Archery | Buying Arrows – What Do I Get?
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Archery | Buying Arrows – What Do I Get?

August 16, 2019

Right, so you want some arrows. You go online, you pick the arrows you want, check out and ta-dad-da-da! Regardless of whether you buy online or in store, getting arrows is as easy as picking the arrow you want and choosing the colours of the vane and the nocks. I’ve already made a video covering different types of arrows, but this video is for those of you buying arrows for the first time, especially online. You will notice that most stores list arrows under fletched or shafts. Fletched arrows don’t just come with vanes. The whole set of arrows is pre-made with nocks and points and they are ready to shoot straight out of the box. Shafts, are just that. The plain bare shafts. You will need to buy the rest of the components to make the arrows yourself. But it can be more complicated than you think. Certain arrows require more components than others. Depending upon their type. While a cheap Easton Jazz arrow only needs a point, nock and vanes other arrows require additional parts. I won’t go through how to put an arrow together in this video, but for new buyers, this video will go through the things you will need to buy, in order to put your own arrows together. First, you pick your shaft, specifying the spine and length. Keep in mind that you need at least 6 arrows for most competitions and you probably want to get a full set of 12 anyway. Now, if you are buying in store, it may be possible to buy individual shafts, especially for cheaper arrows like these Power Flights. This is especially useful, if you are buying only a few arrows to tune your bow, or if you are topping up a set from missing or broken arrows. When you buy it online, you are usually limited to buying either half dozens or dozens. This is especially true for top end arrows, such as Easton X10s or ACEs. This is especially important because they are bundled together from the same manufacturing batch. So there is less inconsistencies between each shaft. Next, pick your points. There is a fair variety and it mostly depends on what bow you are using and whether you are shooting field, target or hunting. Most points allow you to state size and/or weight but when in doubt, pick the smallest and lightest. There are three types of points. Screw in, glue in and glue on. If you are buying screw in points, you will also need to buy inserts. Most inserts only fit certain shafts. For example, ACE shafts can only use ACE inserts. You also need nocks. Nocks are often sold in 12 packs. Which makes sense given that you have 12 shafts. Some nocks, also come in 100 packs. In case you need lots and lots of spares for future arrows. Some nocks and shafts, again, require special inserts. Such as uni-bushings or pins. For others, they go straight in to the end of the shaft. Vanes usually come in packs of 50 or 100. Each arrow uses 3 vanes. So a full set of 12 will require 36 vanes. Of course, vanes come off frequently, so having spares wouldn’t hurt. On a side note, it’s standard for a recurve shooter to have a different coloured vane on one side, to indicate the right loading placement. Vanes come in various lengths and widths. But, if you are just starting out, it doesn’t matter too much. Then, there are spin wings. Thin, curled vanes, stuck in a helical pattern. These are meant to give more spin to the arrow. Thus making it more stable in flight. Most archers won’t use these. As they are fragile and can rip fairly easy. Furthermore, they are only intended for narrow shafts. Such as X10s, or ACEs or ACCs. Mostly, they are used at competition level. I should note that spinnys are only meant for recurve. Compound bows, will shred them. That’s all, right? Well, not quite. You also need stuff to put everything together. For inserts and glue in points, you will want a glue such as hot melt, available in blocks like this. Though glues you find in hardware stores, like Araldite are fine. Hot melt however, is much easier to remove if you have to replace things. If you are using screw in points, you may want to put a dab of glue on to the point itself. It does have a habit of coming loose, during a shot. For vanes, Fletch-tite is the most common glue. They come in tubes like this and the glue is lighter, making it appropriate for sticking on vanes. Spin wings on the other hand, are meant to be stuck with tape, not glue. They come with double-sided tape in the pack and additional black tape to fasten the ends. If you are putting the arrows together yourself, you want to get a fletching jig. This will allow you to align the vanes perfectly and hold everything together while the glue dries. Now I won’t actually put an arrow together right now but just to quickly go through the steps involved this is what you do. You have your bare shaft. You then use a block of hot melt to glue in the insert here, and that goes in one end of the shaft and you can push it in like that. There we are. Next, you need… again hot melt over the nocking pin, if you are using a pin and you put in the other end, like so. You then put the nock on, as such, you can get special nocking tools but you can do it by hand as well. If you are using vanes, then use Fletch-tite to put glue on to the shaft and then put vanes on. If you are using spinnys, then you will need to obviously remove the tape and put spinnys on. Now, there is a special pattern on how to put them on and you will need a fletching jig and usually a coloured marker, to mark it where you are putting the vanes. But I will save that for a different time. Lastly, you put on your tip and for this case it is a screw in tip. It goes right on like that. So, I haven’t glued anything on, so things will come off. So when I do this for real, I will either use hot melt and glue to assemble the entire arrow. Whether you buy fletched arrows or make your own arrows is entirely up to you. There aren’t any huge advantages either way. If you choose to buy fletched arrows, that means the experts in the store will make it for you, so you don’t have to muck around and screw it up yourself. However, it does tend to cost more and it takes more time to deliver, so it may mean waiting in store or coming back to pick up a different time, or if you are buying online, it may delay shipment by two or three days. On the other hand, if you buy your own arrows you actually don’t save that much money. If you buy separate parts and you put it together in your own workbench or in your own room, then the cost is roughly the same. Although, you do get more choice over what you put on your arrows, as well as how you put it on. The other odd advantage, with doing your own arrows is often you don’t usually buy exactly the number of parts that you need, so if you buy fletched, then you get 12 complete arrows. If you buy your own shafts and your own components, then you often will get a pack of say 12 pins or 12 nocks, or 12 inserts, but you will also get a lot of spare fletchings and spare points and so on. So, while the cost is about the same, you do end up getting a lot more in terms of stuff. So if you need spares, then it wouldn’t hurt to buy spares and do it yourself. The big part of doing it yourself is, that you get a lot of experience in making arrows and especially maintaining the arrows. Eventually you break arrows vanes come off, nocks get shattered. So you will eventually have to fix your own arrows or get someone to fix it for you and there is a lot of fun involved, a lot of good worthy time spent putting arrows together, it just generally feels a lot better when you assemble the things yourself. But, either way, it doesn’t matter a whole lot and if you really can’t be bothered and just want convenient arrows straight away then definitely get arrows fletched. Otherwise, spend the time to put arrows together and you have something that is worthy of your bow. As usual guys, hope you found this useful. If you did, please click the like button and leave a comment below. Otherwise, I hope you stick around for more archery videos and I will see you next time.

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  1. I haven't used Vanetec vanes, but they seem as solid as most other brands. I currently use 1 3/4" spin wings.

  2. Ah yep, Ive been practicing with easton powerflights and im using 3inch feathers, but im thinking of going to 2 inch vanes.

  3. Vanes versus feathers… Most suggestions I receive tend to favor feathers.  Is this a common preference or is it a "sellers preference"?

  4. Hi, i have now used basic Easton jazz arrows and then got ACC's second hand that conveniently fitted my compound, but i now only have 8 left from a very stupid mistake i made and I'm looking at getting better quality arrows before NZ out door nationals in early January. Im looking at getting a set of ACE's shafts from abbey archery. Do you have good thoughts about the ACE's and is abbey archery a good shop to buy from as in NZ it will be far more expensive, and well I'm on a bit of a slim budget. Thanks


  5. Thanks for your very informative videos. It has helped me make informed decisions before spending a lot of money. Keep making great videos!!

  6. Great video very informative thanks. But do u know a website where i can order arrows? A fairly reasonable price? Thanks again

  7. Your channel has been very helpful for me in getting into archery again (I only did a little very basic archery as a teen). Thank you!

  8. How do I choose the length for the arrow ? Does it depend on my draw length ?
    I want to start archery as a hobby in my free time and I'm on research phase now. I need to know a lot of stuff before I comet to it.

  9. How would a compound shred spin vanes? I mean if a drop away sight is used, there wouldn't be contact between the bow and the vanes.
    (Also i'm partially eyeing the metallic silver spin vanes that would go very well with me colour coordination.)

  10. finally got around to getting the damaged string replaced today the new string can handle larger weights so its an upgrade that acted as an replacement

  11. What are your thoughts on using right wing or left wing feathers for the fletching? I am new to archery. I am right handed and have an old used right-handed bow, but I might switch because I am left-eye dominant.

  12. Love this channel – I've learned SO much about the sport. Just booked my beginners lessons with a local club. Many thanks NUSensei for educating me so well.

  13. what is the difference between the thickness of the shafts? is thinner better? what about materials? carbon, aluminium, fibreglass or wood?

  14. Great video NUSensei!
    I wonder, would you make a dedicated video in which you explain shafts' stiffness and outcome of choosing wrong stiffness? You mentioned about it in the video about broken window (XD) but you didn't elaboarted on that matter. Be my man and explain to me like I'm five. I bet some other people are ding to hear about it as well :3

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