Archery has advanced over the years – back in the day, arrows were crafted out of wood, which was not so accurate and could only be shot at shorter distances. Eventually, as the world of archery revolutionized, the equipment also improved.
The bows evolved from traditional recurve bows to highly engineered compound bows. Wooden arrows were soon replaced by aluminum and carbon arrows, which provided greater accuracy and covered more distance due to their light weight.
Carbon arrows have gained quite some popularity among archers for their durability and ability to be modified according to their preferences.
Most people cut their carbon arrows to suit their draw length for better handling. It’s a no-brainer that requires simple cutting tools, accurate measurements, and time to focus. Let’s take a look at how it’s done. Once you get the hang of it, you can make your own custom arrows – the perfect opportunity to maximize your arrow speeds and accuracy.
Why Do Archers Cut Their Arrows?
If you’re new to the world of archery, there’s a high chance you might encounter a situation where archers cut their arrows, which can make you wonder why they’re doing this.
A straightforward explanation for this situation is that archers cut them down to make them the right size to suit their needs.
Most of these arrows have a shaft length of 30 – 33”, an average measurement for adult archers: however, it doesn’t suit everyone – some professionals may prefer shorter arrows for better precision.
If arrows have a longer shaft, it makes them more flexible: it causes them to drift away from their original trajectory, reducing the arrow’s speed and long-range accuracy. Of course, this isn’t a favorable situation for hunting or competition.
As for hunting arrows, they need to be a perfect size and provide deadly accuracy, so you don’t miss your target. If you’re using carbon hunting arrows, the arrow spine should be moderately flexible so that it allows you to have consistent accuracy over a long range.
Cutting the arrow too short can result in even worse results, so it must be done carefully. The main motive is to improve the sense of feel and develop a more natural draw pattern, resulting in better accuracy.
Cutting Your Carbon Arrows
If you feel your arrows are longer than usual, giving off an unnatural feel, and veering off their trajectory, consider cutting them down to the right size. But before you get saw-happy, there are a few things to be mindful of.
Determine the Length
The first and most important part of cutting carbon arrows is getting the right measurements. The general idea is to keep them roughly the same as your draw length – however, it’s a good practice to add an inch to it.
You can measure the draw length by noting the distance between your string and the throat of the grip on your bow.
Execute the Perfect Cut
Once you’ve determined the correct length for your arrows, it’s time to get started. Begin by securing the arrow firmly to reduce movements during cutting: a clamp is recommended.
Ensure you don’t overtighten the clamps, as carbon fiber can crack under too much pressure.
Mark the points where you’ll make the cut: it’s a good practice to leave a margin of a few centimeters to allow some room for error. It’s easy to fix the arrow that’s longer than expected, but a shorter arrow can’t be restored.
Start cutting slowly and keep consistent pressure: avoid rapid jerks on the saw, which may result in an untidy cut.
Congratulations! You’ve finally chopped the arrow to your desired length. But it doesn’t just end here: a few final touches are still required to get that perfect arrow design and make it look neat.
Rub a piece of high-grit sandpaper over the freshly cut ends in a circular motion. It’ll help neutralize the irregular points of the cut. Make sure to add some easy-to-spot fletching colors!
Wrapping It Up
Cutting carbon arrows may seem intimidating at first, but it’s a straightforward process if you use the right tools and techniques. Remember to take your time, follow safety precautions, and measure twice before cutting.
The ideal length of your arrow is the same as that of your draw, and it can provide a natural feel.
A longer arrow may be more flexible and can lead to inaccuracies in the arrow flight, but at the same time, it’s important to keep in mind that if you cut the arrow too short, it’ll become useless.