We spent over 25 hours testing and researching 10 different kinds of archery arrows and found that materials used in construction, durability, and affordability were the most important factors that customers looked for when they were shopping for archery arrows. ANTSIR Carbon 30-Inch Removable Arrows scored high marks over the competition in every category and is our overall top pick. The ANTSIR archery arrows come 12 to a pack and measure 30” long.
Archery Arrows Buying Guide
This buying guide is designed to help you understand arrows more so you can choose the right ones for your outdoor shooting and target practice. The first thing that we’ll cover is the parts of an arrow. This is important to know when you are reading the descriptions of different arrow selections. This knowledge will ensure that you understand which part of the arrow a certain description is referring to. We’ve listed the parts of an arrow below.
Shaft – The shaft of the arrow is the length. Shafts can be made from many different materials but the most common are carbon, aluminum, wood or a mix between carbon and aluminum. Each different material will act differently when shot from the bow. The different materials used usually have different uses as well.
Arrow Head or Points – The very sharp point at the end of the arrow is known as the point or arrow head. There are several different types of arrow heads.
Fletching – The three vanes that are located at the arrow’s back are called fletchings. This part of the arrow is generally made of plastic or feathers. In most cases two of the vanes will be one specific color and the last vane will be a contrasting color. The vane that is different from the other two is known as the index vane.
Nock – The slotted tip at the back of the arrow is known as the nock. Nocks are usually made of plastic and fit tightly on the bow string at the nocking point. Some nocks are fixed in place with glue but many arrows are not secured this way and can be adjusted to fit the bow as needed.
Types of Arrow Heads
There are many different types of points on an arrow. These points are also called arrow heads. Below we have listed the different points along with a little bit about each one so you can learn the difference between them.
- Field Points – Field points are used for hunting small game and for target practice. Field points have sharper tips than bullet points.
- Bullet Points – Bullet points have a medium sharpness and are usually used for archery practice and hunting smaller game.
- Blunt Points – The main characteristic of blunt point arrow heads is the flat tip they have. These tips are strictly used for hunting small game. The blunt arrow head takes down game through blunt force instead of penetration.
- Judo Points – These arrow heads use either a flat or blunt point and feature what are called legs that will grab onto whatever they hit so they don’t get lost while hunting.
- Broadheads – These super sharp points are lined with razorblades and are designed specifically for hunting.
The Importantance of Spine
How much an arrow bends is called spine. If the arrow bends a lot it is called weak. If it doesn’t bend very much it is called stiff. The spine will affect performance and accuracy so it is an important thing to learn about. Below we have listed some of the factors that will affect spine and why some archery arrows bend and others are stiff.
- The Bow’s Weight – If your bow’s draw weight is high you will want to choose an arrow that is stiffer. Low draw weight bows can handle a weaker arrow.
- Arrow Length – Longer arrows need to be stiffer to performance and fly well. The length of the arrow from end to end plays a big part in how bendy it is.
- Arrow Head Weight – Another factor that determines how much your arrow bends is the weight of the arrow head or point. You want the fletching to balance out the weight of the point so keep this in mind when you are sorting through all your choices.
- Arrow Materials – The material that is used to make the arrow also affects the spine or bendiness of the arrow. Carbon arrows are very stiff and are well suited to outdoor shooting. Aluminum arrows are also stiff. Wood arrows are a lot less durable than other materials and provide a weaker shaft than the other materials are.
Things to Consider and Helpful Tips
- If you are brand new to archery you may want to start off with cheaper arrows rather than investing in the higher dollar ones. Arrow are used heavily and can get pretty beat up. Even the expensive ones will eventually wear out and fletchings fall off, the arrows can get bent and other dings and dents. As your skills improve you can upgrade the quality of your arrows as well.
- Have you ever noticed an arrow with vanes that are tapered to the left or right? No the manufacturer didn’t make a mistake, this is an intentional design called a helical configuration. Once the arrow is released and it is traveling the air will push on the vanes that are slanted and will cause the arrow to spin. The spinning stabilizes the arrow and improves accuracy.
- You can purchase arrows pre-made or you can “build” your own by purchasing shaft only arrows. If you choose to build your arrows, you will start with the shaft only and then will need to add the vanes, the point and the nock. There are others that have the points installed already and some with nocks and vanes installed. Whatever you choose to purchase, you may be happier starting off with the pre-made arrows until you learn a little more about what types of vanes, nocks, and points are better.
- Vanes (fletchings) come in plastic or feathers. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Feathers are really good for target archery on an indoor range and are good for recurve bows. The feathers won’t affect the flight of the arrow if they make contact with the handle of the bow. This is because they flatten easily when they come in contact with the handle. Plastic on the other hand does not give when it comes in contact with the bow which can negatively affect the flight of the arrow. The disadvantage to feathers is that they can get wet and will add to the weight of the arrow. This is not a good characteristic for outdoor hunting or archery. Because plastic vanes are resistant to water, they are well suited for outdoor shooting and archery.
- If the arrows you choose are heavier and larger you will need to make sure that the vanes match the arrow size. Using vanes that are too small for the arrow will not allow them to stabilize it as it flies. Additionally, if you are using a heavy point for your arrow such as a broadhead, you will need to make sure the vanes are large enough to compensate for the added weight. As you gain experience you will learn how to best balance your arrows for maximum performance and accuracy.
- The brand of the arrows you purchase is very important. There are some manufacturers that strictly focus on nothing but arrows. This kind of focus can reassure you that you have chosen a good company for your arrows and that they will be of great quality and performance. You still have to work on your skills. Even the best made arrow can do a poor job without any practice. When you are sorting through all of the selections available make sure that you do your research on the company and go for the archery arrows that are made by well-known and trusted brands.
- When you are interested in a specific product you should educate yourself as much as possible about the features, drawbacks, and anything else you can think if. One great way to do that is to read customer comments from those who have purchased the arrows and are using them. They will be able to tell you some specifics that the sales sight won’t have. This insight can help you avoid a big disappointment by choosing low quality or ill-suited arrows for the kind of shooting you do or the bow you have. People are usually more than happy to give their opinions about products they use so it is usually safe to take the comments as truthful.
If you’ve been involved with archery for any length of time you will already know that a top quality set of arrows is more important than a top quality bow with mediocre or poor arrows. The arrows you use are crucial to your shooting accuracy. As you gain experience you will want to upgrade the quality of your arrows.
If you’re just starting out in archery, take the time to experiment, record your findings, and learn through trial and error what works and what doesn’t. Before you know it you’ll be an expert on which are the best arrows.
Choosing the right arrows can be very confusing for newbies but take heart. The top rated arrows we have featured here are all top quality, pre-made arrows that are well suited for target practice and outdoor shooting. Any one of them is excellent for beginning archers.
If you want to do more browsing, use the information we have provided for you in this buying guide to help you sort through all of the different choices and match them with the type of shooting you are interested in and the type of bow you have.
Having the right knowledge will ensure that you understand what each of the arrow choices you are interested in offer and what they are capable of. Make sure you know the type of bow you have, the weight of that bow, and the type of shooting or target practice you want to do. This is important information that will ensure you make a confident decision on the right arrows for you.