Archery | Arrows – What’s The Difference?
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Archery | Arrows – What’s The Difference?

August 15, 2019


This is an arrow. This is an arrow. This is the Green Arrow. And this is the tip, insert, shaft, vane, and nock. Arrows have gone quite a ways since Robin Hood. With modern materials and more customization options, getting the right arrow isn’t as easy as it looks. Buying arrows is often the first thing a
prospective archer will try to do. I hear about new guys looking up good deals on eBay and asking whether they are good arrows. While I’m in no position to judge the
quality of arrows on offer, buying arrows is more complicated than looking up the
best price, and it’s often the last thing an archer will buy. Arrows come in more variety than any other piece of archery equipment. The range of arrows is dazzling and can
be highly confusing to the untrained eye. Seriously! What is the difference? In this video i’ll be explaining the differences between a low price aluminium arrow and a higher-end carbon arrow, as well as variations in arrow parts. I’m no expert on every type of arrow out there, but I’ve broken my fair share. Firstly, a few important things to know
about selecting arrows. There is no “one size fits all” arrow. An
arrow that works well in one bow will flop out of another. Arrows simply will
not fly straight if they’re not properly matched. Each arrow has a spine value which describes how stiff the arrow is. For aluminium arrows, the numbers correspond to the thickness of the shaft and the diameter of the walls. For example, this is a 1516. This affects the stiffness of the arrow
as well as the weight. The numbering system is slightly different for carbon arrows, and different manufacturers use different systems. So it’s a bit complex to explain. Each brand of arrow will come in a range of spines, so you don’t have to stick to a particular kind. Finding the right arrow for your bow is
based on your actual draw weight. This isn’t just the poundage of the bow,
but also your draw length. There are charts for this kind of thing,
but if in doubt the guys at your local archery shop, or your coach, will offer good advice. Short of that, archers will have a wide
experience with different types of arrows, so it’s worth asking around at your club
or on online forums. Let’s move on to our arrows. Unlike
accessories, arrow selection is based more on purpose, rather than preference. Some arrows are designed for field, target,
or clout archery. Others are more suitable for hunting. Cheaper arrows are expendable and suitable for beginning archers who are likely to lose or break them. While more expensive arrows
are geared towards competition level performance. On the bottom end of the price range are wooden and fiberglass arrows. This is probably what you’ll be using if
you’re a backyard hobbyist. Dirt cheap, they’re dispensible, and
somewhat limited in use. They’re generally preferred by traditional archers rather than those pursuing archery as a sport. Going up the price range, you’ll find aluminium arrows. The price difference usually reflects the quality of the manufacturing process, with higher price arrows boasting less variation and straightness. This is an Easton Jazz, on the lower end
of the range, costing around AU$5 for a shaft, or around AU$7-8 fully fletched. The end of an arrow is machined so that a nock glues right onto it, and the tips go straight in without inserts, making it simple to assemble. More expensive arrows allow for greater
customization. Aluminium arrows are heavy compared to carbon arrows so they don’t
fly as far or as fast. However, their weight actually makes them more forgiving when it comes to minute inconsistencies, making them good for
beginning archers and first-timers. The lower end carbon arrows can cost around AU$10-20 fully fletched. They’re lighter and stronger than
aluminium arrows, but don’t perform too differently, making them an easy transition if upgrading. Unlike higher-end carbon arrows, mid-range carbon arrows are made wholly of carbon. They can make good general purpose arrows for practice and competition. At the top end, we have arrows like the
Easton X10 and the ACEs. Fully fletched, these arrows can cost around AU$40-50 each, and you will cry tears if you break them. These kinds of arrows are made from
carbon fiber laid over an alloy core, making them ultra light and
significantly faster in the air than regular carbon arrows. This speed, along
with the tapering shape, reduces the effect the wind has on the arrow, however, the
low weight also makes the shaft more sensitive to errors and inconsistencies during the shot. It will punish a new archer who has not
yet developed proper technique, and, given their cost, it might be worth holding off on those
until you feel more confident. This is literally Olympic-level equipment. On a side note, because these arrows use inserts, it is possible to replace the screw-in heads in the event of lost tips, or if you want to swap out for heavier ones.
I’ve also used spin wings on these arrows. Unlike regular vanes, these spiral shaped wings are stuck on helically, generating more
spin, and therefore more stabilization. However they are more difficult to put
on and can be quite fragile, especially if your bow isn’t perfectly in tune. Some people believe they’re more trouble
than they’re worth. While competetive arches almost always use them, you’re not missing out too much if you
use regular vanes. With all that in mind,
arrows generally do the same thing. Certain brands and models wont give you exclusive abilities. More expensive arrows are more geared towards performance, whereas, there’s nothing specifically flawed about cheaper arrows. The biggest factor is how much money you’re willing to spend on arrows. Given that you’ll likely buy around a dozen, and you’ll be replacing them as you go along. Anyway, hope that was helpful. Stay tuned, I’ll be doing more comparisons between quivers and risers and sights. If you liked this video make sure you
click “like” somewhere here and subscribe for more random videos. Thanks guys, see you all next time.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. so got a new bow coming, which is heavier than the previous bow, I'm guessing i have a few days to find new decent priced arrows before all the ones i have now are broken lol 
    gawd where do i start 😀

  2. Love this…I have been shooting Traditional for a few years now…Thank you  for your time and knowledge.

  3. hey man, really enjoying your videos. Need your advice on few issues. is there any chance that i can contact you via email?

  4. Hello, I have a asian recurve bow with a 31 inch draw.  I am about to buy some Easton Beman Bowhunter carbon arrows feather fletched at spine of 340.  They come in 30 inch and 31 inch.  Ideally (in terms of physics), what should be the length of the arrow, 30, 31 or 32 inch?  Thanks

  5. Can't help but notice you are using Abbey Archery website for referencing arrow prices, where you located, I shoot for AAC club in Perth 😀

  6. I admired that practice draw device you used in the video. It had a handle and an elastic stretchy plastic rubber band part. 
    What are they caled and where do you buy them? I'm in the USA

  7. I tried buying arrows the other day online and it was the most confusing thing ever so I gave up.  I am a first timer looking for a 28" arrow to shoot off of a samick sage.  Can you help point me in the right direction for what to get on a budget?

  8. love your videos, just got into archery got a 34# bow recurve, i followed your advice and not to over pound my draw weight. i pull  28 inches so i got 30 inch arrows, cheap  i  know,  but great fun, just bought my son a bow as well, he is 10 so i got a cheap one just to see if he likes it for his birthday. i signed up for a course in bury, greater Manchester England. bowman of overdales for April 

  9. I am looking into new arrows myself. I have three choices I was looking into, but not sure.
    1: x10s
    2: Easton; Carbon ones
    3: Carbon express SSTs.
    I would choose teh x10s however they seem to cost way more then I wiosh to spend at this time. Do you suggest any of teh other two or have other suggestions?

  10. As I mostly do 3d shoots and target, I found out fast that with my traditional bow, which I shoot feathered carbon arrows, a miss , nicking a tree, or a root is never an issue.  With my compound bow I have always shot aluminum, and if I hit anything denser than foam targets (target frame, target stake, target pin) I have a bent arrow…or damaged.  I am quickly finding that carbon, while maybe twice the price for a comparable arrow, is the better idea!

  11. i have 22 lb bow, i currently using easton tribute 1616 shaft which worked fine "very well for me"
    but everyone is using the same one in here which make it quite confusing when theres 2 people shooting at the same target, so i want to have an arrow with different vane color

    which shaft number i should get?
    did you recommend getting feather fletch?

  12. I use wooden arrows from my recurve.  Just back from a training course and noted my wooden arrows launch faster that aluminium but will likely slow more over range.  Also, not affecting my turkey feathers, it was noted that different pigments in fletchings can affect how they behave so recommended having same colour all round.  Then spent most of the course shooting bare arrows so most others had to strip fletchings off.  Again my lower cost aluminium or wood less affected so not something I needed.

  13. I am in my first months enjoying target archery. I have learned more from your videos than from anywhere else. Thank you so much. If you could can you talk about the different types of nocks, and what each purpose is for?

  14. I get the impression that you feel Aluminum arrows are inferior to carbon and carbon composite arrows. in some cases this may be true, but you cannot discount arrows like the Easton X7, X23, and X27. These are the top tier in arrow straightness tolerance and weight/mass tolerance. Even the vaunted X10 cant match them.

  15. Hello i need some advice. Im a beginner target archer and i shoot a 30# bow. Im not sure of ny draw lenght but the arrows i have right now are 30 inches and they work fine. Now im buying some new ones and i would like to know what type and what shaft. These numbers for shaft hardness or something is confusing. Could you give some advice pls.

  16. Do you think a easton jazz 1716-1816 spine would work for a 30# bow. I just started archery recently and im now joining a target club. I need a arrow that flies straight and is relativly cheap. Would they work?

  17. Ace shafts are not the lighter ones. There's plenty of full carbon shafts costing 1/2 or 1/3 than Ace and have quite the same gpi
    Carbon Victory Vap v6 400 spine is 6.8 gpi= 9 € (nock and instert included)
    Easton A/C Pro Field Shaft 420 spine is 7.5 gpi= 25 €
    Easton A/C/E Shaft 400 spine is 7.5 gpi= 21€

    from http://www.archeryonline.it/catalogo.asp?scat=5&cat=55&pg=3&q=

    Talking about wheight is not a point

  18. as a hunter I prefer wooden shafts, many reasons for this and some are,,,they are inexpensive, amiss is not a worry if they are cheap, but i dont plan on being far enough away to miss,,,,, they are heavy ,so with my 55-60 pound compound or recurve or longbow at 20 mtrs they are going all the way through,, they are easy to tune to your bow so a lot less troublesom tinkering before a hunt,,,,,thats my two cents anyway.

  19. What spine would you recommend for a recurve with a draw weight below 30lbs? Are spine measurements consistent from brand to brand?

  20. nice video. I am a newb and I want to buy a compound bow. And I saw prices ranging from 300 $ to 2.500 $ . do you know whats the difference?
    I do practice often with a recurve bow but it has a very light draw weight like a toy, I would say 5kg or less.. I want to try the big boys.

  21. Hello,
    Ich look your videos and they are very good.
    Can you make a video to explain the static and dynamic spine value?
    That is a complex theme.
    Also what happens if I short a arrow.
    Is the spine changing or not? Because the spine is measured between to point which are 28 inches apart.

  22. Hi @NUSensei,

    Thanks for your review. I've got a W&W Black Wolf 62" recurve @60lbs. Any recommended shaft and broadheads for hunting?

    Look forward to hearing from you.
    Cheers!

  23. 教えてくれて有難う御座いました!I have a disabled brother that is starting archery so I'm helping him figure it all out, this is so much more helpful than the other videos I've seen. Thank you so much for your efforts, cheers from Chicago in the US!

  24. Easton Navigator FMJ? I shoot outdoor target at 50 meters. Right now shooting with X10 550 but now need cheaper arrows because i have already spend a lot in v-bar and short rod. Please tell about that arrow although it is obsolete now. price is 18 AUD fully fletched per shaft. Kindly reply.

  25. Hello NUSensei… I have 30lbs Axiom+L set bow…
    Can you suggest me what arrow stiffness for my bow?
    I've read some tips that 400 arrow spine is correct for my bow setup, is it true?

  26. Hi. I love your videos. I'm a relative newbie. Samick Polaris, 22lb draw weight. I'm using 28 inch carbon arrows with 1000 spine. I only have three and want to get more arrows. Should I stick with more of the same, or is it OK to have different kinds of arrows in your quiver. Went to a local archery shop and they recommended aluminum. Is it bad for a newbie to have a mix of different arrows? Thank you.

  27. Hi Sensei, could you make a short video solving the mystery of the different lengths that fetches come in? i.e. when you would use a long vane and when short? What is better? Are some just for compound bows?

  28. Hi NUSensei, thank you for your sage advice, I've learned quite a bit from your videos. I decided to try my hands on a recurve and purchased a 62" Samick Polaris – 28lbs(28.5" draw length). Due to budget constraints, I had been using some old carbon arrows (Browning Boss 55/70) which are way over spined, but fine for my old compound bow. I would like to purchase some proper arrows to tighten my shot groups and not develop improper targeting habits compensating with stiff arrows…what do you suggest 900, 1000 spine? Thank you in advance!

  29. Hey Sensei! i have a question for ya, im a begginer compound archer and i train on my own , i bought a compound bow which came with 6 Carbon arrows .
    if i have Aluminium arrows who are the same length as my Carbon arrows can i use them with my compound bow ?
    i know that arrows usually need to match the bow in order to not Damage the bow wings (because of differences between the weight of Carbon and Aluminium arrows
    what should i do?

  30. Hi NuSensei. I am a recurve archer from the Phillipines. I am wondering if arrows should only be cut to attain a whole number value such as 29",28",31",32" from point to nock. Because charts only show whole numbers. Is it possible for an archer to have a 29.5", 28.1/3", 27.3/8", 31.1/5" arrow measurement from point to nock? How does it affect the spine?

    Thanks in advance and more power to your channel.

  31. hey, NUsensai. i have been having trouble finding the right arrows for my new bow. i am a beginner and as you mentioned i am one of those that is going to be in the garden/woods to practice shooting. i went to Hungary recently and found this awesome Hungarian horseman bow that was specially made for this small store, it is made from fiberglass covered in leather and is 133cm in length, i couldn't buy arrows since they would been taken from me at the airport. I have been trying to find the right arrows and meanwhile, trying to teach myself all about what i need to know. do you have any recommendations on stiffness, length and etc and where i could buy such arrows? it would mean the world to me, since i am gaining no luck in choosing the right ones.

  32. Hi can I get some help. I'm after aluminium arrows as shoot on a school field. My draw weight is between 26/28lbs and a draw length of 28". What is best spin? Think I was told 1416 or 1616!

  33. I shoot aluminium Easton 2117 but I'm a hunter like the heavier arrow I feel it hits harder but that's a personal opinion could be wrong

  34. i found perfect arrow for me by big fat luck. 33 inch long, spine 700 on 38# on my draw length . Maximal carbon edge spine.

  35. Hey NuSensi, I'm just getting back into archery after a 30 year break, I'm 64 now ( I used to hunt with a compound back then). I recently bought a wooden recurve rated at #15, I have a 28"draw…I need a recommendation on what spine arrows to use carbon & aluminum. Nothing is etched in stone…I need a good starting point rather than wandering through the insane amount of choices.I'll worry about price later…I trust your judgment, I really need a good place to start, can you help me, Thanks for your time.

  36. Hi, I have a question, has anyone tried the 30 inch carbon arrows made by GPP that sell for $29.00 a dozen?
    I have heard a lot of opinion but I would love to see someone review them and show why they are garbage or not.
    I am buying a black hunter because you had the balls to shoot one and review it honestly. Too many people look at the price and say OH their Crap…

  37. NUSensei, I've purchased plenty of low cost arrows from eBay and Aliexpress (China direct) and they are never spined right. I gave up and now purchase locally from an archery shop or from Lancaster Archery here in the US in Pennsylvania. Better to pay for decent higher priced arrows than cheapy ones direct from China. I'm sure the more expensive are made in China but they are still held to higher standards and consistency when you pay for more expensive name brand arrows.

  38. I like to make my own arrows. At least i know i have something i cant trust is good.
    I use 11/32 shafts spined correctly for my bow. I always buy the parts by the same person. I started with carbon arrows. But it happend occasionally that someone else's arrow would shatter my arrows and it would make a mess and you would cut your hands trying to clean it up.

    I used to buy my arrows made out of wood €7 per piece laminated and very durable. But i can make 10 arrows myseld for around €45 euro. Which is a lot cheaper than €70 euro. And with some special oil I make them environment resistant. And when i buy the glu i can make around a 100 arrows with it which drops the price by another €10 euro.

  39. The cheaper arrows on Wish are actually not very good, unless you got a 60lbs bow and got the muscles to pull and shoot. I bought 60 arrows all different sorts of cheap Wish arrows and initially thought they were OK. But then I got a 6 pack/$80 arrows, and my mind was blown. Now the grouping of arrows are within 8"-10" more or less with an outlier here and there, vs. before with cheap arrows where "yay I hit the wall" was "good" …. Invest in some good arrows, you will not regret.

  40. Also going from plastic/rubber fins to "feather" you get more accuracy, as the feathers compress when leaving the riser, vs rubber/plastic kind of kicks the back end out a bit.

  41. NUSensei, have you played Kingdom Come: Deliverance? Do you happen to understand the different types of arrows and bows there in context of how close these are to reality?

  42. Has anyone ever tried greasing the arrow shaft so it'll fly easier through the air with less resistance?

    I'm Joking!

  43. Haha. I"m a relative beginner and lately have been trying to make sense of the arrow charts that are online. I'm a scientist with advanced degrees and over 50 publications in highly regarded medical journals, and I still have trouble with those arrow charts. Finally, somebody told me the other day all the info that I really need at this stage: If you have a lower draw-weight bow, you should use relatively less stiff arrows. If you have a higher draw-weight bow, you should use relatively stiffer arrows. Duh.

  44. Very informative. I remember going to the sporting store after having to scrounge up 75 cents, to buy an arrow. It was wood with a field tip. There weren't many choices, wood with 3 types of head. Or the aluminum with replaceable heads.
    I would go to grandparents house for the weekend. I found the twine the newspaper was tied up with, grab a Bowie knife, got cut down twigs to make arrows and a bow. I kept busy, had a blast, and 90% of the time my arrows were cut there, no point, no knock, all carved. No feathers at all. I could dent a beer can 30 feet away pretty consistent. Great fun.

  45. I have a approx 30 pound draw bow that seems to be shooting great with 31" arrows 350 spine and 100 grain tips. QUESTION: Does the distance to target also effect the flight?

  46. Make your own, it really is easy, take your time to get a few tools and get going, I make wood and bamboo arrows. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar0VGsmFD2I

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