There is a lot to know about the different types of arrows available for archery.  I’m going to try to give you the basics to help you understand the differences between them so that you can choose the right ones for you.

The first thing that you need to know about arrows is that they are extremely important to the accuracy you get.  You can’t just shoot anything from a bow and expect to have great results.  Arrows need to be tuned to each bow individually for the best results.  I don’t want it to sound too complicated, but there are some things that you need to know to get the right arrows.

Arrow Spine

Arrow spine is the word that describes the stiffness of an arrow.  When you loose an arrow from the bow, it undergoes compression and will bend either a little or a lot.  You will want to match the spine of the arrow to what you’re shooting.  Compound bows will typically favor stiffer arrows and traditional bows will favor more flexible arrows.  Don’t worry because almost all manufacturers will have a chart to help you choose the proper arrow.


Most fletchings are plastic vanes but they can also be made from feathers.  These give an arrow stability in the air and allows you to have great accuracy.  Fletchings can make arrows fly straight with or without spinning.  The only thing you need to know about fletchings are that compounds will use solid vanes and traditional bows with use feather style vanes.

Inserts, nocks, and arrow tips

The part of an arrow that attaches to the back and to the string is the nock.  Nocks are important, but the main thing is to make sure that they are just keep the arrow on the string without being too tight or too loose.

An insert goes in the front end of the arrow and lets you change out arrow tips.  Arrows are cut to the length desired and then the insert is glued in permanently.  Some arrows will have the tip glued on and can not be changed.

Arrow tips are the pointy business end of the arrow.  Field points, or target tips, are the ones you’ll normally see on arrows at an archery range.  Hunting tips, or broadheads, are made for hunting animals and are very dangerous.


An arrow’s weight is normally measured in grams.  Weight can be added to the arrow, taken away, and moved from the front to the back.  Moving and adjusting weight will affect the way the arrow flies and how it handles obstacles.  You’ll probably hear about the term weight forward of center, FOC.  If you’re only going to shoot in the archery range, then you only need minimal work on the balance of the arrow, but for hunting, you’ll want to spend more time making sure your arrow gets the best penetration possible.

Types of arrows

Carbon Arrows

Carbon arrows are made from …….carbon and can be made to many different spines.  Carbon arrows are particularly sturdy and can stand up to plenty of abuse, but I don’t recommend trying to abuse them.  Carbon arrows are not fixable like some other arrows are.  Once they are broken, they are done.  I’ve found through my experience that if I break a carbon arrow, it would have broken any other type as well.  Carbon arrows are typically the most expensive.

Read about the Best carbon arrows

Aluminum arrows

Aluminum arrows are light weight and hollow.  Aluminum arrows can be bent and bent back into shape.  This makes aluminum arrows really good if you’ve got a lighter weight bow.  These arrows are also typically a little less expensive than carbon.  You’ll find these to be a good choice that will work for most light weight bows.

Wood arrows

The most traditional of choices is a wooden arrow.  Wooden arrows are typically made to have matching spines and covered in a lacquer finish.  Wooden arrows will normally have feather fletchings and a glue on tip with no insert.  The arrows exist in a range of prices depending on quality.  Wooden arrows can be bent a bit and bent back into place.  These types of arrows are the easiest to break.

Fiberglass arrows

Fiberglass arrows are an interesting choice and can work well for target practice.  They are solid and will have a glue on tip.  I’ve found that they are not very easy to bend back, but they are pretty sturdy.  I’m not a big fan so I don’t really want to go about the benefits with these.  They’re alright if you need something to fling down the range, but that’s about it. They’re normally pretty cheap.

These are the different types of arrows and the things that you need to know about them.  The only thing left to do is make a choice about which one will be the best one for your bow.  You still will have to fine tune it to get the most consistent accuracy.

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