall off the stem when hit by another dart or during flight. If you find that your flights keep popping off the stems then this is a great method to fix it. Punching your flights and using a stem ring will cost less than $10 all together. This makes it one of the easiest, cheapest and fastest ways of ensuring the flight stays on the stem without having to alter your system.
Stems are Less Likely to Break
When the stem ring is placed onto the shaft, the chance of the stem breaking due to a robin hood is much lower. The stem ring helps to protect the stem and avoids it splitting or snapping if it comes into contact with another dart.
What are Stem Rings?
If you want to punch your flights, you’ll also need to decide which type of stem ring you want. Some are made from metal and others made from rubber. The metal ones will provide more protection to your stem and won’t stretch out. If your looking for more information, check out this article for the pros and cons of each type.
How to Punch Flights
- Line up the flight inside the flight punch.
- Push down on the punch to insert the hole into the flight.
- Put a stem ring into the hole in the flight.
- Push the stem into the flight and ring.
The process is very easy and takes just a few seconds. The only pieces of equipment you need are a flight punch and some stem rings. Here are some links:
Images link to Amazon
Check out this really quick video to see a flight punch in action.
Are There Any Negatives to Flight Punches?
There are a couple of minor (and debateable) negatives to punching flights.
Firstly, the chance of robin hoods occurring can increase slightly since the dart can become lodged in the stem ring. However, many players may find this not to be a massive issue as long as the robin hoods don’t break the stems.
Some players also don’t like that the flights are fixed in place and won’t fall off. This is because when a flight is hit by an incoming dart and is allowed to pop off, this reduces the amount of deflection allowing the player to group their darts more closely together.
This is a bit of a debateable one, and really depends on what you find more of an inconvenience. If you want to group your darts incredibly closely and are a very high level player, then flight punches and stem rings may be more of a hinderance if they contribute to greater deflections. However, if you find yourself constantly picking flights up off the floor and want a quick fix, then punching your flights is probably a good thing to try.
Looking to find the best dart flight shape to improve your game? Check out my complete guide to flight shapes to learn everything you need to know.
Here are some more articles you might find useful: